Friday, October 21, 2011

Striving for Minimalism

A select number of images from a photo walk last weekend. Shooting mostly for fun, but aiming more towards minimalism and the joy of finding something new to shoot! These are a few of the images from that day. More can be found on my Facebook page!

© Tony Leonhardt, Art by Leonhardt Photography, 2011. Do not use these images on websites, blogs or other media without consent of the photographer. Use prohibited for commercial purposes without prior written authorization.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fresh from the DCnU Cutting Room Floor

For someone who reads a few non-photography related blogs, there's been a lot of hype and build up towards DC Comics and the full-spectrum relaunch of all of their titles. As of this week continuity begins anew. Everything is starting fresh with the release of JLA #1 -which begins the team-up of superheroes with Green Lantern, Batman and Superman. Next week begins the launch of the other 51 titles that DC Comics is rebooting.

One of the things that I thought was most apt -especially concerning this week's DCnU reboot- was to "reveal" a scene from the cutting room floor that shows two super-heroines at their catty best.

Feel free to post thoughts on the relaunch or potential cat fight below.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

For All Seasons

Often one of the disadvantages of being a photographer based in the Pacific Northwest is that my family on the East Coast does not get very many opportunities to interact with my daughter. This is understandable, especially granted the distance and the fact there is pretty much a continent between us. Yet one of the fun things I can take advantage of as a photographer is sending my family photos that I've taken of my daughter. Most of them I tend to tweak. Some more than others. But all of the photos are appreciated by my family when they arrive in the mail.

And then sometimes I end up with a photo that I love, but the picture needs a little something... more. Like this photo, for example.
Shot last month during a barbecue, it captures the exuberance and joy that comes with childhood. However, the dead grass and chain link fence don't make for the most appealing background. Certainly not something that I would feel content to send off in the post.

On top of that, one of the projects that I am working on for my parents is a photo montage that demonstrates my little girl in all of the different seasons that come with this Pacific Northwest weather. And since I like the image of my daughter playing (minus the background and dead grass) I decided to improve it a bit with a little bit of post-production work.

An image from the shoot I did in Point Defiance Park seemed appropriate for a new background. The image I had in mind was this one specifically...
Now I understand that I could simply take my daughter to Point Defiance Park and encourage her to play with her bubbles all over the scenic and beautiful lawn, but I doubt I could capture that same expression on her face. Some things simply can't be re-photographed. Children's expressions are one of them.

So with a little bit of ingenuity -and a lot of post-production effort with Photoshop- I was able to combine the best of both images, get creative with some layer masks and tweak a few elements here and there to achieve an image that I would be thrilled to send away to my family. This is the final image:
Definitely captures the fun of the brief summer season the Pacific Northwest grants us, and I can say this is truly a photograph that I'm more than enthusiastic to send to my parents and grandparents. I may not have too many opportunities for my daughter and family to spend time with each other, but as an accomplished Pacific Northwest photographer and post-production artist I can definitely Photoshop the right image to deliver a dynamic photograph!

Feel free to leave any thoughts or comments below. Cheers!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Gadget Envy

Today I had a successful portrait shoot with a friend to test out some new lighting gear that I purchased from the other side of the world. It amazes me that due to e-commerce so much of the world has opened up as easily as the click of a button. The lighting kit that I purchased is possibly the most exciting thing that I've bought since my first digital lens. A professional 6-in-1 flash set, it comes with a softbox, honeycomb grid, conical snoot, barndoor, mini-reflector and a globe diffuser. Available on for less than $90. I've been wanting to play with it since I bought it. Today was the perfect day to do that. Pictures will be up soon.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mother and Daughter Point Defiance Photo Shoot

Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to photograph a session with a mother and daughter in Point Defiance Park. Working as a family portrait photographer in Tacoma at times yields fun and exciting opportunities like this one. The daughter in this session had recently had her birthday -and believe it or not, within the same week as my little girl's!

The excitement that both mother and daughter brought to the photo shoot was great for me. It allowed me to continue to be creative and utilize all of the fun tools that I bring with me to each shoot. I even got some snaps in with my new Holga lens, plus my complete fav -the Lensbaby Composer. More photos will be on their way soon.

The image I am focusing on tonight has a very simple concept. Mother and daughter, silhouetted while playing under a tree. The photo was quite easy to capture, yet, as always, the more difficult task is to now determine which version of the image I prefer. I enjoy "mixing my own paint," but each shoot is different. I can't rely on the same standard effects each time I crank up the computer to edit my family portrait shoots.
Here it is without any major adjustments. An increase in contrast and vibrance, is all.
Adding some colorization to the shadows, while washing out some highlight detail.
Similar to the first, with a slight hint of extra shadow detail.
Going for a vintage look with the highlights, some shadow detail in the silhouette.
Adding a vignette, along with custom tone colorization to highlights and shadows.

With as much fun as we all had last week, I want to deliver some amazing photos to accompany the fun time we all had shooting a mother and daughter family portrait shoot in Point Defiance park. For now, I'm still in that phase where I'm debating which image adjustment I like best. Comments are appreciated!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Nikon DSLR Bluetooth Controller

This is something that I find very exciting! Within digital photography, there are so many ways to explore and exploit what technology allows us to be capable of. The only thing that truly limits us is what we're able to imagine creating. Much like the personal vision for any photographer's work, the ability to execute what you envision is no longer a limitation anymore.

(via Nikon Rumors)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Zombies Invade Crypticon!

Last night I had an experience with the walking dead as they invaded the 2011 Crypticon expo. Gathered via social media (who would think zombies knew how to use a computer?) the several hundred plus crowd of zombies shuffled their way from the Westlake transit station to the Crypticon expo in SeaTac. Here are a few photos from last night's madness.
Eric Pope, the Zombie General, organizes the horde just outside the Westlake Transit station.
Surprisingly, the undead were as well-behaved on the Light Rail as the living.
For any zombies from last night's Zombie Walk that are interested in purchasing any photos, you can email me for info. I'm offering 5x7 and 6x8 prints screen-printed onto glass, plus standard 5x7 and 8x10 prints. Prices available via email.
Crypticon, the Pacific Northwest's premier horror convention, had a few zombie themed events for the walking dead to enjoy last night. There also was a lot of zombie-themed mayhem.
There are more images on my Picasa and Facebook pages. Captions and descriptions are to come soon! And if you want to visit the Crypticon home page, click on this link.

All images are © Tony Leonhardt, Art by Leonhardt Photography, 2011.
Please don't use images on websites, blogs or other media without consent of the photographer. Use prohibited for commercial purposes without prior written authorization.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Emergency Whistle, Rapture Whistle

Considering that the interwebs are abuzz with the advent of the Rapture -at least, according to Facebook and Twitter updates- I feel that now is a time where one simply cannot leave the house without bringing a trusty ©Rapture Whistle.

What to do when the end of the world is nigh? Do not fear! Frighten away those thieves in the night with a whistle that clamors with the strength of seven trumpets from on high.

This pocket-sized powerhouse packs quite the punch, and also can be handily accessorized with a lanyard. An item to use only in extreme emergencies -like the 2011 Rapture or the imminent Armageddon- the ©Rapture Whistle will ward off avenging angels faster than a fresh coating of lamb's blood on your door mantle.

Remember, this item is for use only in case of Rapture. When it comes to the end of the world as we know it, the best form of self-defense is an angelic whistle meant for offense.

Taking orders via email and Paypal. Items will ship within 4-5 business days.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mixing Paint II

As a Seattle based wedding photographer, I typically enjoy shooting photos more than the post-production and editing process. There are so many different types of photo editing software available that it can become easy to get lost in the various selections or stuck on a specific program. So this post is a testing phase for which editing program I enjoy using most for the post-production of both my Puget Sound located and destination wedding photography.
The original image, shot at the gorgeous Hidden Meadows -north of Seattle- using a Nikon D80 and a Lensbaby composer. No post-production attempted.
The first revision of the image, using the Apple Aperture program.
The second post-production attempt, this one accomplished using the Nikon Capture NX 2 software program.
The third editing attempt, relying on the standard Adobe RAW editing program.
The last post-production effort, using Adobe Lightroom to modify the image.

While I have the most experience using both Lightroom and Aperture, I found that the software that I loved the most to work with was actually the Capture NX 2 program. This software is very similar to Lightroom, but surpasses much of what Adobe's program offers in terms of image control. I feel the photo yielded by the Nikon program delivers a better, more satisfying image than the results achieved using Lightroom.

The only thing worth noting is that the NX 2 software is probably best used for specific images -portfolio material. When it comes to fast batch edits of hundreds or thousands of photos -which I tend to shoot during a wedding- Lightroom performs much better and more quickly than the other programs tend to do.

Granted, my familiarity with each program will only increase through time. Which in turn will improve my workflow. But if you have a chance to try out the Nikon software, give it a go. I bet you'll be pleased with the results also.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Provençal Artwork for Sale!

In addition to the images from Mississippi that I'm offering on sale for Valentine's Day, I also am opening the portfolio of images that I have from Provence, France.
While I was in France, I received a grant to build a portfolio of images in Europe that I wouldn't have the opportunity to produce within the United States. Instead of one series of images, I developed three separate portfolios of work!
These images were photographed in Provence, France, using 4x5 black and white film and shot on a view camera. Exposures were generally 20-30 minutes long and shot on a small aperture using a tripod. Two are from the Mediterranean city of Sanary Sur Mer and the third was in the tiny Provençal village of Lacoste.
So if you're interested in prints, email me for prices and include the phrase "Cupid Stole My Heart" in the subject header. Do that and I'll give a 15% discount on prints, which are available in 8"x10" to 11"x14" and also "16x20" plus 20"x24" sizes. If there is a different print size that you are interested in, I'll work with you to get you the photo you want! Simply shoot me an email! The sale goes until Valentine's, so there is plenty of time to order the print you love for your special Valentine!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cupid Stole My Heart, pt. 5

This blog post is the last of my updates for my catalogue of photography from Mississippi. Each update features images from my fine art photography catalogue that I'm offering for a Valentine's Day sale. Simply email me with the subject header "Cupid Stole My Heart" and I'll offer a 15% discount on the price of prints.
I suppose you can say I've held onto the ones I like the best for last. These images are among several that have been compared to the Color Field paintings by Mark Rothko-which I've considered a huge compliment.
The deliberate process that I took while shooting this series -over a span of four days- yielded a total of 25 portfolio images. I attribute that success to the subject matter and style I used to capture the images. I've always held a desire to return and re-photograph the area, or even in other places that have been damaged by natural disaster.
The image below is of a church steeple that was knocked to the ground from the force of the hurricane. If you look closely, you can see the oxidation of the metal from years of exposure to the elements.
So this week I've been busy posting blog entries of the entire series -in sequences of 5 images- that I'm offering for my Valentine's Day sale, but if you want to see the entire collection of images you can visit the gallery that I set up online.
All of the photos from this series are available in varying sizes, from 6"x6" to 10"x10" photos even up to 14"x14" or 20"x20" prints. They are all available for this special sale, so contact me via email with any questions you may have!

Cupid Stole My Heart, pt. 4

One more in the series of updates from the series of images I photographed in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf coast. This sale that I'm offering extends until Valentine's Day itself, so all you need to do is email me with the header "Cupid Stole My Heart" to get a 15% discount on your prints.
Image sizes range from 6"x6" to 10"x10" photos -or even up to 14"x14" or 20"x20" prints. So there is a size available for any wall space!
After seeing vast destroyed landscapes of the Gulf coast my focus for the entire series was to pull the view of the camera in close, to capture a piece of the tragedy, and focus on what beauty could be found in the still remains of what was left behind.
Each image was shot analog, on film, using a Hasselblad camera. Working with available light, each image was carefully composed using camera, tripod and a lot of patience.
After I complete the posts for this series of images, tomorrow I will feature a new portfolio of black and white photography. This entire week is going to showcase multiple images and portfolios -all available for the "Cupid Stole My Heart" Valentine's Day sale.
So feel free to email me if you have any questions. I'm more than happy to accommodate to the best of my ability.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Cupid Stole My Heart, pt. 3

As I've been plugging away at today, I'm offering a Valentine's Day sale on my fine art photography. Email me with the subject header "Cupid Stole My Heart" to get a 15% discount on this series of images that I shot in Mississippi several months after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf coast.
Images from this series are available in varying sizes, from 6"x6" to 10"x10" photos even up to 14"x14" or 20"x20" prints. I'm opening my entire image catalogue -including these images here- for this special sale, so contact me with any questions you may have!This image below features 100% genuine Katrina mud that, according to a local I spoke with, seeped up drywall paneling to attach itself to the original wooden planks the building was constructed with. After the drywall was pried away, the mud remained.
This image I captured inside of an abandoned restaurant. The plaster wall had actually been knocked away in this exact manner. I wonder if you see the same thing that I did..
One of the most noticeable things throughout buildings that, though standing, were condemned and abandoned was the random objects left behind. This image has one, if only you know where to look.
As late as it currently is, I am going to post more images tomorrow. Following the updates for this current image portfolio, you'll see more fantastic fine art photography to come! So feel free to email me with questions or requests!

Cupid Stole My Heart, pt. 2

Here is another set of images from one of the series of my fine art photography that I am currently offering a Valentine's Day sale during this week and the next. Email me to get a 15% discount on either 6"x6" to 10"x10" or 14"x14" and even a grandiose 20"x20" prints, all you have to do is include the phrase "Cupid Stole My Heart" in the subject header to receive the discount.
As I travelled to Mississippi for the weekend I spent creating images, I was keen to focus on an aspect of my photography that I hadn't ever devoted time towards. This series was one of the first successful premeditated projects that I've worked on.
Here are some more of the images that I was fortunate to create. If you can discover what my original focus was -based from these photos- I'll include two images printed as postcards for free with your print order!Four days of shooting yielded a portfolio of 25 images. 50 images total, if you have stopped and viewed this album I posted last year.
If it isn't obvious with this image, then email me and I'll tell you. But in the next update, you'll see that my focus completely changed after the first day of shooting...

Cupid Stole My Heart, pt. 1

So after posting only three images this morning, I received an inquiry into one of the prints being purchased. Happily, for everyone involved, I have a total of 25 photos that complete that series of images. So here is the first of a few updates, with several more of the images for you to view.
More images from the series that I shot in coastal Mississippi, roughly a year after Hurricane Katrina tore her way through the Gulf of Mexico.
Like I mentioned this morning, email me with a subject header "Cupid Stole My Heart" and you'll receive 15% off the price of a print. Sizes vary from 6"x6" to 10"x10" plus a large-sized 14"x14" and even a grandiose 20"x20" - so take advantage of the sale and get something beautiful to gift on Valentine's Day!
One of the focal points for this series was to emphasize the beauty that arises from unnoticed details. From an event so tragic, it's possible to find a piece of something beautiful in the small things that, quite often, tend to escape unnoticed to the occupied mind.
This image is available in a diptych -also a potential triptych- and is quite possibly one of the most dangerous images I have ever created. As you can see, the entire wall had caved in and made the foundation of the building very unsteady -especially for someone shooting photos on the 2nd floor.
So feel free to email me to receive a discount in time for Valentine's Day! More images to come, more vitamins for your optic nerves.