Meditation and Photography

Meditation and Photography is a new portrait series, I will be beginning to shoot for in 2016. The project aims at sharing the practice of mindful meditation with anyone who practices or is interesting in beginning a journey into peace and clarity. My journey began three years ago, at a time when I was feeling constantly overwhelmed with anxiety. I was introduced to a teacher and as I began my practice, I began to meet more like minded people, my anxiety began to fade. Suddenly, I could concentrate on my work, on my life again. Aspects of my life that weren’t beneficial or meaningful, began to fade and I started to feel much more in touch with what inspired me, not only with photography, but in every aspect of my life. A meditation practice is just that, a practice, something that takes time and work to develop. But, in today's super fast paced society, I believe that it is more important than ever to be in touch with the silence inside you. To be able to find peace within, no matter what the current conditions of your life are.

 

My Hope is that this project will find those who need it most. Those who need to find peace amongst the chaos, those who have long developed practices and have knowledge to share. I have no doubt that if you are inspired or intrigued by this project, we will connect.

My Goal is to reach people young and old alike. Those who have have established practices and have directly seen the amazing results of meditation and those who are interested in trying mediation for the first time.

How it Works
The process is simple, if you are interested in being a part of the project and scheduling a shoot, send me an email at mwellingtonphoto@hotmail.com. Include your name. a little bit about yourself, and why you are interested in the project. I will most likely respond within a day and based on situation work towards scheduling a day to shoot.

The Shoot
On the day of the shoot, I want you to treat it as just another day. I am located in Southern Rhode Island, based on your situation, we will decide on a location to shoot at. The location can be somewhere special to you, a quiet place outdoors, or somewhere you enjoy being. Wear something comfortable, that you don't mind sitting in. When we first meet, after introductions, I will photograph you. From there, depending on each situation and your experience, we will meditate for 20-30 minutes. If you have never meditated before, don’t worry, we can spend time going over basic techniques and I can even guide you through your first time. After we meditate, we will take a second for a few more photos and wrap up our session.

How to Get in Touch
Email: mwellingtonphoto@hotmail.com
Phone: 401.595.0756
Website: Contact form

Thank you
I have no doubt that this project will reach anyone who needs it so if you find yourself inspired, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, I would love to hear from you and look forward to meeting you and sharing this practice.

 

Sunday Shoots

I love Sundays! Recently, I have been dedicating Sundays to experimental shooting and learning. Whether I am testing a new lens, using a different style of lighting, or shooting in a new location, it has been beneficial for my work to dedicate time each week to learning and experimenting. This past week, I had the chance to shoot with Jollie. I wanted to do a portrait shoot and experiment with natural light vs using a single speed light in a 24X24” soft box. For a lens, I used my Nikon Nikkor 70-200 F/2.8 and my Nikon D750 camera body. In the 24X24” impact speedbox, I had my Yongnuo YN568EX, triggered by Yongnuo YN622N wireless flash triggers

We got to our location around 9:30AM. The sun was still low in the sky and I wanted to position Jollie roughly in front of it to add some highlight and create a nice flare in camera as well as to make sure the light was relatively even on her face. We were in a field of Reeds and the sun was lighting up the tops of them, creating a nice glow and some beautiful soft light. 

With Jollie roughly in front of the sun and my soft box in front and slightly to the right of her, as you can see above, I positioned myself about 10-15ft away so I could frame the shot. In camera, my settings were, ISO 100, F/2.8, with a shutter speed of 1/200th. The first two shots below as well as the last one are with the flash. The third shot is without the flash. For this shot, I left the soft box in place so the white would catch in the eyes, but turned off the triggers so it would not fire. I still really like the third shot, however I don’t think it has as much depth, I think the others have better highlights on the cheeks and overall, the flash helps to make for a more dynamic image. All in all, i think it’s kind of a personal preference. If I had had a reflector with me, I know that that would have given me the highlights I was looking for. 

Overall, I am really happy with how all the shots came out. It was great to get out in the mild December weather and take advantage of the soft, morning sunshine and I am looking forward to more experiments next Sunday. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or hit me up via email anytime at mwellingtonphoto@hotmail.com. Thanks guys! Hope you all enjoy the holiday! Cheers.

Home for the Holidays

A few days before Thanksgiving, I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a photographers post. I can't remember word for word what the post read but it was along the lines of... looking forward to Thanksgiving, the time when all of your family members ask you to get out your camera and work for free. I don't know exactly what he/she meant by this post, maybe they have a demanding family, I don't know. But I do know that I always try and bring my camera to family gatherings, it doesn't feel like work to me, in fact I love it. Its an opportunity not only to preserve family moments for a lifetime, but to brush up on my skills, better myself as a photographer, and as a creative challenge. This year, I took a little bit of a different approach, rather than just capturing moments throughout the day, I wanted to capture the people. So I decided to do headshot style portraits of everyone who was there for the holiday, including my dog keavy. 

For all the photographers out there who are reading this, I will go into detail a little bit about how I set up, photographed, and edited the shots. Starting with gear, I used my Nikon D750, with a Nikkor 70-200 F/2.8 lens. I also used a Manfrotto tripod and a Meike battery grip with he included wireless remote. (I love this battery grip, easily worth the $80) I used a Yongnuo YN568EX flash in a Impact Quikbox Softbox (24X24"), trigger by Yongnuo YN622N wireless triggers. This is a very affordable lighting set up, all together, stands included, this set up can be purchased for under $250 and honestly works great for any one light shot. I also had a roughly 2'X3' white piece of dry erase board, which I used as a reflector. 

I placed the quikbox about 3' in front of my subject and just about at head level/slightly above, angled down at the subjects face. I placed the reflector at about chest level, about the 2' in font of the subject angled upward. This served as a fill and lightened the shadows on the subjects face. I positioned my camera slightly off to the side and had each subject lean on a railing and turn slightly towards me. I used the remote on the battery grip to trigger shots as I moved around and conversed with each family member that I was photographing. 

In camera, my settings went as followed, ISO 100-200, F/2.8, with a shutter speed of 1/160-1/200. I set my white balance to auto and shot in raw, making any necessary changes in Lightroom. The sun was setting, so the light behind the subject did change a little, becoming a touch more saturated in some shots, but thats what you get working outside and I didn't mind. I'm not going to get into my post production process to much, but if your interested in retouching, you can find some very helpful tips in this recent post on Fstoppers, by Dani Diamond. While my workflow differs slightly, I use many of these methods for editing portraits. 

If you guys have any questions, feel free to ask away in the comments section or shoot me an email anytime at mwellingtonphoto@hotmail.com. Thanks so much for checking out my work. I would love to hear any feedback you guys have. Happy holidays!