A quick update on where things stand

Hello,

I just wanted to add a quick update on where things currently stand with the photography business. After a couple of years with Prestige Imports, my responsibilities have grown and my family life has become even more busy.  These changes have brought me to the point where it no longer really makes sense to pursue outside photography jobs. Honestly, it is not even the photography part of the jobs that takes up the time, it is all the planning, post processing, follow up, etc.

If you are a current customer, don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere and I can always do any future jobs that you may have. I’m just not currently seeking out new customers.

I am moving this blog (and this post in particular) to the top of my home page, to hopefully reduce any confusion that people who come across the site may have. The rest of the content on the site will remain up, in case an opportunity to actively move back into the photo industry presents itself. I hope you find the other posts and content useful. Especially take a look at the “Documenting your Family” posts, I think they provide a ton of great information.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at – jason (at) jasonnoffsingerphotography (dot) net.

Posted in About Jason

Arvada, CO | Interesting News | Back to the Grindstone

Portrait of a little girl sitting in a restaurant and playing with her toy blackberry. Photographed in Arvada, CO in December of 2010. As many of you know, I was laid off back in April of 2010. Since that time, I have been splitting my time between running my photography business and looking for a new full time job. Well a couple of weeks ago, a job came up that is really a perfect fit for my skills and background. I just started as the Photographer and Web Marketing Specialist at Prestige Imports in Lakewood, CO. Prestige is a luxury car dealership  specializing in both Audi and Porsche. In my new roll, I photograph the new and pre-owned vehicles, maintain and update the website, design web ads, and keep up their social media activities.

So what does this mean for Jason Noffsinger Photography? Well, if the last couple of years have taught me anything, it’s that it is always best to keep your options open. To that end, I will be keeping the business up and running, but in a scaled back fashion. Most likely, I won’t have much time to spend writing new posts for this blog, but I will be leaving the old posts online. I think there is a lot of really useful content here that people may want to refer to.

Having income from this new job will allow me to just focus on shoots that I’m really passionate about. Most likely, these will be smaller scale portrait shoots with people that really value what I bring to the table – my unique vision. Intimate weddings in interesting locations also hold a lot of interest for me. What I will really be looking for are opportunities to document people, families and weddings for those that really value authentic timeless photography.

So, to sum up, the business is alive and well,  but with a renewed focus on the things that I do best. Additionally, I am really happy to be out of “limbo” (for the first time in well over two years) and working on exciting projects at my “day job” as well as in my personal business. Please let me know if you have a project that would be a good fit with this new direction.

Tech Info:
Natural Light
Sigma DP2s
Sigma 24.2mm f2.8 fixed lens (41mm full frame equivalent)
Adobe Camera Raw

Posted in About Jason Tagged , , , |

Wray, CO | The Other Half | Colorado’s Eastern Plains

The mountains of Colorado get a lot of love from photographers (for good reason). This is a really beautiful state, and the first subject that generally leaps to mind, is the mountains.

Having grown up spending a lot of time out on the Eastern Plains with relatives, when I think about cool places to shoot, this other half of the state really calls to me. Out on the plains, agriculture and open spaces rule. This gives photo opportunities that we rarely come across in the city. In the small towns, the pace of change is slower. Old buildings stick around longer. And history feels real, not like something that was made-up for the tourists.

Below I have a few pictures that were shot on a trip to Wray, CO (my Dad’s home town) last summer. They are all pictures of buildings, some in use, some abandoned. The images were all shot on a quick walk around town early on a Sunday morning. The streets were pretty much empty, so I had the place to myself. I was really happy with the textures and forms that I got with these pictures, also the detail visible in both highlights and shadows is really amazing – gotta love that black and white film.

Hopefully you will like these pictures, and if you are thinking about a quick photo trip, I would highly recommend taking a look at a map of Colorado, picking a small town out on the plains and pointing your car in that direction. You never know what beautiful pictures you will find along the state highways, county roads and small town streets.

You can click on any of the images to see them larger. Enjoy…

Garage, fence, house and trees
Two Sheds Wooden house and trees
Large steel wall with a small window
Abandoned storefront

Tech Info:
Fuji GS645S
60mm f4 Fixed Fujinon Lens
Fuji Acros 100
Ilford Ilfotec DD-X Developer
Epson 4870 Scanner + VueScan + Adobe Camera Raw

Posted in Personal Work Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Behind The Scenes | Photo Website | WordPress + Photocrati

Screen capture of the jasonnoffsingerphotography.net home page from February of 2011. I know that some of you out there are interested in all things digital media and web technology, so I thought I would give you a little peak behind the scenes of this website and blog. For those of you that are strictly here for the photography, sorry about the geek-fest, please check back next week when we return to our regularly scheduled program.

To start with, this whole website is actually built on a self-hosted WordPress content management system. That means I had my web host (webhero.com) install PHP and MySQL on my webserver and then I installed WordPress. I know that sounds super geeky and impressive, but it isn’t. You don’t really even need to know what PHP and MySQL are, you  just need to know that WordPress needs them in order to operate. It takes less than an hour to get the bare bones website up a running, and there are easy to follow instructions over on www.wordpress.org

Of course, at this point, all you really have is a very generic looking blog with one “Hello World” post. The cool look and feel of the website comes from your theme.  There are about a million WordPress themes out there, some free, some you pay for. For my website, I chose Photocrati. This is a premium theme designed specifically for Photographers. It will set you back about $80.00 – a really good price considering everything you get.

What I really liked about the Photocrati theme is the amount of flexibility you have in setting up your look and feel. There are 15 basic templates within the SuperTheme (as they call it) and you can further tweak the final look of any of them until you are really happy.

I have my website set up so the home page looks like a “normal” photography website with a continuously running slideshow and navigation bar across the top. From the home page, you can navigate to any of my galleries, sub-pages, or go directly to the blog. All of these pages can be customized, and since the whole site is built on WordPress, every time I make a blog post, or someone else comments on a post, Google comes looking for new content to index. In other words, Google sees the site as an ever changing and evolving blog rather than a stagnate portfolio site.

So far, I have been really happy with this set-up. The WordPress dashboard makes updating and maintaining the website easy, and the Photocrati theme allows me to create the look and feel that I want. Also, the Photocrati support and update frequency has been great. They have been busy adding tons of new features and making the theme even better, so if you are in the market for a photo-centric WordPress theme, I would definitely check them out.

I hope those of you that are interested in web technologies found this information useful. If you would like more of these types of posts, just let me know.

***Disclaimer Alert – Other than using their products, I’m not affiliated with Webhero, WordPress, or Photocrati***

Posted in Business Tagged , , , |

Denver, CO | Family + Senior Combination Session | Three Sisters

Below are a bunch a pictures from my recent Family Portrait / Senior Portrait combination session. I really like the variety of images we were able to get in just a short time. McWilliams Park in Denver provided a bunch of different settings and backgrounds, and I kept switching between Camera/Lens/Film(digital) combinations to keep the look changing.

As you look over the pictures below, the soft, pastel looking color images were shot on color film, the warmer more contrasty color images were shot on digital, and the black and white images were shot on black and white film. Film processing and scanning was done by the amazing Richard Photo Lab in Hollywood.

I am really happy with how all of these images turned out, but as usual, my favorites are the images shot on black and white film. The combination of Fuji Neopan 400 and the Nikon 85mm f1.8 lens constantly blows me away.

You can click on any of the images to see them larger. Enjoy…

Portrait of a young woman Portrait of a young woman

Portrait of a young woman Three sisters smiling and walking

Portrait of a young woman Portrait of a young woman

Portrait of a young woman Portrait of a young woman

Portrait of a young woman Portrait of a young woman

Portrait of twin sisters

Portrait of a young woman Portrait of a young woman

Portrait of a young woman Group portrait of three young women

Young woman laughing while going down a slide Young woman smiling while climbing on playground equipment

Portrait of a young woman

Tech Info:

B&W Film
Nikon F100
Nikon 85mm f1.8
Legacy Pro 400 (AKA Fuji Neopan 400)
Richard Photo Lab

Color Film
Nikon N90s
Nikon 50mm f1.4
Fuji Pro 400H
Richard Photo Lab

Digital
Nikon D70s
Nikon 35mm f2
Adobe Camera Raw

Posted in Portrait, Seniors Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

Westminster, CO | Documentary Portraits | Molly & Balloon

With all of the below zero weather this week, I was really longing for some summer sun. I went back through some of my photo shoots from last summer and pulled these documentary portraits of Molly. They were shot during a concert at the Westminster Promenade in Westminster, CO. Molly was having a great time playing with the black balloons while staying in the shade of the Westminster High School tent.

The dark tent overhead, with light streaming in from all sides, made for some beautiful light; and the dark balloons next to Molly’s light skin created really interesting contrast in the images.

You can click on any of the images to see them larger. Enjoy…

Little girl holding a black balloon Little girl blowing a black balloon

Little girl holding a black balloon Little girl looking at the camera Little girl holding a black balloon Little girl resting on her mother's shoulder

Tech Info:
Natural Light

Nikon F3
Nikon 50mm f1.4
Ilford HP5 Plus
Ilford Ilfotec DD-X (9min @ 20C)

Camera Scan
Sigma SD9
Sigma 50mm f2.8 Macro
Photosolve Xtend-a-Slide

Posted in Portrait Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Arvada, CO | Children’s Portraits | End of Year Collage

I have posted previously about a collage that I created for one of my seniors. For the holidays, I decided to take that idea and apply it to a bunch of pictures that I had made of my girls thoughout the year. I put together the collage you see below and we gave prints to Grandmas and Grandpas. I think this ended up being a cool way to display a variety of pictures, and it tells a much more complete story than any single image ever could.

These collages would also work really well to display a selection of pictures from one of my documentary family or children’s portrait sessions. Over the course of a single shoot we might not get enough images to put together a complete album, but we will almost always get enough great images to put together an interesting collage. If a collage seems like something you might be interested in, just let me know.

You can click on the image to see it larger. Enjoy…

Custom collage of kids portraits

Tech Info:
Collage created in Adobe Photoshop CS5
Mixture of film and digital captures

Posted in Portrait Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Denver, CO | Family Portraits | Sneak Peek – Sisters

Today, I have a sneak peek from a recent portrait shoot. These three young ladies are sisters, the two in the vertical shots are twins. The images are from a sort-of combination family/senior (in college) portrait session. The twins just graduated from college, and their younger sister is a student at CSU. Their mom wanted to take some time to document how they look at this transitional moment in their lives, finishing up school, but before careers and families. I think this is a great idea, and it was especially fun for me because I have know these girls since they were little.

We dedcided to try for an outside shoot - always my preference, but sometimes tricky in January. We lucked out and got a relatively warm day with just slight overcast and enough snow on the ground to give some of the pictures a sense of seasonality. Pretty much ideal conditions for an outdoor shoot in Colorado during the winter.

I really liked how these digital captures turned out, so I wanted to get them up on the blog while eagerly awaiting my film scans from the extraordinary Richard Photo Lab. I will put up a more comprehensive post once I have all the film scans and digital files prepped and ready.

You can click on any of the images to see them larger. Enjoy…

Portrait of a young woman Portrait of a young woman

Portrait of a young woman

Tech Info:
Natural Light
Nikon D70s
Nikon 35mm f2
Adobe Camera Raw
B&W conversion using Adobe Photoshop/Channel Mixer

Posted in Portrait, Seniors Tagged , , , , , , , |

Documenting Your Family | Photo Tips | Slow Photography

Portrait of a baby girl Over on Slate.com there is a recent article about the Slow Photography Movement.  Basically, the idea behind “slow photography” is to think before you  shoot (to be honest, I am a fan of this approach in pretty much anything you happen to be doing). As you may have noticed, this is a theme that I return to often on this blog – think about your frame, consider your camera angle, how will your pictures work as a photo story, etc. The Slate article brings up some interesting points, and I like the general ideas behind the “slow photography” movement; but there are some quotes from the article that I wanted to pull out and discuss.

“…by the logic of volume: If you take a thousand photographs, one or two will turn out great. Professional photographers rely on this logic…”

This is what is often called the “spray and pray” approach to photography, and while there are some “professionals” that use this approach, it is definitely not the norm. Most professionals know that every shutter click has a cost. In the digital world, that cost is time sitting in front of the computer editing photos.

“In slow photography, the basic idea is that photos themselves—the results—are secondary. The goal is the experience of studying some object carefully and exercising creative choice.”

I sort-of see where he is going with this, but I really don’t see how you can separate the “experience” from the “results”. As far as I am concerned, the experience isn’t over until you are holding a print in your hand. The “results”, so easily dismissed in the article, have intrinsic value – be it historical, artistic, or whatever – and that value should not be discounted.

“In the logic of slow photography, the only reason to take photos is to gain access to the third stage, playing around in post-production, whether in a darkroom or using photo-editing tools, an addictive pleasure.”

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t find a lot of pleasure in doing Photoshop (or darkroom) work. It truly is a means to an end. I want a nice image and so I must go through the post production process (especially with digital captures). Given the choice, I will take some extra time while shooting to ensure better results and less post processing. To me, that is the essence of “slow photography.

“No, the real victim of fast photography is not the quality of the photos themselves. The victim is us. We lose something else: the experiential side, the joy of photography as an activity. And trying to fight this loss, to treat photography as an experience, not a means to an end, is the very definition of slow photography.”

In my experience, quality IS a victim of fast photography. You may end up with a few good shots using the “spray and pray” method. But you will have far superior results using a more considered approach. As for the second part of this quote, again, I don’t think the “experience” of photography can be separated from the final image.  If there is no final image, there is no photography, only looking. Looking is fine, but it’s sure not photography.

I will finish up this post with a slightly older quote that concisely explains what I see as the “slow photography” approach.

“Not many realize that good photographs – like anything else – are made with one’s brains.”
— Edward Weston, October 22, 1924
Tech Info:
Nikon N90s
Nikon 50mm f1.8
Ilford HP5 Plus
DR5 Process (B&W Slide)
Camera Scan
Sigma SD9
Sigma 50mm f2.8 Macro
Photosolve Xtend-a-Slide

Posted in Documenting Your Family Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Arvada, CO | Outdoor Children’s Portraits | Emma+Molly+Tree

There has been a lot of black and white stuff up on the blog recently, so I wanted to break things up with a bit of color. Below are a few portraits of the girls that I shot back before Christmas. I needed to get prints of these pictures in short order, for presents, so I shot digitally. I think the digital files held up pretty well. It would be nice to have a little more highlight detail (like I can get with film), but the prints still look really nice.

Even though these are my own kids, this was a pretty typical “kid’s session” for me. For this shoot, I was more focused on nailing the traditional portraits than I normally would be. We were working on a pretty limited time table, and I knew I was going for a couple of nice prints rather than a photo story or session album. We had to shoot pretty fast because the light was falling and it was pretty cold (but not that cold considering it was December in Colorado).

I find, when photographing kids, it makes things easier if I have something for them to interact with. It takes their mind off of the camera and allows me to get more natural expressions. In this case, we used an almond tree in my parent’s back yard as our “prop”.

We waited for late afternoon to get warm, directional light. I placed the sun at the girls’ backs to give nice rim lighting on their hair and to help show the texture of the tree.

One other element in this shoot was camera angle. You will notice that I was moving around a lot. Some of the shots I was standing on a chair to get a higher angle, and some of the shots I was sitting or laying on the ground to get a lower angle. I like to move around to keep the images from a shoot constantly changing. It allows me to get a variety of different looks from a single location.

You can click on any of the images to see them larger. Enjoy…

Portrait of a six year old girl Three year old girl leaning against a tree

Portrait of a three year old girl Six year old girl sitting in a tree

Tech Info:
Nikon D70s
Nikon 35mm f2
ISO 200
Adobe Camera Raw

Posted in Portrait Tagged , , , , , , , , , |