Glenwood Springs, CO | Photo School | Pretty Pictures

There are a few places that I tend to think of as my “home towns”. I have spent most of my life in the Denver metro area so that is the most obvious. But another town that holds special meaning for me is Glenwood Springs, CO.

When I was a sophomore in high school  my family and I passed through Glenwood on vacation. I loved it – the old buildings, the mountains, the river – it just seemed like such a nice place to live. A couple of years later, I got the opportunity to live in Glenwood when I started attending photo school at Colorado Mountain College.

At CMC (sometimes referred to as See Me Ski), I learned the techniques, history and craft of photography. Being isolated in the hills above town, provided a perfect environment for learning. There really wasn’t much to do besides sleep, eat, go to class,  and work in the labs. This was back in the days when labs housed enlargers and chemicals rather than Macs and inkjet printers. But I did have a couple of classes using some new software called Photoshop.

During my first week at CMC, I did manage to find time to meet Julie. Who, as it turned out, was from right there in Glenwood. About three years later, we were married at a large house that overlooks the CMC campus and Mount Sopris. Julie’s Dad still lives in Glenwood, and we try to get up there every chance we get.

Below are some pictures from a trip to Glenwood back in the fall of 2007. These were all shot over the course of a couple overcast days on black and white film using a yellow filter. The yellow filter rendered the autumn leaves a very light tone and provided great contrast with the dark tree limbs.

I’m not sure if these are great pictures, but I like them, and they remind me of “home”.

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

Tech Info:
Nikon F3
Nikon 35mm f2.8
Yellow Filter
Ilford HP5 Plus
DR5 Process (B&W Slide)

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

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

Wray, CO | A Portrait And A House | Goodbye Papa Paul

On Christmas day, we lost my Grandfather (My Dad’s Dad). He was over 90 years old, and his health had been rapidly declining, so it was not a surprise, but it was a shock. We waited until the following day to tell the kids, and then we had to get everything ready for the funeral. I printed up an 11X14 of this portrait of Grandpa Paul with Molly, to stand along side the casket at the funeral. The final print turned out really nice, and added a happy element to an otherwise sad occasion.

Along with this picture, Julie and my sister-in-law, Jess, put together a large presentation board showing a wide variety of pictures from Grandpa’s life. There were photos going all the way back to 1942. Seeing all of these images together really drove home the importance of protecting your memories. I know there are a lot of people out there who have pretty much stopped carrying a camera and are just using their cell phone cameras instead. If this sounds like you, please make a conscious effort to get those pictures off of your phone and on to your computer, and then make a conscious effort to make some prints.

To go along with the portrait above, I wanted to show some interesting pictures that I shot this summer. The three images below were shot in Grandpa Paul’s home town of Wray, CO. The house shown in the photos was actually my Grandpa Paul and Grandma Nondice’s first home. They moved in shortly after Grandpa returned home from World War II. As you can tell from the pictures, they very well could have been the last people to live in this house. It is almost completely overgrown with trees and bushes. This is probably an appropriate metaphor to end this post – my Grandfather’s house, being reclaimed by the Earth.

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

Tech Info:

Portrait
Sigma SD9
Sigma 50mm f2.8 Macro
f4 | 1/90 | ISO 200

House
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 , , , , , , , , , , |

Arvada, CO | Social Media | Jason Noffsinger’s New Tumblr Feed

Hey out there on the internets. I just wanted to call your attention to my new Tumblr feed. If you look over there >>> in the right hand widget bar, you should be seeing some pictures or quotes that I have added.

If all goes as planned, these will be the most recent additions to the feed. I will try to put up at least one fresh post every day. They will be short and sweet – One picture, or one quote, or one random thought. Most of the time, the posts will be photography related. I am calling the feed Jason Noffsinger Photography/Life, and that pretty well sums up my intent. I just want to give you a little more insight into my life and my work without the limitations of Twitter or Facebook but also without all the analysis, editing and SEO considerations that go into a full blog post.

“So what exactly is a Tumblr feed?” you may be asking. Well, Tumblr is a blogging platform that has been stripped down to the bare essentials. It fits somewhere between Twitter and a traditional blog (like this one). It doesn’t limit me to 140 characters, but it is super easy to put up pictures or quotes or random thoughts – especially from my new favorite toy – the Ipod Touch 4G. I love this little thing! I can check email, maintain my calendar, surf the web, make Tumblr posts, and look at Flickr from anywhere that has wi-fi, all with no $90 per month data plan.

And my favorite feature… the horrible little 0.7 megapixel digital camera. I can use it to make quick snapshots (like the one at the beginning of this post) and then run the pictures through one of the many post-processing apps on the Apple App store, before uploading to Flickr, or Facebook, or Tumblr. At last count, I already have eight of these imaging apps loaded. Of course, with the terrible camera, the image quality is not good at all, but the pictures are sure fun to play with. So I am using the iPod Touch as my FunkyCam – for fun little pictures that I can snap while I’m out and about.

So take a minute, click on over to www.jasonnoffsinger.tumblr.com and have a look. I really like the simple design that I put together for this project. Hopefully, I can create some worthwhile content to go along with it.

Let me know what you think.

Tech Info:
Ipod Touch 4G
Instagram App for tonality and sloppy border
MonoPhix Lite App for B&W conversion
Filterstorm App for adding metadata and uploading

Posted in About Jason Tagged , , , , , , , |

Brighton, CO | Documentary Portraits | Merry Christmas Everyone

Merry Christmas!

Here are a couple of documentary portraits from a couple years ago on Christmas day. I like the fact that they include the Christmas tree, but it is subtle and out of focus in the background. I also really like the tones and grain visible in these film scans. As usual, these were shot with available light, in the natural surroundings. Just a couple of quick snaps after the kids had opened their presents. It doesn’t take a lot of time to get great shots. Simply pay attention to the light, the situation, and expressions and be ready with the camera. That is the fun, and the challenge, of documentary portraiture.

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

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 Portrait Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Boulder, CO | Chautauqua Wedding | Top Knots Photo Contest

I just entered some of my images from Kate and Brandon’s June wedding to the Photo District News Top Knots photography contest. This is one of the biggest contests of the year for wedding photographers. There is some really great work on display, but most of it is more traditional “posed” wedding photography, so I’m not sure how my documentary approach will go over.

The main website can be found here . If you would like to vote for one of my pictures in the “People’s Choice” category, you can click here.

Below are the pictures I submitted for consideration. The four pictures of the Bridal Party walking around in the rain were submitted as a series. I chose these because I felt they really held together well as a series, and they also do a good job of illustrating the documentary style that I use when shooting a wedding. In the portrait category, I chose this particular portrait because I think it is really pretty with nice soft window light, rich dark tones and bright highlights that retain the details in the dress. I also chose this picture because it is somewhat unusual, being a straight profile of Kate’s face.

Hopefully, the judges will find these images interesting, if a little different than the usual wedding photography fare. Let me know what you think of them.

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

Tech Info:
Nikon F100
Nikon 50mm f1.4
Legacy Pro 400 (AKA – Fuji Neopan 400)
Processing and scanning by Richard Photo Lab

Posted in Wedding Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Documenting Your Family | Photo Tips | Tell An Authentic Story

With the advent of digital scrapbooking, and inexpensive one-off book printing, it is more important than ever to tell a story with your pictures. Rather than thinking about your final product being a print, think about a series of prints or a layout in your very own coffee table book.

When you work in this way, not every picture needs to be able to stand on it’s own. If fact, they probably shouldn’t. Some pictures will just be there to reveal a detail or give a broader view. Some pictures may even be presented simply to give a visual break. The trick is to remember to shoot these “supporting” images as you are out shooting your more traditional portraits and snapshots.

Also, when you are working in a story format, not every picture needs to be technically perfect. You are free to do some experimentation – dramatic lighting, motion blur, soft focus, interesting angles, etc. These elements can all bring depth to a photo story, as long as you already have a few “safe” shots in the bag.

So, when you are out shooting pictures of your family, try to think about how the pictures you are making will work together as a story and whether that story authentically captures the situation.  Remember to experiment with different techniques and grab some of the supporting shots that will add the flavor to your story.

This weekend, get out with your family and try to find a story to tell. I’ll be curious to find out if you found this information useful.


Below is a series of images of Emma that I shot in Glenwood Springs, CO. You will notice that almost all of these are of the more “experimental” variety (my favorite variety) – We have a cropped portrait with dramatic light and motion blur; another portrait shot from a low angle; an “action” shot that focus on leaves and grass rather than Emma walking; a detail picture that doesn’t even include Emma; and a picture of her climbing on the playground, completely unaware of the camera.

Of course, there are a few elements that tie these disparate images together – Emma’s clothes and hair remain consistent, and the pictures were all shot on the same camera/lens/film combination. But I feel like the pictures are really unified and given a purpose by the final, traditional, portrait. It’s clean and sharp and she has a great expression on her face.

You can click on the images to see them larger and read a caption. Enjoy…

Tech Info:
Nikon F3
Nikon 35mm f2.8
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 | Documentary Portraits | Real Baby, Really Cute

It’s hard to shoot a picture of a baby that isn’t really cute, but you don’t see a lot of portraits of babies that are really real. They are usually laying on a white background, or sitting on a blanket covered with roses, or popping out of a cabbage patch in a costume. While those types of pictures are fun, they don’t really tell you much about that baby’s personality, or what makes them different.

Below, I have some documentary style baby portraits. These pictures were made in a real location, with natural light and authentic everyday baby clothes. Through the pictures, you can relate to this little one’s environment and understand how  she interacts with the world. They give you a good sense of how old she is, and where she is in her development. She is alert and aware – curious about the camera. She is able to pull herself up to a sitting position. She is very tactile, using her fingers to better understand her surroundings. This is all important information that can be effectively communicated through documentary portraits. And of course, you also get to see all the “cuteness” visible in a more traditional studio portrait – the big eyes, the peach fuzz hair, the chubby cheeks. I think it is the combination of all these elements that makes for interesting pictures.

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

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 Portrait Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Northglenn, CO | WHS Senior Portrait Session | Collage

Here is a collage that Breanna asked me to create using her favorite images from our Senior Portrait session this summer. This image is pretty different from the work I usually put up on the blog – I tend to lean more towards black and white images on simple backgrounds. But this was a fun project, and it shows the variety of opportunities that are opened up with technology.

Having been out of high school for more than a few years, I didn’t know that collages were “a thing”.  Now that I have had my eyes opened to the possibilities, I am definitely interested in where they may lead. Collages seem to be a great way to showcase a wider variety of imagery and include some of the “edgier” pictures that might never see the light of day in the traditional world of 8X10’s hanging on the wall.

Anything that lets people see portraiture in a new context, and exposes them to interesting imagery, is okay in my book. What are your thoughts?

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

Tech Info:
Collage created in Adobe Photoshop CS5
Images are a mixture of film (Fuji Pro 400H) and digital (Nikon D70s) captures

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

Westminster, CO | Documentary Photos | WHS 2009 Las Posadas

With the Holidays upon us, I wanted to put up some documentary pictures that I shot last year at Westminster High School’s Las Posadas celebration/parade/march. The event was a lot of fun, it included Mary, Joseph and even a real donkey. There were candles, guitars and lots of singing. The large crowd moved from church to church through the old town area of Westminster and ended up back at the high school for refreshments after the march.

It was pretty cold, and very dark, so photography was a challenge. I wanted to document the event, but using flash would have been very intrusive and would have looked awful – red eyes and blown out faces with pure blackness in the background. Instead, I chose to shoot in the available light (err – darkness). I utilized the  highest ISO the camera would allow and then under exposed by about a stop, and I also used my fastest lens. It was too dark for the camera to auto-focus (without an annoying AF assist lamp) , so manual focus was the order of the day.

Even though these pictures are very grainy, I think they do a good job capturing the spirit of the event. They are authentic. They illustrate the setting of the event – the cold and dark of a December night, punctuated by the warmth and light of community and candlelight.

You can click on any of the images to see them larger and read a caption. Enjoy…

Tech Info:
Nikon D200
Nikon 50mm f1.8
ISO 3200 (underexposed, so more like 6400)
It was DARK!

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

Arvada, CO | Arvada Center | Documentary Family Portraits

Below are some pictures from one of my fall documentary family portrait sessions. These pictures were all shot over the course of a couple hours at the park behind the Arvada Center for the Arts in Arvada, CO.

I was fortunate to get to work with such a fun and happy young family, with a three year old son who reminds me so much of Molly (also three) it’s scary. We were blessed with a warm day, nice late afternoon light, and beautiful fall colors.

It was fun to document this family interacting and having a good time. I think we were able to capture some great images that really tell a story about who these people are and how much they enjoy each other.

You can view the whole event and order prints HERE.

Click on any of the images to view them larger and read a caption. Enjoy…

Tech Info:
For this shoot, I used three camera/lens combinations

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

If you would like to figure out which combination was used for which picture, you can look at each image’s IPTC info (using Jeffrey Friedl’s Exif Viewer) or you can hop over to my Flickr photostream and look at the image tags.

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