Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Red Headed Family Portraits at Stone Mountain

I am just like my mother.... I love red heads (I was even lucky enough to marry one). I am afraid when she sees these photos that she might want to adopt this whole family of four beautiful people with firery locks.

I kinda grew up with Michelle,  the mom of these two who is like a sister to me. 
It is so cool to see her with her own little clones... 

This is big Daddy Josh and Josh Jr.

It seems like Stone Mountain, Georgia in the Fall is a great setting for family portraits.

With my trusty 70-200mm zoom lens, I can get several versions of the same photo 
without even moving. Does that make me lazy or smart? You decide. Here is a wide angle.

Here is a medium angle...

And, finally... a close up. Don't drop those kids... it's a long way down.

Danielle is a stunning little girl... and so wonderful to be around.

How about some guy time?

Can you say cute? I love that curly hair.

Danielle reminds me of the young heroine, Merida, from the Pixar movie, Brave.

I actually had them holding hands at one point. Don't try that with older children
 unless you want to capture frowns.

At this age, I like to stack the family members to show the size differences. 
The way kids grow, they will never be this small again.

Something a little more informal perhaps?

I actually work for Michelle's father and Josh Jr. has the same glowing blue eyes of his "GranDave".

The kids just love their Daddy who is a giant of a man compared to them. 
He would literally do anything for his family.

Before the kids, it was just Josh and Michelle... high school sweethearts.

Here is a shot of Mom and the munchkins and ...we're done.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Product Photography of BBQ Sauce for Atlanta Restaurant

Whenever I photograph retail products at Graphic Works, I try to standardize my workflow to save me time and our clients money. This may include setting up a single lighting rig that works for each similar object individually. In the case of this group photo, I shot each bottle alone and then created several versions of group photos and single product shots for print and web use.

This technique is often faster and much more versatile than shooting a group photo to begin with. This is because I can modify the spacing or composition "after the fact". Plus, I don't have to worry about nasty reflections of other bottles or complex lighting set-ups. Knowing this in advance can save a lot of headaches in post production.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Photography of Trone Rocks for Large Chemical Company

I am fascinated by the origin of products and the processes used to create them. I'm kinda nerdy that way, but this blog is not a confession. It is about creating photos of a natural raw material  named Trona and also the refined product named sodium carbonate. The photos were made for OCI Chemical which is one of the world's largest producers of this material.

Sodium Carbonate is used in countless ways including glass making, baking, casting and scores of other manufacturing processes. It looks like white sand or maybe a movie prop from the set of Scarface.

Trona rocks are interesting things to photograph since they can literally dry and flake on the spot turning their gorgeous amber hue into a less interesting chalky brown. This rock below is on the verge of flaking. What is interesting to me about this one is the reflected yellow shadow which gives the illusion of the light passing through the rock like a crystal.

 I used a technique of vigorously scrubbing the scaly flakes from the sample rocks and photographing them before they became cloudy again. I might not have tried this if my client had not shown me this trick, and told me it would not damage the sample.

It was important to show the striations of amber color and not the darker "root beer" seen on the first photo... even though I think that lends some visual interest. I photographed several configurations of the rocks for the client including single hero shots. I also took photos of several together so now I can say that I have taken photos of "rock groups". 

Finally, I combined the Trona rock with the sodium carbonate end product for a beginning-to-end style photo.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Web Site Design for QSpex Technologies

QSpex Technologies is a company whose tabletop machine allows eye care practitioners to make eye glass lenses in-house. By not having to send the prescription out to a lab, optometrists can control the whole lens production process, making them more efficient and obtaining higher customer satisfaction.

While at Graphic Works, I designed and produced the web site with the help of my coworker, David, who knows how to fix all kinds of coding issues. He has not been stumped yet (or if he has... he never let on). The site features rotating header graphics, animated drop menus and a simple clean design.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Family Portraits of Baby Lukas and His Parents

In 2012, I had the opportunity to photograph my good friends Justinas and Marie before they were going to have a baby. Looking back now, I think Marie was literally gonna pop. That maternity photo gallery can be seen in an earlier post here.

Later in 2013, I contacted them to see if they would return to the same spot where we took the previous pictures for a followup session.

My plan was to take the photos in the same location so when Lukas grew up he could see himself in a unique series of photo shoots.... "in the belly" and "in the world". I would like to say at this time that I am not responsible if these photos lead to the "where do babies come from?" question.

Young Lukas was not even a year old and already that boy had so much charm and charisma
that he wowed me during the photo shoot. He is incredibly smart and alert for his age. 

He would almost smile on command and respond to all the silly noises I was making.
Getting the attention of a child this young is not always successful.

Lukas is the perfect blend between Mom and Dad.

 The kid was a dream to work with, but that is what one might expect from a
child who has a model-like mother and a photographer for a father?

 In fact, if Lukas picks up at camera he will be the 
third generation of photographer in the Bartkevicius family. 

Dad is a giant so you gotta wonder how tall Lukas will be.

When I was packing up, I showed Lukas my camera. He knowingly
touched the shutter button, and I swear that kid winked at me. 
This just
proves that my photographic competition just gets younger every year. 

Maybe we will keep shooting a new portrait set annually until it is time for me
to hand the camera over to him.

I think this is how Lukas drives his dad around. Just tug the ears to steer in the right direction...

Friday, January 17, 2014

Capturing Personal Moments with a Point & Shoot Camera

Twice a year I head back to Virginia Beach where I visit my family and childhood home. For occasions like this, I have found that lugging a large bag of photo gear is not the best plan for me.

First of all, the visit is so hectic that I rarely get to use the equipment, no matter what my intent might have been when packing it. I hate to admit that sometimes it never even made it out of the bag. Secondly, I am technically off-duty as a photographer and a 3 lb. camera is not casual. These snapshots are not meant to be serious, but they mean a lot to me.

The real draw for me is seeing my parents, my siblings and their children. Here are a few of them.

I think that some of them like to ham it up...

What do you think?

 Sometimes a stroll around the block reveals strange things like a discarded mirror.

According to my nephew, he found "bigfoot's bed" less than a mile from my parent's house at Turtle Lake. To me it looked like a shallow pit with some branches, but I am not an expert.

 My parents have been in the same house since the 1960s when they were younger than I am now.

Pets are part of the family, and always underfoot.

The backyard is made for adventures of all sorts... in this case a daredevil's play ground.

In the spring, this horizontal vine turns into a mass of purple flowers.

 My Dad at his computer... I guess that is where I get my interest in these things. As a child, I remember him letting me listen to a record of an early computerized speech synthesis which sounds like Siri's great, great grandfather... You can hear that at

I'm not sure how to describe this one... 

Lots of attitude... Her green eyes will burn holes right through you.

From serious to nutty in 2 seconds flat...

Our little gymnast is incredibly strong. Here she is demonstrating an "easy" handstand.

I can almost see why this one will look like when he is older... 

This is a strange blow up balloon animal with a light shining through it.

The newest nephew...

My Dad made those butterflies for my mother at least 200 years ago.

The trampoline provides hours of fun.

My mother always has a hug for each of us... I might miss that the most.