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My journey with photography……..

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March 2020

FREDDIE ABNEY – NICE PHOTOGRAPHY

A few years ago I met Freddie Abney during one of Kelby’s PhotoWalks. Right there we became friends. From there we tried many of times to get together and shoot. We all know life gets in the way and at times can make other things difficult. FINALLY this year we got together and went to Great Falls VA to shoot. Right there I asked Freddie if he would be a part of my Photographer’s Project and he said yes. Here’s a little bit of Freddie Abney – owner of NICE PHOTOGRAPHY:

1. Freddie, the first time I met you, you had a camera in your hand. What is it about photography? Where did it all begin for you? Did you start out with film, digital or both?

I think it’s about seeing a moment in time frozen to be view at a later date.  It started out with film for me.  There was a member of my church who allow me to take a photo with her camera.  It manual focus where you had to line up the circle in the viewfinder to get a sharp picture.  When she showed me the printed photo I was sold.

2. You are the owner of NICE PHOTOGRAPHY. What’s the history by the name, how         did you come up with the name? 

Currently the business is not a business entity, I just take photo for a hobby with an occasional assignment.  The name came from me using the word NICE to describe a feeling.  Someone would do or say something I liked and I would just say nice. When started photography I just wanting that same feeling when I produce a photo.  I know that’s not always the case but at least that’s what I’m striving to achieve.

3. As a photographer I like photographing a little bit of everything. NICE PHOTOGRAPHY is a portrait business. How would you describe your photography (macro, weddings, etc) and why.  

I too also enjoy photography a little bit of everything.  However, if I could nail it down I pretty much like to photograph two subjects: people and flowers.  People because I enjoy the smile on the faces of my subjects when they see the photo.  Especially weddings, when a bride asks me when did I take that shot because she didn’t see me.  I just smile and say “you’re not supposed to see me”.  As for flowers I enjoy the color of them and the different things I can do in post processing.

4. Photography is challenging. What is your biggest challenge? What is your biggest fear?

My biggest challenge is lighting in a studio setting.  I have not accurately learned how to set the strobes for perfect exposure during the first couple of shots.  My biggest fear is taking a wedding job and not being able to get to the location for whatever reason.  This gives me anxiety and is the main reason I don’t like to shoot weddings.  A portrait or a flower shoot can be reshot but a wedding can not. 

5. Exactly what it is you want to say with your photographs, and how do you actually get your photographs to do that? 

 I being reading up on and watching videos about developing a style.  I have not found my style yet so I’m not sure what I’m trying to say.  However, my ultimate goal is to make the client happy.  If it’s a portrait of a still image who the client is I just want them to enjoy the photo for a long time.

6. If you could shoot black & white or color, which one would it be?  

I would shoot color every time.  Many years ago I had the opportunity to go to Philadelphia to the Mummers Parade.  The costumes were so colorful and well coordinated.  Once I got home to upload my photos and work on them.  The end product was amazing.  I like black and white photos, I just haven’t  mastered it yet.  I enjoy playing around with the photo app on my iPhone and I’m getting the hang of it.  I think what I will do is experiment with changing a color photo to black and white in post processing. 

7. Photography techniques and equipment are changing quickly, and it’s very important to stay up-to-date. What do you do to always keep up with the times? 

I watch as many Youtube videos as I can to try and keep up.  I can’t afford the latest and greatest camera equipment so I just try to get by with what I have.

8. You had a day where you could “play” and actually go out and shoot for fun, what would you shoot? 

 If I could I would go to a botanical garden where there are thousands of different colorful flowers.  What would make it perfect would be no wind.  Just flower posing for that perfect picture.

9. NICE PHOTOGRAPHY  is ………. not just photography services to produce pictures its here to produce memories.

 

Here’s how to follow Freddie Abney:

  • Facebook: Freddie Bigmon Abney
  • Instagram: NicePix68

 

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Five Plus One

I had plans to go out and shoot with another photographer last week. But because of the Coronavirus and wasn’t for sure what was going on we canceled. I still wanted to shoot and was determined to do so…but I didn’t know what and where. So I came up with a theme “Just Five”. I was determined to go in the backyard and find five subjects to shoot. Now my yard isn’t big at all but the determination was definitely there. 

The morning was nice and cloudy. No worries of the sun blocking some details or just made things look funky. There was a slight breeze but not even to cause any major issues. Then again a breeze could have made my subjects look interesting and challenging. All together I managed to find nine different subjects but I really liked six therefore I added one more to my five.

I kept my gear simple: Fujifilm X-H1, 60mm F/2.4 macro lens, and a tripod. Shot everything in manual mode and had the Fujifilm simulation set to Classic Chrome. 

So if you’re kinda locked in at home or your town/city find a small challenging theme you can work on at home. Let the different type of creativity that’s been in the back of your mind seep out. 

Oh and the shoot that was planned/canceled last week…I did go a few days afterwards 😉; which created a new project for me 😊.

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😁😁

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What Once Was

I really enjoy walking around small towns. It’s something about the atmosphere, makes you feel like you’re in the middle of a HallMark movie: no worries, everyone chillin’ and walking around happy. In the middle of the walk you may stop for a cup of coffee or just maybe sit on the park bench. Yes, those dreams are normally painted on the Main Street or the main part of Main Street. 

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But then reality kicks back in…

After lunch with another friend – yes on Main Street – photographer friend Renee Ferguson owner of Phinishing Touches (http://www.phinishingtouches.com) and I decided to do a photowalk around Shepherdstown, WV. Not only did we walk Main Street we also walked around the other streets (or as some of us say the side streets). 😉

Not all buildings and/or homes are beautiful or glamorous; some of the things we least expect has glamour also but in their own way. Some things brought back memories. For example the telephone pole full of staples reminded me of the days when something was going on (local fair, dance etc) a poster was stapled on the poles. Sometimes when they stapled a new poster the old wasn’t taken off, they just stapled on top of it. A door handle…how many people had opened that door. Things laying in the front yard. Was it because it’s winter and they didn’t have time to bring them in before the first wintery storm. As you look at my photographs you will say to yourself (as I did) “what’s going on here?” 

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So the next time you’re walking around with your camera, don’t forget the side streets. They have magic too. 😊

Gear used: Fujifilm X-Pro 2, Fujinon XF 27 mm F/2.8 pancake lens. 

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😊😊

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A Spontaneous Photo Shoot

This past Sunday I photographed the “Unshakable Faith Experience” event that took place at the Dublin Roasters Cafe in Frederick, MD. The host of this event was Teresa L. Holmes, Master Storyteller and founder of Soul Stirring Storytelling Society. Instead of driving back home that evening, Teresa and I decided to just stay at a local hotel. The best thing I like about staying in a hotel is that I can get a lot of work done: laptop, SD Card reader, and DVD burner 😁

As we were leaving the next morning, Teresa said something to the likings of “wish we could do a photoshoot. I did bring extra tops”. My answer was “yeah we can do something”. I did have some camera gear with me: Fujifilm X-H1, Fujinon XF 50MM F/2 R WR lens, Fujinon XF 16-80MM F/4 R OIS WR lens, Fujinon XF 55-200MM F/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens, and the Godox TT350 F flash. I normally don’t carry this much gear but I didn’t know the layout of the cafe and I was driving so it wasn’t like I had to carry everything all over the place. For the Sunday event I used only the X-H1 and 16-80MM lens. 

Monday morning we did a photoshoot in the hotel parking lot. With the X-H1 I decided to stay with the 16-80MM lens that I used at the event. Wasn’t for sure where we were going and thought of my safety in the parking lot. Some of the trees started to bloom and some tall bushes were bright and green. And there were brick walls! YES!! we used each as a backdrop. The colors of Teresa’s clothes made everything pop. When she was standing in front of the green bush I decided to use my flash. The green bush and her jacket I wanted some separation of the two. Yes, I could have increased my ISO but I didn’t want to do that. If possible I like the ISO as low as possible for peoples skin. For me I always have issues with glasses so I made sure I had Teresa to drop her chin until I couldn’t see any reflections or very little..and that’s with/without flash. With bright clothes at times the colors bounce back on the skin. In Capture One I decreased some of the saturation from her skin while keeping some vibrance in her clothes. 

The shoot went GREAT!! We had a ton of fun either laughing with each other or the nice people slowing down in their cars chatting with us. This was probably one of my better shoots. Why? It wasn’t planned and no pressure. But I learned a lot. I learned more about OCF (off camera flash) but it was on the camera…meaning I used the same concept but the flash was attached to my camera. Shooting with glasses on with/without flash. Trying to stay way from reflections, tried to make sure the shadow of the frames don’t go across part of her face. Composition. Trying to compose and make her feel comfortable. Tried to make sure she wasn’t totally against the bush or tree while making sure I wasn’t in the streets. Explaining to Teresa why I was doing what I was doing. Tried to be careful of her hands. When I realized I had her hand wrong we placed them differently. I didn’t delete the images, I gave them to her. Why would I give her images I know that I did wrong? Because I wanted to. No, I couldn’t do that with everyone but I can with her. I make mistakes all the time; that’s how I continue to learn. 

Maybe I should shoot like this all the time…😉

So if someone ask you to shoot and you may not have what you normally use – go ahead and shoot anyway. May be some of your best work.

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😀😀

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