• Today's technology has made it possible for anyone to pick up a camera (or even an iPhone) and proudly proclaim themselves a photographer! But this isn't necessarily an evil thing, it has allowed some to express themselves whom otherwise wouldn't have been able to 20 years ago. I consider myself an artist first and photographer 2nd, although depending on who you ask, those two terms are one in the same.

    This blog represents my never ending exploration and learning into my self expression using the camera as my tool. Although I do a great deal of commercial work these days, my focus is almost always finding ways to express myself artistically by communicating with my viewers with each new image I create.

Corinthians 15:3-4

I’m sitting here going through some lighting test shots from tonight and realized it’s past midnight! Easter is here and Lent is over…  So I posted my excitment on Facebook…but then i thought back on it, and realized I hadn’t actually missed it ALL that much.

 

any ways, Happy Easter to those who celebrate.

Single diffused 64inch silver Parabolic model's rear behind. T-Bomb!

 

Renato Ramos Jr – Flipstyle Photography
reny@flipstylephotography.com
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Life without Facebook…

Since I’m getting texts about my Facebook page getting updated and why am I on Facebook, lol..I have a WordPress plugin that  autoposts to my Facebook page jackasses! leave me alone! lol. ..but yeah, technically I’m Facebooking without being on Facebook.  I guess that’s cheating huh? Oh well…My last to blog updates I’ve had texts rubbing it in my face that I couldn’t do it since they saw the Fan page update…

exists!! So I had given up Facebook for Lent.  Odd right? but it was something I did evvvvry day and had very little benefit to my daily living.  But it being a “Social” networking website and me being a somewhat of a social-holic I found myself on it constantly.  Do I miss it? hmm, not nearly as much as I thought I would. In fact, i’ve gotten more texts and emails of people urging me to come back for a visit than i’ve had of urges to take a sneak peek.  I’ve found myself doing a lot of other things I’ve been neglecting now that I’ve got this new found time on my hands…like editing some personal shoots. I have 2 shoots and a video that’s been on the back burner now since before Mardi Gras.  Hmm now that I am looking, I think I need to fix that image a little. 3am work isn’t my best..unless I’m drinking wine which is another vice I had given up for New Years.  Maybe I’ll get to editing that video soon too…

 

 

 

http://www.pacificandback.com

Back in 2010 I took a semi-cross country trip with my son and since then I’ve been meaning to put together an album of some of the photos I captured along the way.  Ironically, the first day of that trip I found my 5D to be useless.  Seems one of the pins for the CF card had bent and broke rendering it POO. So the trip was documented all with my then iPhone 3GS. Anyways, I finally put all the images together and made a Blurb book. I was just doing it out of boredom (free from the chains of Facebook!) and got that task completed today! 2 years…better late than never.

Hiking the Narrows - Utah

You can check it out  here on BLURB. I believe I set it up for purchasing, but you can view the travel blog for free  here - http://www.pacificandback.com.  Despite having to use an iPhone to photograph some of the most beautiful scenery in the U.S., I think we still captured what we felt during the trip. Close to it at least.

 

Up to his chin in the Virgin...River that is. Hiking/swimming the Virgin River - The Narrows

 

 

 

Going back to discussing my photography, I often get some questions via email that I’ll reply to personally.  I think I’ll start posting them to the blog (as well as a direct reply) because often times it’s the same questions from multiple people.  The two main repetitive ones I get are :

1. How do you light your photos?

4 strobes - Beauty dish above, bare strobes to left and right rear, 1 bare to the background and a reflector up front from her right side. 40D 85MM 1/200, F16, 100ISO

So to answer the 1st -   Contrary to what I’ve told people in the past, I do not use lightening bolts fired from my ass…:-)  Whatever the way I see the photo in my head.  Meaning almost every single shoot (my personal work) that I do, I have the images I want to capture in my head.  I’ve already mentally shot it and when it comes to actual shoot time, I just try to replicate it.  More often than not, It’s composed of 1-4 strobes. Hitting the subject at various angles.  I usually shoot for something dramatic in the look.  But not always…. I’ll get more into my lighting techniques and preferences in a later post.  It’s a big subject that should be dedicated to it’s own post.  When I first started photography I was somewhat thrown to the wolves.  The sites I hung out online comprised of some very talented artists and not just “professionals” out to make money first and art 2nd.

<-One of my all time favorite images of one of my all time fav models. Lindsey, if you are reading…let’s get that 2nd shoot done.

 

2. How much do you charge?

This one I hate…If photography was my main source of income and livelihood…maybe I’d love this one.  But when I get it, I usually find myself cringing at committing myself into “work” instead of creating something.  Don’t get me wrong, some of it I LOVE doing.  Some of it is challenging and I have free reign to express myself artistically while getting paid to shoot. Those jobs I love and wish I had more of.  It seems i’ve gotten more of that lately, maybe that’s a legitimate sign of becoming successful.  I don’t know…  But to answer this question as broad as I can… minimum shoot charge is $300.00..  So basically, a single portrait/headshot session.  Anything more involved will be at least double that.

Weddings?  I’ll refer you to someone very good. I know a handful of superb craftsmen when it comes to catching that intimate moment.  For me to shoot a wedding, I have to be emotionally attached to the couple. If i know them, love them, like them and am happy for the love they are sharing…I’ll be inspired to shoot it.  If not, I’m just another person snapping pictures.  I’ve tried it, I just can’t find myself getting inspired to shoot a strangers wedding.  I’ve literally got in an email argument with someone trying to convince me why I should shoot their wedding and me telling them why I shouldn’t.   lol.

My wife and my youngest daughter at my sisters wedding...

So if you have a question for me regarding my photography techniques, I’ll try to answer them the best I can.  If I don’t know an answer I’ll make something up that sounds believable.

Submit your questions to my email here. Or anonymously via Formspring here.

Till next time…

Flip

 

Renato Ramos Jr – Flipstyle Photography
reny@flipstylephotography.com
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Let Love Rule…

Click to enlarge

[pinterest]

Like many people, my teen years played a huge impact on who I am today.  Maybe a little more profound for me since I had to grow up really fast becoming a father at an early age of 17.  During those early teen years I had discovered Lenny Kravtiz, and long before he made it big within the mainstream music industry his music was flowing through my speakers during almost every passing moment. Damn, I even lost my virginity while Lenny’s funky smooth style laid out the scene. From then, fast forwarding a few years…for my first marriage (YIKES!) we danced to Lenny Kravitz and then my 2nd child and first daughter, Zoe was born. I guess I don’t need to explain the name.  Despite all of that, I never considered myself a “FANatical” like you see on those MTV shows.  I was just an artist who fully appreciated another artists talents.  Still am.

 

About a month ago my wife stumbled upon Kravtiz tour schedule stop in Biloxi, MS at the Beau Rivage. Ironically, it was the same date as her birthday so we made a little birthday trip.  Sadly, no cameras or recording devices were to be allowed but no one told ALL ATTENDING.  However, I doubt I could have gotten in with my 5D and 70-200 lens.;-)  Luckily, the venue was small and we were right UP ON THE stage rails. BOOYA.  The below shots portray what was the best concert i’ve been to to date.  All with my iPhone.  The filtered ones are shots I uploaded to Instagram as a somewhat LIVE feed during the show. (add me on Instagram – flipstylephoto)

 

Shooting Lenny Kravitz for real…would be AWESOME.

haha, if you came here by way of my facebook fan page…my blog auto posts to it.  I didn’t break Lent. Haters! lol

Renato Ramos Jr – Flipstyle Photography
reny@flipstylephotography.com
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The Big Bass Drum, led the Big Parade…

…all on a Mardi Gras Day…  Well, it’s only Lundi Gras still, but that song has been stuck in my head for a couple days now.   Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday…it’s here again.  As a kid, I would be so pumped to wake up at the crack of dawn, hop in the car packed and loaded with food, drink, chairs and family just to sit out by the street and wait for Mardi Gras day parades.  Then as a young adult, I’d have the same anticipation but with much more LIBATION and less food. But the last couple of years the weeks leading up to Mardi Gras day my enthusiasm has waned…UNTIL I start hearing the music.  The music brings back all those childhood memories.  You know the ones.  The kind that you feel deep inside reminding you exactly who and where you come from…for me, it’s New Orleans.

I was looking for a good version of the above song (All On Mardi Gras Day) but couldn’t find it on youtube….but here is another favorite.

Grammy award winning – Rebirth Brass Band – Do whatcha Wanna – French Quarter, New Orleans LA 2008
 

 

So anyways…yeah, my last post upset a few people.  But I guess those were the ones who were insecure. ;-p  Just shoot…

I stepped out of my element a bit this weekend for some work for Northshore Fitness.  They are doing a piece on one of the local Beach Volleyball facilities – Coconut Beach.  Which is located outside the Slidell, LA Restaurant – The Dock.   Kelly and I talked about trying to incorporate more “action” photos when possible, so we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to have a go!

click to enlarge

Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t cooperating fully… we had 20mph winds and quite chilly.  Sun would peak out every now and again, but the clouds were prominent.  The clouds were nice actually, gave the sky a dramatic feel.  Some of you probably saying this would be a nice HDR shot.  I tried it…haven’t attempted any HDR photos in probaby 5 years, I need to revisit how do them.  I used to say only “newbs” really did them, but a photographer I really admire has great success and results with HDR work. Check him out some time – Joel Grimes (photostream).   I attempted it on the above and the one below by manually changing exposures in LR then combining, but I still need to play.   Not to mention you can’t exactly capture 3 shots while the subject is in the air unless she can pause.    However because of  the sky alone and some LR adjustments, they kind of have an HDR feel to them.  I hope to experiment more soon.

Click to enlarge

Because of the wind, I wasn’t able to light this how I wanted.  I had brought a couple 64inch Parabolic umbrellas…yeah, umbrellas in 20mph gusting winds on Lake Pontchartrain.  lol.  Luckily I had the beauty dish in the Jeep as well.  So looks like I have to wait yet again to test out those Parabolics!  Maybe this weekend!

 

Flip
p.s. check out my new site – www.renatoramosjr.com

Renato Ramos Jr – Flipstyle Photography
reny@flipstylephotography.com
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Mellow Mushroom Pizza….


aroma is filling the air of this office…  someone had lunch there and decided to bring back a whole pie.  The Philosopher to be exact.  White cheese, feta, mushrooms, steak and artichoke.  check it out if you are in the mood for some good pizza…

 

But anyways, here’s some more edits from the last shoot… Don’t like censorship?  click the image.

 

 

 

Model: Theresa Manchester
http://www.theresamanchester.com/
Photos: me
Renato Ramos Jr – Flipstyle Photography
reny@flipstylephotography.com

Julia St. exhibition! *NSFW » Renato Ramos Jr – Flipstyle Photography - [...] [Original uncensored blog post link for above] [...]

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