Friends & Mixing Light

My friend Marie-Therese, is visiting for the Holidays with daughter Sophie who is 22. I have been friends with Marie-Therese for many years. I’ve not seen her, since I last went to visit her in the small town, of Crouy-sur-Ourcq which is just an hour outside of Paris. My friend runs a small Inn and restaurant in this town where she was born. MT as she calls herself, is staying with another close friend of ours.

My friend is one of those people who don’t like to be photographed. The first thing she does, when I pick up a camera, is she turns around or puts a hand up in front of her face. I don’t have one decent shot of her from my last trip! She is absolutely impossible! When I went to visit her & our friend Susan the other day, I decided to very quietly film everybody while we sat around toasting the holidays, with her family’s home-made Eau de Vie she brought for the occasion. I quietly let the camera run (I love the fact you can now film with a 35mm camera) Gotcha! Now I have something of my friend!

On Tuesday, Susan, Marie-Therese, and Sophie came to visit us. They brought a whole mess of clams – a treat for those of us, who now live in the country and not near the seashore anymore. We polished off many raw clams and sat around and talked. My friend Susan, a very natural person, was totally comfortable with me taking a photo of her, as she was talking & laughing. The light was so pretty as it lit up her hair from a side window at our dining room table. Now here’s a photo tip – when trying to capture the ambiance of a room, mix the light by shooting on M or A at a wide-open aperture. Depending on the available light, you might want to tweak down the strobe, a bit, so it looks more natural. Here is an example, not in any way a great shot, but it captures my friend Susan and you will get the idea. As for a photo of Marie-Therese it’s a good thing she was caught opening clams!

For anyone interested in visiting Marie-Therese Frogneux’s Restaurant & Inn in Crouy-sur-Ourcq here is the address and phone number –
1 Place du Marche
77840 Crouy sur Ourcq France
011-33-1-6435 6741


I was teaching one of my photo workshops, not long ago, and brought my group of students to Luna Parc, home of artist Ricky Boscorino. Now for those of you who’ve been to Luna Parc, you know, it is truly an amazing photographic experience! Well, I have been there many times but there are only a few times, we have seen the artist there and at work. Well, as luck would have it, Ricky was there, painting a portrait in his studio. Seeing an opportunity to make some great photos I squeezed off a few (or as many as I could reminding myself I was teaching & was not there to shoot) and brought my students in two at a time to capture the artist working. Before bringing them into Ricky’s studio, I explained what to expect, made some suggestions on possibly what they could do to get a great shot and of course, told them to be as unobtrusive as possible. I shot using a new camera for me, a Sony alpha900 with their Carl Zeiss 16-35mm f/2.8 zoom lens. I chose this lens because we were in very close quarters and I wanted to do an environmental portrait of Ricky painting, while one of the models (Matt) sat for this portrait. We also did not have much light. Really great camera and lens and I think it worked out well. I love the shot, but then again, I really like the artist and his work, and for me it is a very special shot.

Oh by the way, Ricky sent me a photo of the completed painting for those of you that would like to see it.painting & photo © Ricky Boscorino

To see some of Artist Ricky Boscorino’s work go to

On Photography – Our Holiday Greeting

Remember when photographing back-lit to open up approximately a stop and a half or possibly more. The exposure correction will depend on the amount of back-light you have and what you are photographing. I found the shape of this small decoration very beautiful and appealing because of its simplicity. I thought it would make a beautiful holiday greeting.

Photo © JoAnne Kalish