Saturday, March 14, 2009

Diana & Jason's Wedding

Well we had a blast down in Gilroy at Diana & Jason's wedding at the Eagle Ridge Golf Course on February 28th. The views were wonderful, if on the other hand, the venue somewhat limiting in where the management would allow us to take photos. But we worked with what we had available and got some great shots. If you are friends of Diana & Jason and want to order some photos, the web gallery is here.

The Bridal Party

Wedding Sky

The Kiss!

Their First Dance

The First Dance

A Kiss by the Fireplace

Friday, January 23, 2009

Jason and Diana's Engagement Session

Hmmm... it's been a little while since I've caught up with my blog. Not that there's not been plenty happening, I just haven't made the time to post anything about recent events over here. Well, let's start up again by posting a few photos from Jason & Diana's engagement session. We met in the downtown San Jose area last Saturday and got a lot of great pix. I've only had time to work on a few and post them to my other blog and photo sites. But here they are HERE finally.

Jason & Diana 003

First stop was the beautiful brick wall of the San Jose Museum of Art on the north side of the down town area.

Jason & Diana 001

Shortly after that, we caught a few romantic poses in the Plaza de César Chávez ...

Jason & Diana 002

And towards the end of our session, we grabbed a few shots in front of the blue tiled walls of the Tech Museum.

By the way, if you have a Facebook account, come join my group over there too. Here's the link. Lately I've been posting more updates over that way.

-- Dave

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lunar Eclipse 2008

Well, I had high hopes to capture another lunar eclipse series of images last night. But the weather didn’t cooperate. Back in 2004, I was able to make a really nice composite of a couple of dozen photos taken over a three hour period. In that image, you can see the true dark reddish hues of the moon during the fullest moments of the eclipse against the early evening sky.

The image below from last night’s 2008 eclipse only “looks” like it’s full of clear round moons because I forced it to look that way in the masking, but the reddish hues were entirely covered in the mist and haze of the later evening sky. As soon as I took the background shot of the early evening blue sky, the clouds started rolling in and the image I had in mind was pretty much impossible to capture.

Oh well, it was just for fun anyway. If you can call standing in the cold night air for 2 hours fun. But we photographers must suffer for our art. --grin--

Lunar Eclipse 2008

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Senior Portraits coming up!

Senior Portrait images by David BallHey folks, I just wanted let you all know I'm adding some cool new senior portrait templates. Shown here are four new looks, but I'll be adding more to the mix. If you'll have a senior in the household next year, time to start thinking about getting your photographer for those once in a lifetime senior pix. For 2008, I have regular packages from $175.00 to $250.00 plus tax.

The $175.00 package includes up to 2 1/2 hours of an on location photo session in Fremont with $64.00 in credit towards purchase of photo packages. Senior Portrait images by David BallThe $250.00 session includes the same as noted above plus an hour long studio session with as many clothing changes as you wish to attempt in one hour. Additional hours (if needed) @ $50.00 per hour. All packages include an 8 x 10 composite layout of your choice of 5 photos as seen in the four sample images here. Add $50.00 to the cheaper package and $75.00 to the more expensive package if you want your images on CD. CD will come with certificate of permission to reprint copyrighted images at your film processor of choice or to display images on your MySpace, Facebook or other blog sites.

If you are interested in something novel, and if I can get 3 or 4 families interested in making a little road trip this year, I'd love to take some seniors and their families to the really cool ghost town city of Bodie which is behind Yosemite, near the CA/NV border. Senior Portrait images by David BallBodie is an authentic Wild West ghost town which has been preserved in an arrested state of decay. The town was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961, and in 1962 it became Bodie State Historic Park. It's got an abundance of great rustic old Wild West buildings and backdrops ... perfect for some really original and interesting senior portraits. If you are interested, drop me a line or give me a call at: 510/687-1829 and I'll come up with a photo package depending on the number of families interested. Keep in mind it will be an overnight trip. Senior Portrait images by David BallBodie is about a 5 hour drive from Fremont, but the senior portraits would be incredible. In fact, we could even try for some family portraits depending on how busy the day gets. Or better yet, if ghost towns are your thing, considering hiring me to take just your family up there for some unique family portraits.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I can say I knew them when...

Portrait & Wedding Photography by Dave BallThis weekend my sister brought up her girls up from the LA area to visit our family for the holidays. Well, that and to spend the afternoon getting some new modeling shots for her daughters' portfolios. Portrait & Wedding Photography by Dave BallI hadn’t seen her girls recently, so it was quite a shock to see just how much like 24 a couple of 14-year-old girls could look. It wasn’t too much of a problem, except that traffic kept stopping every time we got out of the cars to take some shots. I think my sister had better sleep with a shotgun under her bed. But she pretty much knows that. In fact, she mentioned that during a lunch stop at a fast food place on their visit up here, a cop stopped her to say, “I’m glad I’m not you.”

Portrait & Wedding Photography by Dave BallNow, I’ve always thought the girls were identical twins, but my sister has told me for years that she was pretty sure they weren’t. I suppose they have tests to determine that kind of thing now. Portrait & Wedding Photography by Dave BallHowever, over the years, I’ve come to see that they aren’t quite identical, but it’s always been a chore for me to tell them apart, especially since I don’t see them that often. Sometimes they will seem obviously different, other times they still look nearly identical to me. The trick for this photo shoot was to “try” to make all their group shots make them look as near identical as possible. I guess that’s a big plus for twins in the modeling business.

Portrait & Wedding Photography by Dave BallWell, to start the day, we set up the studio and got some nice head shots. But since we had a limited amount of light this time of year, we took the show on the road and headed for some of my favorite locations around town for some venue shots. We had a blast and the girls looked great. But 1500 images later, we finally ran out of day time. Portrait & Wedding Photography by Dave BallNow I just have to spend the next few days editing images. But that’s the easy job. My sister is the one who has to keep the shotgun loaded and by the door. However, the way these girls look, I think they'll be getting their fair share of modeling and/or acting offers in the not to distant future. And I'll be able to say, I knew them when...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Chance To Photograph A Rising Star

All images © David Ball: 2007Last September, I received a letter from my old alma mater informing me that former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee, would be the keynote speaker for their annual fund raising dinner. I had been hearing a fair amount about his presidential bid and thought him to be a very interesting candidate. In fact, I liked him a lot and was hoping he could start getting more media exposure. But, at this point, he was still a 2nd tier candidate, and very few had heard of him. However, thinking this might be a great opportunity to hear the Governor speak AND get some good photos, I immediately offered my services as a professional photographer to the school. And to my great delight, they accepted my offer.

As it turned out, I was assigned to photograph the VIP reception, then was to continue photographing the evening’s events up to and through the Governor's address after the dinner.

Well, VIP photos are as VIP photos go. You pose the VIPs, tell them to smile and grab the shot. And then do it again as long as your time lasts. It's pretty boring, but that's how it goes. However, in-between the shots, I could tell that Governor Huckabee was a very gracious and genuinely affable man. It didn’t seem like he was “tolerating” the moment, but genuinely enjoyed greeting the guests. This seemed especially true when he was talking with the young undergrads in the university’s choir who were also at the VIP reception.

Since – as in most situations like this – I felt it was my duty as an event photographer to simply take the photos and try to stay in the background, I went about doing my job as quickly and efficiently as possible. Thus I didn’t plan to “chat it up” with the Governor since I was working the evening in a professional capacity.

All images © David Ball: 2007However, as the VIP event wrapped up, it was time to rush the Governor to the next venue for yet another photo shoot. It was during this time that one of the university VPs (seen here walking with the Governor) unexpectedly and graciously started singing my praises to him as the three of us dashed across the mall. He went on an on about my "great photography" and that I was a huge fan of the Governor to the point that I could no longer blend into the background and just do my job. Thus I was introduced to the Governor and blurted out the first thing I could express which was something to the effect of, “I’m seriously hoping your campaign takes traction.” (Which seems to have been prophetic as he is now leading all the other GOP candidates in some polls.)

All images © David Ball: 2007Now this was not one of the more brilliant of opening lines offered to the man you would like to see as your next president, but as I was unprepared to make any conversation, it was pretty much the only thing that came to my mind on the spur of the moment.

Graciously, the Governor offered me his hand and made some small talk about needing a White House photographer should he be elected. To which I didn’t dare slobber out the first thing that came to my mind which was something along the lines of, “YESIWOULDLOVETHEJOB!!!”

You don't want to kid a photographer about a dream job like that. But I'm sure the poor man was put on the spot just as much as I was.

In any case, we ran to our next stop for the evening and the Governor was just as affable with the other folks in the general photo session which followed.

All images © David Ball: 2007I didn’t have an opportunity to talk with the Governor any further, but listened as intently as I could during his address later that evening. Unfortunately, I was quite preoccupied with working the room for the best photo locations, so I kind of dipped in and out with my attention. But he gave a very impressive message regarding the young Christian students of my alma mater being the exact type of young leaders we need if our country is to have a brighter future. Which might seem more like the banal platitudes one would expect when a politician is addressing a room full of university alums. However, as I have previously demonstrated by my lack of quick thinking on my feet during my brief introduction to the Governor, I am likewise not doing his message justice as I describe it here since I am unable able to adequately recount the effect of the Governor’s presence and message as he delivered it with his southern humor and gracious style.

Nonetheless, his audience obviously “got it” when they gave him a standing ovation as he hurriedly exited the room to catch a flight to his next campaign obligation.

All images © David Ball: 2007After returning home and processing the photos, I felt it might be appropriate (considering our brief meeting) to send the Governor a little gift album of some of the photos from that night along with a note expressing that it would be my great pleasure to offer my professional services as a photographer to his campaign should he have any upcoming events in our state.

Unfortunately, I have the misfortune to live in the great blue state of California which – if I remember correctly – hasn’t been carried by a member of the GOP since Reagan ran for office. There is no greater feeling than to know that your vote means about as much as ten thousand "Who's Line is it Anyway" points when it comes to a Presidential race. However, I digress…

I also assumed that my gift might be brought to the Governor’s attention by a staffer, but that it probably wouldn’t go any further than that.

So, all this to say, I thought if I was really lucky (if the Huckabee campaign lasts as long as our state's primaries), perhaps I might get a call from a staffer saying I could tag along with my camera during a California stop .

All images © David Ball: 2007So what comes to my mail box a few weeks later??? To my great surprise nothing less than a very gracious, self effacing, hand signed, personal note from the Governor thanking me for my gift album along with high praise regarding my work and a final note that my contact information has been forwarded to his press secretary for future reference.

Well, it’s a long way from being offered a position as a photographer on the White House staff, but I was still very impressed that the Governor would take a moment from his busy campaign schedule to bother sending me a personal note. Besides that, the California primaries aren’t until February 5th which – politically speaking – is a hundred years from now. He needs to focus on Iowa, New Hampshire and the early primary states. However, come January and February, you can bet that I will be answering my phone on the first ring.

All images © David Ball: 2007Funny thing is, the Huckabee campaign was considered a long shot at best when I took these photos in early October. His national poll numbers weren't even in double digits. Now, just a few weeks later, the latest Rasmussen Poll has him 4 points AHEAD of Giuliani not just in Iowa or New Hampshire, but in the NATIONAL race as I write this. It's a very real possibility that this man might be our next president. Who knows!?! Stranger things have happened to former two term Governors from Hope Arkansas who play musical instruments. (In case you didn't know, both Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee play a musical instrument.)

In any case, as I’ve been following the Governor’s campaign more closely since my experience with him, I’ve noticed many other written reports and blogs with the same kinds of personal warmth and charm by others who have only met him once … as well as others who have known him for years.

Perhaps what I like most of all is that the Governor carries his power lightly. He comes off as a strong man with firm opinions and well thought out positions, yet he delivers his message in a soft spoken, Southern way that is not abrasive. He really seems like the kind of candidate who can collect a lot of Reagan Democrat crossover votes. And if he wins Iowa (as the polls suggest) and does well in New Hampshire, Florida and South Carolina ... who knows. We might be seeing a President Huckabee sworn in on January 20, 2009.

All images © David Ball: 2007In any case, I got some great photos, got to hear the Governor in person, got to see some old college friends I hadn't seen in 25 years and - who knows - might have gotten a contact for a future job offer.

Well, a guy can dream anyway...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

David's Senior Portraits

I love doing senior portraits on location. Fremont has an abundance of great venues for casual and fun shots like this. The only problem is deciding when to stop. I get on a roll and want to keep on shooting.

David and his family hired me for the 2 hour package, but we ended up spending about 2 and a half hours altogether. I just had a lot of shots in mind I wanted to take, so we just kept going until we lost the light.

We took David to 3 locations for this series of images. First stop was downtown Fremont. I've found a really great old brick wall that provides a wonderful urban city look. We started about 1:30 as the light was best for this location starting about then.

We soon headed over to Lake Elisabeth and to a few of my favorite spots for some nice fall colors and greenery in the background. Unfortunately they didn't have the creek running that day, but we worked around it and got a lot of great shots with the park and the lake in the background. Soon after that, we headed up to the Mission San Jose area and got a bunch more great shots around town.

The Mission makes a great backdrop, but there are several other areas up there I like as well. A few of which I keep secret since I don't want all the other photographers to know all my secret locations. By the way, as you can see in some of these images, yes I do special effects like sepia toning, selective color, selective blurs and painter effects. I have senior portrait packages which offer these effects as part of the package.

Finally the light was fading, but out of the nearly 700 images we captured, we got a lot of winners. In fact, what you see here are only some of my favorites. If you've got any seniors in your house, give me a call right away and let's set an appointment. The fall colors will be fading soon. Now is the best time to get those great autumn color shots. But keep in mind; most of these locations are great for family portraits as well. Just give me a call.

Also, my apologies for cramming too many photos into this blog offering. I know I should have deleted a few of them, but what can you do when you take 700 shots and you can't decide which are the best? I think David and his family will have the same problem. But I try to offer my clients a little more than they bargained for. I'd rather give you too many photo choices than not enough.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Julie & Jason's photo paintings

David Ball: Wedding Photographer in the San Francisco Bay AreaA few weeks ago Dennis DeSilva from Studio Seven took a couple of his clients from one of his recent weddings to the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco for a few portraits. He suggested I come along and grab a few portfolio shots since this couple was attractive and would make great advertising pieces. So I grabbed my camera and came along. He was right. Jason and Julie are a very attractive couple, so we shot away and got some great images. Tonight I thought I'd try some more photo painting techniques and upload some LARGE images you can download in order to see what a photo painting looks like up close. Basically, the photo is treated with some painterly filters which are applied in various levels and strengths in different parts of the image to render a smooth, yet detailed image which when printed on canvas give an impression of a painting. Of course, this isn't a true painting, but the effect is similar and gives you a nice option when choosing larger prints for your wall. David Ball: Wedding Photographer in the San Francisco Bay AreaHowever, they even look great in your wedding album when printed on regular photo paper.

Either way, click on the images seen here and you'll get to see what I'm talking about. I purposely keep fairly true to life detail in the faces, but then treat the rest of the image with various filters to give a respectable impression of a painting. It is also worth noting that the second image within this posting is very lightly treated. It has been given only a light pastel chalk feel which helps smooth out the colors and skin tones and ends up leaving the subjects looking like they have nearly flawless skin.

All this is just something to keep in mind if you hire me as your wedding photographer. You'll look your best ... and even better.