Here you'll learn what affects our lives, which in the long run affects our work. We want you to know what makes us click.

When Does Post-Production Make a Photo Better?

October 19, 2014  •  1 Comment

This past week I have been involved in an online discussion with some other photographers about painting effects on photographs. I've decided to use this week to explore when post production makes a photograph better. I'm not just talking about fixing blemishes or softening wrinkles. I talking about using filters or other artistic alterations to photographs. I shall explore a few methods and results and reasons. 

Today's first image was taken of a model in a castle in Italy. I have always like the photograph because the lighting was so perfect, but there are some offensive details in the image that I never wanted to work to correct. This year Photoshop has included an oil paint filter which is very easy to use and, if you know what you are doing, you can create interesting changes that make your images become even more story-like, which you know I'm all about!

The second image I shot in Tennessee. I think this image is great as is, but wanted to see what would happen to the trees if I turned it into a painting. I wasn't totally satisfied with just the oil paint filter, so (for you Photoshop lovers) I created another layer, used glowing edges filter, inverted it and made it a partially transparent overlay layer. Now I think a great photo is also a great painted image.


What you do think? Do you like one but not the other? What do you like about it or them? What do you dislike?

Telling a Story, Visually

September 30, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Reflections by Rohne is all about telling stories. We are storytellers, who just happen to be photographers so we tell stories visually. Most photographers freeze moments and document time, we tell stories. Everyone has a story—romantic, family oriented, or business/professional. We take time to understand our client’s story, to capture its essence visually by harnessing elements of photography (lighting, poses, framing, and time), so people can see and relive and share their story. 

To skillfully create a video, you have to plan ahead what you are going to capture. You do this by creating a storyboard. A storyboard is a series of drawings that represent the segments you will video, put together into an order that will tell your story. 

We do much the same when we photograph your story. First, we have to learn your story. We have to get to know the characters. That may be your family, your high school senior, an engaged couple, or it may be you and your business. Next we need to know how the characters interact, what part they play in the story, and what makes them do what they do. This may be parents and children, or an extended family. This may be a couple getting ready to commit their lives to one another. It may be an entrepreneur with a passion for meeting a specific need for someone. 

It takes time to learn your story, so we require more time than just when we photograph you. If you commission us to photograph your story, expect to spend time with us, whether in a consultation meeting a week or two ahead of your photography day; or a visit to your home to meet the family members and interact; or in the case of a wedding couple, once a season throughout the year ahead of your wedding.

The result? When we are photographing you, we see and capture expressions and interactions that we know will visualize your story. We know how to subltely guide you to create expressions and interactions that visualize your story.

We want to have fun in the process, and we want you to have fun also. So often we incorporate fun things you say into your story. Sometimes that means the stories have elements of make-believe, but then again, isn't there an element of fairy tale in every love story?


Lighthouses in Autumn

September 29, 2014  •  1 Comment

Here in Grand Rapids, fall is in the air! Art is also!

ArtPrize is going on in Grand Rapids, until October 10. Last week I participated in an arts and craft show selling my lighthouse and other fine art photography. Some of my favorite lighthouse photographs were taken in the fall. There is something about the crispness of the air in the fall, not to mention the colors of the trees, that makes nature vibrant. Here are two of my favorites. The first is St. Joseph Inner and Outer Lites on lower Lake Michigan. This was taken on October day in 2012. The wind was blowing 60 miles an hour that day. I had to sit on the beach because I could not stand against the wind. The giant waves were crashing over the lighthouse about every 60 to 90 seconds.

The second image is a digital composite. You may recognize both parts. The lighthouse is Point Iroquois on Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula. The waterfall is Tequamenon Fall. They are actually about 30 miles apart, but I photographed both on the same day and fell in love with both and thought they would really enhance each other's beauty. So, I played a little in Photoshop. Of course this was back in 1995, when Photoshop was not nearly as intuitive or sophisticated. (Yes, I've "grown up" with Photoshop. We met in 1993 and have been together ever since.)  I also had to create the reflection of the lighthouse in the water because I was on foot that day and could only stand on the edge of the water.

I will be having another tent art sale at my studio on October 11, the day after ArtPrize ends. Come by and see my work, and pick up a Christmas gift for someone. You can visit my gallery to see some of the other images I may have available that day. And of course, if you want something that is not available that day, or you live out of town, we can always do a special order for you. 

Natural Beauty

September 26, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Everyone in this world has natural beauty, because we are made in the image of God. Finding the right light helps to draw out that natural beauty. Today I made use of natural light (the sunshine coming in our studio window) to photograph Connie. Here's an example of a bad portrait versus a good one. I knew I wanted to use the light from the window, but not directly shining on her face. After shooting the first image I moved her a little to get the best placement for the light on her face as well as a flattering position. I had to stand in the right place to get the view I wanted. The right angle can make a person look healthier, younger and more attractive. The light pattern on a person's face can make a better picture. We use photography skills like lighting patterns, angle, position of subject, exposure and depth of field to make you look your best. 



Labor and School

September 02, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

This week marks two events on our calendar in Michigan: Labor Day and the start of school. Labor Day celebrates the achievements of we Americans...

accomplished through our labor. Most of our accomplishments would not have been possible without the knowledge gained through our school education, so tying these two together seems only fitting. Being educated provides us the knowledge and ability to be able to do the kind of job we want. 

(Many other character qualities are necessary to secure and keep the kind of job we want also.) 

Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, the balance-wheel of the social machinery.  ~Horace Mann  

To commemorate both I am highlighting one of my favorite school programs, which teaches students practical 

skills needed for several kinds of jobs. Kent Transition Center has programs in Business Administration & Technology, Facilities Maintenance, Hospitality, Landscape/Horticulture, Retail, and Transportation. Their students learn the skills on campus and then go out and complete internships in actual businesses. By the time they complete their studies, they are ready to be hired into real jobs. KTC has businesses and 

organizations all over greater Grand Rapids that take in interns every year, testament to the great job that the staff is doing in preparing these young men and women for the work world.

Reflections by Rohne is a mother-son team. We understand the dynamics of loving relationships. Our passion is capturing the moments and expressions of your relationships, with the love of your life, your children, your parents, your siblings, your friends, your co-workers, your teammates, and your customers. Together we are able to capture the emotions and details of your story.

Photography is “light writing.”  We love to sculpt with light to make you look amazing. Harnessing light and shadows helps to tell your story also. Good lighting can make you look younger, healthier, slimmer, and more dramatic. We harness light to draw attention to your best features, and to create the aura desired, that tells your story.