Saving Memories

We were going through some old photos the other day – many from my grandparents as children! Stark images of what appeared to be tougher times. The photos left were mainly portraits…of course, these are most of the photos from those times as cameras like we have them now were not easy to come by, were expensive and were not easy to handle.

It was after 1880 and Kodak’s first public lab that the average person started considering taking photos. If someone else could develop the photographs, why not let them? In 1900, the Kodak Brownie also started bringing cameras into the public domain.

Kodak No. 2 Brownie box camera, circa 1910

Kodak No. 2 Brownie box camera, circa 1910

We came to some of my parents photos, when they were kids. You could see the change in cameras and film and how technology quickly expanded the ability to capture memories. More photos started cropping up of people doing things, not just standing for portraits. We went from taking photos for memories of places and people to taking photographs of actual events and spectacles that we wanted or needed to remember. Some of these photos, from the 30’s-60’s reminded me of times long-gone, childhood fun nearly forgotten.

The problem, though, was the deterioration of these fantastic photos. They would soon disappear and the memories meant to last generations would be gone. I can’t let the next generations in my family forget about our past or not know what their ancestors looked like.

You probably don’t want that to happen either.

Photo restorationWhile the digital age will help keep your memories from literally fading away (better hope you have all your digital photographs backed-up in several places), you or your parents probably have plenty of photos that you don’t want to lose. We can help!

First, we can restore most of your older photos as well as retouch them.  We can also take your old photos and scan them into DVD’s. And, for those of you with old film you want developed or photographers who continue using film, our printing services are ready for you.

Don’t let time destroy memories!

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It Comes Down To Lighting

Photography, or “drawing with light”, requires a certain amount of understanding of how light will change perspective via the camera. Most of the time, little fixes to lighting, or moving yourself or your subject will help. When it comes to using studio lighting, there are ways to get the photo you want while keeping it simple. This blog will be about using a single-lighting source when in a studio.

Studio Lighting

On Axis or Off-Axis?

This is, obviously, very easy and will help amateur photographers learn the basics of lighting to create drama and contrast to the photo. When using a single-source, you can choose on-axis or off-axis. You’ve seen this before when models are standing in front of a crop and are posing. The light is either directly on them (on-axis) or moved up to 20 degrees to the right or left (off-axis).

The difference between the two is easy to see – on-axis, or direct, removes shadows that can add contours to a photo. This helps when trying to eliminate imperfections. The photo is flat. This isn’t a bad photograph and is most often used in ads you see for products in magazines. Off-axis adds shadows and creates dimension and contrast to the subject.

You should play around with this technique and see the stark differences. You can also learn more about studio lighting at Lawrence Camera Saturday January 26th. This is part of our ongoing photography classes that we offer. Click the link to learn more!

Photo Basics  uLite Digital Photo Lighting Kit

Photo Basics uLite Digital Photo Lighting Kit

It’s Not a Photograph Until It’s Printed

This wonderful photograph is titled "Winter in Missouri" and was taken by Sherri Nicholas then uploaded to our Facebook page

This wonderful photograph is titled “Winter in Missouri” and was taken by Sherri Nicholas then uploaded to our Facebook page

I know there will be some disagreement with this…there could even be some angry comments. I do welcome them! But, this is a belief I have always had and will never change.

With the digital age and camera phones, I am willing to bet some of you reading this right now have a few hundred photos sitting on the phone photo album or on the camera digital card. You may download them to the computer and there they will live.

And stay there.

While digital photography has certainly made it easier and cheaper to take photos, multiple shots of the same scene or event, and it allows photographers to be choosier about what is printed, most of you who aren’t professional photographers tend to just leave those images in the digital world and don’t consider the next step.

These are memories. You take photos of vacations, children, Christmas or graduations for one reason: capturing memories. And while you can go back to the phone or the computer and plug it into a TV and run the slide show for all to see, those aren’t pictures yet. There is no physical proof of that memory.

Remember all the photo albums your parents or grandparents had? They would pull them out and cry about the memories, or embarrass you in front of guests. These are memories.

This is life.

I really urge all of you to consider printing some of those memories so they can become real photos. We can help you here at Lawrence Camera. We have some great printing services and can help turn some of those digital images into truly spectacular photos. This way, your memories will live forever for others to enjoy!

What Does Photography Mean to You?

The title should cause some sort of emotion. What does photography really mean to you? Does it mean snapping pictures of everyday life? Does it mean capturing moments in time for memories? Does it mean taking the time to set up a scene because you have a vision of what something should look like? Does it mean creating a piece of art and using not just a camera but the extra tools out there now to enhance and make pictures seem more alive?

Photography as Art

Photo by Craig Hill

There is no right answer for this. Pictures, photos, cameras, imaging, subjects, lighting, tripods, and lenses…none of this really matters until you decide what photography means TO YOU!

What does it mean to us? Expression of emotion. A photo, like a piece of art, is supposed to draw out an emotion. Just like the title of this blog was supposed to make you feel something, a photograph should stir something within. What that is will be different for many people.

Before you take that step into photography, decide what it means for you…it can be a life changing decision that might mean a lifetime of love for something that could become more than just a hobby.

Become a Better Photographer

It’s obvious how much we love cameras. We wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t want people to love photography as much as we do. But, we don’t just like to sell cameras to amateurs or pros. We want to help them grow whether they do this as a hobby or as a career.

This is why we offer photography classes and are glad to announce our first round of classes this year.

Do you want to be a better photographer? Do you think you can always learn something new? Maybe one of our classes will help you out. We kick off our photo classes January 12th with a discussion on exposure, composition on February 9th and lighting April 6th.

If you are interested in Basic Photoshop, we will have a class February 2nd and if interested in Studio Lighting, classes are January 26th and April 13th.

Click the link to learn more about cost for the class and to learn more about our store!