Jonathan Fleming's Blog

A Photography Blog

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Team Suki

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A fellow photographer, and as I just discovered today, super-awesome illustrator sent me the image you see above this morning. Inspired by my work this year for 52 Weeks of Suki, the original hand-drawn artwork is on it’s way to me in the mail. What a cool gift! She included so many specific details that I bust out laughing every time I look at the drawing. Everything’s there, from Suki’s signature paw print collar and proud demeanor, Bridget’s white coat and scarf (and freckles), to my low and tight shooting technique. She’s even got Bridget flying much of that off-camera flash over Suki’s head, ensuring that there’s not too much spill heating up the lower portion of my frame. Brilliant! =)

A big thank you to my friend Cindy for this lovely work of art!

Written by Jonathan

December 10, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Wedding: Dennis and Anna

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I’m posting this from my seat on a flight from New York back to San Francisco right now. In-flight wifi is a beautiful thing! It was a short, crazy, whirlwind of a trip, and the first order of business was to head from the big city to Patterson, New York to photograph the wedding of a very good friend of mine and his new bride.

I haven’t started processing these photos just yet, but I wanted to post a few that I really liked from that day since I pretty much have 5 hours to kill here on the plane. Here goes!

Met with Dennis (top) and his lovely bride Anna in a small country home in upstate NY this past Saturday. The quiet, humble couple preferred to keep the “getting ready” shots to a bare minimum, so we instead focused on covering other moments in the house as they happened.

Just a quick plug for my second shooter. I worked this wedding with my cousin and best buddy, Josh Libatique. He’s a portrait and wedding photographer from New York, and his experience and skills were very welcome that day. Here he is, getting ready to go at the bride’s house:

Josh and I grew up together, and have always shared the same hobbies and interests, so go figure here. We had a blast shooting the wedding as a team!

Here’s Anna meeting Dennis for the first time in her wedding dress. Such a happy looking couple!

Anna’s parents are very sweet people. Took this shot as the couple exited the house on their way to take a few images before the early morning ceremony got started. There was so much emotion on the parents’ faces as we departed.

We only had around 20 minutes or so to get some formals of the couple at a nearby park, but I was able to get some fun images anyway:

Rush rush rush! After a very brief shoot in the park, off to the ceremony (which was also very brief), then the reception at a small but pretty italian restaurant. (Haven’t processed any of the ceremony images yet)

The reception was brief but fun. Great tasting food, and friends I haven’t seen in forever. It was like a big happy reunion!

It was never difficult getting an amazing smile from the bride!

Of course, watching image slideshows of the couple when they were dating always makes for fun expressions from the observers:

The bride and groom did a meet and greet with every table, of course:

Did the whole take-a-picture-of-each-table thing, but of course I’m not posting all of them! Dennis and Anna also paid a visit to our table:

Though our work ethic reflected otherwise, we were actually guests of the bride and groom, not just photographers. Since Dennis is such a close friend to me, my wife, and Josh, we shot the wedding as our gift to him. Here we are at the “photographer’s table,” Josh’s parents seated to the left, and mine to the right. Handed my main camera to Josh to get this one. Half the time, the table had more camera gear on it than food and decor. =)

Handed off my second body to Josh while I took the table meet-and-greet photos. Apparently he took a moment to catch me and Bridget in action!

Then, the dancing started:

Got some really fun images of friends really getting into it!

At the very end of the wedding, a bunch of us old friends got together for a final group shot. We’ve all been really close since childhood, and [almost] all of us are married now! I set up the shot and handed the camera to my uncle, whose sense of humor easily got us into a goofy mood for the shot.  =)

That’s all I got for now! It’s going to be a very busy week as I process the gazillions of other images I took from the day. Just wanted to get a few highlights out there.

Also, on my last post, I wrote about my first impressions of the new Nikkor 24-120 f/4 VR lens I just acquired. I used it extensively for this wedding as well as in the streets of New York in the days that followed, and I continue to be impressed by it. It certainly made an excellent wedding lens! Sharp and quick focusing. Love it.

www.jonathanflemingphotography.com

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Camera Specs:

Nikon D700, Nikon D300s // Nikkor 16mm f/2.8 FE // Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 VR // Nikkor 24-120 f/4 VR
Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR // Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G // Lots of other stuff

Business Cards!

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I usually carry some business cards with me in my camera bag, since every now and then someone will ask for one. Up until now though, they’ve consisted of nothing more than black text on white card stock. Talk about boring. So I had some high quality cards printed with some of my images on both sides. Just received them yesterday, and they came out great! I almost don’t want to give them out =)

To see these images on my website or to purchase prints, head over to www.jonathanflemingphotography.com

…and of course, don’t forget to “like” my Facebook Page!

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Image: Nikon D300s + Nikkor AFS 50mm f/1.4G

Written by Jonathan

September 15, 2010 at 7:46 am

Jenny and Johnny, Live! @ the Great American Music Hall

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I adore Jenny Lewis. Been following her work for a while, from going to concerts here in SF to see her with Rilo Kiley, flying to Louisiana to see her at the House of Blues during her Acid Tongue tour, and last night, seeing her perform at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco…from the front row no less!

Bridget may be a big Jenny fan, but she’s small in the height department, so getting the front row is critical for viewing the show (and killing your ears…agh). I thought I was close to the stage at the House of Blues, but wow, this time I was REALLY close.  Close enough to set a drink down on the stage or even get a clear view of the set list. Awesome!

I’m never sure if cameras are allowed at venues that I have yet to visit, and this event was no exception.  I therefore decided  to limit myself to two of my smallest prime lenses to stay inconspicuous. Well, turns out photography was permitted without flash, so I was stuck to one shooting position in a sold out crowd with only two focal lengths at my disposal.

So it was either really really wide or moderate telephoto for the night. But hey, nothing sucks in light better than a fast prime, so I wasn’t complaining. =)

This is our “oh yeah, front row!” look.

The concert was a blast. Jenny was cute as ever, and her vocal talent and song writing is just amazing.  Come back to San Francisco soon, Jenny!

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Camera Specs: Nikon D300s + Nikkor AFS 50mm f/1.4G // Nikkor DX 10.5mm f/2.8

Home Improvement Time!

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The wife decided to start sprucing up various rooms in our house this week. Had a friend come over and help paint the walls of one of our rooms in Tiffany blue. I played the lazy photographer husband while they did all the work =)

Gotta hurry! We have some friends coming in from Japan this weekend who will occupy this room during their stay.

Even Suki got involved…well, no more involved than I was actually. No, she’s not sleepy here. It’s just that every time I set my camera to rear curtain sync, she blinks! Oops!

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Nikon D300s + Nikkor AF 10.5mm DX // Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8

Written by Jonathan

August 11, 2010 at 9:00 pm

A Night at the Jazz Cafe in Berkeley

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[ Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/2.8 1/25 second ISO800]

This happened a little while ago, but I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to post about another of my wife’s recent performances. She spent some time this year training at the Jazz School in Berkeley, California. The training included a performance at the school’s Jazz Cafe, where she had the opportunity to put on a show in front of a full house, together with three very talented instrumentalists.

I roamed around with my latte in one hand and camera in the other, snapping away as the performance continued:

[ Nikon D300s + Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 at 11mm f/2.8 1/40 sec ISO1600]

[ Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/2.8 1/50 sec ISO1600 ]

[ Nikon D300s + Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G at f/2 1/160 sec ISO1600 ]

Bridget sang two beautiful jazz pieces!

[ Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/2.8 1/60 sec ISO800]

Some other people sang too, but I didn’t come for them ;)

[ Nikon D300s + Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 at 11mm f/2.8 1/30 sec ISO1600]

The crowd actually goes way farther back than I’ve shown here. It was packed inside! Many in the audience were friends and family that showed up to support Bridget’s portion of the performances.

[ Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/2.8 1/20 sec ISO800]

I’m always all for my wife pursuing her love of music whenever she can. I know that in photography, you gotta keep shooting to keep improving, and  it’s important spend as much time as you can taking the kind of photographs that you enjoy taking in order to keep your passion for the craft alive. Same thing in the art of music it seems. Bridget seems to get better and better with every performance. One thing is for sure: wherever and whenever she performs, I’ll be right there with her, camera in hand.

Paisley’s Photo Shoot

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Spent this past Sunday afternoon with this adorable little girl and her family. Can someone be any more photogenic than this? My strategy for this shoot was: no strategy. Just follow little Paisley around and see what happens. The result was an amazing little adventure all around the house, climbing different surfaces, discovering her favorite toys, and capturing the cutest little expressions.

Paisley is just gushing with life, joy, intelligence, energy, and curiosity. She has the most wonderful spirit I have ever seen in a child. The first shot I took of her that day I immediately showed to her. She understood right away what the camera was all about, and every so often during our time together, she’d stop, walk towards me, and make me turn my camera around to show her the result. It’s like she was my model and my art director =)

Kept the gear simple, using one lens the entire time: The new Nikkor AFS 50mm f/1.4G that my wife just bought me this past week. Great timing, as it’s the perfect lens for the job. If you’re a crop sensor shooter that likes taking portraits, especially in available light, the 50mm is a must-have. Brought in a camera-mounted flash for fill at times, and that was it!

Please See more images of the shoot on my website here: Paisley’s Photo Shoot

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Nikon D300s + Nikkor AFS 50mm f/1.4G

Written by Jonathan

July 26, 2010 at 10:47 am