Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra


I apologize. It's been a while, but I've been working on a project that has been on my mind for years, and I wanted to talk about it. Some time ago I saw an image of a cello player by the late Don Blair that I really liked. Then my friend and mentor Michael Taylor told me how he had photographed the principal players of a symphony to promote them. It hit me to photograph the principal musicians of the Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra at important spots around the county. It took a lot of time explaining my idea, and planning it, and getting permissions. It took about 7 months to complete, and here it is! As many of you know I went to college (FSU) to be a band director. However I changed courses to be a photographer, so I have a special place in my heart for musicians. I thought it would promote the orchestra, which is one of Murfreesboro's best kept secrets. They are wonderful! Photographers: I have posted how each shot was done by the portrait.
4 strobes, 1 in a softbox over the musician, two kicker lights behind him, a strobe on the altar wall. A large reflector to get light under the tympani. Two exposures; 1- 2 hours before to get the sunlight through the glass, and the second when the musician arrived.

2 strobes, ambient light

2 strobes, plus ambient -1 stop

3 strobes. Fill and main in softboxes, 2 more on bottom floor to light background, 1 on second floor to light background.

 3 strobes 1 main in softbox, 1 way behind subject lighting background, 1 hitting wall on left.
1 large softbox camera left, underexposed background for saturated colors, ( I would have used more lights, but there was no elevator!) 3 exposures combined;  sky, trumpet player, and city.
2 lights, 1 on subject in a 6 foot softbox, 1 on background
5 strobes total. 1 with a grid on her face,1 umbrella fill, 2 grid spots on ceiling, 1 pointed at background.
1 large softbox on camera right. 1 grid spot on her hair  camera left, 200mm for compressionl
1 softbox camera right. ambient under exposed 1 stop.
1 large softbox camera left. Sky burned down in Photoshop. 28mm lens
1 second shutter speed to blur water
5 strobes total; 1 small softbox as main. I fil1 (Umbrella) three lighting backgroumd. Tripod 1/2 second.
3 Lights. 1 small softbox coming down the stairs, I fill behind camera. 1
under stairs. Tripod 1/4 second
The SUN! Put sunglasses on so he wouldn't squint!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


With all the negative stuff being hurled around lately, I wanted to go photograph something that was "Real Americana" on the fourth of July. Even though the weather forecast was very gloomy, I felt in my heart I needed to  go out anyway. It was already raining when I arrived at Sportscom (Murfreesboro, Tn.) where the fireworks would be held that night, and the weather app showed nothing but downpours everywhere. I kept my camera in my bag most of the time, and just enjoyed the sights. Whenever the rain let up, I grabbed a few shots of the food and festivities. The crowd was very light (I can't imagine why). We were ushered into a building when the lightning got closer. Shortly after, the announcement came that everything was cancelled except the fireworks. The low hanging clouds and the steady downpour  made the fireworks almost painterly. Even though I was drenched beyond belief

, I was happy to be there (with the hundreds of others sitting in their cars), just reveling in our great country and its ideals. I am proud to be an American. Long may our flag wave!


Monday, June 22, 2015

Castle Ladyhawke


I first met Crystal a few years ago when I was in search of a model for a competition image in South Carolina with my buddy Tyler Nafziger. We became instant friends. Crystal is a natural in front of the camera and a true joy to spend time with! She is also one of the most talented people I have ever met.  A few years later I invited her to come model for my class (And other classes) that I was teaching at Florida School in Daytona. We had a blast. I was photographing her in the ocean at sunrise one day (with 20 or so other photographers from a number of classes standing behind me) when she began to squeal,"There's a FISH in my dress!" sure enough, a small minnow popped out of her dress seconds later! Didn't faze her at all!

I was honored when Crystal asked me to photograph her wedding. It was being held at Castle Ladyhawke, one of the premier venues in North Carolina.It is SO GORGEOUS!  The staff, the caterer, the DJ, everyone was a true professional. The day was perfect, and HER fiance, Yanek, could not have been nicer. This wedding is among the most amazing weddings I have  photographed, out of the 1000+ I have done. The best thing about the day was the LOVE that abounded. They now are a family of SIX, and everyone loves each other!  I am still going through the thousands of images Tyler, Linda and I shot, but I pulled some favorites for you. 
I don't have all the vendor websites, but I will list what I can.
Castle LadyHawke - (
Makeup and hair-  MUA Hair by Gina Covalinski
Cake- Magda's Cakes  Magda's Cakes
Caterer- Harrison's Fine Dining- Harrisons dining and catering
Ceremony performed by- Beloved Ceremony
Coordinated by-

Thanks!!  Al Gordon