Erin Parquette – 2019 Senior at Walpole High

Erin is a bright and talented 2019 senior at Walpole High who has a passion for contemporary dance. As you can see, she totally killed it at her session.

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I’m so happy that she and her family chose me to photograph her Senior Portraits

See more from her session here LINK to MORE From Erin’s Session

Dan Busler is a full service Boston-based professional Portrait, Live Performance and Event photographer with studios located in the historic Hogie Bear Building – Walpole MA. By the Artist, for the Artist. 781-352-4863 http://www.danbuslerphotography.com

 

Martin’s Photo Taught Me to Slow Down

 

Each May I photograph portraits of about 300 children on their First Communion Day. And each child’s picture is so important and even though I try, I often don’t get a chance to speak more than just a few words with each kid .

This is a photo of one of the 100+ goofy – loud – laughing kids that I photographed at St Ann Parish in Dorchester in May 2012.

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Martin Richard – May 2012

This is Martin Richard. Martin died in the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. And until the day he died, this was probably just a nice photo of him that hung on the wall of the Richard’s home.

A few days after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing I received a call from a TV station to ask if they could use the slideshow that i created from the 2012 St Ann Parish first communion pictures. I was honored and perplexed … why did they want the video?  And they they told me that I had photographed Martin.

A feeling of sadness … then anger came over me as I realized that in haste to “keep it moving” that day that I didn’t get to know Martin or any of the kids .

That May when I went to St Ann to photograph First Communion pictures, I spoke with Father Sean ( who was with the Richard family during their time of grief) and told him that I wanted to spend a few extra moments speaking with each child as I photographed them. Father Sean smiled, put his hand on my shoulder and said that would be just fine.

We all heal in different ways I guess. I’m not sure that the kids liked the extra conversation, but I did.

The moments of our lives pass so quickly, they soon blur and fade away.

But a photograph waits patiently for us until we need it – to comfort us, make us laugh and to help us remember.

I smile now when I look at this picture of Martin. How lucky I was to have met him.

 

Dan Busler is a full service Boston-based professional Portrait, Live Performance and Event photographer with studios located in the historic Hogie Bear Building – Walpole MA. By the Artist, for the Artist. 781-352-4863 http://www.danbuslerphotography.com

Deb and Mark – Their 40th Wedding Anniversary – Video

Each wedding anniversary is a milestone and a time to be celebrated.

For the life you’ve built as a couple, for the life challenges you’ve  endured as a couple and for the love you have for each other.

I met Deb at a business networking event. We started talking about the surprise party she was planning to celebrate the 40th wedding to the man who is her rock . This was going to be a cocktail party with the ladies in beautiful dresses, men in tuxedos and classic entertainment.

And I knew that Deb was going to pull it off.

Deb is the most alive person you will ever meet. With a smile that literally lights up the room. Mark is quieter and smiles broadly when he sees friends or Deb, the love of his life.

So what makes this event so special?

To be candid, all couples have their story. The life story that they have written together. With the high points, the low points and the moments that test everything.

I don’t know Deb and Mark’s whole story, just a small piece.

Both of their Sons have disabilities that require 24 hour care. So Deb and Mark haven’t taken extended vacations separately or together, ever.

This event was a tribute and a celebration of their relationship, the friends who they have relied on and the caregivers who have been with them for many years.

Here’s just a peek at the party. The entrance of the bride and (surprised ) groom, the embraces, the decorations and the pure joy on everyone’s faces as they all celebrated with Deb and Mark.

VIDEO – Deb and Mark’s 40th Anniversary Celebration

Bokeh – It’s all a Blur to me

Focusing on the subject is typically what we do to create a nice photograph. But by doing something very simple we can have only the subject in tack sharp focus and the background a “creamy .. dreamy” out of focus. This is called bokeh – which is the Japanese word for blur.

Bokeh is the amount of what’s in focus behind the subject. It’s directly related to depth of focus (DOF) which is what’s in focus both in front of and behind the subject. . With a shallow DOF you can have the subject’s eye in focus – but not their ear, with a deep DOF you can have 200 people in a group photo (basically) in focus.

But I’m focusing on how you can achieve a portrait which is more pleasing because you’ve focused on the subject(s) and blurred the background using a simple camera setting.

In almost every case the amount of bokeh you achieve is controlled by the aperture setting on your camera.  Aperture is how far the lens opens when you push the shutter.

The larger the aperture number you choose the less light enters through the lens. This results in a deep DOF and and less bokeh.  Which means that the smaller the aperture number you choose the more light will enter through the lens, the DOF is shallower and that creamy … dreamy blurred background is achieved.

The easiest way to get a nice bokeh is to set your camera’s aperture to the smallest number it will allow ( it will typically be something like F4 or F2.8). But you’re going to have to take the leap and photograph in either manual (the letter M on the camera’s dial) or aperture priority mode ( the letter A or AV on the camera’s dial). If your camera doesn’t have a dial, just look for these settings in the camera’s menu.

OK, so let’s say that the smallest aperture your camera will allow is F4, or maybe you have a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera with removable lenses and you have a lens with a F1.2 lowest aperture … pop quiz !  Which aperture will give you the best bokeh?

Here’s two scenarios – you’re photographing one person and you’re photographing nine people (three people in three rows) – but you want a pleasing bokeh in both pictures.  The aperture setting you choose is going to be based first on how deep the subject is (DOF) and then on achieving the best bokeh possible. (subject in focus is the first priority).

The one person portrait is easy. Set the camera to the smallest aperture setting and that will help you determine the required shutter speed and ISO you need to get a correctly exposed picture. ( See my post on “The Exposure Triangle” if you want a description of how to do this  https://danbusler.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/the-exposure-triangle/ )

The nine person group in three rows is a bit different. The group will be about 3 feet deep, so the DOF needs to be at least three feet.  F8 is a great starting point for this group photo. Just remember to always focus on the center point of what you want to be in focus – in this case it will be the center row of people. Take the shot and see if everyone in the group is focus, is the background blurry? If not try a smaller aperture number or  move back (increase the distance between you and the subject) and zoom in a bit.

Here are some examples of how using a large aperture ( like F32) increases DOF and how using a smaller aperture (like F2.8) produces a shallower DOF and better bokeh

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Canon 70-200mm zoom lens set to 70mm at F32 and focusing on the number 1. All the numbers are in focus, including the fence in the background. No bokeh here.

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Canon 70-200mm zoom lens zoomed in to 200mm at F32 and focusing on the number 1. Just zooming in has added a little bokeh to the other numbers.

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Canon 70-200mm zoom lens set to 70mm at F32 and focusing on the number 2. ( Focusing on the middle row) Everything looks basically in focus, including the fence in the background

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Canon 70-200mm zoom lens set to 200mm at F32 and focusing on the number 2. Everything is basically in focus, but the other numbers are a little blurry, so there a little bokeh

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Canon 70-200mm zoom lens set to 70mm at F2.8 and focusing on the number 2. You can see that the other two signs are a bit out of focus. But were not zoomed in, so more of the  scene appears to be in focus

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Canon 70-200mm zoom lens set to 200mm at F2.8 and focusing on the number 2. Only the subject is in focus and there is a good bokeh. This shows how DOF is how much of what’s in front of and what’s behind the subject is in focus.

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Canon 70-200mm zoom lens set to 70mm at F2.8 and focusing on the number 1. Only the subject is in focus, the fence is a bit blurred. But this is not great bokeh.

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Canon 70-200mm zoom lens set to 200mm at F2.8 and focusing on the number 1. Only the subject is in focus and there is a great bokeh. This would be a close up single person portrait setting

Note: If I had used a lens with a F1.2 aperture the bokeh would have been even better.

 

Dan Busler is a professional portrait, performance and event photographer with studios located south of Boston in Walpole MA. You can see more of his work at http://www.danbuslerphotography.com