Robyn Graham Photography

Winner: 2017 Bucks Happening List ~ Photographer

Bucks Happening List Winner

Bucks Happening Magazine has an annual Bucks Happening List of the best businesses in Bucks County. I am very honored to have been nominated for the 2017 Happening List for photographer. Not only was it an honor to be nominated but, it is an honor to be considered among some really great local Doylestown and Bucks County photographers. The list includes several photographers that I have admired for years and whom I have a lot of respect for.

As people, it is inspiring to have our work recognized and a gift to be able to gain additional business success from such recognition. The entrepreneur business sector is very competitive and often challenging to navigate. Special recognition in the form of awards can often help a person take their business to the next level. For someone who works very hard to provide unprecedented service, the recognition is both a blessing and a confidence builder.

The Happening List race was close between some great photographers and inspiring artists. Not all on the list are portrait photographers, some are fine art photographers, and others, like myself, are both. My work crosses several genres of photography including; professional and corporate headshots, visual branding, family and children’s portraiture,  and fine art. My passion for photography runs deep and grows with every successful session, every person I meet, and every business I help give light to.

It is a significant honor to be recognized as the 2017 Happening List Photographer. The honor isn’t only be the physical award and title, but it involve sharing a priceless moment with many other successful and inspiring businessmen and women from the Doylestown and Bucks County Communities. Being nominated has helped increase awareness of my business in an oversaturated market and winning will help to strengthen that awareness and help me grow my business even further.

To take the excitement a step further, Sharon Kraynak of Sharon Lee Creative Art Services won as the 2017 Bucks Happening List Framer.  Sharon works out of my studio and takes care of all of my framing needs, personally; for my fine art and my home, and for my clients.   It isn’t often that two people sharing work space are awarded such a high honor at the same time.  Congrats to Sharon!  It is an honor to work along side her and share her amazing talent.

To celebrate the winners and finalists, Bucks Happening Magazine held a red carpet bash yesterday evening, May 4th.  The energy at Pen Ryn Estate was electrifying.   So many amazing, talented people.   Winners were interviewed by a QVC host and video-taped, I was a nervous wreck, but yet very excited!   The band, one of the best I’ve ever heard, Bigg Romeo, was amazing and we all danced the night away.   The food, I haven’t mentioned that yet…there was a mashed potato bar!  Oh my goodness was it awesome!   Below are just a few cell phone photos from the evening.  I am hoping to get some of the photos from the staff photographers that were there to capture the event.   At times I felt like I had a paparazzi following!  So fun!

Thank you for all of your support.  I am ever so grateful.

Thank you!

Bucks Happening List Photographer

My Husband, John, and Me

Bucks Happening List Winner

Dear friends, author/speaker Mary Fran Bontempo, best author,

and Kristin Smedley, 2017 power person.

Bucks Happening List Photographer

Sharon Kraynak and Me

Bucks Happening List Photographer

Slides of each category were presented all evening.

And, even better, my interview made the Bucks Happen List YouTube channel.   This journey has been so amazing!  I am so honored and very grateful!

Video

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Bars of Light

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About this photograph:  I am teaching a teen photography camp this week.  I have 15 students ranging from 11 to 15.   The camp sessions are from 9am to 3:30pm Monday through Friday.  During the morning hours, we simulate a classroom setting and I teach the students about photography.  Thus far we have reviewed manual settings and the technicalities of cameras, which none of the kids had previously been using, composition and light.  Today well talk about posing human subjects.   After the lessons, we venture outside to experiment with cameras and use the information learned.   After talking about light yesterday, we took a hike to a near by covered bridge.  In between answering questions and guiding the teens on how to use their cameras, reminding them of compositional “rules”, and pointing out light and it’s qualities, I took a few shots myself.  This photograph is taken of one of the walls of the bridge.  I noticed the light peaking through the slats, between the boards.  Instead of focusing, I intentionally decreased the focus so that I could create a bit of blur to capture the circles of light in each strip, which the shallow depth of field helped create.  As I was shooting, my intent was to convert the file to black and white.  I do think I like that edit better than the original, but the green and white strips of light are also appealing to me.

To see the photograph in black and white, please visit my Thursday post on Monochromia. Which do you prefer?

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Independence Day ~

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“Those who won our independence… valued liberty as an end and as a means. They believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.”

~ Louis D. Brandeis

I took the liberty to play in Photoshop this morning and create a unique, vintage American Flag to post for Independence Day.  I cropped and rotated the flag and added a layer of texture using Adobe Paper Texture Pro.  Opacity was adjusted on the layer level.

For comparison, I included the original below.

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Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

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"Bashful"

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Last week when I was coming home from a run I noticed that my beloved peonies had all but wilted and the petals been discarded. At the time, there were only a few remaining flowers. Spring has been so rushed and harried with work and activities for the kids that I had almost missed the joy of photographing the peonies.  That afternoon, instead of ironing and doing the banking, I cut the last of the living peonies and did some still life work. This was a time to be inspired, to create, take a deep breath and recharge my soul.

I didn’t have time to go to the studio, which means I didn’t have any back drops to use.  I knew that for some of the shots I wanted a white back drop.  I could have used a white table-cloth, or a sheet and hung them from a door, but, I didn’t feel like going to the trouble and I knew I could create the white back drop myself using light.

Using my Nikon D800 and my Nikkor 105mm 2.8 lens I set out to create.  I grabbed some props, antique prescription bottles, an antique miniature milk bottle, a white cheese cloth, a black stool, some ribbon, and some sheets of music.  I don’t know how long I moved around in front of my front door playing and creating.  I lost all sense of time and felt so relaxed.

To create the white back drop effect I used only natural light.  I metered my exposure on the flower so that it would be properly exposed and the backlight would be blown out.  To avoid flare, I angled my lens down just enough to allow some haze, but to eliminate flare.  I wanted this shot to be flawless and dreamy therefore colorful flare spots were not welcome.  My settings are below for your reference:

ss 1/100 f 5.0 ISO 400

I could have worked with the above scenario for hours.   But, alas, the kids needed to be picked up from school and driven to activities, and, honestly, my equipment is so heavy that after a considerable amount of time, my neck and arms begin to tire.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my equipment and the Nikon cameras and Nikkor lenses that I have give me great flexibility when working in the various areas of photography that I focus on.  I do love them, but I have recently been evaluating mirrorless cameras, especially for travel and street work.   Lighter weight cameras and lenses would be fabulous when having to hold or carry them for any length of time.   In addition, I just recently came across a new camera that I found interesting.  Light, is a compact camera that appears to have many features.  I don’t know that it has the flexibility I need, but I think it is worth checking into for travel and street work.  I thought I would share the link with you in the event you might have interest in a compact camera that appears to have a lot of great features.

To compare this photograph in black and white, please visit my Thursday post on Monochromia.

To view more of the photographs from this still life session, check back on the blog soon or follow me on Instagram.  I post to Instagram much more frequently there.

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Never Stop Fighting…Every Day

Last week I posted a photograph of a wilted flower on Monochromia.  Sue was curious what the photograph looked like in color.  Last week I was preparing for my daughter’s first communion and the celebration and had family in from out of town thus preventing me from getting extra time to create a second post.   With that being said, I thought I would post the lily in color in addition to posting a color version of the image I posted on Monochromia today.  Which do you like best?  Do you find the black and white versions more appealing, or the color versions?  When you visit Monochromia, you will also find fabulous quotes that accompany the images.  I would love to hear your thoughts as to which version of each image is best accompanied by each quote.

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Never Stop Fighting

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Every Day…

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Lensless

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I had no intentions of posting today, but I was nominated for the 7-day nature challenge on Facebook by another photographer.   I posted photographs from my archives the past two days and the photographer then reminded me that I was supposed to post photographs of the snow like everyone else.  Well, I honestly tire of looking at pictures of the snow after about a week or so of repetitively seeing them.   But, to make the photographer happy I decided to go out and shoot this afternoon.  I climbed through at least two feet of snow and played.  It was warm, 40 degrees F and it felt great to be outside and playing with my camera.  I felt somewhat like an animal on the prowl as I searched for my subjects.

While I was photographing a pine cone using back lighting and creating beautiful bokeh I remembered an article I recently read about lensless photography.   Because I had the time and was on a mission to create some unique winter images I decided to try it.  The above photographs are the results.

Do you love the hazy effect as much as I do?  I feel like I captured my prey.  One might argue that the first image is too “blue” meaning the white balance is off, but I was in the shade and it is a winter/snow shot and it is cold so to me, the color is perfect for what I was representing with my work.

Which do you prefer?  The color photograph or the black and white?

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On Cloud Nine

On Cloud Nine

While window shopping in New York City last week this window caught my attention.

I love the complimentary colors; blue and orange.  The view through the glass adds

a bit of depth and reflection and gives a perception of floating with the clouds.  I’d like to

give credit to the person who created this display, but I unfortunately don’t remember

for certain what store window this was.  My best guess is

Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue.

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Signs of Spring

Signs of Spring

Signs of Spring

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Post processing: a slight curves adjustment in Photoshop CC.

Signs of Spring was shot in diffused light in between rain showers; – April showers bring May flowers -. I used a shallow depth of field to achieve a more abstract composition. I made the shadowed areas less in focus to give a more quizzical appearance of the flower.

Can you guess what the rain drops fell on? I’ll give you a hint – they are some of the first signs of Spring on the North East Coast and provide much-needed color to dull, early Spring landscapes.

To see this image in black and white visit Monochromia, a black and white photo blog I proudly, yet humbly, contribute to every Thursday.

I’d love to hear which you prefer – the monochromatic image or the color image.

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Tulip I

Tulip I

Tulip I, a Day Dream

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Tulip I is the first image in my 2015 tulip series. I used natural light to photograph several tulips that were decaying. Tulip I is a day-dream. I used back lighting, ambient light, and a shallow depth of field to achieve the swirly, dreamy effect.

In post processing I did a simple curves adjustment, just to give a little color pop.

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