IO "La Traviata" Photography by Denis Ryan Kelly Jr. https://lifestoryportraits.shootproof.com/LaTraviataRead More
Published in The Times of London!Read More
This is a preview of Sara and Jon's wedding album that was richly produced in supple midnight-blue leather. It was a joyful celebration of love and commitment! Yay Sara and Jon!Read More
It has been a marvelous privilege to help people express themselves to future generations! I have produced LifeStory Portraits™ for people ranging in age from 13 to 88, so far. Several have been people turning fifty. Some have been couples celebrating fifty years of marriage. There are important milestones all through one's life. Having the vivid sound of one's voice adds great dimension to the portraits. It has also been gratifying to restore photographs from earlier in people's lives and include them in the heirloom albums. Creating digital versions for grandchildren's phones has been a great development too.
One year after our wedding, Mary Ann got to present at a conference in San Francisco. Then we traveled up the Pacific Coast on a two week camping trip all the way to the Olympic National Park and Mt. Ranier. Here we are in the Samuel P. Taylor State Forest in California. It was late Autumn. Aaah, what a great time!
Musical Ecstasy! Tessa Lark and other IVCI Finalists perform with the ISO.Read More
I've been asked many times, "Are you digital". Often I have replied, "No, of course not, I'm corporeal! Though I do use digital cameras." I bought into digital imaging back in the 1990s when it was a big breakthrough for Nikon to innovate the digital single lens reflex D1 with 2,740,000 pixels for $5,000. That was a price drop of $23,000 compared to the Kodak/Nikon hybrid cameras that had been out for a little while. I bought the D1, then the D1X, and many others up to my current 24,000,000 pixel D600 that is my current main camera. Now, I find the question about being digital is reasserting because our perception is being pushed more and more to experience the digital world instead of the "Real, perhaps infinitely high-definition World" that is all around us. SLR cameras have allowed us to view the world through the lens. At the speed of light, the actual photon waves that bounce off of the mountains of Yosemite, or our loved one's smile have come through our lens, bounced off a mirror, through a prism and focusing screen into our eyes. The viewfinder in my professional Nikon is superbly subtle and clear. Many other cameras, including my iPhone, make us view the world in transcription through digital algorithms that signal light emitting diodes to glow. We watch a little monitor that makes its own photons with its own programed contrast, hue, brightness and other subtleties. Currently, some very good, and quiet, cameras are being sold, some may even have the same sensor as mine, but they do not allow one to view the "real world's light". You have to watch through an electronic viewfinder, a mini computer monitor. As I prepared to photograph the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, I did a lot of research regarding the best camera technology for the job and considered these new electronic viewfinder cameras by Fuji and Sony. After hours of testing, graciously allowed by my friends at Roberts, I decided I strongly prefer the optical viewfinder. I like to see the same photons that bounce from the violin and face of my subject. It is better to have my camera in a pillow-like camera muzzle to quiet the sound of the mirror popping out of the way to let the light pass to the sensor, than to have to witness brilliance transcribed by camera programs. Of course, ultimately, I am producing a print or image on screen that is not the original subject. Still, as the photographic artist, writing with light, I maintain my perception of the subject as a real living, breathing reflector of light. Truly they seem to glow of their own power too. And my eye gets to absorb those very photons and waves of energy. This more direct experience surely yields different artistry. Yay! Here's to being corporeal!
Of course, the speed of light is fantastic, about 186,000 miles per second. So, it only takes nanoseconds or less to go the 150 feet from from the spot lights, reflect off of the violinist, through my super-photo lens and onto my image sensor. Each photon is reflecting off of a different molecule of the performer, especially as he or she speeds through a Paganini Caprice or Ellen Taaffe Zwilich's "Fantasy for Solo Violin". As the photographer, I have to decide how much time may elapse. I can capture a 1/500 second burst that virtually freezes the violinist's motion but this often seems wrong to me. The feeling of astonishing speed is one of the wonders of the performance. In these photographs, I experimented with a range of blur. The first one of Kristi Gjezi was .3 seconds. I'm not sure how many times the bow went up and down in that time. I like this photograph. It feels like "writing with light" which is the meaning of "photo-graphy". Most of the time, I seek a balance with more sharpness and only a hint of motion blur. What do you prefer?
Jinjoo Cho w/ Rohan De Silva on Piano
Stephen Waarts w/ Chih-Yi Chen on Piano
Stephen Kim w/ Nelson Padgett on Piano
Ji Youn Lee w/ Thomas Hoppe on Piano
All photographs © Denis Ryan Kelly Jr.