Archives

Well that was easy, recently noticed that many of my favorite blog posts had been archived and are unavailable. So a quick review of the help section gave me the idea to attempt to add an archives section, which I thought was going to be a major undertaking. However it turned out to be quite easy using a free widget that is provided to the business theme my site uses 🙂 So now if you would like to see posts that have been archived you can easily go to the bottom of my main site page and review them by month and year!

Swimsuit Model

Speaking of archives, while technically this isn’t a blog archive it is definitely one of my favorite mental archives 🙂 One of my first attempts at photographing models and one of my favorite images of all time! This one was of course captured back in the days of film, long before instant feedback on a digital screen and long before there was such a thing as ISO 3200 available to capture images like this in the waning light of dusk and an approaching rainstorm. I shot this one with 100 speed Fuji Reala film and an off camera flash unit with a gold reflector. I hope you like it as much as I do 🙂

Don’t forget to visit my site for recent blog posts with pictures and also my new section at the bottom of the menu pointing to my archives!

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Out of the Darkness

I don’t know how this piece turned out this way. I was going to write a long post on opening a studio. So I was going to throw it out and start over, but I thought, “This is raw stuff, maybe it will help someone going through hard times?”. So I’m not even going to edit it, just post it the way it came out…

Strange how life can sometimes grind you down to nothing, to the point where all you can think of is survival. Whether you will have a place to live, food to eat, any kind of future at all. When times get like that your dreams get buried, your ideas fade and hope for a prosperous future becomes an afterthought. Every day becomes a battle for the next day and there is no time for dreams to percolate, no time for hope, no time to remember the plans you once had.

DeiaBikiniBut through it all there is this from scripture “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future”. At times these words can seem empty, when all that is ahead looks like darkness. But the words themselves in the worst of circumstances are also a pinpoint of light, if you can hold on to them.

I once had dreams of owning a photography studio. Actually I did for a little while, but it was heavily subsidized by the computer company I was working for, which eventually ran into rough seas and layoffs were the fate of a bunch of us. Soon I did get a new job in the industry but the learning curve was steep and I decided that it was best to just concentrate on the bird in hand rather than divide my time on a venture that hadn’t really blossomed yet. Times were good and my plan was to reopen as soon as the time was right.

Unfortunately, the new company began to stumble, contracts were lost and layoffs hit again. Then 08 happened, then my wife’s cancer diagnosis in 09 and death in 15. Forgotten were the good times, when Tricia and I were a team working with budding models working on their own dreams. Forgotten was the love I had for the equipment, the fascination with lighting ratios, highlights and shadows. Forgotten was the amazing way my wife labored to make backdrops and find props for the pictures. Forgotten were the delighted smiles from our clients when they got to see what we had created together. Everything we’d worked and hoped for was in ashes, only a gravestone to remember it with.

I survived the rest of 15 and part of 16 by selling all that we had accumulated but by the beginning of summer this year, life looked pretty bleak. Until one day I walked into Walmart and saw the sign, hiring, see manager. Well it just so happens I knew the personnel manager and the next day I was sitting in the training room at my first day back on the payroll.

I know unloading trucks isn’t much to brag about and certainly no way to get rich. However, the interesting phenomenon is that any kind of job takes survival off the table. As long as you work hard and follow the rules, survival is something you don’t have to think about anymore. For quite a while though, some of my friends who saw me limping around, popping aspirin and rubbing my tired eyes said to me.. “You could be making a lot more money.”, but there was no time to think about that. I wasn’t ready to think… I said, “You know, I don’t want to think about that. Right now I just want to unload trucks.”. Survival at the time depended on just doing and concentrating on the simple job.

However, it is starting to sink in that the pain levels are becoming unmanageable and not sustainable. Fortunately I work with understanding people and there are younger men who are more than happy to take on the heavy lifting. But still, I have been racking my brain to think of ways to make more money with a smaller physical price tag.

Beach-WalkAs I was disposing of twenty years of accumulation last year, I ran across some of my studio pictures. Something told me to box them up and put them in a safe place. Something also told me earlier this year to scan them and make a Facebook page for them. So I did, and pretty much paid no attention to that page at all… until yesterday. First I discovered some new FB tools for business pages, and fiddled with them a bit. The new job and steady income has also gotten me to fiddling with the idea of buying some property and getting out of these squalid digs. Then today I had my “out of the darkness” moment, it finally sank in to my worn out mind, the memories, the dreams, my hopes for the future. I thought, just maybe… I can put it all together and pick up where I left off, a decade ago. It’s a long shot for sure, but my new plan is to have a photography studio.

It will be a long tough road since I had to sell some important equipment to buy cancer medicine, but I just call that an obstacle. When I first started, way back in 1992 I had to do all my photo sessions outdoors… Lol, which resulted in some blue lipped models, but the adventure of it all was fun for all of us. I think if I dig deep… I can start anew one more time… Hopefully there won’t be too many fake summer pictures in the snow before I have new equipment, new digs, and a new shot at the studio I left behind so long ago 🙂 Here’s to a new start, with  S. W. Krull Models as ground zero for the new enterprise!

 

Steve Krull is a prolific sports and nature photographer selling prints and stock images online as S.W. Krull Imaging at various sites and agencies. Click this link to view all the products and services offered by Steve Krull and S. W. Krull Imaging. Additional services include, wedding photography, portraiture and model portfolios, and event photography. Additional products include fine art stock imagery, prints and gift items

Photoshop

So I’m sitting around a few days ago thinking, “Man, it’s a long way to pay day.”. So the gears started turning and I was wondering what I could do get some regular income flowing in while I sit on pins and needles hoping for stock and prints to sell. That’s when I got the idea to reintroduce the mobile portrait service back into my repertoire. Back in the film days and early digital photography days I used to do pretty well bringing in business doing that.

swimsuit model

Model posing at the beach

So the other day when I was getting my shots of Crystal Reservoir there was a pretty good crowd of people there with their phones snapping away with the little fake sound card generated click of the shutter button to enhance the fun, which later on got me to thinking, people probably don’t hire many photographers anymore. Those little cameras are really good these days and every man woman and child on the planet has one… except for me of course 😦 And this is certainly the age of the selfie. Jim got a great one of us at the top of the Manitou Incline, and why not? Models are taking their own pictures these days for their digital portfolios and I imagine getting a family shot is just as easy.

So as I was fretting about that trying to imagine what else I could do to bring in some cash, it occurred to me that not everyone’s phone pictures turn out perfectly. Even mine with my high end DSLR often have problems that have to be fixed with Photoshop. That’s when another light came on for me, not everyone has Photoshop or knows how to use it. What if someone has the perfect selfie and it is marred by some unsightly object in the background. Or what if someone has a huge zit the day the get the perfect selfie? What if conditions on the day have confused the camera and the color is all wrong or the exposure is off?

So I’m in. I have been Photoshopping away since digital photography meant scanning a print on a flatbed scanner. I am an expert in color and exposure analysis, retouching, special effects and more. Is your favorite picture ruined because you have a tree branch growing out of your ear in the awesome selfie you took? Did a fly land on your nose the instant you got the epic shot of yourself on vacation? Well, I’m your man then. I can fix those things and I’m officially in the Photoshop business now! You are only an email away from the perfect picture 🙂

The picture I have supplied with this post originally had lots of problems. There was a boat and a buoy behind Deia that looked ridiculous. it was getting late so I had to use a flash and it caused a lot of shine straight on from the front that looked terrible. It had been a long photoshoot and some of my Deia’s makeup had smeared and the evening light with the flash had turned the water an ugly greenish blue hue. And I added a bit of soft focus for a more subdued mood. With a little photoshop the picture has made quite a transformation!