What Is New at RWP? – Clare County Charity Calendar

UPDATE: I recently heard from the Clare County DHS and the printing of this calendar is being postponed until further notice

Behind the scenes image of the Dover School Shoot

July was a great month at Ryan Watkins Photography! I got to photograph an amazing wedding, had a great trip to Mackinac Island, I continued my #iPhoneography series, and got to help create some new images for a charity calendar which will be available locally in the next few months.

Two years ago before I moved to Massachusetts I was approached by the Clare County United Way about shooting images for a calendar that would raise money to help their Project Kids Christmas charity. We shot the images but sadly the funding for the project didn’t come thru. Two years later I was contacted by the Clare County DHS to see if they could use my images for the same calendar to benefit Project Kids Christmas. I was more than willing but wanted to reshoot some of the old images. I spent the last two weeks of July photographing a variety of local landmarks and still lives which where relevant to Clare County.

The final Dover School image

The first location I knew I wanted to reshoot was Dover School. The Dover School is a one room school house that was renovated to its original condition. I shot several images of the Dover School while the sun set gradually set. I ended up compositing two images for the final shot. One had the shadows from the trees in the foreground the way I liked them and the other had the exterior of the school lit with flash.

The final Farwell Cannon image

Next I photographed the cannon in Farwell, Mi. This is a real life size cannon not a replica or paperweight. I photographed this at night and lit it will flash to eliminate the distracting park surrounding the cannon.

The Farwell Cannon before being lit

Morel Mushroom Still Life

In the spring many people in Clare County enjoy morel hunting, where they look for wild morel mushrooms. I wanted to reshoot an image of morel mushrooms for the calendar but it was almost four months to late to find local wild morels. So I went on Amazon.com and bought an incredibly overpriced bag of morels for the shoot. For this image I placed the morels on a tree stump near my house and lit them with flash at a very low angle to bring out the textures of the mushrooms.

Black Eyed Susans shot using a Lensbaby for the blurred effect

Black Eyed Susans are another common site in Clare County. I wanted to do something different from the traditional flower shot so I tried out my new Lensbaby. A Lensbaby is a flexible lens which lets you change focus my pulling the lens in different directions. I lit these with flash and turned the Lensbaby to create this blurring effect.

My new Lensbaby used to photograph the Black Eyed Susans

The rest of the calendar will have images of nature, landscapes, and wildlife from Clare County.

The final calendar will be available later in the year at several locations within Clare County. I’ll post on my blog and on social media when I find out where and when the calendars are available.

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