Notice: After 22 years and over 900 weddings I am retiring from the wedding industry. If there are any bride and groom's that are still considering purchasing their copyrights to their pictures I'm giving one year from April 2nd 2020 to April 30th 2021. Please message me or email info@photosbyblair.com and pass this on. It has been a "Spactabulas" amazing adventure and I met so many beautiful & wonderful people on my journey photographing one of many special days of your lives. I'm humbled to have had this opportunity to be a part of your special day. I will continue to sell my freelance work online & on Facebook. Another chapter with magical, music memories from beautiful Mackinac Island, MI. To all my family and friends, I miss you all so much. PL&H.

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Mackinac Bridge.

Mackinac Bridge 2005

I have driven across the Mackinac Bridge 100’s of times and walked it once.

Once a year the Bridge is open for the Labor Day Walk.

The Mackinac Bridge is currently the third longest suspension bridge in the world. In 1998, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Japan became the longest with a total suspension of 12,826 feet. The Great Belt Bridge in Halsskov-Sprogoe, Denmark, which also opened in 1998, is the second longest suspension bridge in the world with a total suspension of 8,921 feet. The Mackinac Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere.

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Photo Tip: #3 Take brilliant snow photos.

Shadows

I shoot a lot of outside winter venues so when I’m venturing out with my camera to capture the snow, I’m reminded of how tricky it can be to shoot for good results.I thought I’d share one simple tip for getting better photos in snow.

So here goes…

Obviously, we all know that snow is bright and white. Your camera, however, responds to the brightness by averaging everything out to give an overall “middle gray” picture.  That’s why, with bright white snow, you’ll often end up with an under-exposed, or dark, photo.

To compensate, tell your camera to over-expose. With snow, I typically over-expose at least one full stop and, sometimes, as much as two. Some factors that will determine how much you over-expose include the amount of snow in the shot, the time of day, and anything else of different shades and colors in the composition.

Now, there’s some subjectivity involved in all photography, of course, where personal taste and style play a major role… and snow is no exception.

But, if the photographer wanted to get a brighter shot, telling the camera to over-expose will result in a more professional image…

As I mentioned earlier, there’s always some subjectivity in how bright or dark you’ll want your shots to be. But simply learning how to understand your camera and using it to create the desired outcome is critical.

When shooting in snow, the general rule of thumb is to over-expose anywhere from one to two stops.
And, if your camera has a mode specifically for snow, go ahead and use it — it’ll take

the guesswork out for you.

Whispering


Photo Tip: #2

So what does fast mean?

Fast, when talking about a lens, actually refers to the greatest amount of light the lens will let in.

Think of it this way…

If your camera needs more light to hit the digital sensor in order to make a correctly exposed image, then it has three choices:

1) It can open up your aperture and let more light in through the lens…

2) It can slow down your shutter speed and let the light that’s coming in from your lens sit on the digital sensor for a longer amount of time…

3) It can speed up the “film speed” or ISO on digital cameras.

So if your camera measures the light in the room and thinks it needs an aperture reading of 1.4 but your lens only opens to 5.6, it’ll slow your shutter speed to get the shot. And a slow shutter speed — if you’re hand holding your camera — will give you a blurry image.

Most photographers consider a fast lens to be one that will open up to at least f-2.8.

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Wedding Planning List #1

Wedding Planning List

This checklist will help you in planning the most important day of your life. Feel free to print it out and give copies to those helping to plan your wedding.

6-12 Months

  • Choose the kind of wedding you will have, date and time.
  • Discuss the budget, and who will pay for what.
  • Consider hiring a wedding coordinator.
  • Make arrangements with the officiator.
  • Reserve the wedding and reception locations.
  • Select your wedding dress, veil and accessories.
  • Choose the bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, and honored roles.
  • Have a formal black/white photo sitting for announcements.
  • Send announcements of your engagement to your fiancé’s and your local and hometown newspapers.
  • Meet with the florist, photographer, caterer, videographer, and D.J. or entertainment to discuss budgets and options.
  • Discuss the guest list with fiancé and families.
  • Plan reception music.
  • Contact a rental coordinator for equipment reservations.
  • Discuss honeymoon and reservations. (Traditionally the groom makes all the honeymoon arrangements.)
  • Arrange for time off work, if necessary.
  • Buy a wedding planner and envelopes to store brochures and notes.
  • Develop record-keeping system for invitations, gifts, and thank-you notes.

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Wedding Planner Checklist

Wedding Planner Checklist.

Officiant:

Name:

Email:

Phone:

Deposit amount:

Final payment due date:

Arrival time:

Notes:

Photographer:

Name: Steven Blair

Email: info@photosbyblair.com

Phone: 231-631-2002

Reservation fee: $500.00

Final payment & due date:

Arrival time:

Notes:

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Mackinac Island Weddings

If you are considering a Destination Wedding, Mackinac Island is one of the top 10 locations in the U.S., and the top three in Michigan.  I have had the pleasure of photographing over 400+ Weddings on Mackinac Island since 1997.  The venues are spectacular and the views are breathtaking.  As I look back at the last 13 years there is not one wedding that was uneventful.  The atmosphere and the anticipation from the brides make for a beautiful celebration.  It truly is a

“Somewhere in Time” destination.

Steven Blair, We just wanted to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for creating the most perfect wedding memories. Being out of state, we searched high and low for the best photographer for our wedding on Mackinac Island. We went to the wedding expo on the island, clicked through so many websites, and thumbed through a plethora of brochures. When we saw your site, we knew you were “our photographer.” We chose you because we could see the thought and the love shine through every picture that you took. Your passion for photography comes through each and every photo that you take. During the entire process (planning, and executing the photos), your demeanor, professionalism, and overall personality made you a pleasure to work with. Everyone who sees our wedding album comments how beautiful the pictures are and how they look like they could be stills from a movie. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!


Photo Tip: #1 Brighten Up

Most of the time your camera is fairly accurate. But what happens if you have a once-in-a-lifetime shot that’s underexposed? Is there a way to save it? The basic answer is yes – or you can at least make it better.

Obviously, you’d rather get the exposure correct — or as close to perfection as possible — before you take the picture. But today, we are assuming that isn’t possible. So let’s look at how you can fix the shot in Photoshop for better results.

In this case, the fix is simple and uses the same tools I recommend using for all your pictures (for more information about digitally developing all of your photos.

A quick Levels and Curves adjustment should solve the exposure issue in the shot. Here’s how:

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Mackinac Island History

I have four generations from Mackianc Island.  The LaPine Family. My mother Dr. Mercedes A. LaPine  N.D.was the last to be born on my side of the family on the Island.  I have spent every summer on the Island since I was two years old.  My summers now are spent photographing Weddings on the Island.  Below are some facts about:

Mackinac or Mackinaw?

The name Michilimackinac, the place of the “Great Turtle”, was first given to Mackinac Island for its shape and was eventually given to the entire Straits of Mackinac region. In time, certainly by the 1820s, it was shortened to Mackinac. The founders of Mackinaw City opted for the phonetic “aw” spelling, probably as a way to distinguish their town from Mackinac Island for confused postal carriers.

Today Mackinaw City retains the “aw” spelling while the bridge, straits and island steadfastly cling to the “ac” spelling. No matter how it is spelled, however, it is always pronounced Mackinaw!

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Olympic News 2010 Training in Gaylord, Mi

Practice, Practice, Practice.

Training, training, training.  Time to get up- close and personal with the athletes at the Otsego Ski Club in Gaylord, MI.  Winter Olympics only happen every 4 years and it is a blast to watch them work out and practice the sport.  I will be back photographing some of the night training on Thursday 2-4-10.

Some Olympic Facts:

The Official Olympic Flag
Created by Pierre de Coubertin in 1914, the Olympic flag contains five interconnected rings on a white background. The five rings symbolize the five significant continents and are interconnected to symbolize the friendship to be gained from these international competitions. The rings, from left to right, are blue, yellow, black, green, and red. The colors were chosen because at least one of them appeared on the flag of every country in the world. The Olympic flag was first flown during the 1920 Olympic Games.

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2010 Olympic News

I think I got it!!!

It’s nine days out before the 2010 Olympics start in Vancouver, Canada.  I spent the day with four different countries in training at Otsego Ski Club in Gaylord.  What a great day to be out in the winter weather and photograph the training of the half pike snowboarders up close and personal.  They were a blast to watch and I wish they all could win.  There are more pictures posted on my FB page.  Find me at Photography By Blair.


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