Latest posts by FresYes Writing Team (see all)
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- The Old Fresno Water Tower - August 28, 2019
I’ve always wanted to start an article this way. It’s so inviting, it makes you want to sit for a moment and read whatever it is that’s being written. I mean truly, how many people really say, “Hello there” any longer?
Well, as fate would have it, our beautiful city wants to say hello to its inhabitants! For years, all I’ve ever heard or read about through various channels was that there’s nothing to do in Fresno—no scene, no culture, and with that, very little diversity.
I’ve had the pleasure of leaving Fresno to attend college outside the state of California and I’ve also had the pleasure of returning back home, none the worse for being back in a place of comfort.
This afternoon, I wrapped up my workday and thought to myself I should do something adventurous and out of my comfort zone. So I did what any person who is afraid of heights would do: I scaled one of the tallest, if not the tallest, buildings in town to see just how our city lays out in front of the naked eye.
(I should probably let you all know when I wrote “scaled,” I did not mean the Spiderman way of transportation. My mutant powers were taken from me years back.)
Over the course of the next ten months or so, I intend to stumble upon and help uncover some gems within this city, which some of you reading this might not know exist. I guess there’s a bit of intrigue/mystery set to play out before our eyes — as long as you choose to check up on this blog from time to time.
I took a picture for us to use as a bit of a roadmap, a bit of a starting point, and to think, There I stood not being too afraid of what was laid out in front of me, a new adventure.
Hello there, Fresno, let’s dance for a moment. – Mr. E
Mr. E travels Fresno and beyond looking for the fascinating in the everyday. Look for his photos to appear on FresYes.com every other Friday.
Ellie Koleen is cool. Let’s just get that out of the way. But what makes her particular brand of cool so appealing is that it’s 100 percent real and involves really gorgeous photographs.
Koleen is a wedding photographer by trade. Schooled by her dad, a commercial photographer, Koleen started earning a living shooting weddings about a year ago, having become a wife herself not too long before that. And when she’s not capturing the nuptials of couples up and down the state of California, Koleen is snapping shots on her cellphone for her Instagram account. There are feet selfies and pictures of her pets (including a hedgehog named Hashtag); food pics and candid shots of giggling girlfriends side-by-side with scenic coastlines, abstract cityscapes and still lifes of some of her favorite things (from flowers to notebooks, reading glasses and stationary).
But what sets Koleen’s account apart from the accounts of other twenty-somethings who use the app, is the immediate impact of Koleen’s perspective, and the synergy between all of her photos. The whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. And what might otherwise come off as a haphazard jumble of daily minutiae becomes a mini digital art collection….with more than 6,000 followers.
Even better for Instagram lovers in Fresno, in particular, is that a lot of Koleen’s pictures are taken around the city, giving us a fresh perspective and making our city just a little bit cooler by association. Koleen says her account allows her creative freedom, but also serves as a portfolio. It has led to collaborations with major blogs like Design*Sponge and Green Wedding Shoes.
Below, Koleen shares her top five tips for taking better Instagram photos. Check them out and watch my interview with Koleen in which she talks about how she got started, what she likes about shooting weddings and her “24 Hours in Fresno, CA” collaboration with Design*Sponge.
1. Stick to natural light.
Take photos outside or by window light, and avoid artificial lighting. If you are taking photos inside, turn off all the artificial lighting in the room. This will give you an even color temperature and keep the light clean.
2. Sometimes less is more.
If you have a bunch of awesome, but busy, photos in your feed, try taking a more minimalistic one every once in a while to break it up a bit. Imagine scrolling through your feed full of visual clutter and stumbling upon a simple but refreshing minimalistic photo. It really catches the eye! Look for symmetry, color and pattern.
3. Don’t use Instagram to take and edit the photo.
Just like with my professional photography, sometimes it takes a few tries to get the perfect shot. Shoot with the normal camera app on your phone, this way you can take as many photos as you want and pick your favorite later. My favorite editing app is VSCO but there are so many good ones out there!
4. Use the same filter every time to give you feed a consistent feel.
I use the same 2 filters at about 75% opacity each stacked on top of each other in VSCO. Find your favorite combo and stick to it! I also like to mostly photograph only neutrals and light subjects. It’s what my eye is naturally drawn to!
5. Always use the square format while shooting.
It helps you to frame your shot best for Instagram!
Ellie Koleen: @elliserochelle on Instagram
Much has been talked about this week with the instagram graffiti artist who defiled multiple National Parks and Monuments with her scribbling’s making the national news. While I’m not writing about that I’ll just say I’m not a fan.
What I am a fan of is the new wave of photographers who have taken their iPhones and the like into the field and become an army of outdoor photographers producing wonderful images with nothing more than a hand held device. Romantic as the image of Ansel Adams in the high mountains with an enormous camera and tripod are in my view I’m a huge fan of how well my Galaxy 5 Active works for its size and quality.
Georgia_stark is the instagram handle of a childhood friend of mine and is one of these photographers and her photos are out of this world beautiful reflecting more than just the landscape in front of her. This new wave of outdoor photography is both beautiful as well as instantly gratifying. We can see, film, edit and produce amazing photographs right in the palms of our hands and then decide to keep it for ourselves or share it with the world. This is now the world we live in with data and connectivity at our fingertips. Some as our fore mentioned graffiti artist use this for personal glorification others use it as a way to record and share the beauty and wonder of our surroundings and while doing that give us a glimpse into the beauty inside of their lives for one who see’s such beauty rarely is without an equal light inside. My friend Georgia_stark is of the later doing so anonymous to most and I’m always excited when she puts up new photo’s on her page.
“To me, iPhoneography is all about capturing an image with the bare minimum in equipment that I have ready in my pocket. We don’t need high-end gear to show our world in our own creative way. I’m most inspired by small, serendipitous moments that I want remember and perhaps use to use to tell a story later.” ~Tracy Bezanson~
As a total lover of the outdoors I too love taking photo’s with my phone when I see something that catches my eye and I want to share. While I’m not at the level of my friend I enjoy the process and it brings me happiness when I see others enjoy what I’ve shared. I see a tree as art, the mountain colors as a living painting and the high mountains with their snowy peaks and icy lakes cathedrals of beauty and every once and a while I’m able to capture that and much more in an image.
For me, that is art and beauty. What is it for you?
Alex Taylor and Zach Saldana are the wedding photography duo known as Stella Lux. Or, as their website states: “Just two awesome dudes…Who love taking awesome photos…Of awesome people like you.”
They’re the new kids on the Fresno photography block and all-around swell guys. In order to get the two friends talking and break the ice for this interview, I thought it’d be fun to do a little “Newlywed Game”-style Q&A before launching into a discussion about their work and friendship. But I guess my first question was a bit loaded, as Alex pointed out, and things got off to a slightly awkward start. Luckily, the guys took it in stride and we all had a good laugh.
While they both eventually want to pursue film careers, the guys are currently using their skills to shoot lucky lovers in Fresno and around the Valley in their trademark documentary style. Ladies, if you’ve got a ring on THAT finger and haven’t yet picked a photographer… I suggest you take notice.
On a side note, I hope they’re not appalled by my amateur video skills!
Here’s a look at a sample album the guys designed of photographs from the very first wedding they shot up in Yosemite. It is the most STUNNING — and quite hefty — thing you will ever see. I promise. Anyone who gets to take one of these bad boys home is very lucky indeed.
Here’s where you can reach Alex and Zach: