Happy Hour Friday! {Cocktail: Manny Crisostomo}

I grew up with photography all around me - three Uncles - all three have different styles - all three completely amazing. If I close my eyes, I can still see the contact sheets all over the table - each picture marked with either a circle or an X - wondering what made the picture circled better than the picture with an X. Cameras all around me - all different styles.... makeshift darkrooms.... air-conditioned rooms for the purpose of preserving film and archived photos. Beautifully crafted, properly exposed photos covering our walls. They are all still artists of photography today. As a child and as an adult - no one compares to them. They are still the finest out there. My first film camera was bought for me by my Grandmother and my Uncle Manny hooked me up with lenses. He gave me loads of tips and I soaked it up like a sponge. I was excited. But I didn't realize the intensity of this excitement until the first time I went into a darkroom -- I felt like I entered into a secret society.... watching others dip this white sheet of paper in chemically filled plastic containers in a specific order... each one following the other.... watching an image slowly develop in front of my eyes... thinking WOW - THAT IS COOL, I'm with the cool kids. I've discovered the world of photography. I'm giddy and butterflies have invaded my belly.

Fast forward to a couple of years ago - I decided I'm ready to bring into fruition what I wanted to do years ago. I bought a Canon XS and started photographing anyone who would let me.... and as I grew into this business... so did my questions... so did my doubts... so did my curiosity... so did my technical knowledge. I knew I needed to step up my game and get a better camera. In came my Uncle Manny with a sweet deal on a Nikon and some very sweet lenses --- yep, a Nikon lover was born. Yeah... I have it good like that :)

Today, I called him to ask about HDR and how he develops his photos found on his site under Scapes http://manny.viewbook.com/portfolio/scapes. He shares his process, we talk shop, we talk lenses, we talk goals.... we say our good-byes.... I sit back with a smile.... Yeah, I'm with the cool kids.

Below is a photo I cut from a contact sheet of my sisters and brother when we were little.