May 5, 2011 /

Anything Goes Wednesday: Busy Wedding Weekend Previews, Rooftop Time-Lapse, Do the Work Book Review, Zack Arias CreativeLIVE Weekend

Weekly random blog post, this week: time-lapse in downtown atlanta, review of the new book "Do the Work," and Zack Arias' creativelive weekend.

A lot has happened since last Wednesday and I guess being busy is good, right? Apologies in advance that today’s Wednesday post is being published on a Thursday… That seems to be the trend this week after such a crazy weekend. Monday’s post about Jennifer & Mark’s wedding didn’t hit the internet until Tuesday and here it is Thursday morning writing something that should have been published on Wednesday. Sad Panda 🙁

Last Friday I had an amazing engagement session with Elizabeth and Greg who decided to head over to the Smith Plantation in Roswell and then the historic Roswell Mill. Since I’m already done editing their entire session I think I might blog this post as a Friday bonus (or maybe Saturday…) just to get caught up and partly because I have ANOTHER engagement session this weekend at Stone Mountain so I can’t get too backlogged in blog entires 🙂

Elizabeth & Greg's Engagement Session | Smith Plantation | Atlanta Wedding Photographer

Work it Elizabeth, you’re gorgeous…

The very next day, Saturday, Betty and Matthew joined me this week for a Ukraine wedding up in Marietta! This was my first chance to photograph an Eastern European wedding (many of the guests were Russian-speaking attendees from neighboring countries as well) and I had a ton of fun especially during the reception where the traditions are very different from your usual “Western culture” American wedding. One quick preview of our beautiful bride Anna from the morning getting-ready preparations.

Anna & Armando's Marietta Wedding | Reception Hall International | Atlanta Wedding Photographer

Oh, and then just to keep things interesting… on SUNDAY I was an assistant videographer at a wedding back in Roswell just a few blocks from where Friday’s engagement session took place! I love that the groom wore a white suit! I didn’t take a whole lot of still photos as I was the videographer not the principal photographer, but I was still able to grab some amazing shots of the beautiful couple and their stylish New York wedding at the Primrose Cottage in Roswell. Preview of the ceremony taken with a 70-200mm lens from where I was standing with the “B” video camera:

Latobia's Primrose Cottage Wedding | Roswell, Georgia | Atlanta Wedding Photographer

While Monday should have been a rest day, I decided to give myself some more work as Betty, Miles, and I headed up to the roof of our building to enjoy the amazing weather and get some reading in and I of course had to bring some cameras and set up for some time lapse videos of the Atlanta skyline. I am always on the lookout for amazing clouds to film for Time-Lapse and Monday just seemed perfect for once. It seems that about every around 5pm just as the sun is getting ready to set all of the clouds vanish and make for a solid blue sky – today they stuck around for just long enough to film the sunset.

Downtown Atlanta Static [Time-Lapse] from Zac & Betty FengLong Photography on Vimeo.

Just to give you an idea of what went into this video, I filled up 3x 32 GB Compact Flash cards and a 16 GB Compact flash card, so over 100 GB of still photos were whittled down to a 2 minute video!

Do The Work Book


Up on the rooftop I finished reading Steven Pressfield’s new book, “Do the Work” which is still a FREE eBook on Amazon Kindle but it’s worth buying a physical copy as well. Almost every “big internet name” photographer recommends Pressfield’s first book, “The War of Art” about the struggle of the creative process. It’s definitely on my reading list now after reading this book which is more of a manifesto ala ReWork than a novel. Pressfield coaches the reader along the creative process and gives you a kick in the pants to break through the Resistance and excuses getting in your way and actually ship your book/company/idea/etc. Highly recommended to anyone who has ANY sort of creative project, not just photographers.

Zack Arias creativeLIVE Course

To wrap up this rambling Anything Goes Wednesday post and bring things back to photography, in the midst of all of these weddings and engagement sessions around the city this weekend was Atlanta’s own Zack Arias giving a CreativeLIVE workshop on “Foundations of a Working Photographer.” While I did not get a chance to watch the course live this weekend, I did purchase the course and watch Day 1 so far while editing the photos from the weekend. Zack is a great guy, and not just because we share the same name! Since he is located in Atlanta you’d think we might have met some time or another but unfortunately the last time he had a mixer in Atlanta, baby Miles was acting up too much that night and I didn’t want to leave Betty alone with him crying so much. I would love to go to one of his One Light workshops but for now I’ll have to suffice with my DEDPXL One Light Field Guide that I bought back during his Black Friday sale last year and if he ever has a sale again I’ll try to scrounge together some savings for his DVD and write a review on it here on the blog. Matthew is lucky enough to be going to the Atlanta One Light Workshop so I’ll be picking his brain afterwards. I’m a one-light kind of guy myself when shooting weddings or engagement sessions as getting into the two/three/four lighting setups is a bit overkill for a wedding. The creativeLIVE course has been pretty good so far, with Day 1 having a lot of the fundamentals stuff about knowing your gear but more than just “this is an f-stop, this is a shutter speed” Zack talked about WHY you are choosing each one and talking through the creative vision. Nothing new to me here but hearing it again from someone I respect like Zack helps me to slow down and think through the creative process and think about my gear a little differently. I can’t wait to watch Day 2 and 3 to hear Zack speak about more of the shooting side of things as I edit some more of these weddings this week. Zack has a unique perspective on things shooting from a commercial side of photography but I look to him for his mastery of lighting and how I can apply these to my wedding photography from the lights to the angles to everything to give my brides more of a fashion/commercial look to their wedding photos.

Portrait Practice at Marietta Square with Matthew and Nina

And that wraps up today’s (late) Anything Goes blog post, it’s a little late today because our photography group got together on Wednesday again for some shooting and I didn’t get home until much later than last week. These Wednesday get-togethers are always a lot of fun because they are a chance to experiment and try new things! Last week Matthew, Steve and I had a great time exploring some Strobist techniques at LIFE University and yesterday we headed over to the historic Marietta Square to find out why so many photographers choose this location for their engagement shoot. Look for a quick post about this excursion S-O-O-N! Thanks for sticking with me for today’s random post!


[…] supported their efforts purchasing both of the Jasmine Star workshops and the most recent Zack Arias workshop. I’ve also watched just about every single one that has come out besides the ones I listed […]

The dreaded sun flare shot 🙂 Well, a black and white sun flare shot…

That’s the awesomeness picture of me looking terrible. I’m going to start dressing like I’m going to a fashion show. Well probably not, maybe just fix my hair.

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