Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Services we currently offer…


  Some examples of the commercial services we provide include (but not limited too)
proud and confident owner of a cafe/ pastry shopOwner Operator Imagery
Let your customers see you at your very best!
We realize that not everyone is thrilled about having their picture taken, but you’re not just anyone – you’re a successful business owner operator!

Our photography staff will provide perfect lighting and coach you in the modeling process…yes, we said model! You!

We promise to make you look your best!

You - The Picture of Success

Food Photography

Mmmmmm. Delicious. Mouth watering yet?
Done right, food photography should have the same effect as having the real thing placed in front of you at dinner.

Next time you make that special dish, we hope you think of us. Really. We’ll create pictures of your favorite dishes that look so good you almost want to eat them (but please refrain from doing so…)

Picture This: A Delicious Dish

Interior Architectural Imagery
Look at the detail in the image to the left.
From the carpeting to the creases in the cushions, the details and the warmth pull your eyes into the image, inviting you to make yourself comfortable in one of those cozy wicker chairs.

Kratka Photography specializes in High Dynamic Range Imagery (HDRI)  which helps to bring out these details. But most of the time, our customers just call it “wow! that’s a photograph?”

High Dynamic Range Imagery (HDRI)

Photography at its best!


Thank you for taking the time to check out Kratka Photography.Based in Midcoast of Maine, we offer many different photography & fine art services.

Our photography services range from portable, on-location portrait services for family and Pictures that make us smilecorporate clients,to environmental and human interest imagery services for publishing outfits such as magazines and news media.

Our fine art photography is near and dear to our hearts, and each image is born from the desire to capture the very essence of Maine, the place we call home.

Kratka Photography's imagery has been published world wide, featured in local magazines such as Belfast Bay & Beyond, and our Maine scenic grace the walls of happy clients ranging from Banks to personal collectors coast to coast. 

What kind of images did you have in mind today?        


Click on the What We Do tab at the top of this page and let’s take some pictures!

Services Update

School Portraits

Do you remember those quirky school pictures you had done in the elementary school? If your like me, you might agree they were 'cute' but, uh.....what's with your hair? Didn't they havecombs back then?  
Why not hire Kratka Photography the next time your child needs school pictures. As artists, we have an eye for details and years of experience - the perfect combination needed to capture this moment in your child's life - and yours.
Kratka Photography brings more than just a comb along when it's time to take pictures. We bring the passion for memorable imagery. 

Engagement Portraits

  "There is no remedy for love than to love more."
  Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
Many have tried, but few have found words that aptly describe how we feel when love finds us.
On other hand, it's been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, which is why Kratka Photography should be on your short list of phone numbers to call when you find that special someone (the other numbers should be your parents, some close friends, and a wedding planner...)
Kratka Photography takes a personal interest in each of our clients, and happy couples are always fun to work with and photograph. Do you have a special place in mind, someplace that you go for walks? A local park? Do you fancy sunrises or sunsets together? Whatever you have in mind, we want to help you make it happen.
Pricing & Packages

Fine Art - Framed Imagery

When we're not busy taking pictures of people, we sometimes find time natural beauty unique to our home state of Maine.
Living here gives us the advantage of being to explore all those nooks and crannies any ole' time we feel like it, and believe me, we do. When summer finally arrives (about the time the snow melts, or July 1st, whichever comes first...) we start planning our photo shoots around scenic routes up and down our rocky coast. Over the years, we've collected some beautiful scenic images.
Kratka Photography is now happy to provide our customers framed prints of Maine scenes. We will be adding more to our collection as time allows, and we hope you enjoy them.
Depending on the image, all prints are are professionally printed on  Kodak Endura E-Surface, Endura Metallic and Ilford's True B&W, and all three provide 100 year archival value, professionally framed and delivered to anywhere you live.

Monday, November 9, 2009

This is only a drill…

Dont Panic copy

The 100-year-old maple tree, under the extreme weight of two inches of ice, came crashing into the living room; the thunderous noise awoke the children and sent the family dog scurrying for a hiding spot. The impact shook the family’s farmhouse to its foundation and tore a hole in the living room wall big enough to drive a bus through.

Across town, the ice storm caused power lines to break free and started a tree on fire, which in turn ignited a nearby home. Residents quickly tried to dial 911 but soon found that the phone lines were dead. Instinctively, the  homeowners tried using their cell phones, but for some reason they were getting no signal at all; in fact, their cell phones were acting bizarrely.


A statewide emergency radio communications drill was held for 24 hours Oct. 29-30 and included a simulated ice storm emergency coupled with a solar flare that knocked out land line and mobile telephone communications. Communications and emergency information were displayed on a large wall monitor inside the Waldo County EMA offices in Belfast, as well as 13 other participating EMA offices around the state. The drill served to test not only the people, but the plans and procedures necessary to handle real-life emergencies that can tax even the best systems.

What now? How do you get help? What do you do?

These and many other questions are exactly the reason the Waldo County Emergency Management Agency, in conjunction with other government agencies, including the National Weather Service, Maine Army National Guard and amateur radio operators from across the state, set up an exercise where the worst-case scenarios could be played out in the safety of a "make-believe" world.


Brit Rothrock, an amateur radio operator, carefully relays an important message to amateur radio operators at other emergency management agencies during last month's 24-hour-long radio communications drill.

During last month's Waldo County Emergency Management Agency's radio operators' drill, simulated emergencies were broadcast to participants who had to act and eventually call for backup when their systems and manpower became overwhelmed.

Syrena Gatewood, public information officer and volunteer for the Waldo County’s EMA office, said this kind of exercise builds relationships with the people of the WCEMA and other state EMA offices so that when something real does happen, they are ready to swing into action.

Gatewood also said WCEMA has mutual aid agreements with other EMA offices across the state to assist them in the event of a crisis that overwhelms their local resources.

According to Gatewood, all EMA officials are trained to respond appropriately to a wide range of situations, which makes them extremely valuable during emergencies.


Amateur radio equipment comes in myriad shapes, sizes and styles, and play an important part in communicating information when disaster strikes.


Participants in last month's Waldo County Emergency Management Agency's radio communications exercise listen and watch intently as simulated situation updates from around the state are displayed in real time on a big screen. It's from this room in Belfast that the WCEMA keeps its finger on the pulse of incidents statewide, allowing for timely, swift and appropriate responses.

"We're ready for just about any kind of emergency you can imagine," said Gatewood.

This year's 24-hour exercise, held from 8 a.m. Oct. 29 to 8 a.m. Oct. 30, was designed to simulate emergency response to a major ice storm and a solar flare hitting the state at the same time.

During the exercise, simulated messages and calls for supplies were received at the WCEMA headquarters. Requests for supplies, such as wood chippers and generators, were then relayed via amateur radio to other EMA offices across the state, at which point the various supplies could be located.

This year, 14 of 16 counties participated in the exercise. Close to 40 volunteers participated at WCEMA's headquarters on Congress Street in Belfast, an group of offices situated in the basement of the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office.

While Mainers are not currently dealing with a major ice storm like the one in 1998, or a solar flare that could disrupt communications, all can sleep a little better tonight knowing that trained professionals, including those at the Waldo County EMA office, are already prepared for the worst.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Frequently Asked Questions

What is exactly is 'Human Interest' photography?
Human Interest photography is best described as pictures that capture the essence  of people doing what comes natural to them. Picture yourself at your best, and that's the image I want.
Example:  Late afternoon sunlight fills barn where a horse owner is lovingly combing the mane of her favorite steed. Can you see it? That's human interest photography at it's finest!
Where are you prices?
We have found over time that 'price packaging', while straight forward, does always meet the clients needs. Each assignment is very important, and the images produced are precious. We work closely with our clients to be certain that the image you have in mind makes becomes a reality.
That being said, we do provide each client with a wide range of printing options & pricing. 
Do you do weddings?
At this time, Kratka Photography does not provide wedding photography services.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A little about me...


Kevin Kratka is a self taught photographer. He lives in the state of Maine where he and his wife homes school their three children.

With strict attention to detail, Kevin goes to great lengths to make sure the images he presents to his clients are of the highest quality.

Kevin managed to take one photography class...in his senior year of High School. The one thing that he remembers from that class is the one thing that drives him to be the best: he is a picture maker, not a picture taker. With this mindset, Kevin has produced hundreds of professional images that have made their way into publication the world over.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How I Did It…

I’ve had some requests from viewers asking if I could explain how I made the final image. Let me first assure you it’s not anything fancy…it’s just knowing where to use fill light, and how much to use.

Let’s jump right in shall we?

The lighting method I used to get the color of the sky, along with the clouds and the rest of the colors is and still manage to light the subject nicely is generally known as the strobist method, a term made popular by David Hobby and his popular photo blog Strobist (www.strobist.com)

First I started with a reference picture, that is, I took a picture (using the Manual mode on my camera) and specifically exposed the image so that the sky came out blue, which basically means the clouds will come out white naturally. The original reference picture exposure settings may take some tweaking…in my case I ended up shooting the reference image at 1/160 second, f/13, ISO 100. Here is the resulting reference shot:


Notice the sky is a nice blue, the clouds look pretty good, and the color of the tent in the background looks pretty good too. The reason is simple: all these elements in the photo are being exposed by the same source, (the Sun) so they are all being exposed the same. The result is good color.  

· Shutter speed = 1/160enough to stop most motion in people

· Aperture =f/13this creates the great depth field, i.e. many things in the picture appear to be in focus

· ISO = 100 - the lower your ISO, the better the color and image quality with less grain and loss of detail·

But our subject is very dark since his back is facing the Sun, his face in the shadows. Now for the fun part!


Ahh…now this is much better…but how did we get here?

Easy...we took our reference picture, and added the missing piece: fill light. In this case, balanced fill light from a hand-held flash. I used a wireless trigger (Cactus V2s, about $40 from Gadget Infinity) and adjusted the power of the flash ( a Vivitar 285HV) until it provided just enough light.

Too much light and we set the subject on fire (figuratively speaking ) and too little light and the colors of subject go dark or worse..dull and draby, like a cold New England winter day.

I hope this helps….now go

out and try it!


Thursday, August 27, 2009


The Story:

According to the National Weather Service in Caribou, Maine, for the month of June 2009, the state of Maine, on average, experienced 22 days of fog; 19 days of rain (5 of those classified as ‘heavy rain’), with rain fall amounts varying from 7 to 10 inches. By the end of June, many of were wondering if we needed to start gathering two of every animal! Yes boys and girls, June 2009 really was the yuckiest in recent history.

And if this wasn’t bad enough, in most small towns here in Maine, there is not much too do in the first place, even when the weather is good.

Now imagine this bleak, dismal weather pattern, add to it one (normally) well balanced 5 year old boy (Robbie) and his (normally) level-headed mother and father, and you have a formula for extreme cabin fever….in the middle of Summer!

So what’s a parent to do?

Answer: Improvise! Take the boy out and tell him to ‘make daddy proud’ by jumping in the now enormous mud puddles that have taken up permanent residence in our driveway. Daddy will take pictures, and everyone has a good time! It’s ok! Jump! Jump Robbie…jump!!!

End result? A good time for the boy; his pent up energy expended, the return of the level-headed mom and dad,, and a 5 year old who gets to have fun doing something every child (and…um…the occasional adult) should do at least once every summer: splash around freely and innocently in the puddles; “just because!”.

Now the rest of the story….

Summer finally did come around this year, and as is normally the case here in Maine, the warm weather is here and gone in a blink. Thus the reason we try to take advantage of every nice day we get. This is probably what my 5 year old was thinking one bright, sunny, warm Sunday afternoon after Church.

Some friends of ours had just stopped by to visit, and while hanging around outside in the warmth of the day, our 5 year old found one of his two dump trucks that was absolutely filled with rain water (left over from June). Reasoning that it was ‘ok by dad’ once before, it must be ‘ok’ now.

Nobody seemed to be paying much attention when our 5 year old son proceeded to dump the entire contents of his dump truck into a dusty divot in our driveway where, just a week prior, there lay a huge mud puddle that I had so encouraged him to jump in. But nobody could possibly overlook what came next: the biggest, happiest screech that only a child can make. Mud, Water and little boy dressed for Church soon became the center of attention to everyone. How can a parent be mad at a time like this? Wasn’t I who encouraged him in the first place?

Thing is…back then he was in play clothes and a rain jacket.

Today he was in his Sunday best….but such is the mind of a 5 year old.

Summers in Maine; enjoy them while you can. Even if Summer never came this year, we would always look back at these pictures with bittersweet fondness, and remember that happiness sometimes comes from the simplest of pleasures.

Rain Rain Go Away

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

PHOTD: A Drip Frozen in Time

Every day somewhere in the world, a single drop of water falls, and it's hardly noticed by anyone. Freeze that drop in an instance of time, and you have an abstract of beauty.

In this example, a drop of water fell two feet and then bounced off the surface of the water. The high speed flash I used caught the fleeting moment that lasted less than 1/300th of a second.

The result: a work of art only nature could produce...and only a human could appreciate.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

POTD: Colors of Fall

Morrill, Maine
The Autumn of 2008 will be remembered as one of the best color-producing seasons in recent memory.

This quiet stretch of the Passagassawakeag River reflected this years colors beautifully.

Friday, June 5, 2009

POTD: What Tulips look like to an ant.

Rockland, Maine

Imagine being the size of an ant, or a flea; imagine one day you are out for stroll...(Ants and fleas do stroll...right?) And suddenly you look up and this is the view!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

POTD: Late afternoon light

Summer evening down at the docks.

Belfast is one of those quiet, coastal towns in Maine that makes you feel right at ease.

The town is just big enough to offer something for everyone, and yet small enough that an evening stroll allows one to take it all in.

Belfast is my home, and if your ever in Maine, please do stop by!


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

POTD: The Day Ends....

Belfast, Maine

These docks rise and fall with the tides. When the tide gets unusually low, sometimes people find things that are normally submerged. In this case, someone recovered an old lobster trap or "pot", which they then promptly hauled up and left on the dock.

Do you like lobster? Most people would assume that lobsters that are too small get thrown back, but how about lobsters that are too big? Can there be such a thing?

Lobsters caught in Maine with a body shell length of 5 inches or larger are marked and thrown back and become the property of the state of Maine. They are allowed to grow as large as they can, which will help keep the population healthy for the next season.

It's not uncommon for divers in our harbor to come across granddaddy lobsters that weigh 10-20 lbs or even more.


Wordless Wednesday ~ Dew Drop

For larger image click here