Monday, July 1, 2019

A Premature End...

"Your Mother has stopped accepting food and water.  Hospice has been called.  You'd better get back here."

That shocking news came when we were 4 weeks into a 5-week trip.  And it had been quite a whirlwind before I left early to fly home.  Let me tell you what it was like.  This will necessarily be a short blog post.

The trip began with a stop in Pennsylvania for my niece's college graduation.  (Click on any image to view larger) (and sharper).

Monday, May 20, 2019

Greatest Subject Tracking (except...)

So here I was photographing a track meet at a local college.  And I brought the new Sony A6400 which is said to track subjects as well as the A9 with Firmware v5 (yet costs thousands less!).

I wrote up my findings and submitted a whole string of sample sequences for the latest issue of Cameracraft magazine.  One of the sequences had the camera successfully track a pole vaulter even though the athlete was partially obscured for a few shots (some samples from that sequence appear above).  This prompted David Kilpatrick, the magazine's editor, to proclaim, "[T]he sequence is very impressive as I’m not sure any camera I use now (A6500, A7RIII, Olympus) would hold focus on the subject in these circumstances."

But, I found a problem.  Which I'll relate to you in a bit.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Lighting for Street Portraits

Also in this issue:
  • Vegas Seminar
  • A9 v5 update
  • A6400 ebook
  • Other updates...
Lighting for Street Portraits

This is the famous Acorn Street in Boston, where I recently took some family portraits.  It's a very popular street for this purpose; I had to fight other people and other photographers just to get a few minutes of ideal shooting time.

This lighting technique is pretty routine for me now but it did raise the curiosity level of at least one area photographer.  "How was the lighting done?"  I'll explain it, but not before I point out that you can tell where the light was by examining the direction of the shadows.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

NASA Computing from the 1980's

Also in This Issue:
  • Cameracraft Lens Surprises
  • Geeking with Gary
  • Vegas Seminar!
  • And more...

JPL Computing Section Added to the Friedman Archives Website

I recently added a "NASA Computing in the '80's" category to the website. Check it out!  (Last category.)  Many of these computers were put into place in the 1970's and earlier (when the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft were being built) and were kept in place simply because they still worked.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Photographing Classic Cars

Also in this edition:
  • An Invitation to Las Vegas!
  • Banding Effects with Electronic Shutters (video)

Photographing Classic Cars

If you've ever wanted a legitimate excuse to go to Las Vegas, I'm here to give you two.  And I'll tell you about them both in just a minute.  

First, I'd like you to have this free mini-E-booklet I put together for the Las Vegas Cadillac Club on the secrets of photographing classic cars.  It's called "How to 'Wow!' for Classic Cars" and you can download the .pdf file here

Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Faces of Vietnam (Part 1)

I've just returned from Vietnam, on assignment with the organization Photographers Without Borders.  On this trip I was to document the work of "Hearts for Hue", a humanitarian NGO looking to help rebuilt one of the hardest-hit cities of the Vietnam war - a war that, apparently, is still going on between the North and the South.  My assignment was to tell the story of the positive difference the organization was making, via both stills and video.  There are a lot of stories to tell, and of course many of you are interested in the technical side (including why I rarely kept the camera on straight "Auto").  So I'm splitting this story into two blog posts - in this one I'll share with you my pictures and stories.  In the next post I'll talk about what the experience was like, the equipment I used, and what it's like working for Photographers Without Borders.  You can do this kind of work for them too!

The Faces of Vietnam (part 2)

In my last post, I showed you the highlights of last month's trip to Vietnam, documenting the humanitarian work of NGO "Hearts for Hue".  In this post I'll talk about the behind-the-scenes stuff, including equipment, technique, and what it's like to work with Photographers Without Borders.

In order to be considered for an assignment with them you have to first become a member; I was one for two years before I approached them about shooting for one of their advertised projects.  Several interviews ensued, and six weeks later I learned I had been chosen.  There's a fee to participate; plus travel expenses.  I was responsible for all of that.  Fortunately I've been able to offset some of those costs thanks to the generous donations from people like you, my dear readers. :-)

"Use your highest-quality, full-frame camera!" they said, and so I brought my Sony A7R III and a variety of lenses, plus a backup for everything because I know how things go.  Here's a picture of what I brought:

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Why I still like the A-Mount

Also in this issue:
  • Food Photography Frustration
  • Friedman Archives Seminars - Home Study Course is on sale!
Why I Still Like the A-Mount

The world may be obsessed with mirrorless camera bodies now, but when I'm working in the studio (and sometimes on location as well) I STILL love and prefer to use my A99 II A-mount camera.  Part of the reason is the superior ergonomics; part of it is because it still feels like a balanced system when long and heavy lenses are attached.  Part of it is it works natively with a ton of outstanding lenses I still own.

But part of it also are these useful features that the E-mount bodies don't feature:

Friday, November 2, 2018

Fun with Green Screens, Part 2

Green screens are not as intimidating as you might think.  Here's the link to my original Green Screen article which I wrote for Cameracraft magazine, which also includes a link for the free Photoshop plug-in you can use to knock out the green easily and accurately, with no "green halo" like you would normally get by just doing a color selection and erasing it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Best Camera for Street Photography

Just came from New York City, where I wanted to travel light and didn't want to be a target by carrying an expensive-looking camera around.  Guess what camera I used?  (As always, click on any picture to make it larger.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

What To Do When Your Light Sucks

If you've been following my blog for any length of time, you'll know that I vastly prefer to get the light and exposure right in the camera because there's just no substitute for good light.  (I've even purchased huge strobes for great light out in the field!)

But that doesn't mean I always have control of things.  Take yesterday, for instance.  I was out bike riding with a family and I stopped when the father was taking a picture of his son in the worst light possible: