Friday, May 25, 2018

Giving back...

Before and After, in front of Mr. Roark's house.
For over 100 years, there has been a "Big Brother / Big Sister" organization in the US, which pairs volunteers with at-risk kids in single parent homes to provide a caring adult role model.  For over 20 years, starting in college and continuing well into my working life, I was just such a "Big Brother" to two fatherless boys.  

[Yes, this relates to photography.  Keep reading, as I segway into a way you can assist me in my continuing quest to give back... ]

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Upping my Game...

Also in this issue:
  • Other ways to get a blurry background
  • A-Mount to E-mount Adapter Nuances
  • Portrait Lighting Workshop (and other events)
  • And more...

Upping My Game

For over 20 years I've prided myself on making "Wow!" images using pretty modest equipment.  I was one of the earliest proponents of wireless flash when Minolta introduced it to the world in the 1990's.  I used it extensively in my travels to add better light with the greatest of ease.  

But over the years I slowly started to hit its limitations.  It wouldn't reliably trigger outdoors (or in a large gym, as I discovered on an important shoot); and the intensity of the flash would be severely reduced when trying to "overpower the sun" using High-Speed Sync (HSS).

Recently I wanted to "up my game" and start taking outdoor portraits using fast glass wide open.  That almost always means using a fast shutter speed, necessitating either a camera with a leaf shutter in the lens (like the Sony RX-10 or Fujifilm X100 series) or using a powerful strobe capable of High-Speed Sync (HSS).  Essentially, what I wanted was the benefits of modern technology so I could do portraits that would wow my customers (and possibly other photographers).  And it meant triggering via radio instead of using the wide and narrow pulses coming from the on-camera flash.

Friday, March 9, 2018


There is intense competition for eyeballs on the internet.  This has led to an almost Darwinian-level pressure on photographers to up their game and produce ├╝ber-processed images that never, ever have actually occurred in nature.  It may draw the desired attention, but at what point does it go too far?

Monday, February 12, 2018

Neutral Density Filters vs. ...

During my first trip to Iceland, I was frustrated because I didn't own any Neutral Density Filters.  A Neutral Density filter is a fancy name for "dark grey glass", whose sole purpose is to let in less light.  If you let in less light, you can then use longer exposures, which can allow you to take dream-like wispier waterfalls or clouds.  The densest of neutral density filters can also be used to empty a building via a 4-hour exposure.  In situations like these, anything that stays still during those 4 hours will be rendered in the image, but anything that moves will be "averaged away" and become invisible.  Architectural photographers use this technique a lot.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Value of Immediacy

Also in This Edition

  • A New Photoshop Trick
  • Seminars!
  • In the Pipeline
  • The Value of Immediacy
A New Photoshop Trick

I'm intentionally not the most knowledgeable at Photoshop.  (I prefer to control my light instead.)  And so when I learn something really obscure I like to share it.  

It started out with this modest portrait of downtown Los Angeles which I posted on Facebook: