Category : Technique

A little something from almost nothing

It amuses me whenever someone walks over while I’m working and asks what camera and lens I’m using. I always oblige because I love what I do and enjoy talking about my life and craft. The person asking the question will often say something like “Oh, wow. I’d love to have one of those” meaning my gear. Well, why don’t you? It’s just money, I tell them. They always look shocked when I say that: it’s just money. If you […]

New boundaries

This has been a long time coming. As you may have figured out, I’m all about telling stories. I’m driven to find elements of other peoples experiences and find a visual way to connect the viewer to my subjects. Yet at the same time, I personally get to go interesting places and see interesting things that are not directly part of my assignment work. I began to feel that these experiences, especially my love for adventure motorcycle travel, would be […]

Like you are there

Lately I’ve read a lot of articles and videos talking about lenses in the context of “interesting” and “boring”. I noticed that all of the lenses in the “interesting/beautiful” category were either very wide/very long or very wide aperture, i.e. F/1.4 or wider. Ok, I get it. Lenses like that create a perspective that is different than what we see with our eyes and as a result produce a perspective that unto itself gets notice either through the separation of […]

Boldly immodest

This was a shoot that I really don’t normally do. Almost all of the people that I photograph I would qualify as normal-ish but in some way exceptional. My subjects tend to live their lives based on what they know/skills or their talents rather than their image. Scientists, artists, maybe the occasional athlete, business people. They are not necessarily uncomfortable hanging out with me and being in front of my lens it’s just that they don’t do that sort of […]

The mystery of a moment

Somebody told me once that the real trick to photographing the real world is patience. That if you stand in once place long enough something interesting will happen right at your feet. This is pretty much the basis of all documentary and reportage photography. Only you attempt to figure out where and when that interesting thing is likely to happen then you go there and wait. Street photogs know this too. Same deal. Find a target rich environment and get […]

Chickens!

Anyone who spends time with my wife and I know that we have a real, weird, thing for chickens. We totally love the funky little buggers. We think that they are cute, hilarious – especially their odd vocalizations, noble and super tasty when stewed with dumplings.  We can be mid sentence in a very serious conversation but if we find one of those feathered guys in our vision somewhere we will promptly proclaim: “Chicken!” with a huge grin on our […]

Mise en place

Mise en place (French pronunciation: ​[mi zɑ̃ ˈplas]) is a French culinary phrase which means “putting in place” or “everything in its place.” There was a discussion over at The Online Photographer where they were talking about their difficulty of losing memory cards. This baffles me how anyone who takes their photography seriously would be so sloppy with things like the management of their memory cards. No offense intended but it makes me wonder how people work/live without having put much thought into how they […]

In the details

I think that it was a natural extension of how I learned back in my landscape photography days that I’m much more interested in the small things than big picture. By that I mean that I’m not really one for the all encompassing wide shot. There is just too much information and except for certain compositions that are very wide it is designed in a way to let your eye naturally sweep through the scene to land where the real […]

People are flowers in the breeze, or … It’s all about timing

I don’t know what it is but I seem to work in the dim a lot. Rarely do my assignments take me to where the light is bright, the sun is full and I have to deal with almost too much illumination.  Rather I’m so often working in less than ideal light from a technical standpoint. This has always been the case it seems. Back in my early years shooting landscapes and nature everything was shot on slow chrome film […]

The end of summer

Wha? It’s the end of fall you dolt! True enough but let’s be nostalgic for a bit. I mean that’s all the rage innit? Here’s a frame that I got at the local end of summer fair. Not much to say here: I just like the framing and moment. The tool of choice here is my Fuji X100s. The perfect camera for invisible in plain sight work.

It’s all about having a perspective

It’s not because I’m used to it, though I am after all these years, but the world is just so boring when seen from where my eyes are normally at. It’s painful really. As a result I constantly strive to find a different way of seeing things. Getting my camera away from my usual eye level is pretty much a given with me. Is it more interesting from the perspective of a five year old? A dog, a bug? Maybe […]

More with a little light

My last post where I brought out my handy flashlight to illuminate my subjects face during a long exposure made me remember this shot that I did a while ago. It was for a commercial client of mine Wild Goose Canning who makes canning lines for craft breweries. They needed something cool for advertising but the problem is that the machines are designed for function and not at all for appearance. The problem was: how to make a bunch of […]

A little light work

One of the main reasons that I became a photographer of people and their personal worlds was to go places and learn things. I accepted a long time ago that although I’m a pretty smart dude I didn’t and can’t know everything but that I was gonna try to learn something every day that expands my world in some manner. Thus it’s quite often that I get an assignment and I get excited not just at the opportunity to possibly […]

Amber waves

It was the kind of phone call that only a few of us get excited about. It went something like this: “We’d like to send you to Nebraska in the middle of winter to to photograph a farmer way the heck after harvest for a story about the harvest. We have no idea if anything his happening but we need the photos in three days and if possible enough coverage to put up a photo gallery on the web. Are […]

Canned spontaneity

Basically when you get an assignment you are given one of two situations. Either are given a sort of carte blanche, go make interesting photos, or you are given a specific layout that you need to work within. Sometimes you get both with the exciting but dreaded words, “cover story”. Most of the time I am in what I call “wind me up and let me go” mode whereby I am left to my artistic methods to visually discover my […]

So you think you can shoot?

I bet you can. In a way. Sort of. Maybe. Uh, … Let’s first define our terms. In the modern era wherein everyone has an image making device loads of people are off making tons of happy snaps. Some are actually pretty good. Most is what you’d expect from a total amateur who is point and shooting: boring representations of objects. And a good lot of it is down right rubbish where the most insipid subject-visual approach combo is supposedly […]

What’s old is new -ish

As I’ve been doing more and more video work with my dandy, nay amazing, Nikon D800 I’ve been finding that being an old timer is actually quite a benefit. That’s because I know how to manually focus a lens. Wha? Yeah! No kiddin. I fully admit that I use AF alot as, well, it works. I learned a number of years ago that especially in a sports type situation that ever since the Nikon F5 and N90s came out that […]

Giving thanks: the girl on the merry-go-round

I had an interesting memory tonight and it goes like this. I don’t know her name and I don’t really remember what she looked like but I strongly remember what she means to me: the first and very lasting application of psychology to my photographic work. Up until the point that I met her, I’ll call her Claire, I was a total landscape/fine arty photographer who never really tried to photograph people. I was awkward and shy.  Regardless, I was […]

New rule: the “Oh SH!T” lens

I had a seriously “where have you been all my life!?” moment a while ago and it goes like this: When I go to shoot a sporting event the lens of choice is usually my trusty Nikon AF-S 400mm f/2.8 which often gets a Nikon TC14BII converter added for the extra reach that you need when you really can’t get close enough to the action. If any of you have shot football, soccer, baseball and whatnot you know the drill. […]

How a $6 cord made my life a lot easier

One of my good clients contacted me a while ago about doing a fairly significant bit of work for them that would take place over three days. Everything was spot on: perfect access, total organization, great client, interesting assignment, oh and the money was nice too! So I was putting everything together and then about less than a week before the assignment date I was asked if it would be possible to be able to get images to them directly […]

Copyrighted Image