Category : Technique

Backed in a corner

Even when you have a plan, especially when the client has a plan, I always assume  that if something doesn’t go to plan I need a backup and maybe a backup of my backup. As was the case when the Wall Street Journal sent me to photograph the new CFO of Ch2MHill for a story about how he is trying to expand the company’s ability to put mobile technology at the ready which will not only save them money but […]

Grab the pitchforks …

… the President is coming to town! Well it really wasn’t that bad at all. Last week President Obama made the first presidential visit to Boulder Colorado in something like 60 years. That made it an even bigger deal ya know? I was given an assignment to help cover the hub-bub and happily I got to photograph the protests. Ok I would have loved to be pointing my lens at Obama but all that stuff is so clean and staged […]

Goodbye my old friend, it’s nice to see you again

I was on assignment the other day to do photos for a story about an exercise trend/fad that is based on classical ballet barre work. Yadda yadda. Anyhoo the client wanted some video for their web edition. Hey, no problem. Well actually it a real pain to do stills and video but hey if that's what the client wants then that is certainly what they are going to get. While I was doing my thang when I had a quick […]

Lani and The Stachettes

Since I work almost exclusively on location I am in some ways a bit jealous of the dudes who have the time and budgets to create entire sets for their subjects to be photographed in. So one of the things that I try to do when it suits subject and when it is f rankly even possible is to find a way to take a location and make it look better/different than it does with just a bit of tinkering. […]

Stick it out and turn it around

I will unabashedly admit that I like for my images to in some way feel like you/I are “right there”. Personal. Intimate. Up close. A sort of sit on my lap and let me tell you a secret kind of thing when ever possible. It’s not always an option and in many ways for good reason. I’d love to see football shot from the perspective of the players: to mount remote controlled cameras into the lineman/wide receiver’s helmets would be […]

Get out of the way

The last few weeks have been pretty brutal but good. Lots of shooting, new clients!, but also a bit of fun to keep me from going totally insane. What always happens, it seems, is that the wave hits whereby I’m popular and busy as heck and all the normal life stuff gets thrown into a basket to wait upon my triumphant return. Now that the wave has subsided I can get to all the stuff in that there basket and […]

Spot on

The other day I had what I’m now thinking of as an “Old Man Moment”. I was setting up a shot and I was walking around with my old beloved Minolta AutoMeter IVF getting readings. The subject of my photos was a bit of a photographer himself and while I was working he and I were talking about photo stuff. So he says to me “What’s that thing you are using?”, meaning my hand held light meter which I was […]

How not to hunt

There is an adage which goes something like “don’t go looking for something because that’s all you will find”. Unless I get an assignment whereby the client tells me exactly what the client wants with a shot list the best way that I can assure that I will come back with interesting photographs is to not go looking for any particular image. Instead I try to go into the situation as untainted by prior expectations. I want to take every […]

The all seeing eye DO’C

I really like spending time with other photographers who don’t do what I do because I always learn something. This is partly because I want to know everything. Yes, everything. So I always learn something, from a technical stand point, from hanging over the shoulder of another visual professional. But more importantly, and fun!, is looking at the way that they think and work. The getting into the head is to me the most interesting and difficult aspect of learning […]

The start of something new

As I’ve said before I simply love to photograph things in motion and the emotion that comes from it. That has led me to as I like to say “shoot any sport but not really with anything longer than an 85mm lens” mostly because I want to take a personal approach to my subjects whenever possible. You just can’t be personal when using a 400mm lens. You get out of a persons comfortable “conversational distance” when you get beyond about […]

It’s not what it seems …

I’m not a sports photographer. I’m just a photographer who likes to shoot sports. Wha? Yeah it has to do with that thing called “the score”. I don’t care who wins and many times the game winning hit, kick, basket, goal or what have you doesn’t happen in a very dramatic way. If it’s soccer, which I love, that game winning goal might happen early in the first half when neither of the teams thinks that much of it as […]

A video confession

I’ve been watching a lot of tutorials on video color grading lately. For those of you not working with video in a professional context that means that I’ve been learning how to adjust and tone the video that I shoot much like you work with still images. But not at all.   Ya see when I become Emperor things will be made consistent. We won’t have 32 different terms for the same thing so that when you learn a new […]

Crossing the line

One of my greatest inspirations in developing my photographic self was the work of Frans Lanting. He was just about the first wildlife photographer to find a way to not have to use long lenses to photograph animals. He wanted to photograph them in ways that were more personal as you would with people or subjects that you can physically get close to. Besides using lots of patience to enable the use of wide angle, or at least normal focal […]

Using the “not so remote” camera

It’s not common for a photographer to be the subject of an others imagery and I am certainly not used to being photographed while I work. Yet when my friend and assistant Lindsay sent me this shot the other day I thought that it was actually pretty cool. Ya see what I was doing was not adjusting my camera controls but composing through the LCD with the camera, my beloved Nikon D700, in Live View mode. But rather than holding […]

More words from a Master

When I’m in the office I constantly have something playing on my second monitor that I can learn from and be inspired by. I’ve been listening to a lot of episodes of Inside The Actors Studio, that amazing series on Bravo where they interview great actors and directors about their lives and the personal aspects of their craft. I was just finishing the end of the episode with Al Pacino and he said, to paraphrase: “You want to keep trying […]

I’ll cover your flank or not a back seat driver

I met Lindsay Lack about 3 years ago, I think, when I put together a gathering of local news and documentary photographers for a night of drinking and pictures. She and her hubby had just recently moved to Denver from Iowa where she had finished a few internships after graduating from the Missouri journalism school. Great gal, good shooter. I kept in touch with her and she quickly became my assistant and friend.

Peter Turnley’s head, hands and feet

First off – a confession. I'm a gear head. I absolutely love equipment but I don't have a fetish for it. I'm not a collector or one of those people who names their tools like they are pets. Nah, but I do believe that the choices which an artist makes in regards to their tools says something about who they are and certainly how they work. Sometimes this even says something about how they think. Given that I almost became […]

Picture a window

I'm not sure where there idea hit me but I've been glad that I went with it. Since I love to photograph things in a layered manner it often bothers me that I have to deal with things that are very 2 dimensional looking. I often think that it would be cool to be able to peer through something to get to the subject. But in studio-esque situations which are actually on location that often is either in abundance or […]

Previsualizing filter

 There was a day when some hardcore B&W landscape photographers would carry a filter in a frame that sucked all the color out to render the view through it to be essentially black and white. This was to help you visually edit out the color content of what you are looking at to get a better idea of how the colors would be rendered as B&W tones. It wasn’t perfect but it helped. You still had to learn how the […]

Multimedia and lighting classes

I've been doing teaching/lecturing on photography for a while now but primarily in the Denver area where I'm based. It's exceptionally cool that I've been added to the faculty of The Compelling Image. TCI is a comprehensive online school that does a variety of classes on various topics from developing your compositional sense, macro photography to video editing. The classes take 2-6 weeks with new lessons each week followed by assignments and critique from the instructor. I will be teaching […]

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