Field notes and late night rambling

Wow. I just out geeked myself

So I just received a Nikon AF-D 14mm f/2.8 lens that I bought from a new friend Nick King that I met on I can’t believe that I now own one of these Cyclops eyeball lenses. When I got my first 300mm f/2.8 I thought that was cool. When I got my 400mm f/2.8 I impressed even myself. But the land of stupidly wide lenses was never my thing. With film I rarely shot wider than 24mm which was […]

All that is old …

yeah you know how that saying goes. Well here’s the deal: I’m about to start a project that has been in my head for a while germinating. It’s taken me a bit to figure out how I want the images to look. I knew that I didn’t want it to look, well, like the bulk of "modern" editorial images these days meaning: that clean almost plastic look of our digital cameras. It needs some character. I don’t like the idea […]

Ain’t it a shame …

… to be shot down in flames! So goes the classic AC/DC song and that’s how I felt dear readers. What am I – Emily Post? My rodeo queen pageant story was going along nicely. I had a great subject, Rachel, who gave me both enthusiasm and openness – heck she was down right helpful! I was covering the back story of her and her quest to be Miss Rodeo Colorado and I thought that I had a smooth ride […]

It’s a western thing and I don’t quite understand …

Since living in Colorado many aspects of western living has had me scratching my head. I’m a guy from Detroit and even wearing Cowboy hats seems like a kind of affectation on par to wearing a "pirate shirt". Still loads of people out here live and breathe the whole western way of life – bless ’em. I remember having lived here for not quite two months and being puzzled at why so many people were dressed like cowboys … Oh! […]

Three executive portraits in one day …

Like it or not but the bulk of "news" photography is portraits for the simple reason that most stories don’t get the time and funding to send a guy like me out to wander about to find/make a dynamic story telling image to illustrate said story. So doing portraiture is a big part of my work even though I consider myself a documentarian. The other day was a busy one where I had 3 assignments for the local business journal. […]

Tommy boy’s bad azz toy

Back story: a long time ago when I was a budding landscape and art photographer I did a lot of things to learn techniques that I never really used much if ever afterwards. Some of those days/nights payed off and gave me a skill set that is broader than many of my "competition" even if I rarely if ever get to use them. One of the phases that I went through was shooting nocturnes and I got really good at […]

I have a confession to make

I love things in motion to the point of distraction. I think that it is because of all the years that I spent with my camera permanently attached to a tripod with the lens locked to f/22 and hyperfocal focused trying to get the perfectly sharp "toes to stars" landscapes. Maybe it’s that I see the world and everything in it as being in constant flow that makes me want to show that mysterious swoosh of life. Where I used […]

Let’s talk about it …

I love it when my clients network for me. It doesn’t happen all the time but few things make you all warm and fuzzy inside like having people who hire you recommend you to their friends. It goes back that that reputation thing I mentioned a while ago. So the other day I get an e-mail about a potential commercial client from a good regular editor. I send a note to the lady in question and later on got a […]

The value of your work and reputation

Well I got two calls just now both of which left quite an impression on me. The first was from a client who I haven’t done a lot of work for but has been one of those good ones where you honestly want to work for them. They didn’t need my services but needed a referral for someone to do video. They think enough of me to know that anyone that I recommend will be more than good enough and […]

In a flash

Ok I have a confession to make: "Um … hello everyone, my name is Jonathan and uh … I’m a strobe junkie" I admit it: I never leave the office without a strobe be it one of my SB-800’s, my case of 4 SB-26’s for tricky location lighting or my big azz case with my monolights; I always have a strobe with me. I don’t always use them but they can be such problem solvers that it is just a […]

Weather it be nobler …

It’s amazing how much weather plays a part in making some photos happen or not. Back in my landscape days I’d often trudge out well before dawn to get to the spot that I’d located and stand there with my camera all ready to go while shivering and hoping that I’d get magical light. And almost as many times I’d have my heart sink as clouds on the horizon, some kind of haze or just plain bad luck would give […]

When I grow up …

My neighbor is a school teacher and she asked me if I would be willing to let one of her students shadow me for the day as part of their "Career Day". I got a tiny and spunky 8th grader named Eve. I felt obligated to give her the insights that I never got about photography as a business. She is recently into making photos but doesn’t know what she wants to do with her newfound interest. So through out […]

It’s subjective

I tend to do stories about people or subjects that I either don’t understand or am fascinated by – usually because the subject is so different from who I am and what is in my personal world. That means that I almost always am out of my element.  Openness is the key to making these situations work. I did a story, my idea, about cool local church band and my wife didn’t get it saying that it made no sense […]

The voice in my head says “Use the 6!”

I’ve always been a wide angle kinda guy mostly because I want to be close to my subject both physically and emotionally. I’d say that 90% of my work with people is done within 7 feet of the subject and often closer than that. Let’s face it that at 3 feet away a moderate wide angle shows a fair amount of detail but keeps the subjects environment in view and I like that. Not many long lenses will focus that […]

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