Find Photography Locations At Top Photo Spots


Not long ago my friend James Brandon secretly launched a new website for photographers everywhere to find awesome places to make photographs around the world.

…a website created with one simple thing in mind; to take the guesswork out of travel photography and help photographers find the best photo spots at the best locations around the globe.

Top Photo Spots has a search feature on the homepage, so instead of browsing you can type in a location and search your heart away.

I could keep talking about Top Photo Spots, but instead I recommend that you visit the website to see it for yourself.  If you want to read more about it, then check out John Davenport’s article at Digital Photography School.

In addition to simply loving the idea of this website, I am proud to share that James has added me as a contributor and curator for New Jersey spots at Top Photo Spots.


As of now I have added Duke Farms, Manasquan Reservoir and Asbury Park Boardwalk.  More will come, so be sure to subscribe to Top Photo Spots and follow the website on social media.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,


Posted in Photography

Back Button Focus – Why To Use It – How To Set It Up

A reader sent me an email asking about the back button focus on cameras.  Specifically, the question below.

I don’t get the difference between doing that and simply shifting the focal point. Is there a difference?

Before talking more about the back button focus feature of cameras, I want to quickly answer the reader’s question.

Yes, there is a big difference between back button focus  and shifting the focal point.  First I will talk about shifting the focal point.  When someone refers to focal point shifting he/she is typically referring to using a large aperture and then opening up to a small aperture.   The effect of this is a change in depth of field and the amount of the foreground and background are in focus versus blurred.  You can learn more about that at Photography Life.

Back Button Focus

back button focus

Now on to one of my favorite camera features, back button focus.  This is where you set a button on the back of your camera (typically near your thumb) to obtain focus.  On many cameras, setting the button that way will disable the shutter’s half-press focus feature.

An advantage to using the back button for focus is that it will prevent your lens from re-focusing when unwanted.  It will enable your camera’s lens to stay manually focused when the button is not pressed.

That way when photographing a landscape, a long exposure, sports or any subject matter really, you have better control over auto-focus.

It also helps for improved focus tracking when capturing motion.  Combine the back button focus with a continuous style focusing mode and you will see much better results than if half-pressing the shutter.

To learn more about improving your focus I recommend reading my friend James Brandon’s eBook, Tack Sharp.

tack sharpOf course, there are many great videos available to help further explain this function and to show how to set it up for your camera.  Here are a few great ones.

I can’t leave out some awesome articles about the feature as well.

I hope by now you understand the difference between the two and why to use the back button for focusing.

If you have questions please comment and I will answer anything I can.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,


Posted in Photography Tagged |

Post Processing Choices To Make

Like all things in life we are faced with choices to make.  Photographers are often faced with post processing choices to make.

For example, in the photograph here I was faced with a situation where people were in the frame.  Can you see them?

post-processing-choices-carWhile at a car show there were hundreds of people walking around and it was impossible to make a photograph like this without anyone in the reflection.

When it came to editing the photograph I was faced with the decision to leave the people in or remove them.

If this was photographed for commercial purposes, like if it was a modern Cadillac instead of an antique, then I would most definitely remove the people.  In fact, if that was the case then people would not have been an issue in the first place.

Because this photograph is only for pleasure I decided to leave the people in the final product.  I believe that little things like that add more life to a photograph.  So why remove it?

What would you do?  Would you remove the people or leave them?

Were you faced with a similar situation recently?  Comment with a link to the final product and tell me what your decision was.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,


Posted in Photography Tagged |