Category Archives: Photography

Win A 2014 PhotoPlus Expo Full Conference Pass!

tether-tools-setupMy friends at Tether Tools have offered to allow me to giveaway their a full conference pass to PhotoPlus Expo.

I’m super excited about this because it’s one of my favorite conferences, it’s in New York City, and it’s from my favorite tethering accessory company.

What is PhotoPlus Expo?

Basically it’s organized by PDN who also runs WPPI. In theory PhotoPlus Expo is the east coast version of the big WPPI conference held in Las Vegas. But this one is in New York City and runs for a few days.

The expo floor gives photographers a chance to network and meet with vendors that they would typically never have chances to meet otherwise. (without going to conferences of course)

There are also a few keynotes to inspire and educate, including a keynote from Ben Folds (of Ben Folds Five and The Sing Off).

Last but not least is also the classes.  There are a lot of them, and the full conference pass gives access to them all.

Full details about the classes, keynotes and vendor booths can be found on the PPE website.

But for a chance to win the pass please go to the giveaway page.

Enter to win!

Thank you and good luck!

Scott

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Help Me Raise Money for Charity – 5 Day Deal Ends October 20, 2014

Help me raise money for charity by purchasing the 5 day deal. This photography event starts on October 15th and ends October 20th. Watch the video listen to what I have to say about it. You can also read the official language below. Then head over to the 5 day deal website and purchase and donate. You can choose to donate to one of the charities or split the donation between all four.

  • Have you been looking at different photography education products but aren’t sure which one to buy?
  • Wanting to learn some new photography skills but haven’t gotten around to it?
  • Interested in purchasing some of the best products on the market but also wanting to get the best price?

I’m excited to tell you about The Complete Photography Bundle II going on NOW.

This is, quite possibly, the biggest online photography training event EVER and it is selling at an UNBELIEVABLE price.

Who is contributing?

5DayDeal-Photography-Contributors

21 of the top photographers in the world.

What is the 5 day deal?

These 21 photographers have bundled together 39 different photography products; including training, tools, and much more, into one amazing deal for 5 days only.

You Get:

  • Over 70 hours of training video
  • 14 Photography ebooks
  • 300+ Lightroom Presets
  • 500+ Textures
  • and much more more!!

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When is the deal good for?

5daydeal-sale-dates

 

For 5 days only – Oct 15 at noon EST through Oct 20 at noon EST

But Hurry

This deal is only available from Oct 15 at noon EST through Oct 20 at noon EST…. then it is gone forever.

There is no catch. These are all complete products. Don’t miss this opportunity!

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Note: If you make a purchase through my link I make a small affiliate commission.  Thanks for the support and for donating to great causes!

Family Portraits Don’t Have To Be Planned Or Posed

Family photos are a funny thing. Many families believe that they need to be posed to be good. To be enjoyed. When in reality, if the family acts the way they would on a typical family day then the photos would be so much better.

Family Portrait Posing

Here is an example. This family had a 2 year old and a few month old baby. The baby is extremely difficult to get to look at the camera. The 2 year old doesn’t want to stay still. So how would you force them both to pose? You can’t. It’s nearly impossible. (notice I said nearly)

So instead, why not have them enjoy the time and let the photographer capture quality candids. Posing individual pieces of the photograph rather than the entire thing.

So what I did was let the mother and daughter sit posed while the father and son had their fun on the slide.

In the end, this was the favorite from the session. It’s half posed, where posing was possible. Not only does it provide more of a fun feel, and a more natural feel, but it better displays the personalities of the family members.

So next time you think you want an entire family posed perfectly, think again.  Try posing parts and think outside the box for the rest.

Thanks for reading,

Scott

How To Plan A Photowalk (A Video Conversation)

Want to know how to plan a photowalk? I have planned many photowalks over the years. But recently I was working with two friends to plan a large photowalk to take place after the 2014 Photo Plus Expo in New York City.

Before having our final call to finish up the planning I decided to record the conversation so others could learn what goes into planning a photowalk.

Prior to the conversation two things were already determined.

  1. The date
  2. An idea for the location and route

So with that, enjoy the photowalk planning conversation.

Some photowalks are more detailed than others, and are more planned out that others. For example, we decided to wing the actual route instead of physically mapping it out and sticking to it. But you may choose to go all out and fine tune the exact lefts and rights to take.

For the curious minds who want to see the Google Plus Event created for this photowalk go here.

If you have any questions about how to plan a photowalk or related items feel free to comment with them here.

Thanks for reading and happy planning,

Scott

PS. Don’t forget to check out the websites for Gevon and Nick.

Night Vision Photographers

I have horrible night vision. I have no problem telling you that. So when I am photographing at night I can barely see a few feet in front of me.

So how do I get around it?

Great question!

Night Vision Photographers

When I know I will be photographing something at night I always pack one tool with me. A laser pointer.

With it I can put a bright dot on an object (my subject) in the distance. Then I can focus easily in pitch black, because my eye and the camera is seeing a point of contrast.

I recorded a video for The Arcanum talking about this, so I figured I’d share it here as well.

So next time you are in need of night vision assistance, grab a laser pointer and try that on for size. Just please keep them away from people’s eyes as it can cause permanent damage.

The photograph and the video were made at Oakland Valley Campground in Port Jervis, New York. The river is the Neversink River.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,
Scott

Hands Filled With Love

It’s a really nice feeling, as a photographer, to photograph a couple’s engagements photos and then be asked to photograph their maternity photographs as well.

Baby Lucca is now here, but before he entered the world I met the couple at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania where the engagement photographs were made as well.

hands-love

We worked our way around the grounds for some scenic photographs.  Then we went indoors and I found a spot perfect for the photograph you see here, which was also the last photograph of the day.

It’s always good to save the extreme closeup photographs until the end because at that point people are tired of posing.

So while the couple looks happy about having a baby (which they totally were of course), they were also happy that the day was done and they could go home to relax.

Those hands were filled with love for their new baby, who is now here and is extremely cute with a full head of hair.

Come On, Walk On By

Street photography as an introvert or ambivert is different than street photography as an extrovert.

As a ambivert you wait, patiently, waiting for some to walk on by.

As an extrovert you go out of your way to make sure the photograph is exactly how you want – by means of deeper interaction with the person in the photograph.

walk-on-by

In the photograph you see here I happen to be waiting, but didn’t have to wait long. I photographed it in a busy section of New York City so my wait about a minute before I noticed the woman walking towards exactly where I needed her.

As an added bonus, the woman was wearing all black which worked out well because the building went from bright to dark from the top to the bottom.

Patience is an amazing thing.  In a way it allows you to plan more even in a situation you have little control over.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,

Scott

Eerie Georgia

You might recognize this view from another photo of my, What Floats By, which was also featured on the Really Right Stuff blog.

This is another view, from a different spot.

I went for a more punchy and contrasting processing style for this one to change things up.

eerie-georgia

I call this Eerie Georgia because, well, look.  It’s such a creepy view but yet beautiful at the same time.

The greens are vibrant but I would not want to be swimming in that.

What lurks beneath the eerie Georgia swamp?

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,

Scott

Shadows, Light & Mystery

While I was up in Massachusetts a while back I was photographing a Historic Mill during my friend Bob’s workshop.

I spent a lot of time playing with shadows and light, bracketing in certain places and doing long exposures in others.

shadows-light

The photograph here is one where I noticed some really fun shadows coming through the broken walls of the floor I was on.

Then I noticed the doors with the sign that says Exit. I thought, “where does it lead?”

So with that all said, enjoy this photograph and the mystery of what’s behind the doors.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,
Scott

Take a Stand, Start Taking Steps

Take a Stand, Start Taking Steps

photo by Gevon

Like many other photographers, I sometimes grab the zoom lens to make shooting a job easier.

But in the middle of job, and many times after, I question whether I actually did make the job easier.

So which is it?

You see, a zoom lens makes it easy to make a photo at a variety of distances without moving much.  That’s convenience with a price.  One of the prices of owning a zoom lens like a 24-70 f/2.8 or a 70-200 f/2.8 is a hefty price tag many times well over $2,000.

Another price is the weight of such lenses.  Yes the quality of the glass is impressive, but carrying the two heavy lenses is actually a greater weight than carrying four small prime lenses, also f/2.8.

In order to get the aperture to f/2.8 in a zoom lens, manufacturers have to make the physical size of the lens larger in addition to the diameter of the glass.  So where a prime lens might accept a 55mm filter, a zoom lens would be closer to 72mm to 77mm.  That variation in glass diameter goes a long way for weight.

Depending on the project at hand, I have two different setups that I’ll typically use.  We’ll call this setup A and setup B.

For both project setups I’ll be using a Nikon D800 as the example.  The only things changing will be the lenses.

Project Setup A

This setup might be for an engagement session where I know that I’ll be moving around a lot but the couple will be walking further away from me.

I bring the 1.7x extension because the 1.7x has better clarity than the 2.0x for the newer Nikon lenses. Sometimes I also bring my Nikon 105mm Macro lens, but it’s rare that I need it for portraits.

Project Setup B

This setup is when I want to challenge myself, I’m shooting landscape or street photographs or want the stunning bokeh and quality of simple prime lenses.

The extension was a hand-me-down from my grandfather and it happens to work with all the older Nikon lenses, which is a beautiful thing.  Auto focus does not work when using the 2x extension.

The Challenge

At this point you may be wondering why I am telling you all of this.  Why share my zoom vs prime configurations.

Well, you see, we need to challenge ourselves more.  We need to move our feet more.  We need to think outside the zoomable box.

We need to decide when to take steps forward and back.

So now it’s time for me to challenge you.

If you’re the type of photographer who tends to lean more towards the zoom side of lens choices, but happen to also own a prime lens.  Remove the zoom and slap on the prime.  Go for a photo walk and start practicing with the single focal point again.

Next time you have a job to shoot, use the prime and make it magnificent. Enjoy the process of thinking, moving and shooting.

Plan ahead of time and know what prime lens(es) to bring with you.  Make magic and make it awesome.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,

Scott