Traveling with Equipment

One requirement of being a corporate photographer is travel. Fortunately most of my travel is fairly local, or at least what I consider local, Philadelphia to Washington DC and on occasion, New York. I tend to be in DC a couple times a month, sometimes a couple times a week. Most of my trips are by train so I try to travel light, and by light I mean two Nikon bodies, four lenses, three speed lights, Pocket Wizards and batteries, so not really light. I needed to find an easier way to carry my gear. (more…)

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Photo stitching

Did you know that by using Photoshop you can create simple, stunning panoramas quickly and easily? Don’t need a bunch of sophisticated fancy equipment or software, just a tripod, digital camera and Adobe Photoshop. Now there are special panorama heads, such as the Manfroto 303 VR Panorama Head but don’t let not having one keep you from creating your own panoramas. (more…)

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The Purple Cow

I’ve decided that it’s time to start putting my foot down and really begin promoting my freelance business. As I wrote previously about life as a corporate photographer and being at the mercy of the bean counters I think it’s time to get this party started before the next round of layoffs appear over the horizon. I’ve been “freelancing” part time for almost thirty years, I’ve also been very fortunate in that I’ve always had a full-time job as a photographer in that time. Well as I get older I realize that the corporate gravy train could dry up at anytime and it would be nearly impossible for me to get another full time corporate gig, especially at my ripe old age of 47. That realization is why I made the decision to build up my freelance business now, while I can. (more…)

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Playing with white balance…

I think what I love most about digital photography is the experimentation and freedom it allows. One quick little nugget that I’d like to share is playing with the white balance. Yes, that lovely feature that makes sure your whites are white and blues are blue is also a useful little tool when you want to add a bit of warmth to your images or change the “expression” of a photo by cooling it down. (more…)

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Working for the Man, Part 2

Back in March I posted an article entitled, Working for the Man about what life is like as a corporate shooter. Well I thought it was time for an update. We just survived a corporate-wide rumor that the Hatchet Man cometh, but as with most corporate chatter it was nothing but a rumor. So I live to shoot another day, (more…)

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The Days Inn Diffuser

Let me start off by saying that I don’t necessarily condone this sort of behavior–being the good Catholic boy that I am, I was riddled with guilt afterward, but I need to set up my scenario so hopefully you’ll see my point. Here’s what happened. I had a shoot in North Carolina to cover something that I have always wanted to experience: a soldier’s return home from deployment. I was asked to cover a squadron of Marines returning home after spending nine months in Iraq and I immediately said yes. I flew into Raleigh-Durham the day before and then proceeded to drive almost three hours to my hotel (which was NOT a Days Inn) just wanted to clarify that. When you’ve been flying and driving all day the hotel is always a welcome sight “¦ sometimes.

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The Super Wide Portrait

Want to have some fun next time you’re shooting environmental portraits? Then think wide! Just when you are about to pack up that gear and call it a wrap, pull out that super wide angle lens and try something different.

The Super Wide portrait

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Lessons Learned… Again. I hope.

Having had this happen once before you would think I would have learned my lesson.

A few years back, one of my external hard drives decided to take a sabbatical and never come back. Unfortunately it took a lot of information with it. Was the information vital to my business? Not really; but still it was part of the cyber attic pile of crap I decided to keep and never part with, it was so important that today, I have no clue what was on the drive and really don’t care. After that, I got into the regular routine of backing up, and backing up often. After a shoot, I usually pull the images off my card, put them on my HD, and then burn them to disc, and then and only after they were safely on disc, view them. Well let’s just say I got out of my routine…

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High-Speed Sync

What is it? High-speed sync is your flash and camera working in perfect harmony at shutter speeds above 1/250 sec (for most cameras). I’ve heard of high-speed sync but never saw it in action until I met Joe McNally. Watching him give a demonstration really opened my eyes to the potential. If you are interested in the technical aspects of how it works, I would recommend the numerous articles that explain all the technical jargon. In doing my research for this article I came across a lot of great information explaining how a flash works and why it’s supposed to sync with a camera at 1/250 and flash duration and why the planets are aligned the way they are and why the earth is warming, you get the idea.

I’m not a technical guy; so I won’t try to bore you with technical speak. But to put it in my simplistic numnuts terminology it works like this. (more…)

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DIY Photo Case

Every now and then, I find walking through Home Depot with a cup of coffee, early on Saturday mornings very relaxing. Not sure why, but it just seems to clear my mind. While walking down the toolbox aisle, I spotted the Stanley Mobile Storage Tool Chest and thought, hummmm this could come in handy. (more…)

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