Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Knowledge... not gear

Or, portrait lighting on the cheap.

The weather has depressed my drive to take pictures for fun. So, instead of showing you a new photo (which I don't have) or drag an old one out of the files, how about a photography lesson? The subtitle of this blog is "Where it's not about the camera". In the past, I have preached that it's a lot more about knowledge than it is about expensive equipment. To do the lighting in these portraits, all one would need is a sunny day and a $4 piece of white foam core. I use a reflector like this only because it's convenient to fold up and carry around.

I keep threatening to write a book called "Everything You Know About Photography Is Wrong". One thing that everybody knows is that you don't shoot into the Sun. Look at this picture of a girl with the Sun on her face.

I like this one a lot better.

I always shoot into the Sun. I love the way the rim lighting gives a halo effect. The back lighting does all sorts of cool things, but you do need some fill light. Your camera manual suggests that you fill with flash on the camera, but that looks horrible. I fill with a reflector off to one side. Anything white will do if it's big enough. A piece of 20x30 inch foam core that you can get at Rite-Aid is perfect. But remember, the sun needs to be hitting the reflector!

People tend to think that reflector fill should come from below, but for these portraits, I think of the reflector (with the Sun hitting it) as the main light, so I want it kind of high and off to one side. It helps to have a friend around to hold that reflector. If you put it on a stand it's just going to blow over. I also recommend using a telephoto lens for portraits. It's flattering for the people and it throws the background nicely out of focus.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


... is a difficult word to spell correctly.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Brass Bits

I thought about doing this as a mystery photo, but it's really too obscure for that.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Produce Blogging #116

Because Thursday night is grocery night!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Chorus Line

"Second from the right, you can go."

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Red Rose

I guess I'm a few days late with this. I forgot it was in my camera.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sunday, February 17, 2008

OJ Mayo

OJ Mayo is stirring things up at USC these days. Here's a picture I took of him at age 13 (I think) for Sports Illustrated For Kids Magazine. I've been around him on several occasions. I don't follow sports much, so I'm not starry-eyed about athletes. OJ has always impressed me as a serious and well-behaved kid off the court. I'm rooting for him to do well in life.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Jumping is fun. Don'cha think?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Produce Blogging #115

"Don't cry little pear... it'll be alright."

"Fall asleep in the sun again?"

Because Thursday night is grocery night!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I haven't shot much personal work since returning from my South Carolina trip so I dug through my files to find something to post today. This is a really fun thing I shot for Maple Creative and Kelley's Men's Shop. We were working on a KungFu movie theme and we had several models that day to work with. This guy was the only model that could pull off the martial arts poses. I really didn't expect it to be that difficult. But when we tried to pose the guys (who had no martial arts training) according to some poses we found on the Internet, only this guy really made it work. I love this photo.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Other Charleston, More Doors & Windows

People seemed to like the door photos a lot... so, since I didn't have anything new to post, I scrounged up a few more doors and windows from my Charleston (SC) trip.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fisheye Meeting Street

I told myself that I was going to play around with my fisheye attachment while in Charleston (SC), but I only took this one view outside the Gibbes Art Museum. It's not a great shot but it's interesting.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Other Charleston, Part 3

I spent quite a bit of time today shooting. The weather has been perfect.

I went to the art museum. They told me that no photography was allowed so naturally I had to sneak this one. The William Christenberry exhibit was really good. He was a photographer who documented his home county in Alabama in great detail over decades of changes.