Winter Wonderland

Tips and inspiration for cold-weather storytelling in a snowy environment

When I ventured into my first adult winter in New England, I found myself approaching the season with a certain giddiness and childlike innocence that bordered on naive. What I had forgotten from the winters of my youth was how a snowy world creates a sense of freedom with all that vastness of white. Winter is a photographer’s dream! I love to... Read more

Making Cookies (The Photographic Kind)

I love cookies. I’m not talking about the edible kind (though I do love those too)

I love cookies. I’m not talking about the edible kind (though I do love those too). I’m talking about the kind of cookie that’s used in photographic lighting. Its name is short for cucoloris, which is the industry standard device for casting patterned shadows for specific photographic effects. And these cookies, too, can be homemade.... Read more

Quick Fix Fridays: Reduce The Noise In Your Nighttime Shots

My dad had a wonderful photo saying: "If a picture is so boring that you notice the noise, it’s a boring picture."

My dad had a wonderful photo saying: "If a picture is so boring that you notice the noise, it’s a boring picture." That said, noise could actually add to the mood of a picture. On the other hand, it can be distracting. It’s up to you whether or not to add, increase or reduce noise – which is easy to do with Lightroom, Photoshop... Read more
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Quick Fix Fridays: Take a Hike!

Edward Weston, one of the most respected photographs of all time, said, "Composition is the strongest way of seeing." I agree.

Happy Friday! Edward Weston, one of the most respected photographs of all time, said, "Composition is the strongest way of seeing." I agree. When it comes to outdoor photography, I say, "Take a hike (or drive or ride) for creative composition." Let me explain. The opening image for this post is my favorite image from my first... Read more

Build A Speedlight Softbox

When it comes to modifying my speedlight, I’ve always been a bit of a do-it-yourselfer

When it comes to modifying my speedlight, I’ve always been a bit of a do-it-yourselfer. For instance, my favorite flash modifier is a simple white card and rubber band, employed to create a great bounce when the flash is pointed straight up. More important, though, it’s dirt cheap and easily replaceable—a prerequisite for DIY flash modifiers,... Read more

How To Photograph Cars

Did you ever find yourself in a less-than-ideal situation trying to pull off a tremendous photograph

Did you ever find yourself in a less-than-ideal situation trying to pull off a tremendous photograph? Only all the time, right? It seems like I’m always trying to pull a proverbial rabbit out of my photographic hat. Like when a client recently hired me to photograph a beautiful car in a much less than beautiful situation. What it taught me was... Read more

D-I-Y Beauty Shot Mode

Here’s how to recreate the effect in camera and in post

The first thing the beauty shot mode will do is slightly overexpose—whether that’s via flash or available light. So, if you’d like to start there in-camera, simply set your manual exposure to be a half-stop or more overexposed. If you’re shooting on an auto mode, adjust the exposure compensation to overexpose by 2/3, or even a full... Read more

Mastering Low-Light Flash Fill

Low-light flash photography can be frustrating, especially when you’re new to it

Low-light flash photography can be frustrating, especially when you’re new to it. Balancing ambience nicely with flash seems like the mark of a masterful photographer, but it’s actually fairly easy once you know the basics The trick to balancing ambient light with your flash is to think of these two types of light as two separate exposures... Read more

Master the Art of Shooting Sunrise and Sunset

We hear it all the time: sunrise and sunset are two of the best times to shoot because of the quality of sunlight during these “magic hours”

We hear it all the time: sunrise and sunset are two of the best times to shoot because of the quality of sunlight during these “magic hours.” But what, exactly makes these times so special? More important, what makes shooting at the beginning of the day different from shooting at the end of the day? And how does the light change during the... Read more

Ten Reasons To Use A Tripod Other Than Long Exposures

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: You should use a tripod when you shoot with slow shutter speeds to make long exposures

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: You should use a tripod when you shoot with slow shutter speeds to make long exposures. I know, tripods are old news. But, there are many more reasons to use a tripod other than when you’re using slow shutter speeds. In fact, here are 10 great reasons to use a tripod for better pictures other than... Read more