Wednesday, April 30, 2008

JCC Show

I dropped off my framed print for the JCC Annual Photography Show in Beachwood, Ohio today. They tell me there were 540 photographs entered (from 109 photographers), and only 64 entries were selected for display. So, it's nice to have a shot in the show. I'll find out next week if The Dreaming takes a prize. I'll be out of town for the opening reception - since we'll be in Olympic, but I hope to see the show after we return. It will be interesting to see what images made the grade.

I also took down our display from the local library today. We got some very positive comments from people who saw our work there, and the library board is discussing the possibility of purchasing a couple of prints for display in the building. That would be nice for us.

I'm still working on processing and uploading older shots, and I'd like to get another stock shoot in after we return from Olympic NP. And of course - I'm looking forward to processing whatever we get on this trip. Can't wait. :)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Impressive lenses - and impressive muscles...

Here's another question from someone who was interested in my 17-40mm f/4 L series lens from Canon. I thought others might be interested as well.

“I was wondering if you would mind me asking you a question about the 17-40 canon lens. I have done a lot of research on it and thought it might be a nice lens for me. I just started with digital photography and the XTi. I’m not happy with the kit lens. ( I used to have a 2.25 film camera) I noticed you use the canon d20 which also has a cropped sensor. Do you feel that this is a good lens for the crop sensor body? I want a good optical lens and this is the only “L” lens I can afford. I noticed your husband seems to use this lens all the time, but he has the 5d.

And my response...

"Jay and I have two 17-40mm f/4 L series lenses from Canon. The 17-4mm is the only lens we’ve purchased more than once – so clearly we like it a lot. :) The optics are excellent, and it works beautifully with or without the 1.6 crop factor camera. As you mentioned, the 17-40mm is Jay’s favorite lens for landscape photography. I generally use my 10-22mm lens because it provides a wider angle view with the 1.6 crop factor – so Jay and I get about the same wide angle view through our different lenses. Of course, the 10-22mm is an EF-S lens, and can’t be used with a full frame camera as it is designed for the 1.6 crop sensor. This lens will cost you just under $700.00.

Canon also sells a 16-35mm f/2.8 L series lens. This is a slightly larger and heavier lens – and it costs more as well… about $1400.00. It gets excellent reviews as well. Take a look at this comparison review from Luminous Landscape for some useful information."

And now for the impressive muscles... For all of you who aren't interested in the technical side of photography - I hope you'll stick around. I'll try to keep things interesting if I can. I'll be leaving for Olympic National Park on Thursday, and I can't wait to get more photographs up. Meanwhile, I've posted a stock shot for your enjoyment. As you can see - the model had a great time posing for me. :)

Friday, April 25, 2008

You have mail...

A few days ago, I received an email from Bruce McCammon. With his permission, I am posting an excerpt from his email and my response here. Since his question was about photographic lighting, I think the answer may be useful to others as well.

“…I was a bit taken back when I saw the recent blog entries of the yoga poses since I have a very strong impression of you as a landscape photographer. No matter... the yoga images are wonderful. If you had time and inclination to respond I'd appreciate any insight you could offer to the lighting and setup you used to get these shots. Any information you can provide would be very much appreciated. Thank you... -Bruce"

My response to his question follows.

"The lighting setup we used was pretty standard. We used three slave flash units. Two flashes were bounced from umbrellas in front of the models – one on each side. These were intended to provide soft, even lighting over our two models. A third flash was suspended from the ceiling behind the models. It was directed towards a white wall (we often hang a sheet if the wall is not white). This ceiling flash lights the background enough to burn it out completely. It’s important to leave some space between the wall and the ceiling flash in order to allow the light to spread and burn out enough area. We make sure our forward flashes are set correctly before setting up the ceiling flash in order to avoid screwing up our metering with all that back light. Also – make sure your models are far enough in front of the ceiling flash to ensure that the light bouncing of the wall doesn’t overexpose the edges of their faces or hair. It takes some experimentation to get it right, but it’s not difficult. I often shoot in my living room with this simple setup. It’s perfect for portraits and stock photography."

The following link will take you to Bruce McCammon’s website:

You’ll find some beautiful portraits and landscapes. I think you’ll all be impressed.

Bruce – thanks for allowing me to use this question on my blog. Good luck with your photography!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

All work and no play?

No way. I am lucky to have a job that is as much play as it is work. Although photography can be hard work, it is never boring. Traveling is my favorite part of the job - last year, we put a lot of time into photographing the Southwest. This year, our focus will be the the Pacific Northwest. We're headed to Olympic National Park in Washington in a couple of weeks. I've never been there, and I'm looking forward to seeing the park for the first time. This is my favorite part of the country - mountains, forests, clear lakes, wildflowers, pine forests, big skies... heaven on earth.

Before we go, I need to finish processing shots from the Yoga shoot we did recently. I have just a few more to go, and then I'll need to keyword, categorize, and upload to several stock agencies. We finished processing all the photographs from the Bar Mitzvah, and I took a couple of days off to spend some time with the kids. The weather has been beautiful for the past two weeks, and I can't stand being indoors.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Canon EOS 20D - For Sale

If you are interested in purchasing a camera - take a look at our eBay listing for the 20D I've been using for the past year or so. Jay also used this camera for about a year before I did. It works perfectly and we've never had any problems with it. It's an excellent camera, and I loved using it. I just needed an upgrade since I am making such large prints on a regular basis. There is a bit of wear on the camera body - you can see it in the photographs on eBay. Nothing that will inhibit the performance of the camera. The eBay price is negotiable - we'll consider all offers.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bar Mitzvah

I attended my first Bar Mitzvah yesterday. It was a whole lot of fun. I love the family we were working for - some of the nicest people you'd ever hope to meet. We spent about seven hours at the Temple. We did some family shots, and then photographed the Bar Mitzvah ceremony and the party that followed. We had a great time. And now the real work begins. We shot nearly 600 images, and we will process at least 150 of them. So we'll spend the week in front of our computers. We expect to spend two hours processing for every hour we spent shooting. If we're lucky. It may take much longer than that.

I won't post photos from the Bar Mitzvah here because I don't have permission from the family to do so.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Yoga for Two

A few weeks ago, I told you I had a treat for all of you. I've finally managed to process some more shots from that shoot. So, here they are. This is a small selection... but they are some of my favorites.It was neat watching them work... this is harder than they make it look. They are both gymnasts, and they have to be pretty flexible. I work out regularly, and run 12 miles every week - but I can't do half of what they can do.We're shooting a Bar Mitzvah this weekend. That will be a new experience for us. The family is fantastic, so it should be a lot of fun.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Local Display

We have a small display up in the public library here in Twinsburg this month. If you live close by, you can stop in anytime the library is open to see eight of our 13x19 inch prints. We have a few local images in the set - and several shots from across the US. The display will be up until the end of the month.

This shot is titled "Yesterday". The property was sold last year, and the building you see in the photo is being torn down to make room for a housing development. Twinsburg residents are going to miss this beautiful landmark.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Big Blue Umbrella

I love shoots like this one. He helped me set up the lights, and even took a turn at being the Photographer - I let him push the shutter release with the camera on the tripod while I posed for him. He would have been happy to do this all day - I mean really, what could possibly be more interesting than a big blue umbrella... especially when the grown-up lets you hold it all by yourself? And the boots. Truly cool boots can make anything fun.

You know - I've just realized that the last six images I've posted have been waterfall shots. So this goes right along with the theme.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Left Fork Holly River

How's THAT for beautiful? This is the lower falls on the left fork of the Holly River in West Virginia. The hike isn't long, but we did have to cross the river at one point. The water came about to our knees and was moving very fast - but they tell us that it dries up to a trickle later in the year. I think we were here at just the right time to capture the best flow. We were also glad to find such beautiful greens this time of year. Most of the deciduous trees don't have green leaves, yet, so we weren't expecting much - but the evergreens were dominant in this area. Lucky us.