Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Getting Slammed in the Grand canyon


It has been a few years (too many) since my last Grand Canyon rafting trip where I shot this image. It is Granite Rapid which is pretty 'hefty' as you can see here. I am standing on the bank of the river and shot this with a 200mm lens.

Most of our rafts and kaykers stop and watch each boat go through one at a time, for photos and safety. There is a sweep boat 'eddied' out below the rapid to pick up anyone should a raft flip in the rapid, also for safety reasons. This is one of many large and powerful rapids in the Grand Canyon.

When I do a trip like this I usually am limited with the amount of gear I can take so I pack my cameras and lenses in Pelican waterproof cases. I take one tripod and one light stand and put those in a small duffel bag. I have another Pelican with flashes, storage devices, cleaning accessories, and more as well as batteries and lots of them.
Rafting the Grand canyon is a life changing event! If you have done it you know what I mean and if you have not, add it to the bucket list. You will be glad you did!
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Monday, March 2, 2015

What Makes a Good Selling Photo?

Concept!
Without a doubt concept is the biggest ingredient in a top selling stock photo. This image screams farming, agriculture, Heartland, and more, and has made good money.
 
I was actually on assignment for the former America West airlines when I was shooting this guys cornfield. He drove up and asked what I was up to. We chatted and later became friends and I was invited to photograph anytime I wanted including wheat harvest where we set up this photo.
It was shot before sunset so it had the golden light of the setting sun. Having them in the foreground with the combine in back added a great sense of depth. It has been on brochure covers, bank ads, and more.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Here is a fun and lively portrait of Chelsea photographed against a white background. I used a large Octabox and two umbrellas on the background. The key to great white backgrounds is having them about 2 stops brighter than the light on the subject and no more than that.
Here is the light diagram:

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Read My Interview in PhotographyBB Magazine

I am pleased to be the featured photographer in issue 27 of PhotographyBB magazine. http://www.photographybb.com/magazine/ Keep Reading: Full Post and Comments!

Monday, April 5, 2010

How to Light the Big Industrial Shot

I had an assignment to shoot this photograph for an annual report and as always, I try to avoid photographing exclusively with available light. The reason is that available light in a manufacturing plant rarely compliments a scene that requires good lighting for an effective photograph. On the other hand it is difficult to use artificial light exclusively and have the scene look believable as well, so I use a combination of both ambient and strobe.

The image below shows the scene before I have setup a single light. There is detail everywhere and that is good but ceiling lights are blown out and some of the shadow areas need to be brighter. My approach is to add some overall broad additions to the lighting and some selective spots as well. Here is how I did it.
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Interview on Lensflare35

I have the pleasure of being featured today on Lensflare35 a podcast featuring professional photographers. Keep Reading: Full Post and Comments!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Photographing the Industrial Valve and Faking It

I have a client that makes valves for the industrial markets. When I visited the company plant they asked me to shoot among other things, a new valve they had just launched into the market.

I could have just set it on a table and shot it or on seamless but they wanted a photo that looked like a real installation. The problem was there was no installation here to photograph and they did not want to spend money sending me to a client location.

Instead we faked it and here is how.
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Friday, March 26, 2010

How to Get a Ringflash Look Without a Ringflash

Ring lights, aka ring flash, have been popular and in style for years. They offer a nice soft quality of light and when your subject is against the background you get a shadow around your subject.
These were originally designed for macro and medical photography, but these days are used in fashion photography as well as general people and portrait situations.

I like the ring light look but also feel it is trendy and will fall in and out of style. Both Canon and Nikon make ring lights as well as some third party manufacturers. There is also the Ray Flash which works with your existing flash unit.

These small units have small guide numbers and are not very powerful making them good for fairly close-up subjects. Several major lighting manufacturers make ring lights, such as Calumet, that have substantially more power. The prices are around $2700 and I don’t feel I would get the use from one at that price. Here is how I lit my Santa with a ring flash look.
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Black Hills Photo Shootout

I am pleased to announce that I will be joining George Lepp, Les Voorhis, and other distinguished photographers leading a wide variety of workshops at this first annual event.

The Black Hills Photo Shootout is the brainchild of the Senior Photographer, Chad Coppess, of the South Dakota Department of Toursim.

Workshops incluide Photoshop, Nature Photography, Ghost Towns, Widlife Photography, and more. Keep Reading: Full Post and Comments!