Friday, July 24, 2009

July 24th, 2009

I love photographing artwork . . . paintings, architecture and even sculptures. This particular statue struck a cord with me today as my wife just returned from a week long business trip and our 4-year old daughter was missing her terribly, so this image just felt right!

Captured with the Nikon 50mm prime at 60th of a second at f/1.8 with an ISO of 800.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

June 23rd, 2009

Sometimes, the lack of contrast is what makes an image . . . these pine things are growing all over the top part of a three-tiered retaining wall on the side of my house. They are naturally occuring and quite beautiful in the morning mist.

Captured with the Nikon 50mm at 400th of a second at f/1.8. ISO is 100.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July 22st, 2009

This image really gives you a great example of what great depth of field you get when shooting a lens like a 50mm prime at f/1.8. Check out the narrow band of the subject that's in focus. You go even an inch in front or behind and you completely go blurry! Great for making your subject pop out! This particular subject is an old mining cart that is part of a local exhibit on Silver mining . . . always wanted to stop and take a picture of it!

Captured with the Nikon 50mm prime at f1.8 with a shutter speed of 40th of a second.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

July 21st, 2009

Happy accidents . . . they happen - sometimes, they turn out not so happy, but I think this time around, I got a nice result. I had been shooting some stuff inside at a high ISO. I took the camera out to shoot today's image and forgot to lower my ISO, which completely blew my exposure for this image. Does it make it less pleasing? I think that's in the eye of the beholder . . . what do you think?

Captured with the Nikon 70-200 at 250th of a second at f/8 with an ISO of 800.

Monday, July 20, 2009

July 20th, 2009

Simple and serene . . . they always make the best subjects. It doesn't get much simpler than some lake grass blowing in the slight breeze. Lazy day, lazy capture . . . from a lounge chair while taking in some sun.

Captured with the Nikon 70-200mm VR at 250th of a second at f/2.8. ISO is 100.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

July 19th, 2009

Anywhere I go, I am always looking out for something different to shoot. The banquet hall where I shot this weekend's wedding, had these huge stain glass windows. Parked in front of one was a rolling bar with a bunch of stemware on it. It was full of color and contrast . . . even a touch of abstract . . . in other words, perfect!

Shot with the Nikon 50mm prime at f/1.8 with a shutter speed of a 30th of a second. ISO was set to 500.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

July 18th, 2009

I just shot a wedding last night, hence the late post this morning. I don't ordinarily do weddings - whole lot of stress on me and the equipment. But this wedding was one of the most laid back affairs I've ever shot. No stress, no bridezilla . . . a really nice time. I shot the event in a photo-journalistic style, not only focusing on the bride and groom, but on the details as well.

This was shot with my new Nikon 50mm prime at f1.8, a 60th of a second and lit with with the Nikon SB900. ISO was set to 500 to give it a very grainy feel.

Friday, July 17, 2009

July 17th, 2009

Here's a continuation test of the new Nikon 50mm prime 1.8 lens . . . shot this in the hallway of my home with no other light source, other than the ambient light from the hallway light. I was able to shoot this at a 30th of a second at f/1.8. ISO is set to 640. I love the softness this lens offers . . . and the graininess. In an age of Photoshop sharp, smooth and gloss, I think this grainy, soft, natural lighting image is something very fresh . . . what do you think?

Special thanks go out to my wonderful model . . . my daughter, Peyton.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

July 16th, 2009

Those familiar with my work on the Konxari Cards ( should recognize this subject. I used the garden statue for both the Angel and Demon cards. This is the first shot from my brand new Nikon 50mm 1.8 prime lens. What's that mean? It being a 50mm prime lens means if I want to zoom in or go wide, rather than turning the dial on a lens, I get the old legs working and step closer or move further away . . . this is old school! The 1.8 means I get some great blurring in the background if I set up the shot right . . . and also allows me to shoot in some crazy, low light situations . . . I've got a wedding coming up - I don't normally shoot weddings, too much stress - but this lens is perfect for those kind of low-light, artistic compositions!

This was shot at 750th of a second at f1.8 with my ISO set to 100.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July 15th, 2009

During the Native American Festival, there was a 'birds of prey' demonstration. It was most impressive! These fantastic birds reacted like well trained dogs . . . coming when called, hitting a target . . . amazing. What was very gratifying to see was their handlers treated the birds with the greatest of respect.

This was captured with the Nikon 70-200mm VR at 800th of a second a f/2.8. ISO is set to 100.

For the entire Native American Festival photo gallery, head on over to:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July 14th, 2009

The Native American festival proved challenging to shoot on a number of levels . . . I location during the Pow Wow had me shooting almost directly into the sun. Also, the nature of the crowd placement was not conducive to the simple backgrounds I like to put in my shots - we all sat in a giant circle, so any shot I could get, I had fellow onlookers in the image. So I went in tight and shot wide open at f/2.8. Used the Nikon 70-200 for every shot during the day - I love that lens!

I'll post a link to the entire gallery tomorrow . . .

Monday, July 13, 2009

July 13th, 2009

Simple and graphic . . . these are shots I love to take! This was a foundation spike for one of the two water wheels at Long Pond Ironworks. I've placed the rest of the gallery up here. You'll see examples of several different processes in the gallery, from color to black and white infrared, and infrared processed using color negative chemicals.

This was captured using the Nikon 70-200mm VR at f/2.8 at 180th of a second.

Rest of the Ironworks gallery is here:

Tomorrow will be images from the Native American Festival!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

July 12th, 2009

So I spent the day at Long Pond Ironworks in Hewitt, NJ . . . great location! Never new it was there! Here's the thing about this place - it's a pre-Revolutionary War ironworks site. Full of history - in fact, the iron struts underneath the Capitol Dome came from this site! It's under a state of conservation, which is great for preserving the site for future generations, but with blue tarps and modern scaffolding covering some of the buildings, it doesn't make for a whole lot of photographic opportunities . . . that said, I did manage to capture some great shots! I'll post a whole gallery here when I get the chance . . . in the mean time, here's the burned out skeleton of a water wheel that was used to turn the bellows on a giant iron smelting furnace. Would have loved to capture the entire wheel, but it was covered under a huge, white plastic tent structure . . . so I go in close on the details!

Shot with the Nikon 70-200mm at f2.8 with a shutter speed of 40th of a second.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

July 11th, 2009

One of the things I love to do when shooting on location is to ignore the big picture and focus in on the details. I've gotten some of my best work in following that simple mantra. The cover of my book, Captured: The Ruins of Eastern State Penitentiary is a simple shot of a lamp, hanging in a shower room. On image that is of particular worth in my body of work is a simple shot of newspaper abandoned on a park bench. While there certainly was more photogenic stuff around for me to shoot, it's the details that caught my eye! Here we are at a marina where boats are bobbing in the morning tide, a fog is lifting, revealing a beautiful day and I am crouched over a mooring, taking a shot of a rope!

Shot with the Sigma 70-300mm Macro at 250th of a second at f/5.6. ISO is set to 100.

Friday, July 10, 2009

July 10th, 2009

Graffiti always fascinates me. There's no denying the talent it takes to produce artwork on such a grand scale . . . this display was close to 7 feet tall and over twice as wide . . . that just boggles my mind! Of course the substrate on which the artist chooses to paint is less than ideal - and often times illegal! Regardless, as I am taking this picture and now posting it, I hear The Beatles singing in my head . . . 'all you need is love . . . '

Captured with the Sigma 10-20 at 125th of a second at f5.6. ISO is 100

Thursday, July 9, 2009

July 9th, 2009

First up, here's the 3-month anniversary video for the Photo-a-Day challenge!

Critters . . . they make for great photo subjects, especially when they pose for you! Came home this morning to find this little fella in the front yard. I love that our yard is a habitat for all sort of critters. We've seen rabbits, groundhogs and deer almost daily . . . bear, occasionally . . . and our back deck has been a perch for eagles or hawks . . . not sure which they are, but they are stunning.

Shot with the Nikon 70-200mm on a slow approach. I began shooting the deer from almost a 50 yards away . . . then took little baby steps closer - all the while shooting. Got as close as 30 feet before the deer had had enough and moved on. Captured at 400th of a second at f2.8. ISO is 100.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

July 8th, 2009

Sometimes, all you have to do to take a great picture is just look up! Some amazing clouds in the sky these past couple days. Strange weather, too . . . sun and rain! Kept my eyes open for a rainbow, but no such luck! Managed to snag some great cloudscapes, though . . . always a good day when you capture those!

Shot with the Nikon 70-200mm lens at 400th of a second at f8.0. ISO was set to 200.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

July 7th, 2009

One of the themes you'll see frequently in my photos is nature overtaking man . . . it's something I always seek out when on location. I think the blend of mother nature and man made structures are beautiful. Would a picture of a chain link fence look as good without a web of vines and blooming flowers crawling all over it look as good? I think not. Scenes like this are not hard to find, either . . . they are all around us! Take a moment to look around your surroundings and I bet you see some stuff you never considered before!

Shot with the Nikon 70-200mm at f/2.8 at 250th of a second. ISO is set to 100.

Monday, July 6, 2009

July 6th, 2009

The streets are teeming with photo opportunities . . . some simple, some complex . . . today's shot is as simple as it gets! I love shooting shapes. They are all around us. Geometrical wonders that are begging to be photographed. This is an exhaust vent from a huge building that houses busses. I wonder if the architect who designed these vents knew that they'd make a great Photo-a-Day entry.

Shot with the Nikon 70-200 at f/8 with a shutter speed of 400th of a second.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

July 5th, 2009

As promised, here is the first of my fireworks shots from last night at Camelback Mountain in The Poconos. Spent the night with my brother, his family, and my family . . . a fantastic time - I'll be updating this post later today with the entire gallery, including candid family shots!

Fireworks couldn't be easier to shoot . . . in fact, as I am writing this, I am thinking of posting a video tutorial on how to shoot fireworks - I realize it's too late for this year, but it'll be perfect to gear you up for next season! This shot was captured on a tripod and tripped by a cable release attached to the camera. Set the camera to manual at f/11 with the shutter speed set to BULB. This means the shutter stays open for as long as I keep the button down. You time each shot visually - this is so easy, in fact, I shot the entire night from a lounge chair . . . all that was missing was my signature Mojito!

Keep an eye out later today for the rest of the gallery!

EDIT - Full gallery is up at:

Saturday, July 4, 2009

July 4th, 2009

First up, Happy Fourth to every and Happy Birthday to this great land of ours!!

As a photographer, you sometimes wear many hats . . . in this case, my photographer's assistant - my daughter Peyton - wore the hat of a butterfly rescuer. This little guy just couldn't seem to get off the ground. We actually spotted him as we were loading up our gear in the car. He was in the middle of this stony patch right next to the road! I told Peyton we had to move him and while she loves butterflies, let's face it, they are still bugs . . . she was a trooper, though . . . letting the butterfly crawl up into her hand and we walked it over to a bush, where Peyton placed it on a leaf. Brave little photographer's assistant, eh?

Shot with the Sigma 70-300mm Macro at 250th of a second with an f-stop of 5.6. ISO is 100.

Friday, July 3, 2009

July 3rd, 2009

Made breakfast for my daughter this morning; cutting up some strawberries . . . and knew I had my shot! I grabbed two flashes and applied some of the stuff I learned during the Joe McNally lighting workshop! I turned the camera to manual . . . 250th of a second at f/8. Took a shot and got nothing but black - bad, right? Nope - perfect canvas to start painting in your light . . . With both flashes set to 0/0, I began shooting an repositioning my lighting till I got something pleasing to my eye.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

July 2nd, 2009

Where would we be without music . . . a tune running through our heads as we create, work or just relax. I am blessed to be able to work from home and enjoy a running playlist of songs throughout the day! Passed this jazz band on the street and knew I had a great image of the day!

I am loving the depth of field on this . . . shot with my 70-200 at f/2 at 125th of a second. ISO is set to 100.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July 1st, 2009

Artists . . . I admire the hell out of them. They take a blank canvas, art board or even some other media entirely, and turn it into a masterpiece. They work with the same concepts as photographers do - light, shadow, color and composition, but theirs is a much more laborious effort than simply seeing the light and tripping the shutter. I've got lots of respect for what they do.

This was shot with the Nikon 70-200mm at an 80th of a second at f/5.6. ISO is set to 100.