Saturday, October 31, 2009

October 31st, 2009

Hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween this year . . . to wrap up my creepy image of the day, I've employed a little prop I had left over from my Konxari ( shoot from last year.

Captured with the Nikon 50mm prime and the use of to Nikon Flashes. I mounted the SB 900 on top of the camera, but had it firing only a signal to the handheld SB800. I shot a few images, moving the flash around until I got the dramatic lighting I wanted. Show at a 60th of a second at f/1.8 with an ISO of 100.

Friday, October 30, 2009

October 30th, 2009

Halloween kinda snuck up on me this year . . . so I thought I'd do some themed images for the next couple of days. This was a fun one and an impromptu shot as Peyton, my little 5-year old had gotten a toy flashlight in one of her goody bags. It came with several caps that you put over the light to make scary shadows - she loves it and I though what a good way to shoot something fun.

Captured with the Nikon 50mm prime at f/1.8 with the shutter speed set to a third of a second. ISO is down at 100. I set the camera on a tripod and simply shown the flashlight on the pumpkin. It's that simple. The ghost looks as though it's been sun bleached onto the pumpkin!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

October 29th, 2009

So it's almost Halloween and I am realizing I haven't put up any creepy images of the day! So in honor of all things scary and creepy, here's what I fear the most - yep. In my house, I'll take care of any critter and creepy crawly, with the exception of spiders. In my house, my wife is the designated Spider Hunter. I am not in any way ashamed of this . . . there's nothing natural about them - 8 legs, the way they move . . . how they can surprise you. Ugh . . . enough . . . moving on to the technical details . . .

Shot with the Sigma 70-300mm macro on a tripod - I was a good 5 feet away! Shutter speed is at 125th of a second with an f-stop of f/5.6. ISO is down to 100.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October 28th, 2009

The more I work on this project, the more excited I get about it! This is from the third shoot for the Ford GT book due out next year. For having never really shot cars before, I am finding these shots to be some of the strongest in my body of work. This is why I enjoy photography - you never know where it's going to take you.

Shot with the Nikon 70-200mm at a 20th of a second at f/14. ISO is down to 100. The technique for this shot is called panning and can be a bit tricky. Notice the front end of the car is sharp, but the rest of the image is streaked and blurry . . . for every one 'select' image, you're going to have 10 other shots that are not usable - but to me, that's part of the fun!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

October 27th, 2009

I know I recently posted a sunset from my front yard (see October 22nd) but I wanted to show how different each and every display can be. Tonight, we might as well have been on another planet! My daughter stayed out with me while I shot this, marveling at the colors. Brilliant display - kudos Mother Nature - on another fantastic show!

Captured with the Nikon 70-200mm at f/5.6 at 125th of a second. ISO is set to 100.

Monday, October 26, 2009

October 26th, 2009

Shot on location during a recent gig for Ford . . . I was shooting at a barn built in the 1700's and it was just such an amazing location. The contrast between the old barn and the sleek cars was fantastic and there was plenty for me to shoot while the cars were being reset.

Captured with the 70-200mm at f/8 with a shutter speed of 1/250th of a second. ISO was down to 100. Converted to Black and White with Adobe's new Lightroom 3 Beta.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

October 25th, 2009

I had the pleasure of shooting a Tai Chi studio yesterday . . . full of history and good karma. They had this amazing drum used during class set in the corner of the room . . . has to be a hundred years old . . . perfect subject to shoot!

Captured with the Sigma 10-20mm at a 40th of a second at f/5.6 with an ISO of 500.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

October 24th, 2009

I have a couple more shoots planed for the Ford GT book and here's a peek at one of them . . . Fall makes for a great backdrop for these super sleek mechanical masterpieces. I am told, the blue one, called Sonic Blue, blue books for just over 2 million! I don't have to tell you how fun it is to be shooting this project!

Captured with the Sigma 10-20 at 1/60th of a second, f/5.6 with an ISO of 100. Quick note about the shooting conditions . . . the sky was overcast, which is favorable for photographers as it spreads the sun light out and softens the shadows . . . giving you the worlds biggest softbox!

Friday, October 23, 2009

October 23rd, 2009

Nothing says cute like your adorable little girl blowing seeds of weeds all over your yard . . . but yet, it's a great photo op and she was having a blast! I was just impressed she was willing to go that close to them . . . the seed pods look like something out of Alien and there were bugs all around! My brave little trooper!

Captured with the Sigma 10-20mm at f5.6 with a shutter speed of 1/200th of a second. Processed in the brand new Adobe Lightroom 3 Beta. I shoot in RAW, so all my images need processing. Lightroom is my image editor of choice and the leaps they are making with this new version is astounding!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

October 22nd, 2009

Once again, I am a huge sucker for sunset shots . . . and am very fortunate to have a piece of land that affords me this view on an almost daily basis! There are some days when the sun almost sneaks down, slipping beneath the horizon with barely a whisper . . . then there are days - when a few clouds mark the sky, where the sun begs to be seen and creates a colorful splash down that you just can't miss!

Captured with the Sigma 10-20mm at f5.6 with a shutters speed of 1/160th of a second. ISO is down to 100.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October 21st, 2009

Last night, I was up to some crazy hours trying to capture the Orionid meteor shower but apparently, the neighboring town of Franklin was putting out too much light for me to get a decent shot of them. In my attempts, I only saw about 3 with the naked eye and didn't get any on 'film.' Was a great learning experience for me, though . . . and I learned just how quickly cold temperatures can kill the batteries on even my high-end camera! Now - I need a nap!

Shot with the Nikon D2x and the Sigma 10-20mm. The entire exposure was manual with my shutter speed set to 'Bulb' so I could time my capture between 5 and 15 minutes. I was shooting at f/8 - which is the sweet spot on the Sigma 10-20. Everything was mounted on a tripod and tripped with a cable release.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October 20th, 2009

Autumn is in full bloom, finally . . . a recent cold snap has everything pretty much turning every shade of Fall and it's stunning!! Shot this in the back yard as the sun was going down - hence the harsh shadows. what was great is, a quick rainfall added a ton of specular highlights to the background and - while out of focus - the resulting effect turned almost painterly!

Show with the Nikon 50mm prime wide open at f/1.8 at 1/500th of a second with my ISO set to 100.

Monday, October 19, 2009

October 19th, 2009

My little Fashionista decided to spare me a moment in front of the camera yesterday . . . she's good for about 4 shots and then has had enough of Daddy snapping away. It drive me crazy . . . anytime we go get professional shots done for holidays or seasonal shots, she hams it up for the photographer, but will hardly give me five minutes - but hey, I'll take what I can get . . . :-)

Captured with the Nikon 50mm prime at f1.8 for the softness of the shot. I lit her with two SB Nikon flashes and shot at 1/60th of a second. ISO is down to 100.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

October 18th, 2009

I found this an interesting shot as the landscape behind the mid-ground range is only a few hundred yards higher, yet still got dusted by snow this morning. At the sun's first rays, it all disappeared, but that's why crazy photographers like me get up before the sun . . . :-)

Captured with the Nikon 70-200mm at f/8 at 1/500th of a second. ISO is set to 100.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

October 17th, 2009

It's just not fair . . . not yet?!?! They are still calling for more of this stuff. I refuse to believe it's snowing out. Ugh! I might as well face facts - it's snowing!! Time for pretty snow pictures! The small voice inside my head still refuses to accept it, but the photographer in my is excited. Snow - and it's brightness - is always an interesting conundrum for the photographer . . . so bring it on, Mother Nature . . .

Captured with the Nikon 70-200 at 1/360th of a second at f2.8 with my ISO at 100.

Friday, October 16, 2009

October 16th, 2009

It's just not right! Check the date! It's only October 16th and last night, we had almost 2 inches of snow on the back deck!! I am not ready - and more important, my John Deere with the plow attachment isn't ready!! Let's hope this is a freaky weather thing and we get a few more weeks of Autumn before the real stuff begins to fall!!

Captured with the Nikon 70-200mm at f2.8 with a shutter speed of 1/160th of a second.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October 15th, 2009

We're doing a 'family project' for my daughter's kindergarten class and picking up all different color leaves. It's an exercise in sorting - brilliant idea, really - and a whole lot of fun. So I though I'd take advantage of mother nature this morning and shoot one of the leaves. My favorite art director - young little Peyton Marie - helped me out in the selection of the subject.

Captured between two layers of glass, placed atop a light table and illuminated with a single SB900. Shot at a 60th of a second at f2.8 with the 700-200mm with an ISO of 100.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October 14th, 2009

So part of what I do as a photographer is try to see the beauty in the mundane. Take these sockets hanging around on my work bench . . . I've only use like three of these things in my life. One for the fastenings on my tripod, once to fix a loose windshield wiper and the other use escapes me right now . . . but they are shiny and when you lump them together, they form patterns - patterns are very pleasing to the eye and, therefore, make for great subjects.

Captured with the sockets sitting on a light table and illuminated with the SB 900 from above for that specular highlight you see inside the socket. Shot at a 60th of a second a f5.6 with my ISO at 100. The only adjustment I made to the image was in Lightroom, where I finessed the white balance to give the overall shot a much 'cooler' feel - hence the blueish tint.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 13th, 2009

Something simple for today's image . . . the leaves around our home still haven't turned over quite yet, which perplexes me as our all around us, color is blooming. So I opted to process this image with a little less color . . . which is easy to do when you're shooting wide open at f/1.8.

Shot with the Nikon 50mm prime at an 80th of a second with an aperture of f1.8. ISO is set to 250 to give the image some texture.

Monday, October 12, 2009

October 12th, 2009

So I did a Google Map search for some historic locals around my town yesterday and discovered a cemetery dating back to Revolutionary War times. I love shooting cemeteries as they are all very beautiful and peaceful - and full of history. Ironic thing with this shot is shortly after shooting this, I had a brush with death as a log rolled off the trailer of a pickup - I narrowly avoided a front end collision with the log - managed to swerve out of the way but still hit it with my back tire, which blew out, sending the Baja into a skid. Me, the car and the cameras all survived, but there's nothing like a brush with Death to make you appreciate everything around you!

Captured with my Nikon D100 that's been converted to shoot IR. Taken with the Sigma 10-20mm at 1/1000th of a second at f/4 with an ISO of 100. Processed in Adobe Lightroom to give it a sepia tone.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

October 11th, 2009

I love shooting family - er, that came out wrong! I enjoy photographing family - This is my niece, who is a cheerleader and was showing off some of her moves! The fun lasted long after the sun went down, but this gave me a wonderful opportunity to experiment with shooting subjects against a setting sun.

Captured at a 30th of a second with the Sigma 10-20mm. My f-stop was f/5 and I was shooting with an ISO of 100. Lit with the Nikon SB900 set to shoot rear curtain - this means the flash goes off just as the shutter is about to close. Usually, the flash goes off immediately when the shutter opens - setting it to rear curtain allows for a few things to happen. One, it allows more ambient light into the shot - giving me that wonderful sky you see in the background. Two, it allows for more movement to be captured yet still freezes enough of the subject to get a sharp shot!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

October 10th, 2009

Sometimes, a photo will just present it self to me . . . As I pulled my car into the driveway and was just about to close the sun roof, this leaf feel in through the opening and laid to rest on the front seat. I had the camera in the car and took the shot. Sometimes, it's as simple as that!

Captured with the Sigma 70-300 at f/5 at a full second exposure with the ISO at 100.

Don't forget to check out the new re-launched!

Friday, October 9, 2009

October 9th, 2009

Today marks the halfway point in my year long Photo-a-Day challenge. I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful it's been, not only my time behind the camera - coming up with new and interesting shots for your viewing pleasure - but also all the very generous feedback I am getting from followers of this blog and all the other social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and twitter.

So on this 6-month anniversary, I am re-launching with a new look and some new images . . . and without further ado, here is this month's anniversary video followed by today's image of the day!

Today's image is my ode to the written word. I am an avid reader of all sort of literature. Be it popular fiction like James Patterson or Clive Cussler - Just wrapped up Dan Brown's newest, The Lost Symbol . . . or classic works by Poe and Conan Doyle. I collect first edition books like the worst sort of addiction out there. I have some rare manuscripts with hand written notes by their authors . . . and a treasured 1920 edition of Edgar Allan Poe's work in this beautiful, hand tooled leather binding. So what more fitting image for me to shoot than that of the written word!

Captured with the Sigma 70-300mm at f/4 at a full second exposure. ISO is way up to 800 for this shot.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

October 8th, 2009

Another short and sweet entry today . . . gearing up for something big tomorrow that includes the 6-month anniversary of this Photo-a-Day challenge!

Captured with the Nikon 70-200mm at f/2.8 with a shutter speed of 350th of a second and an ISO of 100

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October 7th, 2009

Sometimes, a long abandoned yard ornament makes for a great subject - especially when you're under some tight deadlines, are a single dad for a week and working feverishly to have the redesign of your web site done and ready to launch by Friday! Still - this image has all the things I look for when shooting . . . color and texture!

Shot with the Nikon 70-200mm at f2.8 with a shutter speed of 350th of a second.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

October 6th, 2009

The only thing missing from this morning's photo-a-day entry are some wispy clouds to give the background some texture . . . but this ain't all that bad! I tried getting a shot of the beautiful 'Hunter's Moon' last night, but it was just to overcast, so this, I reckon, is the next best thing. And this is why professional photographers call the twilight hour before and just after sunrise the Golden Hour . . . the light you get is just amazing. 

Captured on full manual mode with my Nikon 70-200mm. Shooting at f/8 with a shutter speed of 640th of a second. ISO is down to 100. Contrary to popular belief, the moon is quite bright, so hand holding a moon shot is totally doable - as seen here. No tripod necessary!

Monday, October 5, 2009

October 5th, 2009

As promised . . . The Praying Mantis. Every October, these creepy little creatures find their way to our property. I found this one as I was mowing the lawn. He was sitting atop a guard rail that borders our yard. I immediately stopped what I was doing and grabbed the camera. Snapped off more than a few shots - the rest can be found here: As you will see in the gallery, this mantis wasn't the only one to visit me yesterday . . . in fact, you'll see that I interrupted another one - an older mantis from the coloring - during his evening meal! I gotta warn you - if you're a fan of Lady Bugs, the last two shots of this gallery are NOT for you!

Captured with the Nikon 70-200mm at 250th of a second at f/5.6. ISO is down to 100.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

October 4th, 2009

A simple shot, done in black and white . . . Sunsets are only as dynamic as the clouds in the sky. There were very few last night, but that provided me with a great way to showcase a sunset and give you guys a quick tip on how to get a cool sun flair in your shots. If you aim the camera at any light source, you'll get a certain amount of flair . . . the trick is to close your aperture to something like f/16 or even f/22 to get the flair to sharpen up. This will lead to longer shutter speeds, so it's a good idea to have a tripod handy - I didn't in this shot, but still think it makes for a nice image.

Captured with the Sigma 10-20mm at a half a second at f/32. ISO is set to 100.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

October 3rd, 2009

If you've been following my blog for any amount of time, you know one of my favorite places to shoot is Heater's Pond, right above me in Ogdensburg, NJ . . . today was no exception. While the sun was setting, I drove up there to see what I could shoot. I was hoping for a bit more color out of the leaves, but the Pond didn't disappoint. I shot both IR and traditional images . . . this is one of the best.

Captured with the Sigma 10-20mm at an 80th of a second at f/4.5. ISO is set to 100.

Friday, October 2, 2009

October 2nd, 2009

Critters make for great subjects. This little guy almost bought the farm this morning when I stepped out of my car. This is a Woolly Bear Caterpillar . . . according to legend, the severity of the upcoming winter can be judged by examining the pattern of brown and black stripes on woolly bear caterpillars – the larvae of Isabella tiger moths. If the brown stripe between the two black stripes is thick, the winter will be a mild one. A narrow brown stripe portends a long, cold winter.

Captured with the Sigma 70-300 Macro. Shot at f/5.6 with a shutter speed of a 60th of a second. ISO is at 500. Normally, when I shoot macro, I make sure to mount the camera onto a tripod. This time around, I simple shot on 'continuous high' and fired off a burst of 15-20 shots. Chances are, in that burst of images, you'll be able to find one that is tack sharp.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October 1st, 2009

Love the contrast in this - not only the color contrast, but the dichotomy between hard and soft. This is a retaining wall with some crawling ivy on it. This bloom is only about half and inch in width and is barley noticeable. I love how something so small can have a huge impact on its surroundings.

Captured with the Nikon 50mm Prime at an 80th of a second at f/1.8 with my ISO set to 100.