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Category: Photo tips

My Mom Learns About “The Photo Shop”

On my recent trip to Chicago, I posted a Facebook photo of my friend and me in front of the skyline. We have a dear, mutual friend by the name of Julie who is currently working on getting her masters in graphic design. As a joke, she reposted the photo on my wall with Kevin Bacon posing with us. A few minutes later I get a text from my mom asking me where I met Kevin Bacon. “Photoshop,” I replied.

Later that week I returned to Dallas and had dinner with my mom. “I didn’t realize Kevin Bacon was so short,” she said to me. Confused, I asked her why she would say that. “I was surprised that he is the same height as you and Brad. That picture of you guys at The Photo Shop is pretty great.”

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Multnomah Falls, Oregon

I just got back from a week in Oregon and had a chance to download just a few of the photos so far.  This is a quick B&W conversion from Multnomah Falls, on the scenic highway that runs through the Columbia River Valley just outside of Portland.  The processing is a little heavy across the top but I think this will turn into a real keeper with a little more (or less!) work. Shot with a 16-35mm lens, D600, f11, 1 second, 3 stop (very wet:) neutral density filter.

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Falls In Oregon

We’re at the end of a week-long family trip to Oregon. Man, is it gorgeous out here! Today we took a drive on old scenic highway 30 near Portland and I stopped along the way to shoot some new shutter speed examples for the DSLR classes. First photo is just below Bridal Veil falls. The second is at Multnomah Falls, the third is a very wet neutral density filter on a 16-35mm lens. It’s a 3 stop ND filter which allowed me to slow the shutter down in order to get some decent shots of water in motion.

 

Good gloves for cold weather shooting

I’m in Oregon for a week and today we’re in Cannon Beach. This is Haystack Rock at low tide on a cold morning. I’m wearing my favorite shooting glove combo, fingerless wool combined with liners sporting fingertip pads for smartphone touch screens.

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My best tourist photo from Downton Abbey.

My wife and I are in England for a week. Two good things happened today: We got a surprise rental upgrade from a Volkswagen to a BMW and we got to visit Highclere Castle, AKA Downton Abbey. In my excitement to get a photo to post on FB I had my finger over the iPhone lens. I kind of like it.

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Blood Moon

Last night was the first blood moon of the year. I had to get up and see it but realized that I had forgotten all my Nikon gear at the studio. This was shot with a friend’s Leica V-Lux 4, a small, affordable camera (same as Panasonic FZ-200) with a lens that is the equivalent of 25-600mm, f2.8 all the way!

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I also forgot my tripod so instead was able to nestle the camera in a beanbag in the back yard and use the self timer to eliminate vibration. (Daylight photos are a recreation from the next day)

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Experimenting with the Fuji X100s

Today I took my own advice and spent the whole day shooting in Athens with the fixed focal length lens (35mm equivalent) on the Fuji X100s. I really liked it, even though it was tough at first not having my D600 and 24-120. I really liked the light weight and unobtrusiveness of the smaller Fuji.

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The Spam Olympics from Sochi

On February 13 I sent out an email through Constant Contact promoting one of our workshops. Whenever one of these emails goes out it is immediately followed by several “Out of Office” replies by people on the list who are, well, out of the office and whose email accounts are set up to respond automatically to sender.

One of my clients on the list is working in Sochi during the Olympics and I got an email saying as much. Within six hours my email address started filling up with Russian spam. That means that either their computer has been infected with malware or that their data connection is being monitored. Just to make sure, I used Google translate on several of the emails. There were several promises of big winnings in an online lottery but the one that I loved was hawking the very service that was spamming me!

It turns out this is happening to pretty much everyone who is at the Olympics according to a slew of news stories about hacker activity.

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It was thirty years ago today. . .

It’s been 30 years since Peter Poulides was named one of the great travel photographers in the December 1983 issue of Travel and Leisure.  He came to my office, dropped the issue on my desk and laughed that we should do a “throw back Thursday” post on the blog.  I was amused.  30 years ago, if someone said write a blog post on #tbt they would not know what you meant.  Yet, here we are.

I pick up the magazine and look at the cover.  It is endearing.  His mother wrote what page he was featured on in the middle of the forehead of the girl on the front.  As I thumb through the 126 pages to get there, I skip over a multitude of early 80s ads for cars and alcohol.

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I get to the article and the list of photographers is impressive.   I immediately recognize some of the greats – Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Mary Ellen Mark and Arnold Newman.  Each photographer has a featured photograph and I see Peter’s image of the Greek church in Mykonos.

There is a common quality between all of the photographs in this spread and I see it clearly in Peter’s shot – stillness.  This does not mean that there is not movement and energy in these photographs.  What it means is that there is an arrested motion – a suspension that is so delicate that one more moment later, it will be destroyed.

“I was there with my partner, a writer, photographing for about 45 minutes,” Peter says in the article.  “Finally, she became cold, began shivering and wanted to leave.  I started to pack things up, turned my shoulders and was about to leave, but looked back and said, ‘just one more shot.’ This is it.”

Henri Cartier-Bresson coined this concept as “the decisive moment.”  It is the moment when all of the elements come together and for a split second are in complete alignment.  They are at peace with one another.

A good photographer is aware of these moments.  A great photographer is an essential element of the moment.

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