Tie a Yellow Ribbon

Capturing a photographic moment requires light, object and observer, What makes photographing fire so interesting is that the object and light are the same thing. However the flame is in constant change as the fuel is consumed and the flame interacts with wind and other elements. The shapes created are almost a Rorschach test contain hidden images and creating familiar shapes. You can buy a print of this image on my commercial site by clicking here.

Yellow Ribbon

Flame On!

Summer is the hottest time of the year but made a whole lot hotter by people. Think of all the things you do in the Summer that involve lighting a flame. Campfires,barbecues, fire pits and Tiki Torches all require a flame. So here is my first flame of Summer…flame on Johnny! You can buy a print of this image at my commercial gallery by clicking here.

Flame On!

Ewwww!

I love the art of street photography. I think I like it because if you do it right, the photographer is only recording and not impacting the emotion or action of a scene. Ever since I learned about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle I felt an obligation as a photographer to minimize the observer effect when shoot on the street. This was taken while waiting for my family while they were shopping in Chicago. Had the young lady seen me, I doubt if she would have reacted so strongly to the Wicked Advertisement. You can buy a print of this image on my commercial site by clicking here.

Ewwww!

Controlling Object Movement During Exposure

Students sometimes ask why are my pictures blurry? It is really simple, either the camera moved or the object (subject) moved. There maybe times that you want an image to be blurry to express motion. This image of a running doe and fawn was taken on a tripod and the tripod was panned during exposure to add a sense of movement to the image. In most case though, you want to freeze the action of an image to define the ultimate moment of the scene. There are a number of reasons that images are blurry but the most important factor is the movement of the camera during exposure. If the camera moves, the image will blur. I know that most of like to think we are as steady as a rock, but we aren’t.

Deer and Fawn

When shooting with a hand held camera, try leaning against a rail, building or tree to steady your body during exposure. It is actually more difficult to steady the camera when holding it at arms length and using the screen of a digital camera. It is easier to steady yourself while looking through the viewfinder during exposure. The exposure of an image is caused by light, shutter speed and aperture. Aperture is controlled through iris, the smaller the iris the less light strikes the sensor. However, smaller apertures provide an increased depth of field. Make your decision about aperture first. Shutter speed controls the amount of time the shutter is open and letting light strike the sensor. The faster the shutter speeds, the faster the action you can freeze. When photographing sports, you should have a shutter speed of 1/500th of a second minimum. Faster is better for freezing action. Adjust the ISO sensitivity so you can achieve the faster the shutter speeds.

Shutter Speed Controller

Use a tripod whenever you can. Get to know your tripod, have a relationship with it. I believe a serious photographer needs two tripods. A large sturdy tripod used for scenic views and portraits at the best ISO sensitivity to capture the detail. This may require a slow shutter speed and small aperture and even the use of a cable release to make sure you have no camera movement. The second tripod is a mini tripod that you can pack up in your camera bag. Sometimes I just can’t carry a big tripod with me.

Mini Tripod

Take the time to know your lenses. Longer focal length lens are great for sports but very heavy. I can steady a 200mm lens at a shutter speed of 1/500th of a second. The more zoomed in you are to your subject, the more difficult it is to steady the camera. Larger lenses have image stabilization systems but they can be very expensive.

Test your own ability at each different shutter speed. Take hand held pictures of an object that doesn’t move. Take a picture at each shutter speed with each lens. Review the images and see which ones are blurry. This will give you a personal guideline of when you need to get out the tripod. Blurred motion can be great way to photograph moving objects but only if you can control it. Take the time to learn your own limitations so you can make creative decisions of when to use slow shutter speeds with bodies in motion.

Happy Father’s Day

My father died at age 65, way too young. I still miss him and think of him but don’t have any really good pictures of him. My parents had already moved to Florida when I started to become a competent photographer. How ever, I have a million pictures of my daughter and thanks to my wife a few of me and my daughter.

My daughter just a few weeks after birth,

All Aboard!

In 1977 we were doing a fashion shoot at an abandoned train station in Greensburg Pennsylvania. We liked the derelict appearance of the place which provided a great contrast to the model and the fashions. After an hour or so of shooting, to our surprise a train pulled in and these two conductors got off and looked at their watches. I think we surprised them as well as we quickly ran over to the train and took a couple of quick pictures. You can buy a print of this image on my commercial gallery by clicking here.

All Aboard

Life Finds a Way

I am always amazed when I visit the desert as to how much life there is. I have seen the dessert in New Mexico and Arizona in bloom years ago but even in the dry times there is life. When we visited Indian Canyons in Palm Springs we followed a little spring and watched the signs of life along it’s boundaries. You can buy a print of this image on my commercial gallery by clicking here.

Desert Ferns

The Pigeons of Santa Maria Nascente

In the center of Milan is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Nascente also known as the Milan Cathedral and Il Duomo Milano. It seems that outside every major european cathedral you will find a group of pigeon Handlers and peddlers selling corn or pigeon food to tourists. I personally don’t touch pigeons, although I have eaten a couple. I worry about disease and such. In this picture you can see a spectrum of human emotions; fear, excitement,wonder and terror. You can buy a print of this on my commercial gallery by clicking here.

Pigeon People

If Looks Could Kill

t was a very hot afternoon in Milan Italy. The sun was relentless and around 3 PM we headed back to our hotel after a rough day of touring. As we neared the Westin Palace Milano we came across a fashion photography shoot on the street. The crew was yelling at each other, maybe because of the heat or maybe just ineptitude. The model looked hot, flabbergasted and near passing out as she waited for the photographer. Last week I posted what I thought was the best of this series . However, I like this one also because her facial expression shows how she really feels about the whole situation. You can buy a print of this image at my commercial site by clicking here.

Milano Bike Ride

In Italy you see more bicycles and motorcycles than cars. I am sure one of the reasons for this is the high cost of gasoline. Whatever the reason, the people walking and riding in Milan seem more fit that most people you see in American cities. It is hard to tell in this image who is having more fun, the pedaling father or dozing child. You can buy a print of this image on my commercial site by clicking here.

Milano Bike Ride