In photography…light is everything. Understanding how your camera reads light and determines correct exposure is hands down the most important thing your camera does, yet it is also one of the most misunderstood. Your camera has different ways that it reads light by using an internal light meter, and depending on which metering mode you have your camera set on, it determines the correct exposure. For the most part, the metering mode is untouched buried in the camera settings, because for the most part, when you’re in the Matrix…life is good. Matrix is the default metering mode for all modern Nikon DSLR camera bodies, also known as Evaluative Metering for Canon, and is often never changed, actually it’s recommended by many that you not change it because it works so well, but that’s not always the case. I’m going to explain a little bit about leaving the Matrix default mode and why you would want to such a crazy thing, but first I’m going to do a quick explanation about what metering is exactly.Read More
A few recent photos of mine picked by Flickr for their EXPLORE Gallery.Read More
A few teaser shots from this past Saturday's engagement shoot...I even broke out a little freelensing! Check them out!Read More
Freelensing is a relatively inexpensive way of getting the similarly unique affect of an expensive tilt-shift lens, where the focus plane is thrown out of whack with the added bonus of natural light leaks. No, this isnt anything new, and the look that an expensive tilt-shift lens gives has been around for a while, but I wanted to share with you my experience with it and how I did it. Yes, I did purchase a brand new Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 D lens from B&H only to break it and take it apart the minute I took it out of the box...but that was the reason I purchased it. I had tossed around the idea of spending the money on a tilt-shift lens that would easily cost me over $1000, but after reading about the freelensing technique from Sam Hurd, I figured I would give it a try. At the end of the day, it's the unique look that I'm going for, so if I could get that by breaking a $150 lens, lets do it. (MORE)
I did a shoot with these three girls for Cass Imaging, showing their before photos when they first arrived at the studio, and then the final edited head shot. When using a D800, the detail that comes along with 36MP can be absolutely amazing when shooting landscapes, but when it comes to portrait work, it's a little different. Its still amazing and the detail in the RAW images are like no other, but you need to know how to edit properly for it to work to your advantage. Extreme detail is awesome in certain areas of a portrait, but not so awesome in others, so you need to know where to leave that detail...and when to dull it down a bit. Here are three before shots, basically RAW images uploaded into Lightroom 4 and a little sharpness applied, not much. The final images were taken after the girls applied their makeup and each was edited in Lightroom, the way I edit all my portrait work. It was a fun shoot, so I through in a few of the goofy shots that we got. The setup for these was simple, one strobe camera left shot into umbrella, one strobe on the floor shot against backdrop, both triggered by Nikon CLS. Camera was the D800 with a Sigma 85mm F1.4. You can click on each image to see a larger version of it. Enjoy!Read More
Win an Adobe Lightroom4 software package! Click on the image above to see the details of the contest on the Lightshop's website.
I got into photography because I was an artist, a pencil artist, but also because I grew up the son of a wedding photographer. I was just starting to take an interest in photography when my mother was making the switch from film to digital, so it was an interesting time where I got to see both formats. It was her first DSLR that really attracted me to photography, since I was able to borrow it whenever I wanted. It wasn’t until this past year, after my Mom passed away that I wanted to learn film photography, and how to use her old film cameras that were boxed away in her closet. I became obsessed, I loved it, buying all different types of film and becoming a regular at the Rite Aid down the street having them develop all my film. I loved the sound that the shutter made. I loved the manual focus. I loved the look that each different roll of film had, as well as each camera. I loved not being able to see my shot immediately after taking it, and having to wait until the roll was done and developed. It made me think more about each shot. It made me a better all-around photographer.Read More
It was a couple days after a big snow storm breezed by us and dropped a ton of snow on all the states just North of us here in South Jersey. The little snow that we did get was starting to melt with the temperature reaching close to 50, causing a muddy mess and a miserable scene for anyone getting out yesterday. Growing up on a farm on a large piece of land up against the Wharton State Forrest, four wheeling or off-roading was often a great way to get out and have fun. Whether it be on our 4-wheelers, our trucks, or our Jeeps, the forest was like our large playground while growing up. The amount of time we spent in the woods whether it be for just a little trail riding on a nice Fall day to get some fresh air, or to see who could find the largest mud puddle and make it through to the other side without getting stuck.Read More
Before most of us ever picked up a camera, we were doodling and drawing pictures with crayons or whatever we could find that left a mark. As we grew older and some of us realized that our stick figures never really became...well, more then stick figures, we began to find other ways to express our creativity, or we lost interest in being creative all together. I loved drawing, and I spent years and years with a pencil in my hand sketching and drawing pictures. I was good at it, but what I lacked was the patience and discipline to take a project from beginning to completion, and the trash can would often be overflowing with crumbled up pieces of paper. I would get frustrated after spending hours upon hours on one drawing, get bored, and move onto the next project or idea. I was a perfectionist, and like most artists, I was never really happy with my own work, I always thought it could be better. This was my downfall because its what ultimately made me give up drawing and art all together, and led to me to take a different career path after high school. Read More
Sandi and I switched it up a little this weekend and hopped on the other side of the camera for the first time in a while. Ray from KGM Expressions and my awesome partner at the Lightshop wanted to test out the new Sigma 35mm and I wanted to get some shots of Sandi and I for the Cass Imaging website. It was cool to be on the other side of the lens seeing what it feels like being photographed as a couple. We never had engagement photos done so we thought it would help us work better with our clients knowing exactly what their going through.Read More
Here is a time lapse video of Sandi and I putting our home studio together from scratch. We turned our spare bedroom into a small studio that we could use during the winter months while its too cold to be shooting outdoors. I had recieved a lot of questions about how we did it and what we used, so we stripped it down and built it back up while making a time lapse video of us doing it. It's a quick video and doesn't show that we have 3 hardwood floors, a few different backdrops, and a nice little collection of props now, but it shows how we basically took a spare bedroom, emptied it out, and turned it into our studio that we have used for a number of shoots now. The window makes for great natural light at a good angle, and there's plenty of room to move around and be comfortable even with a few people.
Now please don't beat me up too bad on the quality of the time lapse, there are a few speed changes and few frames I could have gotten rid of, but this was my first time lapse I had ever done and it was frustrated the hell out of me just getting it to this, lol. Enjoy!
Check out the Lightroom tutorial that I posted on the Lightshop site! It covers an often overlooked but extremely helpful tool...the eyedropper. Check it out and leave some feedback on what you think. Click HERE.
When Sandi and I got married and bought our first home we wanted to buy a cat. I had grew up on a horse farm with a number of different animals and pets, but when I purchased a townhouse there wasn't any room for anything other than cats. Since the original plan was to get a dog if we had a big enough yard, but since we didnt, I wanted the next best thing...a big cat...a Maine coon. Growing up there was always stray cats that we would keep as pets in the house and some that would stay in the barn with the horses. They were regular looking, mixed breed, short hair cats that all pretty much looked the same just different colors. So when it came time to get my first pet I wanted something a little different, and I had always seen pics of these big beastly cats called Maine coons.Read More
Working on a new article for The Lightshop called the ICE Method. It's a way to push yourself and your imagination in photography. A method that I use for personal projects as well as for Cass Imaging, and one that I want to challenge others to try, if they haven't already. I should have it posted by the end of the weekend. I'll post the link up on here when it's done.
It's hard to believe that as we enter into 2013, it hasn't been a full year yet, and actually only 8 months since officially starting Cass Imaging. Last week Sandi and I signed up for a three month course called "A Photography Business Makeover", and the first course was this past Friday. It's geared towards helping photography businesses restart for the new year, mostly for those needing a change to help get off of a plateau that they might be hitting. We haven't slowed down, and if anything we are still having trouble keeping up, but we wanted to use this course as a way to pick up some new ideas and different ways of doing things. It was pretty cool to see the struggles that other businesses have hit, after years of being in business, and how they got through them. It was also cool to see that the struggles we are hitting, that are due to trying to keep up with the amount of business coming in, were the struggles that companies didn't hit until years into being in business. Read More
I've written enough about the end of 2012 and how much Sandi and I are looking forward to 2013 with Cass Imaging, so I just want to officially close out the year with sharing our best shots from the Central Park shoot. It was freezing out, snow on the ground, wind was whipping, and once we got to the park I had to think quick on how I wanted to shoot this with only about an hour or less of shooting light left.Read More