What Kind Of Photographer Are you?

Landscape, or portrait, or documentary, or street, or a dozen other things might be the first thoughts that pop into your head. The question goes beyond merely genre. Let’s assume you care about whatever you point your camera at no matter if it’s still life, flowers, bugs, people, trees. A tiny bit deeper and we start to venture into bigger questions. How do you want to represent things in front of your camera? How do you want them to feel? Why?

Projects, Editing, And Distance

I spent another hour this morning going though my semi-insane but illuminating edit process for a long-term project. The term edit used in the sense of cull, choose, etc. rather than modify, manipulate, or choose a particular look. To summarize, my edit process starts from scratch every time, looking at the entirety of what I shot on a particular day. I compare that go-around to the last time I went through them all. What I’m looking for is a consistent set of choices that have months of time between each. Today I found stasis ion a particular group of images shot a little over a year ago.

Sharpness, Detail, Quality, And Old Glass

To varying degrees we all fetishize camera gear, especially glass. Pouring over specs and comparisons, our own testing. All of this in the quest for more better stuff. Are some cameras “better than others” — sure. Are some lenses “better” than other lenses — absolutely. The real question is in what particular way are they better. An even better question is do you give a crap. I’m going to propose that in most cases you probably don’t and in many other cases better is extremely variable on circumstance and so far down the list on any given optical property as to what difference it might make that how much you actually like to carry and use something is actually a better metric. Microscopic optical differences are important only in a narrow slice of real world photographs.

Skin Tone - Part III

Installment number three discussing skin tones is a simple one. Just for the heck of it I posted it on Medium.com since I haven’t been active over there in a bit and wanted to test some of the new features added.

Skin Tone - Part II

A hopefully much quicker follow-up to Part I where I discussed the interplay of a few things like exposure, contrast, saturation, and color correction when looking at skin. Today I wanted to come at this from another direction to illustrate a bit more on something that’s always of primary concern — light and something closely related — context.

These illustrations are some quick exposure tests and demonstrations I made during a window light mini-workshop way back in May 2014. Perfect day for participants. Two models for the price of one by a quirk of fate as well as the perfect day to illustrate a lot of important points. As for my exposure tests… Meh, as usual so they won’t distract from the discussion with any sort of wonderful-ness. Happened to have my ancient 28mm Pre-AI connected to my camera and didn’t bother changing it up so ignore the framing and my careless perspectives and focus on just skin.

Nikon Df Fan-Boy Day

Here’s a lighthearted short and sweet post for the weekend. Hooray, The weekend! I’ve been happily shooting the Nikon Df for quite a while now. Of all the people I’ve run across that gave this camera a chance — as in more than snapping off a few frames and declaring it stupid — every single one feels similarly to the way I do. This camera does have a bit of magic to it. It’s combination of size, controls, imaging characteristics, and some sort of X-factor (note the provocation here) this is it. It’s inspired me to go out and shoot, and shoot and shoot. I’ve even got a few projects I’m working on that are outdoors — who wouda thunk? More on that some other day.

I thought I would give a few of you a laugh with a few of the differing kits I’ve been constructing as go-to gear combos. None of those particularly heavy or cumbersome. The kit at the top is my “standard” do anything with no plan. I know, it’s laughable but just wait a second and I’ll give a brief somewhat coherent explanation of them.

Skin Tone - Part I

Dad, will you take picture of me and Jill with your good camera. Daughter #3

I break out in cold sweats with any sort of request that comes close to that formula. Here’s why; That’s nothing like “hey, lets spend a couple of hours making a great picture at this awesome spot, with am unbelievable setting, at a great time of day, with a couple of things brought to the table to optimize it all, and remotely appropriate photogenic, flattering wardrobe”. In this case it meant right here, right now, in the 32 seconds prior to us having to meet other people already on their way to the restaurant in whatever horrid (photographically) striped shirt that might be on at high-noon with not an attractive setting within the 30’ we’re at. That’s what this kind of request always means. Not with clients but definitely with family and friends that are not into making pictures. Hey, you make awesome pictures. I’ve seen them so get your awesome camera and crank one out here and now. Oh and make it really quick with no fuss. Ummmm, sure… right.

A Gaggle of RAW Processors, Part I

As you may be aware, I’m a huge fan of Apple’s Aperture 3. I continue to use it daily for real work even though it’s a lame duck. That status sends people in the tech age into panic attacks, causes them to break out in cold sweats, and other associated anxiety related disorders. Obviously there’s a point at which Aperture 3 won’t work at all. Might be two or three major releases of OS X, might be five, might be two. It’s certainly not one. New camera support is part of the OS and will likely continue to be. I’m not worried in the least about myself nor my workflow nor my images becoming obsolete.

The Nikon D750 Etc.

Yet another gear post, oh my god. I shoot Nikon cameras, it’s no secret, rather than being the quintessential Nikon Guy I’m more of a camera brand agnostic. You want proof? I have a Ricoh GR vs a Nikon Coolpix A. Since I rant and rave and talk about what particular camera I happen to be using at any point in time I talk about Nikon cameras a lot — mostly about cameras I actually own and use rather than ones I don’t. Hell, even when I went off into left field regarding some of the committee bullshit about the Nikon Df I went out of my way to use one to confirm my opinions. Turns out I was way off. So far off I plopped down my own cash to get one and love shooting it. That brings us to today’s point — The brand spanking new Nikon D750.