Working with the Classics: Speedotron
Feb23

Working with the Classics: Speedotron

“Remember that the person you are photographing is 50% of the portrait and you are the other 50%. You need the model as much as he or she needs you. If they don’t want to help you, it will be a very dull picture.”—Lord Patrick Lichfield Speedotron’s power pack and head systems are the studio lighting world’s equivalent of the American muscle car. They’re made in the USA, ruggedly built to take hard use, and powerful. The...

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Wordy Wednesday #430: It’s All About ‘Patina’
Feb22

Wordy Wednesday #430: It’s All About ‘Patina’

A patina is a coating of various chemical compounds, such as oxides or carbonates, that are formed on the surface of metal or other material. Usually this is simply caused to exposure to weather and time. The word itself comes from the Latin word meaning “shallow dish.” Under natural weathering, patina in old cars takes many years to develop with those in damp climates developing patina layers faster than ones in dry areas. Material...

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Following Trends: ‘More Portraits Please’
Feb21

Following Trends: ‘More Portraits Please’

“The photographer, even in fashion and portraiture, has to have a standpoint. It’s important to know what you stand for, no? Most people just take pictures, but they stand for nothing.”—Peter Lindbergh Last year, at the suggestion of one of this blog’s readers (thanks Izzy) we added a new section to the right-hand column called “Top Posts” with the idea that if a person was new to the blog, they would see the most popular five...

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Happy Birthday Mr. President
Feb20

Happy Birthday Mr. President

“It’s wonderful what we can do if we’re always doing.”—George Washington For readers outside the USA, President’s Day is a holiday that’s celebrated on the third Monday in February in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States, who was born on February 22, 1732. As President’s Day it’s also honors all presidents, not just George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, whose...

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Outdoor Portraits & The Law
Feb17

Outdoor Portraits & The Law

Shooting portraits outdoors mean you’re going to have to be creative about where and when you shoot and look for places that will accommodate to your—and your subject’s photographic requirements but that doesn’t mean you won’t encounter problems. Shooting anything in post-911 America has made many people, especially those wearing badges, sensitive about photography and sometimes they can overreact to what is really a harmless...

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Using Built-In Flash for Casual Portraits
Feb16

Using Built-In Flash for Casual Portraits

“It is the flash which appears, the thunderbolt will follow.”—Voltaire The key to using your camera’s built-in flash for shooting portraits is knowing the right time to use it. If there’s any secret to knowing when, it’s learning how to see the light falling on your subject, especially the range of shadows and highlights within the scene. Learning to see light is not difficult but takes a bit of practice and using your...

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Wordy Wednesday #429: ‘Painting a VW Bug’
Feb15

Wordy Wednesday #429: ‘Painting a VW Bug’

“Every kid has a bug period… I never grew out of mine.”—E. O. Wilson There is no more iconic vehicle on the planet that the original air-cooled Volkswagen Beetle and while they have attempted to capture lighting in a bottle with the New Beetle (1997–2011) a car I actually owned and like many latter day VWs, was beset with unending quality control issues. VW tried again with the Beetle (2012- ) and while maybe it’s a...

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