Why It’s a Good idea to Test
Jul07

Why It’s a Good idea to Test

Back when everybody shoot film, testing was an important part of improving your photography and most people wouldn’t shoot an assignment or any critical images before testing the concept or gear beforehand. Before clicking the shutter, medium and large format studio shooters used (expensive) Polaroid film  and others would shoot test rolls or run clip tests before trying anything new. Along comes digital capture with its instant...

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It’s Not the Equipment, It’s the Photographer
Jul05

It’s Not the Equipment, It’s the Photographer

“At this point, I have… come to the realization that neither equipment, nor technique can make up for inspiration, vision and message.”—Dan K. Let’s get this out of the way first: Equipment doesn’t make portraits, people do. It’s obvious that you’ll need a camera and some kind of light source, even if it’s two lightbulbs (as was the case in this image) or the sun, to shoot portraits but you...

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Capturing the Essence of a Portrait Subject
Jun29

Capturing the Essence of a Portrait Subject

“I’ve never taken a photograph of someone and created a persona, I’ve just discovered what was already there.”― Anthony Farrimond “I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you.”— Frida Kahlo The other day, after lunch at my favorite fish taco stand, I walked by a group of young women having lunch and as I passed by overheard one saying, “You can’t capture the...

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Shooting In Home Portraits
Jun12

Shooting In Home Portraits

Before I had my current and small (11×15-foot) home studio, my previous home was a studio and one of my favorite places to shoot was the kitchen because it had a North-facing bay window.] This beautiful model was posed and photographed in my kitchen using mostly available light with fill from an EX550 speedlight. Camera was an EOS 50D with EF 28-105mm lens and an exposure of 1/90 sec at f/4.5 and ISO 400. The biggest upside of...

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Shooting Portraits in Black & White
May23

Shooting Portraits in Black & White

Proving you can change your tune, Paul Simon revised the lyrics to Kodachrome from “everything looks worse in black and white.” When he performed the song in Central Park in 1991 everything looked “better” in black & white. Sometimes color confuses a viewer taking the focus away from the photograph’s subject, especially in a portrait. And some black and white images, such as landscapes, have more drama when seen as monochrome....

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How I Became a People Photographer
May12

How I Became a People Photographer

It may come as a surprise to some of you but I didn’t start out to be a people photographer. Back in the day, when Mary and I opened our studio, we divided the workload: She photographed people and I photographed things, mostly architecture and some products. Every now and then because of scheduling and availability I would shoot a few business portraits but people were really Mary’s game. When she took an extended sabbatical from...

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Special Effects are Subject Dependent
May08

Special Effects are Subject Dependent

Before the Dot Com bust,  I also wrote for several computer magazines and one of the things I dreamed up was “Farace’s Laws of the Computing Universe.” I figured  if Murphy and Burke (my inspiration) could have their own laws so could I.  When I started writing exclusively about photography, I brought those laws into my magazines and books. One of the most important of all of Farace’s Laws of the Imaging Universe is that all special...

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