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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Proofing & TFP: How I Do It
Jun23

Proofing & TFP: How I Do It

I’m often asked about how I deliver proofs from photo shoots and this is how I do it. This system may not work for you but you might see a part of my system that you can use and if you like it, give it a try Nowadays, all of my photography is done for publication in books, blogs or magazines, so I don’t deliver any kind of traditional prints or proofs to the people I photograph. Instead of proofs I give them a CD containing all of the...

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Wordy Wednesday #188 “Test Shoot for Workshops”
Dec16

Wordy Wednesday #188 “Test Shoot for Workshops”

Today I’m in the studio getting ready for a test shoot tomorrow —weather permitting—in preparation for the “Shoot with Joe” one-on-one workshops that start in January, 2016. The above image shows a lighting setup That I used to photograph Pamela Simpson for my review of the Elinchrom D-Lite RX ONE To Go Kit. You can read the full review here. Tomorrow I’ll be photographing Heather using inexpensive Flashpoint...

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Street Photography & The Law
Nov09

Street Photography & The Law

The subtitle of this post should be “Why I’m not a Street Photographer” because it’s not a genre that I’m all that good at or am comfortable shooting. Part of my difficulty is that is I don’t want to impose on anybody’s privacy. In Colorado I’m concerned about the possibility of offending people, getting punched in the face or having a run-in with police. I don’t like either of these options but I’m trying to overcome this reluctance....

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Happy Birthday
May21

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to Mr. T, Al Franken, the late Raymond Burr…and me. And also to cosmonaut Anatoli Semyonovich Levchenko who was born on the exact same day as myself, which I guess is a minor connection to space exploration, a longtime passion of mine. Today, as McCartney & Lennon once sang, is my birthday. It’s fitting that I was born in National Photo Month, although I don’t think it was celebrated back then. The...

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Coping with Shutter Lag
Apr17

Coping with Shutter Lag

Sometimes when making candid photographs your subject stays right where you hoped but occasionally something or someone steps into the scene blocking your chance of capturing the moment, all because of shutter lag. Out here in the real world, there are two kinds of shutter lag: The first is the amount of time that it takes from depressing the camera’s shutter release to when an image is saved onto a memory card. During that time, the...

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Camera-of-the-Year 2013?
Dec31

Camera-of-the-Year 2013?

For the past several years, I’ve presented an annual Camera of the Year award nicknamed the Ernie, in honor of the late Earnest E. Mau, a photographer, computer pioneer, and friend who didn’t live long enough to get his hands on a really good digital camera. My main rule for giving this award is that it is based on my hands-on experiences with a camera I actually used and shot under all kinds of conditions but in 2013 not many...

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