Making Halloween Portraits
Oct31

Making Halloween Portraits

“Halloween is an opportunity to be really creative.”— Judy Gold This time of year, one of my favorite photo concepts is to ask portrait subjects to bring their Halloween costumes to a shoot±even if it’s after Halloween, as I expect to shoot this Thursday. As adults they don’t get a chance to wear them more than just once and it lets you create the kind of images that are fun to make for both the photographer and the...

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When In Doubt, Use Flash
Aug11

When In Doubt, Use Flash

“The whole series is black-and-white, so when I went to shoot one of the women I only had black-and-white film with me.”— Helmut Newton The ingredients for making outdoor portraits are easy to find: All you need is a subject, a camera, and some light but like any recipe it’s how all these elements are combined that goes into cooking up a delicious portrait. Just like Emeril’s secret ingredient Essence, I’d like you to...

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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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Surfing the Learning Curve
Apr25

Surfing the Learning Curve

“There is the desire of a consumer society to have no learning curves. This tends to result in very dumbed-down products that are easy to get started on, but are generally worthless and/or debilitating.”—Alan Kay In my experience, it seems that most photographers progress through three distinct stages while they are learning and refining their image-making skills. In my friend Rick Sammon’s book Creative...

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These Day LEDs Are Popular; Here’s Why
Mar09

These Day LEDs Are Popular; Here’s Why

Continuous light sources are popular with new and aspiring pros because they let you see in real time the lighting effect produced. LED-based studio lights do that without creating lots of heat, especially when compared to other continuous light sources. At the WPPI show one industry insider told me, “When LED delivers a form factor that looks like a monolight, studio flash is dead.” While I’m not so sure that I believe that statement...

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Celebrating the Life of ‘Daddy’ Bruce Randolph
Jan16

Celebrating the Life of ‘Daddy’ Bruce Randolph

“The time is always right to do what is right.”— Martin Luther King Denver’s ‘Daddy’ Bruce Randolph (1900-1994) was known for his kindness, generosity and serving an annual Thanksgiving dinner for homeless and disadvantaged people. He did that for 50 years. In the late-1960s, ‘Daddy’ Bruce began feeding people for free in Denver’s City Park on Thanksgiving Day. By the mid-1980s, tens of thousands lined up outside Daddy Bruce’s B-B-Q...

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Right In Your Own Backyard
Nov17

Right In Your Own Backyard

“I don’t have to take a trip around the world or be on a yacht in the Mediterranean to have happiness. I can find it in the little things, like looking out into my backyard and seeing deer in the fields.”—Queen Latifah When making an image, other than “I’d like to make a nice photo,” I don’t always have any specific goals and objectives in mind but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. My friend Matt Staver is a...

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