Why You Shouldn’t Build Your Photography Site in Flash

Tons of photography sites are built in Flash. I would almost venture to say that most are.  Although building any site but most specifically a photography site this way makes little sense and less sense all the time, I see them every day. My only explanation beyond people not knowing is that it’s self propelled at this point – as in “everyone else is doing it” syndrome. Well here are a few reasons to consider other options when building your photography site.
Continue reading…

Field Instructional: Shooting in Extreme Locations Such as Haiti

Beach sunset in Haiti
Beach sunset in Haiti

Beach sunset in Haiti

There’s a special place in my heart for Haiti Cherie, a place where people know more about hope and pride than most people from so-called “developed” countries such as America will ever understand. Being that I just returned from my third trip there I thought maybe you’d be interested in just how one goes about getting striking photos in an extreme environment such as this. The short of it: almost everything that holds true in my normal work is the opposite of what I do when shooting in Haiti.

Continue reading…

Tweaking My Lomography La Sardina-A Photography Hacker’s Solution

Lomography recently announced the La Sardina camera, and upon going to their launch party, I bought one. It’s a gorgeous camera for the price—and that was very much so a problem to me. With that in mind, I decided to workaround some of the problems that the camera presents. Despite this, I am very well aware of the Lomography way: which is essentially to just shoot and be happy with your results. Years of being screamed at by a Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalism professor and experience in the field have taught me to make the best of a situation and to also get through problems that you may encounter. So here’s how I’m getting through mine with this beautifully flawed camera.

Continue reading…

Cross Processing an Image in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3

Cross Processing—it’s been all the rave for quite some time now and you’ve probably seen it all over the interwebs. Back in the film days, cross processing meant developing your film with the wrong chemicals in order to get some weird and kooky effects. In the digital age, it can be done with manipulation and understanding of color theory. Though I’m often one to go against trends myself, I’ve done this for wedding clients and they loved it. Since many readers of this site use Adobe Lightroom 3, I’m going to show you step by step and screenshot by screenshot just how to do this and without dropping hundreds of dollars on a Lomography camera and film. However, I’ll also tell you that if you haven’t tried the plastic cameras, you should do so at least once.

If you want to read more, you can read about processing the image in Photoshop Elements as well.

Continue reading…

Reader Question: How to Trigger a Flash Wirelessly on a Canon DSLR

We recently had a question posed to us on our Facebook wall asking us how to set your Canon 60D to trigger wireless flashes like a Canon 550 EX. To do this, we’re going to borrow a bit from our intro to Canon Wireless Flash posting. Since I don’t have a Canon 60D, I’m going to use my 7D and show you how to trigger a 430 EX II (the flash closest in functionality to the 550 EX) wirelessly using infrared control.

Hit the jump to check out the instructional video.

Continue reading…

How To Beat The Darkness in a Nightclub

The other night, my good buddy Mike Florio and I shot a concert (photos and video) for the band Mancie. It was a favor for my other friend, Andrea Fischman, who leads that band and is a fellow photographer. Andrea wanted me to do a couple of portraits of her, her friend and the band. This was at around 8pm at night, and it was super dark—perhaps one of the darkest venues I’ve shot in. However, I was able to beat the darkness with a single speedlite and by making the most of it by placing it in the right spots. Here’s how I did it and how you can figure out how to do this as well.

Continue reading…

How to Photograph Coffee Like a Pro

Image By Gevon Servo

There is something I take very seriously, coffee photography. It was, actually, a major catalyst of my current photographic path. I recently did a studio shoot for KohanaCoffee at RedCedar Studios. The shoot was with my photography mentor Euan Henry, after one of his photography workshops. We went into a conversation about coffee photography while shooting and here is what we talked about.

Continue reading…

Changing The Quality of Light Outdoors

Finding soft light on a hard light day

Photo by Chris Gampat

I’ve talked about changing the qualities of light before in my post Understanding light: Intensity vs. Quality, but mostly in regards to the studio. When shooting outdoors you are subject to the elements. Sometimes you get a cloudy day when you want soft lighting or a bright sunny day when you want strong shadows. Other times you have the opposite of what you want that day – but there are still things you can do.

Continue reading…

Shooting a Reflected Portrait Using Your Surroundings

This image of former Superbike World Champion James Toseland looks simple, but it’s not – a whole bunch of circumstances had to come together for it to work.

The lighting is from the top – it was shot during the middle of the day. Normally this would cause a lack of detail in the subject’s face, but the white walls all around has bounced beautiful soft light into all the right places (seen in the subject’s glasses). The dark, shadowed wall in the background is the perfect contrast to the subject’s face.

The woman talking to Toseland is reflected in his sunglasses: beware, you need to use an aperture small enough to capture the depth of field to both subjects. Using f/8 has given me enough depth for both people but kept the background soft.

Canon EOS 1D MarkIIN, EF 24-105L IS USM @ 97mm, ISO 320, 1/640th @ f/8, Aperture Priority.

Book Review: DIY Photography- Home Studio Photography

Do it yourself projects are usually very fun. I used to work on things like this back in college when I was more into cinematography. DIYPhotography’s Udi Tirosh, the creator of the well reviewed Bokeh Master’s Kit, has written a very informative and carefully explained book: Home Studio Photography. The eBook is a complete listing of a bunch of fun projects to work on at home when you’re bored. Beyond boredom, many of the creations have practical applications in the photo world as well.

Continue reading…

Spacious Thought: Winter Landscapes (as learned from this winter)

Camera Nikon D90 Exposure 0.006 sec (1/160) Aperture f/8.0 Focal Length 44 mm ISO Speed 200

Winter can be brutal. It can also open up great landscape photography opportunities. A lot of snow gives a lot of contrast. Getting to a good location in the winter provides challenges and affects composition. With hard work and some hot coffee, great images can be created. Here are some tips to help you out.

Continue reading…

Photography at Pop Culture Conventions and What I’ve Learned

Exposure 0.02 sec (1/50) Aperture f/5.6 Focal Length 50 mm ISO Speed 400

Photography at pop culture can be fun, interesting, and precarious times. These events not only present the opportunity to make contacts and meet many possible new clientele, but also lead to great opportunities to add some fresh images to your portfolio. Pop culture events are great places to boost experience levels while having a whole lot of fun. I recently shot the New York Comic Con for the first time with a DSLR and I left the convention with some new knowledge from this cultural experience.

Continue reading…

Field Tutorial: The Orbis And Shooting Firestar

At Comic Con, I was given the opportunity to photograph a lot of talented and wonderful people dressed in their cosplay garb. Jessica Caitlin Foley was one of the attendees that stood out the most. She hails from Virginia and dressed as the Marvel superhero Firestar. As per recent reader requests, this is the beginning for a new type of posting here at ThePhoblographer, detailing Field Tutorials and how the equipment is used in the field. My apologies beforehand for the lack of Strobist photos and diagrams but we will be more careful in the future to do those.

Continue reading…