Monday, December 31, 2012

Reach for the sky, Mt. McKinley

   A trip to Alaska a few years ago afforded the opportunity to see the highest peak in North America. (up CLOSE). We drove two hours from Anchorage, to a small air strip in Denali, where you could see Mt. McKinley although barely thru the thickening clouds. And it was still 60 miles away.  The pilot was less than enthusiastic that we would be able to see very much from the air, but after reaching 20000 ft. the clouds parted and revealed the majesty of  the summit. Hope you reach for the sky in the New Year!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Cheer

A little back light was required to bring out the Santa in the steam! Gotta luv those speed lights.....down to
1/128 power.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Butterfly Effect

Extraordinary, how seemingly small choices can have such long term consequences. Seems the flutter of a buttterfly wing, really can be deterministic.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Sometimes just shooting those beautiful sunsets is all you need to do!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Hunting, at press conferences......


      When covering a press conference or similar venue the goal is often to capture the overall arena and that moment of significance, announcement or value. Quite often the orator is brief and the moment is elusive.  Having shot more than my share, I learned most folks talk with their hands, and capturing that moment is like hunting, then shooting the prey at its most vulnerable exposure.

     The speakers,  at the Southern Economic Development Conference were no different.  All that was left was varying the background, lighting accordingly and the also elusive expression. Studying the subjects cadence and speaking pattern can be patience building but rewarding.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cala Lilly

Cala Lilly
For several months the yard has been in full bloom and I've been presenting my wonderful wife Kimberly with a daily flower.  I also photographed each one with the smartphone and sent to my daughter Carly. This one was particularly nice and I may have a new favorite color!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

NYC Texture

I was reviewing some vacation pics and ran across this gem. Nothing particular in way of technique or lighting, but a good example of being aware of shapes, colors, sizes and textures and their juxtapositions. I just love the differences in the architecture of NYC. Be sure to enlarge to appreciate all the detail in this vacation pic. If you missed my classic NYC skyline pic, check it out in the Dec 2011 blog post here

Sunday, May 27, 2012

While enjoying the holiday and seeing all the Memorial Day tributes, I'm always reminded of the image of Sgt.Major Buddy Hewitt. I photographed him in his home for PD magazine in 2002. Mr. Hewitt was part of what the movie “We were Soldiers” was based on. A VietNam era veteran, Buddy lived through one the wars most notable and horrific battles, the first one, known as LZ Xray. It was my honor to meet such a man. “just doing his job”, as he was quoted in the article. We spent an afternoon going thru his memorabilia and talked of his long career. He was a lucky one. This holiday is for remembering the lost and we should honor ‘them’, and my friend Buddy.
This image was produced by projecting a slide of the Viet Nam memorial onto the Sgt. Major with the flag behind him.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

SlearShotz: Chefs Delight

SlearShotz: Chefs Delight

Chefs Delight

Eric Masson
I always enjoy portraits on location. The subject is usually already comfortable in their environment. So with a little conversation about what they do and whats going on in their life, they become relaxed and you get those moments we all look for! Preparation again is key. In a busy restaurant like the Brentwood,  you can't keep the chef from his burners, so lights were set and a 'stand in' tested to get the balance of ambient, key, fill and kickers. With speed lights and a shoot thru umbrella, all we needed was Eric Masson winner of the Chefs Challenge at this years Coastal Uncorked festival.

Monday, May 7, 2012

    Here's a pic that includes a little of everything from past posts.  This shoot combines a lot of ideas shared from this last year. Planning and prep can only get you so far.  As I‘ve mentioned, a little luck is just part of the equation!. Establishing a point of view is 1st priority.... Choosing the elements you wish to frame up. 2nd you must begin to arrange those elements into a pleasing composition.....remember the rule of thirds, placing centers of interest at the imaginary intersection of a tic tac toe sign.  3rd lighting is dictated or chosen or combined to flatter and shape the main subjects, and accent surrounding’s. Exposure is a balance of shutter speed and aperature depending on selection of depth of field or motion enhancement. Use a tripod if the length of exposure is longer than a 125th of a second. Luckily the models showed just in time. We wet the pavement and turned on the lights. There’s a shoot thru umbrella with speed light behind pillar to the left, a speed light on pavement behind car directed at the doors and rim lighting the models, a diffused speed light behind pillar on right to light car and ceiling, and one on camera for general illumination, all set for f8 on camera and shutter speed to accommodate available tungsten lights. All in that 10 to 15 minute twilight time that is the sky to rear.  The rhythm of the rafters adds to what I like to think is a successful image. Enjoy!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Photographing glass and dark liquid is always a  challenge. To illuminate the liquid without diluting it, required some creative lighting. The label was also a metallic foil which needed specific lighting to show off  the reflective foil. The overall general light was attained by placing the bottle within a translucent tent. The label required a metallic fill light very close to the bottle to provide the highlights. The bottle is on a clear glass pane with a hole cut in the black paper. (Same technique on black and white paper.) A light was placed below the base and then reflected thru the bottle back to camera with another metallic foil card, behind the bottle. This provided the translucent detail and color to the product.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A must have in your camera bag is a polarizer, it will allow you to see thru reflections like magic, and enhance color saturation by reducing highlights...... Here's an example of a polarizer, allowing the camera to see past some of the reflection of the water. These guys were only visible for seconds and then they were gone.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

On These Airwaves

This was a fun shoot of some of my buds. A local band that needed some PR pics. The music studio where we shot was small and I had in mind a directional light but soft. Space simply prohibited umbrella or softbox so just hung a large white sheet on the wall and bounced a couple hand units. It gave a nice broad and directional light that gave the guys a little shape and is much more appealing than straight flash. Eric Long on the right just released the second album. (I also did the cover art) from On these Airwaves (OTA) Check out some great music and Like it on facebook!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


While doing some aerial golf work, we spooked some geese. A nice unique angle on these quite large birds. What struck me beside the water pattern was how they were already set up in their customary V pattern before even taking flight. A fast shutter and long 300mm again stops the action of not only the birds but the vibrating chopper.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Stop and smell the daisies

 I was contemplating how very brief we’re here. (Gasping for air will do that).  You know the old adages “its never to late”,.....”never put off till tomorrow what you can do today”...and most notably “live today as if it were your last”. Well I really don’t think they meant you should  go skydive or race indy cars or aspire to be Ms. America, I think it simply means to appreciate every single moment you have and to love and treat with respect the very next person you come face to face with, because bottom line is.... nothing you can do will make more of a difference than that.   So ... Don’t forget to smell the uhh..... Daisies, like these just below the treeline of the Alaska Range.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Androids everywhere.

 New phones are just amazing, 5 to 8 megapixals with flash and apps of all sorts. Had to just try it out! Just love the texture and color here!  I've seen a couple covers already! Just keep your lens clean, if you use yours.  It can make a huge difference when you see it large later!