Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 24

An image from my last time shooting at Venice Beach. Here I had an SB-900 camera left and zoomed to 200mm to help control the spread of light. The thing I don't like about this is the glare off of the shiny paint.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 23 From here to Starbucks

Tonight on my way home from Starbucks the light was amazing so I spent the two block walk shooting everything that jumped out at me. Its amazing how things that I have walked past twenty times and never noticed stand out in the right light.

Everything shot with a 35mm 1.8, handheld and processed in Lightroom 3.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 22

Shot with a Nikon 16-85mm and a softbox camera left with an SB-900 in it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 21

Another very simple image, natural light, hand held and processed in Lightroom 3

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 19

I really liked all the lines in this shot. 35mm lens and processed in Lightroom 3. What caught my eye was how the sun was hitting the tops of some of the lights.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A day of culture and such.

Yesterday I went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art with my friend Justine and as I was surrounded by priceless works of art what do I shoot?
The light fixture!
The hallway featured here wasn't really my cup of tea but the light fixture kind of caught my eye. Shot handheld with a Nikon 35mm 1.8, processed in Adobe Lightroom.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 17

Natural light, hand held and shot with a fisheye lens. This image is from the book that I did this past December called "A Day in the Sun" and it is for sale at

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day 16

This was done with a fisheye lens in the chollo cactus garden in Joshua Tree National Park. Processed in Adobe Lightroom 3.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 15

Joshua Tree I an amazing place, it seemed like no matter what direction we went there was something cool to shoot. This was done with a 35mm and processed in Adobe Lightroom.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I love Adobe Lightroom 3

This image was processed completely in Adobe Lightroom 3. I looks like an HDR image and it pretty much is but without all the work that it normally takes with all the layers. In Lightroom 3 there is a tool that allows you to selectively control exposure and contrast in the image. This took me about five minutes to do in Lightroom instead of spending a lot of time in Photoshop screwing around with layers and masks. Shot with a 16-85mm at 16mm.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

When the light is good....

I once heard a photographer say that photography is like surfing when the surf is good you keep surfing and when the light is good you keep shooting. Here it was all about the light, I had seen plenty of great trees all day but this was the one when the light was best so it was the best choice at the time. But all in all this was a great way to end my day in Joshua Tree. Shot with a 10.5mm fisheye lens.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 12

Simple shot, natural light and processed in Adobe Lightroom

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Crouching Tiger, Venice Beach

This was a shot that we did at the end of the day. Jackie wanted to do some leaps and I thought it would be cool to shoot under the pier. I wasn't sure what she was going to do till she started running and leaping off of this piling. We started with two lights hidden behind the nearest piling camera left but every time she pushed off of the one piling she would turn away from the light. A quick and easy fix was to have some one hold one of the two flashes camera right to become the main light.
I took the dome diffusor off the main light and zoomed it to 200mm but left the dome on the SB-900 camera left. They were both set at half power but by taking off the dome I changed the ratio by at least a stop.
This was shot with a Nikon D300, a 16-85mm, two SB-900's and processed in Adobe Lightroom. More from this shoot to come.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 10

This image was shot in the hall outside my apartment. I had an SB-900 on a stand with a 1/4" Honl grid to concentrate the beam of light. At first I was shooting in daylight white balance and the lights in the hall were way too orange. So I shifted into tungsten WB and added a full cut CTO gel to balance it out.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Something simple.

This was a very simple image, natural light and processed in Lightroom.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day 8

The color and the shape of this just caught my eye, a very simple image done with a cell phone. I do think that shooting with a cell phone kind of almost forces you to look at things a little differently. I had walked past this easily 50 times and never once thought about making a photo of it.

Friday, January 7, 2011

This is a first for me

and thats because this is a shot taken with a cell phone. I have been blogging for just over two years now and shooting for eighteen and I have never once used a cell phone image for anything. And while the image quality isn't even close to a DSLR they are a lot easier to carry around.
What drew me to this image was the light and the angles, lots of leading lines and the contrast between the warm and cool light.
It will be very rare that I post something from a phone like this but its tough to discount them as an emerging tool being used by artists all over.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bring in the clowns

It took a long time to find some one to do an image like this , even if some one says they are up for pretty much anything but when you mention clowns they all run the other way. People think that clowns are creepy, I personally don't see it. Justine was amazing, she stepped in and owned it.
This image was done with my usual D300 and 16-85mm. For the lighting I started off with a typical over under beauty light with the main light in front of her but just above her eye line and then on the floor I had a reflector with an SB-900 on top of it but then I put a diffusion panel above that which gave me a nice soft light and about a stop less light. It really wasn't conveying the creepy aspect of clowns the way I wanted so I reversed the power ratios on putting more light through the low light and then the top light was dialed back to just a little bit of a fill light. The it was processed in Lightroom.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 5

One trick that I have learned in the last few years is to make artificial light look like natural daylight indoors. This can be done several ways, the easiest is to put the flash outside of a window and fire it back into the room through the window. That wasn't going to work for this situation since we were on the second floor and there was no balcony to put the lights out on. For this one I fired two flashed into the corner of the room, camera right, bouncing the light off the white wall back at her. By using the corner of the room instead of a flat wall the light seems a bit softer. Just remember anytime you bounce light off of something it will pick up that color.
I shot this one with a D300 a 16-85 and two SB-900's camera right.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Zuma Beach

One of the first places I went to when I first got out here to LA was Zuma Beach. While I was waiting for a model to show up I spent some time shooting the seagulls. This was shot with a Nikon D300 and a Nikon 70-200.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A day in the Sun

I spent a day in the desert shooting with a model named Jody Kovak. We shot over 800 images in that one day and this is one of my favorites.
One thing with this blog is that there will be nudes posted from time to time so just be warned.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Joshua Tree

So far Joshua Tree National Park has been my favorite place to visit and I hope to make it there a few more times before I leave California. This was more of a snapshot but is still one of my favorite landscapes of the day. Shot it with a Nikon D300 and a 16-85mm and processed in Adobe Lightroom.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A new start in 2011

Here we are the start of another new year and I felt it was time to drop a lot of my old ideas and start fresh with a new magazine idea and another try at a photo a day project. Right now I am house sitting in California which means I will be posting images from here for the first two maybe even three months but the idea behind THE MIDWEST PHOTOGRAPHER isn't just about posting images of the midwest. I want the blog and the upcoming print magazine to give a voice to the often overlooked midwestern photographer. There will be more information on that as I come up with it so for now it is going to just be the blog. Hope you enjoy and stay tuned for more.
This image was shot with a Nikon D300, a 10.5mm fisheye and processed in Adobe Lightroom 3.