Nature is extraordinarily complex and beautiful. It is easy to forget in our modern world just how powerful its forces are. Being a nature photographer presents constant, humbling reminders of this fact! A large part of what drives me is wanting to experience every facet of nature, then create and share images of these forces at work. In doing so, I am often going into potentially dangerous situations for me and my gear. In my part of the world, wildfires are a necessity to the health of our ecosystems. But, they are, to put it bluntly, … [Read more...] about Photographing a Dangerous and Extreme Force of Nature, Wildfires!
Spring is a busy time for wildlife photographers, chock full of photo opportunities. I'm lucky to live in an area that is on a major migratory flyway for birds and butterflies, as well as a year-round home to loads of other feathered, furry, and scaly friends. In the few short weeks I have had my Platypod Ultra, I've put it through a workout on a variety of my many spring nature photo ops. These are some of the ways in which I am using it, along with tips and techniques for you to do your own set ups. Wildlife in the Woods Recently, I had … [Read more...] about Wildlife Photography and Video with the Platypod Ultra
Obviously, a photographer's most important body part is her eye, right? How else will she compose impactful pictures? I want to show you two ways to free your second most important skeletal structure so you can make better portraits. Free Your Hands Your hands are essential in your portrait work. They convey trust and make people welcome and you can use them to place keys on your head to great effect. When you meet a subject, you should shake their hand. When you make a good picture together, you should give them a high five. When they … [Read more...] about Portrait Tip: Your Second Most Important Body Part
In my previous post, Light Stand Basics Part 1, I gave you some safety tips and jargon to get you started working with light stands. A light stand is one of the only things you can buy that will actually make your photography better. Getting consistent results from your light requires keeping it the same distance from your subject from shot to shot, and even my best assistants can't keep the light in place for more than a few minutes without tiring. Use a light stand to make better pictures. There are many stands to choose from and they vary … [Read more...] about Light Stand Basics Part 2
After a camera and a tripod, a light stand is the one piece of equipment I use more than anything else. For a long time (too long) I used assistants (like my wife) to hold lights and reflectors for portraits and product photography. Once I started using light stands, I had much better results because the light wouldn't change from shot to shot. I was able to work with my subjects to acheive more subtlety because I could trust that there face was the only variable, as in the photograph above. I highly recommend you use light stands, so I'll show … [Read more...] about Light Stand Basics Part 1
The other day I received a photo attached with a text message from Hollywood shooter Mike Kubeisy. He was on the set of NCIS LA photographing what they call "Afghani" mugshots of the stuntmen for the show. The message read,Do you understand what I did?. We often send messages like these to challenge each other to think outside the box. This simple challenge intrigued me so much I stopped eating lunch and analyzed the image carefully. It was an outdoor set up for a portrait head shot, but what was Mike really trying to tell me? Camera "T" … [Read more...] about A Tip from Hollywood: Outdoor Portrait
Lately, I have been researching studio configurations. Jeremy Cowart's Triptik Studio Walkthrough got the juices flowing; especially the rolling backdrop that doubles as storage for bounces, flags and other gear. My space is an open floorplan and I already have plenty of stuff on casters, including my edit desk. I'd never thought of something like Cowart's rolling wall. Genius! I made a mental note to do something similar and moved on. Then, I stumbled across the video below from on Lifehacker. Ramsey's concept is a bit different than … [Read more...] about Benchmark: DIY Rolling Studio Gear Rack
FeaturesThe clamps are a safe way to attach any camera with an Arca-Swiss style plate.The rail has a built-in bubble level to get a straight shot.The clamps can be repositioned side to side.The center cameras can be mounted either direction.The GoPro buckles work with standard GoPro mounts so you can connect the cameras.I used the bendable knuckles included with each GoPro to create a camera that can be angled to shoot in any direction for greater flexibility.The whole unit weighs about 5 pounds without cameras attached.The open spaces in the … [Read more...] about The Ultimate Camera Support Rail