The Root of All . . . Evil?

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Canon 5D, Canon 24-105 f/4L lens – 1/125 second, f/14, ISO 100

August 31, 2007 at 12:16 am by | Categories: Post

Peaks and Valleys

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Canon 5D, Canon 24-105 f/4L lens – 1/100 second, f/8, ISO 125

August 30, 2007 at 8:06 am by | Categories: Post

Backlit with Sun


Here’s a quick tip for creating a dramatic portrait: Use the sun as your backlight.

I made this capture of Dean in downtown Salt Lake City by placing the setting sun at his back and then providing subtle fill light with a reflector. It can be a bit tricky to line up your camera and subject to avoid lens flare, but when done correctly it can provide nice results. On this shot, I particularly like the glowing outline around his body.

Canon 5D, Canon 70-200 f/4L lens – 1/1600 second, f/4.5, ISO 200

August 29, 2007 at 8:59 am by | Categories: tutorial


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Last night’s lunar eclipse as it transitioned from the penumbra to the umbra stage.

Canon 30D, Canon 70-200 f/4L with 1.4x extender – 1/50 second, f/11, ISO 100

August 28, 2007 at 3:15 am by | Categories: Post

Am I Killing the Photography Industry?


Are photographers such as myself killing the photography industry?

I follow numerous photography industry related blogs with my RSS reader. It seems that at least once a week I read an article about how “part-time”, “hobbyist” and “micro-stock” photographers are killing the photography industry. One particular quote I read recently on the Black Star Rising blog gives an example of what I am talking about:

“Feel free, by all means, to make beautiful nature images, photograph protests in your home town, or do a nice portrait of a family friend. However, if you have any respect for other creatives — and to tangentially ensure their longevity — your action of taking $50 for an assignment that should have been $500, or giving away photographs for access to the limited locations that are credential positions, is detrimental to your fellow creatives, and those whose work you admire.” (full text)

Though I do plenty of work for pay, my main source of income is in the real estate industry. Since I don’t make my full-time living as a photographer, should I not be charging at all? If I shoot a wedding for $500, am I damaging the business of the photographer who’s packages start at $3,000?

Another point that many “real” professional photographers make on a regular basis is that microstock websites such as are killing the industry. Their point is that selling images for as little as a dollar apiece via these websites is hurting the industry by devaluing photography in general. I strongly disagree with this view. I believe that the microstock sites have opened up professional photography to a whole segment of the population that previously either didn’t use photos in their designs or who illegally stole images from the internet. These designers can’t afford to spend $100 on up per image, but will readily pay a few dollars for a photo.

I believe we are witnessing a transformation in the photography industry brought on by technological advances in camera equipment and internet delivery. We can either embrace this change, or sit back and watch it pass on by.

What do you think? Are part-time and hobbyist photographers hurting the industry? Or, is this a natural metamorphosis brought on by the advances in technology and communication?

Canon 5D, Canon 24-105 f/4L lens – 1/60 second, f/9, ISO 100

August 27, 2007 at 1:10 pm by | Categories: Post

Ten Dollar Photograph

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Canon 5D, Canon 24-105 f/4L lens – 1/125 second, f/16, ISO 125

August 25, 2007 at 11:55 am by | Categories: Post

Custom Cab

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Canon 5D, Canon 24-105 f/4L lens – 1/250 second, f/4, ISO 100

August 24, 2007 at 9:43 am by | Categories: Post

Photographing Babies? Get Down!

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Here’s a quick and easy tip for photographing babies: Get Down!

By placing yourself at eye level with your subject you will create a much more natural and pleasing capture. As an added bonus, the child will likely be more interested in what you’re doing and you will have a much higher chance of capturing a great expression.

Today’s image of Christian is an example of this technique. During a church barbecue at a local park I noticed him crawling around in the grass and got down on his level. He immediately became curious of what I was doing and began watching every move I made. It was then fairly easy to capture a nice expression.

Canon 5D, Canon 24-105 f/4L lens – 1/200 second, f/4, ISO 100

August 23, 2007 at 9:45 am by | Categories: tutorial

It Had to Happen: A Corrupt Memory Card


Michelle and I spent Monday evening in downtown Salt Lake City photographing recent bride Militia. The evening was beautiful and we were able to capture some nice images of Milita using tungsten lighting.

The first step when I return from a shoot is to download the contents of the memory card to my Mac. On Monday night, this was when I realized I had a problem. When I went to open the card in the Mac Finder (similar to File Explorer for you Windows users), the Finder would immediately close. After having this happen a couple of times I quickly became worried. I ejected the card and placed it back into my camera. When I attempted to view the images on the camera, I received an error. Uh oh!

Thankfully, at this point I recalled a blog post last month by photographer Thomas Hawk recounting an eerily similar experience. I took a quick trip to Google and found the post (read it here). In the post Thomas details his use of DATARESCUE’s PhotoRescue program to recover the contents of his card. I followed the link he provided and downloaded the program.

I like stories with happy endings and this one is no exception. The program worked flawlessly and was able to recover the complete contents of my memory card. It even showed me the recovered images before requiring me to purchase it, so I knew it would work before handing over the $29 purchase price. This is definitely a program that any serious photographer should have in their kit.

In recap, here are the steps Thomas gives when encountering a corrupt memory card:

  1. Don’t panic. Like I said. You will probably be able to get the shots back. Don’t let it ruin whatever you are doing or shooting.
  2. Once you know that you need to recover photos from a card stop using that card immediately. Don’t try to reformat it. Don’t reuse it. Put it away and wait until you get home where you can try recovery. If you do keep shooting with the card you might overwrite some of the data and be unable to recover some of your photos.
  3. When you get home run DataRescue’s PhotoRescue. You can download and run this software for free on your memory card.
  4. If PhotoRescue can recover your images they will show you the thumbnails of the images. At this point you will need to buy the software if you want to use it to actually recover your images. The software cost’s $29 but usually this is a small price to pay to have all of your images back.

Today’s featured image is a capture from the Monday night shoot. Militia was lit using two handheld tungsten lights. By setting the camera’s manual white balance control to the temperature of the tungsten light, a natural (read: un-photoshopped) purple hue fell over the rest of the scene.

Canon 5D, Canon 70-200 f/4L lens – 1/200 second, f/4, ISO 250

August 22, 2007 at 8:17 am by | Categories: tutorial

Top Shelf

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Photographed aboard the Alaska Railroad en route to Denali National Park.

Canon 5D, Canon 24-105 f/4L lens – 1/30 second, f/4, ISO 500

August 20, 2007 at 11:28 pm by | Categories: Post