Monthly Archives: March 2012

Street Portraits

Hello again!

Street Portraits: Waiting for the bus in Detroit

Another busy week, this time working my real job. I love my real job because I get to travel to places around the south east. Since the winter I have been working on a project to help me take better street portraits. Walking around these mid size cities I photograph people that are the salt of the earth, people that are full of character. Typically I only shoot film. I love film; maybe I am nostalgic, maybe there really something there that cannot be recreated with a digital camera. Thats up to you to decided, but I — I love film.

There is just so much dimension between the grain structure, the retention os highlights and shadows, and the feel of the cellulose in your hand. If you’re a digital photographer and have not really spent some time with film you really need to give it a go. There are many great labs that will process and scan for you if you don’t have a scanner. These guys are one that I would recommend. The other benefit of shooting film is it generates questions making it easier for me photograph people in these cities that I visit. Usually I am walking around with a Mamiya RB67 which is a LARGE camera. It shoots negatives that are about 2.2 inches(!) x 2.7 inches.

I like to shoot color film and when I do its generally the new Kodak Portra 400 but most of the time I am shooting black and white. Lately I have been on an Ilford Delta 100 kick but my favorite flavor of film differs with when or what I am shooting. Coming from Digital Delta 100 gives you that smooth look with just a peppering of grain. It makes the transition easier. If you really want that gritty film look though you should look at some of the more traditional films like Kodak Tri-X. It is worth noting that all films will obtain different looks depending on what they are developed in but that would make for a  lengthy blog. If you have questions contact me and I will do my best to answer them for you.


Back to my street portraits.

Street Portraits: Asleep in a park near downtown Detroit

Shooting street portraits are interesting to me because not only are they difficult but you never know who you might run into. I have met the very angry “don’t photograph me” type, to the gentle “I could be your friend” type. Generally I look for people that are waiting around, maybe for a meal or some money or maybe just waiting around for the bus. Everyone of them has a story too, you can see it in their weathered skin, their deep eyes, or in the way they wear there clothes. This is an on-going project that I will probably be working on for many years. I will be putting up a gallery to showcase some of the different people I have met along the way in the near future.


Budget Strobist

Hello again!

Its hard to believe that a week has past since I launched my website and posted my first blog entry. A lot has happened in that short time. I have set up all of my social media profiles across the inter-web and am branching out. If your interested in following me here are the sites that I subscribe to: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Flikr. I have also started following other bloggers and came across one that I had forgotten about. This Blog is published by David Hobby and great for anyone that wants to learn how to become a budget strobist.

I started my budget strobist career while in college when I wanted to learn how to create some dramatically lit photos. Since then there has been an ebb and flow with me when it comes wanting to light my subjects. I love natural light and you can do wonders with it once you learn how to “see the light.” But I also love setting up “complex” lighting scenario’s and trying to duplicate other lighting technics I have seen. Since finding David Hobby’s website my desire has been relit and I have been trying to find ways to shoot at least one photo that is light with my small strobist kit.

My kit includes everything from light modifiers to stands to optical slaves to colored gels. The meat and potatoes behind it though is this; One Vivitar 285HV that was handed down to me, one Yongnuo YN460 that I recently purchased (pretty good value), and when I need something REALLY bright one Alien Bee B800. I have a few other lights but these three make up the bulk of my kit. For syncing I recently switched over from optical slaves to radio slaves and I have to say, going cordless is the way to go. Even with my optical slaves I had to have one light connected to my camera either by sync cord or mounted on the hot shoe.

 This weeks engagement shoot was with Debbie and Holger Wentzel. They were great! I was forewarned that Holger is a bit camera shy and by the end of the day you would never have guessed. This image was lit with my budget strobist kit. I had two lights shot through a translucent umbrella to camera right and in the background I had another light splash behind them. My goal was to drop ambient exposure a few stops but still have separation with the background. It was surprisingly bright and thats what facilitated using two lights through the umbrella. I really could have used my mono light but there was no power near by. It also kept the refresh rate of the lights pretty short. The image was shot with my Nikon D700 and 80-200 at 200mm. Exposure was ISO 200 1/200th at f/5.6.

I think there will be more strobist style photos in the future!


It’s finally here…

Hello World!

Hello world is right! I finally got the gusto to launch a website and blog. If some of you can’t tell I used WordPress to help me design my site. Their first post for everyone’s site that is “Hello World!” and I thought to myself, ‘finally, I am reaching out, hello world is right.’ Anyway here is a little info for you about the website and blog. I set this up so YOU the reader could see what I am up to photographically. My goal is to update the blog about once a week, hopefully. I know what your thinking, only 52 entries a year, no problem man… If you notice I am slacking be sure to drop me a note (you can reach me on the contact/info page). I will try to feature a photo that I have taken and give a little note about it.

The galleries page will be online and displaying some of my work soon. I plan on making a few different galleries to showcase various subjects including travel, sports, weddings and much more. If you have any suggestions for me feel free to send them via the “comments” section below.

With out further adieu my first post!

As some of you know I moonlight as an airline pilot during the week. I decided to re-create an image the other night I had taken following a conversation with a friend who liked it. He even suggested I put it in my portfolio. (Just-in-kase you are curious as to who made me re-shoot this image you can click here.) Well the light made the original image hard to recreate and I decided to start experimenting. I will not go into the details of how it was actually captured but I will say this: Nikon D700 24mm lens ISO 1600 @f/2.8 for 1 second with only moonlight. I actually got a few awesome ones from this set of photos and was quite surprised when I finally opened them up on the computer. It sure was fun!


Captain Russel Jones lands a CRJ-200 at the Atlanta airport.