• Archives
  • Jun26

    21st Century Photography Group Photo Walk

    Warning: Nerdy Photographer Talk Below

    After Nikon announced the D800, I started watching for the D700 prices to fall enough to where I felt justified in purchasing a previous generation body. But the day after I rented a D800 from CharlestonAVGear for a wedding I found myself placing an order for Nikon’s newest (and IMO finest) camera.

    Then I started reading the various photography forums and panic started to creep in because it appeared that I might not get this camera until August!

    I had a delivery estimate from Amazon, and then early last week the estimate vanished and was replaced with “unknown”. Gahh! I started following this thread on NikonRumors because some posters were letting people know when various retailers had stock available. I got lucky on Tuesday morning because someone posted that NikonUSA.com had them listed in stock. I quickly ordered one and moments after I placed my order they were listed as out of stock again. Regardless, on Wednesday morning I had the new camera in hand! The funny thing was that I got a notice from another fine camera retailer, Robertscamera.com, later in the day on Wednesday that they had some in stock, so I shared that info on the Nikonrumors forum that helped me out and some other shooters were able to get D800’s from them. Paying back on the forum that helped you is a good recipe for internet karma. And as of now it seems that a lot of people are getting the camera’s they’ve had on back-order for months, so I am assuming that the supply is reaching the level of demand to some degree.

    21st Century Photography Group Photo Walk

    So, I was itching to go out and use my new tool, since it’s a very different animal than my previous body. The local photography group, the 21st Century Photography Group, was hosting a photo-walk at the College of Charleston on Sunday. A perfect opportunity!

    21st Century Photography Group Photo Walk

    I brought my son Kegan along, who was shooing with my P7000.

    21st Century Photography Group Photo Walk

    Unfortunately it was quite hot and he was not feeling the whole walking part of the photo-walk. He did get a box of crackers to snack on, but even that couldn’t sooth the savage Kegan 😉

    21st Century Photography Group Photo Walk

    I’ve been shooting with a cropped sensor for so long now that switching to a new full-frame sensor is introducing a whole new way for me to approach the things I am used to. The focal lengths are now properly represented, so my 50mm lens is a true 50mm instead of the 80mm equivalent on a cropped sensor camera. This means I’ve got to get closer! That has the effect of decreasing the available depth of field, so focusing properly is crucial. The 36 mega-pixel sensor in the D800 also brings another challenge: The resolution is so high that it is not forgiving at all if you have bad technique hand-holding the camera. You can see the effects of camera shake when you view things at the full resolution. Luckily, most people aren’t viewing your images like that, but I think it’s a valuable thing because it challenges you to improve your technique!

    21st Century Photography Group Photo Walk

    It’s not easy changing the class of bodies either. My D90 is laid out very differently than the D800, so I’m constantly hitting the wrong buttons because they’re not where I’m used to finding them. That’s OK, it’s only a matter of going out and shooting as much as possible that will quickly remedy it. I did have some moments of panic when shooting a wedding with it, but I’ll talk more about that in a future post.

    21st Century Photography Group Photo Walk

    I can’t wait to shoot some studio stuff with this camera. The resolution is so amazing. I’ll be sure to write another post soon about that experience. For now, I’m buried with post-processing from previous shoots. The good news is that my computer seems to be dealing with the giant NEF RAW files from the D800 quite well, so one of my biggest fears has been put to bed. It does take a tremendous amount of time uploading the full resolution jpegs to Flickr though, but that’s something I can happily deal with 😉

    On a side note, I checked out one of Apple’s new Retina Display MacBook Pro’s this afternoon. Holy Balls. My D800 photos look even better on that thing than I could have imagined. It looks like I’m going to need to book a bunch of these real soon!

  • Jun23

    Announcing my Senior Portrait Package & Facebook Friends Special!

    Here’s the deal, if you book this package for the extremely reasonable price of $399, I will knock it down to $379 if you share the ad shown above on your Facebook wall with your friends! You’ll need to make sure you “Like” my page here. Then you can easily click the “share” button on this image here.

    Also, if you book this package and then successfully refer a friend who also books any type of session with me, I’ll give you a 2nd 11×14 print!

    Here’s the package details:

    On Location Shoot With At Least 4 Different Looks
    Digital Copies of Final Edits
    High Quality Prints:
    1x 11×14
    2x 8×10
    4x 5×7
    6x 4×6

    Contact me today and book this package and let’s make a special portrait for your senior.

  • Jun18

    Folly Beach Sunset - Happy Father's Day 2012!

    Sure I’m posting this a day late, but I just wanted to share some photos here. These were all shot with my old recovered Nikon D40 which is my current back-up body, and the Nikon 55-200 VR lens. This is equipment that can be found on Craigslist or eBay relatively inexpensively, but still enables you to make great photos!


    I use this camera as a family camera, for things like going to the beach or day trips – it’s very light but allows you the freedom to enjoy the moment instead of trying to perfectly capture the moment technically like you would with a more professional body. I shot these all as jpegs and did minimal processing in Lightroom as there was not much room for it in these 6MP files.


    It’s not a weather sealed camera or lens, it gets it’s fair share of sea-spray and sand, but wiping it down immediately and using some common sense has kept this camera in my life for many years now. The 55-200 lens is such a fantastic performer on this camera. Check this out:


    If I didn’t tell you that that was a D40 with a budget lens, not many people would assume it.


    The secret to photography is simple at its core. Have an interesting subject matter, find some quality light, and the technical stuff becomes terribly easy after that. Sure, what’s an interesting subject is quite subjective, and finding quality light involves manufacturing it on many occasions. Don’t even get me started on composition! And the technical stuff constantly evolves and changes – but you still can’t trust the camera to get it right 100% of the time so you need to understand the basics of exposure, which can take years of practice to fully understand and execute in real-life situations that require split-second reaction time from you.


    The moment is more important than anything else.

    This moment captures the day perfectly for me because it was a happy Father’s Day:


  • Jun17

    Krista at CharlestonRIDE

    My friend Krista is a spinning instructor at CharlestonRIDE and she asked me to help her make some environmental portraits at their studio in Charleston, SC. I was happy to oblige! We went for several different looks last Friday evening and I think we nailed it.


    At the top of this post is an edgier look – very athletic and fierce. Just below it is a more traditional shot with here among the studio’s equipment. This shot is Krista with a bike, looking quite instructorly if I do say so myself:


    The view from the windows at CharlestonRIDE are stunning, it’s a very inspiring place to work out! I needed some shots of Krista’s beautiful smile as it doesn’t always come through in a sports themed shot where the subject is usually putting forth a look of determination instead of a happy-go-lucky one. Here she is in front of one of their windows just after the sun went down showing off her happiness:


    And here she is, in full on instructor gear at the head of the room:


    Her daughter came along for the shoot, so of course…


    I love working with awesome people like Krista, you can see the rest of the shots we made that evening here. I’ve also shot Krista before, as you can read about in this post.

  • Jun17


    Posted in: News, Projects


    Janice called me up to ask if I could document her husband Bill’s four living generations, as well as some other family pictures while we were at it. Challenge accepted!


    This photo above is of Bill’s mother and this is the first time in her 90+ years of life that she’s ever worn blue jeans! Below is the women of Bill’s family all together. The man’s got his hands full.


    Here’s a shot of the newest generation, Aurora, with a baby blanket made by Janice:


    The full set of photos is right here. We had a fun afternoon getting everyone together for this shoot. Thanks to Janice for pulling it together. Here’s a portrait I did of her while we were at it: