the Photoshop Workbook


I have a great appreciation for creatives. I know so many amazing photographers it’s not even funny. I know even more amazing designers who have taught me more than I ever thought I could learn. It’s a rare thing when great photographers are also incredible designers and Glyn Dewis is both – and more because he’s also an inspiring instructor.

Great photographers and great designers know the secret to realizing their vision is to see the final image in your mind and then use the tools at your disposal to fulfill that vision. Cameras and software are tools but having vision is something you need to find within. What Glyn has created with his first book, appropriately titled: “the Photoshop Workbook”, is an instruction manual to using one of the most important tools that can help you start thinking about your final images in a whole new way.

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In the Portrait Studio with Syd


Recently I had a chance to photograph Syd in my portrait studio. With a majority of my portrait work happening away from my studio I thought this was a great opportunity to share some of my thoughts, some behind the scenes shots of my gear and how I like to set things up.

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Extending Focus Depth with Photoshop


Today I want to share a trick I use for Extending Focus Depth with Photoshop. It turns out there’s a feature in Photoshop that makes this super easy. I use this technique for lots of different situations but for this article I’ll talk about how it helps me when I’m shooting macro with a long lens. Continue reading

My Mobile Photography Studio


For this blog entry I’ll share some behind the scenes shots of my Mobile Photography Studio setup along with a few images from my photo session with one-year-old Brody.

A big part of my business involves creating portraits on location. Most of the time that means being in scenic locations like lakes and parks. Other times it’s an assignment where I’m photographing an office staff in their place of business. But sometimes I’ll get a call that requires a studio environment set up in a remote location. My photo session with Brody was a perfect opportunity to create a full studio environment in the clients home.

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Photographing Home Interiors


For the last two weeks I’ve been Photographing Home Interiors for a Michigan based audio/video company that specializes in super custom design, engineering and installation. My primary job has been to travel to numerous homes and capture how they are able to integrate their systems into the unique lifestyles of their clients. For this blog post I’ll be sharing some of the images and giving a few thoughts about this kind of photography.

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Photographing Liquor Bottles | Behind the Scenes of a Product Shoot


For this blog entry I want to talk about Photographing Liquor Bottles and give a look Behind the Scenes of a Product Shoot. After my recent trip to Kentucky I wanted to take some pictures of some special bottles of bourbon I received at the Maker’s Mark distillery. The bourbon inside the bottles was aged in a barrel that had my name on it (along with names of some other really cool Maker’s Mark Ambassadors). I was surprised to learn that I’d be putting custom labels on the bottles before I dipping them into the signature red wax to seal them. I’ll be sharing my experience at the distillery in a future blog post.

For this blog post I’ll be sharing my techniques for setting up and lighting a product in my studio. It may seem simple but when the goal is to create a specific look for your final shot it can get super complicated really fast. For the shot above I used a total of 5 flashes (three groups each set to different power levels).

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Golden Hours | Why the Time of Day Makes a Difference


Recently I’ve been working on new articles for a great website called Sony Alpha Lab as well as some new stuff for here on my own blog.  My latest article for SAL included some of my thoughts on shooting during golden hours and returning often to my favorite locations. In the article I shared some examples of what a difference an hour can make in terms of the sky having some great colors.

What I wanted to share here was a comparison of four shots that were all taken during the 2013 Presidential Inauguration in Washington, DC. The top was captured at 6:00am, then next shot down was captured at 6:30am, the third shot was captured at 7:00am and the last shot was captured at 7:30am. I really like the first three shots a lot but that last one is just blah looking to me. Everything was exactly the same except for the time of day when the shots were captured. I can talk about the advantages of golden hour but this comparison should speak volumes for waking up early to get better looking shots.

In future articles and blog entries I’ll talk more about shooting at golden hour and I’ll share some of my favorite shots captured in those magical times of the day.

Flash Grids | A Must Have Accessory for Controlling Your Light


Today I want to talk about Flash Grids and why they are a must have accessory for controlling your light. Getting the most from your flash involves taking control. It’s important to place your flash where it will create the best illumination and shadows. On my hot-shoe flash I almost always keep a Sto-fen difusser attached to help soften and scatter the light for more pleasing results. Another great accessory I use often is a flag (also called a bounce card, flash bender or 80-20). People who follow me on this blog also know that I’m a huge user of colored gels to create unique looks or to match my flash with the available light. But another way to take control of your flash is to use an accessory called a grid. In this blog I’ll talk about the hot-shoe flash grid system I use.

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