contest

what are your personal photography projects for 2013 ?

This photo shows me setting up to shoot a time-lapse clip of the New York skyline from Brooklyn. The bride is a model being photographed by someone else. She just looked good as part of the composition of this shot. (photo by Peter Salo) The motive behind shooting time-lapse is no more than it’s just to do something creative. You know? Something for the soul. Something to keep the interest in photography alive, and to remain motivated to create something new and interesting.

For those very reasons, I think it is essential for any photographer – in fact, any artist – to keep exploring ideas and avenues.

As this year winds down, and my workload eases up a bit, I’ve decided that 2013 is the year where I want to devote more time to personal projects of various kinds. I do want to explore HD video further and shoot some short clips. In fact, I’ve been talking to Anelisa (my favorite model), about doing a video clip centered around her, in a music video / Fashion style. I’ve also discussed with a friend who does boudoir photography, to do a promotional / instructional clip with her.

I have this intention that during December, I’ll figure out a plan – a schedule for 2013 to be posted in my calendar – where I work on several projects during the course of the year. That’s the grand scheme. To do more stuff!

let’s make it interesting … 

With that, I’d like to hear from others what they have been contemplating or are planning to do as personal photography projects for 2013? What has caught your interest and what has intrigued you enough that you’d like to get into? What themes or ideas or techniques do you want to explore?

So let’s make it fun, and inspire each other.

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what piece of photo gear had a fundamental impact on your photography?

In tracing my progress as a photographer, I can see how the things I learned from other photographers really helped me – whether through magazines, books, workshops and presentations. Sometimes it’s a dramatic impact;  sometimes it’s just an incremental change; but it is there. And all this has a ripple effect on how I approach photography. Accumulated knowledge, coupled with experience.

In the same way, some photography equipment also had a huge influence on how my style and technique developed.

For example, getting the Canon 580EX speedlite that allowed a full 180 degree swivel movement to either side, had a fundamental impact on how I approached bounce flash photography. Suddenly I was able to get directional  bounce flash.

At the time, when I upgraded my camera to the Canon 1D Mark III body, its high-ISO performance allowed me to change my style, and change how I blend flash with available light. The same thing with the progression from the Nikon D3 to D3s – I could shoot successfully in very low light levels. I talked about this in the article on wedding photography – when style, technique & choice of gear converge.

I would say though, that the photography equipment that possibly had the most impact on my style, was the use of large-aperture telephoto zoom lenses. My first such lens was the amazing Pentax 85-210 f/3.5 zoom. A massively large lens, but a beautifully sharp optic. Sadly, it was stolen. That was upgraded then to the Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 ED zoom. Wow. A big wow. Life at f/2.8 instead of f/5.6 or f/4.5

Shooting with wide apertures and long focal lengths, allowed me to be more selective about my backgrounds, and melt them into pleasant colors and shapes. Your subject just pops in the final photograph. A simple technique that gives images a quality that you can’t achieve with smaller aperture lenses.

The model in the photograph is Molly K, who I photographed in the late afternoon in Times Square, using only the available light. My settings: 1/200 @ f3.2 @ 800 ISO
Nikon D4 (B&H); Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II (B&H)

Tell us your story. Tell us what piece of photo gear had the most impact on your photography, or helped change your photography the most?  Tell us why it had the most impact.

A previous contest here on the Tangents blog - best photography tips - had an overwhelming response. So with the kind sponsorship of our good friends at B&H, we had another contest.

The contest has now closed, and a winner has been announced.
See my comment #190

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best photography tips

April 24, 2012

best photography tips

There are numerous tips and ideas in photography that helped me improve as a photographer over the years. This came via magazines and books and other photographers. Many sources.

One of the best tips that helped me develop a style over time – when using a zoom lens, zoom to the longest focal length, and then frame your shot by walking forward or back, to where you have the composition that you want.

Doing so will result in the most compression in the image, helping to isolate my subject against an out-of-focus background. (Of course, using a long lens with a wide aperture makes the difference here.) I touched on this topic with a recent article: composition for full-length portraits – step back!

I would like to hear from other readers of the Tangents blog, what their best or favorite photography tips are.

And we’ll make it a contest for the best entry.
The contest has now closed, and a winner has been announced – check my comment #190

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your best digital work-flow tip / your best office work-flow tip

I’m once again on a mission to get more control of office work-flow, and to streamline my digital work-flow even further. In a post much earlier this year, I described my Mac awakening, and how a few key things changed my work-flow completely and made my life easier. De-cluttering my desk then made a big difference.  Adding some pieces of technology in a more sensible way to my office too, made my life easier and allowed me to work faster.  Well, I’m again changing a few things to improve my work-flow. (More about this later perhaps).

In a kind of parallel to this, there was the recent article on the extra items in your camera bag – with some ideas on organizing your camera bag by adding some non-photography essentials. There were some contributions by readers of the Tangents blog who came up with additional suggestions. Mention was also made there of the Shoot Kit – a neat collection of the smaller essentials, all neatly packed into an accessible canvas holder. It contains safety pins and a sewing kit and headache tablets and such.  The kit, when rolled left-to-right is secured with a Velcro strip, but rolled right-to-left is easy and silent while opening. (Check the link to the shootkit for the exact details of what is included).

Tying this all together thematically with the idea of organizing your work / life / camera bag, there was a small contest, (now closed):

- post your best digital work-flow tip, and / or
- post your best office work-flow tip.

Even though the contest is closed, everyone is still invited to add their tips and ideas.

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wedding portraits with multiple light sources

We have a winner for the contest we had last week, where we had to reverse-engineer the lighting in a photograph. I’ll be contacting the winner who will shortly receive a $50 B&H gift voucher. Thank you everyone for vigorously participating!

Here is Josh Lynn to explain what he did for the lighting in the contest image, of which the photo above is the wider shot. This photo reveals more of the one light source. …

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wedding portraits with multiple light sources

edited on Dec 08, 2010 :
contest winner has been announced, with feedback from Josh about this photograph

When we’ve previously featured photographs that we tried to reverse engineer, there was a great response by readers of the Tangents blog. Similarly, many participated in the recent Photoshop contest. So I’ve decided that we should combine the two. Maybe even make it a regular event.

The contest then is to reverse engineer this photograph in terms of the lighting.
The winner gets a $50 B&H gift card!

Again, the photograph to be analyzed was shot by my friend Josh Lynn. It was taken during the romantic portrait session during a recent wedding.  The setup featured 5 light sources, and Josh was kind enough to give us a head-start with this diagram of how the lights were placed:

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Photoshop contest winner

September 9, 2010

I’m happy to announce the winner of the Photoshop contest from last week.  The winning entry was submitted by Hanssel Galeano, and he will receive the $50 B&H voucher for this effort.

Before I let Hanssel explain his process in editing the image,
here is the original again for comparison …

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Photoshop contest

September 2, 2010

updated Sept 09, 2010: The contest is now closed.
Here is the winning entry, as well as another notable entry.
Thank you to everyone who entered!

One of the images I took during the recent photo session with the Modern Gypsies, was this photo above. With all his antics, I had asked him to jump against the wall as if he was going to scale it. It looks pretty cool … but the mundane urban background pulls this potentially surreal image back to normality. A little bit anyway.

Then I imagined it as him scaling an impossibly high wall, rising up from an unseen area below. Pretty cool idea. However, this needs a defter hand and a more incisive understanding of Photoshop from here on than I have. Here is how far I got with my attempt at what I was envisioning …

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