This photo was on B&H’s Instagram feed, and was taken in the minutes before the presentation started. And no, it’s not my doh! facepalm realization that I’ve forgotten something.
The topic of the presentation was – Direction and Quality of Light – and it is based on the material in my new book, which will come out shortly. The eagle-eyed among you that were at the Photo Plus Expo will notice that it is the same presentation I flighted there for the first time as a test. With that, I polished and shaped the seminar into an even stronger presentation. Also, this time I didn’t have to compete with naked girls being body-painted. So that did help! But, I digress. I do think this presentation was solid, and going by the stream of questions, very well received. So thank you for being there and participating.
video clip: direction and quality of light – your key to better portrait photography
Here it is! The 90 minute video clip of my recent presentation at B&H, based on the material in my 3rd book, Direction of Light. Enjoy!
The people at B&H’s Event Space kindly offered that I could do a book signing there when my new book actually hits the stores … so keep checking in for news. I will most likely do the same presentation then too. Or perhaps a new one. We’ll see. Stay tuned.
It was a new day yesterday, but it’s an old day now. I’ve always wanted to quote that snippet of lyric by Jethro Tull. It somehow seems applicable on a New Year’s Day in some oblique way. But I could never make sense of it.
And here I am, on the first morning of 2013, and it just seems like it’s the customary opportune time to reflect over the past year. And of course, it’s a good time to re-energize oneself for the new year. In some ways it is arbitrary, I know, but still, January the 1st is as good a time as any.
Aside from the feedback and comments from the followers of the Tangents blog, one of the ways that I constantly see if I am doing the right thing, is the website’s traffic. If it increases year after year, then I must be doing something right.
The screen-capture at the top is the Google Analytics mapping of the visitors to the Tangents blog the past year. Nearly 1.9 million visits from all over the world. It blows my mind! Photographers from Russia, Mongolia and even Greenland and Madagascar have checked out the site.
Compared to 2011, that’s approximately a 10% increase in website traffic. Quite solid. There was a massive 49% jump in traffic from 2010 to 2011, but I think that is mostly because I started posting much more regularly during 2009 and 2010.
So while all of this seems a little boastful, it is also a way of saying that I really, really appreciate the good word that everyone puts out there about this site. It helps the site, and it helps me … and motivates me in turn to make this site even better. So for all those who have referred others to my site, and linked to my site, it is hugely appreciated. Truly. But please don’t stop now. : )
I need your help! My publisher has asked me to write a book on portrait lighting, but with a specific theme in mind. They have a series they want to build up, called 75 Portraits. Over 150+ pages, each book will describe how different portrait photo sessions were set up, with emphasis on the lighting.
75 Portraits, and each one is devoted a 2-page spread with the main photo, a description, and supporting images, including a lighting diagram. Wonderful to just dip into for ideas; wonderful to read through more systematically.
What impressed me was the variety that the author has in his book. These are mostly studio-based photos, but there are many on-location setups as well. He also describes how he arrived at some of the concepts. His subjects are varied, ranging from kids all the way to Mike Tyson!
So there’s the challenge – to write a book that might compare.
But … I don’t have enough material yet. And this brings me to the topic here. I need interesting and photogenic subjects. I want to photograph you. Or your friends, or family or colleagues. I’m not necessarily looking for supermodel-perfect subjects. I want people that fascinate and intrigue. Characters. Musicians. Tattoos. Interesting jobs and locations. People with stories.
My time-frame is Jan to Oct, 2013. It seems like a long time, but it does mean at least two photo sessions every week.
With wedding photography, there are 3 main elements to what we should capture – Portraits; the Moments, as well as the wedding day Details. The more traditional approach is portrait-heavy; the photo-journalist approach favors The moments. In-between there somewhere is the better balance … even with modern wedding photography where there is a strong bias towards story-telling. The wedding day portraits will always remain important.
However, what brides tend to scour magazines and Pinterest for, are the wedding day details. Ideas and inspiration for their own weddings. Bridal magazines know this, and the articles featuring specific weddings are usually details-oriented.
I’ve seen some of the more purist photo-journalistic wedding photographers scorn this bias towards photographs of the details. “What will you remember in 20 years’ time about your wedding? The color of your bridesmaids’ bouquets, or the people who were with you?”
Fair point. I’d heartily agree. Yet, it is very solid advice for any wedding photographer that if your client paid for something, you should photograph it. The details of the wedding! With that in mind, I posted a selection of my favorite images of wedding details from 2012. (There are links to the associated weddings.)
I was very honored this year by the number of weddings where my clients were inspired to book me because of my work seen on the Tangents blog. It’s a huge compliment to be trusted with such and important task as making a lasting record of someone’s wedding day.
This year I photographed weddings not only in New Jersey and New York, but also in the cities of Boston and Baltimore, as well as in Maryland and Delaware.
If any followers of the Tangents blog have family and friends that recently became engaged and / or are looking for a wedding photographer, please do contact me. I am still booking for 2013. As I mentioned, I do travel further afield than just NJ, and I also photograph destination weddings. So please feel welcome to recommend me.
new book: Direction & Quality of Light – it’s nearly there!
Yup, I’m pretty excited about this news – the galley for my 3rd book arrived this afternoon! It’s the final draft where I just need to go through it carefully again … and then it is off to the publisher and the printers.
It should be out in March or April 2013. I’ll keep everyone posted here. (Or just join the mailing list.)
I’m happy about the cover too. My favorite model, Anelisa. As someone told me, “in a ways she’s been the model face of Tangents (and a delightful one!), and it just seems the right choice.”
The book can be pre-ordered already:
As for an electronic version, I assume it will be available in iBooks. I’m not sure about Amazon’s Kindle because it would depend on what Amazon and the publisher can arrange. Same for translations of the book – it depends on what my publisher can arrange with other publishers internationally.
In the meantime, my previous two books are still available from Amazon, or an autographed copy can be ordered directly from me. And if you already have both books, and haven’t done so yet, a nice review on Amazon always helps. Thank you to everyone who has helped and supported me with this! (more…)
I’ve had a bunch of people email to ask me if we are fine after Hurricane Sandy swept through the Eastern part of the USA on Monday, so it might be a good idea to post it here as well.
We’re fine! Where we live in north New Jersey, the storm passed South of us and then to the West of us during Monday. So we didn’t feel the brunt of it.
In comparison to the heart-breaking stories and the damage we’ve seen elsewhere in news stories, we had no damage at all. We had put away all patio furniture and such. So the only damage that we had was part of our wooden fence in the back, fell over.
We got really lucky though. Some neighbors had minor damage to their houses. I’m sure there’s a lot of damage in all of New Jersey with trees blowing over.
So the worst of it is that we are without power today (Tuesday). Late last night we heard a power transformer (?) down the street go bang! and then you could hear it arcing through the night. So now we are without power and probably will be for several days while they deal with much bigger problems elsewhere.
My daughter, Janine, was staying in the dorm at university. The engineering campus of NYU is in Brooklyn and not too far from the areas that were completely flooded when the sea pushed the Hudson River over its banks. But she’s safe. (The university authorities didn’t allow any students outside at all.)
And that’s about it. :)
As soon as we have power again, it’ll be back to usual business here.
The photo above was taken on Sunday night in Manhattan as the clouds ominously loomed, pre-Hurricane Sandy.
I’ve been using the Nikon D4 (B&H) for a few months now, and love it. For me, the Nikon D4 offers more than enough resolution for wedding photography.
Of course, wedding photography is a niche. There are other genres and types of photography where large files are a benefit. Landscape photographers and commercial photographers have a need for large digital files for maximum detail. And with that Nikon must have seen a gap, and made the surprising jump from the 12 megapixel D700, to the incredibly high (for now at least) 36 megapixels of the Nikon D800 (B&H).
Today I had the chance again to photograph Ulorin Vex in the studio, and I decided to use the Nikon D800. Looking at the first series of images, my response immediately was: “Holy macaroni! The files are incredible!”
The amount of detail will astonish anyone (like me) who hasn’t had the opportunity to use a medium format digital camera. Now that image quality is accessible to nearly every photographer who has a bit of a budget for cameras.
flash photography workshop - Amsterdam, Netherlands – July 22, 2012
With my daughter, Janine, done with high school and ready to enter university, I thought it might be a great time for a kind of road trip for the two of us. One last time to hang out together before she leaves the house. There was just this small window now in July where both our schedules were open.
When I was in Amsterdam in 1986, I really liked the culture and the laid-back nature of the people here. Of course, it also helped that in being an Afrikaans-speaking South African, I could understand Dutch fairly well. And besides, the Dutch all speak English fluently. So on short notice, I decided a trip to Amsterdam might be a fascinating place for Janine and I to explore for a few days, and let her discover another culture.
With that, I thought it would be a good opportunity to announce a workshop in Amsterdam, since I’ve had several enquiries from The Netherlands and neighboring countries. I was quite thrilled that this workshop today was nearly sold out, even though I did announce it on fairly short notice.
photography tutoring session via Skype video calling
Because of requests that I extend the tutoring sessions for photographers further afield than New York, I’ve decided to offer tutoring sessions via Skype video calling. With this, we can cover topics where you need help or clarification.
These sessions are $75 per hour;
with a minimum of one hour; there-after in segments of 30 minutes.
Payment is via Paypal, but credit card payments are welcome too.
You have to have fast enough bandwidth to be able to do video chat!
The tutoring session will be the video call, including sharing of my computer screen
The tutoring sessions are personalized sessions that are intended to help you where they might be struggling with specific aspects in photography. We can also discuss your portfolio, and how it might be improved. The goal of the session is to answer specific questions or provide answers to specific challenges that you might be facing.
If you’re interested in signing up for a session, phone me at 862-485-7276 or email me.
The Tangents blog is a labyrinth of over 700 articles currently, so there is a lot to explore. I’ve just updated the About page on Tangents as a rough guide to what-is-where. With an idea of where to look and combined with the Search field, it’s not quite up to serendipity anymore in finding stuff around here.