Tangents, a must-follow photography blog

How very meta – a screen capture of the Tangents blog, as the lead image here. There’s a reason though – the Tangents blog got a nod by the people at e-junkie, as one of the Top 10 must-follow Photography blogs. It always feels good to get recognition for the work. So while I bask a little in this glowing moment, there’s also a thank you to everyone who follows this website. You’ve helped sustain this website into a something that has helped so many photographers along the way. This has been as much my own journey as I progressed as a photographer.

I frequently get thank you notes, telling me how much impact this website has had on their photography – and that is a huge compliment. It’s always good to hear.

A recent email that was quite touching …

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Tangents – updates

August 4, 2013

Tangents – a few more changes

Along with the recent new look to Tangents, (with wider images and with the navigation improved), my web techie guy, Griffin and I, rolled out a few more changes.

The Tangents forum now more closely matches the look of the Tangents blog, with a wider layout, and with the same navigation (and Social Media links).

The overall navigation of my entire site has been changed, with the Tangents related sections now more logically grouped together. The Tangents related sites are now separated from the wedding photography site. It’s more an effort not to confuse any potential client. But in case you were looking for my wedding photography blog, it’s now on the ooooother side.

Another new addition is the Store page which lists the video tutorials and action sets (and such) that are for sale on the Tangents site. In addition to the links in the menu to the  Tangents forum and Workshops, there are nowa link to an About page which helps bring some sense to this by-now labyrinthine website.


The image at the top is the view of Manhattan from the cliffs of Weehawken – a truly breath-taking sight any time of day. It was shot with the très magnifique Fuji X100s. I did juice up the colors slightly in post-processing.


Tangents – a new look

June 21, 2013

Tangents – a new look

As you may well have noticed, the Tangents website has had a major overhaul. Two of the changes that will be immediately obvious to the regular visitor – the horizontal images are now larger. Yay! Also, the navigation has been tweaked.

It’s still an ongoing process, but if there are any glaring problems, or ways I can improve the site, drop me a note here.

The image at the top is from a concert I attended recently – The Heavy, during their show at Webster Hall. Electrifying! (But I decided to hang out from the balcony area since I hurt my foot, and wasn’t ready to be trampled in the crowd yet.)

It was shot with the awesomely awesome little Fuji X100s.


After Dark Photography Education – St Louis, MO – 2013

Anyone who regularly followed the Tangents blog during the past year or so, will know that I’ve raved about the After Dark events that I attended (and presented at). In my opinion, After Dark is the best (and most fun) learning experience that I’ve encountered.

If you want more details about After Dark:
After Dark Edu website for more info
After Dark on Facebook, if you want to closely follow discussions

The one After Dark event that was announced for 2013, was held in St Louis. As before, I did several presentations and I’d like to show some of the images that I shot while here.

Learn more inside…


Planet Neil

April 3, 2013

Planet Neil gets a make-over

A few years back, I moved the Tangents blog over from the PlanetNeil domain to the new domain, neilvn, to keep it in line with rebranding my site and my photography. I know, PlanetNeil is a quirky name and memorable, but it also sounds like something a 12-yr old would’ve come up with. That says a lot about my general state of mind perhaps. Perhaps.

Since that time, the PlanetNeil domain lingered as just a splash page with a link through to the Tangents blog. But I also noticed that a huge number of people seem to have still kept it as a bookmark, and enter the Tangents blog via that link. With that, I thought it might be cool to update the PlanetNeil intro page into something less bland.

So there it is, PlanetNeil had a make-over, with more images and a list of the most recent blog entries. A bit of window-dressing for the long time followers of this website. Thank you for having stayed on for this journey!


Anelisa in the studio for a photo session

To create a promotional video clip for my studio, I had Anelisa stop by today so we could do a variety of looks. We used available light, continuous light, and studio lighting. It is also the first time we saw each other since the release of my new book – Direction of Light – so I was able to give her her copies. (In case anyone missed it, Anelisa is on the cover.)

As we reminisced a while about the number of times we had workshops and photo sessions, I realized that today was exactly three years, to the day, since the first time we worked together. The photos from that individual workshop resulted in one of the key articles on Tangents – effective on-location portraits. So yes, it’s been a long working relationship with Anelisa, my favorite model.

More images from this photo session, as well as the video clip, will be up in the coming days. But in the meantime, here is the pull-back shot of this image at the top …

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Las Vegas mini-workshop: on-location flash photography

With WPPI coming up again soon, I’ll be in Las Vegas in March 2013. And like previously, I’ll be having a series of mini-workshops of my own.

There will be 2 such mini-workshops; each 4 hrs long.

  • Sunday, March 10,  1 – 5pm  -  sold out
  • Monday, March 11,  1 – 5pm  -  sold out

The mini-workshops will be limited to only 3 people at a time. Definitely un-crowded! Therefore these mini-workshops will be closer to being individual tutoring sessions.

Learn more inside…


video clip: Direction & Quality of Light – your key to better portrait photography

Thank you to everyone that came out to the presentation at B&H’s Event Space. It was jam-packed! That’s always a big compliment. The 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. 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.

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news: my own studio space!

January 30, 2013

Finally – my own studio area.

Today has been an exciting day – I signed the lease on a large studio space. I’ve been sharing studio space the last year, but it’s become obvious over time (even before then), that I really, really need my own space.

My own studio, and my own office area away from home. And here it is – the studio as it is now. Two iPhone photos just to show what it is. It is huge, and as you can see, lots of window light. And it’s just 10 minutes’ drive from my home here in New Jersey.

This was in February, and since then the studio has had a transformation. This is how it looks right now: NvN studio

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wedding photography NJ / NY

December 28, 2012

NJ wedding photography New York

wedding photography – favorite detail images

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.

Learn more inside…