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

The video clip of the presentation I did at B&H to promote my book – Direction of Light – has by now been viewed more than 56,000 times since it was posted four months ago!

But as the saying inevitably goes, the book is always better than the movie. So in case you haven’t seen the video clip yet, it is a good introduction to the book, while also taking a few detours along the way. If you liked the video clip, the book contains even more, and for less than $20, you can own and hold and touch and smell the book. All yours!

You can order it from Amazon via this link,
or even directly order an autographed copy from me via the same link.

And for those of you who have already bought the book, a big thank you! The support is always appreciated. And if I could ask a small favor – a nice review on Amazon always helps.
Learn more inside…


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…


Top 10 Must-Read Blogs for Photographers 2013 from The Modern Tog

Tangents rated (very nearly) one of the best photography blogs!

Okay, I sound a little cheeky there with the title, but honestly, it really is an honour to have Tangents noticed and rated highly by other photographers. Especially when they run their own very visible and successful blogs, like Jamie’s The Modern Tog. Lots of good business advice on her site. Check out the link for the other superb photography blogs.


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 …

Learn more inside…


photography book: Direction & Quality of Light

Yes, it’s here! It’s available now. And I’m very proud of this book.

Since my previous two books, and with so many years of maintaining the Tangents blog, and doing numerous workshops and presentations, my “voice” has matured. My photography has improved. With all that combined, I really believe the material in this book is very strong. Essential even.

As I’ve told friends – I wish someone had told me everything that’s in this book, at a much earlier time in my development as a photographer. I feel it would’ve made so much difference to my understanding of the vital element of photography – light!

Right after I understood all the essentials – depth-of-field, shutter speeds, composition, timing, and all of that – instead of getting caught up in specific areas such as flash & off-camera flash & studio lighting … I wish that at the time I had truly grasped that it is all about the direction and quality of light. With this book, I try my best to share those “aha!” moments with you.

With that, I do believe this book can make a difference to your photography.
I believe that strongly in it.

The book might be at your local bookstore, but it’s definitely available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And if you like to, you can order an autographed copy directly from me. Of course, you can also order the book via Amazon.


seminar: wedding photography – style & technique

I presented a seminar on wedding photography on
Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at Unique Photo in Fairfield NJ.

The program description:
We will discuss real-world practical steps to help you develop and achieve a personal style in wedding photography. We will also discuss photography techniques, as well as topics such as posing and lighting. We will cover various other aspects that photographers can work on and develop, so that they aren’t overwhelmed and daunted by the wedding day. Please note that this seminar is about the techniques and styles of wedding photography, and isn’t a seminar on business and marketing.

Learn more inside…


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.

Learn more inside…


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

Learn more inside…