It’s a Glam thing ..

May 16, 2009

Something I was looking forward to this past week when I visited Nashville, was to meet Chuck Arlund.  I’ve been an admirer of his Fashion photography for quite a while now, ever since he started posting on the Digital Wedding Forum.  To my eye, his work stands out above pretty much anyone else.  Chuck isn’t that well-known yet outside of the DWF, but I have no doubt he will become a big name in the industry.  His lighting ranges from interesting to impeccable.  His lighting and styling of his photos, as well as the styling of his models are always something to be studied.

Chuck Arlund has just started a new blog – Arlund, the blog – where he now only shows his work, but also shares his techniques and ideas, and the way he uses lighting.  And lots more.  Even though he has just started the blog, I know he has a ton of info and photos ready.  There are more posts brewing!   So check his blog out, bookmark it, RSS it .. whatever you do, make sure you check it out often.

Chuck was kind enough to actually help me out on the day of the workshop in Nashville.   Ever the clown, I caught him in mid-air while he was carrying the softboxes we had been using.  I tripped the speedlights with PocketWizards as he jumped.

So just for those who would be interested in the details of the shot, I was at 1/250th @ f5.6 @ 400 ISO.  As always when using non-HSS flash in bright conditions, I was at maximum sync speed.  I didn’t want to go lower, because I wanted to minimize blur from his movement.   I had the speedlights in the softboxes set to 1/16th power because I didn’t want the white diffuser panels to completely blow out.   The highlights on the sidewalk were enhanced in post-processing, and the entire image was popped a bit with some of the Totally Rad Actions.   And here’s the link for the details on the softbox set-ups that are used in the workshops.


destination wedding photography

A few times a year I’m fortunate enough to photograph a destination wedding, where I fly out to a more glamorous location than New Jersey.  The Bahamas, Aruba, Jamaica, and even locations within the USA are choice destinations for couples who are looking to have their weddings in an exotic locale. 

The choice of equipment to fly out to photograph a destination wedding, as well as the way to transport them becomes a real concern.  You have to have a flexible selection of gear with you, with a certain amount of redundancy in case something goes wrong with a piece of equipment.  Yet it all has to fit into a portable camera bag or case – and one that can be taken on board a plane as a carry-on bag.  This really is of great importance, since if you read some news reports it would even appear as if thievery from luggage at airports are rampant.

So there is the delicate balance – a sensible choice of equipment that has to fit into a bag that is the right size for international carry-on luggage …

Learn more inside…


Some of the questions that I’m most often asked about here, relate to wedding photography.  Advice on a whole range topics such as posing people, business advice, album design .. and sometimes even lighting.   Amusingly enough, I sometimes get asked this a few days before the newbie wedding photographer is going to shoot a first wedding.   Regardless of the photographer’s experience level though, my advice is usually fairly succinct … that it is indeed time to do some homework.

Learn more inside…


wedding photography NOW!

April 23, 2008

It’s always a bit of a thrill when a friend achieves success of some kind – in this case, my friend Michelle Turner who recently had her book on wedding photography published.  Even better is that this 128 page volume is filled with lovely photographs as she covers a wide range of topics – from equipment to the flow of the wedding day … all the way to post-production and albums.

(click on the image if you’d like to order the book via Amazon)

Whether you are simply shooting a friend’s wedding, breaking into the business, or wanting to refresh your approach, this book takes you through the essential skills and provides you with the newest tools and tips of the trade.


gear for destination wedding photography (Canon)

I enjoy photographing destination weddings- and I’ve been fortunate to photograph weddings in Aruba, Bahamas, Miami and Las Vegas.

These are weddings are often in exotic locales.  (Well, nearly everything will seem exotic outside of New Jersey, but I digress.)  Even even though it sounds exciting to photograph in faraway places, there is a challenge that comes along with that -  packing enough of my gear and getting it safely to my destination.  It is even more of a challenge with restrictions placed on air travel.

Since I frequently get asked via emails to show what I have in my camera bag, I thought I’d post some of what my camera bag looks like when I travel.

Learn more inside…


“What general words of advice do you have for new photographers ?”

I would say that 90% of emails that I get where people are unhappy with their cameras, have to do with not understanding the basics of exposure metering. This is especially true for newcomers to digital photography.

So you used to get great results with your F5, but the D200 gives you poor results?  Well, if you’ve been shooting slide film, then you might be onto something here, but most photographers used color negative film before trying digital.  And here’s the thing that you weren’t aware of – your lab has been correcting for all your errors in exposure all this time. But with digital, you get to see exactly what you’re doing. Your photographs come out too dark? Then it is something *you* are doing, or not doing. Trust me on this one.

So my general words of advice would be:
- understand how to use your camera’s light-meter more effectively.
- use manual exposure metering all of the time,
- get to understand exposure metering, but also
- know why centering the needle is quite often not the ‘correct exposure’,
- read up on the Zone System and adapt it for yourself,
- understand the histogram and how to interpret it,
- use the blinking highlights feature and when to interpret it.

All of which often leads to the next point …

“I’ve read the manual, but what do these buttons and dials actually DO ?”

Questions that come up all too often pertain to basic operations of a camera, such as apertures and shutter speeds.

So if you …

- need to know what an aperture is,
- and why changing the aperture affects depth of field,
- and what depth of field is,
- and why a slow shutter speed causes blur,

… then it is important that you stop dawdling! Get yourself a good general book on photography with lots of photos to illustrate these concepts to you.

Without grasping these basic tenets of photographic technique, your results will always remain hit-and-miss.

Think about it this way, if you have just bought an expensive D-SLR, with more money invested in lenses and a flashgun as well .. then it makes good sense to invest another $40 on a good book to help you actually make good use of your new toys.

And now a bit of tough love for those photographers who rationalize not wanting to read a book, by saying they learn best from being shown … well, you are reading this aren’t you?  Stop indulging yourself.  Without grasping the basics of photographic technique, you will only keep yourself back as a photographer.

If you find these articles interesting and of value, then you can help by using
these affiliate links to order equipment & other goodies.   Thank you!

Stay informed of new articles via the monthly newsletter.
Also join us on the Tangents forum for further discussions.