Title: Shifting Gears.My thoughts on shooting Rusty Metals…Shiny metals are pretty and all but I’d rather photograph the rusty ones! Most metals corrode over time and rust forms, creating pits, cracks, and interesting textures and colors. Photos of rusted metals that were once shiny and new can also give off a certain mood and evoke harsh emotions, not to mention natural light helps bring out the most amazing rust driven textures.Most urban decay or URBEX images feature subjects covered in rust and tend to make the shots believable. Think about it… would you believe a space was abandoned and tore up if it was absent of rust and wear? This is what I think about when I have downtime. So if you haven’t taken the time to photograph an ounce of rust and decay… I suggest you start!

Title: Shifting Gears.

My thoughts on shooting Rusty Metals…

Shiny metals are pretty and all but I’d rather photograph the rusty ones! Most metals corrode over time and rust forms, creating pits, cracks, and interesting textures and colors. Photos of rusted metals that were once shiny and new can also give off a certain mood and evoke harsh emotions, not to mention natural light helps bring out the most amazing rust driven textures.

Most urban decay or URBEX images feature subjects covered in rust and tend to make the shots believable. Think about it… would you believe a space was abandoned and tore up if it was absent of rust and wear? 

This is what I think about when I have downtime. So if you haven’t taken the time to photograph an ounce of rust and decay… I suggest you start!

Title: Riverscape.Wide/Fisheye shot of the abandoned Peninsular Paper Company located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I love how the fisheye encompassed the entire expanse of the river. It was my intention to purposely set the Paper Company building near dead center to help cut the photo into 3 pieces. You see sky in the top portion. The river, waterfall, and buoys on the left and then notice the rocks and tree on the right.Photo taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III outfitted with their EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye and a rail was used as a makeshift tripod.

Title: Riverscape.

Wide/Fisheye shot of the abandoned Peninsular Paper Company located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I love how the fisheye encompassed the entire expanse of the river. It was my intention to purposely set the Paper Company building near dead center to help cut the photo into 3 pieces. You see sky in the top portion. The river, waterfall, and buoys on the left and then notice the rocks and tree on the right.

Photo taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III outfitted with their EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye and a rail was used as a makeshift tripod.

Title: The Mullins.As a photographer you either love or hate headshots. Having said that… you will be asked for them on countless occasions. In my opinion, the more natural and candid the headshot appears the better the portrait. The more overly posed your headshot is the less of the person you are trying to show comes forward. So today I thought I’d share some tips I use when taking a headshot or portrait.5 Tips for Keeping Your Portraits Natural Looking1. Respect. A very important and often overlooked part of photographing people. Everyone who comes in front of your camera deserves respect, they deserve to be treated how you’d like to be treated. Having respect is a great way to break the initial ice, as well as put a lasting memory into your subject head… not only causing them to come back but recommend your services. Remember, a bossy photographer is not pretty - not even cute.2. Remember the Hands. Hands can be distracting in portraits if placed wrong - my suggestion is to put something in them. Have your subject hold something or place the hands out of sight. 3. Pull Up a Chair. No one, and I repeat no one looks flattering if shot from below. In fact this is a sure fire way to make enemies with your photography! I carry a collapsable stool with me to every shoot and it has saved me a countless number of times. When people tell you “I’m not photogenic” 9 times out of 10 they are remembering a photo that was not shot where you are above the subject. Shooting from above not only adds depth but also slims and lengthens your subject.4. Distract Your Subject. Don’t just sit them in a chair and start taking photos. Talk to them, get to know them (remember #1 respect), and get them talking. Any subject will do… the key is to get them comfortable. When you get their attention away from themselves it results in a natural look. Make them laugh, yes - joke with them! Some of my favorite shots are the ones that are not traditional. This tip is also extremely important when shooting children - you have to be on their level and not so adult-like.5. Get Out of a Studio Environment. Nothing says unnatural as a portrait in a studio. I’m sure I will get a lot of hate mail over this one but it’s true. Taking portraits of subjects in their own or familiar surroundings makes for some of the best portrait/headshots I’ve seen. Having said that - you as a photographer need to find the right place for the portrait in their environment. Remember to keep it simple and clean. Think about the space where you are shooting and how you can use it creatively.

Title: The Mullins.

As a photographer you either love or hate headshots. Having said that… you will be asked for them on countless occasions. In my opinion, the more natural and candid the headshot appears the better the portrait. The more overly posed your headshot is the less of the person you are trying to show comes forward. So today I thought I’d share some tips I use when taking a headshot or portrait.

5 Tips for Keeping Your Portraits Natural Looking

1. Respect. A very important and often overlooked part of photographing people. Everyone who comes in front of your camera deserves respect, they deserve to be treated how you’d like to be treated. Having respect is a great way to break the initial ice, as well as put a lasting memory into your subject head… not only causing them to come back but recommend your services. Remember, a bossy photographer is not pretty - not even cute.

2. Remember the Hands. Hands can be distracting in portraits if placed wrong - my suggestion is to put something in them. Have your subject hold something or place the hands out of sight. 

3. Pull Up a Chair. No one, and I repeat no one looks flattering if shot from below. In fact this is a sure fire way to make enemies with your photography! I carry a collapsable stool with me to every shoot and it has saved me a countless number of times. When people tell you “I’m not photogenic” 9 times out of 10 they are remembering a photo that was not shot where you are above the subject. Shooting from above not only adds depth but also slims and lengthens your subject.

4. Distract Your Subject. Don’t just sit them in a chair and start taking photos. Talk to them, get to know them (remember #1 respect), and get them talking. Any subject will do… the key is to get them comfortable. When you get their attention away from themselves it results in a natural look. Make them laugh, yes - joke with them! Some of my favorite shots are the ones that are not traditional. This tip is also extremely important when shooting children - you have to be on their level and not so adult-like.

5. Get Out of a Studio Environment. Nothing says unnatural as a portrait in a studio. I’m sure I will get a lot of hate mail over this one but it’s true. Taking portraits of subjects in their own or familiar surroundings makes for some of the best portrait/headshots I’ve seen. Having said that - you as a photographer need to find the right place for the portrait in their environment. Remember to keep it simple and clean. Think about the space where you are shooting and how you can use it creatively.

Title: Musical Glasses.One of the coolest ideas for clean utensils in a coffee house that I’ve seen in a long time. Rock N’ Roll for clean and Disco for dirty. Much love to The Ugly Mug Cafe and Roastery in Ypsilanti, Michigan for their creativity.The Ugly Mugwww.uglymugypsi.com 

Title: Musical Glasses.

One of the coolest ideas for clean utensils in a coffee house that I’ve seen in a long time. Rock N’ Roll for clean and Disco for dirty. Much love to The Ugly Mug Cafe and Roastery in Ypsilanti, Michigan for their creativity.

The Ugly Mug
www.uglymugypsi.com 

Title: Wind-Blown.Are you hot yet? I know I am! Today’s blog goes out to my summer lovers out there. While I’m not the biggest fan of the hot weather, I do like summer’s longer days and the abundance of colors that seem to be around every corner. So this blog is a set of tips for shooting in summertime conditions. 7 Tips for Summer Photography1. Beware of Sunscreen. No not on your body, in fact you should be using SPF 30 to protect your skin outside - however, sunscreen is very damaging to cameras. The ingredients can eat and wear down camera seals, take finish off of lenses and even take the sheen of your camera body. Keep antibacterial lotion or wipes in your bag and use it immediately after applying sunscreen to help clean it off your hands.2. Color, Color, Color. Use the bright colors that seem to be everywhere! Capture the blue skies by keeping the sun behind you and take full advantage of the summer saturations of colors.3. Summertime Details. Capture the details that scream summer. Bright flowers, pools and sprinklers watering a green lawn, and who doesn’t love a shot of BBQ food items or a picnic basket. Do you have large bodies of water around you? If yes, it’s time to get out and photograph some beach lifestyles.4. Travel Light. Don’t carry every lens you own! Limit yourself to 1 to 2 lenses for your walks… I mean do you really want all that added weight in the heat? 5. The Summer Portrait. The sun is harsh, so avoid having your subject looking directly into the sun. Shade can be your friend and it’s all about placement. If you are wanting a full on summer portrait position your model with their back to the sun and meter on the face to help avoid getting silhouettes.6. Avoid Mid-Day. Avoid the noon sun as much as possible. Mid-Day lighting is extremely harsh and doesn’t make for the best lighting scenarios. If you are scheduling photography sessions do them earlier or later in the day. Added bonus, it’s cooler at those times and helps control moods and comfort levels.7. Wet ‘N Wild - Keep Dry! And by dry I’m talking about your camera. Keep water splashes off your camera. Moisture, dust, and sand can harm your camera and it’s internal components. If you are doing lens changes, avoid the wind and the increased particles in the air. As for you, a bottle of water or even better yet a refillable water bottle should be part of your gear list. Stay hydrated and keep conscious of your eternal temperature. 

Title: Wind-Blown.

Are you hot yet? I know I am! Today’s blog goes out to my summer lovers out there. While I’m not the biggest fan of the hot weather, I do like summer’s longer days and the abundance of colors that seem to be around every corner. So this blog is a set of tips for shooting in summertime conditions. 

7 Tips for Summer Photography

1. Beware of Sunscreen. No not on your body, in fact you should be using SPF 30 to protect your skin outside - however, sunscreen is very damaging to cameras. The ingredients can eat and wear down camera seals, take finish off of lenses and even take the sheen of your camera body. Keep antibacterial lotion or wipes in your bag and use it immediately after applying sunscreen to help clean it off your hands.

2. Color, Color, Color. Use the bright colors that seem to be everywhere! Capture the blue skies by keeping the sun behind you and take full advantage of the summer saturations of colors.

3. Summertime Details. Capture the details that scream summer. Bright flowers, pools and sprinklers watering a green lawn, and who doesn’t love a shot of BBQ food items or a picnic basket. Do you have large bodies of water around you? If yes, it’s time to get out and photograph some beach lifestyles.

4. Travel Light. Don’t carry every lens you own! Limit yourself to 1 to 2 lenses for your walks… I mean do you really want all that added weight in the heat? 

5. The Summer Portrait. The sun is harsh, so avoid having your subject looking directly into the sun. Shade can be your friend and it’s all about placement. If you are wanting a full on summer portrait position your model with their back to the sun and meter on the face to help avoid getting silhouettes.

6. Avoid Mid-Day. Avoid the noon sun as much as possible. Mid-Day lighting is extremely harsh and doesn’t make for the best lighting scenarios. If you are scheduling photography sessions do them earlier or later in the day. Added bonus, it’s cooler at those times and helps control moods and comfort levels.

7. Wet ‘N Wild - Keep Dry! And by dry I’m talking about your camera. Keep water splashes off your camera. Moisture, dust, and sand can harm your camera and it’s internal components. If you are doing lens changes, avoid the wind and the increased particles in the air. As for you, a bottle of water or even better yet a refillable water bottle should be part of your gear list. Stay hydrated and keep conscious of your eternal temperature.

 

Title: Multiple Choice.The photo above is an in-camera, 5 shot, multiple digital exposure from a Canon EOS 5D Mark III. Straight out of camera, no post processing. Enjoy.

Title: Multiple Choice.

The photo above is an in-camera, 5 shot, multiple digital exposure from a Canon EOS 5D Mark III. Straight out of camera, no post processing. Enjoy.

Title: JOHN DEERE.What is “Tack Sharp?”Simply stated the term TACK SHARP is used to define images that are sharp. These sharp images should be sharp even when viewed at its largest size to be considered tack sharp. The focal point should be free of blur, movement, and be as sharp as a tack. Hence the term “tack sharp.”

Title: JOHN DEERE.

What is “Tack Sharp?”

Simply stated the term TACK SHARP is used to define images that are sharp. These sharp images should be sharp even when viewed at its largest size to be considered tack sharp. The focal point should be free of blur, movement, and be as sharp as a tack. Hence the term “tack sharp.”

Title: Cross-Connection.Never underestimate the power of natural light. I have seen so many photographers get caught up in dragging strobes, hot lights, and various other light sources out with them on shoots where they are not needed. Do you really need all that lighting to walk around the city? When one is overly concerned about making the perfect lighting scenario you miss out on moments like the photo above. I have always felt that a photographer must master natural lighting before moving on to artificial lighting. A working knowledge of natural light is slowly becoming a thing of the past and it concerns me.Artificial lighting has its place, and yes even I use it, but there is something magical about using the light that mother nature gives out. That special kind of light can not be recreated.So my bit of photography advice to everyone is to put down the lights, but down your flashes, and recreate the light around you. 

Title: Cross-Connection.

Never underestimate the power of natural light. I have seen so many photographers get caught up in dragging strobes, hot lights, and various other light sources out with them on shoots where they are not needed. Do you really need all that lighting to walk around the city? When one is overly concerned about making the perfect lighting scenario you miss out on moments like the photo above. 

I have always felt that a photographer must master natural lighting before moving on to artificial lighting. A working knowledge of natural light is slowly becoming a thing of the past and it concerns me.

Artificial lighting has its place, and yes even I use it, but there is something magical about using the light that mother nature gives out. That special kind of light can not be recreated.

So my bit of photography advice to everyone is to put down the lights, but down your flashes, and recreate the light around you. 

Title: Old Believer.Who likes to road trip? THIS GUY! This past Monday we packed up the Honda Fit and headed out to Ypsilanti, Michigan. The agenda and assignment was shooting organic farms/orchards with stops in Ypsi’s downtown area, including coffee at The Ugly Mug. Life on the farms was nothing short of Awesome Sauce - so much eye candy and many great images were made. I road a tractor, we photographed in apple orchards and electrical fields, and set out to explore miles and miles of rustic naturescapes. Long story short… Monday rocked. The photo above is proof that this photographer is capable of leaving a congested city every now and then. More photos to come.

Title: Old Believer.

Who likes to road trip? THIS GUY! This past Monday we packed up the Honda Fit and headed out to Ypsilanti, Michigan. The agenda and assignment was shooting organic farms/orchards with stops in Ypsi’s downtown area, including coffee at The Ugly Mug.

Life on the farms was nothing short of Awesome Sauce - so much eye candy and many great images were made. I road a tractor, we photographed in apple orchards and electrical fields, and set out to explore miles and miles of rustic naturescapes. 

Long story short… Monday rocked. The photo above is proof that this photographer is capable of leaving a congested city every now and then. More photos to come.

Title: Beanstalk.Photography Term 101: SOOC.Photographers use this word as shorthand for “Straight Out Of Camera”. This refers to NOT using Photoshop or any image editing software as of yet. Often used online and not in real life, to give quick information to other photographers. Case in point, the photo above was taken with my Fujifilm X100 set to Provia/STANDARD with a custom white balance. No Photoshoping, No Lightroom, No Hassles.the UGLY MUG cafe and roasteryYpsilanti, Michiganwww.uglymugypsi.com 

Title: Beanstalk.

Photography Term 101: SOOC.

Photographers use this word as shorthand for “Straight Out Of Camera”. This refers to NOT using Photoshop or any image editing software as of yet. Often used online and not in real life, to give quick information to other photographers. 

Case in point, the photo above was taken with my Fujifilm X100 set to Provia/STANDARD with a custom white balance. No Photoshoping, No Lightroom, No Hassles.

the UGLY MUG cafe and roastery
Ypsilanti, Michigan
www.uglymugypsi.com