The Capital Christmas Tree (2015)
It was another extremely busy holiday season for me but I did find the time to head in to Washington, DC to see the Christmas Trees.
I’ve seen the National Christmas Tree many times over the years but I had never been down to see the Capitol Christmas Tree. This year I made sure to finally see it up close and personal.
For quite some time now I’ve been using a small mirrorless camera as my primary landscape, travel and video camera. What I wanted to know was simple – could a super small and light alternative to my professional gear give me near-professional results. I wrote an introduction to my camera choice in another article (called: going mirrorless) but now that I’ve had it a while I thought I’d do a follow up. This will be my Sony a5000 Long Term Review.
For my paying jobs the big gear still comes out but when I’m on a photo walk or hiking in the Shenandoah Mountains I really wanted something smaller and lighter. The primary camera I’ve been working with for the last six months has been a Sony a5000 Interchangeable Lens Camrea (ILC). In this article I’m going to share my thoughts on what it’s been like for me to work with the smaller camera.
For this weeks Featured Image of the Week I went with an image from a recent visit to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. This is a sunrise shot I captured a few weeks ago and, even though I’ve featured images like this in the past, getting back to the mountains was like visiting a close friend I haven’t seen in years…
Today I’m going to share my thoughts on a book I picked up recently called: “The Headshot” by Peter Hurley. I picked up a copy to read on a recent flight and I’m truly happy I did. I buy plenty of books every year but this one is by far the best photography book I’ve purchased this year (and possibly this decade).
If you photograph people then I’d highly recommend you order a copy of this book right now then come back to finish reading this review. It’s less than $30 that will make your portraits and headshots better than that $2,000.00 f1.4 lens you’ve been looking at. Having a good portrait lens is great but the lessons in this book will have you capturing killer shots regardless of your gear. This book IS THAT GOOD!!!
Recently I needed to put together a short video about me. It was part of an application process and it forced me to look back on my career behind a camera (and in front of a computer screen). What struck me the most was how amazing my experiences have been and how lucky I am. I’ve been hustling and doing my best to earn a living while staying relevant in the photography community so putting the last decade or so of experiences together was eye opening for me. Continue reading
Recently I had an opportunity to photograph some hummingbirds (at a hummingbird feeder). I happened to have three completely different types of cameras handy so I decided to do a quick test to see what kind of shots I could create with each of them.
I’ve photographed hummingbirds in the past (without a feeder) and I can honestly say that they’re some of the most difficult subjects to photograph there is. If you’re looking to freeze them you need a crazy high shutter speed, perfect timing and a little luck. But even when you have perfect conditions you’ll get different results depending on the equipment you use. For my testing I had a big DSLR, a small mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, a super small point and shoot camera and I even broke out my iPhone to see how it could fare. The results were a little surprising…
“the Stars Over the Pier”
Recently I took a trip to the Emerald Isle in North Carolina and it gave me a great opportunity to photograph the ocean at different times. I’ve always loved shooting at sunrise and at sunset but from where I was staying sunset pictures just didn’t make for good pictures. Sunrise, on the other hand, had some great potential and I even got out one morning to see what I could capture. But what excited me the most was trying to get out late at night to see if I could capture some stars out over the ocean.
This week’s Featured image of the Week I chose to share an old picture of a scarlet macaw I photographed last year at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
I have a great appreciation for creatives. I know so many amazing photographers it’s not even funny. I know even more amazing designers who have taught me more than I ever thought I could learn. It’s a rare thing when great photographers are also incredible designers and Glyn Dewis is both – and more because he’s also an inspiring instructor.
Great photographers and great designers know the secret to realizing their vision is to see the final image in your mind and then use the tools at your disposal to fulfill that vision. Cameras and software are tools but having vision is something you need to find within. What Glyn has created with his first book, appropriately titled: “the Photoshop Workbook”, is an instruction manual to using one of the most important tools that can help you start thinking about your final images in a whole new way.
“the National D-Day Memorial”
For this weeks Featured Image of the Week I want to share a shot from my recent visit to see the National D-Day Memorial and talk about a technique I use when processing a shot like this to get a nice contrast in my final image.