DoF

Wheat colors in the high desert

Wheat colors in the high desert

Getting Low and Close for Desert Flora Photography

When I have some downtime on rural land photography shoots waiting for the sun to get lower in the sky, I put on my macro lens and see what the desert might be hiding. Such was the case on a recent shoot in McKinley County, New Mexico. I had gotten all the traditional photos I needed, wide landscapes, and was waiting to make my signature HDR sunset shots. So I took a stroll around the property, not looking far and wide, but low and close. I have told photography students in the past, if you show me in a photo what I can see from my own eye level, that is one way to make merely a snapshot. To make a photograph I used to say, show me something I cannot see with my own eyes at my own eye level. Thus, by getting low to the ground, to the eye level of this desert flora, and using the very shallow DoF abilities of the macro lens to create a creamy bokeh, I can show the viewer something she/he cannot see merely by standing in the same spot.

Read More

Albuquerque Summerfest 2019 Car Show Detail Photos

Albuquerque Summerfest 2019 Car Show Detail Photos

Going for details with car show photography in Albuquerque

To my surprise the car show featured at Albuquerque Summerfest 2019 was much bigger than I expected. As with most car shows, get photos of entire cars is a challenge due to people walking all around the cars, so as is my usual custom, I focus on getting detail shots, this time with my trusty 50mm f/1.8 lens. In the lead photo I cleaned up the background removing a few people to leave a clean shot of the front of a powerful yellow 427 balanced by the double center white line passing through the bottom of the frame. I look for contrasting lines, with the double white and then the black stripe on the car.

Read More

Creative Commercial Portraits for Engineers in Albuquerque New Mexico

Creative Commercial Portraits for Engineers in Albuquerque New Mexico

Simplicity for diversity in commercial photography

With the right lighting and creative use of depth of field, one can turn an engineering building campus into a diverse photo shoot location for commercial portraits, like I did for these photos in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I left it up to each person if they preferred indoors or outdoors for their candid photos (after I made headshots of everyone earlier). Whether I shot indoors or outdoors, my lighting setup was the same. A very simple and flexible lighting setup of my new 42” Cheetahstand SoupBowl softbox powered by my Godox AD600 strobe light. Just using a different background and positioning the light differently allowed me to get a different looking commercial portrait for each person. Which one is your favorite style?

Read More

Tableware Contest Commercial Photography Albuquerque New Mexico

Tableware Contest Commercial Photography Albuquerque New Mexico

Silverware Photo Contest Shoot?

This was a most unusual photo shoot. I was contacted to photograph tableware for a contest. I am always up for a different kind of photo shoot so I took my camera bag to a restaurant where I worked with one of the biggest teams to make these photos happen. Before this I was always hired to photograph the actual food. This time, the forks, knives, and plates! That’s why in these photos you will see the food mostly out of focus, but a fork in focus. The chef’s creations were the background for these photos. He didn’t seem to mind at all! Being a commercial photographer in Albuquerque, New Mexico allows for a wide variety in photo shoots!

Read More

Old Town Albuquerque New Mexico Macro Flower Photography

Old Town Albuquerque New Mexico Macro Flower Photography

Last week I invested in getting a macro lens, the new Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro SP.  For those of you with really good memories, you will have realized this is my third Tamron lens in the past 9 months.  Tamron is just simply producing the best lenses available for Nikon right now.  I had the Nikon 105mm VR Micro (they use micro not macro in the name) lens from 2009 until about 2013 and loved it.  It was such a fun lens to shoot with, as making macro shots always had a sense of wonder at showing a hidden world the naked eye cannot see.  It had very creamy bokeh and was very, very sharp.  I also loved it for portraits and just as my walking around lens.

Read More

Photography Tip - use repeating patterns & shallow DoF composition

These are hanging lights in a dark restaurant. I just popped in and asked someone if I could make a quick photograph of them.I do not often give composition tips, nor get around to teaching them so often in my 1-on-1 DSLR photography lessons because I usually focus on the practical aspects of making a well exposed and sharp image in any given shooting conditions.  Once someone knows how to do that, then the creative aspect of photography can come into play, and that is something that can only be taught to a certain extent anyway.  Either you have talent composing a photograph, or you do not.

Of course there are some composition tips that can definitely help out, or if you find yourself using the same composition style over and over, reading a few new ideas can provide some new inspiration.  

These are hoops on a rack in an accessories shop. Same situation, I asked someone inside if I could take a few photos, and they said yes!The two example photos in this blog post show a combination of two composition techniques, the first is obviously shallow depth of focus (DoF) and the other is repeating patterns.  The latter is something I am always looking for when out in the field.  I am a big fan of including repeating patterns, the more creative and abstract the better, in photographs.  Shallow DoF can be used on any subject matter, but when combined with a repeating pattern I feel has an even greater visual impact. 

Just the legs (seagull)

Just the legs of a seagull - Nikon D300 Nikkor 80-200mm @ f/5.6 ISO 200 1/1000thOne of my photo habits is to photograph only parts of things.  Seagull photos are pretty common as they are a common bird, so my thinking was to add a little mystery to the image by only including the legs of the bird.  Now maybe the viewer will think, what is on top of those legs?  I cropped the image to purposefully have a leading line end flush in the lower left corner too.