DoF

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?

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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!

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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.

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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.

Photography Tip - manage the background for less distraction

This week's photography tip deals with the background of photographs.  The background is one of three things that makes or breaks any photograph.  In the examples above, I sat in the exact same spot to make each photograph.  In the top example much of the background is visible and in varying degrees of focus.  The subject is sharp and well exposed, but despite that the background still distracts from it.  Plus, the subject is not big enough in the frame either.

For the second shot, I used a different lens, different settings, and different composition to make the background as much of a nonfactor as possible, and for the background to even try and complement the subject.  Having a clean background allows the viewer to focus only on the intended subject of the photograph.  

How the difference was accomplished: 

  • 17-50mm f/2.8 lens switched to 50mm f/1.8 lens
  • 38mm focal length to 50mm
  • f/8 to f/2.8

About this subject . . . it is a large light bulb that I found floating in the water behind my apartment one morning.  It is encrusted with barnacles.  It fascinates me how something as fragile as a light bulb could survive in open water long enough to number one become barnacle encrusted and second to not simply have shattered.  I keep it on a bookshelf in my living room as a reminder of how interesting the world is and how such extraordinary things are possible.

Dandelion Florida Fine Art Photography 50mm bokeh

Dandelion ready to be plucked and blown in the wind - Nikon D300 Nikkor 50mm @ f/4 ISO 200 1/400thJust a simple dandelion at the end of its flowering life ready for the wind or a young child to come by and send its parachuted seeds in flight.  Do kids still even do such things on warm spring days out in open green spaces?  I hope so.