Thursday, February 18, 2016

Best Commercial Ever

I just came across this commercial today and I have to share it.   This video is so touching in so many ways,  just watch!!!

This is pretty damn awesome! Source:
Posted by Raccoon TV on Saturday, February 13, 2016

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Do You Ask Yourself, 'Why are my images cutoff, or 'Cropped,' When I Print Them'?

      Hey guys,   I wanted to put this out there, because I see so many people out there on the different social media sites asking this question a lot.   Why are my images cut off when I get them printed? 

        First of all you need to know a little bit about cameras and their internal sensors.  Each camera has a different imaging sensor that captures the image.  Most, if not all 'consumer' cameras and DSLR's have what they call a 'cropped' body or image sensor, as opposed to the higher end cameras, which are considered 'Full Frame' Cameras.   

       The main difference, for the average person, is when it comes to printing your photo.  Obviously the higher end cameras have much better sensors, functions, and much greater differences than this post will go into.  So, I am only going to mention the photo size difference here.   There is a big misconception out there that photo labs are cropping the photos and consumers are led to believe that 5x7's and 8x10's are standard sizes.  In part thats true, but for the mid-range DSLR's and point-and-shoot cameras, because of their 'cropped body,' the true proper sizes, if you want the image you see to print out fully on photo paper are as follows: 4x6, 8x12, 10x15, 11x17, 20x30, but good luck finding an 8x12 or 10x15 frame.  

        Now on the other hand in 'Full-Frame' cameras, which most are around $1200 and up, what you see is what will print out in the more 'standard' sizes like: 5x7, 8x10, 11x14, 16x20, 20x24, 24x30.   

       I believe the reason being is that way back when, when Kodak first started printing images, the cameras they used were essentially 'Full-Frame' film cameras and obviously only photographers that could afford them used them, and could charge whatever they want.  When the technology came along to make the cameras smaller, they obviously had to make the sensor smaller so it was more affordable for the average consumer.  This in turn effected the way the photos printed.  Because the 'standard' sizes were the only sizes used for so many years everyone just sticks with it.  

      So lesson learned here, if you are shooting on a 'cropped body' camera, make sure you leave enough room around the edges to be able to print the standard sizes.

‘What makes photography a strange invention is that its primary raw material are light and time’

  • John Berger

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Highlights from the 3rd Soccer Game










'The most important thing you learn as a sports photographer is anticipation - not where the action is taking place, but where it's going to take place. Not where the subject is now, but where they're going to be.'     
                 -  Lawrence Schiller

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Two Reasons Why I Always Bring My Camera With Me

      Why do I always have a camera with me, or atleast in my car?  Simple, you never know when an image might present itself.    Take the photos below for example, my 2 reasons,   I captured the sunrise this morning on my way to drop my boys off at school.  I had the camera right next to me and could see the colors starting to become more vivid as the sun was rising.   I always go the same route, passing a grass farm field, and every morning (well school morning) I get to watch the sunrise.   Sometimes its dark and eerie, or foggy, or rainy, but not today.  Today was absolutely gorgeous and I couldn't resist to pull over on the side of the road and take, literally 2 minutes: 1 min to get the settings right, and another to capture a couple images.   

       It's that easy and simple, so remember don't leave home without your Camera, and make sure your batteries are charged, your card is formatted, and lens clean: I will be talking about that in an upcoming post, possibly a video, so check back for that in about a week.  

f/9.0  1/15th sec 800 ISO,  focal length 35mm, Av Mode

f/9.0, 1/20th sec, 800 ISO, focal length 37mm, Av Mode

‘Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future.’    - Sally Mann

Quick Tip - Format Your Memory Cards Before a Shoot

      Formatting your memory cards may not be a top priority on your list of things to do before a photo shoot, but it's an important and necessary step in order to maximize the efficiency of them.   Even though you may delete the photos from your memory card, it's still using memory from them and robbing you of the full storage capabilities.  Most, if not all DSLR and I believe even Point&Shoot Cameras offer the option to Format your card in the menu section.  Check your particular Camera's info guide to see how to do it.    On Canon Camera's (Like the T3 I'm currently using)  it's in the menu section under the first yellow tool icon.   Make sure your images are saved somewhere other than the memory card before you format it, as formatting erases all the left over junk left behind.  

This is the memory card I'm currently using:


'The best images are the ones that retain their strength and impact over the years, regardless of the number of times they are viewed.'
                                            - Anne Geddes

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Processing Images in Lightroom

      Today I am going to be writing about image processing and the way I personally do it.  First of all before I start, I'd like to give a shout out to Jared Polin from FroKnowsPhoto for introducing me to Lightroom and the editing process, and well basically everything I know about photography.  (P.S. - Jared if you happen to see this post, send me a RAW shirt so I can feature it on here.)   Speaking of RAW, as he puts it, always, always, always shoot in RAW mode, if you have the capability.   

       If you are shooting in jpeg just so you can get the photos too the client faster, I guarantee they aren't as good of quality as they can be and if you are having the issue of taking too many photos too process, then you need to focus on better quality images, and less quantity.  
      Mind you I am not a pro, nor do I make a living from photography, but would one day like too, I am a very enthusiastic amateur photographer, for now.  

     As I said earlier, I use Lightroom (Currently LR4), to process my images.  After I import them, I quickly go through and weed out the ones I don't like, at this point I'm not too critical because if I capture the moment, but the lighting is off, I can always bring it back in the editing process.  Once I narrow it down, I go through them individually and process each one.  I will eventually be putting out a video on this and let you watch as I process some of my images.   

       I always make sure the camera settings in LR match the camera and lens that I used.  I then start from the top and work my way down the sliders on the right hand side, starting with exposure.   I almost always bump up my contrast between 30-50, sometimes higher for black and white images.  Everyone is different and will process their images differently, but this is the way I like to do it.   

       The best thing about shooting in RAW mode is that I can tweak an image anyway I want too and always be able to revert it back to the original, or export it halfway through, or if I process it, print it, don't like it, I can go back and make the correct changes without ever affecting the original file.    And always make sure you have a back-up for your back-up!!

Below is a screen shot of a before and after, left is original and right is processed.
This is just an example of how you can make an image pop with color, without over doing it, check out the levels of the sliders on the right for how I processed this image.

'Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communication, offer an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution.'   - Ansel Adams

Monday, January 18, 2016

Youth Soccer Slideshow

     I absolutely love making memories with my children, so I put together this slideshow of their first 2 soccer games.  At the end of the season I am going to pick the best of the best of the best pictures of each child and create a stunning sports video of each of their seasons.  So stay tuned and keep checking back for that video and more!!!

"Capture the moment, and it will capture your heart"
                                                                    - Michael Tesar

Youth Soccer Slideshow

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Capturing Marina Jacks, Sarasota, Fl

      The other day was so gorgeous down here, I couldn't resist going down to the local marina and create some stunning images.  I was there for about an hour before the sun became too harsh.  I took over 200 images, ended up with about 50 that I imported to edit, and out of those I ended up with 18 that are worthy of sharing.  The following are the best out of the 18.  If you would like to purchase a full resolution professional grade photo, you may do so by clicking the following link:  

      All photos were taken with a Cannon EOS RebelT3 with a cannon lens 18-55mm IS, always shot in RAW mode and imported to Photoshop Lightroom4 on a MacBook Pro via internal card slot.  Location was Marina Jacks - Sarasota, Fl (Home of the #1 Beach in the US rated by Trip Advisor - Top 25 Beaches in the U.S.

"You don't take the photograph, you make it" 
                                                             - Ansel Adams

As always please feel free to like, comment, and share these posts.

                                    Marina Jack, Sarasota, Fl -   01/12/2016

Paradise in Sarasota, Fl

                  f4.5              1/1600th sec              200ISO                             Purchase                

                                                            Ringling Bridge, Sarasota, Fl

f5.0              1/800th sec              200ISO                       Purchase

Sunrise at Ringling Bridge

f4.5              1/2000th sec              200ISO                      Purchase

                                                                   Sailor's Dream

f8.0              1/100th sec              200ISO                       Purchase


f4.5              1/640th sec              200ISO                        Purchase

Boater's Paradise

f8.0              1/640th sec              200ISO                         Purchase

Sunrise at the Bay

f8.0              1/400th sec              200ISO                         Purchase


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Spinning Around with the GoPro

          So the other day my boys were swinging on their swingset and asked me to twist them around on the see-saw swing (I don't really know the name of it, but thats what I call it) and thought, this might make a cool video using both perspectives, one from me, and one from him holding the camera.  I used Imovie on a MacBook Pro to edit the video.
 As always, feel free to comment, like and share my posts. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Photographing My Boys First Soccer Games.

       My boys had their first soccer games yesterday morning, so naturally, as both a Dad and an Amateur photographer I was really excited!   We woke up early and got everything prepared and in the truck.  Game time was 9:00, and we had to be there by 8:15.  I was a little concerned when the sun started to rise, cause now I could see that there was a dense layer of fog everywhere.  The sun was barely lighting up the sky, like a very dim soft light.  

This photo gives you an example of how foggy it was
f5.0              1/500th sec             400 ISO

       I started off in Manual Mode, and set my ISO at 400, Aperture was set low and shutter speed between 1/250 and 1/500th sec.  This was my first time shooting any kind of sports and both my boys were playing at different times, so I had time to adjust.  As the sun rose, the light kept changing, and towards the end of the 2nd game it finally came out a little and I ended up with some pretty good images.  

      The following are the best ones (in my opinion).  I took over 200 photos, and ended up with about 60 decent ones per child, to import and adjust in Lightroom.  Out of that I ended up with about 30 per child.  I did have to do some pretty dramatic changes on some of them in Lightroom, so I won't be enlarging these more than a 10 x 14 or so due to grain issues.   
I hope you enjoy,  please don't forget to leave a comment, share, like, and keep coming back for more.   

These images are from the first game 9:00 - 10:00
f4.5              1/160th sec              400ISO

f5.0              1/200th sec              400ISO

f5.6              1/200th sec              ISO 400

f5.6              1/250th sec              400 ISO

f5.6               1/640th sec              400 ISO

f5.6               1/400th sec              400 ISO

f4.5              1/320th sec              400 ISO

f4.5              1/1,000th sec              400 ISO

The next series of images are from the second game 11:00-12:00
f5.6              1/800th sec              400 ISO

f8.0              1/320th sec              800 ISO

f16.0              1/400th sec              400 ISO 

f16.0              1/400th sec              400 ISO

f14.0              1/400th sec              400 ISO

f14.0              1/400th sec              400 ISO

f14.0              1/400th sec              400 ISO

Thursday, January 7, 2016

I'm back!!!   it's been a while, you know, Life and stuff.  Anyways I hope everyone had an Awesome Christmas!!!    I know we did, my wife got me a Brand New Mac Book Pro 13."   I've always had a PC with windows, but this is a complete game-changer and brought me back to the love of Photography!!!    I am so pumped for the New Year and have already taken some awesome shots with my Camera.   I am still using the Cannon Rebel T3, but maybe purchasing a better, longer lens in the near future.   I am going to try and post atleast once a week so keep checking back.  

Here are some shots from the last couple of Days..

The following 3 Photos were from this morning, 01/07/2016, around 7:30-8:00 a.m., the temp was 57 and it was very foggy out.  I had a hard time getting the exposure right.  I tried Av (Aperture Priority) mode and Tv (Shutter Speed) mode. All photos are taken on my Cannon Rebel T3 w/ the EF-S18-55mm f3.5-5.6 IS II. 

f8.0              1/80th sec              1600 ISO

           f5.6              1/200th sec              1600 ISO                

f6.3              1/100th sec             800 ISO

These were taken at a Local Park on 01/03/2016 around 10:00 a.m.

f6.3             1/200th sec              800 ISO

f6.3              1/200th sec              800 ISO

f4.5              1/50th sec              100 ISO

f4.5              1/320th sec              100 ISO

f3.5              1/400th              100 ISO

f5.6              1/125th sec              100 ISO

I edit all my photos in LR4 on the Mac Book Pro,  I will eventually order the monthly photoshop bundle, but for now I have to use what I have.   Remember to leave a comment, or Email me your thoughts or any good photos you want me to share or talk about.  Till Next Time,   
Happy Shooting!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT Tripod Review

Ok so Jared, from, Fro Knows Photo is back with another great review.  This time he is reviewing the Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT Tripod.  Everyone knows that a good tripod is well worth a little cost.  This one is great because it is on the lower end of the pricing scale, yet very sturdy, reliable, and will last you 10+ years of excellent service.  So go ahead give it a try. Don't forget to stop by the Amazon Store for all your photography needs.