Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Relay for Life event at Oceola High School

Last weekend, my sister participated in a Relay for Life event at Oceola High School in Largo.  If you're not familiar with Relay for Life, it's a huge fund-raising event for The American Cancer Society that takes place every year at schools around the world.  Teams of people raise money and pledge to walk all night around the school track.

My father is a cancer survivor, having recently undergone surgery for colon cancer.

It was my first time attending a Relay event and I was blown away.  I don't know what I expected but I was amazed at the turnout.  Hundreds of people were there and everyone had something to sell (with all proceeds going to the cause).  There were lots of activities for children, plus food and sweets galore. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's the little things....

Someone once said, "It's not what your like that's important, it's what you like."

In other words, we are defined by the things we like more than by our own personality and character.  People may say that they want to know about a person's personality but what they really need to know in order to make an informed decision about a person is whether or not they like football or American Idol or sex with chickens.  This is the reason that I always tell my students to be sure and take pictures of stuff.

(note: "Sex with Chickens" would be a great name for a band..)

Just before Easter, my daughters managed to get their hands on some Silly Bands (or whatever they're called).  If you have young daughters you know what I'm talking about.  They're little rubber bands that take the shape of an animal when you lay them down on a table.  (yet another example of someone getting rich off something I should have created!)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wedding photography gear. What's in Booray's bag...

 As a wedding and portrait photographer, I use these tools all the time to produce my images.  If you have enjoyed my blog and are looking to buy something from Amazon, clicking on a link below to buy will reward me with a little, tiny, itsy, bitsy commission which I can use to buy more gear!

This package of gels has everything you need to color balance your flash to match the ambient light in a room.  It also has a whole selection of colors so you can get creative with background lighting, etc.  For attaching them to your flash I recommend the B.U.G.

Canon 580EXII Flash
This is the best flash that Canon makes.  It's expensive, but worth the money for two reasons.  First, it has more power and a longer throw than any other flash that Canon sells.  Second, it has a built in infrared transmitter that allows it to work as a wireless transmitter for other Canon flashes.  Canon cameras like the 7d have this built in but 40d's and Rebels don't.  With this flash you can trigger off-camera Canon flashes without buying a wireless transmitter.

Photographers searching for the past

CNN has a great story about a group of photographers who take old photographs and match them with the current location they were taken.  The more you look at the pictures the cooler it gets..

Link to the story

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bat Mitzvah at Temple Beth-el in St. Petersburg

I had a chance to photograph a Bat Mitzvah at Temple Beth-el in St. Petersburg last week.  Everyone was just wonderful to me the entire time.  The Millers are a great family, two girls just like our family and both as cute as can be.  Rabbi Torop was especially nice while I was photographing the rehearsal.  I always try to make sure that the Rabbi knows how much I appreciate there patience when taking what is, for them, one of thousands of pictures that they have taken of them.

There were so many great shots from the temple and the party that night but I just want to post a few that are personal favorites:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wedding photography and the zoom lens

If you get a bunch of wedding photographers together in a room (like AA), talk will eventually come around to lenses. A bunch of photographers talking about lenses makes watching paint dry seem glamorous. Everyone has a favorite lens and everyone has a particular style and it can be tough to decide on what your style and lens choices will be. It’s really just trial and error. Eventually, you will find yourself reaching for the same lens again and again and suddenly, before you know it, you have a style!

So, let’s talk about the almighty zoom lens.

Everyone loves the zoom lens. It’s long and sexy and makes you look like you are a PRO, baby!  “Look at my lens! I must know what I’m doing!”  The “photo-journalistic” photographers love the big zoom because it enables them to sit in the back and take pictures without being noticed, because if someone see’s them, the magical veil will be lifted and the unicorn will die (or something like that). The truth is that everyone is a photo-journalistic photographer now. I have yet to meet a single photographer who claims to only show up, take posed pictures, and leave.

But I digress. I was talking about the big zoom…

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pocket Wizard MiniTT1. It'sd a love/hate thing...

Is it possible to covet something and resent it at the same time?

That's how I feel about the new Pocket Wizard Control TL remote triggers.  Here's the way my brain works:

Pocket Wizard has released new remote triggers that send the TTL signal to your remote flash by radio.  This means that you can place your flash up to 30 ft away from your camera and have it still act as if it's attached to your camera.  In the past the only way to do this was to use a long flash cord or use the Canon built-in infrared remote trigger which requires line-of-sight to work and can has problems in bright sunlight.  In the past if you wanted a radio remote it had to be a dumb-fire device that just triggered the flash with no power management at all (everything was done manual).

Monday, April 5, 2010

New website and new questions

I've just completed a major overhaul of my website

I decided to diversify the site a little and devote exclusive space to Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs and Portraits.  Now, each category has it's own website and it's own unique design and style.  Check it out for yourself.

There are so many competing opinions about photography website design that it's tough to decide what's the best route to take.  Two of the biggest issues for me are "sound and size."

A lot of photographers use websites that automatically open to full-screen size.  I understand the thinking behind this: it makes your images bigger and also has a "cinematic' feel to it.  The problem I have with it is that I personally don't like it when it happens to me.  I resent it when a website hijacks my computer and forces my browser to full-screen ratio.  If I wanted my browser at full-screen, I'd have it there already thank you very much!

The other issue is music.  You may notice that I used to have a song on my website and now I don't.  I would like to say that it's an artistic decision but it actually has more to do with the price of music.  Now that I basically have three websites instead of two I will need to buy two more songs if I want different music on each one.  At $60 a song, that's not cheap.  The real question is wheteher or not clients like the music on the website at all.  I personally know that when I visit a site with music I almost immediatly hit mute, but that's me.  Am I buying music that no one listen's to?

I would appreciate any feedback you can give me on these two issues.  What do you think?  Full-screen? Music?