Monthly Archives: January 2013

Saturday Photo Shoots


On Saturday, we had some improvisational photo shoots at the studio. How did this come to be? Well, simply, my wife put out a general call on her Facebook profile and a number of people responded. When it came down to the shoot day, I really had no idea who would show up or what style I was going to be shooting until I had a model in front of me.

On the morning of the shoot, Bunny, my wife bought some snacks and Redbull (Important as she promised cupcakes and RedBull in her call to arms); And we were off to the studio.

Liz was the first model to come down for a shoot. While she was getting changed into clothing and sat in the make-up chair, I was working diligently on setting up my lighting. Incident metering and test shots were coming out well and then a mini-disaster occurred.

I process of working with Liz, I was getting completely inconstant results; Some photos were showing the signs of shutter sync, other photos were under exposed and some were perfectly exposed. Step 1, I changed the power outlets I was using on my mono lights, and I still had no better results, reduced my lighting set-up to one light and still nothing. Last thing, I changed out the radio trigger with a tethered syn cable; Bingo, this was the issue!H22A2874-Edit

Having spent a portion of time troubleshooting my lights and being embarrassed from the technical issues, my mind was drawing blanks; That is until Liz started doing some yoga! My world changed in an instant and I had plenty of fodder for shooting. We got plenty of good photos to work with.

Shortly after Liz left the studio, Phantom came in and we were off and shooting again. Thankfully this shoot went smoothly and was rather quickly.

In both cases, I was able to establish a dialog to start work on some other projects. Phantom wants to work with us on some horror concepts as well as life style. Liz indicated that she would love to work with us more on other shoots involving yoga. I am really excited by these potentials and I am looking forward to working with both them in the future.

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Improv Photo Shoots at the Studio

Bunny in the studio

Back in the studio, today, doing improv photo shoots. My wife posted a call to her FaceBook profile and the response was amazing!  I am pretty excited about what surprises this day will bring. It is always interesting when you do not know who will show up or the personalities that will come out in the resulting images.

Let the fun begin! Make-up artist is on site and just waiting for models to arrive.

The attached photo was taken December 2012 when my wife woke up and said, “Lets go to the studio and do a shoot.” She packed up her wigs and make-up and we were off to shoot.


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Photo Walk through Downtown Indianapolis

H22A1982Last summer I went on a photo walk with my bud, Jesse of DeviantDragon. The two of us had a great time wandering around downtown Indianapolis. Consequently, this is when I learned that the ThinkTank shoulder camera bag was not the best option for me; Lesson learned and I now own two camera backpacks; one for walking and one that carries most of my camera bodies and lenses. Once again, Tamrac proves superior for my needs with the Adventure 9 and Evolution 8.

In any case, we captured lots of images that day and this is one of the images that I took of Downtown Indianapolis, from the west side of White River. It was truly a beautiful day and by the time we made back the car, Jesse and I were both wore out. I must say, was a wise choice to stop by Elbow Room to have a tasty intermission to the day.

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Latest Additions to the Camera Family

H22A2752-Edit Last week I ordered 2 cameras from KEH to add to my collection of antique cameras. Really, the main purpose was to have film cameras that I could shoot with again as I truly enjoy working with film.

Canon AE-1, produced from 1976-1984: This was actually my first SLR camera that I had the pleasure of using. When my parents separated, my mother gave me her old AE-1. This gem was beat up and had seen a rough life. The camera’s internal light meter did not even work; which forced me to learn how to use incident meters. I used this camera from the time it was given to me until 2005. At this point I was going through rough times and was force to sell the camera. So, having the another AE-1 is like finding a long lost friend.

Yashica 635, Produced in 1958: This TLR is not my first; However, the other TLR that I own is a Lubitel 166U. The Lubitel is a Russian made camera that is more a kin to shooting with a fancy Holga. Either way, the Lubitel camera is much better suited to lomography type of shooting. After that trip down the street and around the block, may I present you with the Yashica 635! This beautiful twin lens reflex camera is one of the finest pieces of chunky camera that I have put in my hands. I fell in love the minute I unboxed it. The camera shoots on 120 medium format film or 35 mm (with the adapter set that I do not have). When shooting in medium format, the frame size is 6 cm x 6 cm.

I am really happy with these purchases and can not wait to start shooting with them!

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Feeling Trapped (in my house)


Glass decorative pieces.


Raccoon Skull


Small machine screws


Rock that has been sliced.

Since December 26th, I have been feeling a bit trapped in the house. I have cleared the drive way a number of times only to have more snow dump on it. The upside is that I have been able to work on a number of projects from the home studio. Primarily, I have been working on the Hidden Worlds Project. This is an exploration in extreme Macro Photography.  One of the rules I have set up for this project is that I am not aloud to photograph Bugs or flowers.

So far, I have not had too much of a difficult time finding subject matter to photograph, the hard part is focusing and lighting.

Focus: This is extremely difficult with the Canon MP-E 65 mm macro lens. Why? Well there is no focus ring on this lens; you are focusing entirely by changing the distance from the lens to the subject. This does not seem so difficult until you realize that a single milometer can throw you out of focus; Slight body movements can destroy the shot (as well as any floor shake when using a tripod).

Lighting: I am currently using LED lighting for my set-ups; This has proven to be problematic. The current lights do not have enough output for me to shoot at ISO 200, F16, 1/60th of a second. The settings that I am having to settle for at the moment are ISO 5000 (Yes, Five Thousand), f/16, 1/30th a second. Have tried LED Work Lights as well as two Fotodiox PRO 312AS LED lights.

At 5000 ISO, I am working with a fair deal of grain/noise in the image. The current options are to fight the grain or to work with it. In the posted examples I have chosen to work with the grain,  and in some cases I have actually amplified the grain in post production.

I hope that everyone had a good holiday season and that your new year is starting off great! Take care everyone.


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