Had a great time this weekend at the
Freedom Weekend Aloft in Simpsonville, SC.
Met up with a old friend from Tenn to check it out.
It really felt sureal being in the middle of all the giant Balloons being inflated.
Pretty good music too!
Greenville has a amazing downtown! they have a waterfall!!
I hope our current downtown project here in florence goes as well.
May 11, 2013 -· Taken at Calvary Baptist Church, Florence,SC
Smugmug Gallery:: http://truelightphoto.smugmug.com/Weddings/Bell-Wedding/29559498_Pj6GRB
Last month I was invited to a super fun shoot at Folly Beach in Charleson, SC hosted by Mod Studios. It was the most fun I’ve had in ages! I got to work with fun friendly photographers, excellent make up artists, and beautiful models, what more could a guy want ? :)
It felt like a excellent workshop, I got to play around all sorts of gear and decided to order a monolight aftering seeing a few of them used to great effect in the field.
We had a early start (3am wakup call for me for the drive) but it was totally worth it
Got quite a few shots that I was very happy with, can’t wait for the next one!
I Had a blast working with my 2nd shooter Debbie Hancock Packer, she did a fantastic job helping out . It was at Lawton Park in Hartsville, SC one of my favorite locations in the area, love being by the water!
They had some awesome ideas, first wedding I've been to with a photo booth type setup for guests, very clever idea.
Also loved the fingerprint tree keepsake for the couple, a excellent memento
It was a beautiful day and a great wedding to be a part of.!
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to photograph Victoria and Rusty's wonderful wedding, great group of people, it was a very fun wedding with lots of smiles and laughter. Great Event, excellent way to start a life together!
The church was one that I've passed so many times in Hartsville it was really fun to get to explore the facility, it made for a wonderful location.
I had a blast shooting with Ashley and Dustin last weekend at Kalmia Gardens, they are a adorable couple with a great sense of humor, I always love it when I can get a genuine laugh and smiles.
Adobe’s Lightroom Product is a lifesaver! I consider it my most valuable tool in my post production workflow. It’s primary function is it’s ability to to make broad stroke change to your photos, changing exposure, correcting color temperature, sharpening, noise reduction, correcting distortion from the lens your using, ect. It also has a local adjustment brush for making these same changes to a select area. More importantly it can easily copy and paste these setting changes en mass to a group of photos at once - so you can quickly correct all the shots you took in the same environment without having to go into each one individually. Massive time saver!!
It’s totally non destructive - it never touches the original file so you can always undo any change you later decide you don’t like.
It’s also a tremendous aid for organizing your photos; both physically on your hard drive and in virtual collections within the product; it also handles metadata and keyboards. It can also export to both your hard drive and publish to numerous online services.
For Black and Whites:
One useful trick I've employed in the past is to highlight your entire shoot, then use the add a new collection button, tell it to make virtual copies in the set; then convert the whole set’s treatment to black and white; you can then evaluate which photos look good in black and white and delete the reset (this will only delete the virtual copies not the original ) - you can then go back in and fine tune each shot for the best result (I use NIK’s sliver efex to get GREAT black and white shots)
there are 1000s of presets out there for free all over the web; I like Lightroom Killer tips - they put a new one out every week - I've probably got a few hundred collect for some pretty cool effects; these presets basically just move all the sliders for you to get a certain “look”. Huge time saver that can give you some pretty cool pics with just a single click.
For the best result figure out how you want to organize your photos and stick to that idea. I keep a folder for each year, then a folder for each month under that, then dates under that, then if i have multiple events in a day folders under that
Jane Doe Maternity Shoot
Mike+Susan Engagement Session
Stars! Colors! quick and smart collections!
Lightroom is great for organization, if you are viewing a photo and hit 1-5 on your number-pad it will star that photo with that many stars; 6-7 is a color; q adds to a quick collection for easy groupings. you can also make a “smart” collection using a wide range of criteria that automatically update as you add more photos; for example a collection of all 4 and 5 star photos from the current year.
What I do is after a shoot I review each photo quickly at a glance and assign it a star rating (hitting X to reject any blurry or terrible shots for later deletion), if I see something that needs full Photoshop (removing a item from the background or heavy healing brush work ect) I flag it red.
after I finish editing that photo I flag it green.
When you see a photo that you have several creative thoughts on how you want to approach it remember you can always right click and “create a virtual copy” - this makes a duplicate photo in your library that you can crop/edit/ sepia tone ect without any effect on the original; and it’s doesn't take up any more hard drive space! how awesome is that! :)
For further reading/watching:
The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby
Loved Scotts book, I’d say it’s the best book for quickly learning lightroom basics in a easy to read fasion
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 - The Missing FAQ by Victoria Bampton
Another excellent resource full of answers to questions that you will certainly run into when using it!
This shot is one of my favorite bridal shots, we faked the wind by having one of my friends hold up the veil and drop it and run. I think it turned out beautifully.
Date: 3/12/11 5:31 PM
Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Exposure: 0 sec (1/2500)
ISO Speed: 200
External Flashes can be one of the more intimidating aspects of photography, but an external flash can be a great addition to your photographic arsenal to really take your work to the next level.
It’s not just for letting you shoot at night, even in the middle of the day when you think you have plenty of light the addition of a little extra light can really your subject pop.
Generally speaking the bigger the light source the better the picture will be, a tiny flash on your phone isn't going to work as well as a big external flash, and that isn't as good as a large umbrella. If you don’t have a umbrella just twist the flash head to bounce the light off the wall or ceiling, or someone’s white shirt, alot of them even have a little white card you can pull out to bounce a fraction of the light towards the subject. When you bounce the thing your bouncing off of becomes your light source so that tiny bulb become a massive wall of light.
Another Objective is to get the flash as far away fro the lens as possible, that's why most flashes pop-up from the camera... the designer is trying to get the light source further from the lens (this also has the added bonus of reducing the chance of getting red eye). that's also why photographers love long cords or radio triggers … it also unchains us from the location of the light on our camera and gives us the creative freedom to move around and get the shot in our heads.
Tricks to remember:
your camera’s shutter speed will affect the background only, my formula is to use av mode to figure out the “ideal” speed/aperture, move the camera to manual mode and set it to that, cut on the flash then play with the speed to get the background I want, then raise or lower the flash power to get the subject how I want them.
Know your limits
cameras have a maximum sync speed this is the fastest you can go in shutter speed when using a flash, it has to do with the limitations of the physical parts of the camera. Alot of lenses have a feature you can enable called high speed sync - this allows you to ignore this limitation: instead of 1 burst the flash pulses, it takes more power and and lose a little light but it’s extremely useful.
You also have a maximum distance - light drops off quickly (we call this the inverse square law) - for every step you travel away you lose the lion share of your light’s power (if at 1 ft your at 100% then when you double the distance to 2ft you’ll be at 25% of your power, then another foot you’ll be down to 11%, then 6% … so at 4x your distance you’ve lost 94% of your light’s power) Important to know in if your flash is in manual mode, it ETTL it’s going to automatically adjust to put out more light as your subject gets further away, but be aware that your battery is getting drained as it does so.
So in summary if you want to improve your shots:
1) get a external flash and try shooting with it
2) get it off your camera if you can
3) big close light is better - think umbrellas or bouncing off walls (maybe add a reflector too)
pretty simple, this one was more about the memory of the location and random nature of it; I caught this guy jumping from the deck of a Aircraft Carrier on the 4th of July in 2009 at the Charleston SC Harbor a bit before the biggest Fireworks show i've ever seen. it was a split second shot that I think turned out really well.
Camera: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XTi
Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160)
Focal Length: 50 mm
ISO Speed: 200
I shot this one at Brookgreen Gardens at Murrells Inlet, It's a really amazing place to visit when everything is in bloom, I highly recommend it to anyone interested in flower photography. This shot turned out exactly how I envisioned it, I ended up using my point and shoot so that I could get lower to the ground and shoot up. It's a really cool feeling to have a vision of what you want then finally get the shot! I think it turned out well!
I’ve recently started getting into bird photography and I thought I’d share my thoughts so far
Telephoto Lenses are a must, I started with a 70-300 that I got right after my first SLR purchase. They can range up to 800mm and above and also have prices as high as you want to go. The advice I keep hearing is purchase the largest telephoto lens you can afford. Another interesting tip I've heard is that generally the smaller the range the better the quality of the lens ie - a 300mm is better than a 70-300 and a 70-300 is better than a 10-3000.
My advice if your cost conscious is to not be afraid of the off brands - sigma and tamron have put out some excellent lenses for much less $$. I'm personally using a Sigma 120-400mm and I've been very pleased with it.
You can also purchase what's called a teleconverter / extender; basically this multiples your zoom by the specified amount (usually 1.4x or 2x), but there is a cost - you lose a bit of light and have to adjust your settings to compensate.
Having a good set of binoculars is also incredibly handy, I didn’t realize this at first since I was so used to looking through my camera lens, but it’s so much faster to lift up the binoculars.
In general the faster your shutter speed the better; I use a handholding rule that I must be at least 1/my zoom so if i’m zoomed to 300mm if i’m not at least shooting at 1/300 or more i need to adjust something. (lower the aperture or raise the ISO)
On the subject of tripods; I started out thinking that you really needed to always use one when birding, but i’ve actually found that as long as the light is good it’s quite possible to go handheld. I actually just purchased a monopod which had excellent reviews on amazon it promises to be much more portable but still offer added stability.
I’d also recommend shooting in AI servo / Continuous Focus mode, especially your subject is in motion.
good places I'vebeen for birding so far:
Huntington Beach at Murrel’s Inlet, SC
Pitt Street in Chareston, SC
Iris gardens in Sumter, SC
Next on my list:
Caw Caw Nature & History Interpretive Center
This shot is one my all time favorites for a number of reasons, it was one of the first photos I shot with my first DSLR back in 2008, and of all the butterfly pictures I've shot I think this little guy posed so perfectly in this one, the wings are aligned so that you get a good view of both wings. I've shot tons of them since then (I love the butterfly garden at Brookgreen Gardens at the beach) but this is still my favorite.
So this weekend I took a little trip to Huntington Beach, SC on a quest to get a shot I have always wanted to get : A Bald Eagle. I got there at sunset and after a few hours I saw him, I'm very happy with the shots, he dove by for a closeup at just the perfect time.
New Year, New Site!
Welcome to the website, pardon our dust.
So I've been waiting for squarespace V6 to evolve to the point that i felt comfortable using it, and I've decided to give it a shot.