July 13th, 2012
Children’s photography to me is something that’s important but not pressing. It’s not like there’s a leak in the bathroom and you have to call the plumber right away, but in the end you’ll be very glad you’ve got the images when the kids are all grown and you’ve moved house.
So I was very happy that I got a call from Evan and Lane’s mother to set up a shoot. My daughter had been in pre-school with the boys, and we’d been meaning to schedule a session for a long time.
Arriving at their Santa Fe house on a bright Sunday morning, I was greeted with a mimosa. This was going to be a tough gig.
June 21st, 2012
I’ve had my Fujifilm X-Pro 1 for about a month now, having rented one previously, and it’s proving to be a frustrating and lovable thing.
At times I’ll want to throw it across the room when it stumbles over a simple focus or is busy thinking to itself when my subject’s face assumes a perfect (and fleeting) expression.
But then I’ll look at the images it produces and declare it to be the best thing ever.
We went to the Rodeo de Santa Fe last night, and the X-Pro1 was its usual Jekyll and Hyde self. While I was shooting, especially fast-moving horses I was pretty sure I wasn’t getting anything.
When I got home, however, it made me love it again.
June 7th, 2012
Normally thought of as a tool for landscape photographers, neutral density graduated filters (or ND grad filters) do a simple thing well. They reduce the amount of light hitting the sensor from one part of the image, their shading fading gradually to letting all the light in to the rest of the filter.
This gradation normally means the top-half is filtered and the bottom half not (but there are lots funky ways of adjusting this using filter holders and stuff I won’t go into here.
The classic usage is to darken the skies to keep detail there while getting a good exposure on the mountains in a landscape shot.
May 24th, 2012
You can tell a lot by the camera you choose for a job. Late last week I had a shoot to do, and although my DSLR kit was sitting beside me, I reached for the Fujifilm X-Pro 1. I’m that impressed with the hip black slab.
So what is it about this camera that only sports an APS-C sized sensor, only has 3 lenses available and costs $1700 that makes it so endearing? This review breaks down my experiences with it, and shows some sample images. As with all my reviews, there’s no photographs of brick walls, no ISO tests with wine bottle labels or collections of kitchen items – just my impressions of using the thing in real-world situations, to shoot the real world.
All the images here were taken with the X-Pro 1. Most received minor contrast and definition adjustments to the JPGs in Aperture, and sharpening for the web. Except where stated, black and white conversions were done in Aperture. You can click on any of the image for a larger (1024px) version.
(This is a long review – you might want to eat it in chunks. Like an elephant.)
May 2nd, 2012
At the Loreto Chapel
Most of the work I do for families involves young children, often between the ages of three and ten. But I also really like photographing older kids, so I was happy when Sonia from Sacramento contacted me and asked me about a session while her family were visiting Santa Fe.
Sonia’s son is already away at college, and her daughter is in high school. The last time they’d had family portraits taken was over ten years ago, and since it wouldn’t be too long before their daughter would leave the house, Sonia and husband Ken thought their trip would be a good opportunity to get some new images.
April 14th, 2012
Earlier this year national medical magazine PracticeLink hired me for an assignment to shoot an editorial portrait of Dr James Melisi, a surgeon who had recently moved to Santa Fe from the Washington DC area.
My background is journalism from the writing side of things, and I’m always keen to understand the angle the article’s taking, so I can get my images to match. The piece was about his move and how he’s enjoying the history and landscape of northern New Mexico. An amateur photographer, the good doctor has already had a show of his work in a local cafe.
The brief was to photograph him in a distinctive historical Santa Fe setting maybe including his camera to show the new enthusiasm he’s found for photography. The magazine liked my work and my approach, so I spoke to Dr Melisi and suggested we meet downtown for a bit of a two-man photowalk. The simple plan would make it easy to shoot in a few public spots without having to move light stands and the rest.
Simple not random
‘Simple’ doesn’t mean unplanned however, and before the day of the shoot I walked a potential route with my camera checking the light, the backgrounds, sizing up different angles.
Part of the challenge of portraits using only natural light (with a bit of reflector here and there) is keeping the faces well exposed without blowing out the sky. Another issue is that nobody looks good in hard sun full on their faces.