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This is the photography blog for photographer and writer David Moore. He's based in Santa Fe, New Mexico but speaks with a funny accent.

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    July 21st, 2011

    The Canon 85mm f/1.2 L reviewed – Ferrari or Millennium Falcon?


    This is a long post about a lens that almost no-one here (including me) is ever likely to buy, but we don’t stop watching Top Gear just because we’re not in the market for the latest Ferrari, so here goes anyway:

    When you’re a kid there are some things you lust after with a passion beyond all reason. Like a Millennium Falcon to go with your Star Wars figures. The longer you peruse the catalogue, or hear your friends talk about it, the more you’re convinced that this thing is the best thing in the world, and having it it will make you happier than anything.

    And then you get it. And it’s pretty good, and you can see why everyone likes it. But your life goes on pretty much unchanged – even with the new bauble given pride of place in your room, you still have to tidy up that room, and go to school, and get soaked at the bus stop on the way home. A bit of a let-down, then.

    As photographers, we’re always told that we need to hold on to our child-like sense of play, our joy in being in the moment. Which is great, but I think that also means we sometimes keep that child-like irrational longing for an object. And when we get it, life goes on pretty much unchanged.

    Canon L-series lenses attract a lot of that longing, and for me it’s the L primes that I’ve figuratively and actually ogled in shop windows. I’ve got a 24-105mm f/4 L, used to have the 17-40mm f/4 L and the 70-200mm f/4L and while I appreciate those L zooms, the compromises inherent in making zooms seemed to limit my enthusiasm for them. They’re fine, good even, but I’m not going to put a poster of any of them on my wall.

    But the primes are a different breed altogether. Partly because I love primes of all stripes, but also because if you’re going to make a great lens, shouldn’t it be as uncompromising as possible – really excellent at doing just one thing? And what could be more madly committed than the Canon EF 85mm f1.2L II (that’s an Amazon affiliate link, if you think you’re man enough). That’s f/1.2, just to repeat it. It costs over $2000 and looks like a magic black grapefruit (with a little red line around the end).

    Thanks to borrowlenses.com the 85mm arrived on my doorstep in time for this year’s Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, where I was due to be taking photographs of the amazing artists and their work.

    85mm is my favorite portrait length, and it was with great joy that I unscrewed the lens’ back cap to put it on to my 5D II. Holy scratching, Batman! The rear element is so close to the mount that it seems impossible to attach it to the camera without gouging the glass. Luckily for me (and borrowlenses.com) I got it on OK, but if you’re cack-handed or have to swap lenses in a hurry, you’ll constantly be worried about dinging your beauty.

    Once in place it’s heavy, but because it’s so short it doesn’t seem unwieldy, and on a chunky body like the 5D II, it lends the whole thing a nice balance. The weight is noticeable, but I found it much more manageable than the 24-70mm f/2.8.

    Steady as she goes

    Every review says it so you shouldn’t be surprised, but the first thing you notice in real use is that the 85mm f/1.2 focuses slowly. It’s smooth, but stately, like a luxury liner changing direction. It gets there in the end (more or less – see below) but if you’re shooting fast-moving things, then flat out, this lens isn’t for you. Manually focusing isn’t any faster, by the way.

    Use the narrow depth of focus for good, not ill.

    Missed shots

    At the Market, as with all portrait-style shooting, I make a point of getting at least two shots of each artist in each composition I wanted. This is normally to cover for blinking or weird micro-expressions from the subjects. In this case, it ended up being crucial in ensuring that at least one was in focus.

    It was very strange. The artists weren’t moving, the light was good, I was using the center focus point only, and I’d wait until the camera told me it had focused. But more times than with any other lens, one of my series would be out of focus. It wasn’t always the first one, either.

    The only thing I can think is that something happened while I recomposed after I’d focused – I normally do it all the time with complete confidence. But not with this lens. Maybe I’m doing something wrong and there’s a simple solution, but if you don’t have confidence that you’re going to get what you expect, then you’re in for a torrid time on shoots that matter.

    Narrow depth of field

    If a lens offers f/1.2, you’re going to want to use it. But the irony is that for the classic headshot – the bread and butter of the 85mm focal length, f/1.2 offers way too narrow a depth of field for most practical uses.

    My nifty iPhone depth of field app tells me that at 5 feet (about the right distance to fill the frame with the head and bit of shoulder) and a full-frame camera, the depth of field at f/1.2 is 0.07ft (near limit 4.96 ft, far limit 5.04 ft). How much is 0.07ft? 0.84 inches, or 2.1 centimeters. In other words, if the eye is in focus then the end of the nose will be blurred. If the subject turns their head slightly and you get the closer eye in focus, then the further eye will be out of focus.

    Just to put your mind at rest, I wasn’t shooting at f/1.2 at the Market. But I could see how when the subject was further away so you had a workable depth of field (say, a depth of field of 8 inches at 15 ft), f/1.2 could get you shots you just couldn’t get with any other lens, especially in the pitch black.

    So the impossibly narrow potential depth of field isn’t a criticism, just a caveat that you need to be careful with all that power.

    On the Other Hand

    So let’s recap – it’s heavy, it looks like you could wreck it if you’re not careful, it focuses slowly, still doesn’t focus accurately, and the crazy narrow depth of field is unusable a lot of the time. Maybe I should have just stuck to ogling it in shop windows (like the Millennium Falcon). Except that it helped me produce some great images.

    When the heavens aligned, the pictures sung. Everything that I’d been trying to show in the picture was there, more pronounced and more attractive than I expected. From small details, like catchlights in eyes, to broad strokes like the amazing contrast and rich colors. Not forgetting the dreamy creamy bokeh.

    It’s not often I peak at the LCD on the back of the camera and utter an audible ‘Woh.’ (never, in fact), but this lens got me like that a few times.

    Some of the differences between this and my sturdy 85mm f/1.8 (lighter, faster and more accurate focusing, around 20% of the price) you could make up in processing. But not all of it.

    Would I buy it?

    If someone gave me $2000 and told me I had to spend it on camera gear (don’t tell me you’ve don’t think about that situation), the truth is I probably wouldn’t buy it. For me, the f/1.8 is more practical and reliable (and I already own it). The fantastic shots I got with the 1.2 that I couldn’t get with the 1.8 to me would be made up for by the shots the 1.2 missed with its weird focus that the 1.8 would nail every time. But I shoot a lot of fast-moving children and need bang-on focus.

    With my $2000 I’d probably get the 35mm f/1.4 L (which I’m guessing is more obviously superior in more ways to the 35mm f/2 that I’m currently using), and most of the 135mm f/2 L. Although come to think of it, I’d actually be more likely to get the Fuji X100 and most of the 135mm f/2.

    But that doesn’t mean I’m sad I rented the 85mm, or that I can’t appreciate it’s great strong points. If you’re going to make a crazy money prime lens, then I love the way it comes with impractical quirks. It’s capable of fantastic images, but it’s not an easy thing to use, and it has some annoying habits.

    Much like a Ferrari (so I’m told) – it does one thing (driving in an exhilarating fashion) better than almost anything else in the world. But you can’t park it, the dashboard controls are unusable, you can’t see out of the back and the ride’s so stiff you’ll feel like you got beaten up if you drive it for a couple of hours.

    But that one thing it does well, well that’s the effin’ ineffable, isn’t it? Just like with the 85mm f/1.2.

    Posted on 7/21/11 | 2 comments | Filed Under: Reviews | read on
    July 13th, 2011

    The benefits (and downsides) of shooting film

    Shooting film seems to be enjoying something of a renaissance, especially among young people of the hipster persuasion. Loyal readers will remember a recent blog post where I promised to dig out the old film camera my Dad had given me more than 20 years ago. I did, and here’s what I learned (or relearned) about the joys and frustrations of shooting film.

    Note that this is based on running a roll of Ilford XP2 through a (not very good even at the time) Canon 1000, photographing a kids’ summer camp presentation – depending on what you shoot and with what film camera, you might end up with very different results.

    1) Film still looks gorgeous

    Partly thanks to the great developing and printing from the Camera Shop of Santa Fe (although they’re not cheap), the images came out looking contrasty and very attractive. I shot in black and white, and the skin tones were smooth and there was a nice touch of grain in the shadows.

    You could probably fuss in Aperture or Lightroom to get the same sort of results from shooting digital, but this saved me all that effort, and the prints had that indescribable film quality. Sometimes there’s something a little too squeaky clean about the technically perfect files DSLRs put out today.

    In fact while you might be able to get the same effect processing digitally, what’s interesting is that I probably wouldn’t have gone as far with the processing if I were doing it. There’s a lot of solid black in them, which I would have shied away from, trying to keep some of that shadow detail. Just goes to show there’s no such thing a perfect histogram, just good images.

    2) You pick your shots more carefully

    It’s true that firing off a load of shots on a DSLR can yield some great results that you just couldn’t get any other way – especially in sports photography, for example. But sometimes the ‘spray and pray’ approach is just replacing thoughtfulness with a numbers game. Rather than slowing down and choosing your moment carefully, you just shoot a ton in the hope that you’ll get something good.

    When you’re paying more than 50c each time you press the shutter (and swapping rolls is a bit of a pain), you’re definitely less trigger happy.

    I normally reckon on a 25% selects rate when I’m shooting digital – in other words of fifty images I make, around 12 of them I’ll like well enough to do some processing work on and/or show to the client if it’s a paying job.

    With my roll of 36, I’d say I was happy with at least two-thirds of them. A good lesson in slowing down and being more careful.

    3) It’s still a pain in the behind

    Friends wanted some of these photos from the camp. So I had to get the film developed (with extra CD of digital files because I don’t have a scanner or the time to scan the files) pronto. We’re so blasé about shooting digital and being able to have the results across the world in minutes that we forget how amazing it is.

    And there’s no bumping up the ISO because you’ve moved inside or it’s getting dark. And knowing that you’ve only 36 frames before you have to swap rolls is always praying on your mind. That and the fact that you can’t see what you’ve got until potentially days later – no chimping here, of course.

    4) Digital’s sort of cheap

    While it costs to develop a roll of film in a way it doesn’t for the same number of digital shots, there’s an interesting side argument here. A pro-grade film body such as the Canon EOS 1N can be picked up on eBay for less than $300. A new 5d Mark II is around $2500. I know it’s not comparing like with like, but you could buy and develop a lot of film for the difference for $2200, and you wouldn’t need to upgrade in another three years.

    The cost of clicking a shutter on a digital camera appears cheap, because it’s free at the point of use, but the total cost of ownership starts to look a lot more expensive when you factor in the actual costs.

    Worth the effort

    I was pleased with the images I took and enjoyed the experience of shooting film again. It’s worth doing even if you end up concluding how glad you are you never have to shoot film any more. But for me it was more rewarding than that, making me think about how I shoot, and also reminding me how good film can look.

    I’m not saying I’m going back to shooting film exclusively, or even very often. But throwing a decent film body in the bag when the conditions are right – outside daytime portrait session for example – might not be a bad idea.

     

     

    Posted on 7/13/11 | no comments; | Filed Under: Tips/Tutorials | read on
    June 28th, 2011

    Imagine you’re talking to a friend – how to tell a story in your photos

    In one of my other lives, I’m a journalist and writer. I used to write for The Irish Times in Dublin, I’ve published a book of travel writing (it’s a lasting regret that it has no photographs in it, but at the time I was taking rubbish photos), and I now write for New Mexico Magazine and other places at times. (I outlined what I learned about photography from being a writer here).

    I’m storyteller when I’m stringing words together. And I’m increasingly realizing, they key to good images (at least of the style I prefer) is to be a good storyteller when you’ve got a camera in your hand.

    A good picture, or a set of pictures, tells a story. Images can be beautifully lit and technically perfect, but if they doesn’t say something, then what’s the point?

    Everything in the image needs to contribute to the narrative you intend. Sometimes what you’re trying to say is simple – this is a happy girl – but for more complicated events, it’s worth having a think about how best to get your message across: what to include and what to leave out.

    Imagine you’re talking to a friend

    Ashley Biggers, my talented editor at New Mexico Magazine recently made a suggestion about a travel piece I’m writing for her, which is also appropriate to making images at an event or portrait session:

    ‘Imagine you’re excitedly telling your friend about the best parts of your visit. What would you say?’

    This gets to the heart of the matter – you wouldn’t start at the beginning and give equal importance to every last thing you did (‘First I drove there, then I parked the car, then I put on my coat . . . ‘), but you also wouldn’t spend all your time talking about one aspect of the event.

    So in photography terms, you wouldn’t photograph everything, or only take lots of the same sort of photographs.

    Some things are just more important than other things, and you’ll get excited over some things and not others – so keep asking yourself what those key things are and make sure you show them clearly.

    Telling the story of a party

    Our daughter had her sixth birthday recently, and chose a princess theme for party (naturally).

    My wife had spent a lot of time and effort preparing the room for the party, going so far as to build a castle facade with working doors (she’s an architect).

    As I photographed the event,  I wanted to make sure I set the scene with the images, as well capturing the key events.

    When we look back in years to come, some of what we’ll want to recall will be the way the whole thing looked, not just tight shots of our daughter.

    So if I’m telling you about what the party was like, I’d start with ‘The room looked amazing. We had tons of balloons all over the ceiling.’ (as you can see from the photograph at the top of this story)

    ‘There were princess sceptres to decorate. And Miss F’s mum made a fabulous castle facade with working doors and ramparts and stuff.’

    ‘Each time a new guest arrived, Miss F closed the door and then got really excited when they knocked and asked to come in. And all the princesses looked so cute sitting down at the table in their ‘castle’.’

    ‘They went outside and our older friend read them princess stories.’

    If the photographs do their job, then the text descriptions are unnecessary – and the images add some details and visual appeal that the words don’t contain.

    I have the obligatory photographs of my daughter blowing out the candles as well, but some of these wider shots (all taken with a 35mm lens) tell a more complete story of the day.

    So don’t be afraid to shoot wide, and imagine you’re talking to someone about the highpoints of the event you’re photographing.

    Posted on 6/28/11 | no comments; | Filed Under: Children's portraits, Tips/Tutorials | read on
    June 19th, 2011

    Photography lessons from my father, the musician

    My Dad, Jim Moore. Photo by yours truly when I was in college I think.

    On this Father’s Day, it’s time for a quick look at just three of the many things I learned from my Dad, all of which are related to photography in some way.

    1) Follow your folly

    Before I was born, my Dad was a jazz musician. He played on cruise ships that went around the world in the 1950s and 60s. Pretty cool, right? This was a working class boy from Wealdstone in west London – not known as a hotbed of the jazz scene – but despite the many reasons not to, he earned a living playing summer seasons in English seaside resorts before taking to the high seas for some amazing experiences.

    Even back on shore working a regular job as my sister and I were growing up, he’d still play semi-pro gigs on a lot of Saturday evenings. I fondly remember him doing a quick soundcheck in the hall by the front door as the football results came in on Saturday evening.

    He’d play the theme from the kids’ TV programme The Wombles before loading the car up with the big Vox amp and electric bass and heading off to play at a dinner dance somewhere.

    I was in a band in college, and still plink on the guitar a little bit, but the larger lesson he taught me is that it was worth taking a punt on what you really wanted to do, even if you have to hold down a day job too.

    2) Old Ektachrome slides make the world look great

    Safely back in Buckinghamshire from his travels, Dad had a bunch of slides he’d taken on his adventures. On rainy weekend afternoons we’d occasionally get out the little slide viewer (that kind of looked like this one) and go through some of the boxes.

    There was the Sydney Harbour Bridge; there was Dad with his double bass standing under a Sunset Boulevard sign in LA (how strange that fifty years later my in-laws would live just off Sunset in West LA). Backlit by the viewer, the skies in the slides looked a deep deep blue, the exotic locations tantalising, and my Dad cut a dashing figure (jazz men always look dapper).

    3) Letting your kids commandeer a present can be worth it

    One Christmas when I was a teenager, my Dad got a SLR as a present from Mum. It was a sturdy East German Praktica and it came in a light brown bag with a shoulder strap. Mum also bought a little introduction to photography book.

    I don’t know how interested Dad was in photography, to be honest (up to that point most of our family photographs were from a succession of cheap Kodak point and shoots), but I pored over the book, and Dad kindly let me use the camera quite a bit.

    Exhibit A - from a trip to Brittany in c. 1992. Clean strong landscape.

    I can’t remember what kind of lens it had on it – definitely manual focus though. I ended up using it more than my Dad, but disaster struck when it was stolen while I was taking a shower in a Venice youth hostel while on a trip during college.

    I reported it stolen and with the insurance money (based on a generously inflated estimate for replacement from the local camera shop) we bought one of the first autofocus Canon EOS 35mm cameras (a Canon EOS 1000 with a Sigma zoom).

    By this stage I’d basically commandeered the camera with my Dad’s blessing, and I pootled around running plenty of rolls of Ilford XP2 film through it – black and white film that can be processed using standard C-41 colour processing systems.

    Now when I look back at the images, I’m still proud of some of them, and they clearly show the twin paths that most of my work has taken. First (see Exhibit A above) is the clean almost abstract landscapes that I sell on my Etsy store, and second (see Exhibit B below) is the photojournalism-style children’s portraits that people hire me to shoot.

    It would take me nearly 20 years to come back to these two types of work and take them more seriously, but there was definitely a seed sown in the early 90s, thanks to that camera.

    Beautiful cousin Sarah c. 1993, taken in our Aunt Pauline's front room. Sarah graduated from architecture school last year, and it's a bit embarrassing for me that it's take most of her life for me to realise I should be taking more photographs like this one.

    I still have the old EOS 1000, and after a pause when a) I mistakenly thought the camera was irreparably borked and b) I foolishly had my head turned by succession of rubbish digital point-and-shoots, it was that camera I picked back up when my daughter was born – the first step on the path that’s brought me here.

    So have a good Father’s day, Jim Moore. And thanks for the loan of the camera. Think I’ll get a new battery for it and shoot some rolls of XP-2  with it, for old time’s sake.

     

     

     

     

    Posted on 6/19/11 | 2 comments | Filed Under: Personal | read on
    June 16th, 2011

    It’s Showtime – tips for shooting a ballet performance

    Recently I took photographs at my daughter’s ballet class, and really enjoyed the experience.

    So when I arranged to take photographs of her class’ dress rehearsal and performance, I was looking forward to it immensely, but it threw up a new set of challenges that I had to deal with.

    The practice studio had been bright, spacious and very easy to shoot in. I could follow the girls around, changing my point of view to get the light I wanted or minimize some background clutter.

    The location for the performance on the other hand (the theatre of the Scottish Rite Temple in Santa Fe) was dark and cramped (at least around the stage).

    Gorgeous and fascinating. no doubt, but dark and I couldn’t move around at all.

    At least for the dress rehearsal, I was able to squat down just off the stage, but that’s where all the girls from the other classes were waiting, so it was all a bit tight.

    Allegra Lillard, the amazing Director of Dance for Joy, kept everything moving smoothly and energetically, but like any dress rehearsal there was some waiting around.

    Even sitting up against a wall waiting for their turn, there’s something hugely endearing about little girls in full ballet outfits. My daughter’s class were models of patience until it was time to practice the grand finale – the first time they’d been up on stage with all the other (older) classes.

    They were a little nervous going on to the stage, but soon reveled in their place in the limelight.

    Practicing their own number came next, and they ran through it like small seasoned professionals.

    If the rehearsal was tricky, then getting shots on the day was going to be even harder.

    The house lights would be down, so the gorgeous space was even darker, and I was confined to my seat in the fourth or fifth row.

    But I brought the camera anyway, and hoped for the best – the rich warm stage set and lavish surroundings were too good to miss, when combined with little ballerinas.

    The ratio of keepers to rejects wasn’t that great, but I was very happy with those I got.

    Four tips for capturing ballet

    1) Choose your moment – in any performance, there are moments of stillness that are worth looking out for.The image above left captures a point when my daughter had momentarily struck a pose – it was the end of one gesture, just before the start of another move, and as such it has a strength that works well. It’s certainly possible to get a great shot in mid-twirl or run (and these would communicate more dynamism than poise), but it was the quieter moments that appealed to me (and they’re easier to get right, especially if the light’s dodgy).

    2) Tell the whole story – With children, you want to tell the story of their whole experience, not just the performance. So the shots of waiting around, being ushered onto the stage, or their big smile afterwards at the curtain call are all as valuable as your images of their performance itself. With older children or adults, you might want to emphasize the performance itself (their technique or form,  or timing with the other dancers). But with younger kids, the imperfections of their performances make their personalities shine through.

    3) Think both wide and narrow – It’s tempting to think you should just go with the longest lens you have, but you might miss some good compositions that way. I shot with my now-standard combination of two bodies, one with with a 35mm f/2 and one with an 85mm/f1.8 on the other.  It partly depends how far you are from the stage as to what your focal length options should be, but you’ll want to be able to capture most of the width of the stage for the shots of the whole group. You’ll also want enough length for picking out individual poses and expressions.

    4) Keep the shutter speed as high as you can – to freeze the movement (unless you’re going for a nice deliberate blur to communicate movement), then you’ll want to keep the shutter speed above 1/100 at the slowest. Some of the above images were shot at around 1/100 sec f/2 or f/3 at ISO 1000, with the ISO being pushed up to 4000 for some of the performance  shots. I’ll take some digital noise on an otherwise sharp image than a noise-free shot of messy blur. So bump up the ISO and/or shoot as wide open as you can (i.e using a lower f-number to let in more light)

    Posted on 6/16/11 | no comments; | Filed Under: Children's portraits, Santa Fe, Tips/Tutorials | read on
    June 7th, 2011

    From pixels to products – Why you should print your photographs

    If you’re a digital photographer, then you’ve likely got hard drives full of images. Some of them you’ve hardly looked at since they were imported, while others you’ve slaved over in processing, and shared widely online.

    But until you’ve printed them out, your images haven’t lived a full life.

    It’s been busy here over the last few weeks as I shot and printed the preschool class photos and ‘day in the life’ project images, as well as ballet rehearsal and performance images. Client orders came in, and got turned into boxes containing prints, books and other goodies.

    It underlined to me how much I enjoy making the images I make real. Here are a few product ideas that went down well recently:

    1) The Luxe Book

    For me, a custom-designed high-end book-bound album is the ultimate way to the tell story of a child at a certain age, or an event or class, for that matter. We’re wired for stories, and the ordered collection of images creates a narrative that draws you in.

    I use Japanese-produced books from asukabook.com that offer amazing print quality and feel great in the hand. Imagine the most beautiful fine art coffee-table book you’ve ever seen, and now imagine your family’s images in that book. Consumer-grade self-fulfilled books (from Blurb.com, for example) offer a great way to get images into print, but Asukabooks are something else again (and are only available through approved professional photographers and designers). If you’re in Santa Fe, give me a shout and I’ll be happy to show you one of our samples.

    As objects that you’ll enjoy for a very long time I think they’re unmatched. They work really well for families who want a lasting record of their session but aren’t the type of folks to display large wall art (which seems to be a regional thing – I know it happens elsewhere, but people here don’t go for a large family group print to go above the fireplace).

     

    2) The Mini Accordion Book

    Wallet-sized prints are great for carrying around, or giving to other family members, but they’re easily scuffed or dog-eared. A nice solution to this portable gallery problem is the small fold-out concertina book. The ones we use offer an elegant matte finish to the paper, a choice of silk covers and little magnetic closure so they don’t open up in a handbag. Grandmas love them as small portable brag books.

    We get ours from ProDPI.com (professionals only again, I’m afraid), who do an excellent job of the printing and putting together.

     

    3) Coil Bound Books

     

    Pros often use these as proof books to show clients all the images from a big event to help them decide which ones they’ll order larger or include in a custom-designed book. They’re regular 4 x 6s or similar sizes printed on pro-grade photo paper then punched and coil-bound. With one image per page (I like mine with a border) they’re quick and relatively inexpensive to produce. For the Gentle Nudge day in the life shoot and the ballet rehearsal shoot, I had a book printed up so the parents could flick through all of the images easily.

    I hadn’t planned it, but I got some orders for the whole book. For a self-contained event, like a party, for example, they make a nice object. Not as formal or beautiful as a custom-designed and printed book, but nice nonetheless. Ours come from ProDPI, but Mpix.com and Shutterfly.com both offer something similar, and you don’t need to be a pro to buy from either of those.

     

    4) Any size print

    People seem to study physical prints in a way they don’t look at the same image on screen. I really enjoyed handing out the 8 x 10 class photos to some of the parents on the last day of school and watching them pore over the faces. Larger is better, but even it’s just a set of 4 x 6s, I really believe it’s worth getting prints made regularly.

    But if you’re going to print them, promise me you won’t take a disk to the local Walgreens or Target (if you’re in the US – if you’re elsewhere then I’m sure you have similar neighborhood pharmacies or one-hour print shops). You’d be amazed how differently different labs will print the same image, and it’s worth spending a little extra to get something you’re going to be happy with.

    I use a pro lab for most of my printing needs, but on the regular consumer side, I’ve had good results with Shutterfly and especially Mpix.com which a branch of a big pro printing lab, so you might want to give them a try. Smugmug the photo sharing site run by people I have a lot of time for recommend BayPhoto, so they’re another suggestion.

     

    Whether it’s the high-end coffee-table book or an envelope of floppies, I’d urge you to free your images from the backlit screen one way or another.

     

     

    Posted on 6/7/11 | no comments; | Filed Under: Children's portraits, Tips/Tutorials | read on
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