Tuesday, April 21, 2009

keep it clean

Correctly placed and controlled - Lens Flair can be an amazing tool to enhance the mood of a photo. One thing I learned very early on though - less is more when dealing with lens flair. If you aren't careful it will take over your image and take away from what you are trying to communicate with your photo.

My primary lens (Canon 17-40mm f/ USM L) is such a workhorse. I use it all the time which means it is regularly cleaned. I have another lens that I use only occasionally and so it is frequently dirty when I pull it out of my bag. When working with lens flair (or just shooting into or around the sun with a wide angle lens) it is crucial that your lens be spotless. From the photos above you can see TONS of lens flair elements on the top image - if you need help seeing them look at the photo below.

The small dots around the faces are retouch marks - the larger cicles represent all the lens flair I removed from the image. I could have saved myself so much time and headache if I had cleaned the lens before using the lens. The next time you look in your bag and see a lens you haven't used in a while - take a second, pull it out and clean it. When you need it later you will be glad you did. Your lens should not be a candidate for an Orbit commercial. Dirty Lens? -- Clean it up!

Camera: Canon 20D Lens: 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 with (dirty) wide angle attachment
Settings: 1/80 f/11 ISO: 100
Light: Lastolite tri-grip diffuser being held out of frame camera left to cut the hard sun light by my assistant.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Shoe In

Camera: Canon 20D Lens: 17-40mm f/4 USM L
Settings: 1/250 f/6.3 ISO: 100 17mm

About 10 seconds after meeting this couple I wanted to make this shot. I am convinced that great shoes make or break an engagement shoot. This was captured at the last location we shot and I knew I had to get it! My assistant is off to the left with the 580EXII shooting at about 1/4 power through a 36" translucent umbrella. I love the reflection the off camera flash creates on the shoes. As soon as I saw this in the viewfinder I knew I had it. A few frames and light changes got the light where I wanted it. I bumped the shutter speed up to 1/250 in an effort to kill some of the ambient light and get a more striking light from the flash. Enjoy!

Monday, April 6, 2009

April 2009 Wallpaper

This is one of my early images from one of my first destination weddings in Charleston, SC. This image is simple and dramatic. The image was captured moments before the ceremony started in the bridal room at the back of the church as the bride started laughing at a story one of her bride's maids was telling. The smirk was there one second and gone the next. The image was shot using a borrowed Canon 10D with an 18-55mm at f/5 1/60 -EV .33 with a 540 EX flash bounced of the wall to the left.

Standard Size [click here to download] 1440 x 900
Large Size [click here to download] 2560 x 1600
for you folks with stinkin' huge monitors, you know who you are.)