Archive for August, 2014

Print Project featured on The Drake Magazine.

Pretty excited to see The Print Project featured in The Drake Magazine.  Check out the whole project on my site by clicking here.


Outside Magazine shoot of Ultra Runner Mike Foote.

When a client hires you to shoot one picture many people forget how many more pictures where taken.  Here are some of the outtakes and the final piece for the Outside Magazine piece on ultra runner Mike Foote.

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Photo Tip. To use or not to use filters.

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Recently a client and friend asked me what filters should he buy for his new camera.  He and I started working together when I custom made my own filters to create special effects.  I had what I called the “star filter” which were, neutral density, gel filters, hand cut into stars and stacked together to create vignetting (in the lower right corner of the photo you can see a “star filter”).  I painted the corners of my UV filters with clear nail polish to create soft edges.  An 81D warming filter (I liked it warm!) was usually always in front of my lens and then I used my custom made additions to alter the image depending on what I wanted to do.  Some times I had three filters stacked together.  That is some serious amount of glass and plastic in front of my lens but I never cared for sharpness.  I still don’t and rarely ad sharpening to my images in post.  In digital age images are too sharp to start with and personally I am tired of seeing  those over sharpened images.  Anyone misses film?

Even though I had a filter filled past, my answer to “what filters should I get for my new camera” is NONE, if you can do without.  But there are a few filters you might need so stay tuned.  For color temperature and special effects I try to do everything in post production now.  With photoshop there is no reason to put a piece of glass or plastic in front of your lens unless you need to cut down light or get rid of reflections.  These are the only filters I still carry in my pack.  Polarizing and neutral density filters and I try to avoid them as much as I can.   The polarizing filter I use in very random situations.  For example, if I need to photograph a trout in the water shooting from a bank and there is too much reflection to see it well.  Problem with polarizing filters is that they add contrast.  Contrast is your enemy as you can’t truly reduce contrast in post.  Use polarizing only when you absolutely need to.  I use solid neutral density filters when I am shooting with my fast lenses and at f1.2 my shutter is not fast enough.  You can also use it to do slow exposures or if you are shooting video and need the right shutter speed.  I don’t use graduated filters, especially the cheesy ones to make fake sunsets.  Please don’t…  If you need to get a darker sky you can use a graduated neutral density filter but I prefer to just take another shot with a darker exposure and combine in post.  Is faster and more accurate.   B&H used to always convince me into buying a UV filter to protect my lens.  In theory is a good idea but in reality is just another piece of cheap glass in front of your $2,000 lens.  Two years ago I got rid of my last UV filter and where I see the difference is in backlit situations especially if the light is hitting the lens.  Flare is much more manageable without a filter, as the front element of the lens is designed to take the light.  Have I scratched lenses?  Yes!  Does it matter?  No.  You need some very serious scratches on your front element of the lens to make a difference.  If you are skeptic, try to put a toothpick right in front of your lens and take a picture.  Do the same without the toothpick and compare.  Now, the back element that goes into the camera, that’s a whole different story.  Treat it like a baby because a scratch on the back element is a bad deal.

So in short.  What filters do I use?  Neutral density and in very rare occasions polarizing filters.

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