Garden birds

I tell a story when I teach about my buddy who’s got a house up in the country right on the local bird migratory route. He put a bird feeder out by his sliding doors to his dinning room. He can sit with a beer in hand, camera focused on the bird feeder (with manual focus on the feeder) and shoot great bird shots all day long. Here’s another way to get close to birds:


How to shoot better landscapes

Here’s a great little video on how to shoot better landscapes by HP of all people. It’s got a little commercial content from HP but the actual instruction is excellent.


The art of Joe Buissink

Joe Buissink, the wedding photographer to the stars was in Toronto yesterday (June 5) to give a workshop to about 30 wedding and portrait photographers. People came from as far away as Montreal and Windsor and Joe didn’t disappoint. Joe and Me

Joe shoots mainly available light. He also shoots mainly in program mode. And he shoots to capture “the moment”.

Joe hires other photographers to shoot the regular setup stuff and he does the photo-journalism style.

I had no idea what to expect when I signed up ($150) to attend but the topic of the day wasn’t about photography. Of course it was photography that we talked about but it wasn’t the subject. We talked about how much Joe charges. One young woman had to know what camera he was using. I almost shouted out “who gives a fig?” but I held back. Then she wanted to know what lens.

I think this young woman completely missed the point. The subject being discussed was discovering who we are as individuals. Photography is only the medium of our artistic vision. The images are but reflections.

Somewhere in the first hour I wrote in my journal “I was meant to be here.”

I wrote that line as tears streamed down my face as Joe’s images of autistic children (he has two) passed one by one on the screen. As a long-time former journalist who shot damn near everything on film in black and white I could see myself in Joe’s images. He was seeing what I used to see. And, he was seeing much more than I ever saw.

So when I got home I went through my library of my most recent images. I looked closely to see what was it I was trying to say in these images. What, of myself, was I bringing to the photo shoot?

It’s been a long time since I felt so blessed to be a shooter. I don’t shoot for anyone’s pleasure but my own. I don’t shoot for my subjects to see themselves in my images. i don’t shoot for their money or their appreciation.  I shoot to see my own image reflected back into my own eyes. There are days I love what I see.

Midnight Train

How much fun can you have with the new digital SLRs that can do HD video? Have a look at what Brook Pifer a young new fabulously talented NYC photographer has done with a Canon 5D Mk II. She’s also got some images on her website that are so deceivingly simple (looks like one softbox and maybe a small reflector) and yet so good that I’m left wondering just how much better can this young woman get as she keeps shooting? Amazing stuff.

Easy Portrait Lighting

David Ziser, one of my favourite photographers and teachers has done it again!

You all know that when I’m teaching flash I show you how ugly direct flash looks and how important it is to bounce the flash off a ceiling or wall. Well David has a really short video that show you how great your images can look by bouncing your flash.

Here’s the link:

A couple of tips: I bet David used his exposure compensation control (You remember: the little square with the +/- signs) and turned down the exposure by a stop or maybe even two to get that dramatic looking sky. He might have turned up his flash a stop or so to get his model to really pop out of the photo.

Keep an eye on David Ziser’s site. He’s always putting up helpful videos on his Digital ProTalk website.