Almost a full disc! Things I’ve learned over the last couple of years shooting aviation


One of the biggest challenges to aviation photographers is to manage to capture the ever-elusive “Full Disk” of propeller driven aircraft. When shooting jets, it’s not a big deal to get crisp images. Just use the sharpness rule of thumb and crank up the shutter speed to twice your focal length and you’re usually good to go.

Popsicle Sticks

This is a decent example of “Popsicle Sticks” as a result of having too fast of a shutter speed (1/1250 sec @300mm in this case). Click to view full size.

But prop driven aircraft are a whole different world from a technical sense. If you tried that sharpness rule of thumb, you’d end up with what we call “Popsicle Sticks”.

Essentially your shutter speed is so fast, that it will stop the propeller motion, which makes the plane look as if its engine is stopped. By the way, setting the shutter speed too fast is a very common thing for most people and reasonably understandable. General logic would seem to dictate that air shows tend to have fast aircraft. Perhaps a fast shutter speed would be best? After all, you typically would use fast shutter speed when capturing the action of sports, right?

In the aviation photography world however, this is a bad thing. We want prop blur to convey to the viewer a sense of motion, which then gives the picture the proper context of the aircraft is flying and not just sitting up in the sky. Continue reading

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A call to action…figures


It is a typical afternoon scrolling through the vastness of Facebook; funny posts followed by a share of some interesting recipe or some crazy viral video craving to elicit a strong emotional response. For the most part, at that moment I am bored. Just a few days prior, I finished up an intense photography project and was happy with the results and response, especially considering the subject matter is outside of my norm. There isn’t anything pressing in the pipeline and I am planning on using the next few weeks to rest up after having completed a marathon of editing since my hard drive failure fiasco during the summer. That is until I stumble upon this…

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Photographers, heck… everyone, learn from my failure… PLEASE!


For those who follow me on social networks, you may have noticed that I’ve been somewhat quiet regarding publishing new images over the past couple of months. There is a very good reason for that, and I’m here to share with you why that is, and hope that you will heed the message of lessons I learned… the hard way.

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Creating HDR Panoramic Photographs Part 2 – Processing the Images


This is the final part in a series about HDR Panoramic Photographs, which is distributed between this site and www.phogropathy.com. If you missed the first two parts, you may read them here:

Throughout the article are supplementary images. Click on the images to view them at full size.

Welcome to the final installment of “Creating HDR Panoramic Photographs”! Now comes the part where we find out just how well we did shooting and start the merging process.

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How to get amazing detail in your photographs


This is the first of a 3 part series on HDR Panoramic Photographs, which will be distributed between this site and http://www.phogropathy.com. Links to the corresponding parts will be added to the article as they are published.

Throughout the article are supplementary images. Click on the images to view them at full size.

Lately as my photos have been getting more exposure, I am finding a common theme emerging; “These images have so much crisp detail! How do you get them like this?”. To me, this is a good response as it means my images are making people think both from a technical sense and an artistic sense. While I have tried to find a good way to explain my workflow, it can sometimes be lost on people without a visual reference. What follows is my more detailed explanation along with a bit of contextual history. It’s going to be a pretty long read, so now’s your chance to go grab a cup of coffee. Go ahead! I’ll wait. 
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Adding extra artistry to your prints


An in-depth perspective to thinking outside the box

It all began last summer at the Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market, when I was chatting with a fellow photographer friend at her booth. Sue Muldoon (http://www.suemuldoonimages.com/) was showing me her latest project which I thought was super cool on a couple different levels. Sue had wonderfully and painstakingly reclaimed several antique windows as rustic looking frames for her prints. Not only is this cool from a visual sense, but it’s also a green method of thinking. Reclaiming old items helps with recycling and keeping our footprint as artists down more than before! Framing this way adds an artistic flair to your photos (for when you need to convince laymen that photography truly is art) and if paired with the right photo will really make you stand apart from the average photographer. So how do you go about reclaiming a window as a frame? Let’s fast forward a bit to last Fall where the process began for me…

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Something new… Something fun: Why being open minded can be such a good thing


As many of you know, my photographic strengths are landscapes, nature shots and catching life unscripted. It’s what makes the world go round for me. There is great comfort in knowing what to expect and I can think out what my vision is. Recently, my comfort boundaries got blown to bits… in a very good way.  Continue reading