The forgiving nature of children. What is a birthday party without a good photo session. Especially if the days activities are starting to wear of and it is time for something adventurously new.

Why forgiving? They did not care if the sun was already setting and the technicalities of light quality and all the adult blah blah blah. The excitement they offered made this such a fun session, and not even to speak about spontaneous.

For the most, I could not keep up with how quick they had a new pose ready. I could not compose them better If I tried, and I prefer that for maintaining the character of each person.

So, who is the birthday girl? Her. The one right in the middle in the center of the focal composition of this image. I did not compose that. They arranged themselves in a split second. i had to be quick. Very quick I will admit, or this would have been missed because it did not last a second. The moment they see a flash go of, for them that was it the photo is done, time for change. That brings me to the technical bits. I had to use flash, or two for that matter (well three but the third is sync related. I will explain later). The available light was just none existing and I arrived 15 minutes before sunset. I had to rapidly construct my game plan for the session from the multiple blogs and videos I have followed on speed-lights.

I triggered two separate NIKON speed-lights with the build in "pop up" flash on a NIKON D7000 with a warm filter over flash on camera left filtered through a ROUNDFLASH. On camera flash was dialed down to its lowest in order to only trigger and not contribute to the available light on my subject.

The intention to further filter the warm light is to create a cozy ambient, almost candle lit, light and a colder light to camera right to not hide the fact that they are outdoors (further thanks to their forgiveness and enthusiasm to have fun in front of the camera despite the otherwise rather cold"ish" night).

I love the versatility of what speed-lights enable us to do without the expense of additional triggers and receivers. This very basic setup and equipment made for a result both the client and photographer is happy with (ok...photographer maybe not completely satisfied and hundreds of things I will do better next time. I do enjoy the fact that I am learning all the time though. There is no rush to eliminate the learning factor)


Hard work has a strange, timeless, rewarding kind of feeling. To spectators you are merely pressing a button and "the camera does the job". Truth is, it is just a tool. Hours of precedent light studying and conceptualizing your style and possible ways of achieving your desired goals, all charge up in your neurons, concentrate in your finger tips and, THEN you press the button.

In this particular shoot, I wanted to respect the processions and remain discreet and promised myself I will take photos without looking at the LCD screen. It was a very conscious choice towards improving my photography as well. To challenge myself to pay attention and study what I want to capture and what story i want to tell, and then "let the camera do the job"

I may add, the less subtle shutter release on my D300 also contributed favorably in making me choose carefully before pressing that button (next time i will take my D7000, so we learn). another added subconscious bonus to this approach is, you reach your manufacturers shutter count "dead line" a lot slower. The music was performed by very talented artists so there was plentiful quality entertainment in between each calculated "press of the button". (Friendly tip - If you are going to photograph at an event where there is already a main attraction, consider switching of the auto assist focus lamp (which blinds the artist each time you focus towards them) and the additional sound indicators that your camera is in focus).

On that note, I have learned a lot from the evening and look forward to the next event.


So the big anticipated moment arrived and you knew days in advance that it is going to be great. You also knew very well that to represent the essence of the eclipse, you really need equipment more specialized than what most of us own, especially if the application of for rare events that only repeat themselves maybe every 50 years, give or take.

What other choices do you have other than setting up with your best gear available, fine tune the settings to the best of your ability and then stand back and allow the scene to gracefully take its path while you also take a moment and step away from your duty and just absorb and admire the phenomena.

Got these images with a 18-200mm lens each taken on 3.0 sec at f11 at full 200mm focal length, activated the Exposure Delay Mode on my D300 to minimize camera shake and dialed to Self-Timer at 2.0 sec countdown. I gave it my best shot, or 38 of them, and stitched together this animated GIF.

I enjoy the timeless "passing by" effect of the image it created. It made me realize, "I am just a spectator of a much greater reality" and I am content with that.


It is interesting what unforeseen requirements can open up. 

Acquiring some textures and textiles for slowly building up props and provisioning for potential studio work, got me to tethering, a set up not required until now.

These photographs are done with natural light from louvered windows. Tethering allowed for a controlled set up and very low shutter speeds and ISO value for optimum image quality. I used an old faithful companion, NIKON D300 on tripod with 50mm lens. f1.8 at 1/6 shutter speed.

I used some textiles I purchased the same day as subject to experiment with the new dimension that is available to familiarize myself. Textiles placed simply on a chair about 1 meter away from very defused natural light that hardly pass the louvers outside and camera a further 1 meter away from the subject and USB cable plugged in to computer and running the tether via Lightroom.

I particularly enjoy the atmosphere the light gave to the texture and sense of the textiles. It is exactly what I aimed for to illustrate the natural tones selected and wanting to represent comfort and warmth, which will be their purpose once used, in studio or on location, depending on the clients.





At all times, learn some more. by UNCAPPED PHOTOGRAPHY

Reoccurring theme born from reoccurring conditions. Short notice invitation to go on a excursion photographing classic cars on location. Ironically, both invitations thus far, are on subjects I have absolutely no experience in. We use the same equipment despite the subject, so... count me, I am in.

My current quest is to intentionally learn and study light, and it occurred to me that, for the years I have owned a camera, I focused on "learning and understanding my camera". Which is very beneficial. It sure helps to be comfortable and confident with your equipment when placed on the spot. What I didn't realize is, all this time I was adjusting controllable variables on my camera in response to the light conditions. How I would like the given factors to render on my camera sensor.

The point I am trying to make is this, I devoted a lot of time to camera knowledge and, only now that I purposefully pay attention to light alone, I start to see a difference in results. It feels like I have spend years focusing on "grammar" as an example, where I could have started with creative writing a long time ago. The rules do not change, but light does. The faster you set shutter, the less time you give light to travel trough the lens. The wider the aperture during the allocated time, the more light can pass through for that duration (at the trade of for depth of field of course). These variables can be defined scientifically. The true variable each time you rotate that dial, is light. A threshold so many before me have crossed. But why did it take me so long?

No regrets and no looking back. No time wasted. What I learned today is that overcast can be amazing. Depending on what you are photographing, today might have been the first day that I was comfortable to know it is an overcast day. I imagined the light as an affordable, free for all, open studio.

Even I know these are not top of the range car photos. What does excite me personally about these images, is what it represents in terms of light, shadow, reflection, and a jumble of exciting characteristics captured on the camera sensor. The gradient of tones which I most likely would have failed to recreate with all the equipment available to us as photographers (if we have the budget of course).

Each lesson learned builds on the next opportunity that awaits. My lack of skill in painting has forced me on an adventurous alternative journey.

Still so much to learn.



Dear Guy with the big lenses by UNCAPPED PHOTOGRAPHY

What do you do? You are invited, with privileges to access the race track, to one of the most important car races in Argentina... and have never photographed racing before?

You say YES!! Of course you do, and then start doing research like crazy, stumble upon a extremely helpful and thorough website of photographing motor cars and racing, and wake up early the next morning to get to the race track and start practicing like mad everything you have read the night before.

Practice makes...well it sure helps.

So who is the guy with the big lenses? I still have absolutely no idea!! I do know this. Few seconds after i got this photo, the police showed up next to me on request of "the guy with the big lenses". Which made me laugh (not out loud for the police officer to hear me of course) because I have the most amateur equipment possible for the task at hand, yet, the guy with the big lenses had the need to do some form of protest. Maybe for exactly that reason, he is "equipped" to do the job and I am practicing. Question is how else, and with what else, do one practice?

Regardless, I did not want to burn bridges, seeing that this is an annual event and would like to return for some more fine tuning (and who knows maybe even a bigger lens?).

So what equipment did I have? NIKON D300, 18-200mm lens. This photo at 1/200 with f18 and ISO 200.

Needless to say, after my impromptu meeting with the police, I took the opportunity to get some action from the "inner circle" of the track.

Dear guy with the big lenses. I am happy to have almost met you and I hope to see you again next year.