How to or how not to shoot a lunar eclipse

I don’t know when the next lunar eclipse is off the top of my head, I’m sure I could google it but I think it’s more likely that as it approaches the news will be sure to tell me.  One of my most popular posts on this site is my post about night photography and shooting the stars.

Shooting a lunar eclipse is a challenge, I didn’t know this until recently.  I decided to go as big as I could with my zoomed photos, my 70-200 w/ my 1.4x teleconvertor, a whopping 280mm.  I thought that would get me close, ha!  Let me give you an idea of how close 280mm got me:

Lunar Eclipse Full Photo
Lunar Eclipse Full Photo

As you can see, not very close at all.  So, how did I get results.

Continue reading “How to or how not to shoot a lunar eclipse”

Marguerite – All white background photos

Marguerite was a referral to me from Ryan Brandle over at She needed a headshot with a white background for her site that is currently under development.  This one was a new one by me and given that I do nearly all available light photography or single flash (Speedlite) photography I knew this would be a challenge.  An exciting challenge though.

Marguerite headshot
Marguerite photoshoot results.

I ended up with a few reflections on the cheeks and on the glasses but the diffusion of the umbrellas went a long way to helping this.  If you’d like to read more about getting the shot please continue after the break.

Continue reading “Marguerite – All white background photos”

Night Photography and the Goings Ons

For the time being we’ve been doing extras, two weeks ago we went down to the Sand Dunes, what a place to take photos! I’ve been there a few times before but every time I go I’m a better photographer and see more opportunity.

Work has slowed quite a bit over the past few weeks.  That’s okay though summer is a busy time for everything, I’d love some work but I’m keeping busy just fine.  Promotions really slow down during the summer because it is year end, just gotta wait for the industry to get back online.  For the time being we’ve been doing extras, two weeks ago we went down to the Sand Dunes, what a place to take photos!  I’ve been there a few times before but every time I go I’m a better photographer and see more opportunity.

One photo that I grabbed, right before I broke my remote shutter release cord, is below.  We happened to be down there on a very clear night during the new moon.  The stars were absolutely amazing, Alamosa, CO is right near the dunes but they don’t have much light pollution, this means some wonderful long exposure, night photos can be taken.

About the cord, it was dark, I set my tripod with my camera down for a second with the cord wrapped over my shoulder.  Well, the tripod was not level, I even did a double check!  About 5 seconds after I put it down the whole thing toppled!  Luckily, there was some twine between posts directing people where to go for grounds recover.  The tripod fell right into one of them, it scraped against the ground (the lens hood did) but it did not hit the ground thankfully.  The cord however stayed around my neck and snapped the connector off in the camera.  A pair of tweezers and $30 later I have a new functional cord but man oh man, scary times.

Back to the photo, it seemed appropriate to post the photo because I saw some serious discussion on this week about stars photography and I think a lot of people make it much harder than it is.

Milky Way above the mountains in southern Colorado

I took this photo without any fancy star photography equipment in one shot.  No need for star tracking equipment, no need for $100 filters.  What you need is: Continue reading “Night Photography and the Goings Ons”

The Challenges of Color Accuracy

So one thing that a lot of photographers know about but I feel a lot of people outside photography don’t is color accuracy.  I don’t know how many people have really sat down and worked on a photo, get the white balance right, get the saturation looking great, oh bump up those yellows a little, ah, finally it looks good.  Then you print it or put it online somewhere.

Oh man, those prints can look absolutely awful, way over saturated, bright fake looking reds, but how, it looked so great on your monitor, you can even hold them side by side.  This is not the photo you edited.

Well, I’ve seen this from time to time, more on the online side, since a lot of the work I do is online (websites, uploads to clients, emails) I’ve found that this problem extends well beyond printing.  Monitor calibration can play a huge role in what the client and prospective clients see.  Just this week I uploaded some photos from a Ron Zacapa event, I spent Continue reading “The Challenges of Color Accuracy”