About Me

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Monroe, Ohio, United States
Began my photography career as most people do...the highschool yearbook. Upon graduation I attended the US Naval Photography School in Pensacola Fla. After getting a qualification in basic photography and then later attending their Portrait School,was assigned to a military operation. Experiences included USO photography for Bob Hope, Brooke Shields, Kathy Lee Crosby and Wayne Newton.Have also had the opportunity for travel assignments to places such as Beruit, Israel, Africa, Australia, Brazil, Italy, Spain and England. Upon exiting the Navy in 1984,opened up a Tanning Salon and Health Club in Oxford,Ohio and began photographing weddings, all as a vehicle to fund my way through college. I enjoy travel, sports photography, special event and Cincinnati Reds photography. I am frequently contracted as a sports photographer by parents, sports teams, and organizations,throughout the Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio areas, to provide the highest quality sports photography, both on an individual and team basis.

April 8, 2009

To Flash or Not to Flash....


People photos can be some of the most rewarding and challenging shots
to take. They can also be the most lucrative if you get them right.

One of the most important elements you need to master in order to sell
your photos of people (family, friends, or strangers) is light.

The pop up flash on your camera is ALMOST NEVER an option if you want
to sell your photos to magazines, stock agencies, or as fine art. It’s
fine for pictures you plan to keep in your photo album at home, but
it’s not acceptable for photos you plan to sell.

It’s a classic sign of a “snapshot” and it’ll ruin an otherwise
acceptable image.

...That being said, I am not advocating that you never ever use your
on-camera flash again. I am, however, encouraging you to know the
difference between saleable images and those that you tuck into an
album and pull out at family dinners for a giggle and to reminisce.

The above shot is an example of using a natural light source for a more dramatic

It’s a wonderful shot of a friends 82 year old Grandmother.
Had the light source been a pop up flash, you would have had a bright intense light on the forehead and a big shadow on the wall behind her head.

I was asked to come take some photographs of my friends "Nanna" who has not been in very good health the past couple of years. I had a very small dimly lit home that gave me very litle astetical advantages. I found out that religion and her Bible were a very important part of her life. In her Bible she keeps obituaries of her late friends, one of them being her late husband. I used an Expodisc to get a proper light temperature reading and bracketed my exposures. The end result was this family keepsake.

One thing you can do during the day is simply step out onto the front
porch and use the natural light from outdoors. Another thing you can
try is moving her to a window-lit area of the house.

Be careful to stay away from bright midday sun or areas that have a
mix of direct light and shade. Instead, watch for “even” lighting.

And if, for some reason, you must use a pop-up flash, try diffusing
the light, using something to make it spread out. You can do this on
the run with something as simple as a white Kleenex slipped over the
flash. There are also products you can find online made specifically
for this. One is the Puffer by Gary Fong, which fits over your
on-camera flash and softens the direct light. I often use the Gary Fong LightSphere. But you can find the right diffuser for your flash at http://garyfong.com

While these options are not perfect solutions, they will give you
better results in a pinch if no natural light is available.

For more examples of natural or diffused light portraits visit http://rushintl.smugmug.com/gallery/2302283_jaJrf#480252706_rpfgY

All were taken either indoors with a Gary Fong Lightsphere, light coming from a window or outside with natural light. Notice that none of them have harsh shadows. And that my subjects aren't blown out by the intensity of an on-camera flash
(because I didn’t use it).

And again, I’m not suggesting that you never use your flash. I’m
simply saying that there’s a lot of money to be made out there selling
photographs of people. And with a little planning and readjustment of
your subject, you might just be able to cash in on it.

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