Monthly Archives November 2011

I’ve been saying all year that Matt Kloskowski’s book, Photoshop Compositing Secrets” (link) is the best Photoshop book of the year, but’s Editor’s thought it was even better than that, naming it one of their Best Books of 2011  for the entire Arts & Photography category (link). How cool is that!!!

Congrats to Matt for truly hitting one out of the park (and for also being one of their picks in their Top-10 Kindle Books for 2011, too!).

Matt, we are all so proud of you!!! What an amazing year you are having and it couldn’t happen to a more genuine, hard-working, and fun guy who does all of this for all the right reasons. Congrats!!!


Today is Veterans Day in the US, and I wanted to take a moment to honor and thank the men and women who have served in our country’s military, and who fought to defend the very freedoms we enjoy today. America owes you a debt of gratitude for your service and sacrifice, and I just wanted to join in with a heartfelt thanks.

Brad Moore here with the latest news. Here we go:

Jeremy Cowart’s LifeFinder Tour
Jeremy Cowart is hitting the road for a few weeks, bringing his LifeFinder seminar to a city near you. For $179, you’ll get an 8-hour day with Jeremy, plus his LifeFinder DVD, and you can bring someone who needs it most! Dates are below, and you can find all the info at

11.28 – Los Angeles
11.30 – Dallas
12.02 – Seattle
12.05 – New York City
12.07 – Chicago
12.13 – Nashville
12.17 – Atlanta

Light It. Shoot It. Retouch It. Live!
Scott is bringing his hugely popular tour to San Francisco on November 14, and Seattle on November 21! Get all the info over at, sign up and come see us! :)
Two new classes up on this week! Bill Fortney is back with Close-Up: Continuing in Macro Photography. And Dave Black’s Painting with Light: A Unique Approach takes you into the world of light painting!

11-11-11 Sale from Kelby Training and NAPP
Tomorrow is 11-11-11 and we’re having a sale with, yep – you guessed it – 11% off a whole bunch of stuff including books, DVDs and bundles. All the Photoshop World items are also 11% off and that means your registration and any pre-cons or other add-ons. If you join NAPP on 11-11-11, you get 11 weeks free, and you can register to win one of eleven $25 Apple gift cards!  Is that elevenly enough?

The Grid
If you missed yesterday’s episode of The Grid, you missed a show filled with passion, cyanotypes, and marination! The topic was Are The Classic Masters of Photography Relevant to Today’s Young Photographers? and I think we had a record number of comments. Keep an eye out this afternoon over at for Episode 31 of The Grid!

That’s all the pimpy for today. Have a great Thursday!

“What type of photography do you do?” This seems to be the first question most people ask when they discover you are somewhat competent with the camera. I still don’t have a clear answer to this question. However, during a trip to Guatemala two years ago I quickly realized that travel/mission-oriented photography captivated me the most. It was the first time since I started doing photography that I was able to get out of the bubble that is America. Being in such humble, yet beautiful, conditions really showed me the power that this medium possessed.

Last year I had the chance to visit Haiti about 5 months after the quake. I went there to do make some images for Mission of Hope Haiti. MOH Haiti is an amazing organization that does so much that it’s difficult to know where to begin. For starters, on their grounds alone they have an orphanage, a school, a church, and a prosthetics lab. So many lives have been impacted and even saved by them. The mission is also so well run that they were more equipped than almost anyone else in the nation for the earthquake. In fact, they served more meals to people in the first week than the UN. It’s pretty unreal. To hear the doctors speak about the quake was chilling. They said the first victim arrived within 10 minutes, and that began a 36 hour marathon of emergency surgeries.

Also, the fact that they had a prosthetic lab was an absolute God send, in every sense of the word. They have a doctor who specializes in prosthetics come almost weekly to serve the people who need artificial limbs. I was allowed to ride along to drop some of the patients off at their homes on one occasion. Here are some images from that:

The entrance to one of the tent communities that housed a few of the patients

A sister comes home after getting fitted for a prosthetic

Several more kind folks

A man getting fitted back at the mission

The thing that struck me about the people was their real joy, despite their loss. They were so eager to love and to be hospital. It started to drizzle while I was there and I heard a woman calling to me in Creole. I went over to her and she took my camera and put it in a plastic bag to protect it. This is the heart of the people.

On another day we were taking a walk through a neighboring village. Because my guide had a good relationship with them, several of the people allowed me to make portraits of them.

A little girl and her puppy

A worker who is helping to rebuild

A kind older gentleman

One day we took the orphans from the mission to the beach. Here is a little girl experiencing the shore, maybe for the first time

Something about Haiti that I did not anticipate was the beauty…oh the beauty. We often hear of the poverty or the despair, and while that is a reality for many people there, there is an incredible amount of beauty as well.

The view from Mission of Hope Haiti


I thought after yesterday’s “Hall of Shame” shots, I’d better post a few that didn’t feature shots of the goal post (as epic as those were). This was a late afternoon game, and with the rolling back of Daylight Savings Time, by the time kick-off came around the entire field was already covered in shade, and a hour or so later, it was starting to get dark and I had to crank up the ISO nearly right off the bat.

(Above: He just scored—why is he so angry at the ball?). ;-)

Finding Out After The Fact
It’s rare for me to shoot a late-afternoon game. Most of the games I shoot are at 1:15 or at night, so I wasn’t used to planning for the light to change to drastically, and I lost a lot of shots due to not watching my ISO as closely as I should have been. I had a number of shots with shutter speeds as low as 1/640 so a lot of images I had just didn’t make the cut —- of course, I didn’t realize this until it was too late. I did adjust and raised my ISO when I caught a glimpse of how low my shutter speed had fallen, but the shots I had taken like that had just enough movement to make them pretty unusable. If I had thought to turn on Auto ISO at the beginning of the game, I wouldn’t have had to even think about it again. Sigh.

Wait….Don’t Take My Cards!
Usually when I’m assignment, at halftime I race to the Photographer’s workroom (a luxurious well-appointed suite serving a champagne brunch. No wait…picture the exact opposite of that….and that’s what it looks like) to find 10 or 12 shots to upload to my wire service. I quickly choose which shots I want to send; then I can edit and crop if necessary in Photoshop. I always sharpen them, and then upload them to the server. Pretty standard stuff.

However, in this case, I was shooting for the Titans as part of Titans Team Photographer Donn Jones’s crew that cover each home game, so I’d be shooting on the field and toward the end of the quarter one of his editors would pop-up beside me on the field and ask me to surrender my card so they can pick the shots they need and do all the uploads. I was SO not used to that (I have done that during College Bowl Games, but I still got to make the final call on what got uploaded), so it did freak me out a little bit (and you needed to have lots of back-up cards handy), but by the third quarter, I’d see the editor coming and just I’d go run and hide near the Bengals bench. ;-)

(Above: Sharing his touchdown celebration with The Man upstairs! No, not the guy in the pressbox)

Working on things I need to fix
One thing I really need to work on is making the switch to my second body, with a wider lens, at the right time. When you’re shooting that 400mm, and the line of scrimmage is 30 or 40 yards away, the focal length is awesome, but if a receiver makes a catch and breaks for it down the sideline, all of a sudden he’s too close for you to focus on, but yet—-I still keep shooting. At least I did about three times where I absolutely, positively should have switched to my 2nd body, and that just drives me crazy. I missed some great opportunities that unfolded right in front of me, because I didn’t take my eye off  that 400mm. Uggh!

Another thing I caught myself doing yesterday was letting from framing creep up on me, to where I was composing shots with lots of grass below, and my players squashed up at the top of frame—sometimes even cutting them off. I didn’t realize I was doing that until I looked at some of the images on my LCD. I did adjust by moving my center focus point down, so I would have to reframe the shot with a little more headroom above the players and that helped, but I lost a whole series of shots due to me not really being aware of the problem like I should have been.

My wife thinks my problem was something entirely different
I called my wife after the game to tell her:

(a) How much fun I was having with Donn and his crew. For most of the games I shoot, it’s a pretty solitary experience, and the football photographers aren’t exactly what you’d call “Chatty.” But Donn and his crew were some of the nicest, most fun, down-to-earth guys you’d ever want to meet. They had me laughing the whole day (and afterward—more on that in a moment), and…

(b) How upset I was with how I shot the game. I really felt totally into it at the start, and that, along with perfect football weather, and an all access pass form Donn, and I really had high hopes that I would come back with some great shots, but I was just totally bummed. My wife joked that the reason I wasn’t in the photo zone, was that I was in the “Fun zone” with Donn and his buddies. She’s probably right. These guys were a riot, and they really made me feel at home, and totally like one of their crew.

The “Lame @#$ Tailgate Party” is anything but!
Since the team photographers have to be at the stadium four hours before game time, they don’t get to go to any tailgate parties, so it’s a tradition of Donn’s to have their own tailgate party for photographers, in the stadium parking lot, after the game, and after they’re done uploading and adding metatdata to their images (so it’s quite a while after the game). They call it the “Lame @#$ Tailgate Party” and they were kind enough to invite me to join them, and it was really a lot of fun (and the food was insane!). They were grilling out hot dogs, chili, sausage, and they had every football-related snack ever. They had music, games, and even a generator with lights so we weren’t wandering around in the dark. Hanging out with the guys was definitely one of the highlights of the whole trip (maybe my wife was right). ;-)

Anyway, here’s a few more shots from the game (they all look better bigger, so make sure you click on them for a larger view):

Good News/Bad News
We’re just coming back from halftime and I walk straight into my buddy, Atlanta-based sports photographer Paul Abell (former team photographers for the Bucs, and the Atlanta Braves baseball team), who was shooting the game for AP. Neither of us knew the other would be there, so it was really a treat seeing him and catching up. He’s taught me a lot about shooting sports, and he’s a terrific guy (and one hell of a shooter). That’s the good news. The bad news is: I was in the end zone and I saw Paul get hit by a receiver at the goal line in the third quarter. He popped right back up like nothing, so I figured he was OK, but I got a text from him a little later that he was really hurting, he was pretty dizzy, and had to leave the game early. We texted later that night, and he was feeling better, but he really took a whack, and was still sore from the hit. Here’s hoping Paul feels 100% soon.

There are worse ways to spend a day
Even though I made a lot of mistakes, I learned some things, too (plus I got to try out some new things I learned from taping that online class with Dave Black on Friday), so all in all, it was a really great day, and I got to meet some really great people, and see my buddy Paul to boot. My thanks to the amazing Donn Jones, and to Al, Will, Richard, Charles and the gang (also Mike, and Eric), who treated like I was family. You guys are the best, and I hope we get to shoot together again real soon (I promise to bring my “A” game!). :)

(Above: Richard got this shot of me with a 12-16 fisheye [cropped down here] right before kickoff. You know it’s before kick-off because I’m still smiling). ;-)