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  • Category Archives Guest Blogger


    Photo by Douglas Dubler

    A Tale of Two Photos

    Once a year, on the anniversary of Guest Blog Wednesday, Scott affords me the opportunity to share some thoughts. All I can say is that it is a good thing that he gives me a year between these guest blog posts. Once again, thank you, Scott, for your gracious generosity.

    Tale 1

     

    Of all of the images I have or will take in my life, I suspect “Paris in Snow” will be by far my most iconic. It is the cover of my book From Oz to Kansas, and Epson uses it as the image on their worldwide packaging of Cold Press Natural paper. So the image has received some airplay.

    This image is one of the best examples I have of how to capture “timelessness” in a photograph. There is no way to tell if the image was shot yesterday, one, 10, 50 or 100 years ago. This has to do with an observation I made several years back when photographing New York City: “modern” happens four stories and below, and “timeless” happens four stories and above. The shops at street level come and go, fashions change, cars change, and the banners that get hung for this or that special event all tend to be hung from the floor of the fourth story (or the ceiling of the third if you want to be picky) and below. But the truth of the city and the age of its creation all live four stories (from the floor up) and above. Case in point: in this image, I am nine stories up, and I am shooting down toward the fourth story of the buildings in the foreground.

    Note: This is also an ExDR image (Extended Dynamic Range). Not merely an HDR image (High Dynamic Range). For me, HDR images tend to be ones that scream “I AM AN HDR IMAGE!!!” and are an exercise in how to make a photograph look like a Harry Potter set. Just because something looks weird does not make it art. It just means it looks weird. In this image, the dynamic ranges of focus, time, and gesture have been extended. The goal of any technique is that when the image is completed you cannot see the technique in the image.

    But I digress…. Back to the tale of this image. 

    How to Create an Architectural Photo: Manhattan Style I’d first like to thank Scott and Brad for inviting me to be a guest blogger!  When I was asked to write a post, I was very excited and immediately began thinking about what to share.  I love when photographers show how they created one of their favorite images from start to finish, so that’s what I’m going to do for you. Although architecture is a relatively small niche of photography, there are many architectural photographers out there; each with their own style of shooting and retouching.  Some do very minimal retouching, if any, to their photographs, but I am not one of those.  I put just as much time, love and attention to detail in post as I do on set.  Every square inch is accounted for whether I’m behind the camera or behind the…

    I’m humbled to make another appearance on Guest Blog Wednesday. I can’t fathom what in the world Scott was thinking when he thought to have me return for a third time, though. When I think about the giants of photography who have shared their knowledge as Guest Bloggers, the pressure of trying to articulate something that will be worthwhile overwhelms me. I’ve gone to the well twice now and I’d like to think that I did so without completely embarrassing myself. Maybe I should have quit while I was ahead, but here I am, this time writing about golf photography and how I shoot the sport.


    The quiet before the storm at the Augusta National clubhouse

    Golf photography is really no different than any other type of sports photography, or really photography in general. Each genre or sport has its ins & outs, nuances and idiosyncrasies that aren’t necessarily difficult to grasp, but it sure helps if you’re aware of them before you head out to shoot. Here are some preliminary thoughts, followed by a more detailed discussion on equipment, positioning and the types of shots I look for when I shoot the sport of golf.


    Walking to the 18th green with Peter Hanson

    One thing I have discovered is that golf is one of the most physically demanding sports to shoot, at least the way I go about shooting events and tournaments. I’m sure you’re sitting there, scratching your head when you read that since golf is not typically thought of as a physically demanding sport. But when I shoot a PGA golf event, it’s almost always as a Tournament Photographer or for a wire service. Therefore, my job is either: 1) to follow an assigned group for most of a round, occasionally catching up with or dropping back to follow other groups on the course; or 2) to photograph players in contention and the “name” players. That means I don’t hunker down in one place and photograph the golfers as they come through that spot on the course. My photo obligations require that I do a lot of walking (and running).

    Consider that most any PGA golf course is approximately 5 miles in length. Add to that going from greens to tee boxes, constantly moving from one side of the fairway to the other to get into position, etc., and it is not unusual for me to log in some 6 to 7 miles on any given day…with approximately 40 pounds of camera gear attached to my body in some fashion or another.


    Jim Furyk tees off on #18 at Augusta National

    I also make it a priority to capture images from unconventional vantage points. This requires a lot of extra climbing, squatting, sprinting, wading or other forms of physical exertion. For example, in order to capture the image above of Jim Furyk teeing off on #18 at Augusta National, 

    Photographing Some of my Heroes At this past Photoshop World in Orlando, I realized that I had never fully taken advantage of the opportunities that I have there sometimes. I'm surrounded by a number of people who've been great influences on my life and career. I have lights and a camera. And, even though I'm busy, I can at least try to find the time to make something happen. So I looked at the schedule, found a small block of time where I didn't have too much going on, and set up a couple of lights in an empty room just around the corner from the staff office. You know how when you're watching someone work, you have epiphany moments where you see something that you'd never thought of before? I had always seen lights put in front of subjects, but never behind. Until…

    Many thanks, Scott – an honor to be able to write here. I’ll be all over the place here (I’m no writer, so my apologies), but I’ll try to be quick, sprinkling little nuggets of wisdom you should probably ignore. (Seriously, the only real tip here is SHOOT. Always be shooting.) I’ve been through highs and lows as a photographer, and have learned a thing or two in the process. Hopefully the below will help one day. -You can’t get better if you don’t continuously practice. That’s really the big secret. Keep shooting all the damn time. -You have to love photography. I mean, really love it. Photography as a hobby is much different than photography as a profession. -Surround yourself with smart, humble, and hard-working people. Try to be the same. -Also, be nice. -Respect your crew and keep everyone well fed. You’ll…

    Credit: Lyndsay Curtis, my wife, best friend and business partner First off, thank you to Scott and Brad for letting me share my story with everyone. I met Scott during his (mis)adventures in January. My name is Tony D. Curtis and I am a 2nd Class Petty officer in the U.S. Navy and my job title is mass communication specialist (MC).  My job is to use all aspects of media (photo, video, public affairs, etc.) to help tell the Navy’s story to the general public. I’m stationed aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). Within my job, my passion is photography. I can’t explain how lucky I am to have what I think is the best job in the Navy. It took at least 1,600 sailors to spell out G-H-W-B for our namesake’s birthday and I was chosen to fly in…

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