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  • My buddy Jeff Revell, who lives in Northern Virginia, invited me to come up for the day to shoot the International Gold Cup Horse Race, held each year in Great Meadow near The Plains, Virginia (some of my shots from the event are shown here---click on them for larger views). It was a quick trip for me; I flew up first thing in the morning, and back that same evening, but it was totally worth it. We had a wonderful day----absolutely perfect weather, full access photo passes, lots of laughs (as is always the case when Jeff and I get together), and access to a wonderful hospitality tent that was packed with yummy hospitality. What a great way to spend a Saturday! My Sport Photography Gear Air Travel Test I didn't have time to buy a new camera bag (though I got some great…

    Howdy folks; it's Friday, and here's what's goin' on as we head into the weekend: As I was pulling into my driveway, back from taking my son to school on Wednesday morning, and I looked up to see a huge Bald Eagle heading straight for my back yard; but this time I was ready. I ran in and all my gear was in place; monopod attached, memory card formatted, all the settings in place; so I ran outside and never saw him again. Waited for quite a while, but not a sign of him. Now, he's toying with me. Even though I missed him again, one of my readers, Joel Schilling, had a similar experience, but by golly he got the shot! Here's the link to Joel's shot! Another one of my frequent readers (and commenter), photographer Crash Taylor has put together some very…

    By now you've probably heard that Photoshop CS4 (and the Creative Suite) started shipping yesterday (I would have mentioned it yesterday, but it was "Special Guest Blog" Wednesday, where Laurie Excell did an absolutely wonderful, inspiring post---thank you Laurie!), but beyond that, I wanted to point out something very cool for NAPP members, that Matt Kloskowski pointed out a few weeks back on his LightroomKillerTips blog. If you're a NAPP member, you can get the upgrade to Photoshop CS4, AND the upgrade to Lightroom 2, together as a bundle, for just $238. (Adobe is offering a 30% discount on Lightroom 2 if you upgrade it with Photoshop CS4, then as a NAPP member you get. Throw another 15% off, so the total upgrade is only $238). Not too shabby! You'll find the details and discount code for bundle deal on the NAPP member Web…

    I did a bridal shoot last week, and here are a few shots from the shoot. I used the same lighting rig used by Wedding photography rock-star David Ziser, for all the photos you see here (I used flash in every shot, but sometimes I balanced flash with natural light). David's rig is made up of five small parts: A Quantum Qflash T5D (with a pocket-sized Quantum Turbo SC battery pack) A Quantum QNexus Wireless trigger that lets you control the Qflash from either a Nikon or Canon camera A white 39" translucent shoot-through Umbrella A flash adapter bracket This is all mounted on top of a monopod (using that adapter I just mentioned) which is held by an assistant (in my case, I was lucky enough to snag RC to help me during the shoot). I was able to control the power of…

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    Creativity lies within each of us. Anyone can learn the technical functions of a camera, it’s the unique vision we each have that brings a personal touch to our images. Too often photographers get caught up in the technical aspects of photography wanting to capture the perfect exposure & composition. More important than what aperture we select or which lens we choose, is digging deep down within ourselves and creating the image we see with our heart and our mind. Knowing what it is that we want to communicate in our image will help us to decide the technical details and select the appropriate equipment that will help us to bring our vision to life both in the camera and later in the digital darkroom.

    Photographing things we love is a great place to start. If we have a personal involvement with our subjects, our images will improve. Familiarity breeds an understanding of our subjects that allows us to anticipate when the light will fall just right across the scene or the peak of action as a grizzly climbs from the river to the bank and shakes the water from his fur. It’s this knowledge that takes us to the next level in our photography. And that knowledge is gained from spending the time learning about and observing our subjects.

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    Today’s cameras are technological wonders; accurately reading the light value and automatically adjusting the white balance to give us most technically perfect image possible however, our cameras are inanimate objects without emotions or a personal connection with our subject. It’s up to us to add our own creative touch when deciding which aperture/shutter speed combination best captures the essence of the moment or which lens allows us to include the elements that tell our story.

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    It’s the love of my craft and a deep passion for the subjects I photograph that is the driving force behind my photography. I enjoy the planning and anticipation of visiting a new location to photograph new subjects, deciding which camera, lenses and accessories will help me to realize my vision in the form of images that I can share with others. I love every aspect of the image making process, immersing myself in the sights, scents & sounds of the environment, waiting for the composition that best captures my emotions to reveal itself. It may be the quality of light falling upon my subject that first catches my attention, or the sheer force of a storm that draws me in. Bright colors and patterns may cause me to isolate my subject capturing intimate details within scene rather than that of the overall landscape.

    The blossoming image may lend itself best to B&W or other techniques that I will use to

    …one of my favorite outdoor photographers, the head of NAPP's Gear Desk, a Photoshop World instructor, and one of the nicest, most genuine, and fun people you'd every want to meet, the amazing Laurie Excell. Laurie has one of the coolest, and most demanding jobs in photography training, as one of the instructors for the famous "Digital Landscape Workshop Series" (link) along side photography legends Moose Peterson and Joe McNally. So, how do you get to be that "third instructor" beside Moose and Joe? You have to be really, really good (and Laurie is exactly that). I'm honored to have her here tomorrow as my guest blogger---make sure you check back to see what Laurie has in store (in the meantime, here's a link to Laurie's photography blog).

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