Ole' Rattlers

What is it about old steam engines?  You may not care about them at all.  But for me, there is something about them.  I suppose there is the historical side.  Movies maybe.  But seeing them in person.  I should say experiencing them in person.  They seem to have a life about them.  A piece of cold iron that when you put fire in its belly it starts to come to life.  Steam escaping from relief valves.  Breathing.  In person you feel the percussion of the pistons as they start to turn the wheels.  Yeah, I like them.

We took a ride on this one in Tavares, FL.  All the way to the North Pole actually.  The engine was amazing but the cars are restored as well and look great.

If you ever get the opportunity to see one, or even better ride one, you should do it.

Be blessed.


Another Great Time With Another Great Family

So it actually gets cold in Florida.  Especially when the wind is blowing.  When I got up on this morning to go to our session I thought "Wow, it is really cold out, I didn't consider this."  But these guys are troopers.  And we did it.  And no one froze.  Well maybe except the little guy below.  The idea was to get family portraits for Christmas but also then get him by himself for his birthday.  So he had to do a shirt change.  Poor little guy was shivering.  Daddy started talking about warm hot chocolate and that seemed to help.  Gotta love the power of suggestion.

I love the morning sun coming through the gazebo in the lead shot above.

I always think it is such a shame, all the neglected children I have to see during these family sessions. :)

Be blessed.

Could You Please Smile?

This was a difficult session.  As you'll see in the photographs, it was a challenge to get these guys to smile and have fun.  So stuffy. :)  Obviously, I am so joking.  They were great. 

The difficulty wasn't them.  Let's see.  We had to postpone this session a few weeks ago because of 30 mph onshore winds.  So this time Hurricane Sandy has just passed us.  I picked the location because it is generally not busy.  So I arrived early to scope the area only to find that Sandy had caused severe erosion.  There was almost no beach.  There was maybe 3 feet of sand in front of some of the dunes before the drop off.  And oh yeah there was a huge wedding, and oh yeah another photographer was with a client.  Not ideal but we worked with it.  And at least the wind died off so that I was able to set up strobes and an umbrella.

I think we got some great results.  It's hard to go wrong with such a fun family.  Laughing and smiling translates well in photographs.

Be blessed!


Baby In Black And White

Another chance to photograph this cutie pie.  Her mommy makes these great brain squeezers (I'm sure there is some cute girly name for them but I'm a guy).  If you want info on them contact me.

I decided to make this post all black and white.  Sometimes color gets in the way.  Sometimes the color just isn't quite what I'm looking for even though the subject, composition, focus, perspective are all exactly what I'm looking for.  When I desaturate the color the photograph comes to life.  Like these.

Hope you enjoy.  Be blessed.


Brothers In A Good Light

We had thought about canceling this session.  It rained off and on throughout the day.  Thankfully we didn't.  The rain let off and the sun shone behind a thin layer of clouds in the same way that an umbrella diffuses the light from a flash.  So the light was soft and directional and by placing the subject a different angles to the sun you can achieve different effects.

I always look for cool transitional areas.  Areas that are in full sunlight but transition slowly to shade.   This are in our downtown has some of those that I like.  This is an overpass.  The rocks make an interesting background.  If you move the subject far from the opening you get flat light.   As you move closer to the entrance, you start to get some direct sunlight that you can use as an accent light on the face or shoulder.


Here is one with the sun almost directly behind me.  You can see that there is very little shadow on the face.  The little bit of shadow that is there has a very soft transition showing what a great soft box the Lord provided with the clouds.

Here is one of my favorite walls.

This gate was a new find.  I've probably walked by it a hundred times.

A yellow door.  Wasn't sure about this one but I like the rustic look.  Notice how he has the direct light giving a nice highlight on the right side.  Again, you have control in a situation like this.  If the highlight is too big or too bright, back the subject farther into the doorway.

Not much to say here.  Adorable kids sitting on the curb.


I think these are my favorites of the bunch.  The sun is behind them giving the great accent light on the hair and shoulders.   The sky behind just blows out.

GEEK TECH STUFF: If you're not interested skip this paragraph.

This can be a challenging photographic situation.  Most cameras set to automatic will try to meter this down to get details in the bright sky.  And that will put the subject into almost complete silhouette.  That's a cool look if that is what you are going for.  If not, you have to do a little work to get details in the subject.

If you have exposure compensation you can dial in some positive number.  This acts like an offset.  Whatever your meter thinks is the correct exposure, this positive number will be added to it.  For instance, here I dialed in +2/3 or +1 depending on how much sun I had in the frame.

If you have exposure lock on your camera you can point your camera toward something that you want to meter on, press and hold the exposure lock button, recompose the photo and press the shutter release.  I used that technique here as well.  I have not settled on my favorite way yet.  In this case, I would point at the shadow in front of the subject or maybe his dark jeans, hold the auto exposure (AE) lock button, recompose and shoot.


Maybe these are my favorites.   I can not make up my mind.  I always like the silly faces.


Wow, this is seriously the longest post I've ever made but hopefully on top of enjoying the photos you may have picked up a little something that you did not know before.

Be blessed!



Well hello there baby.

I had the privilege of photographing our friends' baby yesterday.  This baby, we are particularly happy to see because we have been praying for her for such a long time.  And now she's here and she's beautiful.  Mommy and daddy and grandma are extremely happy and she is destined to be neglected I'm sure (if by neglect you mean spoiled like crazy). :)

The shots were taken in the hospital. because of that I wanted to travel light so I brought the camera, a flash, an umbrella, and a stand. I didn't bring any reflectors because I knew there would be no shortage of white sheets, white pillows, and other items that can be used as stand in reflectors. So some of the shots were taken with the umbrella and for some I shot the flash into the ceiling.

Thanks to the nurse on this one for setting up this shot. She was a good sport.

There are those eyes.

Thinking about Daddy here!

Sweet feet.

Thinking about the photographer here.

We can't wait to see you again baby, oh yeah by the way get used to the flash. :)