Use different lenses to get variety of looks for a client

[Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 900, ƒ/1.4, 1/100]
What lenses do you take on a job? For me I might take all I can but a better question might be which ones do you try to use the most.

One lens I love to use a lot these past couple of years is the Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 Art lens. It is so sharp.

[Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 750, ƒ/1.4, 1/100]
I love to fill the frame get pretty close to people and let that background go out of focus giving that smooth BOKEH. Bokeh has been defined as “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light”.

[Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 450, ƒ/1.4, 1/100]
The cool thing beyond the BOKEH is shooting a much lower ISO than you have to do with say ƒ/4 or ƒ/5.6.

The shallow depth-of-field makes the subject just pop out of the photo.

[Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 500, ƒ/1.4, 1/100]
The closer you get to the subject the even shallower depth-of-field becomes with the lens.

[Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 450, ƒ/1.4, 1/100]
[Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 125, ƒ/1.4, 1/100]
The other cool thing I love about giving clients photos with this lens is you cannot get this look with your iPhone.

[Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 640, ƒ/1.4, 1/100]
[Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 400, ƒ/1.4, 1/100]
While I love this lens I often am having to just react to a moment. I need to have more than a 35mm lens. I love a good zoom and when it comes to photographing people I love the Sigma 24-105mm ƒ/4 Art lens.

[Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm ƒ/4, ISO 45600, ƒ/13, 1/100]
Sometimes I need to be really wide like in this photo of the Sunday School teacher reading a story about the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther.

[Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm ƒ/4, ISO 1800, ƒ/4, 1/100]
Next I need to go a little tighter in the photo.

[Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm ƒ/4, ISO 3200, ƒ/4, 1/100]
Then I am right back out shooting wide again.

[Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm ƒ/4, ISO 4500, ƒ/4, 1/100]
I like working around three to five feet of the people I am photographing. Sometimes I might get a little closer or I have something in between me and the subject that backs me up a little further.

[Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm ƒ/4, ISO 1800, ƒ/4, 1/100]
With this lady in the Sunday School class I am on the other side of the table. But I could get a little closer by zooming.

[Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm ƒ/4, ISO 3200, ƒ/4, 1/100]
Here the lady is in between me and this lady smiling. But I could isolate her and make you the audience look where I want you to look.

[Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm ƒ/4, ISO 2200, ƒ/4, 1/100]
Next I turn and get some shots of the teacher. You cannot run everywhere on a photo shoot without becoming the focus of everyone. That is what happens often when I have just a couple of fixed lenses. I might have a 85mm ƒ/1.8 on one camera and then the 35mm ƒ/1.4 on the other camera, but with the zoom I can get much better compositions without moving so much I become a distraction.

[Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm ƒ/4, ISO 3200, ƒ/4, 1/100–Godox V860IIN]
Very rarely do I ever use on camera flash, but I had no assistant and setting up a light stand would have been knocked over with so many people. The people were backlit and were pretty much a silhouette. I just filled in using the Godox V860IIN with MagMod sphere to soften and spread the light. I used slow sync and was able with the Sigma 24-105mm ƒ/4 Art lens capture this moment.

My goal was to give the client a variety. You cannot do that with one lens as easily as mixing up the looks with a few lenses.

Hope these insights help you on your next photo shoot.

Time of Day Impacts Your Photo

Leary family reunion at Ocean Isle Beach, NC. We are enjoying our accommodations on the beach front. [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm, ISO 51200, ƒ/5.6, 1/100]
Time of day makes a HUGE impact on a photograph. Take a look at these two examples.

[Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 500, ƒ/5, 1/500]
The photos create two different moods and the reason you may use one over the other is for the purpose it is to serve.

[Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm, ISO 100, ƒ/8, 1/500]
This photo during the daytime with all the chairs helps give context to the house and it’s location to the beach.

[Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/2.8, 1/50]
If you can take photos at different times of day of a location take them both and do your best to make each one work.

[Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/2.8, 1/35]

Covering a candidates for City Council meeting

L/R Marie Willsey, Lori Henry and Shelley Sears are all running for open spot on the city Council, speaks at Roswell City Council Candidate forum held at the Roswell Community Masjid. [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art, ISO 2500, ƒ/4, 1/100]

I went to the local Masjid in Roswell to cover three of the candidates running for City Council office.

Why?

I wanted to show that this was pretty historic to show the Masjid hosting the meeting and as well to capture the personalities of those running for office, so that the audience would know about the candidates a little more than before the event. The tiles had Arabic language on them and I included them to show the location of the meeting.

I watched and listened. Each of the candidates running for office was very different from the others.

Shelley Sears was running on her success as a business woman in Real Estate. [Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 3200, ƒ/4.8, 1/100]

Shelly Sears was no nonsense business personality. She had a very similar approach of Trump. She wanted everyone to no she was not a politician, but a successful business person. She was running on the platform of we need business people running the city and not politicians.

I noticed she leaned forward more than the other candidates and intentionally chose not to use a microphone. This to me was her visually saying she needs no help at all and can handle it herself. I waited for the moment I thought that show her take control lean forward and tell you how she is going to take control was the best way to capture her.

Marie Willsey has been serving on her homeowners association board. She was seeing this as an opportunity to serve just like she has done for homeowners board, but a bigger stage of the community. She just likes serving. [Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 3200, ƒ/4.8, 1/100]

Now Marie Willsey reminded me of the stay at home mom who is involved in community service projects. She was serving on her homeowners board and loved doing this. She saw many of the same things facing the homeowners as those concerns for the larger community.

All the time when she was talking she was smiling. It was important that she came across as friendly and wanting to be seen as someone there to help you. So, I was sure to capture the smile and the warmth she was conveying to the audience.

Lori Henry had served in the past on the City Council. She wanted people to know she understood the issues that are the hotting topics to the community. She wanted to portray herself as scholared candidate on the cities issues. [Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 3200, ƒ/4.8, 1/100]

Now the third candidate had been here before. Lori Henry was running at the well educated on the issues candidate. She took issues and explained what needs to change to make a difference.

To capture this I had to look for that expression that showed a lot of thought going into her comments. So I looked for that furrowed brow and intense gaze.

Thought before I shot

As you can see I thought about each person. I felt their presence and looked for ways to capture those things into a visual moment that communicated some of this to the audience through the lens of the camera.

[Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art, ISO 2800, ƒ/4, 1/100]

However First I …

The very first thing I did was to walk into the room and asses the room technically.

The room had fluorescent as well as tungsten lights. I wrote an earlier blog talking about this here and how to get good white balance.

I basically did a custom white balance using the ExpoDisc and was sure that the shutter speed was no faster than 1/100.

Next I sat on the front row center so I could get a clear shot of the speakers without any distractions. Also I knew I could stand up for a moment and move to the side and get an overall shot at some moment.

I also brought two cameras. The Nikon D5 had a 24-105mm which helped for the over all shot and the three speaking, but then I brought my Fuji X-E2 with the 55-200mm which let me get tight shots of them individually speaking without me leaving my chair.

Once I had all the technical stuff taken care of I then switched my mind over to listening and finding those moments to tell the story.

Workflow

I call all this my shooting workflow. You need to always get the best technical shot as well as getting the moments to tell the story. There is a process that takes place every single time.

Do you have a process? Do you know why you are taking a photo? Do you know who your audience is for your photos? If you don’t know these answers then you will not be able to communicate much through your photos.

Cheap and powerful off camera flashes

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art, Neewer 433MHz Wireless 16 Channel, Neewer T850,

I had a lot of fun capturing the brand new Chick-fil-A food truck that is being tested in Athens, Georgia. It was parked in the restaurant parking lot to show to their customers and hoping they will book the truck for an event.

This shot was taken at sunset with the sunsetting behind the truck. To show the truck I put one flash on the side laying on top of some bushes to light up the side of the truck.

My assistant was pointing the second flash on the front of the truck just off to the camera’s left.

I love using the Neewer T850 with the radio remote. I can control the power output from the radio remote. I just set each flash to a different channel and then I can vary the power from the camera. No need to walk over to the flash to make a change.

Now I have the more expensive Nikon SB-900 but have found it difficult to use in manual mode and change the power from the camera of several flashes. Also shooting in TTL if you just barely move the camera it can change the flash and how it puts out light. Having the lights set to a power gives you more consistent exposures than TTL.

Monday morning devotion–Photographer’s Humility

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art, ISO 3600, ƒ/5.6, 1/100

WHY?

During my time teaching the students of the School of Photography at the University of the Nations campus in Kona, Hawaii I had them tell me WHY they made a photograph.

Asking this question made them quickly realize that the reason they were making a portrait for example was to capture a person’s personality and communicate it best that they could.

Nikon D5, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, ISO 100, ƒ/4, 1/200

Portrait photography is a great example to me, when done right, of how we as Christians should be living our lives.

Philippins 2:1-11

Imitating Christ’s Humility

2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,

    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

7 rather, he made himself nothing

    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,

    being made in human likeness.

8 And being found in appearance as a man,

    he humbled himself

    by becoming obedient to death—

        even death on a cross!

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place

    and gave him the name that is above every name,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,

    to the glory of God the Father.

In portrait photography you do everything you can to get to know the person. After getting to know the person you work out a way using posing, lighting, composition and through dialogue with the person pull out of them that brief moment that captures them in such a way that their closest friends feel like you captured the best of their friend.

You, the photographer, must diminish for the subject to be celebrated. When well done people see the person and not all the photography stuff that it took to make the photo.

C.S. Lewis writes, in Mere Christianity, that pride is the “anti-God” state, the position in which the ego and the self are directly opposed to God: “Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.” In contrast, Lewis states that, in Christian moral teaching, the opposite of pride is humility and, in his famous phrase, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” 

Nikon D5, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, ISO 100, ƒ/4, 1/200

When you do a great job as a portrait photographer people seek you out not because of your photographic skill. They seek you out because of how good your subjects looked.

“True humility” is distinctly different from “false humility” which consists of deprecating one’s own sanctity, gifts, talents, and accomplishments for the sake of receiving praise from others. In this context legitimate humility comprises the following behaviors and attitudes:

  • Submitting to God and legitimate authority
  • Recognizing virtues and talents that others possess, particularly those that surpass one’s own, and giving due honor and, when required, obedience
  • Recognizing the limits of one’s talents, ability, or authority; and, not reaching for what is beyond one’s grasp
Nikon D5, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, ISO 100, ƒ/1.8, 1/1000
Moments like this of this little child in Togo remind me that there is something greater than me that allows for these moments to happen. I did not speak her language and did not get to know her as I normally would do for a portrait, however I believe God was working with us to allow for this to happen.
I have to acknowledge that most all my portraits happen for reason I cannot always explain. While I did everything technically to get the photo, it is the expression and moment itself that is always beyond my control. I believe that this is where God takes control.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. – 1 Peter 5:6

Humility isn’t about being a doormat; it’s about being a doorway–a doorway through which others enter into the presence and power of God. By focusing on building others up and help­ing others connect with God, we show them the love of God, who desires the best for them.

Using a flash to spice up the environmental portrait

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art, ISO 125, ƒ/14, 1/250

The last assignment I gave the class was to do an environmental photo where their flash will improve the situation. Here is the example we did as a class. I took them here and we ended up with this photo of the school leader Dennis Fahringer.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art, ISO 100, ƒ/9, 1/160

I took this photo first as a reference for the before and after. I also made this second photo to show how you would correct this without a flash.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art, ISO 400, ƒ/9, 1/100

Now throughout the time we were doing this photo I was explaining to the class the WHY.

Now here is the how on the above photo with a diagram for you.

Dennis Fahringer says, “My wife, Jo, and I have served in Youth With a Mission since 1977.”

Throughout all this time Dennis has been teaching photography to students to equip them to use photography in missions or the secular. For this photo I wanted to show that his students go out into the world with Youth With A Mission to serve.

I felt like the flags of the world behind him capture the missions to the world and the camera helps to show that he is involved in photography.

This week every assignment the students are having to tell me why they took a photo. They must create a caption for every photo even if it is in the studio.

Great photos require intentional photographers

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art, ISO 100, ƒ/4, 1/320

Before you read this post, take a moment and just look at all the photos. Then take a moment and think about what you think they are all about. Once you have done that, now come back and pickup the reading from here.



Why did I take this photo and the others I am showing you today? Let me talk about each one separately. Also I would rarely not include some text with these photos no matter where I share them because I want to communicate what is going on.

I was accompanying one of the workshop participants that I was helping teach in Togo, West Africa on her story of a pastor. This was part of the story.

This is a Charlatan Witch Doctor of Fetishes in Togo, West Africa going into the temple that he has build for the different gods he worships. In Togo, about half the population practices indigenous religions, of which Vodun [worship of fetishes] is by far the largest, with some 2.5 million followers.

Vodun cosmology centers around the vodun spirits and other elements of divine essence that govern the Earth, a hierarchy that range in power from major deities governing the forces of nature and human society to the spirits of individual streams, trees, and rocks, as well as dozens of ethnic vodun, defenders of a certain clan, tribe, or nation. The vodun are the center of religious life, similar in many ways to doctrines such as the intercession of saints and angels that made Vodun appear compatible with Christianity, especially Catholicism, and produced syncretic religions such as Haitian Vodou. Adherents also emphasize ancestor worship and hold that the spirits of the dead live side by side with the world of the living, each family of spirits having its own female priesthood, sometimes hereditary when it’s from mother to blood daughter. [Wikipedia]

The reason I took this photo and the way I took it was to communicate the belief in many gods by the people of Togo. For many who become Christians it is still common for many to still practice these Fetishes. The tradition is so strong for so long in their culture that it is difficult for them to break away from these practices.

Here is the story that the student Hannah Teramura tells the story of Martouka.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/178931705
Freedom From the Fetish – Martouka’s Story from Storytellers Abroad on Vimeo.


Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art, ISO 1800, ƒ/8, 1/100

Why did I make this photo?

Before we sent all eleven students out individually to go and work on their stories we did a refresher on capturing the interview.

We walked around as a group and agreed on this place to do the interview. We did this based on the lighting, the sound and the background. We then setup the camera with the subject to be interviewed, the translator and the student who is asking the questions and doing the story.

We then practiced and stopped here and there to talk about the camera settings, the interviewing process and the importance of the student to listen with headphones and watching that the subject doesn’t move too much to put them out of focus or out of the frame of the camera.

Can you see how I composed and picked a moment to convey much of this information, but it was text that helped to explain who each person is in the photo and their role?

When did I figure out all this?

Before I clicked the shutter! Very important to think through what is going on in front of the camera and then to distill all this into a moment that will convey the point that you want to make.

Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 DG Art, ISO 100, ƒ/1.4, 1/640

Why did I make this photo?

This is pastor Martouka Anani’s son. Now he was very inquisitive and intense. You can tell he is a thinker and trying to figure out why these white people are doing with those cameras.

As I brought the camera up to take her photo I could see this intensity in his face and body language. I decided I needed to capture this tension. I also decided I wanted to isolate him in the corn field but also hint that his brother was in the background.

I felt this girl was fearless and unlike his brother who were just playing. Like his father this little boy wants to know more than he sees on the surface of people’s faces. He is peering into your soul with his eyes.

Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 DG Art, ISO 100, ƒ/1.4, 1/2000

Now contrast this to his older sister who while still engaging with her eyes there is more softness with her gaze than her younger brother.

Martouka Anani, their father, after years of growing up in fetish worship fell deathly sick and remembered the gospel he had heard as a child. Even though his parents disowned him from walking away from the fetish religion, he pursued Jesus and devoted his life to sharing the good news with others.

There next door neighbor is the Charlatan Witch Doctor in the first photo. Just imagine living next door to a faith your father gave up and lost his family over and all the day to day interactions they have with that family. I am sure the kids play together, but imagine them having to understand why their parents are so different.

Maybe the reason for these looks of the children is they are not sure what we believe and then also will this be their faith for themselves.

Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 DG Art, ISO 900, ƒ/1.4, 1/200

Why am I taking this photo?

I wanted to capture how important faith is to the community that we came to cover. This photo by itself doesn’t capture the whole story. But when paired with photos above in a larger story helps me to convey all the intricacies of the culture a little more and help you the reader understand what they are dealing with each day.

Had we just taken photos only in the church buildings the photos really are not all that different than here in the United States. Yes the building is a little different, but the expressions in prayer look similar. However, with the other photos showing this pastor living next door to a Witch Doctor and that this is the life he left for Jesus we can see what maybe is something different that they pray about that we don’t have to deal with here.

Summary

I hope you can see that I must take the time and think about what is going on around me. I then have to think what is it that I want to share with someone through my photos.

If you make photos without knowing what you are trying to say, then your audience will have no clue as to what you are trying to say.

Here are some places to start thinking about your photo that you want to make.

  1. What is my emotion right now? Are you happy, sad, melancholic, joyful, etc…
  2. What is the subject? If I were to put this into a sentence what is the noun?
  3. What is the verb? Thinking again like a sentence what is going one that I need to show? What would be the verb in the sentence if I were writing this all down. Your shutter speed may help communicate motion for example or freeze something.
  4. What should I include or exclude? You may do this by composing by moving around and picking a particular lens to capture the content. You may also decide how much is in focus around the subject. You may even decide to not just go from wide angle to a telephoto, but super close with a macro lens.
  5. Do I need to alter the light to help with capturing what I need? Do you need a flash? Do you need to wait till the subject moves into the light? 
There are many more questions you can ask to help you determine what to capture with your camera. 
Great photographs are like great poems. The differences are in the nuances. Finding the perfect balance of grammar, simplicity, intricacy, feeling, imagery, and rhythm is one of the most difficult challenges that a poet will face. In some cases, a poet’s work might never be done. For example, he might spend several years, or even his entire life, trying to perfect one single poem. He might omit a word or two here, or change some words there every so often.
The photographer is always looking for ways to improve. They work to understand the technical so as to help improve their images. They study the subjects so as to see those nuances to give more understanding.
My challenge to you is just to be intentional. Know why you are clicking the shutter or your audience will not know either.

Still Photographers – Showstoppers

Nikon D750, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art, ISO 2200, ƒ/4, 1/80

When you go and experience the Theatre you are seeing the sequencing of a story into moments. Within each scene there is build to a crescendo and then all of these different scenes build to a showstopper most of the time.

A showstopper is a performance or segment of a theatrical production that induces a positive audience reaction strong enough to pause the production.

Nikon D4, NIKKOR 14-24mm ƒ/2.8G, ISO 12800, ƒ/2.8, 1/125

Now when you compare the two photos above the main difference is one is a theatre production and the other is real life happening in real time.

For a scene to be a real showstopper the actors must portray through their body language, expressions and tone of voice what would be in a real life situation.

Now what the theatre has in common with still photography is real life is more like video and moving constantly and with theatre and the still image the pause of the action allows time for the audience to absorb the moment.

Nikon D3, NIKKOR 85mm ƒ/1.4D, ISO 200, ƒ/1.4, 1/100

In life we have moments where we ponder and think. If a writer is describing this brief moment they may take four or five pages to describe all that weighs on the character as well as their thoughts and/or dreams. In real life you cannot hear or read those thoughts of people. However in real life the expressions of the person communicates often some of this which a writer only has text to convey.

Nikon D750, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, Sigma TC-2001 2x, ISO 12800, ƒ/5.6, 1/250

Actors must convey those four to five pages of text from a book into the play version of that book. The playwright may have notes to the side of the script to help the actor know what they are trying to communicate, but still what it boils down to is capturing in a moment the expression, body language and tone to communicate to the audience the character’s thoughts.

Photojournalists/photographers are not actors in a play. If they are a photographer and they are shooting a scene that will be used in advertising to sell something or doing public relations for a corporation they often will assume the roll of the director. They will place the actors and create the scene to communicate all that they need to capture to move the audience to action.

If they are photojournalists they cannot take on the roll of director. They take on a different roll. The best way to describe that roll has been to be the fly on the wall. The photojournalists can fly around the room looking for a better perspective to see what is going on and then they capture moments as they happen to the later communicate to their audience what happened.

Nikon D5, Nikon 28-300mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 9000, ƒ/5.3, 1/400

What does the novelist, playwright, director, actor, and photographer all have in common no matter their roll? Each is aware of what they are communicating and why. To move the audience you must know what you are trying to capture as a photographer.

Nikon D750, Nikon 28-300mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 7200, ƒ/5.6, 1/500

If you are a photographer you are capturing moments for which you hope they make others pause. As a photojournalist I have learned to do my research before I show up. Listen a great deal with my ears and eyes. I clarify through questions to understand the situation so that I am doing all I can to be true to the moment and not to my preconceived thoughts. I look for those moments that will capture and hopefully be the showstopper that makes you pause and absorb the moment.

I want my pictures to worth the price of admission that my clients pay to see them. 

More than just a photographer

Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 DG Art, ISO 100, ƒ/1.4, 1/800

I can relate to these boys in so many ways. What they are thinking I am not sure, but they do make me think of feeling alone even tho there are people around me.

The reasons these boys may feel isolated is quite different than my own isolation. They are living in one of the poorest nations on earth–Togo, West Africa. When you go into their homes they don’t have a closet with many outfits and shoes. This maybe the only thing they have to wear or maybe one more outfit.

When I would peek into their kitchens I saw no food.

So we might interpret their expressions as related to their poverty and hunger for food. However, I believe that people hunger for true friendships that are deep with roots that bind them to others.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art, ISO 5600, ƒ/5.6, 1/100

 They are looking for a nourishment that comes from deep within people.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art, ISO 100, ƒ/4, 1/500

When there are people who have these deep relationships with friends they have wells within them that are overflowing and able to glow and give to others. Here you see these guys who are friends that exude happiness.

Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 DG Art, ISO 450, ƒ/1.4, 1/250

One place I continue to find those with wells full are in the houses of worship. These people search beyond what people can give to them for even a relationship that will sustain them even more.

What I love about my profession is capturing all of this and helping to direct people to know where to find that living water that refreshes the soul. It comes from being able to be open and real with your friends. They know your flaws and you know theirs. It comes from God who is forgiving and looking for a relationship with you.

When people just see me as a photographer I feel isolated. It is when they see me for who I am and not what I do that I really connect.

I use many different skills of mine from my studies of Social Work, Education, Theology and many experiences to help people connect to the world in which they live. My ultimate goal is to connect people to deep relationships with others and I hope as well to God.

Who am I? I am another person looking for another person to go through this life together. I know I will need many people to make this journey exciting and new.

Creating the Publicity Photo for the Musical Oklahoma

Nikon D5, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, ISO 500, ƒ/4, 1/8000

This morning we spent the time shooting promotion shots for Roswell High School’s Theatre performance of Roger & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma. We were shooting a variety and then we will pick the one favorite we all have for the 12′ x 8′ banner that we will put in front of the school.

Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 DG Art, ISO 400, ƒ/8, 1/400

This is me and the setup for shooting the first photo that Dorie my wife took of me. Now I am shooting High Speed Sync of 1/8000 to make the sky go darker and create more of the “Big Sky” look you would have in Oklahoma.

Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 DG Art, ISO 400, ƒ/6.3, 1/4000

This was the first photo we started shooting.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art, ISO 400, ƒ/8, 1400

Here you can see my setup. I am using [2] Alienbees B1600 for the lights. To power them I am using the Paul Buff Vagabond batteries. To trigger the lights I am using Pocketwizard AC-9 pugged into the Alienbees B1600 and then into the Pocketwizard TT5. This is receiving the signal from the Pocketwizard TT1 with the AC-3 to dial in the exposures on the camera.

Nikon D5, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 500, ƒ/5.6, 1/8000

I am shooting low again to emphasize the big sky.

Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 DG Art, ISO 400, ƒ/8, 1/640

I tried to keep it simple by not moving all around the farm but rather make use of more time at the same location and vary the camera angle.

Nikon D5, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 100, ƒ/5, 1/4000

Last night we watched the movie of Oklahoma with Shirley Jones starring as Laurey Williams. I feel like this last photo has that same look and feel of the movie.

I wonder which of these might be the banner photo we use to promote the musical Oklahoma.

Here you can get a feel for what we are creating when all the type is added.