Coffee Table Books

book africa book GT book Portfolio book

Coffee Table Books for Gifts

One of the best personal gifts people can give is a photograph. The reason for this is that photos have the power to keep all our precious moments alive. And giving the gift of an especially well-chosen photo is a way to preserve a fond memory with someone you treasure.

The gift of a photograph today has many ways for presentation. One way many use now is a greeting card. This photo however is typically an individual or family sharing one of their personal memories with their family and friends.

bagIf you give a photo to an individual the photo of something that you shared can not just show your friendship with them, but help remind them of a memory that the two of you share.

Besides giving a print of the photo, you can have the photo put on just about anything. Here is just a sample of the items you could put the photograph on for that special gift:

travel mug• Coffee cup
• Candy Tin
• Blanket
• T-Shirts
• Aprons
• Coasters
• Calendars
• Neck Tie
• Ornament
• Porcelain Plate
• Puzzle
• Digital Photo Frame
• Coffee Table Book

water bottleIf you have the time and enough variety of photos the photo book is one of my favorite things to come along. You can produce a very nice coffee table book for your friend for as low as $20 for a 20 page soft cover book.

If you choose to make a book, my favorite book publisher is www.Blurb.com.

Go online to www.MyPhotoPipe.com where you can not only get prints, holiday cards, but have canvas prints made.

For items listed above here is one place to lookhttp://discountphotogifts.com/.

Have Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Writing With Light

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Natural LightAvailable light with no flashes at night.

In writing we use italics, bold, quote marks and other techniques to emphasize parts of the composition. In photography we use light to do the same thing.

Theater and movie directors many times use light to draw our attention to the main subject in a scene. This may be as dramatic as turning a spotlight on a character while everything else goes completely black. More often it is much more subtle. Without the light to guide us we might lose the lead actor on stage amidst all the other actors and scenery.

During a concert a spotlight is constantly on the main performer. So rarely are they not in that spotlight that the famous clown Emit Kelly did a comedy act where he tried to stay in the spotlight only to give up in the end and sweep the light up off the floor.

 

fill flash
Using fill flash to capture it in the camera.

Another way to lead the viewer’s attention to a person or part of a scene in video photography is zooming in on that subject. In TV and film they use multiple cameras to help direct the audience. The director will cut from a camera with a wide view to one showing a close-up of the subject.
Still photographers don’t have the luxury of simultaneous shots zoomed in or out cutting from a wide to a close shot. The still photographer can do all of this, of course, but he or she ends up needing to tell the whole story in a single shot. Print advertising does this all the time.

The still shooter should do all that is reasonable and feasible to capture the image in as high a quality as the situation will allow. (More about that in a minute.)

There are two ways that you can help direct the attention to the main subject using light in photography. One is done in the camera and the other is done in post processing.


Getting it in the camera

Available light Students are taking a test, so I used available light.

Available Light

With today’s digital cameras it is relatively easy to work with the available light in almost any location.

If people are sitting at a table with poor light move them to a table in better light. After a few moments they’ll pick up on the conversation where they left off and you now have them in light that will work for the photos. In a photojournalistic coverage this is inappropriate, but for advertising or a corporate shoot it is perfectly fine to do.

Use a reflector to help improve the light. It is much less intrusive than flash and can work just as well. Have an assistant hold a reflector just out of the view of the camera and bounce the light back into the subjects face. This helps to draw attention to the main subject.

Adding Light

Used a flash to light his face inside of a furnace/air conditioner blower. No other lights in the room.

You can use either a constant light source or flash to light the subject. Use spotlight effect as much as possible rather than floodlight where everything is lit equally.

Another trick of the trade is to place a colored gel over a light used on the background. This will simplify a junky background by making it all one color. The orange extension cords and red tools hanging on the wall in the background no longer vie for attention with you subject. At least two lights are needed one on the subject and one on the background. The light on the subject should be brighter than the background light.

Postproduction lighting

flash at fire Using fill flash to capture it in the camera.

This is done so much today that a photo being “PhotoShopped” is now a verb and not just a noun. Before the days of PhotoShop, photographers would “burn” and “dodge” in the darkroom. A face could be lightened and the background darkened.

With digital today you can do even more than we did in the darkroom and with more precision. You can select only the subject, just a single color or anything one part of a photo and alter it in many ways. You can remove, change or add color. You can make objects lighter or darker. Parts of the photo can soften or blurred.

If all this can be done in post processing… why use lights?

using gels Using colored gels to help the background and create a science look and feel.

The need for post processing disappears if you capture it in camera saving time and money.

A properly exposed subject contains information at its fullest value.

When should auxiliary lights be used and not used?

(Here’s the “more on” reasonable and feasible.)
In Hollywood everyone is being paid to produce a professional product people will be willing to pay to see. (Pardon the alteration; I got carried away as always – oops.)

In news coverage the only ones being paid are the news crew or maybe just a single photographer and they are being paid to get the story regardless of the quality. Sure, it should be as high a quality as is practical, but the story is the thing.

neurtralizing with color The colored carpet and chair colors distracted you now they don’t with the gels.

When a photographer comes to do a job, particularly an event, what determines the approach? Can it be with all the lighting using multiple flashes (Hollywood) or will it need to be photographed using the available light (News coverage)?

What is the deciding factor? You need to consider the friction you may cause while capturing the moment.

Perhaps the subject or event can be moved to a more photogenic area that would not require much, if any, additional lighting. Perhaps reflectors can be used instead of flash thus reducing the interference with an event.
You need to explain to the client the choices (and the resulting photos) and together find a solution. (HINT: Whoever is paying for the project needs to decide or this maybe your last job with them.)

Final thought

Use light to direct attention; it can improve the communication of the composition.

Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit.

Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit.
By Leonardo Inghilleri and Micah Solomon, with an introduction by Horst Schulze, Founding President and COO of The Ritz-Carlton, is being published domestically by AMACOM Books, the wonderful publishing imprint of the American Management Association, and distributed internationally by McGraw-Hill.

It is now available at amazon.com

CBS News – The CW
Micah’s Interview on Customer Service with CBS

Real Connections

group talking
Students getting a tour of Clayton State University Campus.

Photographers who specialize in photographing people have to make real connections to quickly capture the essence of a person. Portrait photographers often know when they have captured a person’s personality because that person’s friends comment about it. When photojournalists photograph a person for a story, they capture more than expression. They take all the elements surrounding that person to place him or her within the context of the story. Those photographers who do this well are able to better transport readers into the story.

Knowing some of the skills that photographers use can surely help you make real connections with people. Learning these skills may even help you make a few more friends in the process. Here are some tips I have learned from working the past 28 years as a photojournalist and from my formal education in social work:

Firm handshake

When you greet the person, reach out and shake their hand firmly. This is not where you squeeze their hand and overpower them. You want to communicate a confidence. A weak handshake can come off like a limp dead fish and lack of self-esteem. People will shy away from you if you are weak or overbearing. The firm handshake is a fantastic way to communicate your interest in them.

interview
Administrator at Clayton State University works with a student.

Be Genuine

You need to treat people with honor, dignity and respect. Either way, people will have a gut reaction to your real motives. We are all wired with a “fight or flight response” — a primitive, automatic, inborn response that prepares the body to “fight” or “flee” from perceived attack, harm or threat to survival. The response is often due to our gut reactions and not just from something always apparent. My point here is that people have a radar which most of the time perceives someone as not being on the up and up. To gain the trust of others you must be trustworthy and honest with them.

It’s not all about you

People would prefer to talk about themselves. Therefore, telling people about yourself is not going to help you make a connection with them. If you show an interest in them first, they will then be more likely to be responsive. At some point in the conversation they will show an interest in you. At this point they will test and see if there is potential for an equally balanced relationship. They will want to see if there is some common ground for which to build a relationship.

Professor of artAlan Xie, Instructor of Art at Clayton State Campus.

Find a common interest

I look around a person’s surroundings and see what it is he or she values. If you are in their office, sometimes photos or objects around the room can clue you in. For example, I find that being a father gives me common ground to talk to someone about parenthood.

Open-ended questions

You want to create a dialogue. To do this you need to ask open-ended questions rather than close ended. Close ended questions have yes or no answers. Open-ended questions require a much longer response. “How did you pick this as a profession?” is an example of an open-ended question.

Listen and ask follow-up questions

If you are listening, you will often find that you need to ask some follow-up questions. How you ask these questions can show how well you are listening. I do not recommend asking someone to repeat something. Learn to paraphrase and then ask a question to clarify what they have said. This will show you heard and want to better understand.

A student’s ear

Listen and ask questions to learn something new. I enjoy meeting people and learning something about what they know and do for a living or hobby. Most people enjoy helping someone understand something they enjoy themselves.

studentsStudents talking between classes at Clayton State University.

Your Body Language

Look people in the eye and try to keep eye contact throughout the conversation. Do not stare, but rather be engaging by paying attention with your eyes. Sitting on the edge of your chair and leaning slightly towards someone shows interest in what they are saying. Lying back in your chair communicates disinterest. Also try not to cross your arms because it makes you look defensive.

Did you make a connection?

How do you know if you are making a real connection? Reciprocity. You will normally notice an in-kind response to you. When you are succeeding, you will feel as though you are making a new friend. If you give people the honor, dignity and respect they deserve, they will trust you to tell their stories.

Giving the Subconscious Time to React


The Chick-fil-A Cows having been helping people cool off from their new “Spicy Chicken” sandwich.

Back in the day, film photographers who shot for publications like Life Magazine and National Geographic Magazine shot primarily 36 frames of 35mm film. The labs would develop the film and make contact sheets of the negatives or mount the transparencies (slides).

When I saw a professional photographer’s contact sheets and slides on a light table for the first time, I was blown away by how consistent the exposures were. As I looked at the contact sheets I discovered that almost every roll was of one subject, and there was very little movement from frame to frame of that subject. Then, I became aware of the checks on certain photos.

When editing their work, many photographers used a rating system of 0—5. A “0” or no rating meant not to use the photo for anything. A rating from 0 to 5 rated the shots from “OK” to “WOW.”


4th of July Celebration in Roswell, GA this year.

If you were really observant, you would notice that the photo ratings typically would slowly improve through the roll and then quickly tapper off after the best-rated photo of a subject. The progression can almost be graphed on paper starting out at the bottom of the graph, then suddenly beginning to climb upward as the photographer explores a subject. The graph peaks out and levels off for a very short time and then plunges back to the bottom of the graph with the exploration of a new subject.

It is said that Cartier-Bresson’s contact sheets would almost all have “OK” photos and then one photo would just jump right off the page and be far superior to those around it.

I was lucky enough to work with film and go through this process, which helped refine my eye. A good photographer (editor) can look at your photos and not only help you rate your photos, but also tell you an amazing amount about yourself just from looking at the full coverage you have done on an assignment.

Today’s digital cameras are far superior to our film cameras. If you just shoot and ingest your card into your computer, you can bring up all your images in a browser like Adobe PhotoShop’s Bridge, Lightroom or PhotoMechanic and have a very similar experience.


Overlooking Shem Creek in the Old Village of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

Unfortunately, it is so easy to delete images that most folks show only their best pictures. We lose the critique by someone who can see everything we shot and understand where we went wrong or what we could have done to improve the shoot.

When a skilled photographer (editor) looks through all your photos of a shoot, including what you thought sucked, and points out a hidden jewel in your work, you discover how powerful your gut can be in many situations.

Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink is about the power of thinking without thinking. Throughout the book he gives examples about how everyone’s gut reaction often is much more accurate than when we take time to think about something. He tells how an expert can thin-slice a moment and explain why a gut reaction is correct. He gives examples showing how most of us are unable to explain our gut reactions.

I would say Gladwell could easily be talking about photography. Most everyone is moved by a powerful photograph — thus a gut reaction is similar for most folks. The general population may not know why that photograph is powerful while photography experts can analyze that photo and explain how all the elements work together to create the impact.


Isle of Palms Beach, in South Carolina.

Slowly my mentor, Don Rutledge, helped me develop an understanding of body language and how to read it. Today my work better captures moments than when I first started because I am attuned to not just composition, lighting and which lens to use, but also anticipating human interaction before it happens so I can click the moment as it happens.

Tips for better photography:

  1. Make more than one photo of subject. Shoot A LOT of pictures. We used to say that film was the cheapest part of photo coverage; now, with digital there is NO reason not to make lots and lots of exposures. Taking lots of photos is NOT depending on the law-of-averages to get a good shot. Not at all. It is giving the subconscious time to react with the subject. Good photos come from an emotional connection with what is being photographed and that connection comes from the subconscious and takes exploration.
  2. Explore the subject. The odds are that your first view is not the best angle. Move around it. Find a really cool composition you like and then shoot a lot of photos. Try to capture as many different aspects of it that you can. Watch what the light does to your subject as you move around.
  3. If the subject is alive, watch for expression. Learn to notice body language. Study body language. Read books on the subject.
  4. Show the ENTIRE take from a photo shoot to an expert photo editor/photographer. Don’t cut any shots out before you do this.
  5. Listen to the feedback, and then think about it (you don’t have to agree with all of it). If possible, go back and shoot it again.

Spicy Chicken Cow
Chick-fil-A cows are all excited about their new “Spicy Chicken” Sandwich.

A good editor/mentor/coach knows you must advance in stages. When you edit your own work and your resident expert agrees with you, congratulate yourself for your progress. However, now is the time to get another expert to critique your work.

The great photographers do not look at their work and say, “I’ve got it!” They may say, “I came close.” Usually they wish they’d made a few more shots. The really good photographers always see something that could be polished just a bit.

Bag-aholic–No Longer Anonymous


How I traveled in West Africa. This is the Tramrac backpack.

I’m not the only photographer who has a closet full of camera bags.

Once you have more than one camera, one lens and one flash you need a bag. You need a backup camera and several lenses.

I carry the Nikon SB-800 that lets me fire my flash off camera. When I am not using the flash, it’s in the bag.

bagaholic
For a business situation I use the ThinkTank Uban Disguise.

If I shot the exact same type of an assignment all the time I could, perhaps, find the one perfect bag since the equipment would be the same all the time. However, I like most professional photographers, I shoot a variety of situations that call for different equipment. So I end up with small, medium and large camera bags to use on different jobs.

One of the greatest inventions is the photography vest. You can carry a couple lenses and a flash and evenly distribute the weight on your shoulders. The problem with those vests – they are too hot.

Now modular belt systems are available. ThinkTank designed one of the most popular systems. Small pouches of varying size fasten to a belt and allow you to pick which equipment to carry. This is more efficient than the vest, and it’s much cooler.

There’s another factor to consider when choosing a bag — fashion appropriateness. Wedding photojournalists do not dress the same way as news media photojournalists, but they are generally using the same equipment. From a practical standpoint it makes sense to use the belt system for the photojournalist. From a fashion standpoint the wedding photojournalist can’t wear the belt. They usually work out of a large shoulder camera bag they put in the corner of a room. Photographers need to blend in with the crowd to catch natural moments and looking like a suicide bomber with all the gear strapped to them isn’t the best way to blend in at a wedding.

bagaholics
This is the ThinkTank Modular Component System
. You can look like a suicide bomber in this one.

Some wedding photographers minimize the awkwardness of the fashion by putting just a couple items on a belt or they may just have a lens on a belt.

The good news for the camera bag manufacturers is that photographers need more types of bags than they do cameras or lenses to be able to be appropriate for any situation.

Digital photography has the double edge sword when it comes to camera bags. We no longer have to carry all that film. Just a few flash cards can be sufficient for most photo shoots. The downside – many photographers need to carry a laptop to process those images at the time of the shoot. Wire service photographers, for instance, need to transmit those images as quickly as possible. They need a camera bag with space for a laptop.

Flying with your camera gear is another issue. Many times camera gear will not fit as carry-on luggage. Turning over to the baggage handlers $20,000 of gear is scary. If they drop your bag on the tarmac, you may end of with a smashed lens or camera. They are not responsible for damaged goods, just lost ones.

You need a case that will protect your gear if it is dropped. The distance from your car to your seat on the airplane requires a case with wheels.


I have used the Domke F2 bag for the past 25 years. This is my latest one that isn’t worn out yet.

One of the hidden costs in buying new gear is the impact it can have on your camera bag system. Once you have more than one bag and you add one more piece of equipment, often this will force you to upgrade a bag or two to accommodate the new purchase.

Are you a bag-aholic? Here are the stages of becoming one:

  1. Realizing that your present bag will no longer carry the equipment necessary for a job—so you buy a new bag
  2. Realizing your back is suffering and you need something that is easier on your back—so you buy a new bag
  3. Acknowledging that the funny expressions you get on photo shoots are caused by how you look carrying your gear—so you buy a new bag.
  4. Seeing another photographer’s camera bag and thinking that will work better than your system—so you buy a new bag.
  5. Final Stage – Being aware that your camera bag system is and most likely will be imperfect for all situations and therefore you find yourself in camera stores or online searching for a new bags.
bagaholic
This is the ThinkTank Urban Disguise® 60 which has room for a 17″ laptop.

Once you have acknowledged you are a bag-aholic you can then move from the stage of acceptance to embracing that you must have more than one bag. Now, you to no longer able to let this be a hidden cost in doing business, but just like the need for a new lens or camera, you need to budget for new camera bags.

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The catch 22 scenario of flash photography

Flashes are used in a sunroom to balance the light to the outdoors. You must be very careful in your flash placement or the glass will become a mirror and reflect the flash. Here the angle of the flash and the power match so well you almost don’t notice the glass separating the indoors to outdoors.

You are at a wedding under a tent and there appears to be enough light, but why does the subject keep coming out so dark? Ah if I turn on the flash now it looks so much better. Now it gets closer to dusk, now the background is too dark and I can’t tell where we are anymore, what can I do? The problem is that when you use the flash it lights up subjects close to you and the background goes dark or even black.

THERE’S HOPE FOR YOU.

If you have one of the newer digital cameras with ISO setting of 1600, 3200 or 6400 then you are in luck. These high ISO settings let you take photos with very little light. You can get photos in many situations where flash was required before.

The issue many of us face is not the amount of light available, but the direction and quality of that light. If you are under a tent it is difficult to make a photograph where the outside isn’t in the background. This is where almost every subject has more light on the background than on their faces. If you a shooting in daytime, it is very simple to just turn on your flash and make photos. In this situation you most likely will not only get a well exposed photograph of the subject, but the background will be properly exposed.

Another situation we will find ourselves shooting in is those wonderful sunrooms. You get to experience some of the outdoors in not only cool air conditioned environment, for many of us we experience it allergy free. In this situation if you turn the flash on to compensate for your subject’s being back lighted, you may have to move a little not to get glare in the glass. The simplest way to do this is be sure you are not perpendicular to the window, but on a slight angle.

Flashes help light up under the tent to match the outside light. To do this you must match the f/stop and ISO to the outside by being sure your flash puts out the same amount. The easiest way to do this is using a TTL flash.

Once you have used a flash in these scenarios you quickly discover the joy of photography that you not only have a well exposed subject, you have a background that is well exposed and helps you capture the environment.

SUNLIGHT AND FLASH DO MIX

Even at the beach where there is sunlight practically everywhere a flash can improve your photos. Often we light to have the sun behind the subject at the beach for a very obvious reason—less squinting. But now the subject is backlit and due to this you have a similar effect of under a tent, just not as drastic of a light difference. Turn your flash on and open up those shadows.

Two flashes are used on TTL mode to fill in the shadows under their eyes as well as help with the color balance.

During the middle of the day when the sun is directly overhead you end up with people having raccoon eyes. This is where the sun casts a shadow on folks eyes, especially if they have deep set eyes and/or they are wearing a hat.

FLASH AT DAWN AND DUSK

Just the other day I was photographing at a friend’s wedding. The wedding started at 6 p.m. and as we moved into the reception the light was dropping pretty quickly until it was dark. Now if you have your camera set to automatically do it all for you and you read the manual on how to force the flash on rather than just automatic mode, then you could take the photos like I described above. The reason I didn’t tell you how to do this with your camera is every camera manufacturer has a different way to do this not only for their brand, but often their own different models do it differently—so read your manual.

photo
Fill flash on the couple and another flash is helping light up the background.

No if you just turn your flash on under the tent as the light is dropping off you most likely will get a dark or even black background. The reason for this is your camera if in an automatic mode will drop to the lowest ISO setting when your flash is turned on. Even if your camera has an ISO as high as 6400, you most likely will be shooting at an ISO of 100 or 200 the minute you turn the flash on. Why is this default? Well, the main reason is the lower the ISO the better the quality of the image. You have a greater dynamic range and the photos have less contrast and the colors are more accurate.

Up until just a couple of years ago, shooting anything above an ISO of 400 rendered pretty awful quality. Only in the last couple of years did the camera manufacturers improve the quality of the high ISO. Today the quality of many cameras shooting at an ISO of 6400 looks as good as ISO 400 of just a few years ago. Now you can shoot at ISO 6400 and get wonderful results.

photo
With the lighting taken care of by the high ISO and flash balancing the background, you can concentrate on the important things—the moments.

I would say in most situations today with these new cameras with ISO of 6400 for example, you can make great photos without flash in normally lit rooms inside.

For the wedding I was at they had candles on the table and one chandelier in the middle of the tent and the amount of light even at 6400 at 10 p.m. that night wasn’t enough to even make the photos. But when we first were under the tent at 6:30 p.m. there was enough light outside I could have had my camera set on auto everything and forced the flash on and had good exposure on the faces and background looking wonderful. This is what I was basically doing then, but as the night fell the background started to go very dark. So, what I did was change my ISO to 800 and a little later I raised it again to 1200 and by the end of the night I was up to 6400 ISO.

photo
Without a flash the couple would be silhouetted, but now they balance the background.

BONUS FEATURE

Now another bonus of shooting with a flash when your camera is set at ISO 6400, is the flash doesn’t use as much light and your batteries will last longer.

SUMMARY

Find your camera manual and read two sections—how to turn your flash on and how to change the ISO. Once you know how to override the auto everything on your camera you will not only get better photographs, you will finally get the photos this camera can do that you couldn’t do with the $8 disposable camera.

Shoot for a variety, not just the one shot.

The other night I watched a slide show of a friend’s trip. They showed a lot of stuff they came across; a building they saw, a person they met, a famous location they stumble upon. The subjects were dead center (and I mean dead) in every snapshot. I began to wonder if their camera had sights rather than a viewfinder. My friend kept us informed (not necessarily entertained) by telling us what each photo showed.

I have another friend, Joanna Pinneo. She shoots for National Geographic. When Joanna showed photos of some of her trips each photo was a story in itself. Her photos spoke volumes. Her pictures were worth a thousand words. There was no need for a running dialogue with her presentation.

The difference wasn’t subject matter. My “dead center” friend showed us a subject, but Joanna used verbs. She presented her subjects in a variety of angles, framing, lighting and mood.

What Joanna, and other photojournalists, do that many photographers do not is they offer an assortment, a mixture of images.

Jeff Raymond is director of photography for a Christian missionary agency. Jeff and I were training his student photographers in a workshop.

Jeff said, “A lot of these students have improved their coverage of stories, but mostly what they have done is just move their subjects from dead center and made nice portraits of them.” Jeff calls these “People Need The Lord” photographs. He called them that because every missionary was copying what Steve McCurry did when he made that iconic image of a young Afghan girl wearing the red scarf for the cover of National Geographic Magazine in 1985.

The problem Jeff Raymond was addressing is that there is so much more to photograph than just a nice portrait.

To move beyond just a nice portrait some photographers use the “Day In The Life” approach. Just follow a subject for a day and capture what they do. You could tell the story as if you were doing a major paper for a school project. Take photos systematically over a period of time and use these to help tell the story.

No matter the approach you take you will need a variety of photos. A classic way to accomplish this is to begin with an overall establishing shot. Then make some medium shots that show the environment. Follow this with close-up photos like a portrait or even some extreme close-ups to show those details.

Just like when you write that major paper for a class project, you will need to gather lots of material before you start writing or in this case editing the project. You will need a lot of variety for each type of photo so you can pick the best that work together as a package.

If you are covering an event look for the broad view that gives a sense of scale of the occasion. A wide-angle lens like a 28 mm from a birds-eye or worm-view will add drama and make the presentation more exciting.

Use those leading lines and graphics for impact. Study National Geographic or Sports Illustrated.

My friend Bob Rosato, staff photographer for Sports Illustrated, spoke to a professional photographers group not long ago. Bob talked about how important it is to capture the atmosphere and grandeur of an event. He showed many images we have seen in the magazine which were shot with a wide angle. Sure, he had photos made with those super behemoth telephoto lenses we typically think they always use, but to capture the splendor he used wide-angle lenses.

Capturing atmosphere is difficult. The sensations of an event are gathered from sounds, smells and all our senses. You must rely on visual cues to evoke these emotions with your audience.

Shoot wide, but extremely close also. Show details as close as your camera will focus. Find a fall leaf that brings to mind autumn rather than only showing the wide-angle view of the forest.

Now we see why photojournalists carry two or three cameras. You see something and shoot, no need to change lenses to capture the moment.

Ah yes, the moment. Don’t limit yourself to a predetermined list of shots. Be ready for the unexpected. These serendipitous moments are what will add a human touch to your photography.

You cannot sit in a chair at an event and capture it all. You must move around and look for unique perspective and a variety of images.

No matter how many shots you take of an event you usually wish you had taken more because as you tell your story with images you need transition images. You need photos to lead the audience to the next point or subject.

In television shows they use bumps to help break up the changes. The TV show Home Improvement used little detail graphics of a tool, a fence or something with a sound to let you know you were changing thoughts.

When you show your photos and you feel little need to explain what is on the screen, then you have done the job. A good job.