Most all photos stay to a very small number of crop ratios that fit the standards of today's print decorations. 2:3 which is the most commons gives a great surface area for landscapes and portraits. Another type of crop that is very popular is 1:1 square. With Instagram, retro instant film and medium format lomography cameras gaining popularity, the square format is starting to make a rise in decorative prints. Though most of my work is done in this format, every now and again, I get an itch to edit my photos in a little different way.Read More
One of my ongoing projects is to show the world the Myrtle Beach that is visible only when the bright lights of the boulevard fade away. Over 14 million people visit us every year but only 20,000 of us are here to see what happens when everyone else leaves. Though the main goal of my project is to show everyone's favorite spots in Myrtle Beach completely abandoned, I couldn't help but photograph this old building on it's last leg.
This Motel is one of the few left standing from the golden era of the Grand Strand. The Tradewinds name is now used in much newer structures, but this old building has been long forgotten by travelers coming through. Being condemned due to asbestos, the place has fallen apart and is now only used to house what looks to be construction materials for what I am sure is another property. I will be surprised if this place last until next year.
Don't get me wrong, I love my town; the excitement and fun that takes place here made for a great place to grow up. I hate that Myrtle Beach is seen by the public so often as dirty place with shows like "Myrtle Manor" and "Party Down South" and headlines that create nicknames for the city such as: Murder Beach or Dirty Myrtle. My hope is that through this project, I can do my part to help Myrtle Beach be seen on all sides, not just the glitzy and glamorous, and not just the dirty broken down places but everything. The way I see it.
Myrtle Beach is home to all kinds of attractions for people to come visit; permanent places that sit empty when the crowds go home. Though there are plenty of places like that, there is always one type of entertainment that goes to the crowd: the traveling circus. Traveling circus troupes have been a tradition for hundreds of years in one way or another and it's nice to see such an old piece of history being honored even in today's busy digital world.
Click through to see the video and photos!Read More
There are places all over Myrtle Beach that you can set your blanket but if you are not careful, you will have to pay out the nose to park your car trying to get there. In the downtown area, the resort section is littered with pay to park lots and parking meters. Most places will make you pay by the hour, but sometimes, you can get lucky and find a place that asks for $20 for the whole day. Though, even if you find a reasonable place to park your car here, if your headed to the beach you are then going to be surrounded all day by other families and way too much foot traffic.Read More
In my new project of my favorite photo I have taken over the last week. This photo is one I took when shooting some street photography at Broadway At The Beach here in Myrtle Beach. Broadyway is tourism attraction and the favorite hot spot for many people when visiting the grand strand. Having a flash of great weather last week I decided to go and take some photos and was pretty happy with the way this one turned out. Thanks for watching!
Street Photography is increasingly becoming one of my favorite pastimes and my location of choice for this series is Market Common.
I love the mixture of low country spacing and southern metropolitan architecture. The mixture of people this time of year is very nice too. Right before the troves of folks come in for spring break and summer breaks loose, there is about a 3-4 week period where the weather is gorgeous and the only people here to enjoy it are snowbirds who have spent their winter here and us locals. This is my favorite time to enjoy Myrtle Beach because everyone is out of hiding and the town looks halfway populated. Sure it takes a little longer to get to work but it's worth it to actually see people!Read More
Continuing with my Abandoned Myrtle Beach project, I decided to head over to Broadway at The Beach which is located in the heart of Myrtle Beach proper. This is a place millions come on vacation due to the many shops, restaurants and attractions that are located within it. There's the Hard Rock Cafe thats shaped like a pyramid, Celebrity Square, Ripley's Aquarium, Wonderworks and many other family oriented places.
This is a place that has made it in the itinerary of almost of every family vacation to Myrtle Beach, a place to watch fireworks a couple of times a week. It has very strict policies on operation so almost every business is open year round, but with minimal staff that just sits there hoping they dont get laid off too. Times can be really rough here in the winter.Read More
Traveling is something that I feel I was made to do. I have had many opportunities to see different parts of the world, but still one of the easiest ways to feed my addiction is picking a place fairly close to me that allows me to get a couple hours away from home and immerse myself in a culture that is different than my own. Charleston is a beautiful old city and is very well known for it's historical significance here in the south.
Home to numerous colleges including the Citadel and the College of Charleston, a day in there is filled with just as many slouchy beanies and fixed gear bikes as there are seersucker suits and mint juleps. Make sure to watch the video and enjoy the photos!Read More
Inspiration can be found anywhere. Everyone has a different type of muse. I myself, like to consume different types of visual media. I am a big video nerd and I love the television show style medium. Even if I am working on something else, I would rather listen to dialog from a show I have watched five times than the top 40 pop charts. I also love podcasts and YouTube channels that talk on certain subjects pertaining to my profession. One thing I heard the other day while describing the visual mediums that I am so fond of was the phrase "staggeringly simple", and I feel inspired to implement this in to my work. Zack Arias, I believe hit the nail on the head with his signature phrase "More Signal. Less Noise". The less noise in my photography the better, and I don't mean the type that comes with high ISO. I am now at the point in my photography where I feel it is time to start spending more energy developing my style and how I want my images to be produced. Technique is one thing and I know how important it is, but I will spend the rest of my life developing the types of photos I produce. Now style is more than just a combination of certain techniques added together in a specific way. Two guitarists can play the same chord progression and produce completely different songs. It's more than just color or black and white. Though I shoot all types of photos, I want there to always be an underlying theme: Simplicity.
On February 15th, the Myrtle Beach Marathon did not goes as easily as it had in the past. The 6:30 AM start was cold, raining and a pretty strong wind. By 8 AM many of the runners were passing through the first check point, a quarter of the way through the 26 mile run. I chose a place that was not very popular for the press as to get photos that others didn’t. The Market Common is a place that I work for and also one of the companies I was shooting for on Saturday. I loved capturing the faces of those working so hard and I hope to do more of this type of work in the future. Enjoy the photos!Read More
Britton's Neck is a little place in Marion County, South Carolina. If you were privy to the information, you have probably passed through it while traveling to Myrtle Beach. What most people don't know is the rich history of such a small place. Within the epicenter of this very small community is a fire tower and at the very core of that fire tower's story, is the life of my great-grandfather.Read More
It's not every day that you see a street performer in Myrtle Beach. It's not because there is not a grassroots scene for smaller musicians but because of two reasons:
1: We only have about 4 months of relevant time for a performer to be seen.
2: The city regulates permits for street performers it makes it almost impossible to do it for long without being shut down.
This gentleman had set up near the Coastal Grand Mall on a median very close to the highway. Very different from inner city life, cars just 30 feet away are at an average speed of 60mph which made it very loud for a performer to work in. Hope you enjoy the video!
This gentleman was an extremely interesting person, mostly because I loved that he had no interest whatsoever in camping out. He was only passing through and was only playing for tips to help with gas money. He had travelled all the way from the state of Washington down to the Florida Keys and is now making his way up the east coast. If you happen to see him, be sure to wave and drop a dollar in his case!
The steam plant in Conway has been a part of the landscape since before I was born, but it is now coming to an end. Due to a clean air act, the EPA had to shut down this facility due to too much cost in converting the plant. My dad and I took a scary highway hike to get to the island in the cooling lake across from the plant for some sunset photos. Enjoy the video!Read More
2013 was a great year for me. I travelled. I met a lot of interesting people and best of all, I was able to document all of it. Here is some of the best and my favorite photos I took during 2013. Enjoy!Read More
I have always enjoyed visiting zoos. I have been to zoos all around the country and even in other parts of the world, but not until recent did I decide to start taking photos while I was there! I have not had the chance of going on a dedicated photo safari yet so while I am saving up my pennies, I will enjoy taking photos of wildlife inside of zoos! This blog post has some photos I took while at the Denver Zoo.
More after the jump!
Pros of photographing zoo wildlife:
-They are more than likely ALWAYS there. Zoo animals do not migrate so other than the occasional periods where they need to be housed inside or are in transition to new habitats, you pretty much know where they are going to be.
-You have prime set up locations for your photos. Not only are you safe at a zoo, they also set up viewing areas in places where people can best see the animals. Though a low to the ground wide angle shot of a lion sleeping would be the desired photo you want on your Flickr or Facebook page, you can almost always guarantee a shot from the walkways and viewing areas.
-Go on an Overcast Day. Though you can go any time, there are always less people at the zoo on an overcast day and the animals are normally more active.
-Get to know your zookeeper. Make sure you say hello to your friendly neighborhood zookeepers. They are generally full of knowledge you can use for your blog and may even give you access to something you wouldn't normally be able to. I remember once as a kid, we had gone to a zoo in some city we were visiting. It was still considered a winter month and was bitterly cold and lightly raining on and off. We were one of the only families there that day and I think the zookeeper felt bad that we did not have much to see, so he walked us through an indoor area that was not readily available to public. What a treat!
-Macro lenses work great in aquarium areas. I don't know why it didn't occur to me sooner, but after seeing a young girl chase a fish inside of a tank with her father's iPhone I decided to to give it a try with my camera and the 70-200 2.8 (which has a close focusing feature) I had attached in stead of digging through my bag for my macro specific lens.
Thank you for reading! Be sure to subscribe to see when I post new photos from my adventures!
I am not a certified teacher, nor do I have a case of awards and accolades at home for all my photographic adventures, but what I do have is experience and I hope you find this helpful in some way! If you are not a landscape photographer, you should still try using some of these ideas, because I have found it to be one of the most relaxing escapes to do these types of photos even though I am primarily a portrait and wedding photographer.
I love taking photos of people; I hear their stories and try to make myself blend in with them to where you can see the real them through their photos, but sometimes that can get very stressful. Zack Arias said in an interview once that his hobby is his passion and it also happens to be his career and that if he isn't spending time with his family, he is better honing his craft because it is what he loves. I firmly agree with that. I have been asked numerous times why I decided to start taking photos and my answer has always been "Because I can't afford hobbies that don't make money." Though of course this was said as a joke, it was true. I love photography, but I had to focus on it terribly hard because I wanted to become great at it.
Well after being well in to a year after my first paying gigs, I feel I have learned a lot and have definitely seen my stress level rise. One way I have found that I can continually sharpen my photographic skills, but relax is landscape photography. There is something relaxing about being by yourself in nature and not having to focus on what you see in someone but rather what is all around you.
Click "Continue Reading" to see my tips on better landscape photography!
#1 - Use a Tripod
This of course is an obvious one. When anyone thinks about landscape photography, they see a camera on a tripod. Being a mostly handheld shooter myself, I had to really learn to work with the constriction caused by the handy device. I have used many types of tripods over the years and yes, having an extremely nice tripod is great but completely unnecessary unless you are doing some commissioned extra large prints for a client. For exposures under a minute, you can feel safe with a light tripod unless its an extremely windy. I do not have a very nice tripod. The legs are actually from a Targus tripod system I bought at Walmart and the head is a used Manfrotto head that I found on sale. Before that though, I was just using a bargain bin Kodak brand tripod that I picked up at a yard sale. (If you have a light or flimsy Tripod, make sure to weigh it down some how! I normally tie mine down with my camera bag. #2- Know When Not to Use a Tripod
Tripods are not always a necessity. I personally have had five or six camera bags, some big and some small but the one thing they all have in common is that they make carrying a tripod cumbersome; even if there are straps on the side or bottom of the bag, it usually is more of a nuisance than anything else. There have been plenty of times where the light was just right and I pulled out my camera and got the shot I wanted. If there would have been the task of taking my tripod out and getting it set up, I could have missed the photo or lost the composition I had in my head because I had focused too hard on getting the tripod set up.
#3- You Don't Have to Use HDR
Now I know that HDR is a beautiful thing at times, and when done right it can create some of the most astounding images. I have never been able to make an HDR that I was happy with and I choose not to. There are plenty of people out there with tutorials on how to make HDR images but I have found that shooting with RAW and exposing for the mid-tones, I can show the image a little love with the dodge and burn tools and be completely happy with detail in most all of the dynamic range.
#4- Stopping Down Isn't Always Needed
When I first started doing long exposures and night photography, I was using really stopped down apertures such as f/16 or f/22. My thought was that the image would be sharper and more things would be in focus. But what I figured out, and you will too, is that smaller apertures focused at infinity will look the same but the larger aperture will take less time for the same exposure. For example: Having an exposure at f/16 ISO: 100 with a shutter speed of 30 seconds if the exact same exposure as F/4 ISO: 100 with a shutter speed of 2 seconds. How crazy is that!?!?
#5- Focal Length is Your Friend
Now, I have seen some amazing landscapes taken with all types of focal lengths, but different focal lengths can create the exact look you are going for. When I go out shooting landscapes, I normally pack a standard length( 35mm or 50mm. Most likely the 35mm), an ultra wide (14mm) and a Fisheye. All of these lens types can be found for amazing deals. The Nikon 35mm 1.8 is sharp piece of glass for only $200 and Rokinon have manual lenses in all three of these types ranging from $200 - $500 each. With a longer focal length, such as a 50mm or and 85mm, it is very hard to hand hold without shake in lower light situation. I try to never shoot a focal length at a shutter speed slower than my focal length (Example: I wont shoot an 85mm at 1/60 of a second, but I will shoot a 50mm at 1/60th of a second.)
My favorite type of streetscapes are with my 14mm or 8mm fisheye where I steady myself up against a light pole or a wall and bring my shutter speed down to around 1/15 or 1/20 of a second (If I am really steady, I can do 1/2 second exposures this way. The image about is an example of this type) This allows me to catch the blur of cars going by and also expose for enough ambient light to capture the scene without causing too much if any camera shake. Are these pictures perfectly tack sharp? not in the slightest, but they are a ton of fun to take and extremely rewarding. All in all, a shorter focal length will produce better handheld shots than longer ones when using slower shutter speeds handheld.
These are just my opinions and take them as such. This is what I have found is very comfortable for the work I like to do and if you decide to start doing this as well, you will find what works best for you as well! I love learning and passing things along to others, so I hope you have enjoyed it!
Thank you very much for reading! Like and share with your friends to pass along the relaxing art of landscape and street scape photography!
Do you have any places you have been or would like to photograph? Let me know in the comments!
I have always been a fan of impromptu trips. I love just jumping in the car and going ridiculously long distances in a small amount of time. Maybe it's just the Smokey and The Bandit attitude of it all, but there is something very enticing about having "A long way to go, and a short time to get there". This trip falls under that category better than anything I have done in quite a long time.
I have always loved video tutorials and many of the photo techniques that are now second nature are only because I was very studious in watching an amalgamation educational tutorials through YouTube. One of the largest contributors to that is Jared Polin, otherwise known as Fro Knows Photo. His videos are really informative and he is fun to listen to. There are many more that I have really enjoyed over the years, but Jared's videos have always been at the epicenter because of the community that comes along with it. I have been active on his forums, listen to his podcasts and participated in Spreecast videos with him (this was pre-Google hangout). Anyway, for 6 weeks, I listened to him talk about a get-together at his home photo store named Allen's Camera. They were going to be running specials, giving away lunch from this really groovy taco stand, as well as portfolio reviews.
There were plenty of people that showed up, and though we had driven the longest distance, there were people who had flown in from longer distances, even a few Canadians jumped the border and came down to have some fun. Though most people were just showing Jared their work on their phones or i devices, but a few had portfolios as I did. I took a book I had made where all the prints were full bleed, and more of my recent work loose in a blank scrapbook. I had planned to place them correctly in the book, but I didn't get my prints until the day before I was leaving and simply did not have the time. But just knowing that it wasn't an iPhone, made me feel better.
Photos after the jump!
We left late Friday night, and were home in the early afternoon on Sunday. Crazy short trip and a ton of fun was had. Thank you for reading/looking/watching!
So, everyone and their brother have smartphones now and Instagram is flooded every day with square cropped images featuring anything from someone's beautiful hipster lunch to the most beautiful cliche sunset you have ever seen. But pro photographers have also jumped on board and started doing some amazing work with their phones. Some of my favorite work with phones are the numerous big name street photographers who like spending time away from their DSLRs and sometimes even find a small rangefinder bulky and in the way. There are so many beautiful images to be seen so I figured I would share some of mine! Enjoy!
So do you take photos with your phone? Do you have something you would like to share? Well post it on my Facebook wall, on twitter or in the comments below!
First, let me say that the lens in discussion today is the Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 fisheye. This a fully manual lens that allows you to fine tune every little detail but does not include the comforts of automatic modes of any kind (Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Program, etc etc) or even autofocus. But what it offers are crisp beautiful images with plenty of contrast and clarity.
Fisheye lenses are nothing new. They were first invented to be used for weather instruments and astrophotographers, so the entire sky could be captured from horizon to horizon. I am not an astrophotographer.
They have since, been adapted to many different types of photography. The largest is definitely skateboarding and other extreme sports and the exaggeration of lines can turn a difficult trick and to something legendary on film. I am not a skateboard photographer or videographer.
So... why the heck do I have a fisheye lens?
Funny you should ask...
This is a given. Street photos can be taken with anything, if you go out looking for something in particular and that is exactly what I did with this particular outing. It was July 3rd and I was out at Barefoot Landing to capture some of the nightlife for my blog and the blogs for my day job. I think all in all, they turned out pretty well; either way, it was the perfect opportunity for me to realize how awesome this lens really is.
Real Estate Photography
This is something I do a lot of at my day job. The neat thing about this lens is that excites you about using it. I don't know how to explain it, but even using it in real estate photography makes that type of work fun again ( keep checking back for my upcoming full length post on real estate/resort photography!) It takes a little more work is post, to get the distortion to an acceptable level, but I think it is worth for the type of shots I have been able to get with it.
Family and Beach Photography
This is by far my favorite application so far. With this lens, I am able to get family of 10 in to creative poses and have fun with needing a ladder or something crazy. In this particular shot, they decided they wanted a shot of everyone with their heads close together, so I slipped on the fisheye and was able to oblige with no resistance or time to figure out how to make it happen. But then I decided to keep it on for a few more shots including this jumping of all the grandkids.
This is probably one of the most fun applications for this thing. Walking around, I was able to really get some great shots of people enjoying themselves on the dance floor and hanging out. Even a fun shot or two of the bride and groom.
What do you think would be a fun use for a fisheye lens? Maybe you have one, and use it for something in particular? Leave your opinions in a comment below! Be sure to subscribe to see some of the fun things we have coming up!