Sal’s Challenger RT Shoot for Sinister Extremes & Verde Wheels
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We’ve been discussing this photoshoot for almost 6 months now with car owner Sal Danley who has been building up his Challenger RT for SEMA 2012.  This customized Challenger was on display at the K&N Air Filter booth but also features custom rocker panels, carbon fiber engine bay and intake by Sinister Extremes, custom drilled brake calipers by R1 Concepts, rolling on Verde Wheels. View the full photo set here:  Sal’s Challenger RT and the rest of my automotive portfolio. A few of my favorite shots…   Are you interested in hiring me to shoot your car?  Don’t hesitate to contact me to set it up. Professional images are perfect for promoting auction listings like Barrett Jackson or Russo and Steele, gain exposure for builds and gain additional Sponsors through Social Media by tagging brands and manufacturers in our publishing quality cover-worthy photos.   Read more!
Common Mistakes in Managing (Creative) People
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Throughout my years of employment in working for others, with others, and leading teams in several different industries, I have observed a number of trends with managers that are unfamiliar with creative minds.  Different thought process, different motivators, personal independence, balancing work objectives and productivity with time and space for creativity… it can be a challenge! I am by no means claiming to be an expert on this topic; but simply these are life lessons and tips based on experiences.   These are points that apply to everyone even if you arent in a leadership position at the moment, these are good practices in building long-lasting relationships or even understanding your manager. A lot of these trends are fatal mistakes that can lead to resentment, and negative morale that spreads quickly and people lose their drive and don’t give it their full effort. A number of these mistakes are rooted in personal insecurities and fear. Everyone of us has committed several of these at one point, its the willingness to change and improve yourself that makes the difference.   Before I start with the Do’s and Don’ts I usually approach management and tasks with this question:  Would I want to do this job myself?  This can be […] Read more!
Photo Tips for Style Bloggers
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Fashion & style blogs are all the rave right now, and I imagine along with that are a lot of frustrated people trying to take flattering photos of themselves and products in limited circumstances and tight budget.  Of course anytime you can have a friend help you take photos or share ideas that is always preferred.  With that in mind this post is heavily oriented towards taking photos of yourself and help ease photographic frustrations with tips for lighting, camera equipment, and posing. Camera Basics: (For more advanced technical recommendations for cameras and general use, scroll down) This is probably one of the more difficult decisions for a lot of bloggers because it involves a hefty sum to purchase good camera equipment.  However, most of the bloggers I know already have a passion for photography as an art or hobby as well so lets talk about making photography and blogs sympatico. The Canon Digital Rebel is probably the most popular starter digital SLR for most all photo enthusiasts and bloggers.  Its a great camera for this, its affordable and offers a lot of future flexibility to cater towards specialized needs.  The Canon RC1 or RC6 wireless remotes are great tools […] Read more!
Canon BG-E11 Grip Review
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The BG-E11 is hands down the best grip design to ever come from Canon. They’ve made improvements all across the board with ergo and functionality upgrades and build quality. I’ve been getting a little nervous waiting on it as I have some very long 4+ day events coming up and was afraid it wouldnt be released in time.  Since I bought the 5D Mark III body I’ve mostly been using it for studio shoots and small fashion editorial and portrait work now and then…nothing real demanding for battery life or longterm ergo.  Luckily they came through and I found the BG-E11 Grip at Foto Forum in Phoenix.  I bought the 5D III body from them too about 2 months ago, when everyone else was out of stock or hadnt received them yet.  Great guys to work with. I’ve had a vertical grip for every EOS body I have owned starting with the 10D, 5D Classic, 50D, and now the 5D Mark III.  They always been an accessory I really cannot live without.  The battery life plus the ergo for larger hands and weight balance for larger heavy lenses… it just makes it more comfortable for long term use.  All the […] Read more!
Etsy Favorites, Style+Function Photo Accessories
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I’m always searching for cool new innovative camera products and accessories related to photography from both an enthusiast and professional perspective.  Sometimes those terms are synonymous but usually there is a divide between the tactical pro gear which is designed for hard day-to-day use usually compromising style in the process, and then there is the photo enthusiast/hobby side which usually sacrifices function for style or portability.  I like to find a balance because in my opinion, your personal style on set  often forms first impressions.  I shoot a lot in the fashion and cosmetology industries that are very style conscious and it never hurts to look the part. In a previous post I mentioned a couple products which are still my tried and true favorites…the Think Tank Photo Retrospective series.  Seriously great products! Extremely overbuilt and durable but still look cool without being too flashy.  On the more tactical side Black Rapid sling straps are one thing I never leave home without.  Wedding, events, hiking, street shots, studio…wherever it always comes in handy. So today I have compiled a list of some of my favorite photo accessories I’ve found on Etsy overtime that combine style, quality, and function! Porteen Gear […] Read more!
First Creative Shoot with 5D Mark III, Fashion & Beauty @ Peritoneum
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So its been a busy past couple of weeks and this last weekend was one of those times where I got to step back and shoot for the fun of it – put the new camera through its paces and working with a new team to collaborate and get some really great photos.  Everything really came together well and just clicked for the whole package – location, lighting, hair, makeup, clothing, and model. One of those rare times with no frustrations, no hiccups, no rushing around or 2 tons of equipment, just good times all around! Clothing by Amelia Walsh Model Cassie Brooks Makeup by Stephanie Neiheisel Hair by Arthur Federico For the full gallery checkout: Peritoneum Fashion & Beauty Shoot Camera Tech… Prior to this shoot I’ve used the 5D Mark III on an on-location engagement photo session, mostly natural light with reflectors and flash fill and one other studio shoot with fairly easy typical lighting configuration and controlled environment – not really a good gauge to really judge camera performance in a challenging setting.  For this shoot, all images were taken in RAW at full resolution and combined ambient light with strobe powered by portable battery pack, and […] Read more!
Canon 5D Mark III Review, First Impressions
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This is a camera that a lot of people have been anticipating.  I finally was able to pick mine up from a local camera shop (FOTO Forum) here in Phoenix that had them in stock. Sales tax sure hurts on such a pricey item, but I like supporting these local shops that have been struggling to stay afloat with online competitors plus I wanted to have the camera for some upcoming shoots and I just dont like waiting. A little background… My first DSLR was the Canon 10D, shot with that for 2 years, then upgraded to the 5D which I have been shooting with the original 5D (Mark I) since late 2005 and held off ever buying the Mark II because I never had any interest in video and was waiting for more tech advancements on the still-image side.  Rather then upgrading camera bodies every year that depreciate at obscene rates I just invested in glass and upgraded from 550ex to 580 EX II Flash which I felt had more gain for the price.  Being that my 5D was getting up in shutter counts I bought a 50D as a backup and for a 2nd camera for telephoto work […] Read more!
New Toy: Vintage Minolta Rokkor 50mm F1.2
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So I was lucky enough to stumble across this little gem on the Fred Miranda photo forums… Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm F1.2 converted to Canon EOS Mount by Jim Buchanan A little background… these lenses were made back in Minolta’s glory days of manual focus lenses when they were competing with the best offerings from Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and Zeiss optics.  This particular one is capable of F1.2 which makes it great for low light and extremely shallow depth of field.  This comes at the cost of manual operation of everything – aperture is controlled on-lens and manual focus with no assist or confirmation.  The only real way to achieve focus at 1.2 is using the magnified live-view because depth of field is literally razor thin.  This small lens is a beast – heavy, all-metal, but velvety smooth operation! Even compared to all my Canon L lenses the build quality is astounding! The natural focal length of this lens is 50mm but Ive been using it exclusively on my 50D (crop frame) which makes it more like a 80mm after the 1.6 crop sensor factor.  I personally prefer that focal length better as a portrait lens anyway. This is the […] Read more!
Quality Clients & Industry Practice
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For my fellow photographer friends that may be working pro’s or just getting into the industry, we all have our pet peeves – things that people say and do that just get under our skin.  Its caused by a lot of things – ignorance (they just dont know any better), arrogance (they do know, but they just don’t care that they are disrespecting you or taking advantage), and/or a combination of numerous factors like social conditioning and consumerism (they know just enough to cause you grief).  Portrait shoots and weddings are a common setting for silly comments that drive photographer’s crazy. Some fellow photographers on Google+ posted this list of common things we never like to hear: Attracting Quality Commercial Clients Common Points of Misunderstanding: Planning photoshoots involves a lot more factors then most people consider – including coordinating with locations/venues, modeling agencies, makeup artists and hair stylists, clothing designers or wardrobe stylists, and more! Each one of those parts comes with its own contingencies – usage rights on the photography, modeling, AND the venue.  Even most experienced commercial clients do not realize that modeling agencies have restrictions and pricing based on how the photos are used and most venues involve their […] Read more!
Bridal Fashion Shoot @ Pinnacle Vista Villa
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This shoot was a recent collaboration with my talented wife and fashion designer Amelia Walsh who is branching her latest efforts into creating a bridal collection. These pieces went beyond your stereotypical Davids Bridal catalog looks that we’ve all seen and more aligned with the tastes of the modern artistic eclectic, retro revival, boho-chic, and naturalist brides. Makeup by models Jamie Fillerup, and Erin Beaty from Agency of AZ, Double Take Artistry, flowers by Rita’s Floral Designs, and Pinnacle Vista Ville Wedding Venue From a photography perspective we had a lot going on here, started shooting at 4ish, we had 4 bridal looks to shoot in numerous areas before sundown plus 2 non bridal looks, feature photos of venue,  and flowers – a lot going on!  Lighting was  hot and direct with hard shadows all the way up until sunset.  A big mix of shooting in shadow areas and in the more diffused areas using reflectors and strobe to help recreate natural looking artificial light.  I opted for shallow depth of field for most of the shoot to get that softer wedding appeal, shooting @ F2.8-4 depending on the lens. For postediting, I chose to do a lot of vintage toning […] Read more!
Making Due With Less
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As photographers on the go whether its for a commercial job or just for a fun trip, we’re often thrown into situations that are less then ideal.  Moments we just have to capture but don’t have the time, circumstances, or equipment to do it how we might like to.  Harsh unbalanced lighting with bright highlights and dark shadows, or even lack of lighting completely.  Choosing the right lens and finding ways to make due with what you’ve got is often necessary.  Traveling for commercial work usually translates to lugging around light stands, backdrops, multiple strobes, etc – sometimes with no one to help and this can really make you earn that paycheck. Shooting for fun – Tips for Hobbyists and Amateurs… When it comes to travel and shooting for myself, as a tech junky and perfectionist I always tend to overpack and want to bring every lens I own, maybe even a backup camera and at least a hotshoe flash but this translates to a heavy pack and painting a target on yourself for thieves.  Also, it takes a little bit of the spontaneity out of an otherwise casual fun time. One problem I have is I love my 5D (full frame) […] Read more!
Photo Shoot Preparation Tips
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General Preparation Tips for Your Photo Shoot: Do not try anything new last minute, no new hair color or hair cuts the day of or the night before unless there has been a trial run.  Don’t switch to a new makeup color or skincare products.  Use what you know works. Be well rested.  Dark circles and blood shot eyes from lack of sleep and hangovers do show and the energy of the shoot suffers. Body and Facial Hair  –  Ladies please take whatever precautions necessary to remove anything that may be seen in photos (legs, armpits, etc) I would not suggest waxing or laser hair removal soon before the shoot due to increased redness. Manicure and pedicure  – Guys don’t panic Im not saying you have to go to the spa just make sure you don’t look like a homeless person. Ladies, try and stick to natural colors for polish – french tips work well. Tanning – I suggest avoiding spray-on tans or excessive use of tanning beds – if you want to add some color I suggest using a light shade of bronzer or something you are familiar with that will not over do it. Spray on tanning rarely […] Read more!
Thoughts on Copyright & Sharing
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One question I get asked more then anything else is about copyright and how to handle sharing photos in this crazy world of the internet and social media. Watermarking, resizing, right-click disabling, to share or not to share… these are all important points and this is my take on it. Perspective: As artists sometimes we get so caught up and paranoid in thinking people are going to steal our intellectual property that we lose perspective sometimes.  Simply put, think of how many high resolution un-watermarked images are out there on the web.  Regardless of how great yours may be, what are the chances of them using yours especially if you’ve taken precautions to resize and watermark when there is so much unprotected material out there. Of course the chance of this depends greatly on the amount of material available; uniqueness of your shot and the quality of the other alternatives. On Sharing: My experiences have been that all parties benefit 10 fold from sharing as long as credit is given. Whether the images are from a job or just for personal use and fun, whats the point if you are the only one that gets to see them?? The possibility […] Read more!
Favorite Gear!
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Some of my personal favorite pieces of equipment: Canon 15mm F2.8 Fisheye 180 degree view I got this lens in a trade for some older flash units I wasnt using anymore, kind of on a whim figuring it was more of a novelty for fun then anything for serious commercial work.  I’ve used this lens more then I ever thought!  Yields very cool perspectives for architecture, automotive, edgy fashion, and even weddings and events in tight spaces for an ultra wide room shot.  One of the most impressive features is the focusing range and sharpness, easily rivaling its pro “L” glass companions. Due to the ultra wide nature and distortion and focusing range, you can literally get close enough that the front element in nearly touching your subject. With an aperture range from F2.8-F22 you can really distort depth of field as you’ll see in the images below. Joby SLR Zoom Gorilla Pod (shot with the 15mm shown above) I initially saw these when we were in NYC drooling over all the tech at the B&H Super Store… yep its more then just a website!  This little tripod has a lot more beef then it looks like on the surface. […] Read more!
error: All Images © 2016 Ryan M. Walsh