I have a new hero

So I was at the ASMP photo show "Find Us Here" when I ran into Jeffery
Salter. Check out his work at http://www.jefferysalter.com/

Really nice guy and wonderful to talk to. Then I mentioned how my
background has been as a Navy photojournalist and as a Combat
Photographer. Then he says, "Yeah really? That is how I got my start."

Then I run into Benjamin Rusnak (who's website is being reworked right
now). He mentioned that he was mentored by a guy at the Indianapolis
Star who used to be a Navy SEAL during Vietnam. I said, "No he was a
Frogman and his name is Chip Maury." His eyes lit up. I said, "Chip is
my sea daddy.

Pretty small and incredible circle we live in.

Oh and did I mention I finally met the incredibly talented and incredibly TALL Brian Smith. What is it with successful people and height? I need lifts.


Photographer Robbie Cooper shows simplicity is story telling enthralling

This was pretty amazing and scary and funny. But in all it was a great way for a photographer to show something without necessarily showing it. It is simple and easy. The editing has something to do with it, but the different expressions of the kids... Very nicely done. 

Video Library Player:  Immersion 

Photographer Robbie Cooper shows just how focused young video-game players can be. 

The Honl Speed Snoot is amazing!!!

I was a little hesitant about trying out the HonlPhoto Speed Snoots. I have heard great things about them and my buddy Tom Sperduto praised his devices immensely. I was recently in Portland attending a seminar with Tom when he suggested I try them out. I was already working on adding new subjects to my Backyard project so I gave them a try. All I can say is WOW!!! These things are amazing. The construction, the quality, it really makes a difference in the way the light is played. I had figured they wouldn't make too much of a difference on subjects as small as a 1/2 inch caterpillar, but they really did. I am a true fan. I can tell you I am very interested in trying out his other products. Check out his site at HonlPhoto.com 

Here are examples of the set up of the moth and the final results. I used my usual white board as a bounce for the SB-800 remotely synced using Nikon CLS system. The flash is mounted on a Justin Clamp (another great gadget to have).

Jamie Rose. Watch this one!!!

I have a friend in an awesome photographer named Jamie Rose. We know eachother through numerous military phojos as wella s working together during a workshop at Syracuse. We have been in touch here and there over the past few years and I must say, she is on fire. Watching how someone with passion can do such great things is an inspiration. She now has a great blog with tons of info to add to your knowledge base and is working with a very cool workshop photojournalism workshop series called Momenta Group LLC (www.momentaworkshops.com).

Here is the link to her blog http://jamieslist.wordpress.com/


Featured in Polish Newspaper

If all this good publicity wasn't good enough Anna,  my hot Polish wife, was asked to do an interview for the national Polish newspaper called White Eagle. This paper is sent to every Polish community throughout the United States. This is pretty exciting since we know there is a very large Polish community in the United States. Of course I wouldn't expect many of my friends to be able to read Polish so I am including the pages so they can look at the pictures. Too bad it is in black and white. Doesn't do much justice to many of these photos. The gist of the interview was with Anna and how she came about becoming a photographer, her involvement with me and why we do what we do, etc. 

What is Col. Abbott thinking???

I just read an article on NPPA about an image of a General that was digitally manipulated. I typically laugh at these and blow them off as yet another idiot that had no idea or yet another idiot general who did not have time in his(her) schedule to pose for a photo and ordered someone to 'Fix It.' I saw it enough times in my career and will see more of it in the future. What really blew me away was what the chief of the Army's media relations division was quoted as saying. " "We're not misrepresenting her," Abott told the AP. "The image is still clearly Gen. Dunwoody." " 
My friend Johnny Bivera and I have talked about his push to try to create a code of ethics for military photography that is clearly trampled on and misunderstood on a regular basis. There needs to be an adoption of standards by the military of similar standards set forth by the NPPA or WHNPA.
Believe what you will about the military feeding propoganda and manipulating imagery. I see more of it in the civilian media than ever in the military. That isn't the subject. The subject is that civilian media have checks and balance on ethics and responsibilities for showing true and ethical images. If AP bans the DoD then you know soon others will follow suit. When are these people going to realize that if one image is defended as being real and is found manipulated then every one afterwards will be expected as being manipulated as well. 
In the military lingo I have not yet forgotten. This is UNSAT!!!


The importance of being passionate AND NICE!!!

The other day a young girl came to ANNA asking for help with some model comp cards. It seems she was picked out of a crowd of thousands of models and given an opportunity to meet with some select talent scouts n that Saturday. She was in a rush. She brought a CD from some photographer who charged her a mint to take a few shots and gave her the images straight from his card. She could no understand how there was these spots all over the images. I explained to her they where dust spots and the guy should have at least corrected for this either by manually doing so or using a simple program like Nikon capture NX to remove them before letting them leave the studio. But I guess that is how some people do things. She was a littl stressed as to what to do next. She had found us through a google search and did not know what she needed to do, but that she needed to do something for this unique opportunity.
Anna and I felt bad for her and knew she might be overlooked if she would have walked into the room with that mess. So we had nothing better to do that evening and decided to make her into the project of the week. We told her to "go home and get some outfits." She came back a few hours later and we shot a full portfolio. We then laid out the images on in a book and ordered it from MPIX . These books are pretty descent quality and price and have a pretty fast turnaround. We ordered them on a Tuesday night and had it by Thursday morning. We also laid out and printed about 50 comp cards and gave them to her. All of this and we charged her less than what this photographer did. Of course we told her to tell her friends and NEVER tell them how much we charged her. Of course, to us this project wasn't about the money, but more on the philosophy of being a giving person and it may come back to you. 
GIVE / GET !!!

featured in a magazine is cool

This month is pretty cool for me. First having two page feature in
Popular Photography magazine, then a page article on my involvement
with ASMP and the military. A print from my one to one project is
ready and will soon be on display in North Miami during art Basel. Now
a local magazine called Weston Flair in one of the best places to live
in South Florida (Weston) has chosen to do a full page 'Local Bio'
feature on me and my military background.


go to this link and scroll to page 22 . http://www.westonflair.com/nov/

Shooting a fashion show MY WAY

I was recently offered the opportunity to shoot a fashion show for a
local designer here in South Florida. He wanted to know if I would
just shoot the show, but me being me, I offered to shoot more than
that. Anna and I arrived a bit early and set up a small studio set up
in a back room. As the models got ready, we photographed some full
body and head shots. I saw it as an opportunity not only to meet some
great models and stylists, but to keep my shutter finger moving. It is
very important to always push yourself to do different things that
take you in a different direction. I would tell people to at least
once in a day do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. Do
something different so you can at least know if is a good thing or
not. Henri Cartier Bresson used to say to take a different way home
every day. This way you see things you would never have noticed
before. Like the eyes of a child. Make everything new and fresh. This
experience taught me a few new things, but mainly for me it taught me
how much I love what I do and prooved to me that I will be a
photographer until the day I die.


Interesting ways to market yourself

Since I was talking about Leslie Burns-Dell'Acqua, I figured I would
share a latest project.
This is based around my backyard project where I capture wild
creatures, photograph them and set them free. leslie always preaches
about being different from the rest. Separating yourself from the pack
by sending interesting marketing. Don't be one of a hundred postcards
that go in the AD's trash weekly.

I found this really cool cup with a magnifying glass for a lid. I then
printed about 25 images per cup, each one different with the name of
the creature on the back with my info. On the box I stamped the name
of the project with stamps of bugs (dragonfly, lizard and ladybugs)
found at Michael's art supply in the scrapbooking section. I plan to
send these to people who have already shown interest in my work as
well as a few magazines and book publishers. I think the coolest part
is when they open the box there will be a small card describing the
project and once they pick up the card they will see this creature
staring back at them.

Leslie Burns-Dell-Acqua

Leslie recently sent her latest "Manual" and I must say it is yet
again an awesome motivational thing to read. Leslie is always
passionate about what she does and what she says. I strongly suggest
checking out her site and signing up for her Manuals, checking out her
downloads and allowing her to 'tune up' your business. Her website is
at http://www.burnsautoparts.com/

Also, she is announcing a new book coming out titled,"Tell the World
You Don't Suck: Modern Markting for Commercial Photographers." Here is
where you can buy it.