Tog Tips

  • Fix it in post

    The problem with “Fix it in post” and “Get it right in the camera”

    It’s time we put some updated sensibilities’ behind the statements “fix it in post” and “getting it right in the camera”.   A few people mentioned these phrases to me recently and honestly I was surprised to hear how they interpreted the meaning behind them.  I was even more surprised and disappointed when I posted…

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  • Blinking in photographs

    Blinking in photographs. Stop blaming your subjects!

    You’re the one holding the camera. Nobody made you photograph the blink so you have to take the blame. Table of contentsFacts about BlinkingWhat causes the blinks in photographs?How to minimize the amount of blinkingThe other kind of blinking subjectSo remember… Blinking is a problem that every photographer deals with and while it frustrates many,…

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  • 7 Things My Subjects Have Taught Me About Photography

    7 Things My Subjects Have Taught Me About Photography

    Learning to be a better photographer is not all about learning photography. Especially if you want to photograph people. Don’t get me wrong, you still need to read your camera manual, learn about exposure controls, Depth of Field and the dreaded Inverse Square Law. Let’s face it, there is no way to really master photography…

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  • 9 Behaviors that GREAT Photographers embrace

    9 Behaviors That GREAT Photographers Embrace

    We all look at the most successful photographers and wonder what would it take to “be them”. There are some things that we can point to with certainty that are key to their success. Skills, intelligence and very importantly discipline. You have probably heard the phrase “Work smarter, not harder”. My experience has shown that…

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  • Catchlights

    Catchlights for Portraits – LIGHTING TUTORIAL

    If you are going to shoot portraits, don’t overlook the importance of catchlights.  They’re a small detail that can easily make or break your shot. So what’s the big deal about catchlights?  Catchlights play an important role in creating dimension and depth, and in adding life to a portrait by drawing attention to the eyes.…

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  • The Stuck at Home Photography Challenge

    Given the current world events – photography may be more important to you than ever.  Let me take just a moment to offer my prayers and sympathies to those who have been directly affected and to offer my wishes and hopes that all of you will be smart and remain diligent in your efforts to…

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  • Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

    Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

    Click here for the specs on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III. Olympus has just announced a very exciting upgrade to the OM-D E-M1 Mark II.  Allow me to introduce you to the latest pro camera in the flagship group the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III.  Read on to learn about some cool new features…

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  • Fashion Portrait with TV background

    Unlimited One-of-a-Kind DIY Portrait Backgrounds with a 4K LED TV

    How about a DIY portrait background that will save you money and give you infinite creative possibilities? My video about the versatility of Gray Backgrounds A portrait should NEVER be about the background, however, the background can make or break the shot.  My favorite solid background color is gray, because with gels I can make…

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  • PhotoPlus 2019 in NYC

    Create the WOW – Make your Portraits EPIC

    PhotoPlus Expo 2019 is in the books and once again I had the honor of presenting for Olympus at the three day tradeshow in New York City. My talk was titled Create the WOW – Make your Portraits EPIC and it featured portrait photography and studio lighting techniques done with small strobes and also light…

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  • Bold and Beautiful Fashion Portraits with the Olympus OM-D E-M1X

    The Wedding and Portrait Professionals International (WPPI) show was held in late February again this year at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Once again, I had the honor of presenting on the Olympus stage using the new Olympus OM-D E-M1X. Olympus was kind enough to allow me to have the presentation…

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  • ArtPop Street Gallery

    How my photo became a 48’ wide billboard – ArtPop Street Gallery

    I would like to take you behind the scenes of this bold blue beauty shot and show you how it wound up on a 48-foot wide by 14 foot tall ArtPop Street Gallery billboard. This photo resided on a billboard that is just off Rt. 309 in Allentown, Pennsylvania for 12 months in 2019. Yeah,…

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  • Behind The Lens – My Interview With Good Light Magazine

    Here are the screen captures from my recent 18 page spread in the British Good Light Magazine. This article by the magazines editor Bienna Ursula features images that I have shot in the studio, on location and on stage for Olympus. It includes gear lists as well as lighting diagrams for several of the images…

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  • 15 tips for air travel with photography equipment

    When I pack camera gear for a trip, I’m a habitual over-packer. If I could fit the kitchen sink in a suitcase, believe me I would do it. So I am going to share some hard-learned tips and tricks for making air travel with your photography gear a little easier. Traveling with photo equipment on…

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  • If you want to find success as a photographer STOP ASKING FOR OPINIONS!

    If you want to find success as a photographer – STOP asking people what they think about your photographs or what they think you should do to improve – just stop. It’s not helping you – in fact it’s making it harder to progress and improve as a photographer because frequently the opinions that you…

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  • Fashion Portraits with Cellophane – A Great DIY Tool for Your Studio

    I’m always on the lookout for things that I can drape around a model, or turn into an outfit, or place over a light source to change the color of the light, or even turn into a background. As a result, I make frequent trips to local fabric stores and arts and craft stores like…

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  • Fashion Portraiture with Simple Lighting Presented for Olympus

    Since switching to Olympus cameras, I really have been having a ton of fun shooting without sacrificing features or image quality. The Olympus gear has met and exceeded every one of my expectations and even saved me time in post production. I have also been very fortunate – Olympus has asked me to present on…

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  • Your Best Shot is a Mistake!?!

    Sometimes your best shot presents itself as a mistake, and if you are not paying attention you will fix the mistake and wind up with a less creative, less exciting, less interesting photograph. I want to show you an example from a recent shoot where this happened to me and I used a MagMod MagBounce…

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  • What is Dynamic Range and Why is everybody so worried about it? Here is what you should really worry about…

    Over the last month or so I have been asked more and more questions about dynamic range, and I am seeing more and more articles and YouTube videos with headlines about this topic. Indeed, it is becoming the big buzz phrase in GEARtographer discussions all over the internet. I’m seeing people debating which cameras are…

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  • Success as a photographer – it’s in the details.  It pays to be finicky!

    Last week, fStoppers.com published an article by a very talented Canadian shooter named Ryan Cooper. The article was titled “Why being pickier will make you a better photographer.” The article reminded me of a presentation that I’ve been doing variations of for almost ten years. It’s titled The Art of Seeing: Success in Photography is…

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  • Where is the cheapest and best place to buy camera gear?

    Recently a fellow photographer told me, “I would never buy camera gear from Amazon.com. I will only buy from a reputable retailer like B&H Photo.” That got me to thinking about how the process of buying camera gear has changed in the 40+ years I have been involved in photography — some for the good…

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  • Your smartphone is the BEST camera you own to dramatically improve your photography. Part 1

    I want to challenge your way of thinking about camera gear and prove to you that your smartphone is the best and possibly most important camera that you own. Now, I bet you are thinking I’ve lost my mind; that I’ve finally crossed over to the dark side, sold my Nikon gear, skipped Sony completely,…

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  • 80% of Portrait Photography is Psychology – Techniques for Photographing People

    I have mentioned often that 80% of portrait photography is psychology and 20% of it is photography. I go into the psychology in a lot of other pieces, so I wanted to take a moment to address that 20%. 20% of portrait photography …. Understand that the 20% that is photography is the foundation that…

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  • Three light PORTRAIT, HEADSHOT and BEAUTY LIGHTING with NO LIGHTING MODIFIERS

    I want to show you some beauty lighting and a series of headshots done with three lights and a reflector – and NO modifiers on the lights. The modifier was the room that I shot in. In this series of headshots and beauty shots, I was working in my home studio which is only 23…

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  • Work The Shot to Dramatically Improve Your Photography

    Before I go any further, let’s make sure that you know not to be that cliché guy with a camera telling your model “work it baby – that’s hot!” If you really want to improve your photography, work the shot. I’ll also share with you at the end what your subject or model really wants…

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  • 2 Light Lingerie Glamour Lighting Setup – A Studio Lighting Tutorial with Glamour Lighting

    I’m going to walk you through another one of my keep it simple stupid glamour lighting arrangements that requires only two lights and a medium softbox. I also use the all-purpose box that I showed you in my DIY Home Studio blog article and showed you how to build in one of my TogChats. And,…

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  • Halloween Inspired Three Light Beauty Portrait Tutorial – Studio Lighting Tutorial – The Last Frame

    Today I have a Halloween-inspired three light beauty portrait tutorial for you guys, done with mixed light sources and with some cool orange gels for effect. Watch the VIDEO… This is a fun beauty shot that I did for Halloween a few years back. Like many of my shots, the real credit for this one…

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  • Beauty Portrait with a Beauty Dish, 4 lights & Red Gels – Studio Lighting Tutorial – The Last Frame

    Today I’m going to show you a beauty shot I did with four lights, some red gels and a beauty dish. I will also show you a few awesome variations that I got by working the shot. Watch the VIDEO… This is a beauty shot that I did with a young model that I had…

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  • 4 Light Portrait Lighting Arrangement for Awesome Headshots and Beauty Shots

    Here, I’ll be walking you through a very flattering and easy -to-work-with four light lighting arrangement that is great for portraits, headshots and beauty shots. I have said many, many times in my videos – Keep it simple stupid.  When I am photographing a model or working on a portrait for a client, I need…

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  • 10 Tips to find your photographic style. Is it important to have a photography style?

    How do I find my photographic style?  This question has been coming up a lot lately.  Do you know what your style is?  More importantly, does it even matter?  Here, I list 10 steps you need to take to find YOUR photographic style. Watch the VIDEO… More and more, I am finding new and/or young…

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  • How to Plan a Portrait or Headshot Shoot

    Today’s assignment: a headshot sitting, a good old-fashioned business headshot. This isn’t going to be one of those crazy beauty shots with all kinds of makeup and stuff blowing around. This is for marketing purposes for a young woman who’s setting up a practice as a therapist. So let’s get started! My subject is a…

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