Street photography Taste of Clarkston

For the sixth year I did street photography at the 2017 Taste of Clarkston.  I was in the parking lot of the Clarkston News, thanks Don and Jim.  Every year I choose a local charity to gove donations to.  This year it was DRAW’s turn.  When I photograph people I let them know I will send them multiple jpg files from the session.  I also let them know that they can make a donation.  This year was lighter in past years and we raised $112 for DRAW.

I stand out on the sidewalk and ask people if they are up for a portrait, many decline.  I’m much better at getting friends in for some shots.  I also look for interesting people that would make a good portrait.  For this years, at the end of the session I asked people to give me their best sad sack or deadpan face.  I think it is funny that most intrepid it as sad and gave me sad faces.  A couple really nailed it.

Tin type photography

Here are some examples of testing I did for Tin Type photography alternative process.  I had the possibility of being asked to do tin types for a production, it did not end up happening.  These tins are the results of my testing and becoming competent in making these delicate images.

Tin types are post Civil War photographic technology that first appeared in 1855, peaked around 1870 and was mostly out of use by the turn of the century.  The image is created by making a negative image on a black aluminum plate.  As in traditional black and white film negatives, dark areas of the image are lighter & clearer on the negative while the lighter areas of the images appear black or darker in a negative.  What you see in a tin type is the “negative” letting the dark areas of the black plate show through and the room lighting showing the black or darker parts of the negative as white or lighter.  You can sometimes get the same effect by looking at a film negative against a black background.

The process I use to make tins is to prepare the 4×5 plates in a darkroom with a fairly bright red light (the emulsion is not sensitive to red light at all, which makes for some unusual looks and exposures).  The emulsion is a gel at room temperature so I warm the emulsion in a hot bath.  After it has warmed I pour some on the black plate and roll it around to evenly cover the plate and then let it dry.  I then load one plate in typical 4×5 film holders a friend of mine machine to accept the plates.  The plates are good to use for a day or so.  I then load the film holder into my Speed Graphic press camera with a Fugi 210mm, expose for 1 ISO and then back  into the darkroom.  It is pretty much typical film processing after that.  Develop, fix and wash.  I use Glad sandwich containers for chemical trays as the plated fit perfectly.

Business couple portraits – downtown Detroit

I did these business couple portraits of a married couple for their seminar business.  We started in the Guardian building in downtown Detroit where we used the lobby and gates as some of the backgrounds.  We also shot in some of the office space and found a great tiled wall and a nice yellow wall to use as backgrounds.

Food photography – yummy chocolate treats

Food photography is not my specialty, and I do a bit of it occasionally.  A mutual friend recommended Fluer-De-Lis Chocolates to me and we shot a while ago in my studio.  The shots are for a printed brochure and they needed a representation of the treats being offered.  We had a little bit of challenge with the reflections of the plastic and glass containers and had to shoot separate images for the contents and background, put down black cloth to remove unwanted reflections and the composite the images together.  It was a fun, challenging afternoon and I got to eat some of the props, yum.


Sports action photography – Clarkston High School girls soccer

These are some sports action photography we did while we were shooting for the Clarkston High School Girls Varsity soccer seniors.  The original shoot was for banners to be displayed at Senior Night at a home game.  Shoot sports action photography can be a challenge.  We had a cloudy afternoon, so I was able to control the exposure to get a dark ominous sky and I had my strobes so I could freeze the majority of the movement.  The only real motion blur is of the fast moving ball as it is being kicked and I like the amount of blur.  One of the biggest challenges is to start pressing the shutter release before the action I want to see happens.  A little bit of practice helps.  The next challenge is to trust in the players and not get hit by the ball.

Sports portraits on Clarkston High School girls soccer seniors

The girls soccer team from Clarkston High School asked me to photograph sports portraits of the seniors.  We had to shoot before one of their home games and were not able to get on the field because the JV soccer game was being played.  We went to a practice field on the south side of the stadium and shot in the grass. Most of the day had been pretty sunny and it clouded up as the afternoon went on.  The we started shooting the clouds came in.  I balanced my off camera strobes with the clouded sky and made the sky a bit dark and ominous.  I asked d the girls to with smile or look tough their choice.  While we were there and had everything set up we did a group shot and then some action shots of the defending, dribbling or kicking.  I will show the action shots in a future post.

Executive Headshots on location

This is a recent example of executive headshots being done on location.  The Clarkston Chamber of Commerce had an annual meeting where most of the Ambassadors and Officers were attending.  The Chamber asked me to come at the end of the meeting and shoot new headshots of the chamber and staff.  I set up a typical headshot lighting with white background and photographed everyone there in about an hour.  We had to schedule a few people who could not make the meeting for an additional session at my studio.  I have photographed many additional sessions for the Chamber as the members and staff change, trying to keep the look similar.

Clarkston Chamber of Commerce


Musician photography of a young man, bassoonist & conductor

Musician photography of a young man, bassoonist & conductor, shot in the studio.  This young man is a bassoonist and aspiring conductor.  He is in his final year at U of M in Ann Arbor, MI.  He needed some headshots for all of his upcoming performance and interview needs.

These are pretty straight forward studio headshots. I got hime to the studio, asked him a bit about what his needs are, talked about the style of shots he and I like and then came up with a plan to shoot on black and them on white.  At the end of the session I brought out the ring light for some non music headshots.

Executive Environmental portraits of a tech firm

Executive Environmental portraits of a local technology firm in Clarkston, MI.  IGD Solutions asked me to come to them and shoot some images of key staff for their upcoming webpage update.  I went to their offices and shoot each executive in a couple different situation in and around the office. I chose to make my versions of the images black and white.  I’m not sure which versions of all the shots they will end up using.

Environmental portraits are photographs of people in some natural setting.  They are quite different from studio portraits because I often have to balance the existing light with light I bring, trying to create a plausible lighting look with an additional bit of creative interest.

IGD Solutions

1 2 3 4 5 >»