Five-page feature on me in What Digital Camera magazine!

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I feel incredibly honored to have a five-page spread featured on my work and photographic history in the magazine What Digital Camera. The spread was in the August 2009 issue, but since it primarily sells overseas I didn’t see it until now! There is an extensive look at the gear I use and a nice interview to show where I come from and where I’m heading.

Of course, as you’ll be able to see from the gear listings on the sample photos, my equipment keeps changing as I try new ways to capture photos the way I want. That means there are some new additions since the article (such as the D3s, 50mm f/1.2, 35mm f/1.8 and 24mm f/1.8) and of course a bit of gear that was swallowed by the angry god of the sea in Puerto Rico.

You can click on any of the spreads below for a larger, readable version!

Also thanks to Timothy Herzog for taking the photo of me with my kit.


The Breakdown: Feb. 6 “How to Shoot Like MacGyver” Workshop


On February 5th and 6th, 35 avid and awesome photographers came to 2 Stops Brigher Studios to talk shop and learn about some of the crazy stuff I get up to as a photographer. I figured I couldn’t teach a workshop about how to be fabulous, since I’m just a pretty normal guy, or how to run a business, since the most important thing I know is to work with other people who know how to do that stuff, or selling actions and presets, since I don’t use them.

What I do know as a New York City photographer is how to make the best of situations that aren’t always in your favor, and I thought it might be useful for some people to get my perspective. Also, I’m always looking at photographic gear and saying “Is there anyway I can use this in a weird way that would make some pretty cool pictures?” and we spent most of the day talking about some of the things I’ve found that can give you some new tools for bad situations — things like the “Brenizer method” of bokeh panoramas, video lights and light-painting for low-light, using flash composites for dynamic shots on bright days, and more.

I had such a wonderful time, and so many people have been asking about it, that I am going to host another one soon! I’m thinking April. Watch this space.

There are going to be a lot of photos in the full write-up, so click below to read the rest!

Continue reading The Breakdown: Feb. 6 “How to Shoot Like MacGyver” Workshop

Reviews of the workshop!

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I couldn’t have had a better time at Saturday’s workshop, and was absoutely thrilled with how everything went — my staff, Isla and Thomas, did a killer job throughout, Phillip Stark could not have been more gracious a studio host, and our models and couples were top-notch! But, as they used to say in Reading Rainbow, “You don’t have to take my word for it …” When you have an audience filled with 35 people, almost all of whom have a blog, you know there are going to be a lot of independent reviews. The first comprehensive one I’ve seen is this article by Dmitri Gudkov, but let me know if you have any others and I’ll add them to this entry!

You can also see 117-and-counting attendee photos here, including proof that it is nearly impossible to take a good shot of me while I am talking.

(Photo by attendee Jeniel Corpuz)

UPDATE:I randomly stumbled across this review in a Nikon forum by one of the attendees. Since he didn’t think I would see it, that means he’s not sucking up to me. ;-)

I am inspired by his shooting philosophy. He lives for the “worst” shooting conditions and actually gets bored when things go right the first try. I take that as always learning and being prepared for the worst. I also appreciate his take on ‘getting it right in camera’. I hate using photoshop and really appreciate the fact that he can get such great results with spending 5-10 secs per image and sometimes not even touching them.

I highly recommend his workshops and I will be attending one of his in the future again.

UPDATE: A nice review by Zack Delaune, who came out from New Orleans for it:

After two days of hanging with Ryan, I knew this wouldn’t be any normal workshop. And he confirmed that right out of the gate by starting the discussion with the “why” of photography rather than the “how”. His philosophy on the subject definitely changed the way I think about photography, and especially wedding photography. So, big thanks to Ryan for flipping da script, as the kids say.

Once we got into more technical things, we discussed bounce flash techniques, the “Brenizer Method”, and quick flash composites. In that portion of the workshop, Ryan focused on tools we could add to our bag of tricks to make us more versatile photographers, even in undesirable situations. He demonstrated by making some beautiful shots in the ugliest flourescent-lit hallway I have ever seen. This was a refreshing reinforcement of something that I have been preaching lately to anyone who will listen. To get a beautiful shot, you don’t NEED a “beautiful” location

UPDATE: Here’s a nice video by Brett Maxwell showing the process of the shot shown here. I didn’t know I was being recorded and wasn’t speaking with that in mind, so hopefully you can pick up some of the audio. And although it sounds like I was overshooting, taking thousands of shots, those are the sounds of all the attendees’ DSLRs behind Brett. When I’m thinking about shooting, and not about talking, I say “you know” a lot. But before and after this I explained to the attendees more about the process, and showed the results.