Category Archives: photo of the day

30 Rock’s Dot Com (Kevin Brown) and Barbara in “S & Om”

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Kevin Brown, whom 30 Rock fans will know as Dot Com, came by my studio last night for a really fun photoshoot, with yoga instructor Barbara Purcell. This is all stage magic, folks — Barbara is actually a lovely, kind person*, and Kevin was having a blast. He has been doing yoga every single day of 2012 so far. As some of you know, I’ve been studiously committed to fitness this year, but my jaw is still hanging open at his commitment.

I can’t even describe how much fun this was. Kevin is as kind an open as people come in general, not just for actors.

*though with more Urban Master Manhattanite in her personality than standard Yoga Earth Mother, which is appreciated.

Lens: Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6
Camera: Nikon D3s
Lighting: Two Sb-900s, one bounced, one through a Softbox LTP


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Coming soon: Amanda and Glenn

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Just a reminder that, with all this talk of authenticity on the blog this week, I do still like a nice trick or two. And when you arrive in the chosen spot for wedding portraits and it’s pitch black, it’s nice to have a big back of tricks, literally and metaphorically. It took a flash composite AND a panorama to pull this one off.

Lens: 35mm f/1.4
Camera: Nikon D3s
Light: Lowel id-light


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Yin vs. Yang

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Coming soon: A review of the camera that took the photo on the left versus the one that took the photo on the right.


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Panorama on the sly

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It’s not often that I can pull off a candid “Brenizer method” panorama, but here’s a 10-photo image from when the couple took a break at their Stage 6 at Steiner Studios wedding reception to spend a minute alone with the skyline. Like any extreme panorama, it reads best in very large sizes, so here it is in exactly one percent of the original area. One adage of panoramas is that at any given print size you’re compressing out the noise, handy at ISO 10,000.

10 photos with the Sigma 85mm f/1.4.


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Beyond the Dusk

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I love shooting in November, at least when it’s unseasonably warm as it has been. It could be noon and the sun still comes as a flattering oblique angle. But it also means that it gets dark early. Really early. So if your ceremony runs a little long, you might show up at the gorgeous pier you selected for your wedding photos and find that it’s pitch black, so dark you need a flashlight just to see where you can walk.

No problem.

This was much darker in real life than in the photo. A quick tip: Live View is awesome for nailing manual focus in conditions too dark for your eye to see. It’s a good time to be a photographer when our mechanical eyes can give us a hand from time to time.

Of course, being paranoid is a big part of this game. I knew darkness was a strong possibility, so I brought every continuous light source I own. If nothing else, they made great flashlights.

(The reflection is off a particularly nasty puddle in a pile of gravel.)

Lens: 35mm f/1.4
Camera: Nikon D3s
Light: Backlit with Lowel id-light


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Mad-Men-themed engagement shoot: Megan and Michael

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I was going to wait to post these … but I’m no good at being patient. Megan and Michael did such an awesome job at putting together a Mad-Men-themed engagement shoot, that I had to share some more. Everything from the newspapers they’re holding to the details of their clothing are either from around 1963 or, in the case of Megan’s dress, a prop from the show itself! And of course it helps to have access to the sorts of places the characters would actually frequent — first a 1960s subway car, from the New York Transit Museum, to the Gramercy Park Hotel — a bastion of New York style for most of the 20th Century.

Editing is crucial in photography, but they looked so fantastic and I had such a good time doing this that I’d be comfortable showing every last shutter click from this shoot. They even rocked the light tests. I can’t wait for their wedding in September.


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Teaser: Megan and Michael’s Mad Men-themed engagement shoot

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I don’t do a lot of styled engagement sessions, mostly because I’m not a stylist, as anyone who’s seen the way I dress on “Image processing days” can tell you. But when a theme fits a couple’s personality and vision so well, and when they have Megan’s impeccable taste and precision … well, I think I spent most of this shoot excitedly giggling.

Since the theme was Mad Men, and not generic 1960s, I kind of wanted to turn “vintage wedding photography” on its head a bit. Mad Men is vintage only in its props, wardrobe and styling, but modern and gorgeous in its visuals, with nary an old-timey filter to be seen. Generally they are playing with more time and budget than five minutes in the back of Gramercy Park Hotel, but Megan and Michael still rocked it. I can’t wait to show the full set and all of the hard work Megan did, with everything 1963-appropriate from the newspapers to the dog leash.

Lens: 35mm f/1.4
Camera: Nikon D3s


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Alone together

This is one of those pictures that even my large-size blog format doesn’t really do justice — the original is about 150 megapixels.

I can’t post the full set without permission due to extreme fabulousness, but I will ask nicely, because this was a fantastic wedding day.

Brenizer method and flash composite. Because why not.

Camera: Nikon D3s
Lens: 36-image “Brenizer method” panorama with the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 (equivalent of 23mm f/0.38 according to Brett’s calculator)


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A True Sunday

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Yelena and Ben really picked the right day of this weekend to get married. After the record-breaking snow on Saturday, this is what we had yesterday — a gorgeous wedding at Guastivino’s in Manhattan.

I had to fight every urge to not just stay up all night and post this whole wedding today. Finally I remembered that I felt the same way about all the other weddings I’ve photographed recently. It’s telling in a lot of ways that I’m headed to Aruba on Wednesday and I’m excited to look through and edit the great weddings that I’ve had happen in front of my lens in recent weeks.

Lens: Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6
Camera: Nikon D3s


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Workshop Preview: Head in the Clouds

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I had a fantastic time at the two-day workshop I hosted this weekend — I was really honored to have it sold out even though I announced it with less than a month’s notice. Even with that, people still came from all over North America. We spent a lot of time working on themes of using new techniques and expanding old ones to push yourself and keep your work fresh and exciting, so that it doesn’t feel like work at all. We started Day 2’s Shootshop with Brandon, and I wanted to show off that one of the purposes of a flash composite wasn’t just power, but the way that you can use it to shape light with a dramatic falloff. Somehow I managed to focus my Noct-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 while staring directly into the sun.

Lens: Noct-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 AIS
Camera: Nikon D3s


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All the Comforts of Home

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As I’ve noted before, I love starting engagement shoots in couple’s homes, because the central mission of an engagement shoot is to make you as comfortable being photographed as possible, and to show your real relationship and personalities, and the home is where you’re most comfortable and most of the real life of your relationship plays out.

But I also love seeing common scenes in very different ways, and it’s doubly satisfying to do that in someone’s home, in their familiar surroundings. I know that Jessica and Doug won’t see their entryway in quite the same way now.

Camera: Nikon D3s
Lens: 58mm f/1.2 Noct-Nikkor AIS


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1 World Trade Center, 74th Floor

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Perhaps what I love most about what I do is that each day brings a new adventure, including access to places I never thought I would go. This morning I got to tour the inside of the still-under-construction 1 WTC, otherwise knows as the “Freedom Tower.” Here’s a view of the interior construction at the (current) top.

Lens: Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6
Camera: Nikon D3s


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