Thursday, September 12, 2013

Chickens In The Studio

Today I took my chickens into the studio for a few pictures.  I wanted a clean white set up and a nice reflection under them.  I used tile board for the surface the chickens are standing on, the white seamless reflects perfectly on the surface.  Here are a few set up photos to show you how I put this together.  You will notice that I placed some black panels to help minimize the possible flare from lighting a white background.

I used a beauty dish to light the chickens, the dish also had a sock over the face of it to soften the light a bit.

 The chicken show above is only a stand in.  My wife once made diapers for chickens she sold at a county fair, Crazy! The next photos show the lighting of the background, one SB-800 on either side to light it evenly.

New Orleans Speedlight Workshop

Mark your calendar, wait! Register right now and then mark your calendar!   These workshops sell out very fast so don't delay.  I'll be joining my friend and fellow mentor Dave Black on this fun workshop.  For more information visit the Mentor Series website.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cowboy Studio Beauty Dish

For sometime now, I've been using a wonderful light modifier I picked up at Cowboy Studio.  I bought a 22" beauty dish which came with a diffusion sock and grid about a year ago.  The beauty dish has a wonderful look to it, sort of hard and soft at the same time.

The photograph above is of my friend Chris, he needed some corporate head shots and I wanted to do something for myself.  I used the beauty dish with the honeycomb grid, this is the only light used for this portrait.  The light on the background is the fall off of the main light.  I had Chris stand about two feet in front of a piece of fabric I bought at a local fabric store.

These Beauty Dishes are designed for Speedlight shooters.  I really only use it around town as traveling with it can be a problem because of it's size.  These are really inexpensive, under a $100 dollars!  DT

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I've been shooting for my friend Marti for quite sometime now. I met Marti about 13 years of so ago when she work at a local energy company. I shot there annual report and since that time have remained friends.
Marti has changed employers several times since our first meeting, because of your friendship I have been able to continue providing photography where ever she has moved. In any business, turning a customer into a client is key.
I have several clients that I've worked with over a period of years and years.  Many of those folks, I have never met personally. Face it, there are tons of photographers out there that know what their doing (photographically). I can tell you from personal experience, that if your a decent person and provide great service you'll have clients for years.
I have another friend (client), named Mark. I have worked with Mark for that many years. As a matter of fact, we have know each other of about 30 years. We've traveled on assignment together and have had tons of laughs together. I cherish my working relationships and you should too.  I know you most likely have heard this statement before, believe me it's true.  I so much easier to keep a client then to find a new one!
Take care and nurture the relationships you have, really. The photo of the bolt above illustrates something important to me regarding this subject of relationships.
Late last year I was shooting with Marti somewhere in West Virginia, I was working on her annual report shooting various Oil & Gas type stuff. We were on site at a well head shooting an employee with his truck checking on things. While walking back to the rental car, Marti spotted a bolt on the ground and asked if I would mind shooting that for her.  The first thing out of my mouth was, "You bet Martie, something for your wall?"  She stopped, looked at me and said, "You know what I love about you David? Most anyone else would have said your crazy Marti, but you just go with the flow and ... something like that"  I could have very easily said your nuts and walked on, it's all about the client. 
Here are a few more images shot for Marti on this particular assignment. Hope you enjoy. DT



Friday, January 25, 2013

Infrared Conversion

Several years ago I converted my old Nikon D70 camera into an Infrared Camera.  The convertion was pretty straight forward with the aid of LifePixel  I simiply followed their online instructions, it took about an hour of my time.
I was on assignment in Florida when I took this photo down at the beach in South Beach, Miami.  Here are a few more images from that same trip, these are from Key West area.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What's Up Adorama?

This is a screen shot of what I would call a cheap shot!  Adorama Camera store in NY is sponsoring a workshop with a very similar title to my series of workshops called Small Strobes, Big Results.

This was brought to my attention by a person named "A Concerned Citizen"  Thanks for bring this to my attention.

I started Small Strobes, Big Results back in 2008, I have worked hard to built my branding. I absolutely think Adorama is trying to benefit from this hard work.  Shame on you Adorama!  I have taught Small Strobes, Big Results all over the world.  I teach at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, Maine Media Workshops, GPP (Dubai), Private workshops in Saudi Arabia, Manila, and Austria.

I've sent an email to Adorama, I'm hoping they might reconsider the naming of there up coming workshop.  Your thoughts?  DT

Up Date:
I just received an email from Adorama apologising for the similarity in the title of Tyler Stableford's workshop. They've changed the title of his workshop to Shooting Action Sports and Portraits with Speedlites.  I want to thank Adorama for the fast resolution regarding my concerns about this issue, your a stand up group. Thanks.

Monday, January 21, 2013


I did a post about Shooting in Small Spaces a while back.  I thought I'd pass along another solution when confronted with such an issue.  In August this past year I shot an assignment for a local mining company. I spent the day in their Denver offices and a two day trip to Nevada for some site photography.
Another solution to shooting in a small office space is to shoot into it, as though your were eavesdropping on your subjects.  My client wanted a photograph of two geologist working together looking at maps.  I noticed when walking through their offices this one space where the drafting table was positioned near the door in this office.
The drafting table had lights inside of it which I used as my main or key light.  I added a small amount of light bounced off the ceiling in the back of the room.  I used an SB-800 fitted with a full CTB (Color Temperture Blue) gel over the flash tube. The power was set low enough as to not over power the light in the desk and just high enough to open the shadows in the back of the room.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Speedlighting In San Antonio

I wanted to remind my readers that I'll be in San Antonio with Dave Black teaching a Mentor Series Trek.  This workshop is all about leaning how to use your Speedlighs both on camera and off.  You'll learn all about how to control your flash remotely and well as how to use modifiers light softboxes, umbrellas and grids.  This is a great hands on workshop that should not be missed.

This workshop has a few spaces left, it is being held on February 21-24th.  Contact the Mentor Series for details.

Freezing My Ass Off

Just a quick post from the phone tonight. I went back out shooting a Chatfield Reservoir today.
I usually head for the park about an hour before sunset. I have just enough time to scope things out and then decide what it is I'm going to shoot.
Today I stuck close to the stream where the ice and snow covered the rocks in stream and alone the shoreline. Here are 2 photos I shoot during my visit to Chatfield Reservoir today. Enjoy. DT

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Happy New Year

Let me start off by wishing everyone a very Happy New Year. I hope you're able to use this new year to learn and grow with all your photographic endeavors.  I start off each year like a lot of you, clearing files out and making new ones.  Trying to get more organized not only with image files but also those business file... I just hate it.
I had the opportunity to do some personal shooting just before the Christmas holiday.  Near my home we have a place called Chatfield Reservoir, I canoe there quite often with my wife during the season.  Anyway, I headed off to Chatfield to make a few clicks just before sunset.  We had a winter storm heading into the area and the skies were looking really crazy.
I drive around the Chatfield park slowly, looking for photo opportunities as the weather shifts. Sun darts in and out between clouds as I look for subject matter.  Chatfield Reservoir is very close to the foothills just south of Denver. The reservoir is close to the foothills and the sunsets early and fast, particularly in the winter months. When I arrived the clouds were thick and it looked like I was going to get shut out for the day.
Let's start off with the first scene I came across that late afternoon in Dec.
I had passed this tree earlier when the sky was darker and there was no seperation between tree and sky. My second pass was when the sky opened, and this was the first shot of the day. I made several variations of this scene, I then walked over to the tree for a possible lower angle shot when I saw the sky to the south with the road in the scene.
I made a few bracketed shots and produce the HDR image below, I used HDR Efex Pro 2 for the processing.
I kinda like! I then drove down the road you see above and at the end there was a wonderful group of trees.
I also took the time to shoot several variations both vertical and horizontal.  I then drove further east away from the foothills, this gave me a larger view of the front range. I had some nice views and a few more trees to work with.
About a week earlier I was driving through the park looking for shots and basically got shut out.  I didn't really have any light to speak of and drove home without making a shot.  While driving home outside of the park, the sky started to get interesting. The further east I drove the more the clouds seem to light up, soft pink light reflecting off the clouds.
I was looking frantically for something to photograph using this light and the clouds. I pass this little pond on my to Chatfield Reservoir every time I drive there, I've seen this pond for years and have always thought there was a possible photograph to be had if the circumstances were right. Boy was I right, here are two variations, one color the other Black and White.
This outing was totally worth my effort, an hour of my time and right in my back door so to speak.  I plan on making more time for shooting for myself, you should do the same.  We get busy with life and sometime forget to treat ourselves and just explore and have fun.