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How to fool your camera in the snow.

I am often asked what’s the best way to take pictures of blindingly white snowscapes? If you do nothing, your camera thinks “this is very bright, I have to make it darker.”  As your camera makes it darker to compensate for the bright snow, it makes everything mid-toned, which makes for dreary, gray images.

Basically, you have to ‘fool’ the camera…I know it’s counter intuitive, but you have to make everything LIGHTER!  You have to choose an exposure compensation value between +2/3 and + 1  2/3.

If your camera has an Exposure Compensation feature, you dial the PLUS in. If you want to do it manually, look at the meter reading and remember the settings—then in the manual function area dial in the new aperture and shutter speed.  Your goal is to intentionally overexpose the frame, so that the snow looks white but other objects aren’t blown out.

I took studio manager, Krysti, outside this morning to show you what I mean.

The photograph, on the left,  came out of the camera. The camera thought there was lots of light because of the snow, so it made the photograph mid-tone. The face is too dark, and the snow looks grey.  I set my camera to Plus 1  1/3 to make the face the correct exposure.  The snow blows out, but I think that’s OK because that is really how we experience the snow. If you want the snow to read, you’d set your exposure compensation to Plus 2/3.

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Road Trip

My oldest son is off to a new adventure. He is an aerospace engineer (Washington University 2009) and for the last 5 years he’s worked on communications satellites in Pennsylvania. As of next month, he will be working on designing spaceships for a Seattle-based start up.

In the meantime, he is taking a slow trip across the country, with his brother and a friend.  It sounds like a Trip to Remember. From what I gather, the trip seems to be based a lot on food: crawfish in Mississippi. the best bbq in Austin. Mexican food in Santa Fe.

Perhaps you can guess where they were yesterday from this snapshot.

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I have to say this trip is nostalgic for me. I made the voyage 3 times when I was their age, and stopped in many of the same places.  The hole-in-the wall diners, the weird museums and tourist traps, chatting with locals…all remind me of a time and place in my own life. I hope they have wonderful memories that they will carry.

One difference, is the digital revolution. I can read their observations on their Facebook pages. Here’s a favorite one:

“The signs for Gallup, NM claim it was voted “most patriotic city in America” but the source was a Gallup poll so I remain skeptical.”

VIDEO: The Year in Review!

I want to thank all my clients who came in to have their portraits done in 2014! I’ve made a short 2 minute video with some of the highlights of a wonderful year .

The Year in Review: A compilation of the family portraits  … from a horse farm in New Vernon, to the beaches of the Jersey Shore, take a look at all of these beautiful people!

For more of my family portraits, visit the gallery HERE.

Looking to capture YOUR family in 2015? Don’t let the year fly by! Call 973-783-1065 or email the studio TODAY to schedule an appointment.

Is Leica out of their mind?

I was at the recent PhotoPlus convention at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. After spending the entire day looking at lighting equipment, photo albums, backdrops, and camera bags, I ended up at the Leica Camera booth. I was totally surprised to find my former assistant, Antonio DiBenedetto,  had just started as a rep for Leica. Leica, for those of you who are not camera aficionados, is the venerable German maker of extraordinarily fine cameras and amazing lenses.  The Leica was the classic Photojournalist’s camera from 1930 to the turn of the new century. I have a Leica CL film camera, which is one of my faves. It is small, lightweight and takes amazing photographs with lenses that are very different than Japanese lenses.

Leica still makes film cameras and has also moved into digital. The regular digital Leicas start at around $7,000 for the body alone.

Antonio took a photograph of me experimenting with the latest camera, and it is a bizarre machine. It is a special edition M60.  They are making only 600 of them, and its claim to fame is that the camera has NO screen on the back. It is being marketed to those who want to have a film-like experience, meaning, you won’t be able to look at what you just shot, just like with a film camera you couldn’t check out your image.

And, for this experience, it will only cost $18,500.

$18,000 Leica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Antonio DiBenedetto