Wednesday, December 31, 2008

As the year ends...

Here is a link to a slide show put together by NBC. This beautiful display of images shows a relatively good example of the major events that took place this past year.

Be save tonight and Happy New Year

Monday, December 29, 2008

More HDR Portraits

I revisited some portraits I shot this past year. I worked some HDR magic and then some and here is what I came up with.

Child on bike Final Some of you may remember seeing this photograph as a black and white image. I shot this in Provincetown Mass this past summer.


Watching the wales final

This is also a familiar portrait from a few posts back. Applied HDR and a few other processes and came up with this.


A woman sitting on a bench in Provincetown.

woman on bench final man with guitar final



A free man sitting on the corner of Freeman Street playing his guitar.  Provincetown, MA       


wade 3And3more

Portrait of a man on the corner of a street. Ran this through photomatix as a rest-run and chose to leave the “photomatix” words on it.


A landscape photograph of Cape Cod at sunset.

Cape cod hdr Final

3 Trees at Night

8:35 pm and I am standing in a field. The lights from the car barely draw enough light on the foreground to see the three trees. I mount my camera to my tripod. Open the shutter up, holding the flash in my other hand. I pop the flash repeatedly,  like a god throwing lighting down from the heavens.  Behind me, cars passing slow to watch as the middle of the field is lighting up with dozens of flashes. After a few moments I shut the shutter and the flashing comes to a stop. What I am left with is a photograph of three trees that I frequently drive by. Each season brings a beautiful composition that these three trees are a part of.

Jess s trees

Pleasant St, Northampton

The eve before Christmas Eve I had a few hours to spare. So, like most days I have free time, I packed up my gear and headed to Northampton. There is this coffee shop on Pleasant St that always peeks my interest. The window fogs up and makes a very interesting composition. I parked my car. Walked to the coffee shop. By the time I got there the SUV that was in front of the shop was now gone. I was thrilled! I finally had a great angle to shoot from and a plenty of space to work. Not being cramped between the bumpers of two cars made me happy. Just as I set my tripod up another SUV pulls up. I was standing in a parking space. Tripod all set up. Camera in my hand. Facing the store front and side walk. Could it have been more obvious what I was trying to accomplish. The owner of the SUV stepped on his gas pedal, the tires spun in the slush as he moved forward about a foot in a half. Ignoring his pathetic attempts to move me I placed my camera on the tripod. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see him slowly creeping forward. Growing increasingly irritated the closer he came. I grabbed my tripod and bag and moved forward onto the sidewalk. I turned, gestured for him to move forward while saying, “by all means take the damn spot, I’m not working on something here.” I placed my bag and tripod down and stood there waiting for him to get out of his SUV and walk away. I was waiting for him to leave so I could get between his space-hogging SUV and the other massive SUV in front of him. But, this man never got out his SUV, he sat there for less than a minute before he tore out of there in a blaze of idiocy. So, happy once again. I set my tripod up, aligned the shot, pressed the shutter, and fired away. After a few minutes, a few shots, some adjustments, I set the exposure needed to do a set of HDR shots. Here is the Coffee shop as I saw it on the Eve of Christmas Eve.

Toned Coffee shop hdr resized

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

Have a save and Happy Holidays.

Happy Holidays

Holyoke in the snow…

Friday just after the snow began I took a quick drive down Jarvis Ave and parked at Heritage State Park. It was cold and wet and I didn’t have long to photograph the snowfall before my camera would start to freeze up.

Pano of canal

This canal system provided power to numerous factories that once used to thrive here in Holyoke. Now the canal system sits dormant waiting for the chance to once again to be utilized for its ability to generate energy. I, as well as many other photographers and artists  find tremendous compositions lining the canal system.

Pano of High St

This photograph has a good deal distortion in its composition. But, I think it a certain visual element that would other wise seem relatively plain and boring if it wasn’t apparent.

Tree on High St

A silhouetted tree on High St. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

HDR Portraits

 Brendan in HDR 3

Brendan in HDR 2

Winter Wonderland

Friday I took a quick stroll through part of Holyoke. I started at Heritage State Park and went up towards City Hall and made my way back. It was cold, wet, snowy, and made for some good photos. Here are two that I shot. I will have more to come later in the day.


Snow Storm 08 (3)  Photos of Holyoke (14)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Fashion Photographer

I am always seeking out the greatest photographers I can find. I love stumbling across photographers that I feel more people should see and know about. One such photographer is Tom Munro. You can see his out-standing and very impressive photographs at

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Light meters: A must have in your camera bag!

Here are a few light meters that I suggest you have space for in your camera bag, box, or storage space.

Sekonic L-208 Twin Mate - Analog Incident and Reflected Light Meter $99.95

Sekonic Meter B&


Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III - Analog Incident and Reflected Light Meter $179.95

Sekonic meter 2 B&

A light meter is a good accessory to  have in your bag. They are a necessity to evaluate the light in your subject to make the best possible exposure. A tool every photographer should be using unless you have the ability to evaluate light on your own and make the correct exposure.

Light Meters on B&

Unique Camera Strap

Back in April I was shooting with a group of friends in Province Town, MA. One of the photographers I was with had this very interesting camera strap with him. It went over his should and clipped around his waist. I thought that a strap like that could be very useful when you’re moving fast and still trying to shoot. After some research I have found a company that makes them.


The RS-1 strap  $44.00 by


The only difference between the person I knew who had one and this one is that there is no waist strap for a more secure locking system around your body. The benefit of a strap like this is that it wont put pressure on your neck, it goes over your shoulder and stays close to your hand for easy grabbing, as opposed to being directly in-front of you, and that in case your bumped of stumble while you are shooting and it slips out of your hand, your camera will fall gracefully to your side and not hit the ground in a devastating and tear-jerkingly-painful moment.  Add this to your list of products that I recommend.

Camera Bags

I have been searching for the right bag to fight my camera, extra battery, possibly an extra lens, and a card reader for when I am out shooting on day trips. Also I am searching for a bag that can hold one pro model D-SLR as well as my D-SLR and a few lenses. I have have a bag now that I have used for a number of years but have recently out grown with all the equipment I am starting to carry. I have found a very nice bag that can be slug over your shoulder, can hold a D-SLR as well as two lenses, a flash and has a little wiggle room for a few extras like a spare battery and a card reader. For those of you are unfamiliar with Tamrac, here is the bag I am considering.


This bag fits comfortably on your back and over your shoulder. The impression I get when I see it on someone’s back ( like in this picture) is that if you needed to run, jog, or sprint with this bag on your back, that it wouldn’t bounce or move around so much.

Here is the link to this specific bag.

Tamrac Velocity 8x Pro Sling Pack

Similar Tamrac sling bags

I do not have nearly enough equipment yet,  for a bag that is this large.


However I would recommend it to someone who is traveling and has enough equipment that a bag like this is a necessity. Personally I would get a hard case that is similar in design but is more rugged and could with stand a few hits or bumps, so I wouldn’t have to worry about any damage to my cameras and lenses.

Ideally a bag like this would be good. The draw back though, personally I wouldn’t want to be meeting with a client that I am about to shoot with or a working on a shoot and be seen carrying a back pack. However, a back like this would be great for traveling, day trips, walks/hikes in the woods and transporting your camera, lenses, laptop, and other equipment in your car or truck. A bag like this can also hold your tripod and or monopod on the back of it.

Link to this bag.

Tamrac 759

Tamrac is just one of many photography, video, laptop bag companies that are around and have a product that can meet the needs of photographers of all sorts, from amateur all the way up to  professional, Tamrac has a product that will meet your needs.

Tamrac Bags and Packs

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fellow bloggers...

Tis the season to be so busy that our blogs can fall short of the post sizes or amount of posts we'd like to have. This past week I met with a friend/blogger who also agrees that its been a little tough in getting out the posts that we want. I have been looking for a few new resources that will allow me to have a faster and easier work flow. Blogger has been great to me, but being a photographer, my posts usually consists of numerous photographs. I have found an easier way to place photos in posts, work off-line, and save my posts to upload to lenshare at later time. I suggest using this very powerful editor, or at least give it a try.

Windows Live Writer:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Nikon Users I recommend....

Most of my friends and colleagues are shooting with Nikon Cameras. But there are a few friends of mine, I hate to say this, cough cough, gulp, that are shooting with a Canon. Now on to the good stuff. After talking to a few of the Nikon users I have referred them to get a copy of one of these books. Inside every box comes a little manual. This little manual gives you a very brief look at what your camera is capable of. I recommend picking up one these manuals below. These manuals give you a comprehensive look at your cameras functions and capabilities. They suggest accessories to use with your camera as well as give you insight into more dynamic approaches to using your lovely Nikon D-SLR. I have recommended these manuals to several friends, Now I am suggesting that you take a gander at one and see what you can learn. And yes, you Canon users can find a book similar to these, sitting right next to the Nikon section on the shelf. One thing that I did not see was a manual for the D90. But, I speculate there will be one out very soon, if not already in some stores. As I did not see one on the shelf of Barns and Nobel when I shot this with my cell phone.

An eye opener.

One of the biggest things that I try and feature on lenshare is different aspects of photography that people might not always get a change to see, read, view, or know about. Every once and a while I come across something that makes me stop and think, damn, this really needs to be on lenshare. Take a moment and read this brief but very impacting story that I have provided a link to.

This story shares both sides of the some times very hurtful position that photographers and people can be put into while shooting certain situations. I like to make photographs that capture human emotions. But, at what cost does making a photograph come, when it is documenting someone at their worst moments in their life? This is a question I have face a few times in my career. Never the less, the story above gives a great point of view from the other side of the camera. A story that I am very thankful for having read.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

HDR Ice storm

This past weekend parts of Massachusetts got hit with an ice storm. Some of the areas that were afflicted sustained some serious damage. These were shot Sunday evening. The ice accumulated Thursday night during the rain we had. Leaving the towns hit with a winterly scene. Blandford, MA is where I shot these. When I was there shooting I could smell the sweet aroma of fresh cut pine trees and other various trees that took out power lines and roads. I could still hear chain saws buzzing as people were eagerly trying to clean up the mess left behind.

Study of a Bicycle part II


Last week I made a post with these two photographs. Post can be seen below. While I was walking through Northampton last week on my way to meet some friends for dinner, I noticed the bike rack was empty. Since I had made this post, the bicycle that was chained to the bike rack had since been removed. I would say this concludes my "study of a bicycle."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Nikon kind of Christmas

If you are looking for the perfect camera to give that special someone this year, here are a few ideas. Starting with a great little point and shoot by Nikon.

Nikon CoolPix S550. In-stores it goes for$199.99. I have seen the price drop to $149.00 with a 4gb memory card. This would make a great gift for someone who want a digital camera for the every day pictures and memories. Home to 10 Mega pixels.

Nikon S60 would make the perfect gift for that special person that loves the latest technology. The S60 features a touch screen and a moderate 10 mega pixels. Priced at $349.95

Nikon D40 the first in the D-SLR series. This great little camera is the best gift to give to the amature photographer you love and care about. This camera is home to 6 mega pixels. Priced at $499.95 this camera comes equipped with all the right spec for the learning photographer to further seek out their abilities and learn all the basics of what D-SLR's have to offer.

Nikon D60. Finally we come to the last of the recommended cameras for Christmas. The D60 has 10.2 mega pixels and rings in at $649.99 This camera is for a more serious photographer. It is perfect for an upgrade of the D40, if that photographer in your family or heart is ready for something more serious. Anything above the D60 would be a Christmas gift, birthday present, and an anniversary gift, and second Christmas gift.

Other last minute gift ideas that are great are, Tripods, flashes, external hard drives, memory cards make great stocking stuffers (High speed 2 gb or 4gb are pefect).

Tripods to give,

Slik makes a few good tripods that I recommend. Priced at $100.00

Nikon SB400 Perfect flash to go with the Nikon D40 or D60. Priced at $99.99

Give the gift of Nikon this Christmas. You will surly make someone happy, which will in-turn make you happy.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Joe McNally

Like myself Joe McNally is also a Nikon user. Joe McNally is an outstanding photographer who teaches how to use a Nikon SB900 lighting kit as a great source of lighting. I came across his work, sites, and amazing photographs from a great site that discusses different forms of lighting for photography.

Joe McNally

Radio Popper

New product: Wireless remote transmitter and receiver for firing your flash or strobes.
Here are two websites that feature the new product. The first one is where you can find all the information needed to purchase it. The second one is from a blog that I follow.

May I suggest?: Annie Lebovitz

Actually, I much rather make a suggestion. I, strongly suggest that you stop what you are doing, rent, buy, or borrow a copy of Annie Leibovitz's, Life Through a Lens. This documentary will give you in-sight into the life of Annie Leibovitz, an Iconic photographer that is undoubtedly as famous as the people she photographs. If you are unfamiliar with the name, don't be to alarmed. I can guarantee that you would recognize her photographs in a heartbeat when you see them. Here is a link that gives a biography on Leibovitz. I suggest reading it as well as seeing the documentary. If you were to ask me why I would suggest seeing it, I would have to say, because it is important to understand why and how someone of her magnitude produces photographs that are both inspiring yet iconic. I would also have to say that she is one of the greatest photographers both living and working today. Plus, seeing this documentary will allow you in-sight into her methods of producing the images we see daily and will give you a stronger sense of appreciation of her photographs. I myself love her photographs. And when I found out she spoke 3 days before I was in Boston last week, I was very upset. I would love to have sat in the same room with someone of such status and photographic genius.

Annie Leibovitz's Biography.

Do you want to....

Saturday afternoon I took a drive up to Northampton. It was getting very late in the afternoon to be shooting. I had purchased a Nikon film camera the day before while I was in Boston. I wanted to test it out in a place I love to devote my time and energy to making photographs. After I finished the two rolls I had with me I was walking back to where I had parked. Northampton has a problem with homeless people pan-handling for money on the streets. This one particular person asked me as I was approaching if I had could give him some change. I hardly ever have change in my pockets. What I did have though, was my camera in one hand and the strap around my neck. The next thing I heard both shocked me and sparked some curiosity. "Do you want to make a photograph of someone dying on the street?" This one statement both evoked an emotional response as well as gave me a visual idea that mentally I was able to compose. I entertained the idea of turning back and offering the $10.00 I had in my wallet to him, if he would pose for me and pretend he was dead and laying there on the side walk. But, being annoyed at the rudeness of this man the idea quickly subsided and I made my way back to the car.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New Product

I always try and find new and interesting products to feature here on Lenshare. Here is something that I came across that can be very useful for a lot of traveling professionals as well as people that may have a need for it. I can think of numerous reasons why I would need a car lap top mount that also transforms into a camera tripod. If you are a photo-journalist who carries a lap top or shoot on a remote location or need to give your client the work you just shot immediately than this is a good product to have in your car. There are a number of creative purposes for using the tripod in the car.

Ebay site:


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

10,000 and going strong

Lenshare launched in June 2008, this past summer. The first month or so was very slow in bringing in traffic. Since then Lenshare has grown rapidly. Lenshare has hit 91 Countries and has just broke the 10,000 hit mark. Lenshare's success is dependent upon its dedicated and loyal followers and readers. We would like to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to view the photographs and read the articles that are found with in our pages.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Nikon News

Nikon News: The next purchase I will be making is the Nikon AS-15 and the PC Synch cord. My Nikon D80 does not have a slot for the PC sync cord, however this can be easily replace by attaching the AS-15 to the hot shoe that sits on top of the camera and plugging the pc sync into the AS-15.

Nikon AS-15
Nikon PC Sync Cord
Nikon D3X
Last week while I was photographing an even with a friend of mine, an active Nikon user like myself. We had the chance to watch a fellow photographer shoot with a Nikon D3. The camera and photographs he captured were simply amazing. Sitting next to me now on the front page of a local paper are the photographs
that were shot with the Nikon D3. Having been blown away with the Nikon D3. I was even more blown away with the New Nikon D3X.

This camera is one of the best Nikon D-SLR models that have ever been released.
This camera packs a massive 24.5 mega pixels. The highest of any Nikon to date. A full list of
specs and features can be found at
The price tag for this super model of Nikons is set at $7999.95. Every penny spent on this camera is well worth it with the quality that it will deliver. Not for an armature, this camera is meant to deliver top of the line professional images.

HDR Feature: Greg Saulmon

Greg Saulmon is constantly surprising me with his outstanding HDR Photographs. Greg doesn't label himself as a photographer, but I think he deserves the title with the quality of work he is putting out and the creative methods he uses to produce his HDR Photographs. I remember Greg telling me he wasn't sure if he could justify the purchase of the HDR software that he is currently using. He was unsure if he would even use the software often enough to think the purchase was worth it. Well, I am glad he went ahead and made the purchase, because every time I see Greg's photographs I am blown away at the compositions he composes and then builds into an HDR masterpiece.

Unlike most photographers using pricey D-SLR cameras, Greg is out there shooting with a Canon PowerShot A530. This camera is only putting out 5 mega pixels. Another outstanding method he is chosen to do, something most HDR photographers wouldn't be found doing, is, he does not use a tripod to produce his photographs. Greg shoots "3-6 separate exposures" with out a tripod. He shot each of these with the assistance of the ground (the pigeon), fences (the shot of memorial bridge) or walls (the chain-link fence, Court Square) Greg's creative methods separate him from other photographers doing similar work. In order for him to produce each photograph he has to first be able to stabilize his camera without a the assistance of a tripod by finding a means to keep his camera steady in order to make the desired amount of bracket exposures. He believes that"A tripod obviously gives you way more flexibility (and stability) in framing a shot; but, when I'm shooting informally, I kind of like relying on luck. It makes the shots that really work seem that much more satisfying." I agree with him on this.

As far as software the software he uses, he gets very creative using photomatix and photoshop to produce the final image. "For editing software, I first merge the exposures using Photomatix. Then, a lot of tweaking. Photomatix is great, but it has some quirks. I've found that, in some cases, it'll add a lot of noise to neutral colors -- especially water and sky (and especially if you've radically under-exposed any of the shots). The strength, light smoothing, micro-smoothing and luminosity controls are a very delicate balance here. Another quirk: I've had almost no luck getting good shots that involve vivid sunsets. Everything I've tried ends up looking like a pile of melted crayons."

"Once I've got the Photomatix adjustments where I want them, I save the photo and re-open it in Photoshop. Another Photomatix quirk: the light smoothing and micro-smoothing process seems to add a pretty significant blur. Sometimes it's ethereal and pretty; other times, it just looks out-of-focus and bad. Running the unsharp mask filter in Photoshop usually takes care of that. For this shot of Memorial Bridge, I also sharpened using the high-pass filter, just to see what would happen. One last trick: in the Court Square shot, I tried to deal with the noise that had crept into the sky by 1) creating a duplicate layer; 2) hitting that layer with the dust / scratches filter to blur it; 3) masking that layer and 4) using the eraser to reveal the blurred (and much less noisy) sky. I think it worked OK as a quick fix."

I admire Greg's photographs and find his creative methods to be very inspiring. Greg has fully embraced his ability to create HDR photographs and has been able to find the best possible compositions in which to apply his processes. I hope you look forward to seeing more photographs from Greg, as we are always happy to have him as contributor here on Lenshare.

Words by Jeffrey Byrnes and Greg Saulmon. Photographs by Greg Saulmon, photographed during his "break-time walks around Springfield"