Archive for exposure

The Reluctant Bride, Groom & Photographer

Posted in FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2011 by cliffmichaels


Back in June of 2008 I shot the wedding of a long time client. He and his bride were both in their eighties. It was a lot of hard work. Between the shoot itself, the post processing and putting together a wedding album,  I spent over twenty-five hours on the project.

While I enjoyed much of the experience, I vowed to never do another wedding. The requirement of shooting on a fixed schedule (which I could not control), and the necessity of taking the typical classic photos which held little artistic potential (cake cutting, groups shots, etc.) left me feeling the reward was not worth the effort. So, never again…

Last weekend we travelled to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to attend my nephew David’s wedding. Well, it wasn’t really a wedding. He and his bride Mary had eloped several months ago. When the bride’s family found out they went ballistic and insisted David and Mary have a properl wedding ceremony. For the sake of family tranquility, the couple reluctantly agreed (the groom’s mother, while less insistent than the bride’s, welcomed the chance to arrange the wedding).

“David and Mary would really like you to be their wedding photographer,” my brother Pat told me a couple of weeks ago. “they really can’t afford to pay anyone.” I knew that was true; the bridal couple had little money to spare. “They saw the book you did for me of photos of David playing water polo and thought it was really great.” Several years ago David’s Michigan State club team had come to Knoxville for a meet and I’d used it as an opportunity to play with my new 300mm lens. As a gift for Pat I’d created a Blurb book of the best photos.

What could I say?  While doubting his sincerity, I was swayed by my brother’s flattery and I agreed. I arrived in Michigan with two camera bags crammed with stuff, including my Nikon d50 and the newer d5000, but with only the vaguest plan of what I was going to do.

The d50 was in my bag because my only fast lens, the f/1.8 50mm, has no focus motor and on the d5000 it must be manually focused since the camera has no focus motor either. The d50 does. The same was true for my cheap 300mm (although I doubted there’d be much call for that long a lens).

The wedding was held in a lakeside park about twenty-five or so miles outside Grand Rapids. We got horribly lost. Both our Garmin GPS and Map Quest directions turned out to be wrong and took us to the wrong side of the lake (what does it say about us that we believed the computer rather than my brother who has lived in Michigan for thirty years?) We didn’t arrive till ten fifteen; the wedding was scheduled for eleven. Everyone of consequence was already present and the bride and groom were too involved in preparation and there was no chance to shoot any candid shots.

Of course the building was dimly lit inside, with dark, wood paneled walls and glaring large window. This left me with the choice of using flash during the ceremony or using the 50mm on the d50. My attempts to use the relatively slow kit 18-55mm lens on the d5000 with a tripod proved comically inept when my flimsy and cheap Walmart tripod suddenly collapsed without warning a few minutes into the proceedings. I shot everything after that with the d50.

After the ceremony I had planned to switch back to the D5000. I didn’t. The 50mm lens is so incredibly sharp I stuck with it – and the six megapixel d50 – for all of the family and group shots. I did switch back to the d5000, with a Nikon slow 55-200mm zoom for the relatively handful of candids I shot outdoors of the bride and groom (in hideous high noon sun).

In any event, I guess I can now claim to be an experienced wedding photographer with two weddings to my credit. You can be the judge of my most recent efforts.

The most delightful part of the experience was shooting the bride. As you can tell from the set, I was more than captivated by her athletic beauty. Here’s my (so far) favorite photo of her…

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Getting High

Posted in FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2011 by cliffmichaels

Flickr photos of the highest mountain on the Planet…


Photo by Travellertheworld , subject to this creative commons license

Photo by Philip Milne, subject to this creative commons license

Photo by James C Farmer, subject to this creative commons license 

Photo by Andy Hares, subject to this creative commons license 

FLICKR GROUP: Everest Images

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Three Sets by Edwin de Jongh

Posted in art, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2011 by cliffmichaels

 EDWiN DE JONGH, a photographer in Holland, has a keen eye and a fresh compositional sense. Here are three of my favorite sets of his –






Here’s his website

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Around the World

Posted in art, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2011 by cliffmichaels

Daniel Cheong is another one of those damn Flickr photographers who makes me want to cry. He’s that good. His photographs are stunning, excellently composed, with fascinating subjects and glorious color.

From Helsinki to Hong Kong, he has photographed the entire planet (well, it seems that way…) HDR can make a good photo wretched if not used wisely. Cheong’s a master; his  HDR images  are true works of art.

A few more of his exquisite sets: architecture, portfolio, and Malaysia.

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Umbrella Man

Posted in art, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2011 by cliffmichaels

This afternoon I posted to a Flickr landscape group a rather ordinary landscape I’d taken with my now retired Nikon D50 back in December. As I was commenting on some of the better shots in the pool, I ran across one by my favorite Flickr photographer, Patrick Smith. His work will let you see a whole new, and breathtakingly beautiful, world. His unique landscapes are past perfection (many faved more than a thousand times!). What little I know about landscape composition I learned from Smith. His photostream is a true master class in photography.

As I viewed some of Smith’s more recent photos, I ran across this shot of an intrepid photographer braving the crashing waves on the California shore armed only with an umbrella. Naturally, this led me to the Flickr site of this brave, if percular, photographer, Jared Atencio. His ‘stream, like Smith’s, is first rate, filled with one jaw dropping landscape after another. Strangely, Atencio has no sets for me to link to for you. So here’s another of his great landscapes, and another, and another

Atencio’s photos are, as I said, great. His lengthy, well written, short commentaries on those photos are equally excellent. Each is wonderfully funny, unpretentious, and informative. The explanation of why he was carrying that odd umbrella in the Smith photo is here.  This pithy tale of a day gone wrong rings so true (except I never, ever end up with a shot like his…)

One of my better landscapes…

Finding A Few Fiendishly Fine Flickr Photographers…

Posted in art, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2011 by cliffmichaels

There are thousands of very good photographers on Flickr. The problem is finding them among the millions of us ordinary shutter snappers. This morning I found an extraordinary photographer quite by luck. I logged onto my Flickr Home page. For some reason, Flickr put two or three names up as people I might know (I knew none of them).  On a whim I clicked on the top name in the list and was taken to a marvelous photostream.

Licht~~~~’s work is skillful and beautiful (with an quirky sense of humor). Here’s one of his finer photographs. His roses and macros are worth viewing, too.

If you are determined to find some of the brightest stars in the Flickr galaxy a fine place to start looking is in a group like 100+ Faves 1-2-3. My 10,000+ photostream has exactly two photos with more than one hundred faves (here and here). Pretty pathetic... I’ve picked three photographers from the 100+ group who are all great:

Think you’ve got to have a snooty DSLR to take really good photographs? Check out Ben’s photostream to see why you wasted you money on that Nikon D3x. This gorgeous landscape with over 500 faves was shot with an Olympus point and shoot. This set of photos taken in Laos is chock full of wonderful shots.

Just about any of us pedestrian fotogs can snap a pretty fine photo of snow capped mountains or brilliant sunsets. Antonio Ramos, can capture a marvelous image of a spoon and a bowl of seafood soup.  His single set amply reveals his fine eye for the beauty in ordinary things.

Finally, Londoner Miss Angela combine lovely nudes with an offbeat style and subtle  visual social commentary. This wry fashion shot is delicious. Each of the forty images in this set has been faved at least 600 times…

BONUS! Acampm1, one of my forgotten contacts, is a delight. Enjoy this set of his most faved (here’s a true masterpiece).


Posted in FLICKR, photographers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2010 by cliffmichaels

God, how I hate this month! Cold, grey, rainy… Just terrible. I haven’t taken a single photo outdoors this month. Not one. I call myself a landscape photographer. I know for some photographers the winter offers magnificent opportunities. Not for me. I want something green in the picture (and I don’t want to wear a fur lined parka just to venture into the mountains…)

So, since I’m not shooting anything, I’ve created a Flickr gallery of the kind of wonderful landscapes I wish I could do:




One of my own…