The Haddonfield House

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It’s not often I get the opportunity to shoot a great property in Haddonfield NJ. Most of my work is in Burlington County. As of late, I have been picking up work well outside of my normal territory. This particular property is a beautiful 3 story located in Haddonfield and it is something to see! It was built in the 30’s and the last owners poured their love into it for nearly 40 years. Their loving touches for this house are evident in every corner of every room. It truly was a joy to shoot (Did I ever tell you how much I love my job!!)

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Just having a bit of fun in B&W

old barn 02_a I was out shooting a project for a client when I came across this old barn. It felt as if I may have photographed it years ago in B&W with my technical camera using the Zone System. The beauty of digital imaging is how we can treat every shot as if we’re shooting with sheet film.

The Zone system was designed to be use with sheet film. Every shot needed it’s own exposure and processing. The processing of a Zone System negative requires it’s own development time, agitation style and developer. Ansel Adams designed 5 different developers, know as “Beers developers”, for his films and papers when he created the Zone System. It was this knowledge of how each film and/or paper, could be exposed and subsequently developed in each of the 5 developers, that made B&W photography the art form that still is. Use of the Zone System is how Mr. Adams was able to manipulate the dynamic range of any scene to fit on his choice of films. Weather the scene was greater than or less than the films dynamic range, using the Zone System helped the him and all photographers create an exceptional negative and obviously a great print.

Anyway, this old barn put me back to the days of sheet film and the Zone System.

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The second in this series

This is a very unique house and Southampton New Jersey. I was asked to photograph it by by customer that has been with me for a number of years. This house has a number of exceptional features however, the backyard pool is something I’ve never seen. The greenhouse over the pool can be rolled back to expose the entire pool for the summer, and then pushed forward to cover it or inclement weather or winter. This can all be accomplished by one person. It just slides very, very easily even though it appears to weigh several tons. Needless to say it was a blast to shoot and even more fun to edit.

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Southampton House

Southampton House

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Back to blogging again

First I’ll take this opportunity to apologize for waiting so long to post a blog. It’s been one extremely busy season for me.

I’m going to post two properties that I was fortunate enough to shoot. I have so much more to post that I’ll have to probably post two at a time just to get caught up. I really have been very fortunate to have been asked to photograph so many truly wonderful properties.

First project,  I was asked  by Estate Weddings and Events to photograph Cobble Close Farm . Cobble Close Farm is located in Red Bank New Jersey, one of New Jersey’s most beautiful towns located on the cost. Cobble Close Farm is an exceptional estate. Some shots were more difficult to capture than one may think.The bridge or stone hall was somewhat dark and needed a bit of work to get it to look just right. Of course all my images require a number of layers to complete but the covered stone bridge was a combination of several layers including layers with artificial flash added. It was a joy to shoot. You can see some of those images below.

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Cobble Close Farm

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1/2 priced head-shots anyone?

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A while back I hosted a head-shot event. Now I’m thinking a repeat of that event. Let me know if you’re interested in an update to your head-shot. It’s half price after all!

Some of you may not know that I started out as a portrait photographer. There is a lot that goes into a good portrait besides posing. When preparing to photograph anyone, the photographer has to consider the shape of the face. The human face can be oval. round or even somewhat triangular. Also, some faces are symmetrical and others are not.  Each needs to be lit and photographed in a way that gets that persons message across to the viewer. There are several types of lighting technics one can call on. They range from split lighting, Rembrandt lighting,  short lighting, butterfly (looks like flat light but it’s not), and glamor lighting, just to name the basics. The background used also impacts the over all look of the portrait and needs to chosen carefully. Unfortunately today, most mass market “picture takers” use a flat lighting set up. I suppose it’s simple and easy and their employees are minimally trained.

With all that said, the most important considerations for good portraits, are the purpose of the image and just who is it being photographed!  The CEO or CFO wouldn’t be photographed the same as a talent head-shot and talent head-shots are very different from say, a realtor head-shot which are still different from lawyer head-shots.

Each image has to tell the viewer something about that person. That “something” can be very different with each situation.

So you can see that capturing good portraits is more than just asking for a smile and pressing the shutter release. It takes quite a bit of consideration, a lot of lighting knowledge and then there is, style. Every good photographer has his or her own style. Not just the visual style but also the working style. Did that photographer cause you to be relaxed or tense? Did he or she draw out your personality or just snap away in hopes of getting something acceptable! Was your time in front of the camera enjoyable or just plain awful? (But that’s another whole different conversation…)

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Unique modern architedture

Recently photograph the really interesting property. I thought you might be interested in saying it. Was built in the 1980s and has almost no 90° angles, as you would see in a normal house. It’s custom-built home and was designed so as not to see the neighbors that were current the time. As you’ll see from some of the images below, it makes for very interesting rooms and very interesting façades. It was really a lot of fun the photograph.

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Yet another night shot!

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Well, looks like night shots will very popular this year.

I’ve been asked to shoot yet another night shot. This is another very beautiful house. Interestingly, I photograph this house twice so far, for two separate realtors, over the past four years.

Very much the same procedures as the last property I posted. I took several shots throughout the time of twilight. Again, used a layering technique rather than HDR software. For those of you who are wondering, the front façade night shot below, Fleming’s restaurant, is an example of a sunrise twilight shot. Unfortunately, the manager of the restaurant forgot to turn on the sign above the door. It took several minutes for me to paint in the sign. I had to guess at the colors.

The large shot below it of the cityscape, is a photograph I processed with HDR software. I prefer to use NIK software, HDR effects or the newer version HDR effects Pro 2.So you see, I’m not totally against HDR software. HDR software does have its place, but as I said I use it sparingly.

Night Shots:

woodsfield_at_night_sizedRecently a client requested a night shot of a rather beautiful property. Night shots are always dramatic and, in my opinion, all buildings look best at night. The night shot can be tricky to get right. As with many photography projects, the photographer needs to be patient. I’ll take several images throughout  twilight, (twilight can be either morning or evening.). After I get home to the computer, I’ll chose 3 to 5 of those images to merge via layering.  It takes a bit of time and effort to get right, but the resulting product is worth it.

**(Note on HDR: I do use HDR software at times, but very, very sparingly. HDR software can yield a surrealistic appearance and render strange looking colors. I have found it to be a look that some clients do not like.)

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