Yearly Archives: 2010

Last weekend, a couple of friends and I made the trip to Boulder Colorado to participate in a workshop led by the incredible Tyler Stableford.  To say that I love his work would be a huge understatement.  I can’t remember in which magazine I first saw his work, but it was a few years ago, when I was just stumbling into photography.   If you haven’t already clicked on the link above, you owe it to yourself to spend some time perusing his site.  It is amazing.

What I wanted to get out of this workshop were some tips on working with clients and models, some of his processing secrets, and maybe some great shots.   But Tyler was so great about taking time to understand where each of us were as photographers and encouraging us to push that boundary.  For me, that meant thinking much more about the story that my image composition tells, how each element in an image either enhances or detracts from that story, and developing a process for arbitrating the two.  If you cannot already tell, I loved it.   I got so much more out of the weekend than I anticipated.  And I’m planning to attend Tyler’s next workshop in Arches National Park!

  • Kathy Chappell

    Can’t help but shake my head and simply say….AMAZING, and that still doesn’t give what I wish I could say justice, because words sometimes just can’t convey the emotion evoked from such images, but that is what my limited vocabulary can come up with…breathtakingly beautiful images.

  • Thanks Matt. I appreciate your feedback….especially when it’s positive!!

  • Dana, your shots are amazing. Mind blowing. That one of the runner striking the ground coming toward you is epic. well done!

This weekend I met and photographed New Jersey-based recording artist Ant Grant and his producer, Tomas Ramos. Thanks to Akintayo Adewole, one of my closest friends and Creative Director of Akande Music, for making the introduction. Ant is a phenomenal subject and an even better guy.  After the first couple shots, it was obvious he had done it before. In addition to being a recording artist, Ant is an actor, and was immediately comfortable in front of the camera.   I could write a lot…a whole lot…about what I learned on this shoot. I experimented with shooting into the sun with high speed sync, was saved a couple of times by my new Lastolite diffusers/reflectors, pushed my flashes to the limit on a rooftop in 90-degree weather, stood on the ledge of a 5-story building to gey an intersection into the background, wished I had brought water (several times), pined for a Hoodman Loupe so that I could see my LCD in the blazing sun, fell even more in love with my 24-foot ETTL cable, and was VERY thankful that I bought the third set of 4 rechargeable AA’s.  Actually, there’s a lot more that I learned on the photography side, but the best part of the day was meeting Ant, Thomas, and their manager, Darren.  Yesterday was a timely reminder of how good it feels to be surrounded by like-minded Black males who are as passionate about their art as I feel I am about photography.  A fantastic day.  I’m looking forward to doing it again.  And Ant does smile…I have pictures to prove it.


  • Wow, the photos turned out great man.

  • Great work bro you are truly awesome man it was a lot of fun working with you. The time will come when we will be doing this on a major level and we’ll get back together like it’s nothing man all fun and jokes while creating a master piece…

  • That sun flare, third image down?


    BEAUTIFUL work.


Lighting geekery alert:  I don’t typically get much into how I took a certain shot, but the mood struck today.  Over the weekend, I received what I think will become one of my favorite accessories: a 24-foot long “off-camera” ETTL cord for Canon flashes. Basically, this means that I can place a flash that is hard wired to my camera over 20 feet away from me when I’m shooting. I didn’t even know they existed until Syl Arena mentioned it at a workshop I recently attended.  So, for this image…I shot with a Canon 5D Mark II on a tripod & a Canon 24-105 Lens at 35mm, f/4, 1/200s, ISO 640.  The key light, a Canon 580 EX II,  was connected to the 5D hotshoe via the new cable and attached to a light stand at camera left, approx 12 feet from the subject. The key light was also gridded, gelled with a 1/2 CTB gel, and half-snooted (to prevent the wall from being illuminated by the key light).. all with Honl flash accessories (also worth their weight in gold).  The key light was manually fired at 1/4 power.  A second 580 EX II, gelled with a 1/4 CTO gel, was placed low, camera right to create the shadow on the wall and fired manually at 1/132 power.   The whole thing took about 15 minutes of shooting and a little tweaking in Lightroom/CS5.

  • Mar

    Awesome! No words

    (and I do not understand anything pass Mama said…)

  • Johanne, I have one of those, too. But at $60 from FlashZebra, the new 24′ cord (which is not coiled like a telephone cord) really is a steal. They tend to drift out of stock pretty regularly, I’m told.

  • Johanne

    I *love* it. I bought a 2-foot flash cord. Except it was built like a telephone wire, so the effective distance was maybe 1 foot. By the time I’d used it for one session of trying to stretch it longer than it could reach, the hot shoe housing broke (on the cord). I’ll have to look into this 24 foot thingy; gotta be cheaper than a pocket wizard.

This image of a woman lit by votives was taken in Stephansdom, a cathedral in Vienna, Austria. Although I was a bit conflicted about disrupting her moment of reflection and invading her privacy, it clearly wasn’t much of a deterrent. I took this image about 18 months ago but didn’t really think much of it until I was doing some image library housekeeping (which is never-ending) this weekend. Yet another example of something that really appeals to me now but not so much back then. Or maybe I’m just rationalizing the fact that I’m horrible at deleting images that clearly won’t ever see the light of day.