Thursday, January 21, 2010

Getting the Shot with the Right Lens

Nikon’s AF-S DX VR Zoom-NIKKOR18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED is about the only lens I use anymore. There’s a good reason. If I’m walking through the market in Chichicastenango or Almolonga with a standard zoom, maybe an 18-70mm, and I need to switch lenses for a super close-up, I’ve probably already missed the shot.

The photographs I shoot are fleeting. A versatile lens gives me the ability to instantly decide if I want a close-up portrait with a narrow depth of field, or a wide shot showing activities in the background. Within a second, I can adjust the focal length and be shooting. If I want various focal lengths of the same scene, it's done in a snap.

If I knew in advance that I was only looking to shoot portraits, then it’s fine to use a long, fast lens. However, I have to give up anything that I see that doesn’t fit the capability of the lens.

By the way, the VR (vibration reduction) really does make the versatility of the lens shine through. There are other similar lenses out there. If it fits your shooting style, it might be worth a look.

Take a look at my website:

Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by Nikon.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Generosity of Photgraphers

The photographers I know are generous people. They have an appreciation for people and culture and things of beauty. It's part of what makes them photographers.

That's why it's time for photographers everywhere to show their generosity.

Ten dollars, fifty or one hundred dollars, whatever you can afford will make a real difference in the relief effort for Haiti. I've written my check. I'll be writing more in the upcoming months. I hope you will do the same. Please do it now instead of putting it off util later.

To make it easier, I've listed some of the relief agencies below:

The Red Cross.

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund

Here an article on Fox News about other places to send aid.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Photographs Are a Slice of Life

I shoot lots of photos. With each one, I try to tell a story.

The story is not always a long, detailed narrative. Usually, it’s a slice of life vignette. You see the photo, and in your mind you decide what it means. Mostly I shoot people portraits – the indigenous people of the Guatemalan highlands. Each photograph must convey a message. A caption under the photo may give you a broad understanding, but the frozen image must give you a deeper meaning. Hopefully, its made some sort of emotional impact.

Flower Woman in Chichicastenango, Guatemala

Tell a story with each photograph you shoot. Is it a slice of life? Does it make you want to know more? If so, you’re probably doing something right.

Woman in the Market, Chichicastenango, Guatemala

Take a look at my website: