This site has moved to another blog called, ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY. There will me no further posts to this site. The new site will continue so show my regular shooting progress, but will also contain other topics on photography, such as hands-on equipment and software reviews, historical information on photography, and much more.

When it was set up, the DAILY STOCK SHOT PROJECT was supposed to be a one year project. Last year I extended the project another year due to the popularity of the site, but now it is time to move on.

If you wish to continue following, please visit my new blog at ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY and save it as a new link.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

I am spending the New Year's Holiday weekend in a log cabin on the edge of the woods, which is where I took this sunset photo with the Nikon D7000 and Sigma 8-16mm lens used at 8mm  The scene reminded me of Thoreau and his famous quote: "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

Friday, December 30, 2011

The color and contrast in this set of nature images was enhanced by the low position of the winter sun.  I took the photos as part of a long term stock series that I call "Patterns of Nature".

This photo and the one above were taken with the Nikon D7000 and 40mm macro lens used wide open at f/2.8.  The image below of an Eastern Water Snake was taken with the Nikon 16-85mm zoomed out.

I ran across this freshly cut tree in the woods and used the Fuji X100 in close-up mode to capture the graphic pattern of the rings and the crack. In this series I seek to establish a strong, central focal point in the image and allow the composition to radiate outward from it.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I found this little sprout growing in the bottom of a flowerpot that held a large plant at the hotel where I am staying.  The plant was placed near a window so I was able to photograph it back lit with the Nikon D7000 and Nikon 40mm macro lens.  You just never know when a stock shot opportunity will present itself, which is why I carry a camera with me almost all the time.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I took this photo while hiking in Pennsylvania.  It fits in with a nature series of images I am doing on the transition from late autumn to early winter.  The lone fallen leaf floating on the water contrasts with those leaves that have already fallen to the bottom of the lake.  I used a polarizer filter to cut through the surface reflection of the water and reveal the leaves below.  This was taken with the Nikon D7000 and Nikon 16-85mm zoom lens.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I took this photo on Christmas Eve but was not able to process and upload it until now.  It is a Christmas tree against a starry sky, taken with the Nikon D7000 and 16-85mm zoom at ISO 1600.  In this small size it is difficult to see the stars, which are much more apparent when the image is enlarged.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A real New York deli pastrami sandwich -- photographed with the Fuji X100 in macro mode and ISO 800. This deli makes the best corned beer, and pastrami sandwiches in all of New York.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Empire State Building is currently lit up blue and white for Hanukkah.  This photo was taken just after sunset to preserve color in the sky.  Nikon D7000 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.
While waiting for the building lights to illuminate the Empire State Building for the top photo, I captured this street scene with a hand-held Nikon D7000 fit with a Nikon 24-70mm zoom, and set to ISO 1000.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

These images were created in Photoshop to serve as festive, holiday, stock photo backgrounds. The base image is a photo of blurred lights over which I laid a series of stars of all sizes to give the impression of falling snow.

...and of course while I was at it I did a number of variations.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Today we did a studio stock shoot with two models, a little girl and a woman who played her grandmother.  Here are a few of the many situations we photographed, all about relationships and the passing on of knowledge from one generation to the next. 

Notice how in each of these situations our studio stylist carefully color-coordinated the entire scene matching the background to the foreground and to the clothing on the models.  All of this was carefully scripted ahead of time so on the day of the shoot we can move rapidly from one scene change to another.
My primary studio is set up for daylight shooting with windows surrounding two sides.  The day was very overcast so I needed to boost the ISO to 800 and sometimes to 1250.  This allowed for a fast shutter speed and made it easy to hand hold the camera without blurring the image.  I usually work with fast aperture Nikon lenses and use them fairly wide open in order to keep the story-telling aspect of the background soft so it will not impose itself on the main scene.

In an overcast situation it is important to balance the light to keep it from going too cool.  For this we include a gray card in every situation.  One click on the card in Photoshop Bridge balances the scene for daylight.

In simple situations such as these, it is very easy to wind up with static shots. So I always try to have the models actively engaged with each other to give the photos a warm spark of reality.

My camera of choice for this type of shooting is the NIkon D3s for its superiority in low light, its ability to focus quickly, and its super fast motor -- all of which allows me to capture that one moment in the scene when the situation comes alive and looks spontaneous.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I took this photo with available window light in the studio using an assistant's hand and an old, rusty wrench we had in the prop room.  Later, I desaturated the color and added and old photo look in Photoshop.

Monday, December 19, 2011

This series of Christmas themed close-ups are intended to be used as backgrounds for commercial design projects.

The photos are all monochromatic with a simple, story-telling area in focus and the rest going soft.

All images were taken with the Nikon D7000 and Nikon 80mm macro lens with a wide open aperture.

Friday, December 16, 2011

I found these river rocks while out shopping today and brought them home to do a spa concept photo by combining them with a tropical leaf.  I did several versions starting with the one above, which is a simple treatment on a white background.  The holes in the leaves echoes the shapes of the stones.
For this version I darkened the background, and added the wood surface and water drops.  Both images were taken with the Nikon D7000, 80mm Nikon macro lens, and soft window light.  In further variations I added a candle but felt it was becoming to complicated.  There is a smooth, slick feeling in the stones and leaf in the top version that has me leaning towards it as my favorite.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

This is a time lapse video clip showing the view of a New York City sunrise from my studio window.  We set the camera up before leaving for the day so that it would take the sequence from 6:00AM to 8:00AM in 7 second intervals.  It is comprised of 999 jpg images taken with the Nikon D3s and 70-200mm lens.  My favorite part is at the end when the reflection of the rising sun crawls up the Empire State Building.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

This photo was a team effort -- the stylist made a suggestion that led to placing the little tree off to the left; I took the photo; and the studio retoucher added the falling snow.  Photographed in the studio with a Nikon D3x and window light.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A fun shot of a group of Statues of Liberty in a tourist shop using the Fuji X100 set to ISO 1600 and f/5.6.  The Fuji is a champ at low-light-level shooting.  There wasn't even a need for post-processing noise reduction in this 1600 ISO shot.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Olives, one of my favorite foods, which is why the props were disappearing faster than I could shoot them when I did this olive photo session over the weekend.

All the photos were taken with available, backlit window light and soft white fill cards from the front.

The camera for all photos was the Nikon D7000 with the 85mm Nikon macro lens.  The aperture varied from f/8 to f/16.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

In this images I was striving for a concept of riveted attention.  To achieve this I envisioned a pinpoint focus on the pupil of the eye with a plane of focus picking up some of the eye lashes and the glasses, while everything else was out of focus.  Coming in this close with the Nikon 105 macro, even at f/5.6 the depth-of-field was extremely shallow.  Shooting from the side instead of straight on emphasized the shallow focus and rendered the right-side background completely soft.

Friday, December 9, 2011

On the way to the studio I stopped to pick up this small Christmas tree because I knew  this model was coming to the studio and I wanted to do a holiday shot with her.  The weather was clear, and this time of year the sun sets early.  We went to the roof of our studio where I took this photo.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's that time again to start doing the annual Christmas stock shots.  This year I decided to do some in a darker style.  This close-up was taken with the Nikon D7000 and Nikon 85mm f/3.5 macro lens.  The background is out-of-focus Christmas lights.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The idea for these photos came to me during a tasting of Italian wines this past weekend.
I saved the corks and made this composition.  Both images were shot backlit with a tungsten light on the Nikon D7000 and Nikon 60mm macro lens with a wide open aperture.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I set out to do a series of still life photos in a style reminiscent of the 1950's & 60's.  After I finished this shot my next set fell over and broke the prop I was going to use so I called it quits for a frustrating day.  Sometimes things just don't work out.

Monday, December 5, 2011

This year I have been photographing autumn in its entirety from the first turning leaves, through the peak color, and into the final throws of color and decay.  Here are some shots I picked up on my morning bike ride through the city.

When riding a bike, I like to have a compact camera outfit.  In this case I knew I would need a very long lens to reach the tops of trees and isolate the last individual leaves still clinging to the branches.
All photos were taken with the Nikon D7000 and Nikon 70-300mm lens.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A model we had used many time before is pregnant with her second child and came to the studio for a photo shoot.  She brought along her other son who is pictured here in a spontaneous expression looking up at his mother.  Photographed backlit against a curtained window with the Nikon D3s.  At this time of year the sun is very low in the sky and streams into the studio so I was able to use an ISO of 200 and still shoot comfortably handheld at f/4 and 1/320 second.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Here's another conceptual still life image addressing global financial concerns.  It was shot with a ring-light strobe on a Nikon D3x.  I kept the subject a little off to the right with the pig looking left, thereby leaving space for someone to add type. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This was a fun photo to take.  A single Nikon SB-900 flash was placed to the right and behind the match.  I wanted the flash to light both the match and the smoke.  A silver reflector card kicked in some fill light from the left.  An assistant lit the match with a lighter and I timed the shot to go off as soon as the flame spread sideways because I wanted a horizontal image with interesting patterns in the smoke filling up the frame.  This is the result after twenty attempts. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I did a number of conceptual still life photos in the studio today.  This one of a feather was lit with both daylight and tungsten.  Color was balanced for the tungsten falling on the feather.  This rendered the feather pure white, while the daylight hitting the background went blue.  Everything in the photo is pure white.  The color differentiation was achieved by mis-matching the light sources.  I use this technique a lot, even -- to a lesser degree -- in the photo of the pennies below.
This macro shot of two old pennies was taken with the Nikon 85mm tilt-shift lens fitted with a close-up filter.  The lens was tilted fully forward and the aperture set for f/40 to achieve maximum depth-of-field and detail.

Monday, November 28, 2011

These images were shot on Agfa Scala, a black & white transparency film that is no longer made.  The film was very sharp, had an very wide tonal gradationation, and showed very little grain.

I shot the photos with a Leica IIIg camera and scanned the transparencies on an Epson V750 Pro scanner.

Although Scala film gives a rich black & white tonality, as in the top photo of the 1951 Nash automobile, I did add a warmer, platinum-type tone to the bottom two images in post-processing.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Over holiday weekends I enjoy getting away from my commercial work to spend some time with my collection of old cameras. The photo above of the Empire State Building and the one below of the lamp post were both taken on film with the Leica I that is pictured above in the masthead for this blog, and also shown at the bottom of this post. Scanning the negative in color mode gave a sepia tint to the images.
Sun light was streaming in from the right and I knew it would flare dramatically with the older, uncoated lens.  When shooting film where you do not have the instant gratification of reviewing shots, you just have to hope things work out the way you plan.
This is the camera I used for the photos above and the oldest 35mm camera I have, a 1930's Leica I, Model A with a fixed 50mm Elmar collapsible lens and accessory rangefinder.  I had this camera restored to complete working order and still use it for photography.