An apple-picking good time


Photo by Joe Newman

I spent last weekend in New Jersey for a portrait session with my sister and her extremely photogenic family. I was inspired to concentrate on portrait photography after attending the GPP London photo seminar last month.

Speaking of which, my copy of Gregory Heisler’s new photo book, 50 Portraits, arrived last week. Amazing. Heisler was one of the four photographers who spoke at GPP London. If you’re interested in portrait photography, you definitely should pick up a copy of his book — not just because he’s a super nice guy and talented photographer but because he actually spends a lot of time in the book talking about the techniques he uses and the thought process behind his shots.

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Making portraits is a change of pace from the HDR landscape kick that I’ve been on for the past few months. I really enjoy shooting landscapes but I’m not sure it’s helping me become a better photographer.

When you’re shooting landscapes, there’s plenty of time to make sure your settings are right — you usually don’t have to adjust on the fly. And as I mentioned in my last post, I tend to use HDR photography as a crutch since I don’t have to worry about getting the exposure perfect in the camera. Not when I know I’ll be heavily processing the images later to get the look I want.

For my trip to Jersey, I packed my speedlights, umbrellas, backdrop and stand, all of which I set up in my sister’s basement. But the picture of my niece at the top of the post was actually taken with available light, despite my having brought along an off-camera flash and mini-soft box.

I’ll probably post a few from the basement photo session later this week.

Photo by Joe Newman.

Joe Newman

I'm Joe Newman, multi-media story teller, non-profit do-gooder, international street photographer, serious poker player, intrepid traveler. Bourbon drinker.

  • Satu VW / Destination Unknown

    November 15, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    I love that image of your niece and I’m now checking out that portrait book… Only thing is that I have way too many inspiring books waiting to be read on my night table & kindle….

  • Satu VW / Destination Unknown

    November 15, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Okay. Just checked it out. Gonna make my order immediately… AMAZING stuff!!

    • Joe Newman

      November 16, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      You’ll love it, especially his descriptions of each photo shoot. Some real interesting insights.

  • […] While I’ve been a serious hobbyist for a couple years and  have worked with multiple speedlights and diffusers, I had never used monolights. I had never worked with a model before and I had never shot photos in a studio (unless you count the makeshift backdrop I set up in my sister’s basement). […]