Lines of Cars and Lights

I photograph a bit of everything.  I just plain LOVE photography.  There are very few subjects that don’t interest me in some way or another.  Like cars. Recently I took some shots at an annual car show.  I love the lines of cars and when you mix that with the reflections of lights you get all kinds for interesting forms.  Here are three examples.


This Jaguar is just plain gorgeous. I was shooting with a 50mm so getting the entire car in the frame was tough and probably wouldn’t have been as interesting.  The car was roped off but one of the guys on floor was nice enough to let me into the inner sanctum so I wouldn’t have to deal with the 100’s of people surrounding her.


I liked the symmetry of the car with the asymmetrical reflection of the light hitting the window.  The headlights, for me, are like eyes to her soul. In this case, they were dark and mysterious.

Aston Martin

There is so much symmetry here, even with the light around her emblem. The bonnet is strong and makes a statement.

Fewer wrinkles, thinner arms: TODAY anchors get Photoshopped

“Photoshop” – it’s become part of nearly conversation I have with clients these days (3 Penguins Photography). Can I? Yes. Do I? Most of the time, No! I, personally, like to capture real life. It’s what we look back at with fond memories. This is an interesting article. This topic seems to growing these days.

From Lena Dunham in Vogue to popular online videos, the difference between photo-shoot and Photoshop is becoming more evident. And with the rise of social media, there’s heightened interest in how images are manipulated — how you can go from a plain-looking photo to a glamorous cover shot.

There’s no limit to what can be done with Photoshop — the image editing program that whitens teeth and smooths away wrinkles, among many other features. As part of our Love Your Selfie body image series, TODAY anchors Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Natalie Morales decided to take a look at the process with Cosmopolitan magazine to show how much an image can be Photoshopped. See how the keyboard, mouse and tablet work. [read]

Koch Wedding Preview

Koch Wedding
A few weeks ago I had the great pleasure to shoot the Koch Family Wedding. This time a wonderful young couple living in SoCal. It was an intimate wedding with some family and their closets friends. More pictures to come but here are a few preview shots.

Why does your food look different in the advertising than what is in the store?

Why does your food look different in the advertising than what is in the store? The reality is – if the ads looked like the food you purchased, you won’t buy it. The truth is, A LOT goes into food photography and giving our clients what they want and need.

Okay, it’s from McDonald’s but I still think you’ll find it interesting.  Especially for those that seem to think that photographers just take pictures.  A tremendous amount of time goes into getting “the shot”.  Enjoy.


National Geographics Vintage Collection Archivist – Bill Bonner

If photography is important to you, then check out this mini documentary.

Bill Bonner presides over eight million images as the longtime keeper of National Geographic’s vintage collection. He’s a keeper not only of photographs, but memories—and he treats each like it’s the greatest treasure in the world.

Read more about Bill Bonner and his work:

There is more to a photography than pressing the shutter button

Screen shot 2014-02-07 at 3.36.57 PMThere’s so much more to photography than pressing the shutter button.  The more you learn about photography the more you will discover how truly complicated it is.  Professional photographers will invest a lot of time, money and other resources in order to learn their craft, their art.

Granted, today’s cameras are pretty amazing.  Even my 9 year old can take a decent photograph – the key word is decent.  A great photograph – not so easy.

Came across this video from architecture and interior photographer Mike Kelley.  If you’re interested in photography this is a good video about some of the realities of photography, even if you’re not interested in architecture.

KNOW your camera, what every button and setting does. KNOW light. KNOW composition. It takes time and lots of practice.

Fstoppers Original: Mike Kelley – How To Photograph Twilight Images from FStoppers on Vimeo.

Just fix it in post

CC-Before-AfterAs a teacher I often hear, “I’m not worried.  I’ll fix it in post.”   Can you really fix it in post? It depends. If you’ve overexposed your shoot there’s not information to fix.  If you’ve underexposed it, you do have more information but your quality will suffer when you attempt to “fix it”.

What if you were doing a family shoot and one of your subjects happens to blink?  Most likely you will have multiple shots. You can choose the overall best one and hopefully swap heads with the blinking offender.  Those things happen and we take multiple shoots to ensure we get a good one.

But, what if, as the photographer, we are just lazy?  We know that the shot is not right but we take it anyway because of your “we can fix it in post” attitude? This is bad practice.  The time you spend editing in post is money out of your pocket.

In the case of the photo above, I was contracted to fix a poorly shot photo. This project was for a major catalog retailer so the gradient background and blueish-green tint wouldn’t fly.  There were a total of 48 photographs to fix.  Money well spent but my point is, it shouldn’t have reached the point where I was hired to fix it. (Note: if you do have shots like this, call me – I’ll gladly fix them for you).

Shoot it right the first time – that’s the lesson to be learned here. Don’t reply on post for mistakes that are easily taken care of when you shoot.

And one more point while we are here. From clients I hear, “Can’t you just Photoshop it?”

Yes, I can Photoshop it – are you willing to pay for it? Photoshop has become a term that is thrown out far to much in photography today.  Personally, I won’t Photoshop out your kids braces – you’ll regret that one day. If you press me hard enough I may Photoshop your wrinkles but then please don’t come to me and tell me that the picture no longer looks like you.

For me, as a professional, portrait photography is about documenting, about freezing a moment in time. Photoshop can be a great tool but let’s not get carried away with it.


A Day In Shoreline Village – Long Beach

I’ve never lived IN Long Beach but lived near it since 1971.  It’s gone through incredible transformation over those many decades – some good and some . . . . . not so good.  In my opinion it’s on the upswing.  Here’s some photos from Shoreline Village that I took. It’s a great day to spend a day.