© 3 Penguins Photography

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

When photographing families, especially families with young children, I find myself reminding the parents – “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” (Pun intended).  Most people are not comfortable with having a camera pointing at them, even more so young kids. There are those “hams” that love to show off and have fun but, it’s not the norm.

This shoot took place late in the day and even though I knew these kids somewhat, one wanted to showoff and have fun and the other just wanted to go home.  No problem.  I get it.  The moral of the story is that I will still get the shot.  Maybe not exactly as planned but I will get the shot.

© 3 Penguins Photography

You can see by this shot that the little may not have been at her happiest but it still turned out to be a great shot, in my opinion.

Father and Daughter

Here comes daddy to rescue.  A few tickles and we had her back AND got another great shot of her.

Mother and Daughter

Now mom got a second change with her beautiful and happy girl.

Kardemark Family

Kardemark Family


Brother and sister out for a stroll.

Mom and Dad

When all was said and done, we got a great shot of mom and dad.

Moon Shot

f8 - 1/160 - ISO 400

f8 – 1/160 – ISO 400

A couple of nights ago, while walking into my kitchen I saw this beautiful moon outside my back window.  It was dusk, slightly hazy and the moon hung just above this leafless tree.  I had to get the moon shot. What you don’t see in this shot are the rooftops of my neighbors homes, for which I’m glad.  I was able to frame the shot without including them.

Not wanting anything to change, I didn’t have time to get my tripod and set it up, work out my exposure, etc.  I grabbed my camera out of my bag, which already had a 100mm lens on it,

Square Crop

Square Crop

took some rough readings and shot about 15 frames with very slight variations.  The winner turned out to be the shot above, shot at f8 at 160, ISO 400.

Color Version

Color Version

I converted the image to B/W so to add to the drama of the moon and a seemingly dead tree. I also did a couple of different crops to vary the feeling a bit.  My only regret, yes I have those as well, is that the moon was bit too close to the tree.  It would have been, IMO, a slightly stronger photo is the moon took up a bit more of the negative space to the left.  I could have easily moved the moon using Photoshop but I had two issues with that.  First, it wouldn’t be integrous. I know, I probably could have argued ‘artistic license’ but NO!  Secondly, upon looking at the image longer I began to appreciate the emptiness to the left.  It says something of the night.

There is one other version that I did publish, and that was a square (1×1) version for Instagram.  I do like the square version but, it also reinforced that, again, I really like the negative space.

Rainy Morning at School

You Must Have A Really Nice Camera

Professional photographers often talk about a regular, back-handed compliment given to them. It’s given to them by well-meaning admirers of one of their photographs or their work.

“You must have a really nice camera.”

Good, or professional, equipment does make ones work/art more convenient or even easier to create but, the camera is just a tool – like a brush to a painter, a pan to a chef, or a guitar to a guitarist.

After a fine meal would you compliment the chef by stating, “you must have some really nice cookware”? Granted, they may have but a professional chef could make magic with a tin can if need be.

My point is, don’t focus on the equipment, rather, focus on the artist behind the equipment.

Again, there’s no disputing that good equipment does make a difference. As photographers, knowing what our cameras are capable of and how to use them is invaluable. This is one of the key items I teach in my classes (photography lessons).Kodak Instamatic

As you can see in the photo above, which I think is fairly nice photo, it was taken with a phone. It’s not what I shoot with in professional settings but, the best camera you can have is the one that you have with you at that very moment. The focus is on the capture, not the equipment.

My first camera was a Kodak Instamatic 110, with flash cubes. It took terrible pictures, quality wise, but it trained my eye. I had to have a good eye in order to make a terrible camera take good pictures.

Next time you see a nice photo, compliment the photographer not the camera.

Joe Randeen :: 3 Penguins Photography

Black and White or Color

Black and White or Color?

After you take a photograph you many find yourself faced with the following question: black and white or color? Each type can create a completely different emotion or convey a differnt message to the viewer.

A couple of weeks ago I took the following photograph of a young boy in front of a brick wall with a painted sign on it.  It’s a nice photograph, warm, conveying some attitude on part of the boy despite the fact that the sign next to him states, “drop on it.”

Drop On In Color

The sign on the wall looked much more vintage that what this “color” photograph could convey.  Plus, this boy is wearing crocks with blue socks and a modern t-shirt.  I wanted a more vintage feel so I converted it to black and white. What do you think?

Drop On In - black and white

Albeit, the photo doesn’t look totally vintage, but it does certainly convey a different message and emotion from that of the color version. It takes the focus away from the blue socks and crocks and brings the majority of focus back to his face and the message, “drop on in.”

Color vs Black and White

Here’s another example: a wedding party in front of a graffiti wall.  Do you see how “different” the emotion that each version conveys?

Challenge: Take a look at your photographs and see what they would look like in a black and white version.  You may like it better.

Joe Randeen
3 Penguins Photography

Perfect Smile or Perfect Moment?

Family Portraits - Cousins

Stealing Grapes

Perfect smile or perfect moment? I’m not your classic portrait photographer in that I would much rather capture the real moment, which tells a much more interesting story than the perfectly posed photo.  Don’t get me wrong, there are situations where a perfectly posed photo is called for but for most family portraits – real trumps perfect pose.

The picture on the right is of cousin sitting on front steps.  I had the posed up, smiling – everything was looking good.  I brought the camera down from my face and said we were going to take a short break.  That’s when the magic starting happening.

The sharing of grapes, actually – the girl was stealing some, was the money shot.

What started off good ended up GREAT!


Patel Rohan

The above photo was shot by my fellow photographer (and daughter) Sydni.  This young man waiting for his time with the family, for their portrait session. He’s an incredibly patient and kind young man but you can tell he’s nearing the end of his energy.


This young man was far too tired to deal with a photographer. Dad stepped up, put him in his lap and we were able to capture a moment in time that a posed photo could not afford us.


Just a few minutes ago these two men became ‘family’ as there kids just got hitched.  They were so happy so posing them would not have been a huge problem.  Probably would have got a really nice shot but I think this picture, more candid, tells a but better story.

As a photographer, spending time with those I shoot is the best part and it’s during those times where the best photos are captured.

Let’s spend some time together!


The Ultimate Panorama – Mont Blanc

Take a look at the In2White project, which is an astonishing panoramic photograph of Mont Blanc.

Altitude: 3500 meters
Images: 70,000
Gigapixels: 365Temperature: -10°

The Concept

How to celebrate Her Majesty the Mont Blanc?

We just wished to represent it as it shows to our eyes : major beauty, astonishing magnitude, pure elation.

We were brave, crazy and ambitious enough to think about a gigapanoramic picture, to seize every single detail of the mountain.
We are Filippo and Alessandra, passionate of mountain, beauty and photography: here’s our concept, our tribute to the Mont Blanc.

But we were not alone in this challenge: we built a Team of dreamers and passionates from all over the World, that shared with enthusiasm our same vision and embraced our project.

Best partners, best technology, best result: the highest high definition panoramic picture ever taken now is available for you.

Enjoy it and be part of our dream!


On mothers, cancer and zombie photographers

This morning I read a wonderful article by photographer Olivier Duong. Please take a read, it will inspire you.

Plato said “The unexamined life is not worth living” and it’s a quote that is pretty deep. It’s the reason that you do something, the “Why” of things that separate living people from zombies.

Your purpose in photography……What are you trying to do with your images?

If you don’t have a reason for your photography, you won’t fight for it, because deep down you probably don’t think it’s worth a damn. [read Inspired Eye]