Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Boat House

The Boat House
Originally uploaded by UpstateNYPhototaker
I had a chance to take a quick boat ride on Galway Lake after work today. The ice went off the lake sometime within the last few days. This is the earliest I can ever remember the ice leaving the lake. The weather was overcast, the temps were in the low 40s on the lake and I couldn't be happier to be on the water again!

I was hoping to get close enough to get some shots of the waterfowl that was coming back to the area but was not stealthy enough with my oars that creak like old floorboards and my rowboat held together with fiberglass patch and spare sheet metal. I did manage to see some bufflehead, mallards, common mergansers, hooded mergansers and more Geese than I have ever seen in one place.

The water was calm and this mustard yellow boat house with a beautiful reflection looked nice against the drab background. Hopefully this weekend will afford me the opportunity to get some shots.

This one was shot with the 80-200 F/2.8 - @ F/7.1, 1/160, 92mm (kinda random settings, I know)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

After playing with my dog last night I decided to walk the banks of the Alplaus in Charlton. I was mostly looking for signs of spring and while it felt that way in the air there was still a lot of ice and snow clinging to the banks. I managed to get this shot, a 3 shot HDR (-2, 0 +2) without any ice or snow in the way. Hopefully it won't be long before the fiddle heads have appeared and some color can be added to the landscape.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Rock Soccer

Rock Soccer 1
Originally uploaded by UpstateNYPhototaker
Does anyone have a black lab that can't get enough of rolling a rock around at a feverish pace? He rolled this rock up a hill the other day and left it in the yard. Today he "kicked" the rock around the yard for about 20 minutes. He must have moved the rock about 150 yards in total around the yard. He usually does this in the water and gets very agitated with the rock. It is quite a site to see. I have never seen another dog take so much interest in playing with a rock.

These shots were taken with my Nikkor 80-200 F/2.8. I should have jacked the ISO to at least 400 and these would have been much sharper... next time.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Cheap Wedding Photographers

Cheap Wedding Photographers

This video has been passed around the net now quite vigorously. The majority of the reaction to this video seems to side with Judge Brown's ruling. One popular reaction I have read seems to be the opposite of that reaction:


I am not even remotely a professional photographer. I have never shot a wedding. Had I shot a wedding, I certainly would not have been doing so with the Sam's Club kit lenses this woman was. Assuming the scenario portrayed in this video is a real one, my reaction would be somewhere over towards Judge Brown's side but with the need for more information than what was given in this 10 minute clip.

Judge Brown is clearly in control of his own show and dictates the pace and the treatment of the complainant and defendant. He didn't let the defendant get a word in edge wise. It would appear that Judge Brown has a decent knowledge of photography and showed enough to be able to bully the defendant and allow the uneducated audience to think he was an expert. He by no means showed me anything that would get me to believe he was an expert. He threw around some buzz words and regurgitated the first few chapters worth of knowledge from any basic photography book. He certainly seemed to be more knowledgeable than the defendant.

The defendant in my mind is clearly not in a position where she should be offering her services as a professional photographer. A professional should be aware ahead of time the restrictions in the upcoming shoot and prepare accordingly. To go into a church like setting without a 70-200 f/2.8 type lens or at least a 50mm F/1.8 to me is absurd.

I have some major concerns with drawing any conclusions from this video. It would appear that the plaintiff was in error (or lied) in stating where she met the photographer. The viewer never really learned where they met or what type of portfolio was shown to her when they decided on the specified rate of $1300. If the plaintiff did not meet her at a bridal show, but rather out of a penny saver, that would change the story quite a bit. If the defendant is advertising her services at a wedding show based on what I heard from her in this video, that is a problem. I also could not get an exact representation of the photos that were shown in the video. From what I could see in the video, I have seen wedding photos taken that looked a lot worse, were taken by people that were probably paid more, and that made the bride and groom happy!

The biggest defenders of the photographers seem to want to point out, that the camera doesn't make the photographer and that you can shoot a wedding just fine with a canon Rebel. I do not doubt there is absolute truth to that (I have never shot with a Canon Rebel). Put a Canon Rebel in the hands of Joe McNally and he could certainly shoot a good wedding. However, Joe McNally would never shoot a wedding with a Canon Rebel (or a Nikon D3000). There is a reason professionals use professional equipment. Besides portraying professionalism, better equipment allows true professionals to do the job better and more efficiency. In this case, the photographers choice of equipment seems to correspond with their skill level and low level of professionalism.

Unfortunately, based on some of the comments I have read, it would seem that if the defendant looked more like the plaintiff and the plaintiff more like the defendant, opinions may have been more favorable towards the photographers.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Zenfolio is an image hosting site that I use in addition to Flickr. Flickr is more of a social photo sharing site and Zenfolio is a site used to market your photos. Zenfolio allows you to set your own prices on a variety of products, including but certainly not limited to prints and digital downloads.

I chose Zenfolio mostly because of their partnership with the online photo printing outfit Mpix. Mpix is an excellent, ultra affordable and professional photo printing outlet. Their metallic prints are great!

Please check out my Zenfolio site and let me know what you think!

Stephen Matthew Photography