The Sensor Plane Photography Podcast: Episode #5

In this episode of The Sensor Plane Photography Podcast, I wanted to discuss subject isolation as a creative technique. Getting those creamy smooth backgrounds isn’t as hard as you think, especially if you have the right gear. I find that even when shooting landscapes, sometimes it can be nice to soften the background a bit.

My favorite lenses for shallow depth of field:

For the money, you can’t beat these choices:

Click here for an audio only version (mp3 format)

Making that older Mac Pro zippy

After a long wait, Apple has finally produced a new Mac Pro workstation. While these machines are no-doubt awesome, they are clearly designed for hard-core video production. They offer not only the fastest processors, but dual GPU graphics cards. The most significant feature of the new Mac Pros is its size. They are very small. Gone are any internal storage or expansion options. There is one internal drive, which is flash-based (SSD). There are no PCIe expansion ports. This machine is tiny, but it means you’ll need to utilize external storage options for your data; either via USB 3 or Thunderbolt (there are no eSATA ports on the new Mac Pro).

Despite delivering what I’m sure is a fantastic machine, I’m not quite ready to drop $3500-$4000 into a new computer and then have to spend additional money to migrate my existing internal drives into external enclosures. My 2010 Mac Pro is a robust machine, and one reason why I got it was its expansion options. I’m able to add PCI cards and more memory into my existing machine. With that in mind, here are a few upgrades I did that significantly improved my overall computing experience using Lightroom and Photoshop. Continue reading

The When and the Where in Photography

As someone who does a lot of outdoor/landscape photography, great locations are important to me. Being in a photogenic location is a wonderful way to experience the outdoors. However, when you photograph a location can be just as important as where you are. The “when” of photography occurs on multiple scales. Within a day, within a year, and even across years. Consider one of my favorite locations to photograph, the South Dakota Badlands.

If you visit the Badlands like most tourists, you’ll arrive at a nice time during the summer after you’ve had your morning coffee. By this time of day, the sun is nearly overhead, and you’ll get photographs like this one:

Door Trail in the Badlands, as most tourists see it, well after sunrise.

Door Trail in the Badlands, as most tourists see it… well after sunrise.

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