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Video report on the Philadelphia Flower Show using my iPhone 4 and reeldirector. Some problems managing audio mixing, but an otherwise interesting effort.

Springtime In Paris

Lisa picked up a neat deal via Living Social for a couple of nights at bed and breakfast in Elkton, MD. During this trip, I started using Trip Journal, an app for the iPhone (and other phone os’s) and have developed a really high opinion of it. Here’s a link to my trip journal:

Trip Journal

The good folks at Sigma have asked me to help spread the word about a student scholarship contest they’re running. Here’s a copy of the press release they sent me:

Sigma Corporation of America now accepting Scholarship Contest applications

High school seniors vie for $5,000 cash prize, $1,000 in photography products

Ronkonkoma, NY, Nov. 30, 2010 – Sigma Corporation of America is currently accepting photo and application submissions for its second annual Scholarship Contest. The contest, which will award $6,000 in cash and photography gear, is open to all high school seniors who plan to pursue a photo-related career.


Applications for the contest are now being accepted through Feb. 28, 2011 via the Sigma scholarship website. Students interested in entering the contest must submit between three and five photos that are thematically tied. These photos must also represent outstanding image quality, a concept that is the foundation of Sigma Corporation’s commitment to the photographic industry. In addition, students must complete an essay of between 300 and 800 words that describes their creative process in shooting, selecting and editing their photos.


Students pursuing higher education in industries such as photography, photojournalism, graphic arts and design, visual arts and art history are eligible to apply, and each submission will be judged on the creativity of the subject selection, overall technique, and image quality.


“The images submitted in our first scholarship contest exhibited a high level of skill and passion which was a true pleasure to see,” said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, general manager of Sigma Corporation of America.  “Our support of these talented young photographers has been confirmed and we very much look forward to seeing what this year’s competition will produce.”


Sigma’s first Scholarship Contest winner, Jamie Russell of Cheektowaga, N.Y., submitted a series of photographs depicting poverty in her hometown. A total of 122 students competed in the contest.


A public, online vote will be held from March 1, 2011 until April 1, 2011, and the top five vote-getters will become finalists. Sigma executives will then choose the Scholarship winner; the winner will be announced on April 18, 2011.


For information about the Sigma Corporation of America Scholarship, eligibility, the application process, material submissions and a formal list of contest rules, visit  For information on Sigma Corporation of America and its lensescameras and flashes,


About Sigma Corporation
For nearly 50 years, Sigma Corporation’s expertise and innovation has driven the company’s core philosophy of “knowledge, plus experience, plus imagination,” with an emphasis on producing high-quality, high-performance photographic technology at moderate prices. This family-owned organization is the largest, independent SLR lens manufacturer in the world, producing more than 50 lenses that are compatible with most manufacturers, including Sigma, Canon, Sony, Nikon, Olympus and Pentax. Sigma Corporation also produces digital SLR cameras and high-definition digital compact cameras. The company is headquartered in Japan, with offices strategically located throughout Europe, Asia and North America. For information, please visit

I’m posting this here because it’s the fastest way I have of getting the word out. I’ll also be mentioning it on facebook and will see if we can do something with it on



I’ve created a web gallery of images of Stephanie at

These photos were created with the Olympus E-P2 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1.

Images are NSFW btw.

Attended a really cool meetup last night. For those of you aren’t familiar with the meetup concept, it’s one of those things that wouldn’t be possible without the affordances of the internet. Meetups give people of similar interests a way to connect with each other coordinate activities. There are many meetup groups on the web (check out to see what’s in your area).

Last night I joined up with an established meetup organizer, Kat and her Fortress of Solitude studio in Northern Philadelphia. I was one of about a dozen photographers working with four models and some helpers to create painting with light and ghosting images. If you’re not familiar with these techniques, stay tuned. I’ll described the process in another post later today or tomorrow (Easter get together with the family may serve as a distraction). I’ll also be bouncing back and forth between blogs since many of the shots we made last night are NSFW and I’m trying to keep my MFT blog SFW at least in part because I’m using it as a teaching tool as well as a blog.

Photo information: (Left) L Lawless, Panasonic DMC-GF1, f16, 12 seconds, 100ISO, Olympus M.Zuiko 14-42 lens at 42mm, helpers standing behind waving rope lights, model also illuminated from the front via a studio strobe. (Model: L Lawless,

(Right) Stephanie Beattie, Olympus E-P2, Panasonic 20mm 1.7, f16, 15 seconds, 200ISO, camera mounted on tripod, model illuminated by a low power video light (for video camera) and painted with a flashlight. (Model: Stephanie Beattie:

Getting out for my first shoot in a while tomorrow. This one’s through a meetup group in Philadelphia. the subject is painting with light and ghosting and I’ll be shooting a mix of nude and non-nude images. The key theme will be long exposures and models who are carefully illuminated via carefully controlled lighting.

Meetup groups offer a nice option for photo enthusiasts because they bring together people of common interests for events of mutual interest. In this case, the meetup organizer has lots of experience running these events and so takes care of a lot of the details (setting up the space, finding models, etc.) making it much easier for the participants to concentrate on what they want to do.

I’m playing with some ideas right now, including having a model toss a flash unit up in the air during the exposure while I fire the light remotely. We can experiment with colored gels on the flash unit too.

Check back in a couple of days and I’ll post some images from the shoot.

My wife, Lisa, using the E-P2 with microphone adapter and stereo microphone.

I’ve created a second blog to focus on my work with Micro Four Thirds cameras such as the Olympus E-P2 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1.

One reason for this second blog is as a teacher I often want to send my students to my blog, but am hesitant because of the subject matter I cover on this one (photographing nudes) and would prefer to have a separate blog that’s more appropriate for this audience. The other reason is that I’d like to specialize a bit on just this one type of camera and the photographic possibilities. I’m still going to try to post to this blog too.


I haven’t been here in a while since I’ve been busy teaching and writing another book, but my goal is to start blogging again soon. This shot is a test photo from my cell phone and the WordPress app for my Android OS cell phone. I wanted to see if I could upload a photo and make a blog entry from my cellphone and sure enough, I can. It’s fascinating what this technology offers us and I’m at the point where I think call it a “cell phone” isn’t the right name anymore. Whatever we call, these portable communication tools are simply the most amazing technology of my lifetime (and I’m in my 50s).

Back from NYC (can you say EXPENSIVE!!!!) and Photo Plus. Here are some impressions:

Small continuous LED lights are being pushed as a new light source for still photography. This does make some sense when you consider that the newest crop of DSLRs includes models that offer high quality video capabilities. These LED continuous lights are small, light and powerful and can be used for both still and video photography. An added bonus is that the photographer can judge the light rather than trying to visualize it, a boon for  novice photographers. I’m trying to get my hands on one or two of these for review purposes and will keep you posted on how that goes.

Another big area of interest at PhotoPlus was output. All sorts of vendors were displaying some form of Photobook offering. Some were typical online efforts, while others offered some way for the amateur photog to create their own books or higher end products designed for wedding photographers.

Light modifiers of all types were also in abundance. This isn’t all that new though. This category has been big for years now as photo enthusiasts have learned the value of improved lighting. Still, every year somebody’s coming out with some kind of creative new option to modifying light.

Over the next few months check out my Brighthub articles to see reviews of many new products.

I’m going to be covering the Photo Plus Expo in NYC Thursday and Friday for Since Brighthub’s interested in stories with a long shelf life, I’ll be able to provide news announcements and opinions here while sticking to reviews and big picture event stuff at Brighthub. 

I currently have meetings setup with 8 or 9 manufacturers and will be visiting the booths of quite a few more to see what gear they’ve got in the pipeline and also to see if I can get my hands on some pieces of equipment for review purposes. 

It should be an interesting few days.