Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Product Spotlight: Senior Albums!

I'm so excited to show off my latest photo product offering for high school seniors! This new album, the Playbook from Finao, is exactly what I have been looking for. The prints are gorgeous, the pages are the perfect thickness and the overall feel of the book is just right. You can choose from a variety of materials for the cover or add your own photos for a truly customized album. I love it!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Janice and Isaias - Denver Engagement Photography

Laughter. Red Rocks. Love.

Janice and Isaias' engagement session up at Red Rocks was full of laughter and love. Thinking back, I can't help but smile and laugh a little to myself... Janice's laugh is just so contagious!

We walked around Red Rocks talking, finding little pockets of light and shooting. After spending a few hours with them, I could see the love they have and how authentic it is. They fit together like they were just meant to be.

I can't wait to photograph their wedding this fall! Until then, here's Janice and Isaias...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Lorian and Chris - Golden Wedding Photography

You might remember the sneak peak I posted of Lorian and Chris' wedding up at Boettcher Mansion a few weeks ago. Well, it's time to see the rest of the photos!

Lorian and Chris met on a hike, so it's only fitting that they got married on top of a mountain in Colorado. And what a beautiful day to get married on a mountain it was! We had been having a streak of hot weather here in Denver, but Lorian and Chris' wedding day was just perfect. Here are just a few of the many special moments that happened on this perfect day in June.



Friday, July 6, 2012

My Thoughts on the Nikon D800

Thanks to Art Heffron for Instagramming my camera's arrival.
The day Nikon announced it's newest DSLR (the D800) was for sale I placed my order. After a wait of what seemed like forever (about 4 months), I finally got my D800. After using it for the past month to shoot some portraits, products and a few weddings, I have a few things that I'd like to share.

I'm not going to do a huge, in-depth review. Those are easy to find. I just want to mention a few things that I've found through my own experience, both mistakes I've made and pleasant surprises as well. Want to know about those huge files? How about the battery life or the screen? Let me tell you what I think...

First off, is there anything I just don't like? Kind of. You might have heard about the screen having a green tint to it. I can definitely see it and at first it threw me off. I'm actually a little scared to show a client their image on the screen because of the green tint. It's just not that flattering. Fortunately, I've kind of gotten used to it and for some reason I only really notice it in bright sunlight. When I look at my images indoors they seem to look fine. Still, if Nikon fixes it with a firmware update (it's been rumored), I won't complain.

The only other thing that kind of bugged me was that when I first started carrying it over my shoulder, my hip kept hitting the live-view button so I was wasting battery power because the camera was in live-view. Also, when I wanted to shoot I'd look through the viewfinder and not see anything because live-view was turned on. It only happened to me on one or two occasions, so maybe my hip was just extra bony on those days or my belt was in just the right (wrong) place... who knows?

OK, so if that's the worst of it, that's not too bad. How about pleasant surprises? I had a few of those, too! I was concerned when I saw that the battery life was only 900 photos. I figured I'd be changing batteries at least twice at every wedding I shot, which I was not looking forward to. Fortunately, I've been getting over 1600 shots from a battery, which gets me through an entire wedding with about 8% of a charge left!

What else was a pleasant surprise? Well, when I first popped in my 32GB memory card and saw that I was only going to get 400 RAW photos on a card, I quickly started adding up how much it was going to cost me to get enough cards to shoot a wedding (plus have a few backups). Then I did a bit of research into RAW compression and 12-bit vs 14-bit files. When I changed my RAW settings to 12-bit compressed, it said I would get 700 photos from a 32GB card. Much better. But wait... there's more! When I actually started shooting, I was getting closer to 900 images on a card. Apparently, not all images are created equally and contain different amounts of data that can be compressed differently. Now I can shoot a wedding with just two 32GB cards!

So, about those file sizes. Of course you're going to fill up hard drives and memory cards faster. There's not much you can do about that. What I was unprepared for, though, was how long it takes to write those big files to the memory card. On one of the first times I went out and shot with it, I shot a big burst of images. Then I couldn't take any more. The buffer was full and I had to wait for the files to get written to the card. We're talking 15 seconds or so of just waiting. So, I decided to run some tests and figure out what I had to work with.

In my unofficial tests, I found that once the buffer was full (16 RAW photos), it took about 10 seconds to write to a 60x CF card, about 12 seconds to write to a 90x SD card and about 45 seconds to write to a 30x SD card. If you end up shooting bursts of photos it definitely pays to get fast cards. What's more, I'm using the 2nd card slot as a backup. Guess what? If I'm using the 60x CF card and 90x SD card, it takes 22 seconds to write everything to both cards. That's right... your write time takes however long it takes to write to each card individually, but added together!

How has this impacted me? Well, I had my buffer fill up once at a wedding, so I was stuck for a few seconds before I could even take another photo. Fortunately, it was just having some fun with the bride and groom, so nothing that couldn't be put on hold for a second. I've also shot a burst of images and then wanted to change lenses, but had to wait for the camera to shut down until the buffer got dumped. This happens a bit more frequently and is kind of annoying.

Regardless of any minor gripes I might have, the D800 is an amazing camera. Once I got a few things sorted out and learned it's limitations (file write times), I have no complaints. The images are beautiful and the amount of detail captured is just amazing. I'll leave you with a few full-res crops from some of my recent shots. Check out those eyes... Enjoy!

Yes, that's a barn in the background.

Nice sunset, eh?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cayla – Denver High School Senior Photography

When Cayla let me know she wanted an all-film senior shoot, I knew I was in for a treat. She's a dancer, so she's very confident and comfortable in front of the camera. We had gorgeous light and an amazing location, so we didn't waste any of it. We spent some time in LoDo and after a few hours came away with what you see here!

Info that photographers will care about:
- Cameras: Polaroid SX-70 and Nikon F100
- Film used: Fuji 400H, Fuji 800Z, Portra 400, Kodak Tri-X 400