A Picture is worth how much?

Sometimes, being away from home doesn’t mean that you want to BE AWAY from home. As a photographer and poet, I am accustomed to both working alone and being away from home, even when I don’t want to.
Well versed in standard and typical cliches, I challenge each of you to write in a thousands words or less, what feelings, if any, the following image invoke. Let’s see if a picture truly is worth a thousand words.

Thank you

‘It’s easy to be a leader. It’s harder to be trusted.’ – k/d/morris (poet) 2011




“”Tis The Season To Be Smiling”

With proms and graduation season coming to an end, wedding and outdoor events will graciously trade places with them. As a photographer, photo-journalist, hobbyist or journeyman, our creativeness will be challenged by fashion selections, crowded environment and “armatures” getting in the way can lead to a frustrating experience.
My most frustrating moment when I repeatedly requested that the attendees stay to one side of the lighting and as fate would have it, one of them knocked my strobe down. Fortunately, the umbrella absorbed the shock and took a beating.
At that moment, remaining calm and professional was no longer an option. That actually ended the session.
What did I learn from that experience? Nothing new. But, it did serve as a reminder to only take assignments where I have more control over the space that I am assigned or designated to shoot.
I have had other moments over the years, but that was the most recent and I make it a point to protect my own investment at all times. Even my time is important to me and I won’t waste it on clients that want $1,000.00 worth of photos for $100.00, no matter what the season..
Please, share your “war” stories with us.

Thank youk/d/morris

‘It’s easy to be a leader. It’s harder to be trusted.’ – k/d/morris (poet) 2011



“Accessories and necessities for photographers”

January 23, 2012

Digital photography gives users of all skill levels the ability to create great images. Whether you’re a dedicated amateur or a seasoned professional, there are a few basic photo accessories that you’ll need to get the perfect shot. Here are a few digital photo accessories to include in your camera bag.

Camera lenses: Digital SLR cameras are favored by professional photographers for their high-resolution and interchangeable lenses. You may even be able to use lenses from your old film camera if it’s made by the same manufacturer. Different camera lenses produce different effects. A telephoto lens and a wide-angle lens are good starting photo accessories to have.

Filters: In addition to lenses, camera lens filters are basic photo accessories for a serious photographer. Camera lens filters are slightly tinted. The effect of these photo accessories can change the mood or ambiance of a shot dramatically, filtering out glare and causing certain colors to stand out.

Camera batteries: Many point-and-shoot cameras use disposable batteries, although many digital cameras use lithium ion or another type of rechargeable battery. A spare set of camera batteries, disposable or otherwise, is a wise addition to your photo accessories list.

Memory cards: Memory cards are the photo accessories that have replaced film for your camera. A 5-megapixel digital photo file can take up over 1 MB of memory on your memory card. Very high-resolution (10-12 megapixels) digital pictures can be as large as 10 MB. This means you can store a few hundred pictures on a memory card. It’s always good to have extra cards, packed with your other photo accessories as a backup. Also, if your digital camera shoots video, you’ll be glad to have the extra memory.

Camera flashes and lighting: Most digital SLR cameras have built-in camera flash, but it may not be ideal in all shooting conditions. Photo accessories, like add-on flash units, provide more light and increased control. You can attach these lighting camera accessories to the camera body or use a wireless remote flash on a tripod.
Camera bags: The appropriate carrying case for your photo accessories will vary with your camera and other gear.

For point-and-shoot digital cameras, a snug-fitting camera bag may work fine. A compact, padded camera bag with adjustable compartments for lenses and other photo accessories will be ideal. A water-resistant camera accessories bag will help protect your gear from moisture and dust as well.
Camera tripods: A tripod will keep your camera steady during long exposure shots, which can be a challenge for a heavier DSLR camera with a lens attached. These photo accessories come in large, aluminum models and more portable tabletop models. Look for quick-release tripods and flexible-leg tripods that you can use anywhere.

Link Source:

“Happy Snapping”

Thank you

‘It’s easy to be a leader. It’s harder to be trusted.’ – k/d/morris (poet) 2011


“A message to beginners, hobbyist and those finding their way.”

We all have to start somewhere. Motivated by something or someone that excelled in what we aspire to be. There is a mixture of arrogant, selfish, humble and helpful photographers and a few “tweener’s” who make it difficult or easier for those that are eager to learn and grow or expand their knowledge and skill base.

But, whatever your personal endeavors are as a photographer, make sure that your equipment and energy matches the environment and job/assignment that you are suited for. If you are a sports, concert or event photographer, it’s best to travel light and have convenient storage system for your equipment when not in use. Like a vest that holds extra lenses and accessories, as an example, a photographers back pack with some of these specs, some of you may require more:

  • Camera bag is designed specifically for digital photography enthusiasts
  • Photo accessory provides an ample amount of space to carry your camera, 2-3 lenses, and accessories
  • Backpack is impact, weather and stain resistant
  • Fully customizable with adjustable padded compartments
  • Messenger style makes it easy and comfortable to use
  • Outer shell is constructed of durable 600 denier ballistic nylon
  • Available in black with navy color option
  • Interior Dimensions: 12.6 inches x 4.5 inches x 17.3 inches
  • Exterior Dimensions: 9.5 inches x 7.1 inches x 16 Inches

Price and style may vary with these accessories. If you are a concert or sports photographer, know that you will not always be allowed to use your flash during the event or you may only be allowed to shoot the opening song of the first act (unless you are hired by the promoter or venue). This makes it even more important to know your equipment and settings – the right tool for the right job/the right settings for the right shot.

If you are a wedding, fashion or location photographer, portable lighting systems and an assistant are usually helpful in some cases. A basic knowledge and understanding of lighting is a must, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to get the same results. The type of lenses that you use are as important as the camera body that they are attached to. If you have a $2,000.00 body and a $150.00 lens, your end result could be disappointing. If, by chance you have a $600.00 body and a $1,200.00 lens, you are half way to your objective. What am I getting at? The lens and technology should at least be on the same playing field, based on what you can afford, although it is the quality of the lens that makes the real difference.

Technology has come so far, whereas the camera makes just about anyone’s finished product appear to be taken by a professional. And there are books and on line tutorials you can search for and review. One book that my be helpful for studio photographers is:

Christopher Grey’s Studio Lighting Techniques for Photography: “Tricks of the Trade for Professional Digital Photographers” (authors, titles, techniques and prices may vary).

So, whatever your subject matter, strive for perfection, accept advice and criticism, practice and travel in order to grow, we all must be willing to learn from each other…

No matter what the level of experience we may have.

“Happy Snapping”

Thank you

‘It’s easy to be a leader. It’s harder to be trusted.’ – k/d/morris (poet) 2011



The Learning Curve and Spoiled Cameras

I recently had a conversation with a fellow photographer and we agreed that we did not have the luxury of “deleting” unwanted or imperfect images during a photo session or gig.

We had to learn to trust our creative instincts and insure, most importantly, that there was FILM IN THE CAMERA. Yes, film. That almost “prehistoric” medium that very few use these days. There may be some die-hard photographer’s who swear by the saturation and beauty of film who come across some of us who are spoiled by technology. Technology that we asked for, but did not pursue. A search that seemed to almost ruined the learning curve of actual photography. Making anyone and almost an instant Gordon Parks or Ansel Adams with the push of a button and nothing more. This also leads me to ask if there is a loss of respect for the need to study the craft of photography anymore? Most of us had “hands on instruction” that got us to where we are today. No internet search engines or blogs to help us. We had to walk or drive to a library, open a book or (don’t faint) an encyclopedia or subscribe to a publication (Popular Photography, Shutterbug…etc) or call someone with the knowledge that we sought. I just so happen to teach photography and remind my participants of the work ethic involved, the need to actually learn your equipment and the learning curve through trial and error.

I wouldn’t have ever thought that after Hassy and Mamiya introduced digi-back and Nikon introduced a digital SLR almost 10-12 years ago that we would be carrying digital cameras in our pockets or let alone, making phone calls with them.

Although I still have my film cameras, tucked safely away from dust and harm in a cool dry (high place) and on occasion, I only take them from their resting place to remind myself of my humbled beginnings and where it began for me. I want more for them. They are predecessors to my success and calling. They deserve more from me and I want to give them what they deserve.I will first have to buy some film and batteries for the Canon A2e’s and film for the Mamiya RB67 with two lenses and two backs and then pick a day to venture into the wilderness and relive the days of yore. LOL.

So, I would like to first begin an on-line movement to select a day – one day a year – that is dedicated to “Shooting With Film” Day next year, then DO IT! On this day, any photographer’s with manual/auto focus film use SLR camera’s around the country on this day, will go out and shoot (side bar: I was a dedicated user of Fuji 800 Pro – as a concert photographer) and take the film into the lab for processing, then scan the images and (as we had to in order to) post them to the web the old-fashioned way on a page or subdirectory entitled: “Film Day 2012” and share the links on a common site or social network that we agree to establish in honor of this movement.

Who’s with me?

“Things I’ve Learned And Share”

July 25, 2011

“What I’ve Learned And Share” • About Five Young Ladies – Number One

In case you are just joining us, I began this blog with some insight as to the motivation and purpose for writing it in the first place. If this is the case, please read Part One (Event date: Friday-July 22, 2011) then come back and join us for Part Two. For all who are in step with the flow, let us begin:

During the exchange, I began with easy and basic “so, tell me your name and age – and what do you like to take pictures of…” line of questions to both get an idea of the direction I must go with each and tailor the information to their specific level of experience. Now, remember – some will “pretend NOT to know…”
After gathering enough details to formulate my approach, we got detoured by a particular reason for taking pictures when “Number One” said that she likes to “photograph herself after she gets dressed to both show her friends and family who can’t see what she’s wearing and to look back at how cute she was that day.”
I asked her ‘…if doing that gave her reassurance of her level of self confidence?’ She replied: “I just want to make sure that I am fine (acceptable) before I leave the house…” I added: ‘So, your camera serves as a secondary and portable/shareable mirror?’ Her answer: “Yeah. It does.” in a “I never looked at it that way” tone.
Her “discovery” became a beacon of motivation for others once we all stopped talking about taking pictures and began taking pictures during a five minute exercise I called “Your View-Your World Five Minutes” where at the end they had to pick one “favorite” and validate their selection through writing about why they chose that subject and image.
The purpose of “validating” their selections was one of a few exercises in getting them to communicate their feelings and ideas in a creative manner while identifying opinions and inferences. This was important to point out the differences between the two, although it’s a very thin line.
When she completed the task, she was more than please with her own abilities when she tapped into a part of herself that was under-explored. And when it was time to share why she chose the subject, angle (composition) and how it made her feel, she was equally confident.

Next up:
“Number Two: At First, Didn’t Like It, Now She Does.”

Thank you

“Things I’ve Learned And Share” • Part One

July 24, 2011

“Things I’ve Learned And Share” • Part One

Recently, I had the pleasure of facilitating a photography workshop and discussion with five (5) teenage young ladies as part of a College Bound Program in my home town of Philadelphia PA through my program: Operation Give Back: Photography.
Although I am accustomed to teaching what I am good at and know, I still have challenges when presenting to a group that may not be familiar with who and why I am. I have a way which I can’t explain, that have participants appreciative of the exchange of information. Because, that’s what teaching is; an exchange.
As with most confined spaces that contain this much energy, the ability to capture and hold their attention was a challenge. And anyone that knows me, knows that I like a challenge and usually meet them head on.
On Friday-July 22, 2011, I was challenged by five personalities and ideas. Five teenage girls who at some point, before it became interesting, probably were thinking of all the “other stuff” they could he doing instead.
So, if any photographers who have never been in a “position to give back,” here’s a some steps to take that may help you when the time
Of course, it begins with using your contacts and reputation as a respected photographer to get the call, one you should accept. Follow the following steps.

1. Prepare and submit an outline and purpose of your presentation. Organizers like to have an idea of what information is to be shared.

2. Know how much time you are working with and the physical space allotted to you and the participants.

3. Create a “script” to follow, one that discusses the creative, therapeutic benefits and business side of photography but be ready to digress at a moments notice.

4. Actively listen to what they are saying and give honest and accurate information. Especially when speaking to teenagers. They will “call” you on it. Some even pretend “not to know” just to see what you know.

Now that we have got the “business” out of the way, I am going to take a break and return with:
“What I’ve Learned About Five Young Ladies”

k/d/morris – photographer