iphone 5, creative lighting

Trying a little “studio” lighting with the iPhone 5. The flash on the iPhone is fairly ridiculous, unless you’re going to use it in the daytime and then only as fill light. So I turn it off completely until I need it.

For this shot I used a flashlight with some tissue over the head and my old iPhone 3Gs (I brought up the “Reminders” app which has a mostly white background so it’s like a tiny softbox.). I laid the 3Gs flat in front of the tiki idol and then shined the flashlight on the back wall from underneath the stool the tiki was sitting on. Got some groovy shadows going and ended up with the photo below.

Of course, this is all for giggles. I don’t see doing this for actual paying gigs. But for the purpose of exercising that little creative corner of my brain, why the hell not?


Tiki idol cup. Lit with flashlight, shot with iPhone 5.

iPhone 5, iPhone 3Gs, Surfire flashlight, tissue paper, Tiki idol cup.

Friday Photo Tip: Fill Flash

Eastern bluebird. 

Don’t be afraid to fish out the flash from your camera bag when shooting in nature. Too often a strobe is used only for lighting up people in dark situations.

Nature should look natural, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enhance it a bit. And that’s what fill flash does. If you want to get those natural colors to really pop and if you want to see a little catch light in the creature’s eye, just throw a little light in there. Makes a world of difference.

I like to expose for the scene and then dial down the flash about a stop and a half. Maybe two stops. Experiment.

Dialing down the flash keeps it from blowing out the scene; keeps it more natural looking.

A male eastern bluebird at the C & O Canal in Maryland.

A male eastern bluebird at the C & O Canal in Maryland.





Generation i

I once used my earbuds while on the train into the city. After making it halfway through the song I pulled them out and put the phone away. I couldn’t stand not hearing the world around me. The screech of the steel wheels on the rails. The goofy Metro voice warning the doors were closing. The giggling of high-school girls. The general hum of everyday life. I haven’t used them in public since.

The smartphone generation. Phone calls, texting, gaming, listening to music, surfing the web. Social engagement on perpetual hold.

Interesting phenomenon.











Washington DC with iPhone 5

Back on the streets again. From Capitol Hill to Georgetown. Looking for the soul of the city. What is Washington DC all about? Is there a defining characteristic?

I can’t say I know the answer yet… Even after all these years. I just keep looking.

washington dc capitol building

Capitol Building

National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

National Gallery of Art

Admiring, National Gallery of Art

In the Dutch and Flemish hall.

Window shopping in Dupont Circle, Washington DC

Window shopping, Dupont Circle

Walking past Kramer Books in Dupont Circle, Washington DC

Walking past Kramer Books in Dupont Circle

A seagull takes flight in Georgetown, Washington DC

Taking flight in Georgetown

Overlooking the Potomac River in Georgetown, Washington DC

Sun setting over the Potomac River


Friday Photo Tip: “Just take the Picture.”

Todays Friday Photo Tip is something from my friend and mentor David Alan Harvey.

“When the perfect picture situation happens, you may not have time to worry about perfect exposure and f-stop. Just take the picture. Don’t be afraid to experiment — especially in dark locations where you cannot use a tripod or flash. Brace your elbows on a table, lean against a telephone pole, or rest the camera on a fence post or a Coke bottle.”

woman in low light, very dark

Jessica in very low light.