Steve Hanks Inspired Nudes

Steve Hanks Inspired Nudes

These three photos are from a series I did in the early 1990s.  In a make shift photography studio with construction lights. I recently scanned the negatives.  A lot of loss and damage to the negatives over the years.  I spent some time fixing them up.  They are not perfect but are still some of my most treasured photographs. 

Inspired by a favourite artist:  Steve Hanks.  You can see his work here: Steve Hanks Work  

Steve painted nudes but had much other material as well.  Amazing water colors. The detail in his painting is unbelievable but the emotion is what draws you in.  Unfortunately Steve passed away in 2015.   HIs work lives on, though.  Check it out.  There are dozens of websites out there displaying his work. 

I’ve also lost track of the model. Would love to shoot with her again even though more than 25 years have passed.  Julie is somewhere in Florida, I believe. 

I still have the quilt and now much better lights and modifiers, if anyone is interested mimicking more of Steve Hanks work... 

I’ve also put these three photographs through a ‘painterly’ filter.  You can see those on my Instagram Account:  The only way these are acceptable to Instagram is to either block out the nipples or make the photo into a painting. 

I’ve converted a number of photos into paintings using various apps and Photoshop.  Photoshop has a feature where you can add brush strokes to an image.  It’s time consuming and sometimes doesn’t work but I’ve gotten some very cool ‘paintings’ this way. 

Posted by Martin in Blog, 0 comments
Hollywood Glamour Portraits

Hollywood Glamour Portraits

Hollywood Glamour

These photos are from almost ten years ago.  I’ve always liked the Hollywood and Glamour photography from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.  My wife had purchased a dress for me, well, not for me specifically! 🙂

Knowing that I liked to shoot this style of black and white photography.  I’d done some photos for this young lady's business.  I liked her look and thought she'd look good in the dress. She allowed me to practice my skills on some of this Hollywood Glamor photography. 

At the time I had a very small space to shoot in.  These were done in a converted second bedroom that measured maybe ten feet by fifteen.  For half the photos that I shot in this room, I was standing out in the hall to get a decent perspective.  We make do. 

One of my favourite photographers from that earlier era is George Hurrell.  There is a link to a page below that displays his exceptional photographs.  The photographers of that era shot with very large negatives.  Often 8"x10".  Part of the benefit of these large negatives was the ability of the photographers or their assistants to edit the negatives before printing the photograph.  Some of these photo editors would spend hours on one negative, getting rid of blemishes on the movie star du jour.  So, if you hear of a photographer spending a bit of time editing, please don't fault him or her.

More George Hurrell Inspired Photography

Dramatic Portraits here

Posted by Martin in Blog, 0 comments
iPhone 13 Pro – Camera

iPhone 13 Pro – Camera

iPhone Camera - Panoramic photography

I purchased an iPhone 13 Pro a short time ago.  I bought it largely for the camera.  A friend had one and we did a couple of portraits and I was stunned.  Had to have one.  I’ve been using my iPhone for a while as my ‘carry around’ camera and it was pretty good but this version knocks its socks off.

I’ve been watching some videos on Instagram and learning more. So happy with some of the shots I’ve been getting I feel I need to do some serious study. 

I’d never used the panoramic feature with any of the iPhones.  It doesn’t communicate very well on the small screen of any type of phone.  But if I load them into Lightroom, edit and then view on my desk top, they are great. 

I’ll have to print a couple to see how they come out!

For much of what I do, I will still use my Nikon.  Studio portraits and such.  Plus the zoom feature on the iPhone, while it gets the photo, there is no comparison quality wise. 

Above are a few photos from a couple of kayaking trips this summer at the cottage and one from down at the Falls.  (I live in Niagara Falls.)  The header photo is from a walk on the Pier at Port Dalhousie, about 20 minutes from here. 

If you use Lightroom for editing your photos, you will likely need some sort of App to convert the files from your camera to jpegs.  A very simple one out there is Waltr HEIC Converter. 

And here is a good place to start if you want to learn the basics of a real camera. Whether you are learning with a Nikon, Canon, Sony or any other amateur, semi or professional camera: Camera Basics

Posted by Martin in Blog, 0 comments
Back Button Autofocus

Back Button Autofocus

Using Back Button Focus on DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras

Objects in the foreground throwing you off?

If you are not using the back button focus on your camera, you will be wasting a lot of shots. This will save you a lot of headaches if you have objects in front of what you are trying to focus on.  Or nearby.  

Most semi and professional cameras will come with the focus as part of the shutter action.  You press half way down to focus, then the rest of the way to fire the shutter and take the picture.

This works for DSLRs and Mirrorless Cameras both. 

Save yourself a lot of headaches and wasted photos. 

Pretty much all semi-professional and professional cameras have a button on the back of the camera whose function can be changed to a focusing button. 

Using the shutter button for focusing sucks.  Press half way down.  Then, as you reframe the photo and press again on the shutter button, voila, what you had intended to be in focus, no longer is.  Because it will often refocus as you press the shutter button.

The function button that can be changed to this feature is usually right where your thumb will sit.  On my DSLR Nikons it was the AutoExposure/AutoFocus Lock (AE-L/AF-L) button.  On my Nikon Z6, the button is ‘AF-ON’.  In your menu settings you can change the function of this button to ‘focus’. 

Once done, you will not be able to focus with your shutter button.  You will now be using your finger for the shutter and thumb for focus. 

It might take a bit of getting used to.  So, if you have an important photo shoot coming up, you may want to practice a bit beforehand.  Once used to it, you will never go back. 

Different makes of cameras will have different buttons for this. 

I’ve included a couple of photos here.  I would suggest doing a search for your camera make/model to find out where, in the menu settings, to make the appropriate adjustments. 

Also, if you hate it this way, it is easy enough to change it back.  But make sure you give it enough time to get comfortable.  I've been using this technique for years and love it.

The step by step for adjusting this button on a Nikon Z6 or Z7 is taken from


Posted by Martin in Blog, 1 comment
First Ever Fine Art Nude Photoshoot

First Ever Fine Art Nude Photoshoot

First Fine Art Nude Photoshoot

Early 1990s.  Likely the summer of ’94 I was cycling across the Bloor Street Viaduct (bridge).  Came to the stop light and started chatting to a young lady stopped on her bicycle there as well.  At first she wouldn’t take my card.  I’m sure that she thought I was full of crap when I said I was a photographer.  I told her to call my wife. 

A few days later she did.  She came by a few days later with a male friend.  Smart girl.  During her conversation she said that one of the things needed was body photos.  I was freaking out inside but casually said sure. 

I had seen some photos in some fashion magazine that I wanted to try and emulate and thought that the style of lighting would work well for nudes.

She came to my small studio a few days later.  My wife made us some coffee and away we went.  I was shooting with a Nikon FE camera with a 50mm manual lens.  Two rolls of 36, Ilford black and white film.  Two camera flashes reflected with two small umbrellas.

I got some contact prints made then asked my lab, near Dundas and Bay Streets in Toronto, to print a couple of copies each of about 10 of my favourites. A copy each for me and the model.  I asked him for 8x10 prints.  When I went to pick them up several were a larger size.  When I began to question this, he said there would be no extra charge.  He told me that he had dozens of photographers come to him with what they called fine art nudes to print. 

He said mine were the first truly artistic ones he had seen.  I was quite taken aback. The model quite loved them as well.  These accolades kept me striving to make photos I took of women as aesthetic as possible.

I’ve added a few filters to the few that I posted on Instagram so they would be allowed. 

More Fine Art Nudes Here

Posted by Martin in Blog, 0 comments