Hollywood Glamour Portraits

Hollywood Glamour Portraits

Hollywood Glamour

These photos are from almost ten years ago.  I’ve always liked the Hollywood and Glamour photos 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.  I’d done some photos for this young ladies business and she allowed me to practice my skills.  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.  Half the photos that I shot in this room, I was standing out in the hall to get a decent perspective.

More George Hurrell Inspired Photography

Dramatic Portraits here

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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

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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


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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

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Dramatic Portraits in The Garage

Dramatic Portraits in The Garage

Dramatic Portraits on The Road

On a recent road trip out west, to Alberta and British Columbia, I made sure I packed a light, a stand and large soft box.  The soft box being almost six feet but wraps up tightly and takes very little space. 

We spent the day with my wife’s son and doing a family BBQ.  He has a garage where he keeps his motorcycle, a shop where he makes all sorts of interesting tools and a large part that is a studio.  Drums, guitars and the works. 

We were enjoying a cigar I thought it a good opportunity to mix that up with some parts of his life.  We started with him on the bike and then moved to use the music as a backdrop.  I loved how the depth and detail helped tell stories.  Sometimes less in more. But sometimes more is better.

These were all shot with the large soft box behind me and off centre.  Camera Nikon Z6 with a Nikkor 50mm S 1.8 lens.  All very fast and sharp. 

My studio equipment, lights, modifiers all come from Strobepro in Calgary.  Can’t recommend them too highly. 

I did catch a few shots of Spencer’s nephews banging on the drums as well.  I’ll be posting a couple of these at Marty’s Road Trip Blog in the next few days. 

Processing was done with Lightroom Classic on my iMac.  With what this camera catches and Lightroom being such a great tool, gives me a lot to work with to get the photo I want. 

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