Monday, September 29, 2014

5 Tips for Photographing Fall Foliage.

It's finally that time again. Fall. The smell of cinnamon and pumpkin spice have entered our homes and the leaves are illuminating with golden beauty. It's a warm and breathtaking time period that politely reminds us that the winter is coming. Here in New York City, we are known world wide for our Fall scenic views. Having over 1,700 parks full of trees certainly gives New Yorkers an advantage to capture the fall foliage, properly.

Here I have generated 5 Foto Tips that can help you when documenting the Autumn leaves.

1. Find Your Light.

Seems like a no brainer, right? We all know that is the most important rule no matter what you are shooting. But, I'm going to remind us again that shooting in overcast is key to grabbing the perfect foliage photo.

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Simply because shooting in overcast basically eliminates harsh highlights and shadows, giving you visuals that you can't see in direct sunlight.

2. Wet leaves aren't as bad as they sound.

Nothing is worse than a rainy fall day and having wet leaves stuck to your boots. But, when photographing you can use this to your advantage. 

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Think about it, a wet leaf will reflect light and make the leaf look more vibrant in color and will physically look more crisp. Acknowledging this can give your overall image a drastic increase in clarity and color vibrance.

3. Utilizing Time for Color Balance

You don't have to photograph foliage at a certain time. But, I would recommend playing with sunrise or sunset lighting. Only because it will cool off your image in the shadows giving light areas a blue saturation. 

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It's a great way to build balance with your warm leaves against cool highlights without having to manually create it in Photoshop. 

4. Reflections

Water is your friend! We learned that when photographing wet leaves. Now that we know that, consider large bodies of water as winning the gold prize at the county fair. Foliage reflections are generally used when shooting wide landscapes. 

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I recommend finding a pond, grabbing a tripod and framing your shot. You want this to be symmetrical and perfectly linear. A tripod can save you a head ache with camera shake. 

5. Lenses

Photographing people or objects in front of the foliage.
  • 50mm lens. Low depth of field.
  • This allows the the person or object to be in focus, and the background foliage to be blurred, giving you the tones of the colors mixed together.
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Photographing landscapes, parks, etc
  • 24-105mm lens Wide Angle Lens,  High depth of field.
  • This allows you to shoot a fully detailed image. With a High depth of field, everything in the image will be in focus and crisp in detail. This is perfect when shooting the reflections in the lake.
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Last minute tip:

Remember, the color only lasts a couple days after the leaf has fallen. Utilize the time you have and most importantly, show us what you captured! 

- Johnny Self

Friday, September 26, 2014

Hanging Out With The Rental Crew

Instead of exploring the city today like I usually do on Fridays, we decided to explore under our own roof. I went and paid a visit to our Rental Department
where Friday's usually have everyone very busy. 

These guys have DSLR's, lenses, lighting, cine' gear, grip equipment, etc. You name it,
 and I guarantee we got it for you. 

To see a full list of our inventory, click on this link: Rental Equipment

Here in our rental department, we know our customers by their first name. And If you've ever visited us before, there is a good chance you know Fred, the department manager. He's the best around.

             Although we stay busy, there will always be someone to answer your call and give you a hand;
                                                               regardless of your skill level. 

Come by a pay them a visit, too.

Mon – Thurs 8am – 6pm, Fri 8am – 8pm, Sat 9am – 4pm

- Johnny Self

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Behind The Scenes of Canon's High Speed Sync Class.

When the word flash is brought up, some people (me included) tend to have a little anxiety about the subject. I personally think flash is a foreign language, but I understand and see how extremely helpful it is.  Flash is like a sport. Practicing is the only way of getting better. Eric Stoner, from Canon, stopped by and coached us on how to properly light a subject with high speed sync.

We booked a wonderful model named Bobbie, grabbed some flashes and headed to Madison Square Park to have a little fun. 

Canon gave each shooter a chance to hold the camera, take some shots and got REAL feedback on how to solve the problems of lighting in a REAL life situation. 

What felt like 10 minutes was actually 2 hours. Everyone was learning and shooting, together.

Overall, it was a beautiful and very educational day. I think we all left with something we didn't know before we showed up.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Burger, Fries & The Brooklyn Bridge On The Side.

The Brooklyn Bridge.  A place where walkers, bikers and tourist tend to flood, as it is a New York landmark.  It's the one you see on movies. The one that connects Brooklyn to Manhattan. It's "that" bridge. I grabbed a Canon DSLR and a 24-105 mm lens from Fotocare Rentals and headed to the BK.

 Seeing that my body was running on a travel size cup of coffee from this morning, I needed to fuel up before my walk. I saw two words that put the biggest smile on my face when I got into Brooklyn: Shake Shack.

I'm not even a real New Yorker yet, and I even know how imperative it is to try Shake Shack. They are pretty much in any popular neighborhood, usually with a line that wraps the building. I ate at the 409 Fulton St location. After devouring my meal, I headed to the bridge.

The picture above basically explains the panorama views on this bridge. Breathtaking. 

I'm really into symmetry and balance, so I took a seat and appreciated how
 beautifully this bridge was built.

People apparently have adopted the "lock" trend from over seas. The oldest date I 
saw on a lock was 1983. 

People write on the beams, too. Almost all of them had their city of origin on the signature. People from Florida, Washington, China, France, etc all sign this thing. But, this message made me laugh. It summed it all up in 2 phrases. 

Now entering Manhattan, I ended my journey in a park. The leaves are starting to finally change, guess it's about the be fall, y'all.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Canon 7D and 7D Mark II Comparison

We whipped up this graphic to visually show you the main differences between the Canon 7D and the Canon 7D Mark II. Go ahead and throw it on your Christmas list, it'll be available in November.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Chariots, Clothes & Cathedrals.

Today felt like Southern California. Mid 70's, welcoming breeze and just the right about of sunlight to wear a light jacket. After grabbing my 60D and 24-70mm lens from our Rental Department, I hopped on the M train towards 59th Street. 

The second I stepped onto the pavement I knew this was the "New York" you see in the movies. High fashion decorated store fronts, horse chariots and people buying fancy clothing.

Although I had already had breakfast this morning, I couldn't resist visiting Tiffany and Company for the first time. There were actually people eating their breakfast outside, but they kept looking at me. Needless to say I didn't snap their photo. The talk of the town in the past 48 hours has been Apple and their release of another product that will have people camping outside their glass-box flagship. I thought I'd pay a visit to see what the hype was all about.

I found this trail at the entrance of Central Park and decided to explore a little. I got some dirt on my shoes, but the view was worth it.

I had to visit the famous Trump Tower. I heard there was a Starbucks on the inside, so I went to see for myself.

Lastly, I paid a visit to Saint Patricks Cathedral. I had to take off my hat when I walked in, which made me really uncomfortable. The stained glass reminded me of the southern bell church my mother raised me in.  Ironically, she texted me when I was there. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Chasing Clouds in Staten Island

We all know that an overcast day for a photographer is a little piece of heaven on earth. No harsh lighting, and almost complete control in post editing. With my latest obsession with nature, my mission today was capturing clouds.

I needed to get away from the city to be in an open area to grab the photos I envisioned. I wanted the photos to be as dramatic and gloomy as the sky was looking today. Thanks to the Foto care Rental Department, I had a Canon 7D with a 24-105mm lens.

My boss recommended me take the Staten Island Ferry and visit the Statue of Liberty. Shoulder to shoulder we stood waiting to board the John F. Kennedy Ferry. Ironically, JFK was my favorite president, which put a smile on my face.

Once I got on the boat I rushed to the top to get a spot to myself on the balcony. Clearly I wasn't the only one who had this bright idea. 

About 5 minutes into the departure and I already had a beautifully placed skyline view. I'll admit, I never knew dark clouds could be so beautiful.

As my ferry ride was complete, I sat inside of the boat on the way back to Staten Island. It was totally empty and I kept catching people in reflections. It was really cool! 

I came face to face with this extremely intimidating church building. It looked like something straight out of a thriller film from the 80's.

Finally, the moment everyone was waiting for; Miss Liberty herself. That iconic statue stood absolute even though it looked like a storm was brewing.