Tag Archive: movie photo forum


I am going to go out on a limb with today’s blog and do something a little different.  I am going to tell you about pictures that I took that just weren’t quite good enough.  Everyone makes mistakes.  I am no different.  That is the best part about shooting digital.  If you make a mistake, you can see it, and correct for it.  Then you can shoot it again with the correct settings and Voila!

I picked out a few pictures that I have taken within the last week that didn’t pass the test for one reason or another.  I will post up the picture and tell you why I didn’t think it was good enough.  I know this may be frowned upon by many, but I think it needs to be said.  None of us picked up a camera on day one and were automatically perfect.  I have deleted more than my fair share of pictures because they didn’t make my cut.  I will add this though – most serious photographers (myself included) are horribly over-critical of their own work.  People tell me every day that my work is amazing, and while I appreciate the compliments, I can usually see things that I think aren’t quite good enough.  I don’t know why it happens, but it does.

Because of this, I am sure I have thrown away perfectly acceptable pictures many times.  They just didn’t seem quite good enough for me.  I do get a lot of positive feedback and constructive criticism from my peers over at the Movie Photo Forums.  They definitely motivate and challenge me to be a better photographer.  For that, I am eternally grateful.

Here’s the first picture I have to talk about.  I was driving around on Saturday during a storm way up on top of a mountain and I saw this house.  This shot was taken in the car, through the windshield.  I was driving, so I pulled over and took the shot.  The UV glass in the car gives it a greenish hue.  It also wasn’t composed very well.  Using the rule of thirds in composition, this picture is not composed well at all.  The image shouldn’t be in the middle.  It should be in the bottom or top third of this shot.

In this picture, the most obvious problem is the A-pillar of the car and reflection from the windshield in the bottom right.  I had the 70-300mm lens on the camera and wasn’t far enough away to get the whole house in the shot without changing lenses.  I didn’t want to change to a wider lens in case I saw something in the distance I wanted to shoot.  Also, the green hue from the windshield exists in this one.  The light was great against the almost pitch black background.  If I had switched lenses, and rolled forward a few hundred feet, I could have put the window down and gotten a clear shot.  Maybe next time…

I really like this picture for the most part.  Sometimes as a photographer, you get smacked in the face with reality.  You take a picture and step back and say to yourself, “I did that.  I took that picture”.  This was one of those times.  But not with this exact image.  I took four or five more after this and had one I loved a little more.  This one to me is way too dark.  The top of the flower is chopped off and should have more background above it.  The dew on the flower is not sharp enough either.  I do really love the bokeh (or blurry, out of focus) background.

So, what do you think?  Am I crazy, or does this make sense to you?  I know that I am way to critical.  There’s nothing I can do to change that.  It’s instilled in my brain.  I’d like to know how critical you are, and do you look at your pictures with the same crazy over critical attitude I have?  Do you just take pictures and post them, because they are good enough?  I am curious to know.  See ya soon!

Most people don’t know this about me, but another of my passions in life are motorcycles.  I like all different kinds – choppers, rockets, cruisers, Harleys, BMWs, Hondas.  I have been riding for almost 10 years now thanks to my best friend Jay.  He threw me on a Honda CBR600F3 about ten years ago and said “take it for a spin.”  I had never been on a motorcycle before.  So, here I am, in the middle of Stockbridge, MA on this bike scared to death that I am gonna kill myself my first time out.  He had told me to take it for a quick spin.  Ok, I can do this.  Waiting for traffic to clear, (which could take forever in Stockbridge during tourist season) then I let out the clutch and give it a little gas.  Ok, that wasn’t so bad.  I didn’t die.  Traffic is moving incredibly slowly and I want to go.  Finally, traffic moves out of the way and I crack the throttle.  Seconds later, I look down and I am over 70 mph.  WOW!  What a rush.

If you’ve never been on a sportbike before, imagine Ferrari type power in a 350+/- pounds bike.  Zero to sixty in seconds.  That was it.  I was hooked.  About four hours later, I brought the bike back to Jay with the biggest smile on my face.  It had begun.  Over the next few years, I rode a few other bikes owned by Jay and my brother Mark.  All of them rockets.  I was definitely a sportbike guy.

A few years later, I decided I was going to buy a bike for myself.  I went to the dealer and was all set to buy a brand new Yamaha R6 in Raven.  I was offered a job instead, and they put me in the Harley building selling Harley-Davidsons©.  Yuck.  I was a sportbike guy.  I didn’t like those biker types.  Their motorcycles were way to loud, and oh so slow.  Not my thing.  Fast forward a few months – I am selling Harleys and they keep hounding me to buy one.  I want to go fast, I say.  These things only have 68 hp.  It can’t get out of it’s own way.  “Try this out” the say as they point to a Harley-Davidson V-Rod©.

Interesting.  Great style, 120hp motor made in conjunction with Porsche.  Ok.  I will give it a shot.  So, off we go on a 30ish degree day with a few flurries in the air to test this bike out.  I have to admit, I came back with a smile on my face.  The bike was brand new and had a custom Harley-Davidson© paint kit on it.  I liked it more than I cared to admit at the time.  As I was considering it, they mentioned that someone had a V-Rod© there on consignment with only 1800 miles on it, lots of chrome and lowered two inches front and rear.  I checked it out.  It was gorgeous.  I was in love.  The battery was a little low from sitting around for a bit, so we charged it up and hit the ignition.  Holy Shit!  What a bark from that exhaust.  This thing was obnoxiously loud.  It had to be mine.

Looking back, I met some amazing people over the course of my time at the dealership.  Since then I have met a ton of bikers and let me tell you that while there some bad eggs out there, there are some pretty damn good people out there on motorcycles.  During the summer, we ride every Wednesday night with an awesome group called No Destination run by an amazing woman named Patti.  I have made so many friends there and over the last five years or so in the motorcycle community.  I have been to many, many poker runs to raise money for people who lost family members, or have an illness racking up thousands of dollars in bills.  The Toys for Tots run in the late fall, where you will find 300 to 400 bikes no matter how cold the weather is, bringing toys for needy children and raising money to make sure these kids have a good Christmas.  Here is a pic I took at this year’s run at Brunswick Harley.

Toys For Tots

Toys For Tots

I have also been lucky enough to be a part of a few Patriot Guard Missions.  These bikers go to the funerals of soldiers that have served our country and died, or are killed in the line of duty.  It is an honor to be part of these rides, but heartbreaking to see these young men and women die so young fighting for our freedom.

Another group I am very proud to be a part of is a forum composed of some of my friends that were in a V-Rod© forum and it spun off a photography forum called Movie Photo Forums – a great forum if you are into photography and motorcycles.  Most of the active participants ride, and a bunch actually ride V-Rods©.  There are some incredibly talented members there and I am proud to be a part of it.  They have become like family to me.  I get a lot of inspiration for my photography from the members there.  A bunch of us met in Canandaigua last summer on the bikes and rode together.  We even spent some time shooting in the area while we were there.

I guess what I am getting at is looking back to when I was a sportbike guy and I stereotyped “bikers” I had no idea what I was talking about.  There truly are some amazing people out there.  Don’t judge.  I could write about this all day, but you’d probably get tired of reading and head out.  So I will end this with a pic of my bike and my girlfriend Rose’s bike -or the Cadillac- as i like to call it.  We take my Harley for local rides, and her “Cadillac” for trips to Canandaigua or Montreal.

Our bikes

Our bikes

A few pics I have taken of bikes over the last few years…

FJR in the Catskills

FJR in the Catskills

Chad's Victory

Chad's Victory

Custom Rocker

Custom Rocker

Geico bike

Geico bike