Archive for July, 2011

Macro and Depth of Field on My Mind

Posted in Instructional Photo Tours on July 26, 2011 by roamin with roman


In today’s blog post I want to talk about depth of field when doing macro photography.  I do like shallow DOF (Depth of Field) images….but only if they are done very well!  Maybe it is the old “film shooter” in me, but I find way too many people today hide behind filtered or soft and blurry images!  We used to throw out of focus images out in the film days!  It is quite different to selectively choose a focus point and use shallow DOF… is quite another to pass blurry or filtered images off as “art” because you couldn’t take a sharp image!  Don’t get me wrong…..I do enjoy creating blur’s or shallow DOF images…..but they are the exception and always created in camera. I generally take a tack sharp image of the flower or insect first, and then decide how shallow I should go with the DOF!  I think way too many people justify shallow DOF images or filtered images because they don’t understand how to use their equipment to get tack sharp images at maximum DOF or refuse to use and understand flash to get natural looking results!

In the image at the top, I wanted to showcase the Gerbera daisy to its fullest!  I had to shoot at f/32 to capture all the fine details when shooting that close.  I used Canon MT-24EX Twin Lights for some fill light and a gold reflector to even out the tones on the back of the bloom.  A large flashlight was placed behind it to give the appearance that it was the sun behind it.  This happens to be Pura’s favorite flower image of mine, so Susan Candelario made a canvas print of it for her!  By the way……I got that flower from Williams Nursery in Westfield…..I get all my flowers there as they have the best quality around!  Don’t forget to ask for David!

In the frog image above, I used my Sigma 180mm macro with the twin lights while lying on the ground.  The flash allows me to hand hold these type of images and use the maximum DOF I can to capture the details that are even under water.

Another trick I like to show my clients is how to do a high key image in camera!  The image below is a good example of this. You need to intentionally overexpose the image and use the flash to give the image an almost pastel look or pencil drawing feel. This was all done in camera with very little post processing.  I would like to stress again… need to know your equipment and then the sky is the limit!

As I was finishing up the day at one of my Longwood Gardens workshops, I opted for a selective focus image of the tulip……focusing just on the curve. The image below (thanks Jacki!) was at f/5.6 to capture just enough detail on the fold of the tulip.  I feel that many photographers I admire create excellent shallow DOF images but they fully understand where the critical focus needs to be and don’t use creative filters to cover technical flaws.

I often find that many photographers are afraid of flash or don’t know how to use it.  I find it is the most effective tool to use to stop motion and also allows you to photograph when conditions are less than ideal! In the image below, I seriously under exposed for the ambient light and used the flash to make the water lily glow!

These are just some of my tips and trick I will share with you at my macro workshops.  My next one is actually at Hunt’s Photo at their Melrose, Massachusetts location.  This half day workshop is both instructional and hands on… bring your gear!  They will provide me with some equipment to share with you and we will use it during the workshop. The date is October 15th and you can e-mail Gary Farber and let him know that you are interested!


Gillette Castle HDR Workshop Report

Posted in Instructional Photo Tours on July 12, 2011 by roamin with roman

Hey All,

I just wanted to share with you some images from my just completed Gillette Castle HDR workshop.  Susan Candelario co-led this with me.  We had a great group and although it was very hot, we all had a exhilarating few private hours in the castle!  Unlike my first trip there, they had the bar lit this time.  The lounge and bar room above as well as the office image below are 2 of my favorites in the house, although they all have some unique characteristics.

We started the day outside on the grounds where I was looking for a unique perspective on the castle.  The sunburst image below, through the trees, provided me with the opportunity I was looking for.

The September 17th trip will be my last one there this year as they are closed after Columbus Day.  I have a few slots left but if you are interested, don’t delay as I expect this to sell out after this announcement.  The image below of Gillette’s sisters’ room was not open to us during our first visit either.  It was worth the sweat to get this image for my collection!

If you are interested in attending the September workshop you can e-mail me at: or just use PayPal on my schedule page to make your payment.

As is often the case on my tours……long or short ones……we had to stop for this truck by the side of the road for a last photo op.  That’s where the Roamin’ part comes in!  As it was surrounded by trees, I knew I was going to replace the background with one of my sky files!

Hope everyone is having a great summer!

4th of July Fireworks and Hunt’s Photo & Video Nik Software Specials!

Posted in Instructional Photo Tours on July 6, 2011 by roamin with roman


Hope everyone had a great 4th of July!  I spent the day with Susan and Anthony Candelario as well as Nick Palmieri waiting for the Macy’s 4th of July fireworks. You have to get there very early for a good spot! Even though I have lived in NJ my entire life, this was the first (definitely not the last) time I made it out to photograph them.  The image above and directly below are composites as they were not firing fireworks close enough to the Empire State building from our location….so I moved a few bursts closer!


For my upcoming Gillette Castle HDR workshop, Gary Farber of Hunt’s Photo has provided the special prices below on Nik software.  If you still want to get into the Gilette Catle workshop……. I have 1 slot available.  The prices for the Nik software are in effect from July 7th till the 12th and you can e-mail Gary and mention my name to receive this discount or call Hunt’s 1-800-221-1830 and any sales associate will help you out.

Nik HDR: Regular price: $139.99       Sale price: $129.95

Nik Silver Efex Pro: Regular price: $129.99     Free upgrade to VR 2

Nik Creative Efex Collection containing HDR Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, & Color Efex Pro 3.0: Regular price: $299.99    Sale Price: $269.99

Hunt’s Photo & Video: new shipping policy is that any order over $99 ships free!


The image above is not a composite. I faced down river where I was able to capture 3 barges.  It was a long but fun day with great friends and a great show!  Looking forward to next year already!!!

Just as a final reminder, I only have 2 slots left in 2011 for either Zion and Bryce or my Bosque/White Sands instructional tour.  Check out the 2012 schedule for some of my new instuctional tours as well as my regular yearly tours.  Remember that for my US based tours I only take 4 participants!

Hope everyone had a great 4th and are having a great summer too!!!