Category: General

During 2012, I began shooting the view from the offices I work in every day. The result was the Transamerica View book. During 2013, I continued shooting the view, this time with a vintage Polaroid camera and Impossible Project film. The resulting 215 images are now available in a softcover book and as a PDF.

You can find the book and PDF on MagCloud. You can also see the images on Flickr.

Shooting Neon With an iPhone

February 22nd, 2014 Permalink

Back in 2010, I posted 10 tips for shooting neon. Now more and more people are carrying around their iPhone as their primary camera. I thought it was time to post a follow up with tips for shooting neon signs with a iPhone. Many of the same tips for shooting with a DLSR apply to […]

Back in 2010, I posted 10 tips for shooting neon. Now more and more people are carrying around their iPhone as their primary camera. I thought it was time to post a follow up with tips for shooting neon signs with a iPhone. Many of the same tips for shooting with a DLSR apply to the iPhone as well!

  1. Know Your Camera
  2. Neon is bright. Especially at night, this brightness can confuse the camera app and the exposure will not be what you want. However, most apps will let you set which spot is used for exposure and focus. For example, to set exposure and focus on the Camera app that comes with the iPhone, just tap on the screen. Holding down will lock the exposure and focus so you can compose the shot. Learning how to make the camera behave the way you want will make sure you can get the shot exposed just how you want it.

  3. Know Your Apps
  4. There are hundreds and hundreds of photography apps to choose from on the App Store. Knowing what the apps you have will do for an image is key to getting the image you want. Spend some time with each photo app you download, learning what adjustments it can perform and how they affect the image. Knowing this will help you pick the right app to get the look and feel you want.

    I like the way the Hipstamatic app combination of John S Lens and Kodot XGrizzled Film work with neon signs.

  5. Shoot Day Or Night
  6. Neon looks amazing at night, but don’t ignore it during the day. Often there are details that cannot be seen at night, and some signs no longer light up. But they still look good!

  7. Shoot During The Blue Hour
  8. Shooting neon when the sun is low in the sky will allow you to capture the glowing tubes as well as the surrounding context. This is a great time to shoot signs!

  9. Experiment
  10. Get close. Shoot reflections. Get under, behind, and above signs. Use the neon as part of the image, but not the only thing in the image. Use experimental photo apps, and combine the results of different apps. There’s no harm in trying things – pixels are free!

    Here are some apps that will do interesting and unexpected things to your photos:
    Decim8
    Percolator
    Interlacer (Full Disclosure: This app was written by me)

    This image was made with Hipstamatic and Interlacer:

    Also check out Doctor Popular’s Appsperiments

  11. Look At Other Photos
  12. There are a lot of people shooting neon with their iPhones. Look at what they are doing. Get inspired! Here are a few to get you started:
    Sean Calvey (scalvey)
    Sharlynn V (sv1)
    Frank Prosnik (innerstate1)

  13. Practice
  14. The more you do practice, the better you will get. Make time to shoot. Seek out interesting and vintage neon signs. Go have fun!

You can see all of my iPhone neon photos on Flickr.

Generations

October 21st, 2013 Permalink

Spikey

October 20th, 2013 Permalink

Domino Table

October 19th, 2013 Permalink

Eternal Flame

January 27th, 2013 Permalink

The eternal flame at the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial in Atlanta, Georgia.

This Train Don’t Stop

December 27th, 2012 Permalink

The Feeling Goes On And On

December 26th, 2012 Permalink

Instacanv.as Sales For Sandy Relief

November 3rd, 2012 Permalink

Want to help with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and get something nice in the process?

Unless you live under a rock, you know that Hurricane Sandy tore through New York City, leaving many people homeless and without water and power. Many small businesses have been destroyed, and the people who worked hard to build these small neighborhood businesses were left with nothing.

I have donated to relief efforts, but I don’t have a lot of cash available. One thing I do have a lot of is photographs. I have decided that 100% of the proceeds from my Instacanv.as gallery sales in November and December of 2012 will be donated to the Red Hook Initiative. I selected this organization based on the recommendation of a photographer I respect and who lives in Brooklyn. They are actively assisting in relief efforts, and donations at this time are much needed.

Full disclosure: I get 20% of the sale from Instacanv.as. I will donate the entire amount that I receive from Instacanv.as directly to the Red Hook Initiative. So if you purchase a 20×20 canvas print, $16 will go to relief efforts, and you will have something nice to hang on a wall or to give as a gift. I will update this post each month with information about how much was donated. If you want to skip the print and donate more money directly to relief efforts, that’s great too.

Here are just a few of the images available in my gallery: