Monthly Archives: October 2009

Call For Submissions – Portfolio Review

Someone once asked, on a photography forum, how to get out of a rut when you’re shooting the same stuff all the time. There were a lot of responses, but the one I really liked came from Aaron Leitz, who said, “Get another photographer to open a big can of Whoop-Ass on your portfolio.”

Aaron, that is right on.

It’s easy to get your ego stroked. Your friends will always tell you that you’re the most awesomest photographer ever. That’s their job. What’s harder is getting really honest, even brutal feedback from someone who has no relationship with you. Who doesn’t care if your feelings get hurt. Who will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.

I get a lot of requests for portfolio reviews, and it’s difficult at best to accommodate them. A good portfolio ass-kicking takes a fair amount of effort/time on the part of the reviewer, and so I usually end up punting on those emails. Or I skim quickly through the person’s website and get back to them eventually with something fairly useless, like “Nice images!” or “Fix your verts!”

But, I do actually spend a lot of time cruising through photographers’ websites, and I really enjoy talking about photos, so….I’m going to steal a page from Zack Arias and give the online video portfolio review thing a try. As far as I can tell, no one is doing this for Interiors/Architectural photography, and certainly not for Real Estate photography as a sub-genre. read more after the jump

Trouble-Shooting Pocket Wizards

I’m posting this today because I recently had trouble with my Pocket Wizards (Plus II’s) and despite my best Google-efforts, nothing I found was helpful for this particular problem. Indeed, nowhere on the internet, that I could find, had anyone even described the symptoms I had.

The problem was that one of my units suddenly (as in, mid-shoot) stopped working, and the red lights, which normally blink, were solid red. No blinking. Turned the unit(s) off, then on again. Swapped in fresh batts. Messed around with cables. No dice. Solid red lights.

I was able to finish my shoot by throwing a flash on the camera, and using it to trigger all my remote lights optically. But it took a call to Mac Group to figure out what was wrong: the cable was worn out and had shorted, somewhere inside the insulation. This is the standard cable that comes with the units, the Mini-to-PC cord that connects the PW to the flash. the fix is in….after the jump

iPhone Photo of the Day


Scott Hargis Photo

The Gear Bag Video Tour

EDIT: This blog has MOVED. You’re on the old, dead blog. Everything (including this post) has been migrated onboard my website. Here’s the direct link:

Update your bookmarks! See you there!

We now continue with our original programming….


First, has anyone noticed the new, wider, format of this blog? I figured out how to do that all by myself! The reason I wanted a wider column was that I’m planning to include much more video going forward, and this will allow you to view it without using a magnifying glass. Of course, you could also just click the “Full Screen” button at the bottom of the video window.

There’ll be a sequel to my “Correcting Verticals” video coming out pretty soon, and I have a couple of other video projects in the works, which will be WAY cool if they work, so stay tuned. And the list of “regular” blog topics keeps growing, so don’t worry, this won’t become YouTube anytime soon.

Today’s topic, though, is yet another in my “Frequently Asked Questions” series. “What kind of camera do you shoot with?”, “What lens do you use?” “What kind of umbrella should I buy?”, etc. etc. etc. I get emails like these almost every day, and while I try to answer them as quick as I can, here’s a pro-active response: I’m going to pull every piece of equipment out of the camera bags and show it to you.

It’s about 11 minutes long, so get a beer, sit back and enjoy. This was shot in the kitchen of a house I was about to shoot, because I had my personal videographer with me and the stager’s crew wasn’t ready for us yet. Not shown is all the crap I use on more involved shoots; that’ll have to be another video.

And why the hell do I keep smacking my gear around?!

iPhone Photo of the Day


Scott Hargis Photo

iPhone Photo of the Day


Scott Hargis Photo

iPhone Photo of the Day


Scott Hargis Photo