Medical/Dental Device Photography…

Medical Device PhotographyMany of the products I shoot on set, whether they are gadgets, gizmos, or medical devices as pictured here, have some sort of illuminated screen, readout, buttons, LEDs, etc. that must be accounted for and depicted in the final images. This shot of was no different. This interesting invention is actually what amounts to a gentle dental jackhammer for tooth extraction. It was originally tested by veterinarians on canines, and has now been approved for human use. They approached me to create photos for the product launch and needed a real sexy shot for an upcoming trade show display.

The first step is getting the shot set up. This thing has six foot cords connecting the wand to the control box in the background and a foot switch to control the intensity. We did some shots of the whole apparatus for their marketing literature but we wanted a shot that showed only the cool parts of the unit for the back-lit trade show display. For this shot, a coat hanger was used to position the wand in the right position and secured to the wand with butyl, a very sticky black substance used to weather seal windshields during installation. A hole was cut in the background paper to allow the cord to be plugged in, and proper exposure of the wand and f/stop for the background was determined. Finally, critical focus on the wand was made, and with all the lights/strobes in the studio set to off, a timed exposure of between 1 and 2 seconds was recorded to see how the screen and LED showed up.Medical Device PhotographyBecause of the two-second exposure, you’ll need to shoot this in total darkness on set to get full saturation from the lights and it is very important to move carefully and not bump or kick the camera stand in the dark (been there, done that.) The camera was set to 2nd-curtain sync (as it almost always is) and a 2 second image was made with the Alien Bees firing right at the end to light the wand and control box. Eventually, the client went with the version below and the trades show was a great success, but I still like the drama of the lead off one above more ;-)Medical Device Photography

Portland Artwork & Jewelry Photography for Out-Of-Town Clients…

Recently, I was contacted by a jewelry maker and metal-smith from the mid west, who was referred to me by way of an online forum for jewelers from another out-of-state client in Florida. Such is the world we live in these days! She had received links to about ten photo websites to visit and in the end chose me because “the metal looks like metal.” I am delighted that these out-of-state clients trust sending their work to me and even more so, to be able to work with such talented artists.

Oregon Professional Photographers Assoc. Speedlight Workshop…

The Speedlight Lighting Workshop is intended for advanced beginners, hobbyists, and intermediate level professionals who wish to stretch their knowledge of photography with an emphasis on understanding light; how to recognize it and shape in the natural world, and how to create it and manipulate it in the studio and on location.

We begin by discussing the qualities of ambient light, evaluating its hardness or softness and taking into account the specularity, luminance and efficiency of the subject. Next we consider the creative possibilities of the direction of the lighting; front, side, overhead, underside and back lighting. We’ll discuss the camera controls use to maximize the qualities of the lighting at hand and techniques to create the emotional impact the photographer desires.

We’ll then move on to understand speedlight flash systems and the number of tools available to the studio and location photographer, umbrellas, softboxes, gels, grids, snoots, beauty dishes and ring lights. Speedlights will be covered in detail along with infrared and radio flash triggering systems.

The afternoon three portrait sessions will involve all the aspects we have discussed so far in real world situations; an executive portrait, sports portrait and senior portrait. Here we’ll once again delve into lighting placement and show Rembrandt/45 degree lighting, along with butterfly, butterfly/paramount, loop, split, split/rim and shadowless lighting.

Thanks to the Oregon Professional Photographers Association for sponsoring this event!

Registration is $69.00 for non-members and $49.00 for members and is limited to 16 photographers and includes refreshments and light snacks.

Sign up here:

Back from NYC…

We had a chance to get back to the east coast for a quick visit to NYC and the WTC 9/11 Memorial. Quite an emotional time… the people around me, myself… my brother tells me that the volunteers place yellow roses in the names of those lost, on their birthdays…

Shooting The Moon June 23…

Hi, All!

I forgot to mention this in photo class tonight and thought I’d include the rest of you guys who read my blog and took my classes this year!

Nightfall Sunday June 23rd this year will be the Super Moon where the moon will appear largest as it is closest to the Earth in its orbit (no big deal I’m told, happens once a year…)! More info here:

and here:

I’d suggest using the “Moonie f11 Rule” a strong tripod, and your longest focal length lens for best results. Moonrises for this and other locations can be found with this app I use regularly:

Oddly enough, it’s free for the desktop, yet $8.99 for the mobile app, but in the long run, definitely worth it if you are travelling!

I’ll be in New Mexico then and hoping for a clear evening!

It was really fun having you in class and I hope you received real value from attending my class(es)!

Have a great summer, keep shooting, and remember as the song says:

Best always,


Close-Up Photography, Behind The Scenes…

Close-up photo of sedum

My wife surprised me over the weekend with a large flowerpot she filled with succulent sedums to brighten up the studio door entrance. The area in question gets a lot of afternoon sun so she came up with something that can stand all that light and heat and also not require very much watering.

I had been in the studio shooting close-up images of blood testing kits and needed a bit of a break from all that close focusing so I headed outside to shoot close-ups of the new sedums! This entire shot occupies about as much real estate as the top segment of your thumb so we are definitely past 1:1 in scale here. I had recently upgraded to the newer Canon 100mm f/2.8L macro lens from the older 100mm USM macro introduced in March 2000. While I had no complaints about the older version except being slow to focus in low light (what else is new?) I wanted to see what the designation of L quality had to offer. Being almost double in price, I was expecting a lot and it did not disappoint.

For much of my close-up work with the older lens, I relied on a 62mm Nikon 5T close-up lens attached with a step-up ring to the 58mm macro. This arrangement allowed me to go beyond 1:1 for much of my macro work without having to employ extension tubes which eat a considerable amount of light. There is virtually no light loss with the 5T as it screws on to the front of the lens. With the new lens being larger at 67mm filter thread size, I would need a step-down ring from 67mm to 62mm and this situation had the potential for vignetting the corners using the smaller 5T CL lens.

I’m happy to report that was not the case as I soon discovered. I haven’t experimented at many distances yet, but in this instance I was only about 6 inches away from the little flowers and any slight vignetting was added in Lightroom4 but I was glad to see no apparent vignetting from the lens/ring/5T set-up. Shot in manual focus (as are 95% of my macro images) the lighting consisted of one dome-diffused Canon 600EX-RT on the left, aided by a white fill-card on the right. The colors were sweet but when I saw it on the camera’s LCD monitor it cried out for a B+W treatment. Enjoy :-)

Portland Business Portraits & Headshots…

two dudes


Got a jump on 2013 with a few guys in the studio last week for some business headshots and wanted to try some alternatives to the usual way I pose and photograph portraits. While much of it has to do with the willingness of your subject to stretch or to move a certain way, it’s my job to make sure they look good, natural and at ease. These fellows were quite different from one another but the goal is always the same… make a few great shots they can use for their marketing materials and get a few outstanding ones for the blog! So here they are… you can tell by the last one we do have a lot of fun doing this!




Holiday Family Portraits…

lesher kids


Had quite the run of family portraits this past holiday season which is great for the old bottom line because things tend to slow down around here as the year comes to a close. When networking in late fall, I always try to mention how the holidays are a great time to get the family and extended family together for holiday family portraits especially when folks are coming into Portland from out-of-town or out-of-country like two of my families were this season. Whether coming into the studio or having the shoot at your home, the holidays are a great time for family portraits!