Category Archives: Editorial

Motivational Speaker Portraits…

Motivational Speaker Portraits

I was called to the Portland Community College’s Cascade Campus last weekend to shoot portraits of a young man who shares his story of growing up hungry for knowledge to young people overcoming barriers in their lives. I photographed him speaking to a group of about 40 students in an auditorium for about an hour, then pulled him outside for some casual portraits for his website and marketing materials. His story was quite moving.

From an African village, to Food Stamps in America, to Harvard Graduate School, Tamam says “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish that matters.”

Words to live by ;)

Portland Doctor/Physician Portraits…

Portland Doctor Portraits

Providence Medical Center called recently for some new portraits of two of their doctors who were going to be going out and speaking at medical conferences. They needed shots together and portraits alone. So, early on a  Sunday evening when the hospital was quiet, we nearly had the whole lobby to ourselves which made picking locations quite easy. They didn’t have a whole lot of time so I took along Canon Speedlites instead of my studio strobes to stay nimble and shoot fast.

Portland Doctor Portraits

I have begun to shoot a lot more horizontal portraits and in a lot looser fashion. This has been fun and I am excited to see the results. It keeps my peripheral vision engaged and allows me to see compositions and settings that I might not have noticed before when I was going in to “just do a headshot”. I’m enthused to see where this new direction takes me and present three of my favorites here!

Portland Doctor Portraits

Portland Pin-Up Photography…

A little warmth for these cold days! Had some fun in the studio with pin-up models Miranda and Kayla, friends of my assistant Aaron. We set up several backgrounds and collected a vast assortment of props beforehand to create some cool situations the models could seamlessly move into. The lighting set-up was pretty consistent, large light bank for the main and some undiffused  heads for edge. Aaron brought his extensive collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia and we used them for quite a few images from the shoot. These two images are my favorites of each of the models and I think the props helped with the mood of the shots – an old rotary desk phone from my Mom’s answering service and some glam sunglasses left over from a Halloween party.

Canon Speedlite Digital Field Guide…

Canon Speedlite System Second Edition Cover

Detailed coverage of Canon’s four speedlite-580EX II, 430 EX II, 220 EX and the new 270 EX-built exclusively for Canon DSLRs.

If you use a digital SLR camera, then you understand just how critical it is to have a capable flash. Canon Speedlite shines a whole new light on taking photos with a Canon DSLR. This full-color, in-depth guide takes you beyond the standard manual that accompanies the Speedlite and shows you the types of settings you can use on your camera when working with the Speedlite.

You’ll explore the possibilities of wireless lighting with multiple speedlites as well as the creative effects you can achieve. Author and professional photographer Brian McLernon demystifies setting up the speedlite, synchronizing the speedlite equipment, and determining lighting ratios.

  • Canon DSLRs are only growing in popularity and the Speedlite system is a must-have accessory for exploring a new world of digital photo possibilities
  • Shows you how to create an inexpensive and portable wireless studio lighting system that can go where you go
  • Demystifies setting up the speedlite, synchronizing the equipment, and figuring out lighting ratios
  • Covers other Canon lighting system components, such as the ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter, Macro Ring Lite, and Macro Twin Lite

Real-world information on using these speedlites illustrated by full-color examples and untangles the complexities of using the Canon Speedlite system.

Shamrock Run, Portland Oregon…

Shamrock Run, Portland, Oeregon

Headed downtown early Sunday morning to get set up to shoot the Shamrock Run for Evan Pilchik and EP Events. On my way to the Start/Finish line, I noticed (and heard!) these bagpipers and drummers warming up. I always enjoy the hand ballet the drummers use when twirling the mallets and like the framing in this shot. See more results of the Shamrock Run photography. While I truly enjoy the mournful sounds of bagpipes, (I am Irish after all) whenever I see or hear them, I always think of an old Irish joke. “Do you know why bagpipers always march? To get away from that god-awful sound!” Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Urban farmers…

Urban farmer

OK, so the books are out and it’s been wild getting feedback and emails about them from readers all over the world! We’re currently in discussion about another book that I am very excited about if it gets final approval. I can’t say much about it right now but suffice to say it is a subject very near and dear to my photographic heart.

Since the pace has eased up a bit around here I thought I would post some of the images either used or shot for the books and provide a little backstory on each one. First up is this shot of my neighbor Damien for a story on urban farmers and for the Canon Speedlite System DFG. With little daylight left I wanted to explore the whole warm/cool visual tension with Speedlites. The Canon 5D Mark II was set to an indoor tungsten balance to turn the background a deep blue and the foliage behind Damien was lit with one ungelled Speedlite at around 1/8th power. Since the camera was set to tungsten white balance and the flash produces daylight white balance without a gel, the whole background goes blue or very cool tones.

A second Speedlite @ about 1/16th power and mounted on a stand with an FJ Westcott umbrella-style Apollo softbox was used as the main light. I taped on two full CTOs (color temperature orange) gels and shot about 12 frames. Set-up and tear down took about 15 minutes.

In post production I decided I way overdid it with the CTO’s and backed off the saturation for less intensity of the colors. I now have a full kit of 1/4, 1/2, and full CTO’s for next time. I like the visual tension between the two different color families. What do you think?

Nighttime Portraits, Canon Speedlite System…

Nighttime portrait of a friend of mine on the roof of an office building in downtown Portland for my new book about the Canon Speedlite System, due out in January 2010. One 580EX II was used, triggered by PocketWizard Multi-Maxes, and fired through a small white umbrella on a stand camera-right.

Adding a Second Speedlite to Your Macro Photography…

This was shot in my backyard for the macro section of my new Canon Speedlite Digital Field Guide set for release February 2010. It shows the benefit of adding a second Speedlite for the background (triggered by PocketWizards) to counteract the tendency of the background to go black when shooting macro images at high f/numbers.
Canon 5D Mk II, ISO 2000, f/11 @ 1/80 sec. with an EF100mm macro lens. Macro Twin-Lite MT-24EX for the main light, 580EX II for the background, both on manual settings.