Sunday, October 31, 2010


Monday, October 25, 2010

student of the shutter

This is Vince. He's one of my students from the community ed. class. There's a lot of enthusiasm in that face!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

possibly my favorite portrait, ever

I can't stop looking at this portrait from Saturday's shoot in Toledo. Her smile, eyes, and even wrinkles really tell a story. Thank you, Grigsby Family!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Manfrotto 3265 tripod griphead

(click images for larger versions)


I have a Manfrotto 3265 tripod griphead. I believe they have discontinued this model, but replaced it with one almost identical, so the following tip may apply. I've had this tripod head for several years. Recently I noticed that it was getting loose. It's been getting loose and looser for some time. There is a big thumbwheel on this device to adjust tightness. I had it cranked all the way up. Recently I was shooting outdoor foliage for HDR (which requires multiple identical shots at different exposures). And this darned thing was flopping all over the place, and my camera and lens were going with it!

This will not do, I say! I thought it was $100 down the drain, plus another $40-$80 (someday) to replace it with a simpler ballhead. So, for bleeps and giggles, I start my search on B&H and Amazon. I realize that I'm going to want the same attachment specs so I can still use the old tripod but I'm not sure how it will be described. I find my 3265 somewhere on the interwebs and happen to scroll down and read some of the reviews. A commenter mentioned that his, too, became loose and he fixed it himself, by opening up the contraption and adding several washers above the spring assembly. Eureka! I say.

I acquire allen wrenches and washers and go to it (read all the way to the end before you dive in, please -- learn from my mistakes!). First off, if you go this route, wear protective eyewear -- luckily I had my readers on -- this thing is loaded with two tightly compressed springs that WILL jump out! Now gather everything up that flew apart and take a few minutes to figure out where it all goes back. Insert your washers (six were suggested, but I went w/ four) above the main spring assembly and put that thing back together. This is harder than it sounds because the second spring which pushed out the control lever really only stays in place when both halves of the unit are together. I managed to compress it and hold it down with a flat screwdriver while I forced the two halves of the head back together.

Success, right? Well, not right away. Turns out the control lever was rather loose. I found a small nut (which is really what this whole story is about) on the front side of the unit and tightened it with a smaller allen wrench. Not only did the lever stabilize, but I noticed that this tiny nut also seems to contribute some control to the overall tightness of the tripod head (see pictures above to see where this little gem is).

So, the moral of the story is: If you have the same or similar tripod head and it gets loose, you might try a couple of easy turns with an allen wrench before you try major tripod surgery. If it solves your problem, I guarantee you will save yourself a bleep-load of aggravation.

That being said, I'm now, once again, very happy with my Manfrotto 3265!

Fave from "The Family T Goes to the Apple Orchard"

Thursday, October 14, 2010

ticklin' the dusty ivories

Next to the barn at the Octagon House in Washington, MI.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

fall leaves fall

Might be an obvious tip: To isolate, flatten, and show off an autumn leaf, forget about the product setup. Just put the little beauty on your scanner! Scanners are a terrific, fast, simple way to "shoot" anything that is flat, light enough, and fits on the platen! Grabbed this leaf outside my back door and minutes later had my shot-- never opened the camera bag.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Oak Park class

Tonight, 7-9, dslr basics class in Oak Park! Part 1. Part 2 is next Wed. I'm excited to be teaching this stuff again. Dawn is starting to roll her eyes when I talk about gear and photography tips and tricks.

Come, learn, then go, shoot!

Only $49!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Friday, October 01, 2010

and the winner is.........

and the winner is.............. Jaymie Lopez! Congratulations! She's getting married June of '11 and we're very excited for her!

who will win a free engagement shoot??

Stay tuned here today at 6 p.m. to see who (from last Sunday's Brides To Be bridal show in Troy) won the FREE Engagement photo shoot!