Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I'm not talking about framing a photographic image. I've had this desire for a long time to craft my own wood frames. In addition to photography I've dabbled in some wordworking projects over the years. I've always had a hard time picking just the right style. So I finally decided to give it a go - the only new tool I had to purchase was a strap clamp, although I also needed a new blade for my compound miter saw. The image below is the current style I am producing:

I am currently using poplar with a Red Oak stain. I am very happy with the look of the wood after staining. The grain is subtle and even. I will be experimenting with other colors in the near future.

The process of creating a frame from scratch is really not that complicated, but the technique is what makes this repeatable without too much waste. Sanding the wood to even out flaws and saw blade indentations. Cutting accurate corners without too much tearout. Applying the stain evenly. Finishing.

I am hoping to add these frames to my offerings in the near future. Keep a look out.

Friday, June 8, 2007

V is for Vignette

I love to shoot scenics - both small-scale (smaller subjects, tighter cropping) and large-scale. In the rural areas of Bucks County (Pennsylvania) there are many, many sources of very nice subject matter for these kinds of shots. But I also drive into the city of Philadelphia a few times a year to try and capture some nice images there. My style is not the B&W, gritty street photography that so many photographers do (and do well, I might add). And although city buildings lend themselves to studies in angles and shapes, I am drawn to a different kind of city photography.

Reading Terminal Market - 2007

The image above is an example of the kind of shot I look for in the city. Cities have lots of buildings and stores and landmarks, but they are also full of living and breathing people. And what I want to record is a vignette of city life, not an in-your-face kind of image, but a more subtle reproduction of a moment in the hustle-bustle daily life of a city-dweller. I think I succeeded in that regard in the above image.

Thursday, June 7, 2007


I recently made a photo of a moonrise in Yosemite National Park, and I have received some questions about handling the moon in photographs. Many experienced photographers know how to handle the moon but I'll discuss it a little for those who don't.

The light coming from the moon is approximately as bright as other earthly objects in daylight. So if you were to take a picture of the moon during daytime, which is when the above image occurred, you will typically see the moon with all of its details. But if you attempt to include the moon in a nighttime image, with an extended exposure, the moon becomes over-exposed and becomes a bright ball. Some people don't mind that effect, but some do.

There are various ways to handle this problem:
  1. Make your photo with the moon during daytime (like the image above)
  2. During night-time use a long exposure if you don't mind the "bright ball" effect
  3. Some people make two exposures, one exposed for the scene and one exposed for the moon, and they post-process the images to have the moon show with it's detail
  4. Some people simply paste in a copy of the moon in a night-time image (I'm not a big fan of this technique, although photography is art so it is not off-limits)
So there you have it.