The life of a photographer who likes to shoot just about anything.

Posts tagged “New Jersey Portrait Photographer

Christmas Tree

It’s that time of year again!

Ma! I Need a Job!

We all know that this is a tough “new” economy and I wonder how successful college grads will be in looking for work in their fields. But I also wonder what would I do if I was in my 20’s, finishing school and wanted to be a photographer. Where would I start looking for work? I was a staff photographer for the first 20 years of my working life, and staff positions still exist, but not as many, and I’m not sure where. Plus, I assume, the photographers in those jobs aren’t leaving until they retire. Newspapers are also laying off staff and TV news channels are relying on the “public” to share their pictures with them (CNN Lays off Staff). Photographers interested in stock photography will discover the falling of prices and competition from the general “non-pro” shooter who posts their images on Flickr and Getty decides to use those images. “Yikes! Ma. I gotta compete against some guy who just happened to get a lucky shot, or if my image is chosen they’re gonna pay me only $3?!” (Time Magazine uses iStock photo dirt cheap.) Then there is assisting other photographers to learn the ropes on both the business and technical side. I never assisted. I landed my staff position and when I was laid off, just like all those other photographers, I opened my own business. What I needed at that point was assistance in learning how to “run” a business so I struggled through it but I wonder how many “new” photographers are getting the opportunity to assist and learn. I say this because I see many seasoned pros turning to “educating” the newcomer – lectures for a fee. And other pros who are leaving the photo business thus not providing opportunities for the newbie to assist and learn. And other photographers, like myself, who are reasonably busy but don’t hire assistants because the jobs don’t demand it. I’m getting more and more requests from recent college grads wanting to assist. I know that I’m not the only one they’re contacting, but I always feel  bad when I have to say that I don’t need their help. It’s always been a scary world, but it just feels like it’s getting scarier, at least if you’re looking for work as a photographer.

The image above was taken as a test shot before taking the actual portrait. It was used as a background for the portrait.

Happy New Year from the Superheroes of the Universe

Female Superhero

Happy New Year!

Onward to New York City!

Subway, Underground, Public Transportation Sign

A Path Train Sign to New York City.

Every year at this time I like to head to New York City for photos, fun and food. I shoot for stock photography, never sure what I’ll get other than the standard images, but am always looking for some inspiration. Sometimes I win, sometimes I don’t. Let’s see about today.

Twas The Night…..A Family Tradition

In 1990 I started a family tradition of reading “Twas the Night…” on Christmas Eve to my children. I started with my son and my daughter was came onboard in 1995. The videos have been edited to watch them grow.

Dover Castle, Dover, England

Dover Castle is on the south coast of England on the English Channel.
I wish I were king 500 years ago so I could behead somebody.

Christmas Tree

It’s that time of year again!

CNN – iReport – Help the Employed Lose Their Jobs!

I’m not one who uses the Daily Show or Stephen Colbert to keep me up-to-date on the news, but it was on the Colbert Report that shows the damage that free reporting – aka “CNN’s iReport” is doing to the jobs of editors and photojournalists in the field – 50 of them are being laid off. When a CNN viewer photographs/videotapes an event and uploads it to the news organization – they are working for free, letting CNN profit off their work and putting Americans out of a job. That momentary elation of “look Ma, my photo/video is on the the news!” has evolved into employees losing their jobs. Free reporting is obviously not a good idea.

If I’m ever in a position to photograph a newsworthy event, I will be paid for my services. I don’t work for free.

Click on Colbert Report – CNN iReporter to take you to the video.

Evening in Frisco

Travel across this bridge and you’re heading in the direction of Skywalker Ranch.

Sunrise over New York City

Photo was taken before leaving for London.

iPad Ready

I am now iPad ready. What that means is, when a viewer (potential client) connects to my site, it can now be seen on an iPad or mobile device. For those who didn’t get the news, iPads do not work with Adobe flash. My 2 websites – RJGreenphoto and Rich Green Photography – were a combination of HTML and flash. The HTML was for SEO and the flash was for the photo galleries. With Google Analytics I knew when someone was viewing my site with an iPad and, of course, they didn’t see anything past the opening HTML pages. There weren’t many iPad visitors, but one always has to be ready. Now I am.

ComicCon 2011 NYC

It’s this weekend. Tomorrow I go. The photo is from ComicCon 2010.

Question of the Day

Who can name the movie this space ship is from?

Photoshop – Noun & Verb

What was created as the name of a software program, has evolved in it’s meaning. This is obviously not news to anyone, but can be frustrating to photographers. I have family members showing me 4×6 inch prints, poorly photographed, lacking image definition and detail, poor color, etc. and they’ll ask, “You can photoshop this, right?” In other words, “make it look absolutely perfect”. When I say no, they give me that quizzical look, “Why not? You know photoshop.” I’ll be polite and ask to see the film negative thinking, maybe there’s more detail there. “I don’t have the negative. It’s lost. Why should that matter?” Yikes, I’m dealing with amateurs. Yes, I realize that photos from 1920 are “restored”, but these 1960 images don’t fall into that category for me. I’m not going to spend hours “creating and filling in” to make it look wonderful.

Which brings me back to my use of Photoshop. I used to have a B&W darkroom. (I left color processing and printing to the labs.) I had a print processing setup purchased from Spiratone (remember them?) for making quickie 5×7 prints for clients. (If anyone remembers what the process was called, let me know.) And I also made prints with equipment I purchased from Zone VI -for images that were important to me personally. I used my darkroom in the manner that was typical – dodging/burning/setting up contrast via filter or paper/processing time, etc. And this is how I essentially use Photoshop, as an electronic darkroom, dodging, burning, contrast, etc. Yes, I employ some tricks of the trade as any photographer would do for clients, but for personal work, I generally like to keep it simple.

The image above is an example of that process. It was shot quickly, before my kids had a chance to move. The place is Monument Valley and the sun was rising. Dodging, burning, creating masks, adjusting contrast were my tools to create the image. Just like in a darkroom, but I admit, more convenient because I could turn my computer off when I was tired, save everything and return the next day when I had time to reflect on my work. That, for me, is the real advantage Photoshop has that a darkroom doesn’t.


On August 20th I posted a short video on my blog about my vacation trip to England. Now on my Lifestyle website I have posted a gallery of images from my trip. We flew into and out of London with 3 day trips outside of the city. Our first destination was to Dover to see the castle. The photograph of the cruise ship (you’re probably thinking “what does that have to do with England?)  was taken looking out from the castle onto the English Channel. Barely visible in the background is France. The next day we went to Bath. It was a return trip for my wife and I, having visited it in 1984. It’s a beautiful city with ancient Roman ruins and an amazing street performer (photo included in gallery and a short clip in the video). Our last trip was to Brighton also on the English Channel, and which was another return trip for us. When we were there in October 1985 the swimming season had ended. Not for this visit however, as evidenced by a few images in my gallery.

The image above was, of course, taken at the Beatles Abbey Road spot. Back in 1985 we also visited Abbey Road and took a similar photo but we were the only ones there. Also, we were at the wrong corner at the time and nice elderly lady pointed us to the right corner. Well, things have changed. The spot is very busy with plenty of tourists wanting to take their Beatles shot. And the front wall to EMI studios is covered in Beatles graffiti – names of songs, I love the Beatles, Miss you George, etc. And yes, I wrote on the wall too.

One comment concerning photo #19 in the gallery – I was walking along shooting photos and, without realizing it at the time, captured this shot of a man on his phone, in front of a store display that happened to have the phrase “OMG” in a cartoon balloon right next to the man’s head. Wow.

Camera Stolen?

Just in case you have a problem, here’s a website that might be able to help – Camera Stolen. A photographer on APAnet/Yahoo Group wrote about a photographer getting all of his equipment back using this service. If you’re a member of the group, you can read about it here. If you’re not, you can always join.

My First Hurricane

While I’m in the path of Hurricane Irene, luckily I’m far enough west – about 50 miles from NYC – that it’ll probably just be a tropical storm in my area. My neighborhood is not a flood zone and my house sits on an incline so water runs away, but I still cleaned up my yard and tied everything down on my deck, just in case. And there’s always the possibility of a tree falling on my house. Yikes! It’s a surreal moment to prepare for a hurricane. I’ve never done it. I wish I had a waterproof video camera so I could go outside, play weatherman and look like I’m about to be blown away. Why do those knuckleheads do that?

Well, it’s about 24 hours to the big show!

A Trip to England

Just returned from a family vacation to London, England. We also made several day trips outside the city. I shot a ton of images. I’ll showcase a few here along with a gallery on my Lifestyle site as soon as I finished editing and copyright registering them. The (very) short video is just for fun.

The American West

One of the most beautiful places in our country – Monument Valley.

Planet of the Apes

For me seeing the new apes movie, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, was not a choice but an obligation. When the original Planet of the Apes film with Charlton Heston premiered in 1968 I was around 14 years old. I sat in the Plaza Theater in Paterson, NJ and was transported to a world that held me by my heart and soul. I had chills when the character “Taylor” played by Mr. Heston uttered the words, “Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape.” And those chills were intensified with the ending of the movie – seeing the remains of the Statue of Liberty on the sandy beach. It’s an iconic moment in American film history. I walked out of the theater in a daze. To this day, I do not remember if I saw the film with anyone else. That movie cemented a relationship with the soon-to-be-made franchise. I bought a hardcover of the original novel written by French author Pierre Boulle, also author of The Bridge over the River Kwai. For a 14 year old to purchase a hardcover of a book displays the respect I had for the material. The novel was different than the movie, but it was just as perfect.

After the original film premiered I was first on line for everything that followed – Beneath the Planet…., Escape from the Planet…., Conquest of the Planet…., and finally Battle for the Planet….. Nothing equaled the original, but the movies were entertaining. Sometime in the 1970s a close friend and myself sat through a marathon of the 5 films at the Plaza theater. A bland TV followed in 1974, comic books (not interested) and the Tim Burton remake in 2001. I’d lump Burton’s remake with the sequels, entertaining but nothing special.

I don’t remember the year, but sometime between 2000 and 2009 the original Planet of the Apes film was playing at the Lafayette theater in Suffern, NY. The theater had a sci-fi movie weekend with the Heston movie being one of the films shown. Also present at the showing was Linda Harrison, aka “Nova”. It was a fan’s dream to see and hear Ms. Harrison reminisce about the making of the movie.

Back to the new film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It was entertaining, more so than some of the other sequels. There were plenty of references to the original – some subtle, some not. I don’t remember the reason given in Conquest of the Planet for the rise of the apes intelligence, been a long time since I’ve seen it, but the logic in the new movie was very good, in my opinion. My only real qualm was the ending of the movie. It contradicts the original story, how the apes became the dominant species, and I didn’t see any real reason to change it.

Regarding the photo above – that’s my wife and I. It has nothing to do with the apes movies. I also love comedy and the Three Stooges, and as any student of film comedy will say, gorilla costumes are part of that history. I thought that it was time me for to be a stooge.

Early Morning

Early morning fog. One of these days I’ll get lucky and the wolfman will come out of the shadows.

International Space Station

One of my more difficult assignments.

Public Transportation

Most cities offer subway, bus and bicycle service as public transportation. The larger cities even offer “spider humans”. It’s a bumpy ride, but very economical.

Captain America

An early sighting of Captain America, before the muscles and the shield.