Category Archives: Portrait

Confirmation – 2017

Again this year I did the pictures for St. Mark’s confirmation. 

Such a nice group of young adults! 

Group pictures can be a challenge especially at St. Mark’s where there is a lot of back light from the windows at the front of the church.  The natural light has to be balanced with the flash on the people to turn out correctly.  I used 2 Alien Bees B800 strobes with 64 in white shoot through umbrellas.  The strobes were placed just behind and above me to the left and the right.

Everything was shot in manual.  Knowing I wanted most everything in focus I set my EF 24-105 lens to f/11.  I then did a few shots without strobe to get the background reasonably bright.  It worked out that 1/50 sec at ISO 400 gave me a good background.  I then set the strobes at about 1/8 power and did a few test shots.  The goal here is to get a good exposure without blowing out any of the details – I specifically looked at the white gowns to make sure they were properly exposed.  

So the recipe here is:

  1. Set the camera in manual
  2. Set the aperture for the depth of field you desire
  3. Set the shutter speed and ISO to get a reasonable background exposure with the flash off
  4. Turn on the flash and set the flash power to light your group being careful not to over expose the highlights


Canon 5d mkIII | Canon EF24-105 f/4 L | 1/50s at f/11 | 2 Alien Bees B800 strobes at 1/8 power



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Easter Morning

A beautiful young lady on a beautiful Easter Morning!  A special portrait with the wonderful light streaming in from behind.


Canon 5d mkIII | Canon 135mm f/2 | 1/60s f/2.8

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Working Photographer

Somewhere in Death Valley, California, the not so young man captures his next masterpiece!

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A Face in The Crowd

Weddings are so much fun!  Too much work. maybe!  Just a fast portrait at my last wedding – so much joy in her face!

Canon 5d mkIII | Canon 24-105 f/4 L | 58mm | 1/50s at f/4

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Somewhere in Death Valley

Matt enjoys Death Valley – I don’t remember where!


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Dante’s View

5,500 Feet up and hard to catch my breath!  Matt doesn’t seem to have any issues perched on the edge – so maybe I should learn to relax!


Canon 5d mkIII | Canon 135mm f/2 | 1/320s f/11

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It’s your birthday!  Just a spontaneous portrait of the birthday girl.  Taken with my new Canon 135mm f/2 lens.  Actually this was a mistake that turned out.  I did not do a good job balancing my ambient with my flash and the shutter speed dropped too low.  This was taken at 1/20 sec and I am amazed that it turned out.  Typically I would not even think about a shutter speed below 1/100 sec for this lens and preferably 1/200.  All’s well that ends well I guess.

Technical – the flash was flagged to avoid any direct light and bounced off the wall to my left.  Good light I think.  Edited in Lightroom with a touch of color adjustment in Photoshop.

Canon 5d mkIII | Canon 135mm f/2 | 1/20sec at f/2.2 | ISO 400

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Staring at the supermoon

The supermoon rises over Lake Winnebago full of mystery and beauty! 

Lighting, composition, compression, exposure – all part of the tool kit for any photographer.  The moon is one of the hardest things to photograph properly.  Never had a camera that could expose the moon properly – the contrast between the bright moon and the dark sky always causes an over exposure.  The moon is really bright and you have to adjust the exposure downward much more than you would expect!

Canon 5d MkIII | Canon 70-200 f/2.8 + 2x teleconverter | 400mm | 1/200s at f/5.6

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Three beautiful sisters at a wedding.  It has been a busy busy Summer – and looks like the Fall will be no different.  Seemed like we had a long spell of no weddings and now everyone is getting married.  I just love this photo as I think it captured the joy of being together to celebrate a wonderful day. 

This was taken with my Panasonic Lumix LX7.  It is a nice lice little  camera but hardly state of the art.  But you don’t need the top camera to have a nice picture!  We are so lucky to have great cameras as affordable prices.  Dark room so a bit of a challenge to balance the exposure.  I set the camera on manual and selected 800 ISO.  From past experiences 800 is about as high as this camera will go without too much noise.  Because they were all in a line I got away with a f/3.2 aperture – shallow depth of field but lots of light.  I set the shutter speed to 1/15 second and added some fill flash at -3ev compensation.  This gave me good background light with some fill light on the ladies.

Panasonic Lumix LX7 | 24mm | 1/15s at f/3.2


Below is a animation of some fun with selfie sticks!



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Hanging Out


Just a casual portrait in the park. Nothing fancy, nothing planned – just look at the camera and and the shutter snaps.  This is both the easiest and the hardest portrait to capture.  Sometimes it just happens and it is effortless, but just try and get this look on purpose.  We are so self conscious today and we all “pose” for the camera.  Fake smiles, fake poses, fake Facebook lives.  Why is it so hard to be natural?


Canon 5d Mk III | Canon 24-105 f/4 L | 105mm | 1/240s at f/4.0

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Sunday Morning in the Park


Sunday Morning in Riverside Park.  Not Much more to be said!


Canon 5d MkIII | Canon 70-200 f/2.8L II | 180mm | 1/160s at f/5.6

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Labor Day Sunday Worship

Labor Day Worship (3)

St. Mark’s joined with Gloria Dei, St. Paul and Our Savior’s for a public worship service in Riverside Park, Neenah.  Wonderful time together and such a beautiful morning.   See all of the pictures at: St. Mark’s Neenah Website



Canon 5d MkIII | Canon 70-200 f/2.8 II | 200mm | 1/250s at f/4.0

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Max and Saurab at High Cliff

Max and Saurab at High Cliff Sunset

Site seeing with some friends from Grenoble, France.

We watched a beautiful sunset at High Cliff State Park and really enjoyed the colors.

This is a technically difficult picture to pull off for several reasons.  The first is the backlight from the sunset will fool your camera into making their faces really dark.  However, if you expose for their faces the sunset will be too bright and all the color will be lost.  The second is the high depth of field requires a small aperture which will drive the shutter speed down and the ISO up.  Low shutter speed – motion blur and the high ISO means noise.  I love my Panasonic LX7 camera but it is not low noise at high ISO.

So how to overcome, adapt, improvise?  Two solutions.  First you can bracket 3 shots and combine in Photoshop.  Essentially one picture gets the sunset right, one picture gets the guys right and one picture is in the middle.  The second solution is to add a bit of fill flash.  You set the in manual to expose for the sunset and you add some flash so the people are lit.

Can you guess which one I used?


Panasonic Lumix LX7 | 4.7mm | 1/100sec at f/5.6 ISO 80

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Another Sunset

Sara at SunsetAnother sunset picture.  The light was so beautiful and made everything so special.

When you look around the world it is so easy to worry about the future – the news is all bad news!  But, if you step away you see that there is so much beauty in the world.  Yes, the news is bad, but it has always been bad!  Always some crisis or flood or war or law and order issue.  We live in this world and and we care so we want thing to be better.  That is a good thing and we should never stop caring. But we should also not let all the bad blind us to all the love and beauty.  In the end the beauty will win out; the bad will fade and all that will be left is the joy and the love.  If we endure to that time we will be there too!

This photo was a challenge!  Have to balance the relatively bright sky with the dark areas.  Too far away for fill flash to be effective so I set everything in manual and did a 3-stop bracket.  As luck would have it this was the middle shot – so I got it right!   Minimal processing with Topaz Clarity to bring out some of the sky details.

Canon 5d Mk III | 24-105 f/4 L  |  1/80s at f/5.0

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Photography Class – Update

DeAnna in Riverside Park

Final preparations for my photography class are underway.  The class will be “cookbook” hands on photography – minimal jargon and technical stuff and more how to set your camera to get the best results.  Just finished up pictures with the beautiful DeAnna to help demonstrate what lens settings will do.  Watch for updates on the days and times and enrollment.  Class size will be limited!

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