Images from Columbus Indiana

A surprising mecca for modern architecture. A town of only 39,000 people has more buildings designed by famous architects per square mile than anywhere I’ve ever seen. If you are ever anywhere near this surprising little town, you should definitely spend a day or two.


Reformat Your Memory Cards, Don’t Delete Your Images – Updated!

Reformatting ensures data and the file structure on the card is intact and without errors. The longer you go without formatting the card, the more likely that the file structure will become corrupt and that you will not be able to read some of the images from the card. Additionally if you don’t reformat your card, it will slowly reduce the number of files it can hold. If you share your card between multiple cameras, the cameras may not recognize each other’s files structure and not allow you to delete images from another camera manufacturer.

Get in the habit of formatting your card after copying your images to you computer and then backing them up to an external drive. You’ll have less errors reading images off of your card and you’ll have the full card capacity to capture your images.

It’s especially important if you have multiple cameras or are migrating from one camera to another. Cameras don’t have a single standard for file formats, therefore if you take a card that was used in one camera, it may not recognize the file format of the other camera and it will erroneously report the amount of free space until you format the card.  This will mean you may have very little space available on the card for your images. There’s nothing worse than running out of space on your card when your in the middle of capturing that special moment.

When you format your memory card you will not be able to retrieve the images you previously captured so be sure you’ve copied off all the files first before you format the card, you can’t undo formatting!

It’s also a good idea to not use the same memory card over and over again but to switch between a few cards and always bring a spare along with your spare battery.  Occasionally memory cards will go bad and if you are using multiple memory cards you wont loose all your work or and you’ll still be able to capture more images.

Don’t know how to format your memory card? Check your camera manual or your manufactures website to download an electronic version of your camera manual. The steps can be different on each camera.  Formatting should be done in your camera and not in your computer.

If your camera offers a low level format, utilize this feature as it will reduce the possibility of file system corruption.

Links to a few camera manufacturer sites which should help you to find your manual:

Canon Consumer Cameras:


Nikon download center:


Get more light in your portraits!

Proper lighting in portraits can be challenging.  Flashes often are insufficient or over powering.  If you have a standard height white ceiling, then bouncing your flash of the ceiling, tilting you flash about 45 degrees above level.  Getting your flash off your camera with a flash cord designed for your brand of camera can improve you flash fill too.

It’s likely you are doing things like this already, and maybe you even use a soft box and umbrellas.  But to really make that headshot pop, ask your model to hold a piece of foam core or white matte board angled to bounce the light to the lower part of their face and of course outside of the view of your shot.

The light will fill in your subject and even up the light very nicely. Chances are you already have some foam core or matte board just laying around.

What an improvement this little reflector will give you!

August 13, 2013 – Black Light Presentation for NIH Camera Club

I’m looking forward to tomorrows presentation to the NIH Camera Club on Black Light Photography. The presentation begins at 7 PM and will be in the Community Room at the Five Star Premier Residence  8100 Connecticut Avenue  Chevy Chase, MD 20815.  I hope to see you there!

As always, here’s a copy of the presentation converted to black and white so you can print it without using a ton of ink or toner.


March 12th, 2013 – Photography Fundamentals – Capture Basics with Scott Musson @ NVPS

On March 12th I’ll be doing a educational session on basic photography. This presentation will focus on photography fundamentals, particularly on capture basics.

I’ll discuss basic equipment choices and basic capture techniques. This will include a discussion of available camera types, lenses and accessories. I’ll also discuss the basics of image exposure including aperture, shutter speed and the mysterious ISO.

While this presentation is geared toward novice’s photographers, it will also help reinforce the basics and suggestion good techniques for those who already know their way around the camera.

Hope you’ll join me for Capture Basics