Category Archives: nature photography

The Old FireTower

One great location for winter photography is the old FireTower.  The most favorable conditions for shooting the tower is a blanket of snow and barren trees and wild rose bramble for framing our subject. This antique historic landmark is being preserved well and was recently updated with new windows. The wild landscaping is unkempt which adds favorably to the sinister feel of the clapboard structure. However moving around the bramble is far from comfortable and I always rip something on the pricker bushes. On this day it was bright and snowy so I put on my Singh Ray variable ND filter, set my ISO at 200 with an  F stop 13.0 and my shutter was 1/10th of a sec. I shot with my tripod to insure no camera shake. I chose these settings so I could capture the ambiance and saturate the colors.


My friend Diana and I met at the tower. Its always more fun to shoot with friends.. We met at 3:30 hoping to get some good light and precisley as we arrived two red tailed hawks landed on top of the tower. We hustled to build our cameras and grab a few frames while the birds hopped around flirting with each other. It was like opening credits to a b rated scary movie.

My friend was ready with her camera but I was bogged down with my stuff. I fumbled my way to get three shots while Diana had been clicking away wither 300 mm.

Today’s Tip: Have your camera built and ready to go before you arrive at your intended location.  You never know when a subject will reveal itself and you won’t want to miss it.




the very brave family

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It was seriously cold outside actually frigid. We had a family portrait to shoot and we did not have an indoor cover location. This was the only day this family would be together so we went for it. I think everyone was awesome braving the freezing cold especially their 3 year old daughter. I think we came out of this with some gorgeous images. Circumstances cannot stop us from creating great images.

Beautiful Senior Alex

photocrati galleryWhen Suzie called and told me Alex wanted me to do her senior portrait of course I was more than happy. Not only do I get to photograph a senior, which is always tons of fun, I get to see how Alex has grown up.

What a beautiful teenager Alexandra has become. poised, confident, fun, funny, smart and sensible.

It’s an honor to be asked to photograph Alex at this stage of her life. I’ve been watching her grow up in front of my  lens since the Sand Sharks Swim Team at Sands 8 years ago.

Here is a few shots from the day. Susie was hair and Makeup but mostly She hung with my Sara and they discussed what Jagars moves are!

I used my 70- 200 mm Canon lens on my 5D mark 2 as well as an off camera speedlight source in a chimera 24 inch box. I dressed the light with lite grid  and a heavy diffusion with a bastard Amber gel closest to the source. ( TJ held my light and did a wonderful job.)

The background all about timing, I love civil twilight. We shot this at North Beach, Long Branch. So sad after going to monmouth Beach, Irene really beat the heck out of it

Thanks Susuie and Alex, it was fun.


seeing with new eyes

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MARS- Mid Atlantic Region School of Professional Photography

I have been attending school in Cape May, May 1st to May 6th, for the past five years.

This year I decided to be a class assistant and I really wanted to take Tony Sweets class

He had not been there since the first year (2006) I attended MARS and I had been waiting. well it was worth the wait- what an amazing week.

Tony set the mood with his authenticity and incredible skills and so the class was stupendous. The work produced by this group was extraordinary everyone was great.

We had someone come in from Geramny to be there!

Our daily schedule was dawn and dusk sessions everyday except for wednesday for the shoot out competiton and then we went to dinner as a group.

Mostly we shot in Cape May:ie the cove, the shipyard and sunset beach but we also went to Ocean City, to the 59th street pier and met up with a friend of Tony’s named Jim Indelicarto, a pro photog in that area, check his website it’s awesome

all this to say after the sunrise shots we went to a quaint breakfast spot where I thought we were gona get kicked out cause we were so very loud. We did a lot of laughing.

The technical side of things to name a few were studies in  long exposures , digital sandwhiches, HDR ( High Dynamic Range) and stich pans. I have only begun to scratch the surface of whats possible.

For those of you who will be doing sessions with me this summer I will be trying out some of these techniques and software manipulations. Lots of cool stuff to help make pictures even more magical.