Category Archives: Blog

The Shutter Speak blog.

Early Morning Light

On my recent trip to Maine in early March, I had a made an attempt at getting photos of the Portland Head Light at night. Unfortunately, the clouds did not co-operate as they covered the lower sky. I took a chance and got right underneath the lighthouse and shot straight up. The upper sky was clear and I was able to get lots of beautiful stars back dropping the Head Light. You can see the cloud cover in the left side of the photo. The clouds are being illuminated by the rising moon. Just to the right of that, the Milky Way is just visible.

This photo was shot on a Nikon D800 with the Tamron 15-30 f/2.8 lens. The shot is taken at 15mm.

Early Morning Light at The Portland head Light. Click on the image to see it larger.

Early Morning Light at The Portland head Light. Click on the image to see it larger.

Also posted in Landscapes

Robert Moses Causeway

As spring is approaching and the weather is getting warmer it is a great time to be outside. I took my DJI Phantom 3 Advanced drone out on the south shore of Long Island to a spot just east of the Great South Bay Bridge. I was trying out a new pair of parabolic reflectors on the antennas of the remote control of my drone. I have to say, I was very impressed getting crystal clear video from the drone at over 6500 feet away from my take off point.

Here is one of my favorite photos from today’s flight. It is a five shot AEB bracketed HDR taken from the Phantom 3’s on board camera.

Great South Bay Bridge. Click to see the image larger.

Great South Bay Bridge. Click to see the image larger.

Also posted in Landscapes

Nighttime at the Portland Head Light

I had recently traveled back up to Maine in search of dark sky’s. It is always a great trip. I have great friends there, the food is always amazing, and the night sky is nothing short of spectacular. I had the opportunity to get a few shots of the Portland Head Light at night. The Head Light is the most photographed light house in the world.

My goal was to get the Head Light with the Milky Way galaxy behind it, a shot rarely seen. Unfortunately, mother nature did not co-operate and we were left with a very overcast sky. It was also so cold out that night with a biting wind that we had to take frequent “warm up” breaks to regain feeling in our fingers and toes.

I did manage to get a few keepers though. Here is one of them…

The Portland Head Light at night. Click to enlarge.

Also posted in Landscapes Tagged , , , , , , , |

Captree

The Captree bridge is the gateway to the Fire Island National Seashore. Boasting miles of sandy beaches, lazy villages where cars are not allowed, and the Fire Island Light house, the seashore has it all. It’s all just a bridge away…

Click on the image to see it larger.

This photo was shot with the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced drone. The Phantom 3 is an incredible stable drone with a 12 megapixel camera attached to the bottom via a gimbal that keeps the camera steady. The above picture is a 5 shot hdr. The Phantom 3 has the ability to take auto exposure bracketed shots in groups of three or five. You’ll need to use the five shot setting though most of the time since the stops are less than a .07 ev’s apart.

Also posted in Landscapes

Shutter Speak Wins Best of 2015

The Blackfires

 

 

 

 

Thumbtack Best Pro of 2015

Thumbtack Best Pro of 2015

I am happy to announce that Shutter Speak has been given the prestigious Best of 2015 award from Thumb Tack. This award comes thanks to the high marks my customers have given when  reviewing the Shutter Speak service.  Thank you for your support.

Tribute In Light

In remembrance of the nearly 3000 lives that were lost on the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th 2001, the Tribute In Light has become an important part of the New York City skyline. The tribute first debuted in March of 2002. The tribute is now lite each year on September 11th and is a symbol of the lost twin towers. This year the clouds and rain cleared out in the late afternoon giving a spectacular view of New York City. The beams of light reached and estimated four miles into the sky and could be seem for miles in any direction.

Here is one of my first prints of the skyline. The print is now available for purchase here on my website.

Tribute In Light

The September 11th Tribute In Light. Click the photo to see it larger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also posted in Landscapes

Sunset Row

While setting up a cityscape of the midtown NY city skyline these happy rowers were passing by. I took a few shots of them and was lucky enough to have one or two usable photos with the rowers in front of the skyline. Click on the photo to see it full screen.

Sunset Row

Sunset Row

 

 

 

Also posted in Landscapes

Sigma Doing Customer Service Right

My trusty Sigma 70-200 mm lensLiving on Long Island has it’s advantages for a photographer. Close proximity to New York City is one, but another is easy access to the headquarters of almost every major camera and lens manufacturer operating in the USA. When I need to have a camera or lens repaired I need only take a short drive to drop off an item for repair.

Recently, my trusty Sigma 70-200 mm f 2.8 DG HSM lens failed during a photo shoot. The lens would no longer auto-focus.  Since this is my primary concert and hockey lens I was concerned that it would impact my upcoming shoots while it was at Sigma for repair.

I hopped in my car and took a short ride over to Sigma USA’s headquarters. I had good experiences at Sigma before. My previous repair had taken only 24 hours for Sigma to complete, but I was fully prepared to leave the lens for a week or more.

When I arrived at Sigma I was met at the door by a women who greeted me with a smile and asked if I had a repair. She handed me a form and said she would get a technician to help me. After a minute or two a tech came out and sat down with me. I explained the problem and he told me he would test the lens and be right back.

When he returned he said he knew what the problem was. He asked if I had my warranty card and I told him I had not thought to bring it.

He then told me he would fix it for me right now. Now I have to tell you, I was surprised. He offered me a cup of coffee and told me the repair would take about fifteen minutes.

At this point I fully expected to have to pay for this repair since I didn’t have the warranty card. But that was OK. Better to pay for the repair then lose a job.

When the tech returned again he sat down with me. He showed me what had failed on the lens. The optical stabilization (OS) control had failed and he had replaced it. He also told me he had replaced the contacts as they had some slight wear. Not only that, but he had cleaned the lens for me as well!

He suggested that I shut off the OS system when the lens is not in use to help prevent damage to OS the system.

I hadn’t known about shutting off the OS system when putting the lens away but I will be sure to do so going forward. The tech thanked me for coming in and handed me a receipt and my lens. No charge. I was very impressed with how I was treated and how my repair was handled.

Nikon, I’m talking to you now… you could learn a thing or two about customer service from Sigma. When I drop something off for repair at Nikon, even with priority Nikon Professional Services repairs, I am waiting a week or more just to find out what the problem is. I don’t think I have ever seen a repair at Nikon take less than 10 days. No coffee either!

Sigma, this is customer service done right. Thank you for the great customer service, treating customers with respect, and for making great lenses.

Tagged , , , , |

Lubec

I recently returned from taking a few pictures on the road and enjoying the scenery in Lubec, Maine. Lubec is the eastern most point in the United States and is home to the West Quoddy Head Light. How it got the name West Quoddy when it is the eastern most point of the US is still a bit of a mystery to me!

It was overcast all day and I feared I wasn’t going to get a chance to see the stars. Luckily there was a short break in the cloud cover. I got to enjoy a few shooting stars from the meteor shower that peaked the next night. I also was able to enjoy an amazing view of the galaxy, clearly visible with the naked eye.

This shot was taken with a Nikon D800 and the Sigma Art 24mm f 1.4 lens. It features the West Quoddy Head Light in the foreground and the Milky Way in the background. The photo was shot at iso 3200 at 15 seconds at f/1.4.

Click on the photo to see it larger.

The West Quoddy Head Light

The West Quoddy Head Light

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also posted in Landscapes

Midtown Sunset

I just finished up post processing this photo from a sunset shoot I did of the mid-town skyline. This shot was taken from Gantry Plaza State Park, just past the mid-town tunnel. It’s a beautiful park filled with friendly people a lots of cameras.

This shot was taken just after the sun set behind the skyscrapers of New York City. You can see the lights just becoming visible in the buildings on the other side of the river.

Click on the image to see it full screen.

Also posted in Landscapes