November 27, 2007

Camera, Lights and Action

Posted in Commentary at 7:48 pm by Michael Sweeney Media

I have been spending alot of time lately getting up to speed with my photography and Photoshop. My other site, is coming along nicely and my skills on the Nikon and CS3 have increased. I know this since I was asked to do a photo shoot for Johnny Rockets at the American Music Awards and one of my pictures of the CEO will grace their company magazine. For the record, I have been shooting with a Nikon D80 and a rental 18-200mm VR Nikon lens. The VR (Vibration Reduction) is amazing technology. I have been able to get sharp hand-held images with as slow as a 1/10 of a second shutter speed.

Here is a sample of the latest pictures:


Full size here

If you need to rent a lens for cheap and outstanding service, try Paul Friedman at A months rental (4 weeks) for the 18-200mm zoom plus insurance, plus shipping both days plus a cool pelican box for the lens shipping was 190 bucks. Cheap!!! and the customer service has been super. Between a few questions and a possible problem, Paul was willing to do whatever it took to keep me a happy customer. Thanks Paul!!!

I have some new toys coming and one is a Nikon 1.8 50mm lens which should work nicely for my typical low light work and portraits. Another is a pocket diffuser which works with the pop up flash on the camera. That would be alot easier to use than my SD800 Nikon flash which I love to death but it’s a bit bulky.

Other news is some cool online shops like which ties you into an WEB2.0 photo editor and effects machine plus you can use your images from Flickr, webshot, facebook, Photobucket and others. The effects are things like frames, icons, stamps and more to help dress up a picture for the birthday party or a holiday shot. The bad news is that many of the cooler effects are an premium package deal but for 30 bucks a year, it’s cheap enough to upgrade. Thats less than a single date for a movie 🙂 and it lasts an entire year!!! How cool is that?

To make pictures, posters and framed posters, take a look at and see what they offer for you. I have been putting up some posters I made and smaller prints to see how well it works. So far, it’s very easy and the quality is good.

I found a hot-shit DVD for learning lighting in studio work from and called “Create Professional Looking Lighting for Under $100”. The DVD is about 40 bucks and has quite a few extras along with the expected video tutorials. Check it out if you are a “strobist” and likes to shoot well and cheap.

Here is one of the best lists of photography and lighting blogs/sites that I have found.



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