Modify the Modifier


My favorite two light modifiers are the 1’x 3’ softbox and the beauty dish. I wanted to combine my favorite attributes of each of those modifiers into a single modifier. The result is a softbox with a built-in reflector and no internal baffle and no front diffusion on the face of the softbox. I liked the coverage of the new modifier and the punchy-ness/contrast caused by the silver reflective material inside the bare softbox. The softbox has a recessed front so I can install a softgrid to limit the spread of light if I choose. Overall I’m happy with the quality of the light output and the control it gives me, I shall be experimenting with this puppy in my portraits in the near future.

TwitPhoto Guest Quest Finalist!

I search out inspiring creativity on the internet and have discovered that I really enjoy reading photographer’s blogs. One of my favorite photographer’s blog is from Catherine Hall ( Catherine is also a co-host on her tuesday show on ( I’ve found inspiration and direction from Catherine and her many photographer guests who have been interviewed over the past year. Over the last year I have been working on my portfolio, trying to add something great and removing the crap. A great opportunity came up for emerging professional photographers to enter’s Photo Guest Quest portfolio contest. I was excited to submit my work because the judges were artists I respect in the field of photography, they included Zack Arias, Colby Brown, Frank Doorhof, Tamara Lackey, and Art Wolfe. Out of hundreds of entries only one was going to win the whole tamale. I didn’t win the contest but I did place as a finalist. You can read more about it here:

I encourage photographers to have their own work critiqued by artists higher up on the food chain and enter contests to see if you are on track with your vision.

Allan Mandell's zen bootcamp

Yup, this is not a portrait of some beautiful model. For the last few years I’ve been shooting exclusively people portraits. A photographer who I look up to Zach Arias says when you’re in a funk go study some other type of photography you normally don’t shoot. So I signed up for Allan Mandell’s Zen Bootcamp at Sharon O’keefe’s Northwest Center for Photography. Allan’s approach to composition is extraordinary complex but simple in design is the best I can describe it. The whole workshop is about composition, and the most profound insight that I came away with from the weekend was “simplicity of line”. The two above photos are images I captured to exhibit my understanding of Allan’s teachings during the workshop. The image on top was a wall from a fruit distributor I believe. The wall is yellow in real life with a tungsten bulb in the lamp holder. I adjusted my white balance in-camera and the wall shifted to purple. The second picture was captured in color but I found the simplicity of the scene looked more dramatic in black and white. After Allan’s workshop it got my juices flowing again, I hope you enjoy these images.