Metro Parks

Where to begin? The metro parks are a wonderful collection of 17 parks in and around the Columbus area, spanning seven counties. Each park is full of photographic opportunities, and is endlessly fun to wander, regardless of the season. Their facilities and programs are free, thanks to a 2009 levy.

Each park is unique in its own way, offering walking/riding/pet trails, nature centers, wildlife refuges, educational programs, and an array of options to get closer to nature—and photograph it, of course! Continue reading Metro Parks

Preparation is key

Be prepared. Measure twice, cut once. You know the drill.

It doesn’t matter what the gig is… you should always prep as much as possible. The last time this really paid off for me, I was having a family over for portraits of their kids. Their young, rambunctious kids. Who never sit still. They’re a lot of fun to play with, but I hadn’t tried to photograph them both at this age yet. Hours before they came over, I set the scene, set up the lights, tested everything, tried a few different angles, and was seriously ready. The pups, of course, were my test subjects, as you can see.

As soon as they came in, the boys were completely distracted by being in a new place. While they were taking in all the details, they were responsive enough that we fired off a bunch of pictures of each of them. As they got more accustomed to their new environment, they became much less pliable. Without my preparation, I couldn’t have gotten anything usable without a lot more effort.

For once, I learned from a success rather than a failure! Woo-hoo!

Matthew Carbone

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Tell us about yourself!fireworks over DC
I was born and raised outside Washington DC. I spent the first portion of my life fencing, which took me all over the world and eventually dropped me at The Ohio State University. I fenced there on the varsity team.

At 22, I would pick up a camera.

What’s your photographic specialty? How’d you get into it?
I’m an architectural photographer.

Continue reading Matthew Carbone

Transition Lenses

Good for eyes. Bad for photos.

Do they have a different pair? No? Just take them off.

Don’t wait until you’re editing pictures to say “Man, I wish I’d asked them to remove their glasses.” Better yet, ask before the shoot if anybody in the group uses transition lenses and have them bring a different pair. That way they don’t feel like ‘that guy/gal’ who’s wearing sunglasses when nobody else is. You can do some editing to make it less apparent, but it’s easier to address it up front.

Photography is all about the little things.

Respect the weather

Shooting outdoors? Start with the shots you want most.

We live in Ohio. That means all kinds of weather. I’ve shot in rain, snow, and oppressive heat. One thing I’ve learned (the hard way) is that however good your intentions are when you’re preparing a shoot, you’ll likely not get all the shots you want. Start with the location and the pictures that you’re most excited about. That way, when your subject’s makeup is melting off of her face, you’re soaked to the bone, or he’s shivering uncontrollably, the shots you leave with when you throw in the towel are the better ones anyhow.

And it doesn’t hurt to have a super-collapsable umbrella in your gear bag. They don’t take up much space, and are indispensable in keeping your models, you, or someone else dry until the rain lets up. If there’s a small chance of it being cold out, keep a pair of gloves in your bag. So handy (pun intended—sorry).

So many lessons

Borrowing (and breaking) equipment. oops.

I borrowed a backpack. And a big lens. I hadn’t really used either before. No big deal, right?

What I learned about the bag: if a big lens is in the main compartment, there are three separate zippered doors from which it can be accessed. Handy! Downside: that’s three separate doors out of which a lens can fall. And now, I make sure everything is zipped up before I move anything. Period.

What I learned about the lens: a UV filter can indeed work to protect the lens when it pitches element-first onto a concrete floor. Even though the lens cap was on, the UV filter shattered. The front element of the lens was fine, thank goodness!

What I reinforced about borrowing gear: be upfront about what happens to any gear you borrow, and assure the owner that you’ll pay to replace, repair, or have checked out anything that needs it.

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