Monday, January 24, 2011

Mocca Mocca

Mocca Mocca, originally uploaded by Maltphoto.

Taken on Maiden Lane in Union Square. Post Processing done in Lightroom.

Monday, November 15, 2010

2011 Calendars Completed!

The 2011 Wall calendars have been designed and are being printed as you read this!  I had a tough time deciding on which photos to include this year as there were lots of great moments to choose from.  Below is a sample of the images included in this year's calendar.  The calendars are 8.5 x 11, and 17x11 when opened and hanging. If you're interested in purchasing one, the price is $15, and they should be ready to ship by early December.  Please drop me a line at andre at or maltphotography at,  if you are interested in purchasing one.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Wescott Top Pro Tour - San Francisco

Taken with a Canon 40D and a 70-200mm f2.8 IS II at 200mm, 2.8, and 1/250 Sec  ISO 320 

On Monday, I had the opportunity to attend the FJ Westcott Top Pro Tour in South San Francisco, California.  What attracted me to this seminar was the opportunity to photograph different lighting setups with models.  Wescott had a done something similar on a much larger scale at Photoshop World in Las Vegas, but I was unable to attend. Now, you might ask, how does one set up a lighting demonstration and allow everyone to photograph at the same time?  Wouldn't it be difficult to set up the strobes and everything?  Well, that was my first thought, at least.

The solution is simple and extremely elegant.  Westcott makes a continuous lighting source called a Spiderlite TD5.  It's sort of a "What You See Is What You Get" approach.  Since the subject is constantly lit, it allows multiple photographers to take photos using the lighting setup.  I've seen these used before, but only in online videos and talked about in some books.  Actually seeing them in action definitely pushed me over the edge, and they are now at the top of my list as my next equipment purchase.  Now, clearly you can't really use these to shoot at f/16 for fashion-type photography, but for those who do family, baby, and senior portraits, they can be quite useful.  The nice thing about these lights are that they can accept both fluorescent daylight balanced full spectrum bulbs and tungsten bulbs.

Rod Evans photographing our model, Chelsea with the TD5 Spiderlites

The evening was divided into two parts, a basic overview of lighting techniques (short, broad, rembrandt, butterfly, etc) and a demonstration by pro Rod Evans of how he uses the lights.  The first part was given and demonstrated by John Williams, the Westcott Technical Rep,  who allowed us to photograph the beautiful Chelsea with the various lighting setups.  For me, this demonstration and the opportunity to photograph the different lighting setups was a terrific use of time.  I also got to break in my new 70-200mm f2.8 IS II lens, which performed beautifully.

After a short break, Rod Evans then took center stage and proceeded to demonstrate how he uses the TD-5's.  Despite his equipment not arriving, Rod made the best of a bad situation and watching him improvise with the equipment that was available was quite impressive.  He walked us through his basic lighting set-up and philosophy.  Then proceeded to demonstrate a high-fashion type shoot using the TD-5's.  Normally, this type of shoot would be done with strobes, but since the TD-5's were all that were available, he demonstrated as best he could the different setups, posing techniques and interactions that make him a "Top Pro".  He ended with a quick overview of how to make money using social networking (mainly facebook) and different tools that he uses to streamline his studio business.

Overall, I'd recommend this seminar for those looking to gain some knowledge of lighting or looking for some new ways to improve their use of lighting in their work.  For me, this was a very timely seminar as I work through launching my new website and focus on lifesyle photography.  There were a few things that I wish were done better, though.  First, there were no materials to take home, other than the Westcott catalogs.  Maybe I'm just spoiled by the Kelby Training Seminars, but it would have been nice to have some of the set-ups diagrammed for future use.  My memory isn't what it used to be.  The trade show portion was also a little on the smaller side (granted there were only maybe 50 participants as opposed to the 300+ that Kelby accommodates), and only Westcott was represented there.  It would have been nice to have reps from some of the other sponsors there as well.  The nice thing is that all 26 cities are being video taped and attendees will have access to all 26 seminar videos once the tour ends in mid-November.  The door prizes at the end were also very nice, including a 16GB Lexar card, a year membership at NAPP, a 5 in 1 reflector kit, and a complete OnOne Plug-in Suite  (which I already have and love) among other items.

If your interested in attending and want to save $20 on the registration fee (as I did), you can go here, to follow the link to get that savings.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Paris Icons at the Mumm Napa Gallery

On Monday, Labor Day, we took a drive up north to Napa Valley.  I've always found that Mondays of a long weekend are the best for visting and wine tasting.  While we are driving north and stopping at vineyards at a leisurely pace, everyone else is heading out of the valley and back home.  At our first stop, Consentino Winery, we picked up a bottle of one of my favorite wines, CigarZin and a copy of Wine Country This Week, looking for tasting coupons and other goings on.  I was pleasantly surprised to find this article on a photography exhibit going on at Mumm Napa.

What I love about Mumm is the Ansel Adams prints they usually have displayed in the Gallery.  As a gallery they usually have wonderful photography on display and until recently hosted the Napa Valley Mustard Festival Photo Finish, where I first got my taste of having my photography on gallery walls.  Not to mention that there's no admission fee for viewing the gallery.   While the Ansel Adams photos were not on display, the Paris Icons Photography Exhibit was an excellent substitute.

Paris Icons, by James Scholz is on exhibit until September 26th.   Given the sheer number of times I have been up to Napa since March, I'm surprised I hadn't been aware of this exhibit.  Scholz's photography of Paris is amazing.  The prints are beautiful and the composition and his unique take on Paris is excellent.  I highly recommend stopping by the exhibit before September 26th, as it is well worth seeing.  My only disappointment was that there weren't more images.  After wandering through the gallery of about 50 photographs, I was left wanting to see more.

Scholz does has a book available at IconImages, but it's a tad out of my price range for the moment.  The prints are all on sale and I must say, very reasonably priced.  I was very tempted to purchase more than a few of them!  Mumm Napa is on the Silverado Trail, just north of Mile Marker 12.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Clay

The Clay, originally uploaded by Maltphoto.

Fillmore and Clay

Camera: Canon 40D
Aperture: f/4
Focal length: 60mm
Lens: Canon 24-105mm L f/4
ISO: 1000
Shutter Speed: 1/30

Processed with Lightroom 3 and converted to b&w with Silver Efex Pro