Big crowd turns out for the President in Nashua, NH

Yesterday our President came to town!

President Obama dropped in on the citizens of Nashua, NH on Saturday (Oct. 27, 2012) as part of the last leg of his re-election campaign. In my opinion, having the leader of the free world stopping into town is a big deal and for me a chance to capture a little history with my camera.


President Obama during campaign stop in Nashua, New Hampshire on October 27, 2012. ©2012 Daniel J. Splaine - All Rights Reserved

The folks in Nashua really turned out and despite long lines and many hours of waiting, they kept the smiles on their faces.  The fact that so many people decided to take part makes me hopeful about the state of our body politic.  It was a small demonstration against apathy, and I will take it as a positive sign.

Singer- songwriter James Taylor during his performance in Nashua, NH during the Obama campaign event on Oct. 27, 2012 .  ©2012 Daniel J. Splaine - All Rights Reserved

James Taylor provided a warm-up act for the main show and he did not disappoint.  He played a  selection of his hits and really sounded great.  It was a nice distraction and provided some relive for the thousands of folks patiently standing en-mass on the lawn of the Elm Street School campus.

I was able to share this experience in the company of two of my sisters, which is rare get together for us, which made for a more important occasion.  The event brought to mind, all the political /campaign events we have witnessed together in New Hampshire over the last forty  or so years.   From the days of Nixon to today we have had a front row seat to the American political process.

 

Just another good day in New Hampshire.

President Obama at Nashua, NH campaign stop on Oct. 28, 2012.  ©2012 Daniel J. Splaine = Al Right Reserved

 

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Internet Marketing for Artist Workshop Interview

Listen to my radio interview about the INTERNET MARKETING for ARTISTS WORKSHOP

Kevin Willett the host of Freinds of Kevin Radio show on WSMN 1590 in Nashua, NH ©2012 Daniel J. Splaine - All rights reserved

This week I was a guest on the “Friends of Kevin Radio Show “ on WSMN radio in Nashua, NH.  Kevin Willett, the founder of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group, and all  around nice guy, was my host.  His radio show is a terrific platform for business people to discuss their enterprises and it is always a pleasure to be his guest.  We had a great conversation about the different business activities of Test of Time Photography and some of my more interesting activities.

In this segment we are discussing the upcoming workshop INTERNET MARKETING for ARTISTS that I’m presenting on November, 14, 2012.

To listen in on our conversation click on the following link.

Radio interview with Dan Splaine (4 min) 10/24/12 FRIENDS of KEVIN RADIO

 

 

I am presenting this workshop to artists, performers and creative professionals who want to learn how to build their audience using internet marketing tools, like email and social media.  I will be sharing  my experience and knowledge that I have acquired  promoting my program of photography workshops and photographer tours for the  last three years.   Using only internet marketing I have successfully built enrolled over 1300 people in one of my sessions.

Commerce and creativity go hand-in-hand and this workshop will bridge those worlds and introduce folks to the powerful tools they have for marketing their creative talents.  For details and registration CLICK HERE

For more information go to the event website  or contact me at info@testoftimephoto.com.

 

 

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Photographer Critique Sessions

My goal  for all the people who attend one of my workshops or photo tours is to make them better photographers. They have  to pick up a new skill, learn a new technique or become more confident in their creative approach in my sessions .  If they don’t,  I fell like I have not delivered for them with my photography education experiences.

The question then becomes how do I know my students are learning from these workshops?

Photographer critique with Dan Splaine of Test of Time Photography in Nashua, NH ©2012 Daniel J. Splaine - All Rights treserved

Photographer and Photo educator Dan Splaine of Test of Time Photography in Nashua, NH presents a program of photo workshops and photographer tours. A big part of his photography education program is the monthly photographer critique sessions he held for his photography students. These meetings are a way to learn from other photographers and review the photographer skills taught in his workshops. For information contact Dan at info@testoftimephoto.com, ©2012 Daniel J. Splaine – All Rights reserved

The simple answer is that I have witnessed the improvements in ability during my photography critique sessions.  For the last three years I have held a monthly photo critique session with the photographers who have attend my photo classes.  The proof of the success of my teaching efforts is  in  the quality of photography they are producing .

As an educator there is genuine satisfaction in seeing  how my shared knowledge is learned and embraced.  Having verification of the effectiveness of my teaching methods is rewarding.  What matters most is how delighted I am in seeing the growth in my photo students ability and powers of creative expression!

The photo critique sessions allow me to offer my photo students feedback on the lessons they have learned in my workshops.  The value for them is that they can practice on their own and then learn by presenting those results to the group.

The dialogue and freely shared insights of the collected photographer at these monthly meetings has been a true source of inspiration and a wonderful learning experience.

For more information about these critique sessions contact me at info@testoftimephoto.com.

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RIP Senator Specter

Senator Arlen Specter during hearings on Capital Hill ©2006 Daniel J. Splaine - All Rights reserved

Senator Arlen Specter during hearings on Capital Hill. This image is from my archive of client work.  Many of my photography assignements involved creating editorial images for public policy clients.  ©2006 Daniel J. Splaine – All Rights reserved

The news of the death of Senator Arlen Specter yesterday was noteworthy for a few reasons.  First and foremost the nation has lost a long serving and capable public servant. His death also marks the end of another era in American political life.  The senate he served in was once a place of civility and high-minded pursuit of effective public policy.  Today it is all about dogma and disparagement  Moderate northeastern Republicans like Specter, offered a counter balance to more extreme right and in my opinion we all benefited from that middle road.

Specter was tough and pragmatic, with a political career that began with the Warren Commission and ended with the Tea Party.  In my photography career I was able to photograph and observe the senator in action on a couple of occasions. What I recall most from watching in the Senate hearing room was his intensity and his no-nonsense approach.  We would be well served as a nation if we had more like him.  Agree with him or not, the man always earned respect. RIP sir.

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The Most Important Photo Accessory

A point that I make in all of my photo workshops is about the most important photo accessory that every photographer must use. What is the “most important” photo accessory? you ask.  Your feet.  If you want to improve the look of your image; move!

Changing your camera position, your point of view,  is the  best way to improve how your photography looks. Compose your image carefully and fill your frame.  Only include the essential visual elements in your frame. Determine your camera position relative to the direction of the light falling on your subject.  Select a focal length the create the arrangement of distance you want to appear in your photo and then move your feet.  Don’t believe me ?  Here is what the iconic photojournalist had to say about the subject.

Source: pinstamatic.com via Dan on Pinterest

 

I offer a program of photography workshops and photographer tours at my studio in Nashua, NH and in locations throughout the Northeast. For more information contact me at info@testoftiemphoto.com .

My next photographer workshop is October 13-14  in Lincoln, NH.  For information about the third annual WHITE MOUNTAIN PHOTOGRAPHER WEEKEND  go to the workshop website.

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Location Photography Services for Business

Photographer Dan Splaine of Test of Time Photography is a location photography specialist with fully mobile studio capabilities. ©2012 Daniel J. Splaine- All rights reserved

 

The mark of a professional photographer is the ability to create original, high quality images regardless of the shooting conditions.

 

One of the hallmarks of my photographic career is an uncanny ability to shoot in any type of location, in any type of conditions and to consistently produce high quality photography.  Adaptability as a photographer was I skill learned when I started out as an Army photographer.  Anticipate, adapt, overcome is the mantra of an infantryman and the way Uncle Sam trained me how to approach each assignment.  The goal was always get the image regardless of conditions and that is how I still work today.

My corporate photography assignment and editorial shoots involve photography at locations around the world.  The range of shooting conditions run the gamut from primitive to regal, depending on the client.  The job is and always has been for me to produce photography that illustrates the clients communication objective.  If I’m standing butt deep in mud or hanging of a rooftop ledge it really does not matter, I will do what it takes to get the photo.  An adventurous spirit helps but the skills and technique that my long experience behind the camera ensures that I always hit the mark.

This approach works for photography in the corporate setting equally well.  Sometimes clients can’t get to the studio or  remote employees are gathering in one location for a brief amount of time.  No problem, I bring my fully mobile studio ability to the client location.  Sometimes in an industrial photography assignment access to a difficult or sensitive settings is limited.  I can get in and get out  rapidly, working with the conditions as they exist to get the photos the client needs.

I have more that thirty years experience adapting to conditions and locations,  producing original and  effective visual communication with my photography.  If you have a difficult location, a once in a lifetime event  or you operate in an extreme conditions please get in touch.  I will welcome you challenging conditions and of course create the photography that shows you and your organization at their best.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Photographer and photo educator Dan Splaine has more than thirty years experience producing photography for public relations, marketing and editorial clients. His company TEST of TIME PHOTOGRAPHY based in Nashua, NH provides commercial photography services in studio and at client locations all over the world. He presents a program of digital photography workshops and photography tours for adults throughout New England

 

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Photo Model Casting Call in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Aug. 29, 2012

We are casting models for a client advertising photography project

 

TEST of TIME PHOTOGRAPHY and photographer Dan Splaine has been selected by the folks at Bowl-O-Rama in Portsmouth , NH to create new advertising photography for their new company website and marketing materials.  The project involves shooting all the activities and client offerings at the family entertainment company.

Model casting call for Bowl-O_Rama photography session with photographer dan Splaine on Aug. 29, 2012. We are holding a casting session for models on Aug. 29, 2012 to recruit models who want to appear in the client photography project.  This is an open casting call  and we are seeking male and female models of different ages.  We are  looking for children (age 5 and older), teenagers, young adults, middle-aged adults and seniors to take part in photography session on Sept.6, 2012.

This model casting call is open to experienced and beginner models.  Our budget for this project is limited, and this is an unpaid assignment.  The models selected for the photography will receive gift cards from Bowl-O-Rama and three photos from TEST of TIME PHOTOGRAPHY to include in their portfolio as compensation for their participation and in exchange for use rights.

Bowl-O-Rama offers bowling, parties, games  and food and beverage service that has to be illustrated with our photography.  This is a fun photography session and is good opportunity for less experienced and amateur models to gain some valuable experience working with a pro photographer.

For complete information about this model casting call and to register go to the event website CLICK HERE.  Registration  is required for this event – no walk-ins please!

Photographer Dan Splaine has extensive experience with corporate assignment and location photography projects for public relations, editorial , advertising and marketing projects.   He also creates original images for model portfolios and actor head-shots in his Nashua, NH studio and locations throughout New England.  TEST of TIME PHOTOGRAPHY offers a range of model portfolio photography packages to meet the budget and professional  goals of every model.  If you are new to modeling or and experienced pro: we can create original photography that makes your portfolio stand out.  We bring thirty years of experience , photographing thousand of people in locations all over the world  to your model photography session. Our clients benefit from our technical and creative abilities and the insights we have gained from the thousands of images we have published in editorial , corporate and internet productions.

 

For more information on our model photography services  CLICK HERE or  contact us at model@testoftiemphoto.com

For details on our MODEL PORTFOLIO PACKAGES and MODEL and ACTOR HEADSHOTS  CLICK HERE

 

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Cog Railway- Mount Washington Observatory Photo Workshop – New Date Added!

New Date Added for The Cog Railway – Mount Washington Observatory Photography Workshop

 

Test of Time Photography and Photographer Dan Splaine are happy to announce we have sold out the Sept. 10 session of this photography workshop and we will be adding a second date for this workshop on Sept. 11, 2012.

This one day photography workshop includes photography instruction, round trip passage on the historic Cog Railway to the Summit of Mount Washington with four hours for field photography.  The workshop also includes a guided tour of the Mount Washington Observatory which is rare privilege.  Access to this working weather station is restricted, and the tour will be one of the most unique features for this workshop.

This workshop presented in partnership with The Cog Railway and The Mount Washington Observatory with Test of Time Photography.  Our goal is to give high quality photography education experiences in unique locations and the summit of Mount Washington could not be a better place for our photography event.  This workshop will emphasize landscape photography techniques and we could not ask for a more dynamic location.  The dramatic terrain , lively weather and lighting that we can encounter during this workshop is as unpredictable as exciting!  The potential for creative image making makes this a truly one-of-a-kind photo learning and skill building experience.

Space is limited  and registration is required to attend this workshop.  For complete details and to register CLICK HERE

This photography workshop is one from the program of photography education events presented with photographer Dan Splaine.  These include digital photography workshops and photographer tours  held in locations throughout New England. In the last three years over 1200 photographers have attended on of the events presented by Test of Time Photography with professional photographer Dan Splaine.

Our next photography workshop  is the WHITE MOUNTAIN PHOTOGRAPHY WEEKEND held on Oct. 13 and 14, 2012 at the Mountain Club on Loon  in Lincoln NH. This is the third year we are holding this workshop at this great resort and location for photography. For details and registration CLICK HERE.

 

 Cog Railway - Mt. Washington Observatory Photo Workshop with photographer Dan Splaine on Sept. 11, 2012 ©2012 Daniel J. Splaine

 

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What is ISO and how do use it in my photography?

Some Tips And Info For Selecting The “correct” ISO For Your Digital Photography

ISO selection is important because it is allows the photographer to adapt to the lighting conditions found in their scene. The ISO value you select is one leg of the exposure triangle, along with aperture and shutter speed, which allows for precise exposure and creative control.  Understanding ISO and how to use it is a fundamental photographer skill.

With digital cameras the ISO is a numerical value given for the level of sensitivity your camera sensor has to light.  We saw the same rating system with film.  Remember shooting ISO 100, 400, 800 etc… rated rolls of film?  Do any of you old timers remember ASA ratings on film (pre-ISO)?   With digital cameras we have the option to select a particular  ISO value for every shot, which is a big advantage with digital photography.

In general the lower the ISO setting the less sensitive your sensor will be to light, the higher the ISO setting the more sensitive your sensor will be to light.  This means that when you are shooting in bright conditions you can use a low ISO value and when shooting in low light conditions you select a high ISO value.

Most digital cameras offer a range of ISO values to choose from; 100 to 3200 is a common range of choices, although many models of camera go higher and lower.  In general, the lower the ISO the better quality your results will be.  Using a higher ISO will increase noise (digital artifacts), reduce sharpness and decrease the contrast ratio of your results.  Digital cameras with larger sensors produce less of these negative effects than cameras with smaller sensors. Low ISO setting will then have less noise, more sharpness and a larger contrast ratio which will produce the higher quality images relative to high ISO settings.

In my opinion these disadvantage, the reductions in image quality have to be weighed against the benefits of having the option to shoot at a higher ISO rating. Most issues with noise, sharpness and contrast can be restored with software and I would urge you to shoot high values when conditions dictate.  Being able to shoot action photos at high shutter speeds, with a telephoto lens in an indoor scene is only possible with high ISO values  (1600, 3200, 6400) makes the trade-off in quality  acceptable .

A variable ISO allows you to adapt your exposure settings to the scene and the creative options you want to use in your photography.

My general recommendation is to select the lowest ISO value that will allow for a proper exposure with the least noise. 

ISO TIPS FOR DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHERS

Here are some of my recommendations for using  different ISO values in your digital photography.  This is an important photographer tool and I encourage you to explore this option for exposure control in your photography.  Good images always start with good camera work and ISO is a fundamental tool for photography.

 

  • TURN OFF your AUTO ISO – By using auto ISO you are letting the camera give a ISO value choice and you are not deciding which ISO suits your photographic intent best the  scene. This is one habit you want to change if your goal is to take control of your creative results.Turn AUTO ISO off, and leave it off!
  • SELECT the ISO FOR THE SCENE:  When you are beginning to determine your exposure settings, one of the first steps is to select an ISO value that is right for the scene and your photographic intentions.  If you are in the woods with an overhead canopy of foliage blocking your light you would select a higher value.  If you are shooting portraits with plenty of window light and you want to use large apertures for shallow depth of field then a low value would be your best choice.  Evaluate the lighting resources and exposure options for the image you want to create and choose the ISO according to those objectives.
  • CHANGES in ISO ARE EQUAL TO “STOPS” –  When we change our exposure settings (in whole stop increments) we are halving or doubling the amount of exposure.  For example if you move from F 11 to F 8 you are doubling the aperture size or if you move from 1/250th of second to 1/125th of a second you are cutting the duration of your exposure in half.  The same ratio holds true with ISO, when you move from 400 to 800 you are doubling the sensitivity setting or as we would say increasing it by a “stop”.  Digital cameras allow for incremental changes in EV (Exposure Value = Stops) usually and half and third stop amounts.  You can refine exposure equally with aperture, shutter speed or ISO in those partial stop increments.
  • SHOOT RAW -  RAW is the best format for image capture and will yield the best results because you are collecting the maximum amount of data when you make your photo. JPEG is great file format to distribute photos but it produces less quality for capture.  RAW files can be processed with photo editing software post capture to yield the highest quality images.  The negative effects of shooting with high ISO (noise, sharpness, and contrast effects) are increased when shooting JPEG compared to RAW
  • PLAY with EXPOSURE COMBINATIONS – There is no exact recipe for exposure combinations.  Play with a variety of exposure combinations and ISO settings and compare your results on your computer. Each variable in the exposure triangle makes a difference in how your images will ultimately look. Experimenting with combinations will produce a variety of visual results.
  • USE A TRIPOD – If you are seeking low noise, high sharpness and a wide contrast ratio that low ISO settings provide use a tripod.  Long lenses and long exposure times make hand held photography difficult, especially in dim light at a low ISO.  Securing you camera on a tripod is the solution for this type of shooting situation.
  • SHOOTING HAND HELD with TELEPHOTO LENS –  Long lenses are difficult to use when shooting  hand-held.  By increasing your ISO setting you can then shoot at faster shutter speeds which will eliminate the blur caused by camera movement.  For example an ISO of 1000 with a shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second shooting with a 500 mm lens.
  • HIGH SHUTTER SPEEDS = HIGH ISO -  If you want to stop subject action you need to shoot at high shutter speeds.  Increasing your ISO will allow you to increase your shutter speed.  This is especially useful for shooting indoor sports or performances with limited stage lighting.
  • USE ARTIFICIAL LIGHT – Sometimes we run into the limits of ISO choices in particular photographic conditions.  For example you are shooting a portrait in a low available  light setting.  Facial details and skin looks best at low ISO values (100-200) and raising the ISO to a high value will produce less than flattering results.  The solution to this situation it to use flash or other artificial light sources to keep the quality you desire.  More light is often a better solution than a higher ISO.
Digital cameras have very precise exposure refinement tools and a variable ISO option is one of the most important.  Understanding this feature and how to deploy, and how to select ISO for your scene ,to achieve your desired photographic result is essential for good image making.

Photographer and photo educator Dan Splaine of Test of Time Photography in Nashua, New Hampshire. ©2012Daniel J. Splaine

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Photographer and photo educator Dan Splaine has more than thirty years experience producing photography for public relations, marketing and editorial clients. His company TEST of TIME PHOTOGRAPHY based in Nashua, NH provides commercial photography services in studio and at client locations all over the world. He presents a program of digital photography workshops and photography tours for adults throughout New England.

 

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Thirty Five Years behind the Camera – A Word of Thanks

July 11 is an auspicious day in my calendar.

July 11, 2012 marks a milestone in my career as a photographer.  Thirty five years ago on a sweltering summer day I entered the federal office building in Manchester, NH  a civilian and emerged a few hours a freshly inducted private in the Army. On that day I began my journey to becoming a professorial photographer by volunteering for a four-year enlistment.  I was to become an 84 Bravo, in Army speak. (MOS 84-B = Military Occupation Specialty STILL PHOTOGRAPHIC SPECIALIST).

Private Dan Splaine in the Public Affairs office at Fort Rucker, Alabama in 1978

This photo was made very early in my photography career (1978). At the time of this shot I had just graduated from the US Army still photographic specialist training school at Lowry Air Force Base in Aurora, Co. This was my first photography job! I was attached to the Public Affairs office at Fort Rucker, AL which was the home of Army aviation training. The wall behind me covered with copies of the press photos that I cranked out of the my tiny darkroom.

I spent the summer of 1977 in basic training at Fort Leonard Wood in the heart of the Ozark mountains in Missouri.  This experience looms large in my memory .  I was a goofy 17-year-old kid from NH who suddenly found himself in a completely unfamiliar reality.  It was a “Dorothy, we aren’t in Kansas any more” sort of epic paradigm shift.   I learned how to march, I developed some proficiency with weapons and I discovered that there are all kinds of people in this world.  Life has presented few opportunities to show  my marching skills but the weapons thing and the insight into human behavior has come in handy.

From there Uncle Sam sent me to Lowry Air Force Base in Aurora , Colorado for photography school.  To this point in life my academic record could be bets described as erratic.  Most of my reports cards  contained the full range of letters and the classroom never seemed to contain my wandering brain.  This school was different.  My teachers were a mix of civilian and active duty military photographers whose experience as combat photographers ran from  WWII through Viet Nam. This program was intense and thrilling.  This impressive bunch shared their knowledge freely  in exchange for performance.  Every week we had proficiency tests score 80% and up you get to continue in the program.  Score less than 80% and you earn a one way ticket to the infantry,for the remainder of your enlistment.  I maintained a 97% test score average for the entire  nine month program!The peril that I could spend my four years as an infantryman was a factor, although truth be told, I have never been motivated by threats.  What inspired my performance was the passion I witnessed and ultimately embraced  for the craft of photography. The photography instructor’s  enthusiasm was contagious and they required that I respect this vocation that shaped all of their lives.  The lessons they taught, both big and small, have informed my approach to photography every day of my thirty-five years behind the lens.

I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to those men who trained me so well, who shaped my attitude and gave me a life of photography.  As I reflect on the passing years and consider my experiences: the miles traveled and most importantly the people I have met  due to the camera, the measure of their gift is immeasurable. Happy anniversary to me!

 

 

 

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