An old blog post about making portraits. Reprised by popular demand.


I just re-read it and I like it better than I did when I wrote it.

Thanks Andrew.

It's getting to feel a lot like Christmas....

Nothing warms me up for the holidays quite like bouncing back and forth between seasonal plays like David Sedaris's, Santaland Diaries, and Dave Steakley's pop infused, re-envisioning of Dicken's, A Christmas Carol. 

Above and below I've assembled some of my favorite photographs from Zach Scott's recent Holiday plays for your visual enjoyment. I wish I could label each one with the camera and lens it was taken with but those details are lost to the passage of time. Just think: Sony and Nikon and Canon and Samsung, Olympus and Panasonic and Kodak and Fuji. You're bound to be right some of the time. 
As usual, click to see the gallery of bigger images. They should click up to 2100 pixels on the long end...

On Tuesday I found a good reason to use the Nikon D750 and the Sigma 50mm Art lens. NEA.

Dave Steakley, artistic director of Zach Theatre (left) shows
NEA Chairman, Jane Chu, around the Topfer Theatre.
The full frame. 

Late Monday I got a text from the P.R. person at Zach Theatre asking me, urgently, if I would be able to come by and take some photographs the next afternoon. I love working with everyone there so I checked my scheduled and confirmed. 

The event was a newsy one. Zach Theatre was being visited by Jane Chu, who is the chairman of the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts). NEA grants have made it possible for the Theatre to produce work with amazing playwrights like Anna Deavere Smith and Susan Lori-Parks, as well as enabling spectacular renditions of Ragtime and Angels in America. 

I didn't have a specific brief but I was there early to greet Ms. Chu and to follow the group of Zach board members and executives through the tour and while conversing over tea. 

I used a Nikon D810 with the 24-120mm and a flash for many of the photographs but in the lobby I could see the benefit of working with the available light and a fast, sharp lens. I like the image above so much more than the posed group shot that was hastily organized below. 

The Nikon D750 seems to nail exposures nicely and the lens is nicely sharp at f2.5. The image below is from the D810+24-120mm combo. 

Working with existing light is fun as long as you keep yourself at the right angles to both the subjects and the light....