Welcome to the Talke Photography Blog!!
Photography has always been a passion of mine ever since I was young. By the time I reached my mid twenties I always had a camera/video camera in my hands. All my friends and family knew I would document any occasion if I was around.
My normal occupation is quite interesting….I have been selling optical glass for a big company for over 20 years. Many people think optical glass is for eyeglasses, car windshields etc.. not really…our glass is used in high end optical systems such as; cameras, binoculars, laser systems, projection systems, etc.. I started to travel at the age of 23 and have not stopped since.
I am lucky to be able to see many places in the world. I work extremely hard and it is very tough to be away from my family. Many people just look at the travel destination and don’t realize the work and time involved. Work always comes first, but with my love of photography I always try to sightsee after a days work and of course I bring my camera equipment!
Ever since I began my travel, I have always taken photos of the places I had been. Through the years I had some nice point and shoot cameras, but never a SLR. I can recall my first digital camera was in the year 2000. I kept shooting away and loved that I had digital files of all my shots. Some early pictures were at 3 megapixels? I always moved up to the best point and shoot camera through the years.
Then in late 2005 I entered the world of DSLR’s with a Nikon D70S. Interchangable lenses was such new world for me. I bought a few books and began to read and learn. My skills grew and at this time all of my photos were just for fun. I basically used the kit lens on the camera until January 2008 when I purchased a Nikon D300. The world of photography was now a target of my passion. I wanted to buy more lenses and learn to become an accomplished photographer.
My wife met a friend who was a photographer and they had a website. I took a look at it and thought…I should start one as well! Then one month later www.talkephotography.com was formed. It went through a few design changes and then I decided upon using Zenfolio for my host. I had a nice flow of visitors and sold some photos.
By mid 2008 I had accumulated a nice collection of lenses. My photography skills increased as I began reading any books/magazines and listening to many photography podcasts. My brain became a sponge. I immediately wanted to try all styles and methods. I realized that I would have to focus and pick a few methods and try to master them.
My main goal for the future is to become a portrait photographer when I retire from my current job. So I have quite a few years to learn this part of photography. So my current choices at hand are landscape/nature photography. This is my current focus. My pictures were nice, but I thought I needed to expand my abilities. I picked up a book called “The Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range” by Ferrell McCollough and I was hooked by the photos! So artistic and incredible! I studied hard and picked up a DVD tutorial. I shot my first HDR in Times Square in June 2008. Amazingly this photo is one now of my top viewed photos on my website.
I always say the best way to learn is by trial and error, so I kept at shooting standard photos and HDR’s on every trip. I was learning what was working and what wasn’t. HDR photos were quickly becoming my favorite! My portfolio of photos including HDR’s were growing. With every trip I was thinking…what can be my next HDR?
In the beginning I was taking many HDR’s hand held. But I soon learned that the key to any shot is sharpness. Not many people like to look at a blurry photo. I then began to take my tripod with me on every trip (I also added a cable release). With taking multiple exposures any camera movement will decrease the sharpness of your shot.
Next up on my list of styles was infrared photography. Again I bought a book…this was called “Digital Infrared Pro Secrets” by David Busch. I enjoyed seeing the photographs. I went out and bought a Hoya R72 IR Filter. I used it twice and decided to look for other options. I found the website LifePixel and saw that you can send in a camera and have it converted. Then you can use any interchangeable lens you want with the IR camera. A great idea. Cost was about $400. I had my old Nikon D70S just sitting in my cabinet and thought one day I will have it converted.
Early 2009 I sent it in. When it came back the first month was a big learning curve. The key to an IR shot is the post processing. I tried many methods and finally pinpointed my settings. Now with every trip I always carry this camera with me. It’s such a fun extra style! If you love photography and have an extra camera (that can be converted) and some extra cash…I’d say have it done. Its just like HDR processing….you never know what you really have until it is post processed. Anticipation adds to the experience.
In early 2009 my website was growing, but slowly. Blogs were growing and becoming a nice forum to showcase your work. I studied all blogs and by March 2009 I started my travel photo blog “Places 2 Explore” through WordPress. As a salesperson for years I know that product diversity and marketability are two important factors in business. The more places your product can be out there, the more chance for business. So with the website and blog in place…I set up Twitter and Facebook immediately. I think for any photographer…all of these are a must if you plan to grow!
When Places 2 Explore began at first I was thinking of posting a photo once per week. Then I thought that how many people will want to visit your site if you are just occasionally posting? Not many. So I then decided on posting 6 out of 7 days a week! It keeps it fresh and you get more loyal readers that way. Now after 18+ months of blogging I now have over 600,000 visitors! Thanks everyone!! The curve is rising every month and it keeps me wanting to post the best possible shots as much as possible! I truly enjoy all the viewership and interacting with my readers comments!
Along with the growth on my blog, my site has exploded as well. Sales have increased tremendously and so have opportunities to have my photos published. In the past few months I have been in a few magazines, had my photos used in advertisements and books. I am also now supplying my photos and working with Getty Images. It is nice to work with the largest stock photo company in the world! I am not sure what the future holds, but I am enjoying every minute of it.
I have recently given a speech on IR Photography in Austin and had a wonderful time! I have also published an eBook on Infrared Photography. Teaching photography is always enjoyable! I am here to help…so feel free to contact me at any time with any questions!
A day does not pass where I am not learning/reading and or taking photos. I am eager to grow my equipment level as well. Unfortunately, sometimes to get pro style photos, you need to have pro style equipment…and that comes at a price. My wife has embraced my growth as long as I don’t spend too much on gear.
Talke Photography has a bright future. In 2010 I began my learning process of portrait photography. I now have a small home photo studio now and have begun to enter the field of portrait/event photography. Also with my young daughter entering the sports scene….I now have the Nikon 70-200 VR lens…this adds sports photography to my list of styles. My standard, HDR and IR photo portfolio will also continue to grow!
Now we are in 2011 and my portrait abilities have grown fast and now I am shooting models, families, kids, sports and events! If you would like me to create wonderful photos of you and/or your family…just send me an email and we can set up a session!
I have the ability to offer photos in standard format and artistic styles like no other…HDR, Infrared, Textured and much more! Let me create art for your walls!!
That is the great thing about photography…so many styles and methods…you can pick and choose whatever is best for you! Always remember…just don’t take a photograph….make a photograph.
A picture from my favorite place…Paris! ….having fun with my daughter. Photographer – my lovely wife!
Here is what equipment I use….
Cameras: Nikon D300 / Nikon D70s – IR Modified By LifePixel
Tripod: Manfrotto 190CXPRO3 Carbon Fiber, w/ Really Right Stuff BH-40 (with L-Bracket), Gorillapod Focus
Monopod: Manfrotto 68 1B
Teleconverter: TC14eE II
Nikon Shutter Release MC-36
Flash: Nikon SB-600
I have a nice big list of addtional equipment I want….Nikon 12-24 f/2.8, Nikon 24-70 f/2.8, Nikon 16mm Fisheye and the Nikon 85 f/1.4…they are next on my list!
I hope you bookmark my page and check back often….thanks so much for visiting!!