With Joe Cosentino

Silo City Photo Shoot

Added on by Joseph Cosentino.

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a workshop in Buffalo NY, we were shooting at a site called Silo City. The location consisted of several abandoned grain elevators located along the Niagara River.  The workshop was run by Mark Maio  

This site offered plenty of subjects and every subject could be shot with any number of different photo techniques. Below are a few of my sample images taken from the weekend.

New Photo Podcast for the masses

Added on by Joseph Cosentino.

Looking for a new voice in the photography podcast world?  if so, Give Pocket lenses a listen and learn good old basic photography.  

Sonny is taking a new approach, offering photo tips and tricks to the average weekend photographer, the soccer mom or anyone wanting to get better photos from their point and shoot camera.

NY Sunset today

Added on by Joseph Cosentino.

I went out this evening to just scout out a few places new places to shot. In my local Central New York area. I was also checking out some of the color changes in the leaves here.  It looks like we have a couple of weeks before the leaves reach peak color.

NY Sunset

Beaver Lake Nature Center

Added on by Joseph Cosentino.

Saturday I had the opportunity to spend a few hours with the newly reorganized meetup group CNY Photographers. About 13 of us showed up for a depth of field shooting exercise.  The park is full of photographic subjects. Below are 2 sample photos from my DOF collection.


I am looking forward to more meetings with this group and finding new places to photograph in Central New York

Depth of field and how to use it to improve your photos

Added on by Joseph Cosentino.

Depth of field (DOF) refers to the area of detail in a photograph that is in focus. There are 2 types shallow and deep.  Deep DOF is usually seen in landscape photography where you want objects in the foreground, middle and background to be in sharp focus.  Shallow DOF can be used to isolate your subject from the background, causing the background and sometimes the foreground to be blurred there by reducing distractions in a photo.

Learning to control Depth of field is a skill very photographer should learn.  Before taking a photo one of the first questions you should ask your self what is the subject and can the subject stand on its own to hold the viewers interest or do you need to have more information to help support the subject in the photograph.

Lets first talk about Deep DOF the kind used in most landscape photography. you will need to understand lens choice, aperture  setting and subject distance.

Deep Depth of field we will use a wider then normal focal length lens in most cases.

  1. Lens choice 35mm or wider will help keep focus throughout the whole photo

  2. Small Aperture (larger number) like f16, f22 or higher if your lens supports smaller aperture

  3. Your subject distance is usually far from you.

Focusing about 1/3 of the way into a scene with a wide angle lens and a small aperture selected on your lens will yield a photograph with good sharpness front to back.

Shallow Depth of field is the opposite, you are looking to single out an area of a picture, isolate a subject, or remove a distracting background or foreground in a photograph. This technique is usually used in portraits by getting sharp focus on the persons eyes.  

For shallow DOF you will need.

   1. Lens choice longer then normal (normal lenses are considered to be 50mm)

   2. Large Aperture (small number) like f2.8, f3.5 or f5.6

   3.  Distance to subject is usually rather close for the focal length you are using.

These are just two extreme examples, the land scape deep depth of field and a portrait .  In reality there are many times you will have subjects that fall somewhere in-between This is when you have to decide how you want the photograph to be taken and what is the true subject. 

Practice is the best way to learn. take 3 objects place them on a table Water glasses  or coffee mugs will work and shoot photos of these objects at different aperture settings using a wide angle lens and then a telephoto lens.  look at the results and you will get a good understanding of how the aperture relates to Depth of field. The more you practice the sooner it will start to become second nature.

Practice photos below: Shot hand held so on the F16 70mm you will notice some camera shake this shows the importance of using a tripod when doing serious photography

Photo 1 is shot at 70mm and f16 sharpness noted front to back (except camera shake noticed on the front mug).

Photo 2 is f2.8 at 70mm focus point on middle mug

Notice blur both front and back

Notice blur both front and back

F16 at 24 mm notice full front to back focus and camera shake with a wide angle lens is not as apparent.

Front to back sharpness

Front to back sharpness

F.28 at 24mm notice how only the middle mug is the only object in focus

Well this is a very basic start to under standing depth of field.  set up some practice shots and don't do what I did use a tripod so you can eliminate camera shake in your photos.  Good luck, drop me a note if you have any questions.

New project

Added on by Joseph Cosentino.

I started a new summer project of central NY fences, heading to Madison county today in search of new subjects for this project. I am also planning on shooting Oxbow falls.

Typical Split Rail type fence found here in Central NY.

More to come

Added on by Joseph Cosentino.

I took some time off to study for PPA's certification course.  I hope to get back into regular blogging again, My testing is at the end of Ju;y.

Just a quick note to follow up on the Holiday phone cell phone plan I used.  Don't bother.  It turned out to be more confusing to set up and get running correctly you had to keep retexting codes to them to keep it active.  Data was also not right everyday I would get a text from a data provider and I would have to activate it. the activation worked maybe half the time.  

If it didn't work they were trying to charge 20 pounds for daily service.  after 4 days of trying I just turned the phone off and did all my work just when WIFI was available.

My guess for the best service would be to just have an unlocked phone and get a simm card at the airport.  

I am also looking into stright talk I used one of their simm cards a month ago and I was on the same AT&T network I am on with my i phone.  The service was flawless it includes 3 GB of data a month and then there is no further charges you end up with slower speeds for the remainder of the month after 3GB.  My phone is off of WIFI about 9 hours a day and with normail use I seem to use 2.5 GB of data service every month.  So this plan seems like a good fit.  I am still using my unlimited account from the original i phone, I hate to give that up but Cell phone cost and cable TV cost have just gotten out of control in the past couple of years.

They are all advertising $160.00/mo. plans now for the family  Since when did that amount become the norm.  Land line phones have lots more infrastructure with wires, switching stations and so on and those plans are still $30/mo.  That is where our cell phone bills should be.

Heading to Scotland with Holiday Phone

Added on by Joseph Cosentino.

Heading to scotland for a week of curling and a few days of photo touring around the country. I was looking for the best way to get data for my i phone and during my search I came upon a company that will allow me to keep my current phone number and allow me to receive and make reasoneably priced phone calls.  This company is Holiday Phone, It looks like the whole process will be straight forward.

You will need an unlocked phone.

My i phone is off contract so it was easy for me to get it unlocked from AT&T by submitting a form on the AT&T website. It only took me 20 minutes to get a response back with permission to unlock my phone.

Holiday Phone send my new SIM card in 2 days (my fault for waiting until the last minute so I paid for 2 day shipping). the card comes attached to a letter explaining how you use their system, its a matter of forwarding your number to a US number provided by  Holiday Phone and when you get in the plane switch SIM cards.  Any calls to your phone will then be forwarded to your phone directly.

So if you find yourself traveling and you are looking for an easy way to get cell phone service give Holiday Phone a try.

Curling broom vs Nikon D 610

Added on by Joseph Cosentino.



it figures!  During the winter Olympics why wouldn't a curling boom head hit my D 610. Any way the broom won.  Looks like the LCD behind the cover is fine and working.  Contact Nikon this evening to set up some repair service.

Nikon doing the right thing

Added on by Joseph Cosentino.


Last year I had 5 Nikon D600's everyone had dust and spot issues, well a few weeks ago I returned my 5th one to he dealer and they replaced it with a D610 for no charge, that was great, the sensor is spotless after shooting for 2 months what a joy it is to not crop out hundreds of spots. 

Any way it seems like Nikon is now trading out d610's for 600's sent in for repair  http://nikonrumors.com/2014/01/27/nikon-is-replacing-some-d600-cameras-with-new-d610-models.aspx/

My guess was that at some point these shutters would start to fail from pieces being shredded off with each click. 

Copyright information

Added on by Joseph Cosentino.

Well it's a new year, and it's been so cold here in upstate NY I haven't had the cameras out for to much shooting yet.  Today I booked a trip to warm weather next week so it was time to go in and change my copyright information to 2014.   It's one of those little things we only need to do once a year so it can be easy to forget.

you should take a few minutes and if you can't find the menu in your camera, dig out that manual and look up the copyright information and make the changes needed for 2014. 

the other place is in your photo cataloging software.  The copyright information is usually found in the meta data section and like the camera change it ton2014

well happy new year and happy shooting

Please tell me why?

Added on by Joseph Cosentino.

I have been looking into getting a quad copter to use for some unique views of a few projects I am working on.

one thing that is really draining me nuts is why do we have to call these things drone?  All they are are radio controlled planes. By using the term Drone we are just calling attention to to this class of radio controlled aircraft. To the point where the government will end up regulating them to the point where we will not be able to use these tools for any useful photography.   

So before it's to late and the government both state and federal decides we are bunch of bad guys (I won't use the "T" word) just wanting to get detailed shots of trees and bird nest so we can do wrong.

So lets start out 2014 by not using the drone word any more call them a toy, call them a model airplane but let's stop drawing attention to this new form of creative photography before we find out out little quads are all grounded and you can't use them for any commercial shoots with out getting a license and pay a fee to fly them.

Happy New year.