Title: Jack the Magnificent.That one time when your bosses kid…

December 11, 2016 by  
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Title: Jack the Magnificent.

That one time when your bosses kid helps you with your Grand Rapids Symphony shoot and he instantly reminds you of yourself at that age… the only difference is roles are reversed. This time around I played the part of my grandfather and he of me.

It was bizarre, awesome, and fun to watch him go. I also let him walk around with up to $25,000 in camera gear and that shows you just how much I trusted him. I dare say he was a lot more careful with my gear than I am… nothing was broke, but I thought his mom might pass out when she heard about that. I mean it’s just gear, right?

Not going to lie, he has the eye, he held the camera like you are suppose to (and that is a rarity), he even caught on to metering. He does need need me to teach him focusing which is totally not his fault. Who is at fault? Those damn iPads and iPhones that is who!

So here is a Secret Santa story… I got him a DSL for Christmas. YES A DIGITAL CAMERA LIKE MINE, just not full frame and much smaller for his hands. He is at the age where someone did the exact same thing for me and it’s time for me to repay that. He is going to die and maybe pass out. I will once again be COOL TERRY!

ONE LAST THING: He also gets a pair of colored glasses, not pink but a fun shade all his own!

Title: Justin Hopkins.I alway wear a smile after the Grand…

December 5, 2016 by  
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Title: Justin Hopkins.

I alway wear a smile after the Grand Rapids Symphony has a guest soloist… like clockwork and minutes after each show I get a influx of emails about “OMG YOUR PHOTOS!!!” It makes me wonder… “do other photographers just not get live shows?” and a bit of “I can’t be that good?, I mean it’s easy for me!”

So what is my secret? I’m not sure, for me the flow seems to come naturally but if I had to give any advice… Terry’s 5 Things for Photographing Live Shows.

5 Things for Photographing Live Shows:
1. Know your stage. Some spots will be craptastic for images, so why shoot that area? Know where the sweet spots are on stage and use them to your advantage. Stop trying to make a photo happen when the lighting can’t! Also, show up early… test shots and make a game plan out in your head!
2. Stage lighting means white is not white. Stop with all those custom white balances. They cause your images to look flat and murky. Stage lighting was done for a reason and your photos need to show it! Also, know how to meter light properly and how to compensate for low light is always helpful.
3. You are never going to have perfect lighting! Stop expecting it and learn how to shoot in any circumstance. This also means you need to be fast to adapt and think on the fly. To be honest… I find 100% perfect settings absolutely boring, I mean where is the fun in that?
4. If there is more than 1 person in your image, do they all look nice? You would think this would be a no-brainer. Stop posting images where people do not look right, making a face, eating, etc. Be professional for a change.
5. Ask Questions, Problem Solver. If you don’t understand a rule, or do you not know all the rules of the venue? Why are you not asking? This is the first way to get on everyones good side and be welcomed back. Also, don’t break a rule… that shows you have ZERO RESPECT for the organization and the venue. Do they have a house photographer there? If yes, don’t be a hinderance or jerk to them. I see this all the time and it’s very unprofessional and for a lack of better word all so BASIC.

Photo Credit: Grand Rapids Symphony / Terry Johnston. Holiday Pops 2016.

Title: The Walking Dead.There is something magical about…

November 6, 2015 by  
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Title: The Walking Dead.

There is something magical about Halloween in New York City… from the energy to the masses of people out on the streets in costume it was a street photographer’s candy store. The image above is the one image from wandering around on Halloween that stands out to me as “the one” and I had to share.

Halloween 2015 in NYC. Shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and a 50mm f/1.2L lens.

Title: Table Top.Everything deserves to have a moment and needs…

November 6, 2015 by  
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Title: Table Top.

Everything deserves to have a moment and needs to have it’s moment. I’m still infatuated by reflections and window/retail shots… but in my newest series of photos I’m getting way more technical and resemble multiple film exposures even more closely.

Terryflection. Shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and EF 50mm f/1.2L combo.

Title: Sketchbook.Creativity can’t be rushed. Moments can not be…

November 6, 2015 by  
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Title: Sketchbook.

Creativity can’t be rushed. Moments can not be manufactured and inspiration comes and goes. My time in NYC has reinforced all of these things and my eye has not only adapted, but changed.

NYC Street Photography. Columbus Circle. Shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and a EF 50mm f/1.2L lens.

Title: Happy Hour.I’m known for being a white balance OCD crazy…

August 19, 2015 by  
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Title: Happy Hour.

I’m known for being a white balance OCD crazy person and yet I understand there are moments when the surrounding colors of a shot are what makes a photo. This is especially important in low light candid shots. Getting my subjects skin color, shirt color, and even tones right would make this image nothing less than boring. The surrounding lights and colors are what illuminated him and helped pop him out of the darkly lit bar. Oh, and I’m living for the blurred reflection in the wooden bar… so nice!

New Orleans outtake. Street photography shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and a EF 50mm f/1.2L lens.

Title: High Stakes.While I know that most religious fanatics who…

August 19, 2015 by  
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Title: High Stakes.

While I know that most religious fanatics who protests in public with these kinds of displays are down right crazy… having said that, me and my camera will never get tired of taking photographs of them. One catch is that I want to capture them candid and caught off guard. The in your face moments are far too easy and do not interest me all that much. The candid moment is when you reveal their true selves and if you look over this shot you see lot of pain, loneliness, and anger in their faces. Their meaning is lost in their eyes.

New Orleans / Bourbon Street Outtake. Street Photography. Captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and a EF 50mm f/1.2L lens.

Title: Fanfare.This past week I was in New Orleans and had a…

August 19, 2015 by  
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Title: Fanfare.

This past week I was in New Orleans and had a list with me of things I wanted to seek out and photograph. Unfortunately I went to The Big Easy on the hottest summer month of their season and was challenged with 105 degree weather with an almost 100% humidity level. Let me just say… I didn’t get to take many photos. I ran into issues of my camera overheating, lenses fogging up from going in and out of air conditioned spaces that were set to 60 degrees, and the dreaded sensor getting condensation on it. The heat and humidity wrecked havoc on my gear and I got to a point where I had to say “NO MORE PHOTOS!”

I will be back and the people of New Orleans have won me over. Next time you will be far better photographed by me!

Title: Downpour.Rule Number One of an event photography: ALWAYS…

June 18, 2015 by  
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Title: Downpour.

Rule Number One of an event photography: ALWAYS GET THE SHOT! … and by always that means any weather condition, too many scenarios to list, and even photos that are deemed impossible. 

Having said that… the first thing I learned many many years ago was to make sure that not only my camera bodies were weather-sealed, but that my lenses were as well. I also made the choice to add on and purchase breathable rain/weather gear… no matter the condition, I will be there to take the photo.

Outtake. Kalamazoo Pride 2015. Kalamazoo, Michigan. Shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and a EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens.

Title: The Scholar.A portrait should always showcase the…

May 30, 2015 by  
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Title: The Scholar.

A portrait should always showcase the individuals who step in front of your camera and in the end you should be able to see a likeness to your subject in real life. The worst portrait one can take as a photographer is one that does not do these things. If your portrait is nothing but a person posed for a photo… then it doesn’t have life.

Location: Chicago, IL. Shot with a Canon EOS 6D and a EF 50mm f/1.2L lens.

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