Kickstarter Slam Dunk, Tips to Raise the Capital

This past year we’ve seen history in the making, an exciting shift in funding these creative projects of ours: power to the people, no grants, no clients, just great ideas, passion, and a kick-ass three-minute video. Having just completed a Kick-starter-funded short film, I know this stuff really works (and there’s my validated answer to the first question we all really... Read More

Canon Updates The Cult Classic 5D Series

Canon Announces Canon 5D Mark III So we have it, the long-awaited announcement of the new Canon 5D Mark III. Canon’s surprise smash hit 5D2 had a glorious run, achieving fame and infamy by inventing DSLR video capture in all its excitement and distress and, oh yeah, being a pretty fine photographic camera to boot. The 5D2 has become a widespread industry standard for portraits... Read More

Nikon’s New Proline, The D4 and D800

Two Cameras to Rule The World A somewhat dry, but eerie story ran today on  The story, Nikon Gains After Raising Forecast on Cameras, relates the company’s intention to up profits by a huge margin.  It appears the company plans to earn $939 million before March 2013.  The story continues, emphasizing the new line of mirrorless cameras.  Nikon is on the... Read More

Fujifilm introduces a little brother to the X100, the new X10

The Fujifilm X10 Fujifilm announced today a new little brother to the excellent Fujifilm X100 (reviewed here).  The camera is smaller, but bears a certain family resemblance, including old school metal parts and a real ring on the lens barrel.  Missing, when compared to the larger X100, are that camera’s Leica-inspired manual exposure controls, cool hybrid viewfinder,... Read More

An Open Letter to California’s Assembly and Governor

Dear Assembly, Mr. Governor, and The State of California, Despite your explanations and wrong assumptions, my family has lost a major stream of income with your so-called “Amazon Bill” (AB 153).  Amazon paid us advertising fees to support the independent Website we run, B&H Photo paid us advertising fees, other companies outside of California paid us advertising... Read More

What’s Up With “Flash Duration”?

Flash Duration? A topic of great discussion around the studio lately has been flash duration.  What is it exactly and what’s all the hype?  Two things have become clear – it can’t be had without compromise, and there are a lot of terms on the chalk board. In simple terms, studio strobes function by filling slowly with a bucket of electricity and pouring it quickly... Read More

A Useful New E-mail Marketing Affiliate: Constant Contact

I’m grateful to the various sponsors who have made Photo Arts Monthly a possibility.   We’re fortunate to have a portfolio of advertisers and affiliate partners who all offer something of value to you, our dear readers.   Uniquely, all of our affiliate relationships began as trusted vendors for my studio.   Most of the banner ads you see around our pages are served... Read More

Lunar Eclipse Over Oakland

Shot with a Nikon D3 and the Perkin Elmer 600mm f8 “Solid Cat”  Read More

Check Out the Annual Used Camera Gear Sale at

Check out for an interesting opportunity to shop for (slightly more) affordable cameras and lenses from a respected name in the rental business.  The sale includes a nice selection of professional Canon and Nikon glass, including all three elements of Nikon’s pro-zoom triumvirate: 14-24mm f2/8, 24-70mm f2.8, and 70-200mm f2.8.  Would I buy used gear from... Read More

Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, Holiday Concert

The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, A powerful, groovy night of praise and worship in Oakland’s Paramount Theater It’s been a while since I shot a concert.  I’ve been intrenched in the highly controlled world of portraiture for a long time.  Shooting live music is like a portrait shoot with a lot of hard work to get to the right spots, no communication with... Read More