Rear Curtain Sync and You

Rear curtain sync, also called second curtain sync, is where you are shooting motion shots and your camera is set to flash at the end of your exposure. Using this method as opposed to first curtain sync where the flash goes off at the beginning of your exposure is useful mainly in longer exposures, for example 1/30th a second and longer.

Basically what happens is in first curtain the flash will go off at the beginning of the picture capturing what you are lighting and then burning in the rest of the scene. In this method the “ghosting” effect that you’ve seen in photographs is taken after the image. That means it will cover up the rest of the image.

With rear curtain sync there will be two flashes. A preliminary flash at the opening of the lens and then the main flash right before the curtain is closed for the exposure. This means that you are taking an image where first all of the ambient light will burn into the image and ghosting of movement will take place and then the flash will catch a sharpened well exposed version of what you are lighting.

I typically have my camera always set to rear curtain because if the exposure is short enough, the first curtain vs. rear curtain won’t matter. However for longer exposures (1/30th a second and longer) this will really help capture what you are going for more effectively.

Setting Up a Creative Business : A Short Guide to Business Entities

In reading this title most people’s first thought it going to be: What?

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Well when starting up your own business it is best to prepare yourself for taxes. Pesky pesky taxes. Hiring an accountant will help keep all your numbers in line and keep from being audited. However you have to make a decision on how you want to run your business.

There is an amount of liability that come with owning your business. Think what happens if you are on a shoot and suddenly someone trips over a light stand and tries to catch their body with their arm and suddenly they break it. That liability is now on you and your business. Would you rather have a plan set up or have all of your profits, plus possible your home, your car, and any other assets you own seized to pay off that person’s medical bills?

What most people starting into photography or any other creative business have set up is considered a sole proprietorship. A sole proprietorship is great because it is easy, affordable, and less of a hassle making decision with your business. But all of the liability will fall on the owner of said company. Meaning one big accident and you could really be in some trouble. It is great because there are very little formalities to deal with.

Partnerships, where there are two or more partners owning a company, is basically the same as sole proprietorships with multiple parties. There are two different types of partners: partners and then limited partners. Limited partners aren’t at liability for what happens, they are mostly considered an investor in your business. Regular partners are at equal rights within the company and all big decisions must be made with both or all partners. Plus the company is at risk for dissolution if one of the partners wishes to sell their portion of the business or someone dies.

Another option that people have when starting a business is a limited liability companies. This is considered the best of both worlds of sole proprietorship and corporations. It’s a hybrid allowing for liability to pass through the LLC itself and not pass through to the members or owners of the business. All profits are shared, however it is complicated because the member cannot pay themselves. So this would work if you had multiple owners, however as a singular owner, I see no way that this form of business could be of benefit. There’s also a shareholder limit of 75, which could be beneficial if you want to .

It’s a complicated system for people that aren’t willing to put the time into it. The main downfall however is that if you want to sell your business, the saleability of a LLC is limited. Dependent on where you live, the company could only have 30 or 40 years of legal lifespan before it must be dissolved, that’s where the “limited” comes into play.

Corporations? Those are those huge things that have CEOs, board members, and fat cats in suits rolling around in piles of money right? Well all corporations have to get their start somewhere. Basically it is taking your business and making it into a living, breathing being itself. That way there is no liability that falls back on it’s owners.

Tax wise it is great because advantages can be taken when distributing money as profits rather than salary. Profits aren’t subject to Social Security or Medicare taxes that can add up to 15% of what gets taken out of salaries. Now it isn’t a complete bed of roses due to the fact that it will be more expensive and more complicated to run, however once you figure out corporations the benefits are endless.

How Can I Personalize Client Work Without the Stress?

I always think to myself when doing any work for a client is, what does my client want from my work? Is there a special purpose that they are having the photos taken for, such as print, design, or web presence? Or is it for personal use? How can I be sure to capture what they need, while still having my voice and style?

One idea that I came across at a creative business seminar, I’ve been trying to integrate into my own work is concept boarding with your clientele. Gathering together samples of different colors, patterns, styles, lighting setups, and locations that you can show to clients in one book that they can flip through can really make the process much simpler instead of having them try and describe the style they want. That way, instead of your client struggling and possible ruining the experience for them trying to pick their brains to be as creative as possible, you make them more involved in a quicker and efficient way that gives them choices without the hassle.

If time is limited or you think that giving the customer too many choices will hinder what they would like to do you can always ask them a simplified version: what three adjectives are you looking for in your photographs? If someone says modern and elegant, you don’t want to put more emphasis on capturing silly, fun moments.

For Actually Wiping Files Off a Mac Computer

This tutorial is over how to delete your files off your Mac for good. When you actually go into the trash and ask it to pretty please get rid of the tons of data that you have in there it keeps it on the computer in a state that will allow for it to be overwritten however the files can still be retrieved. This is awesome if you accidentally get rid of something that you really actually needed however most of what it keeps is just junk that’s slowing down your hard drive.

To permanently get rid of files it’s fairly easy and allows for better, quicker running of your system. I would like to pre-warn that if you are starting this, know that you may want to wait until right before you are ready to get off your computer because cleaning the drive is better when you are not running programs. I know. It’s hard to disconnect from your baby sometimes, but it’s like taking a pet to the vet or a kid to the doctors (but cheaper and with no puke involved).

The Process:

Step One: 

Go to your Finder Icon.

Step Two:

Go into Applications. There’s two places that you can get to it from where you are.

Step Three:

Go to Utilities.

Step Four:

Go to Disk Utilities.

Step Five:

This will cause your Disk Utilities Program to start running. In that program your have a side bar that will show you all the drives on your computer. This includes backup drives and your Debbie Does Dallas DVD that you have in your computer when you try to do this. If it makes you feel safer you can hold off for a moment, take out your CD/DVD/Extra drives. However this isn’t necessary. At this point click the hard drive of your computer.

Step Six:

This will cause your Disk Utilities Program to start running. In that program you are going to hit the option for Erase. When I did this the first time I felt like I was going to erase my entire hard drive. Take a deep breath, it’s not going to.

Step Seven:

Click on the button that says Erase Free Space.

Step Eight:

This is really the only decision you have to make is how clean you want your computer to be. Most people it should be okay just to do Zero Out Deleted Files. It’s the quickest way. The 7-Pass and the 35-Pass are both more so for industrial grade cleaning on your computer. Just remember the more clean that you want it, the more time that it’s going to take. We’re talking anywhere from like an hour to three days. And while the program is running it’s really better suited to not be running other programs on your computer. Just calculate for the time.

Step Nine:

You are set! The bar at the bottom of your screen will allow you to figure out how long the computer will take cleaning up all the excess data. Once again it is recommended that you don’t goof off on your computer while it’s trying to do this. Go read a book, play some videogames, jump on a trampoline, or another activity of your choice.


The End. 

Portraiture Posing Tips for the Flattery of One and All

In my career as a photographer, I’ve picked up several tricks that really help when taking portraits of people of all shapes and sizes. You always want to take pictures that are flattering and the subject sits there thinking “Damn! I look great, don’t I?” Now this sometimes is an impossible feat, however following these steps should help.

Angle your subject at 45 degrees to the camera. Always. This will help cut the space that the subject takes up by leaps and bounds, making them look slimmer and giving their body great lines.

Be aware of the lines in your composition. People posing for photos are typically very stiff due to thinking about their every move. Arms will hang awkwardly, shoulders will get stiff and tense. It’s part of the photographer’s job to make sure the lines people make are flattering. Even if they have no clue what they are doing.


Be mindful of hands. Hands can be just as large as the face. If you don’t pay attention, instead of having a primary and secondary focal point, you can have hands competing with the face for the spotlight. Even if there’s an action involved in the photo make sure primary focus is on the face.

When posing with hands in pockets, pull out a thumb. You don’t want an amputated hand look. That’s not flattering to anyone.

When standing, make sure the subject’s weigh is on the farthest foot from the camera. If you have your subject push all their weight to their back foot it will actually help them align their body faster than explaining it to them. Another nifty trick is tell them to stand how a ballerina would stand. It makes it fun for them because they are mimicking and playing which helps them loosen up for the shoot.

When focusing, look directly into their eyes. Even if the model is looking away from the camera, the focal point should be on their eyes. When a face is in a picture, the viewer’s eye is always drawn immediately to the subject’s eyes. So having your main focal point in focus is key to having solid photographs.

People wear glasses. Glasses reflect everything. Pay attention to what reflections you are picking up in your subject’s glasses! Tilting their chin down can help, however take action as well! Stepping up on a stool and shooting slightly down on your subject will help give a different angle and help cut down on flashes catching in their eye. There’s a big difference between a twinkle in their eye and a blast of white searing across their face.

Close your legs! When posing women it’s a mandatory rule. Knees together when in a sitting pose. Keep it classy. Two areas that people never want to be on display in a photograph are their crotches and their armpits.

There are feminine and masculine poses. Use them. Bodies look best in different poses. Sometimes women look better in masculine poses, I’ve had many women who feel better in masculine poses. Use your best judgement in those situations however stick to the traditionals mainly.

Someone needs to be taller. When posing two people together, you want to have one person be at least a little taller than the other. Usually, I make it the male in the picture. If it isn’t a male/female picture I will use whoever seems to be the more dominant of the two (or in children, the older of the two). This adds layers to the photograph and makes it more visually interesting.