Shades Of Sepia

Photographic art & community shared thru photography.

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Black: 5 In 1 Building

I absolutely love buildings with interesting structures like this. Anyone that says there is no art in NYC, needs to get their head examined.


  • Aperture: ƒ/2.2
  • Camera: SGH-M919
  • Taken: 1 June, 2015
  • Focal length: 4.2mm
  • ISO: 50
  • Shutter speed: 1/372s

Framing That Perfect Shot

Depending on your purpose, you can pretty much take photographs with ANY device today. It can be either a “point and shoot,” DSLR (mirror or mirrorless), iPad, a simple camera phone. These devices take photographs in various degrees of quality, so it is important to understand your equipment, and know which of these devices is practical (or acceptable) for what you’re trying to do. Yet, at the same time, a real photographer will also tell you that it’s not about the gear, but the photographer him/herself. Not just his/her photographic eye, but also skill; on the camera, on the computer, and with his/her vision. Neither of these things can be out of sync. I don’t care how much software skills you have; if you don’t have a vision for YOUR art, then you won’t be able to see with your camera; and then be able to enhance (or create art) what you saw using your software. Taking a “good photograph” doesn’t mean the photographer has to sharply stop objects in motion; this isn’t the meaning of photographic art. Photography means “to draw with light,” and like any other type of drawing, you tell a story with that drawing. Making great photographs takes time to develop. Each one of us finds our inner photographer at different stages in our lives. Once we find that inner photographer, we can then build on it as time goes on. If a photographer still thinks that spending thousands of dollars on a camera (only to stay on automatic mode) is what’s going to give them perfect pictures every single time; I’d say that is a pretty insecure photographer (or lazy) about his or her abilities to take photographs. One thing money absolutely cannot buy, is an innate ability to create photographic art.

So many people who don’t understand photography, think that they can just purchase a “good camera,” and make 6 digit figures a week. This is absolutely not true at all! Which is one of the reasons most REAL photographers have to supplement their income by doing multiple jobs. Despite what many of you may falsely imagine, photographers don’t make thousands of dollars of random pictures of people on the internet (this is not the meaning of what it is to be a photographer). So please, don’t get your panties in a bunch! If it were true that every photographer can potentially make a 6 figures, almost every single person on the planet would be a photographer by profession. Not only that, the world would be terribly imbalanced. People take for granted how difficult street photography is. Often times there are many obstacles that come in to a frame that is uncontrollable. Sometimes you can quickly improvise, sometimes you can’t. Sometimes you have to let it go, sometimes you get a second chance. But one thing is for sure about street photography, if you don’t take a chance and shoot, you may never get another opportunity to shoot that same shot again. However, this is also in the fun of being a street photographer; “the chase for that special photograph that becomes a piece of our archived history.”


Shades Of Black: Just Chillin’

I Know You Got Soul

  • Aperture: ƒ/10
  • Credit:
  • Camera: NIKON D5200
  • Caption: I Know You Got Soul
  • Taken: 13 September, 2014
  • Exposure bias: +5EV
  • Focal length: 35mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/125s
  • Title: I Know You Got Soul

Cell Phone Photography: Three Way!

I sure wish I had my Nikon on me when I took this shot, it would have been sooooo much better. However, it’s still an amazing shot tho.


  • Aperture: ƒ/2.2
  • Camera: SGH-M919
  • Taken: 30 April, 2015
  • Focal length: 4.2mm
  • ISO: 50
  • Shutter speed: 1/1040s

Black Light Photography: Red Rose

Unfortunately, today’s shots wasn’t a pleasant experience. The first set of plants (not sure what they were called, but they looked like large tulips), I realized within the first hour I was allergic to them. I had to rap up those bad boys in a garbage bag. 🙁 . Second was some mixed red and white roses. I decided to purchase an inexpensive black light for effects (it wasn’t a real black light I remembered growing up with, but it was good enough for what I wanted to do). The shots were kind of difficult, because it wasn’t a very powerful black light, so there wasn’t a whole lot of wiggle option; but I finally got the shot I liked. I tried doing something different by using a can of gold paint, but the odor was just way too strong for me to handle, so I had to pack everything up. So unfortunately, no gold photos today. In the future, I will try to have a better game plan. Mean while, enjoy The one shot I did like!


  • Aperture: ƒ/11
  • Camera: NIKON D5200
  • Taken: 2 May, 2015
  • Exposure bias: +3.3EV
  • Focal length: 35mm
  • ISO: 125
  • Shutter speed: 30s

Creating Art With Photography

As I’ve said before, to the average Joe, photography is just a matter of pressing down a button. However, photography is so much more than what people realize. I think the true meaning of photography and art, has gotten lost in the fast-paced world of technology. In other words, more emphasis is on the gear, and not the skill of the photographer. Contrary to what  many people believe, photography is a LOT of work. Perhaps it can also be mentally exhausting if you don’t enjoy what you are doing. Any 4 year old baby can press down a shutter button; but a photographer can intuitively see a potential shot as it comes, and quickly change settings as needed. Each person has their own unique photographic eye; and while it is great to have mentors, it is important to follow your own photographic instincts. Software can enhance your shots, but it absolutely cannot help you find them; neither can it help you gain creativity. Creativity doesn’t come from $$$$ software, or a $4,000 camera, with a $10,000 lens. Creativity comes from the heart, and the love of capturing images that show a piece of history. Having fun is also a very essential ingredient in photography. If you are unable to have fun, you might as well just hang-up photography now.


  • Aperture: ƒ/2.2
  • Camera: SGH-M919
  • Taken: 24 April, 2015
  • Focal length: 4.2mm
  • ISO: 50
  • Shutter speed: 1/3296s

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens | NYC April 18, 2015

Today I went to Brooklyn Botanical Gardens with my photography friends. It was an incredibly beautiful and hot sunny day today; I enjoyed it very much. It was the first time I ever been to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, and it was much bigger than I ever imagined. I saw many different types of flowers, plants and even a rock collection. Many sections of the garden had wonderful natural fragrances coming from the plants. We couldn’t exactly pinpoint which flower it was, but to me it smelled a lot like Lilac (very nice smell in my opinion). Although there was many plant like to capture, I’ve noticed that it seemed as though they had an abundance of a yellow flower (unfortunately, I don’t remember the name, but I’ll post it later). Maybe it’s because it’s just getting warm. Hopefully we’ll see an even greater variety. I went inside two beautiful “green houses,” but I did not stay in the first one for long, because their was a smell that was extremely pungent. It was quite hard to breath, I don’t know if it was allergies, or I couldn’t handle a room crowded with green plants. These were the kind of plants you’d see in one of those 40-50’s  jungle movies. The other “green house” I went to was nice, but the leaves were too small to take closeups. Enjoy!













Cell Phone Photography: Cluttered Buildings

It was a beautiful day for a walk today. My first “power walk” of the new year. All of a sudden, I was inspired to whip out my cell phone and shoot some shots. This particular shot I feel is a bit cluttered; yet at the same time a synergy exists in this photo. Despite the fact that all the buildings look like they’ve been smashed together, when I look at the buildings as a whole rather than individual, it becomes a whole new art onto itself. This is what it mean to tell a story with your photos. This is what photography is about, the art of making photos.


  • Aperture: ƒ/2.2
  • Camera: SGH-M919
  • Taken: 15 April, 2015
  • Focal length: 4.2mm
  • ISO: 50
  • Shutter speed: 1/668s

Today’s Retail Experience

Nikon_F4_F4s_Guigiaro_Design_Austin_Calhoon_PhotographI had no idea what title I wanted to give this post. Let me start off by saying, I realized over the years that sometimes purchasing any piece of technology can be stressful (especially from a retail store in particular). I find that I’m finding it increasingly difficult to find the most basic electronic parts, and I had absolutely no idea why! Something as simple as a pack of blank Blu-ray discs were no where to be found. Until it dawn on me, a lot of the big named stores I used to purchase my computer/smart phone supplies are either closing down, or they are selling exclusively via web. One company that comes to mind is a company called “Newegg.” If I remember correctly, it cost them way too much money financially to keep their stores here in New York, so they’ve gone exclusively online. They’ve been doing VERY well since they’ve made that decision. Although I am glad they are still in business, as a customer, I still like physically going to a store and touching and experiencing the product for myself. There are just certain things that you don’t want to order from the internet (and computers & parts is one of them, unless you have knowledge of them before hand).

But the other thing is, the level of rudeness when you ask for help is off the charts! Not only that, sometimes the attitude comes from employees working in stores that are already going out of business. You’d think they would offer better service to stick around as long as they can. So I’m writing all this to say, we are now living in an age where you really have to do your own homework. So many sales people don’t have any clues about much of the technology today. Personally I’ve gotten to the point where I prefer to order my electronic things online; it appears that you get so much more customer service than in person. Not only do we get more detailed product information; we can make our own comparisons rather than solely relying on the retail employee; we don’t have to deal with that o’l “bait and switch” that is so common amongst many retail stores; we also no longer have to deal with a retail trying to charge you full price for a unit that is obviously “open box.” It’s a good thing tho, because this means we are empowered to make better decisions. But I also think the better customer service I’ve always received online is probably due to the fact that, there is a lot more mail order competition. However even then, I can’t tell you how many customer service reps I’ve talked to that had absolutely no no clue (sometimes that includes tech support). And when I say “no clue,” I don’t just mean about them not knowing their product, I lot of them don’t use the technology either. This includes companies like Sony and Samsung. However, much to my surprise, Nikon has always been spot on point with all their answers! So, in essence try to get as many camera magazines, and computer magazines as you can possibly stomach; cause retail isn’t the same as it once was. In fact, most technical support is now done exclusively through email; so you must have a basic understanding of technology in order to receive the help you need.


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