Monday, February 25, 2008 Gets a Facelift

Chris and I finished the new web site design this past weekend and I thought that it would be cool to note some of the changes.

Old Site

New Site

Our new site design incorporates a much larger design space then our previous site design. We've simplified the navigation and made a clear distinction as to where to find our portfolios, client feedback, and services.

We were also able to relaunch our portfolio with an additional 11 albums that showcase our new theme, "Share your Story".

Here are some shots from our new albums:

Artistic and Architecture additions:

Some of the new additions and retouches to our couples:

Hope you like the new look, and we look forward to posting more in the next few weeks!

A Quick Look at HDR

Chris and I were working on some new portfolio additions this past weekend and we got started on a conversation about how specific photographers have a certain "look". Being a young company, we really had to think about how to describe what Kaufman Kramer photography's look is and what we want it to become. One area of photography that has been of great interest to Chris and myself is High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography. (A look we go for often) The concept of HDR is when we combine multiple exposures of the same photograph in order to bring out not only the midtones, but the highlights and shadows as well. I found this cool video online that shows a bunch of before and after HDR images. I think it does a good job of illustrating the concept.

Notice the detail recovery and how stylized an image can become once everything is properly exposed. Very cool stuff.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

New Equipment:

Two 9.5ft. Air Cushioned Light Stands
Two Umbrella Brackets w/ Shoe Mount
Two 43" silver beaded umbrellas

We needed a small, portable, on location lighting kit for this summer. I've been doing a lot of reading over on Strobist, and I finally broke down and purchased some equipment to use with our Speedlights. Steve and I did some testing today, and found the new equipment to be quite capable as an on location lighting setup. We are hoping to be able to use this setup for some upcoming outdoor weddings.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Night Shoot in Ann Arbor

Chris, Dave, and I decided that it might be fun to walk around downtown Ann Arbor and shoot some night photography. What we didn't know was that there would be a serious snowstorm rolling through the area at the time. Being that we would only have a limited time to shoot, we figured we'd make the best of the situation.

The shoot was a great opportunity to test out the Nikon's performance in wet and cold conditions. Remarkably, but not unexpected, the cameras performed flawlessly. The only difficulty was having to wipe the lens off constantly. We were able to walk around downtown Ann Arbor and capture some great architecture shots in addition to some cool time-lapse photography.

Here are some production photos from the shoot:

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Cleaning the Gear

Hi everyone. I am sick, and its going to be a pretty chill weekend (as I try to get over what I have). I have been cleaning the apartment and straightening up, and I decided to pull out all of the gear and do a good cleaning. I really believe that if you take care of your gear, your gear will take care of you. After every shoot, I make it a point to sit down, and clean all of my gear. It keeps your camera equipment looking and feeling new for much longer. I have seen photographers who don't clean their gear pay for it later. Nobody wants to spend hours in photoshop cloning out a hair that was on the lens during all of the formals and outdoor shots. Trust me, ITS NOT FUN!!!

Along with just cleaning my gear, I also visually and mechanically inspect each critical piece of my kit. Just now I discovered that my eyepiece cover is broken, and I'll need to order a new one. An eyepiece cover might not be a critical element in your kits, but imagine if it was a switch on a lens that you don't find out about until the next wedding shoot! Not a good time to be discovering broken gear.

To clean my gear I use a couple different things. I begin by using two 100% cotton towels (one slightly damp with warm water, one to dry) and wiping down all of the gear. Don't be afraid to give it a good scrub, the cameras can (and should be able to) take it. Get all of that grease from your skin, nose, and forehead off of the camera body. And if you say you don't get all that stuff on your camera when you shoot, you aren't working hard enough : )

After all of the gear is wiped down, I turn my attention to the lenses. I use a product called OmniCleanz from as a lens cleaner. I've found that it works well for lenses and laptop screens. I use the LenSavrz cleaning cloth, also from I can also highly reccomend the lens cleaning cloths that Promaster makes. They can be found at Ritz / Cord Camera stores, and they are extremely soft. They are also very good for cleaning your glasses off during a shoot (people who wear glasses when they shoot know what I am talking about...)

After everything is cleaned, all the gear is re-organized and put back in its proper place in my camera bag, so its ready to go for the next shoot. I love having everything in its place and ready to go, so I never have to worry about finding a piece of equipment when there is a time crunch.

Bottom line: clean your gear, it will last longer. Have a great weekend everyone.