The Best of 2010

Education and sharing what I know has always been a big part of As we head into 2011, here are some of the articles and pieces I enjoyed sharing with you all this past year.

Tutorials & Tips

Music Photography Tips:

6-Tips Every New Music Photographer Should Know

I get lots of email from new music photographers asking for advice. I hate to say it, but I can't respond to everyone individually, so I thought I'd summarize my tips for getting into shooting concerts in a format that can benefit all readers. These are the basics that I think all new live music shooters should know.


“Catchflash” is a term for the instance of getting someone else's flash exposure in your frame by pure serendipity. You happen to press the shutter release at the exact same time as someone else, and you “catch” their flash in your exposure. This article takes a look at the mechanics of this phenomenon and how you can plan for it in concert photography  to make some really unique images.

Backlighting Tips For Music Photography

A look at a easy techniques for backlighting for band portraits as well as live music photography to produce high-impact images that pop.

DIY Lighting Tutorials:

The Best DIY Beauty Dish

One of the most popular articles I wrote this year was a detailed tutorial on how to make your own beauty dish. A beauty dish is a popular light modifier that's used in fashion and portrait photography quite a bit, and is also en vogue now for band portraits, thanks to it's ease of use on location.

This step-by-step tutorial teaches you how to build your own beauty dish out of a stainless steel mixing bowl, a pizza tray, spray paint, and a few nuts and bolts.

DIY Beauty Dish Video Tutorial

In addition to the written tutorial, my brother and I put together a video tutorial documenting the process.

DIY Speedlight Grid

The other DIY project I completed and filmed was a quick one – a DIY grid for your speedlights that uses black draws, glue, and a beer koozie.

Software & Processing:

Adobe Lightroom 3 vs Nikon Capture NX 2

I was a Nikon Capture NX user for years – ever since my old D70. Overall, the color and image quality of NX was never matched by any other program for me – that is, until the release of Adobe Lightroom 3. This review takes a look at how the two apps compare for processing what I make most – high ISO RAW files from the Nikon D3 and Nikon D700.

Understanding Sharpening in Adobe Lightroom

As I switched over o Adobe Lightroom, I went in search of tutorials on how to squeeze the most quality out of my RAW files. One area where I couldn't find many suitable articles was on the sharpening process. In this article, I looked in depth at the variables of sharpening in Adobe Lightroom and how they can be used to produce maximum detail from  your RAW images.

6-Steps For Sharpening in Adobe Lightroom

In the follow up to the overview of sharpening, I wrote a six-step tutorial on how to sharpen images in Lightroom. This companion piece covers a complete workflow with sample images and notes on how changing the value sliders in Lightroom affect the image.

Gear Reviews

In addition to music coverage and the above articles, I began reviewing photo equipment this year to expand on my Gear Guide of equipment recommendations. Thanks to B&H in NYC, I was able to test out some of Nikon's newest lenses, including their new f/1.4 prime lenses like the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G AF-S and the beautiful 85mm f/1.4G AF-S.

In addition, I reviewed a number of pieces of gear that I bought for my own use, such as the awesome little Yongnuo RF-602 flash triggers and the Think Tank Airport International, which has already saved my back – and kept my gear safe and sound rolling through airports.

Lens Reviews:

Flash Accessories:

Other Gear:

Thank You

Aside from listing these articles, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who reads this site and for everyone who comments.

I want to give a special thanks to everyone who has helped support this site by purchasing gear through any of my affiliate links as well, which I started in the second half of this year as well. You've truly do help bring new content to the site and I'm grateful for your support.

It's been a pleasure sharing tips, experiences, and my reviews with you this year. If anything I've been able to share this year has been helpful to you, I'm very glad.

2010 saw huge jumps for – from the start of this year to the writing of this post, unique visitors have tripled, total pageviews have gone up 1000% (that's not a typo – one-thousand percent), and bounce rate is averaging at a crazy-low 4%.

Professionally, I've been able to shoot some of the biggest jobs of my career in 2010. I'm having a blast.

For all those shooting the rock show – or shooting anything, for that matter – best wishes for 2011. Hope your year was good, and the next is even better.

Buy Yourself Something Nice

If this post or any other content on was helpful to you and helped you rock your photography just a little bit harder, please consider supporting this site, future content, and my addition to high grade oolong and matcha tea by making your next photo gear purchase through of my affiliate links:

Simply clicking through either B&H or here for your purchases helps me bring you free content, and naturally it doesn't cost you a cent more. If you do grab some gear, drop me a line! I’d love to hear about what you picked up.