Day Zero

     Okay people, my name is Austin Daniel. I am new to blogging, but I am thrilled to announce that I will be blogging about my photography on an intermittent schedule, at best. You should be excited, too! (come on, it's my blog, so I get to say what I want to say ;)

     "Sooooo Austin, what's it going to include?". Well, let me tell you: I work as a photographer on the side and I love all aspects of photography. I love to continually learn about my craft and strive to learn more of it. This blog will include (but not limited to) photo shoots that I have embarked upon and will give a little technical aspect of photography, as well as things that I learn along the way. Also, anything else I want to say (see paragraph one).

P.S. I would also like to acknowledge the fact, up front, that I realize that my "audience" that will be reading this will be slim to none, haha. I accept that fact, but I will still write this as if I am speaking to a group of ten-thousand. Mom, you should be proud, cause I'm sure you will be reading this. Tell Dad "Hi" for me, lol.

     So, without further waiting, I will start with one of my favorite photo shoots I have done.


     I was hired to shoot several different poses of a client named Kayla, which were to include headshots and candids. Below is what I would consider my favorite photo from the shoot.

Shot with my 85mm 1.8D on a Nikon D700, using natural light only, at base ISO of 200.

Shot with my 85mm 1.8D on a Nikon D700, using natural light only, at base ISO of 200.

With the shot above, I was shooting wide open at 1.8. I have actually been quite pleased with how sharp the Nikon 85mm 1.8D is wide open. Also, I very rarely notice any chromatic aberration, which has been an issue with my 50mm 1.8D, in the past (could be to poor focusing on my part though).

     To encourage the model to relax, I had her place her hands in her pockets and swing back and forth. A technique, I'll admit, was surprisingly effective. Each time she turned toward me, I had already pre-focused onto her face and recomposed. The sun was behind her and to her right: we were shooting around 1:30pm, I was aiming to achieve some sort of hint of hairlight. As far as post processing, I used a preset in Light Room that I fabricated from several others. Essentially, I added some sharpening, raised the black levels just a tad and softened the highlights to make more of a "matte" feel. I added some clarity, which adds contrast in the mid-tones, and did a black and white conversion. In the end, I was happy with the result.

     Of the headshots, this one below is my favorite.


ISO 640 with an aperture of 2.8. Shutter speed 1/640th sec.

ISO 640 with an aperture of 2.8. Shutter speed 1/640th sec.

This photo was shot at an aperture of 2.8, which I've found the 85mm to become quite pleasingly sharp at (at least to my eyes). A breeze came by that lifted her hair and created a shot that would've otherwise required me to bring a fan, lol. Nature 1. Amazon 0.

     If you'll notice, the "catch light" in her eyes (the two lit areas on either side of her pupils) were actually created by two windows, as apposed to two flashes, in a traditional setup. Nature 2. Amazon 0. As far as editing is concerned, I edited it very similarly to the photo above this one, but in this photo, I raised my shadows some, which didn't effect the exposure of the highlights, and I think it made for a more "lit" environment look.

     Something important that I learned from this shoot is that I found myself not getting too close in for head shots, because even with a 85mm lens I would still slightly accentuate facial features, as opposed to flattening them for a more professional look.

     Anyways! Well, that's it for today. I hope to talk to an audience of this size again (looks out over the crowd).

     Annnnnd if you would like me to photograph any graduates, couples, or families in the Tyler, Tx area, send me an email at for scheduling and pricing.

Below, are are a few more pics from the shoot. I hope you enjoy them!