Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Senior On Soccer ...

When we became aware of Caledonia Mumford High School senior .. Kenna .. being labeled as the 5th ranked goalie in all of Western N.Y.'s Section 5 Division, the "wheels began to turn".

Kenna's parents had asked us (as they did with their older daughter two years ago) to capture her class of 2014 senior photos, both candid and a formal closeup for the yearbook. We naturally obliged as we love working with the family and high school seniors in general. One of the things I love about high school seniors is their level of energy as well as their enthusiasm for what lies ahead for them.

As it turns out Kenna, a very cute and energetic young lady is indeed a highly gifted soccer player at the high school level. So what happens when the "wheels begin to turn" .. you ask? How about placing a call to the Rhino's organization regarding the use of their field, Sahlen's Stadium. At the time it seemed like a long shot but I figured, what the heck. The worst they can say is no.
After reviewing their website, I realized I needed to place a call to their PR specialist, Colleen Brown. She and the Rhinos could not have been more obliging. After checking their practice schedule, the organization came up with a date that we could use to fulfill our candid, senior photo project.
That project was to capture Kenna in her soccer uniform, both in and adjacent to the goal situated directly beneath the Sahlen's Stadium scoreboard. We had our date, we had our time, we had everyone's permission and we were ready to go.

So what kind of gear to you bring for a photo opp such as this? Of course the grand papa of my dslr's comes out of the bag .. the Canon EOS 6d .. a superb, full frame camera with excellent features including WiFi. With some sessions, we send the photos, as captured, over to a tablet for immediate client approval. Such was not the case here as seeing the tablet's screen outdoors is very difficult. For those camera buffs out there, the 6d is not really designed for action photos. It is more a portrait / landscape type of camera. On this day however, it was mostly posed photos we were interested in, so the 6d was a fine choice.

We did however procure a few photos of Kenna in action in the net, sometimes with the more action styled Canon 7d.

With her back to the popping in & out Sun, her side facing us was of course shaded. To fill that in we utilized a pair of Canon 580 EX II flashes.

No diffuser is necessary when filling in against a overly bright sunny background.
You camera folks would appreciate the fact that we needed a somewhat faster shutter speed.

Knowing I would exceed flash "sync speed", I set the flash units for HSS. Power is thus greatly reduced so this was another reason for no diffusers and maintaining a closer flash-to-subject distance. Fill flash is somewhat of a challenge when you have a bright sunny background with which to work against.
As you can see in the 3rd & 4th photos (down from the top) her mom was throwing the ball into a planned position while I tried timing the photo capture. In the cropped close up of the same photo you can see the twin flash units lighting the area. Both flashes were attached to radio receivers. They were signaled to fire from a radio transmitter atop my camera.

For the grand finale, we posed Kenna, now outfitted in her Caledonia Mumford High School soccer uniform, alongside the goal directly below the Sahlen's Stadium scoreboard. Besides the Sahlen name, there was another great reason for doing so. To our surprise, our PR specialist & Rhino representative, Colleen had arranged for a little surprise for Kenna .. look, in this final photo, up onto the scoreboard .. there in big lights is her full name, school and senior class !! Speaking of class, what a great organization the Rhino people are. Kenna, her mom, my wife and I were stunned to see that up there in lights. WOW .. what a great thing to happen to a fine young lady & great soccer star.

On behalf of Stochl Imaging, Kenna & her parents .. we would like to thank the Rhinos & Colleen Brown for providing this young lady with a great experience.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Down By The Creek

There is nothing better than having the chance to capture family photos in the great outdoors. Just being outside in a beautiful location with loads of trees, rocks and especially a cascading creek is all it takes to get those creative juices flowing. Such was the case on June 25th down in Arkport NY at the lovely Sun Valley Campsite. It was here that a Fairport NY family hired us to capture them in a location that, while picturesque, was also a place that held special meaning for them. This is where they spent many a summer day enjoying the great outdoors. It doesn't get much more relaxing than this.
We were most fortunate that the threat of inclement weather held off. The sky varied between times of partly sunny and moments of mostly cloudy. It is this kind of variable sky that can drive an outdoor portrait photographer to want to stop & grab a glass of wine! The important thing is that we were rain free, and with digital equipment, this is a very good thing. We also had the pleasure of working with such a fun family.

Our photo session began with my wife, myself & our family of four following a trail down to the creek, to be specific, the Canaseraga Creek. This creek is what I would aptly call "a hidden treasure". I can only imagine what it must look like in the Fall. We will definitely want to return here in October.
 That said, we began to scout various positions along the creek so as to capture our family with some great vantage points. Mom & Dad were up first and why not. They are the "leader of the pack" as a former great 60's tune once noted.
 We proceeded to arrange our family in varied groupings both in and along side the creek. The water, though cool, was actually pretty shallow & moving along at a relatively modest pace. Our family has often walked in this creek without worry of being safe, so we felt comfortable obliging their wishes. Along with a number of posing ideas that we suggested & implemented, we of course asked the family to contribute any posing ideas that they too wanted to come to fruition.

While photographing a family outdoors, there are several factors that the photographer must take into account. Keeping the family's front side, out of direct sunlight, is a must. Keep the sun somewhat behind and/or off to the side of the people. For one thing, this will help achieve accent lighting on the back and/or side of the hair. It also keeps the face from bleaching out & the eyes squinting. In doing so you must (or should) fill the now shaded face in with additional light, either via a reflector or flash (the better choice). This will effectively brighten up the face, make the colors more vivid and add that sparkle (catch light) in the eyes. Reflectors can be cumbersome and bother the people's eyes. Utilizing flash is, in my opinion, more controllable & the more effective choice here. While on camera flash can be used, the lighting can appear somewhat flat. However there are times when that is the easier choice to work with and is still better than no flash at all. The more creative choice here is to use off camera flash. Angled away from the camera, the light now becomes more directional & can add depth & texture to the photograph. However you need to watch that you don't create overly large shadows cutting across the faces. Outdoor flash can either be diffused (light softened & scattered) or used "bare bulb". The latter can be a bit more harsh but is sometimes the choice when the background is overly bright. Below, you can see we were able to use a diffuser over the flash, which by the way was triggered by radio transceivers.

If you are going to keep your flash on camera (or use the pop up flash) consider purchasing a diffuser to cover the flash head. Yes, they even have them for the pop up flash. There are many brands so perhaps you may want to "google" or "bing" the topic on some rainy day. Also check out the stores below. These diffusers are especially helpful when doing portraits in shady areas.
Time & space here does not permit some of the more technical aspects of flash photography, which include camera & flash settings along with metering challenges. I do hope, however that I provided you some insight (and motivation) as to how you might want to improve your own, future outdoor family & friend photo shoots. If you already own a dSLR camera & external flash gun, you might want to visit Adorama or B&H photo stores regarding purchasing flash gun diffusers and radio triggers. Their are a number of models that don't have to be that expensive.
If you should ever have the desire to learn more with your camera gear, please check out the link immediately below.

Perhaps in a future blog I will have the opportunity to expand on the intricacies of flash photography. I hope you found our story both interesting & informative. In the meantime, enjoy YOUR family .. get out there & get some great shots .. they'll love you for it ... Ron

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Letchworth Photo Workshop

On a very warm but beautiful day, Saturday June 22, 2013, 4 adult students braved the heat and humidity for an opportunity to hone their photographic skills while traveling through various sections of Upstate NY's gorgeous (no pun intended) Letchworth State Park.
We chose to meet at 9 AM just inside the Mt. Morris park entrance at the Mt. Morris Dam Overlook. It is there that I offered a brief introduction, along with an information packet, as to our goals for that day. It was to be a fairly intense four hour (9 AM - 1 PM) photo session for these 4 brave souls. Topics to be included were (but not limited to) depth of field, outdoor fill flash, panoramas & a brief discussion on hdr (high dynamic range).
After the introduction, off we went - first stop - Wolf Creek. This is a beautifully serene setting with plenty of shade, vegetation and a graceful, flowing creek of water cascading downhill over a random series of rocks, branches, etc. It then quickly sneaks under a small, man-made bridge, eventually flowing over a steep drop off as it plummets down into the base of the gorge.
It was here that I instructed the group to indulge themselves in an exaggerated, landscape depth of field experience. To do this, the students were asked to get down low to the creek bed and, with use of a wide angle lens setting  (ex: 24mm), while focusing just a short way out into the scene, compose and take the shot.
Utilizing this technique can really exaggerate your feeling for depth in the scene in which you are in.
Camera settings often include at least an aperture of f16. Why not f22 (for you veteran photographers)? The reason is that a typical dslr camera has a "cropped sensor" (it is smaller than a 35mm negative) for photo capture. Using a very tiny aperture hole can cause "diffraction" which in turn leads to a slight softening of the photo captured. In fact in most typical landscape scenarios the average, cropped sensored dslr owner should consider not setting their aperture for any smaller than f11 (unless the photographer needs the smallest aperture possible for dimming incoming light while trying to capture a blurred water (slow shutter) photo. Typical cameras falling into this category would include the Canon t3 / t3i / t4i / t5i / 60d / 7d .. the Nikon d3100 / 5100 / 7100 etc. Full Frame owners (Canon 5d thru 6d series & Nikon 600 thru 800 series) can consider a smaller aperture such as f16 for their typical landscape photos. Full frame sensors (the size of 35mm film) suffer from less diffraction at the smaller aperture hole size settings.

Our other task while at Wolf Creek was to engage in a typical outdoor fill flash scenario. People are often surprised about using outdoor flash. Actually it is very often needed for outdoor portraits. Typically it is best to pose the person in bright shade or with their back/side to the sun. You then "fill in" the front of the body with an appropriate amount of flash. That said, the students were instructed on the typical gear used for such an endeavor along with proper procedure.

For the amateur photographer wanting to keep it cheap & simple, you can leave your flash on top of the camera, set it for Av (Canon) .. A mode (Nikon) .. select an appropriate aperture & iso .. let the camera select the appropriate shutter speed .. then take the shot.

In keeping it simple, you can keep your  flash in "TTL" mode although this is not always the best way to use flash. However this article will not attempt to explain other, more involved alternatives.

The concept of fill flash photography was also pursued at Letchworth's "Middle Falls" across from the Glen Iris Inn restaurant. The lighting was much more contrasting (very bright background) & offered the students a much greater flash challenge. It was here that students learned to set their camera first for the background lighting (using the camera's on board metering system), keeping the exposure just a bit underexposed. We then did test shots for proper flash fill on the model's face. I also demonstrated the use of a handheld meter (Sekonic) to help ascertain the correct flash exposure for the particular scene (for those who might tire from frequent testing).

We wrapped up our day with a few brief stops .. one at Archer's Overlook for a chance to do some panoramic photography ... the other at Upper Falls for a brief discussion on HDR photography. I will endeavor to talk more about these at some point in the future, perhaps via another future workshop.

Hope you enjoyed the brief story of my wonderful day with four great fellow photographers. Please feel free to stop by my website for a collection of more diverse landscape photos.We are located at:  I truly hope you enjoy the website.You will also find us on Facebook ... There you will find links to other interesting blog articles we have published, amongst other things.

Thanks for stopping in ... Ron

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Junior Prom for 2013 Fairport Students

The weather could not have been better if it were "ordered". Sunny skies and warm temperatures, a slight breeze in the Spring air .. what more could a high school prom goer ask for. This was to be the day, the beautiful day of Saturday May 4th, bestowed upon our illustrious Fairport High School Juniors.
Many of the well adorned students meandered about at various homes treating their friends and families to a grandiose moment. And what a moment it was. The girls were gorgeous in their flowing dresses and gowns, complimented by beautiful hair styling, nails nicely done and topped off with the infamous corsage. The guys strutted about in their handsome suits and tuxedos, shiny shoes and of course the boutonnier.

Parents, relatives and friends swarmed in on them .. cell phone and point n' shoot cameras at the ready. At each home, the young stars were treated to all kinds of delicious foods, deserts and non-alcoholic beverages. In the midst of all this, there I am desperately trying, at each home, to find an outdoor location where I could photograph these well adorned students without having them covered in mottled sunlight. Being early Spring, not all of the trees were fully covered with well grown vegetation.

The sky was virtually cloudless which, often times, is a photographer's nightmare. This type of setting can lend itself to very harsh lighting. The solution was to place the bubbly couples in light shade, wherever that happened to be. After setting the camera's exposure for the background, the happy couple was "filled in" with supplemental flash. The flash gun lens was covered with a diffusion device so as to help spread out and soften the light.
Otherwise it would have been a bit too harsh.

After the home festivities it was time to move on. Midvale Country Club was kind enough to have the junior prom participants, with the aid of golf carts (1 per couple), travel out and around the golf course for a few, well chosen locations for professional photographs.
Myself and another photographer (we had a golf cart too) were allowed to follow along. Family and friends were asked to wait back by the clubhouse for the final group photo. The prom group was then guided to several picturesque locations. One was along a fairway whereby the lady was carefully positioned atop a lower branch while the gentleman kindly stood below and by her side.

A step stool was provided along with a towel so as not to dirty the gown. Every safety precaution was taken. Once again, lighting was sometimes harsh, so we had all we could do to get the picture. Several were taken with a telephoto lens. The couple was then filled in with a remote radio controlled flash gun perched nearby. Without the flash, and with a bright background, the couple would have appeared somewhat dull and lackluster. Their faces would surely have been dimly lit. Also, without the supplemental flash, the bright colors would have appeared somewhat muted.

We then happily moved on to a beautiful fairway location. It was there the prom goers, with guidance, were asked to pose for more formal and somewhat playful photographs. One of my favorite photo opportunities was to photograph several of the joyful couples as they sat along the edge of a fairway bunker. A towel was provided so the participants would not soil their garments. This situation, as I recall, was in bright shade with a gorgeous, well lit background. Once again we exposed for the background (so that it would not be too bright in the final photo). We then filled in the couple with a remote radio controlled, diffused flash gun. The goal here is to brighten the faces and maybe even have them match the background lighting. Once again, this will prohibit the faces from looking too dimly lit and the colors muted. The beauty of a radio controlled flash is that, as the photographer, I may then step back with my telephoto lens and get that somewhat close up shot I'm looking for. This also helps to soften the background a bit.
It was then that the organizer came up with the idea of having the participants stand, couple by couple across the fairway BUT each of the guys was to stand perched atop the golf cart! Wow, what a photo opportunity this was. I was in my glory. It was so much fun and the students really had a great time with this.
For this shot I had to use another camera fitted with an ultra wide lens. Had I needed to use the telephoto, I would have been back too far and would have suffered some light fall off. This ultra wide allowed me to stay relatively close to the group and yet fit them all in. I was also able to keep the light quality up where I wanted it to be. As you can see here, most of the students are fairly well lit considering a remote flash gun was virtually useless here.

We then proceeded to head back towards the clubhouse where family and friends were anxiously awaiting their star studded prom goers. It was a beautiful location for the final photograph. All the students were found to be straddling a wooden bridge and facing family and friends. We were able to grab one more final shot. It was quite shady so I somewhat desperately aimed a flash gun, with no diffuser cap so as not to cut down on the light, across the front of our group. We aimed the light about 1/3 of the way down the group and therefore "feathered" the light.
What a fabulous end to a beautiful day. I was truly blessed to have the pleasure of working with so many fine young people. The really do represent Fairport's finest. Their family and friends must surely be very proud. Congratulations to the 2013 Fairport Junior Prom participants !!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Photographing Rivers, Streams & Waterfalls

In scenic photography most photographers will prefer to photograph moving water in such a way that the water appears very smooth and silky .. almost like a veil if you will. It might even take on a misty or cloud like appearance. Others might prefer to capture the moving water as if frozen in time .. very bubbly looking in it's appearance. The way in which you choose to photograph such a scene is of course up to you and how you want the viewer to perceive it. On occasion I will photograph the moving water as if frozen but most often I prefer the photograph with a smooth, silky, mist like appearance. For me it provides a bit more dreamy look if you will. And in this hectic age, having time to dream is a good thing, is it not?
My intent, in this article, is for the amatuer outdoor photographer to explore ways in which to capture that water as he or she wants the watery scene to appear to the viewer. That said I will help you to explore several such approaches in this article.
To start with, let us take a look at perhaps the simpler method of the two .. that is .. photographing the water as if frozen in time. To do this we need to think .. FASTER shutter speed. A typical dslr (digital single lens reflex) camera today, such as a canon T4i or Nikon d5100 to name a few, has inside the camera box, "two" shutter curtains. During picture taking the first curtain opens, the scene is captured on the digital sensor, immediately followed by the closing of the second curtain. At this time, both curtains reset and prepare for the next photograph to be taken. A typical amount of time these 2 curtains are open, exposing the sensor, is about 1/60th of a second. The faster those curtains open & close, the better is the chance of moving water appearing to be standing still or frozen in time. As an example, the first photo here shows a recently photographed waterfall (in NC) with the shutter curtains operating at a somewhat faster rate, in this case 1/80th of a second. Again, the faster I achieve or set the shutter speed, the more still the water appears. You can let the camera chose the shutter for you (set your Canon in "Av" mode or Nikon in "A" mode) .. OR .. you can select the speed yourself (set your Canon in "Tv" mode or Nikon in "S" mode). If you set it yourself, the camera will then choose an aperture for you. I will not get into depth of field or ISO settings in this article as time & space does not permit it. I will assume you are familiar with both aperture & ISO functions. Photographs such as these can be taken "hand held", especially if your lens features image stabilization (IS for Canon or VR for Nikon). A tripod is not necessary in spite of what you may hear. All of this assumes you are familiar with proper focus & exposure techniques.

The second method I mentioned above is a bit more tricky .. making the water silky & dreamy. For this technique you will most definitely need a tripod / a remote camera trigger / a ND (neutral density) filter. Other options include a split neutral density filter and/or polarizer but I will not pursue that here.
The main goal here is to get that shutter speed way down slow. Typically I like to have it work at about 1/2 second or so in duration. That means the time between the 2 curtains is indeed a full 1/2 second of time in which the curtains are fully open. It is in this extended time frame that the moving water will appear as a blur on the camera sensor. This next (second) photograph shows the same scene but with a shutter time of  0.6 seconds exposure .. slower than 1/2 a second. You can clearly see the difference in the first 2 photographs here.
Once again I am going to assume you are familiar with proper focus & exposure techniques for a scene such as this. Moving on, the camera should be setup on a tripod. If the lighting is bright, you will need to add a ND (neutral density) filter onto the face of your lens. It's purpose is to block some of the incoming light which will in turn allow for a slower shutter speed. It will NOT change your color so don't worry.

TURN YOUR IMAGE STABILIZATION OFF on the lens. Most lenses, when tripod mounted, get fooled with regards to stabilization & can actually cause the photo to become blurry. If you focus with your shutter button, be sure to turn the AF off (after focusing) so it doesn't refocus when shooting. This is one reason why I truly recommend back button focusing. Go into your camera's menu & be sure to activate "mirror lock up" (some cameras have an external button for this). In this way, when taking the shot, the mirror swinging up won't jiggle the camera while photographing. In most cameras this means first pushing the remote trigger button to get the mirror up (you can use one wired or wireless - plugs into side terminal of camera) to get the mirror up .. THEN .. pushing the trigger button again to take the actual photograph. You do NOT want the camera vibrating during the shot or it will cause blurring of the photo. Just remember to deactivate mirror lock up when done with this project !!!

By the way, you can see in this 3rd photo that I am using a wired remote camera trigger. I do NOT touch the camera during shooting as it may jiggle the camera! Your resulting photo will resemble the 2nd photo above in this article.

If you are a novice/amateur photographer looking to improve your outdoor photography (or indoor too if you are interested), please go to my website, to learn more about private or group tutoring and/or workshops.

You might also like to visit our Facebook page:

I hope this little article has helped in some way and inspired the budding photographer to go out and explore these ideas. Time & space kept me from providing more detail but at least it will give you an idea to start with and perhaps encourage you to do more research (or contact me for tutoring).

In the meantime, I wish you the best in your future photographic endeavors ... HAPPY SHOOTING !!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spring of 2013 ... Down In The South

Knowing that winter would get the best of us, we planned a new timesharing  trip (through RCI) to the South. After much research for photographic opportunities, we decided to locate ourselves in the SW corner of North Carolina. We stayed @ the Wyndham Resorts in Sapphire NC. The timeshare property, and unit we stayed in, were very nice but the surrounding scenery was breathtaking. As soon as you drove out of the complex, you were surrounded by beautiful mountains and valleys. Unfortunately Spring had not taken full effect down there, nevertheless the overall feeling was one of beauty and the planet seemingly coming back to life (compared to winter in Rochester NY anyway).
The area is also rich in many creeks, streams and waterfalls. Included in that listing was the gorgeous area known as Whitewater Falls, a 411 ft drop of water (the Whitewater River) plunging down into the Jacossee Gorge region. It is the longest waterfall drop East of the Rocky Mountains. It literally cascades down through the mountainous region until coming to the foot of the gorge. It can be found in the Sapphire / Toxaway area of North Carolina off of Route 281. While this must be a beautiful site anytime of the year, including Spring we are most anxious to return to the area, probably in the Fall of 2014 to capture it again in all of its Fall color glory.
Dipping into South Carolina one day (we hugged the borders of NC / SC / TN), we ventured into Pickens SC where we had the pleasure of touring Table Rock State Park. It encompasses over 3000 acres of beautiful territory including bordering the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Built in the 1930's, and part of the Lower Cherokee Nation, it had a damn constructed so as to hold in Pinnacle Lake, which is often used for swimming, boating & fishing. We were fortunate in that, on the day we arrived, we had a gorgeous sky. As you can see here, this led to a beautiful reflection of the area off the surface of Pinnacle lake. This is yet another area I must revisit some Fall season.
One day, while visiting the local Gorges Park, a volunteer worker (Lynn) informed us that Rt 441, which cuts through the Great Smoky Mountains, had opened after 3 months of reconstruction. It had been shut down in previous months due to an area landslide which washed out part of the road. I was thrilled to find out we could now get through. Having spent a prior trip on the western side of the mountains, it was my intent to enter from the East this time but of course revisit the whole area.
Once entering we stumbled on an original grist mill, the Mingus Grist Mill. It was constructed in1886, and what makes this mill different is that it does not employ the conventional water wheel. Instead it utilizes a long, water bearing trough which disappears under the building and powers a simple turbine device. This in turn was used to grind corn. We were able to tour inside and was greeted by a guide. It actually felt, just for a moment, like we had gone back in time. Looking at this made me realize just how fortunate we are to live in the high tech world of today (well .. sometimes lucky .. I won't include the idiots I saw on the parkways texting while driving).
From the mill we decided to drive up to Clingman's Dome (via what else .. Clingman Dome Road), a point over 6000 ft up and offering a 360 deg. view of the entire Greater Smoky Mountains. The passage is understandably closed during the winter months. The actual trek up the road is about 7 miles. Once there you can park & take in the vista. However if you are of tough stock, you can walk the 1/2 mile steep paved walkway up to the tippy tippy top .. the Dome itself. It isn't enough that you are gasping for breath upon arriving at the top ... BUT ... you now have to walk up a curved, inclined ramp to get to the actual observation tower. Although we had cell phone service, good news .. we did not have to call 911. It was freezing up there .. mid 50's at the base of the Smoky's that day BUT 27 deg. F at the Dome !!! If that wasn't enough, it was very windy up at the Dome also. Needless to say .. I grabbed a couple of panoramic photos and then quickly proceeded down the ramp .. eventually back to the parking lot. I have to admit though it was worth the hike. The 360 deg visa was something you have to see. Being hazy, it does not lend itself to ideal photography but that's ok. You truly have to be up there & see it with your own eyes to appreciate its awe and beauty.
Time for lunch .. so off we went back down to one of our favorite towns, Gatlinburg TN. We had been there in the Summer of 2007 but was awfully hot & humid. This time it was a clear, crisp & sunny day with temperatures hovering near 60 deg F. Going back into the Smoky's we grabbed a few road side stream photos but of particular note was a spot called THE SINKS.
 It is located just inside the Western portion of the Smoky's about 11 miles from the visitor center off of Little River Road. The Little River runs swiftly through the area, under a bridge, then makes a sharp turn. Visitors can park there and hike around. Crossing the river on foot over rocks is dangerous & 1 lady drowned there years ago. We, from the safety of the shoreline, was able to procure several standard and panoramic photos of the rivers as it blasts it's way over the rocks. Directly above is a thumbnail of what will be a 34" x 10" panoramic print, which we do sell.
Needless to say, in spite of several rainy days & closures, we had an adventurous trip. As I'm sure many of you will agree .. even a bad day of photography is better than a good day at work. That said .. I praise the Lord that my wife and I are retired and, at the moment, healthy enough to enjoy it.

Too see the full collection of photos from this trip (and many others) please visit our website ...

On a final note I have to mention that if any of you should ever be lucky enough to visit or stay in the area of the Wyndham Resorts in Sapphire NC, you absolutely must stop in at a charming little restaurant right there in the complex (which is just off Rt 64). It is called the FOUR SEASONS GRILLE. It is owned and operated by our new friend Natalie & her husband. The food is OUTSTANDING and man is there PLENTY of it. If you have a hearty appetite I can think of no better place. If that isn't gratifying enough, there prices are rediculously low considering the GIANT portions you get. If you ever happen to be down that way check it out .. the Four Seasons Grille @ 217 Valley Rd in the Sapphire Valley of NC.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

2013 Craft Show Season

It is that time of year, over here at STOCHL IMAGING when we begin our final preparations for the 2013 craft show season.

Hop over to and there you will find our ART AND CRAFT SHOWS page. You will see a somewhat detailed listing of the Rochester NY area craft shows we have been approved for, or are pending. UPDATE: We have learned we are @ booth # 72 for both Lilac craft shows !!!

These shows include the Lilac Festival (both weekends), Fairport Canal Days, Corn Hill Arts Festival, Park Avenue Arts Festival and finally the Brockport Arts Festival. Be sure to check out the above mentioned page on our website for more information. As time goes on, we will add our exact booth assignment locations to the ART AND CRAFT SHOWS page.

We really hope to see you at the shows. We have many beautiful photographs to share with you as you can see by the photo of our tent above.

Perhaps we would have a photograph or two that might fit your needs for decorating your home. Some folks buy them to pass on as gifts. Whatever your need, I'm sure we can provide you with great photos.

Here are several examples of some of the beautiful photography that we have for sale. This particular photo is a 5 photo panoramic of  Rochester NY's .. HIGH FALLS DISTRICT .. it shows the passing through of the Genesee River in addition to Kodak in the background.

We truly hope that you can stop by one or several of our craft shows and check out our great collection. Of course they are not our only photographs. Be sure to go to:  and proceed to the GALLERIES page .. then drop down to the "Scenic photo sales" section. You will find the above photo and many, many other pictures taken from the Rochester NY area as well as from around the United States.

This second sample photo is a twilight photograph taken during summer at Rochester NY's Frederick Douglas Susan B Anthony Bridge. It is located just South of the city in the Corn Hill Village section. We are standing parallel to the Genesee River looking North. There are several restaurants, shops & apartments just off to our left in this photo.

It should be noted that you do not have to attend a craft show to order photographs. Any photo viewed in the "Scenic photo sales" section, on our website, can be purchased via the Shopping Cart. If you prefer, go through our website's CONTACT section OR just drop us an email regarding what it is you would like to purchase.
Finally, if you would rather, feel free to give us a phone call. We would love to talk to you regarding your photographic needs.
One last thing .. we do accept all major credit cards including VISA, MASTER CARD, AMERICAN EXPRESS and DISCOVER.

Have a great start to your Spring season and once again, we look forward to seeing or hearing from you. Until then, stay healthy and thank you so much for considering STOCHL IMAGING.

Check out STOCHL IMAGING on Facebook !!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Hitting The Slopes

We had the pleasure of being hired by two families of soon-to-be high school seniors (currently in the latter portion of their junior year at Fairport High School) to capture the "casual" portion of their senior photo session. Both boys, willing to be photographed at the same time, have a Bristol Mountain history.

Nick (senior in 2013-2014) is a snow boarder.

Matt (senior also in 2013-2014) is an avid, traditional skiier.

Both young men asked to have this particular portion of their session captured at the beautiful Bristol Mountain Ski Resort. General Manager Dan Fuller, & top of the mountain snowmobile specialist Gregory Sherman, were very helpful in making this whole photo project come to fruition.

With our primary date of Friday, March 8th in place our only concern now - the weather! Well somebody "up there" had our best interest in mind as it was an absolutely gorgeous, partly sunny & mild temperature day. All concerned were excited and so off we went. The young men, up the chair lift to meet us at SHOOTING STAR trail, were anxious to go!

My wife & I, via County Rd #32 & South Hill Road, drove up to Bristol's Nordic Ski Center. It was there that Greg met us, snowmobile at the ready, to escort us to the upper portion of the SHOOTING STAR trail. It is this trail, which the boys selected, that contained several "jumps" which best suited there style of skiing / snowboarding. By the way, I don't know what we would have done without Greg. An amicable "easy rider", Greg could not have been more friendly & helpful. Look at the man .. does it not look like he is enjoying his job or what ?

While it was indeed a beautiful, partly sunny day .. a day absolutely adorable for a skier .. it is a photographer's NIGHTMARE !!!

Why you ask? Bright sunshine means a very contrasty day, photographically speaking. For you enthusiast photographers, this means that you must; a) expose for the background .. and .. b) fill in your subject with flash. To be more exact, on part of the photo session (while the boys were hugging the Southerly edge of the downward sloping trail - heading West to East), we had to set our dlsr cameras (in M mode) to properly expose for the background, natural (ambient) light. Actually we adjusted our settings to darken the background just a bit. We then went ahead and adjusted our remote controlled, (via a pair of Pocket Wizards radio triggers) off camera flash gun, to fill in the shaded (facing opposite the Sun) side of the skier / snow boarder. A very high speed shutter setting was required to both knock down the ambient light & freeze the motion of the skier. This kind of shutter setting pushes the flash photographer into what we refer to as HIGH SPEED SYNC. It is a way of squeezing the flash in between the very fast pair of shutter curtains found inside a modern day dlsr (digital single lens reflex) or digital camera, the type with interchangeable lenses.

A little later on, we had the guys move over to the opposite side of the trail where we proceeded to capture a faster paced, downhill action series of photos. In this case, & with the Sun now blasting our young men, we opted to forgo the flash & simply concentrate on a very high shutter speed action. In this case we added (since we were no longer using flash) a bit more exposure to the front of the guys and, if need be, let the background go a little brighter. We were most concerned with the action at this point. Shutter speeds ranged in between 1/1000 & 1/2000 of a second in order to freeze the motion. Any extra background exposure was adjusted for in Adobe Photoshop post production.

We had an absolutely wonderful day working with these fine young men. We believe they had fun also.
They will certainly have some very fond memories, as they grow older, looking back on what they accomplished as young, high school men. I have to admit that, while photographing these guys, I had the "itch" to fly down that hill. Sadly, I soon came to my senses ... DARN !!!

Our 4 high school senior packages range from just $110 up to
$ 290 for the most comprehensive session .. NO SITTING FEES ! ... NO GIMMICKS ! The final chosen yearbook photo is uploaded to the school yearbook .. you do absolutely NOTHING ! We handle everything ...

Check out STOCHL IMAGING on Facebook !!!

Also, be sure to view our website: for more gallery samples and information !!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Thank you for visiting my first blog listing. We are looking forward to a great 2013.

We are pleased to say that parents are starting to schedule their High School Juniors for their senior photo in their 2013 / 2014 high school yearbook edition - AND IT'S ONLY FEBRUARY !!!

Check us out on Facebook !!!
We are offering 4 different h.s. senior photo packages for discerning parents who want a creative, high quality photo session for their future senior.

For the up & coming 2013 / 2014 senior year, we have packages "starting" as low as $100 which includes: a full 1 hour session, an outdoor location of your choice (within 10 miles of our W. Henrietta NY location), 2 outfits, a CD and a "private" gallery listing of ALL photos taken.
Yes - you read it correctly ... $110 plus tax ... NO hidden costs !

Heck, we even upload your chosen, final yearbook photo directly to the school's yearbook advisor! That's right, a straight digital upload. The best part is that, as a parent, you do NOT have to do a thing. We will handle everything. Believe it or not ... all of the above starting at just $110 - NO sitting fees ... ZERO !!

The other three packages, ranging between $170 - $290, in addition to all of the above, include longer sessions, more outfit changes, a complete print package & a much more generous mileage range to work with. In fact, this summer we will be heading to Arkport NY (southern tier) for a senior (& a family) session. Then again, my wife & I enjoy driving the countryside.

A photo session IN YOUR OWN HOME can also be arranged for your convenience. Be sure to ask us about this if you are interested.

To see more, be sure to go to

We are very excited about this new year in photography as we have new & creative ideas to implement.
It is our hope that you will contact us in the near future so that we may share those ideas with you.

In the meantime ... thanks for stopping by ... Ron