Ron Goldman Photography Blog

Welcome to my photography blog. I will be sharing photography tips as well as hosting some great photography class and gear giveaways and sharing discount codes for all the great products I use.

You can view more of my work at my image website: http://www.rongoldmanphotography.com

I am also a photography instructor at http://www.ppsop.com so feel free to ask questions about any of the classes I teach there.

Ron Goldman

March 14, 2012
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 Hard to turn this one down. Try them for a month and send them back if you don’t like them! Click here to take advantage of the test drive program!
 … Test Drive one of Think Tank Photo’s new Modular Rotation Systems free for 28 days.  If you like it, keep it and your credit card will be charged.  If not, return it to Think Tank no charge. The Modular Rotation System is the choice of working professionals who shoot sports, weddings, nature or any situation where the need to stay mobile and rapid gear changes are essential. The Modular Component Set™ V2.0 consists of two individual lens changer pouches, a flash pouch and an accessory pouch that lock to or slide around any Think Tank Photo belt. Since the pouches are modular, the carrying system can be reconfigured to match any assignment, under any condition.
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This offer ends on March 31, 2012 or when100 of each modular set has been reserved for the Test Drive program. * This offer is only available within the United States because of the shipping costs of delivering the product from and to the U.S.
January 29, 2012
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Most of us as kids probably remember sitting at the dinner table staring at what seemed to be an enormous  pile of nasty green stuff on our plates. Asking repeatedly to be excused and hearing mom say “not until you eat your broccoli, it’s good for you”.  My sister and I would try the usual tricks such as spreading it across the plate, hiding it in our napkins,  or even trying to coax the family dog into helping us out. It never worked….

What we didn’t know is it turns out mom was right! It really is good for you. Broccoli contains the very powerful antioxidant sulforaphane which is now being used to treat and cure cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and many other medical ailments.

As an adult, I love broccoli and prepare it all the time. For those of you who don’t share my enthusiasm for the most popular of all the cruciferous vegetables, I have some good news. Broccoli sprouts contain even higher concentrations of this antioxidant and in fact, just 1 ounce of broccoli sprouts contains the same amount as 3 pounds of fresh broccoli!  Just think how much easier it would have been to “eat your broccoli” if there had only been 1 once of sprouts on your plate.

There are many other health reasons why sprouts are so good for you as well. Research has shown that a single sprout can have as much or more of certain micronutrients as an entire mature plant. These increases range from 30%-500% of certain vitamin and protein content while being lower in carbohydrates. Sprouts are also a good source of chlorophyll, said to have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.  Sprouts are, quite frankly, a super food that are simple to grow at home and absolutely delicious.

 

Homegrown broccoli sprouts ready to eat.

 

To grow your own sprouts, you will need a few simple items such as a Sproutmaster or Easy Sprout. Broccoli Sprouting Seeds or any of these other types of sprouting seeds, a glass jar or bowl to soak your seeds and water. That’s it!

The process is very quick and easy. First, you need to soak your seeds overnight in clean room temperature water. Once they have soaked, you simply pour them into your sprouting device, rinse with water, and drain THOUROUGHLY! Place your sprouter anywhere out of direct sunlight and at room temperature, I use my kitchen counter. You must rinse and drain every 12 hours (twice a day) for the first three days. Always be sure to drain very thoroughly. The most common cause of inferior sprouts is inadequate drainage.

On day 4, after rinsing, leave the lid off your sprouter and place them where they can get some light. It doesn’t take much light to green them up and you will want to avoid direct sunlight so you don’t burn them.

Continue to rinse and drain every 12 hours and they will be ready on day 5 or 6. At this point, it’s up to you if you want to “de-hull” them or not. If you do, simply place them in a large bowl of water and stir them around. The hulls will rise to the surface where you can simply skim them off. Remove the sprouts from the water and allow them to dry by placing them back into your sprouter  for 8-12 hours or overnight. They are now ready to place into a container and store in the fridge. Fresh sprouts that are stored correctly will last a couple of weeks but mine never make it that long. We usually go through the entire batch in a few days at the most. Once you try them, you’ll understand why!

The following images show the entire growing sequence in 24 hour increments. I am using the Sproutmaster tray to grow my sprouts in.

 

Seeds after soaking overnight and placed in sprouter.   

24 hours later, notice the roots emerging!

At 48 hours, lots of root mass and small leaves. 

72 hours and they are ready for “greening”.

This is still at 72 hours and moved into indirect light. Look at how much volume they now take up compared to day 1.

96 hours. They continue to grow and are turning green from exposure to light. At this point, they are ready to eat or de-hull.

The de-hulling process. Notice how they all float to the top for easy removal.

 

Broccoli sprouts can be used on sandwiches, appetizers, salads, eaten plain or for lots of other recipes

 

“Everything” bagels with broccoli sprouts, cream cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and English cucumber.

 

Homemade Ritz crackers with broccoli sprouts, cream cheese, pickled red onion, and English cucumber.

January 12, 2012
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For a limited time you can get a free eyepiece with Think Tank Photo’s Think Tank Photo’s Hydrophobia  rain covers.  The Hydrophobia 70-200 and  Hydrophobia 70-200 Flash rain covers accommodate a DSLR with up to a 70-200 lens and, in the latter, a flash.  Its Hydrophobia 300-600 rain cover protects a DSLR with a super telephoto lens (300 f2.8 up to a 600 f4) attached, with the lens hood in position.  These heavy-duty rain covers provide protection during even the toughest downpours, wind storms, or other challenging conditions. What’s more, you can actually attach your DSLR and simply carry it by the rain cover.  The sleeves are big enough to not only let you control the camera (with the help of a clear window around back), but swap out batteries or memory cards as well.  When you check out of the shopping cart you will be asked which eyepiece you would like to receive for free.

Just click here to shop now! http://www.thinktankphoto.com/categories/rain-covers/hydrophobias.aspx?code=AP-415

 

December 17, 2011
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Making the most out of every subject.

                       

 

As food photography instructors, we are constantly seeing students that will take hours to set up a single image and then spend less than a minute to take a single photograph before moving on to their next subject. When starting out, most of us have to cook and style our subjects which is very time consuming. Why not make the most out of all that hard work?

You have probably heard this before but it’s worth repeating here. “When is the best time to shoot a vertical?” “Right after the horizontal.”(Thank you Mr. Bryan Peterson!) That one simple concept when followed, can lead to many more amazing images in your portfolio yet so many photographers never remember to try it!

 

 

A simple change of  camera orientation from vertical to horizontal yields two very different looking images.

Another very important concept to remember is to shoot your subject at more than one aperture. We constantly see every single one of a student’s assignment images shot at a single aperture. When asked if they tried shooting at any others, the majority say “no.” It only takes a few extra seconds to shoot at several more apertures and again, the results can have a huge impact on the final image.

 

 

 

The above three images were shot at (top to bottom) f/11, f/5.6, and f/2.8

And lastly, change your shooting angle! Again, it only takes a few seconds to raise or lower your camera and the resulting images can be dramatically different.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is just a small sample of what Lara Ferroni and Ron Goldman will be teaching in their new class “Photography For Food Bloggers

In this exciting new class, they will show you how to look at a dish from all angles to get the best shot and how to fine-tune your images so they really pop. You’ll learn how to think about color and texture in the props you choose, and how to layer elements to create visual interest and drama. You will also receive critical feedback each week on your images to help you understand what you are doing right and what could use a little more work.

 

December 17, 2011
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Hey everyone, go over to Sally cameron’s website, afoodcentriclife.com and enter to win a set of ScanPan CTX cookware! While you’re there, make sure you take a look around at all the amazing recipes and images on her site as well. Here is the link to the contest: http://afoodcentriclife.com/scanpan-ctx-cookware-giveaway/

 

December 14, 2011
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Big news! I am pleased to announce another new class at PPSOP. http://www.ppsop.com/fblo.aspx And I am really excited to be working with Lara Ferroni on this one. She is an incredibly talented  photographer, stylist, blogger and author. You can see more of her amazing work here: http://www.laraferroni.com/ And check out her books here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lara+ferroni See you in class!

November 6, 2011
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Water Drop Refraction


If you love shooting macro images as much as I do you have
probably shot just about everything interesting inside and outside your house by
now. I want to share another creative technique that you can use to rediscover
some of the things you have already shot and even some you probably haven’t
thought of yet!

It’s called “Water Drop Refraction”. (I won’t bore you with
the science behind this phenomenon but you can easily look it up if you are as
much of a science geek as I am.) Basically you are placing a subject behind a
drop of water and then using your macro lens to capture the refracted subject
inside the drop.

You can easily shoot these inside or if the conditions
are right and you don’t mind laying in the wet grass, you can shoot them outside
as well. I personally prefer to work in the comfort of my home while doing this
kind of work but I’ll leave that decision up to you. The setup will be the same
either way so if you are shooting outside, you will want to have a tripod that
will work at ground level or some other sort of camera support like a Bean Bag or Ground Pod or something similar.
When shooting inside, I use a Gitzo 2541EX tripod with a Geared Head and Macro Rail for precise focusing.

You will need a true macro lens that is capable of 1:1 reproduction and some extension tubes if you want to get even higher
magnification. I use a Canon MPE-65mm lens that allows for up to 5:1 or “5 times life size” reproduction ratios which allows me to just
about completely fill the frame with a single drop of water.

You can use natural light but it’s much easier with an off camera flash. A flash will allow for a much faster shutter speed which prevents
motion blur and it also gives you much better control over unwanted highlights and reflections in the water drop. You
will need a way to hold your flash off camera and there are hundreds of Brackets
available for this or you can even use the stand that comes with your speedlite if you can find a good place to set it.

My favorite set up for this is to use one of the heads of the MT-24EX macro twin light on a
long adjustable flash arm extended out above and to the side of the subject.

 MT-24EX flash withdiffuser on a bracket. Only 1 flash head being used.

 MT-24EX flash with diffuser on a bracket. Only 1 flash head being used.

You can also use a regular speedlite with this setup and fire it with an off camera shoe cord, a wireless transmitter, or if your
camera has built in wireless, that will work too. I use the ST-E2 wireless transmitter like in the image below.

 Speedlite with diffuser on bracket

I diffuse whichever type of flash I am using for softer light and no harsh glare on the water drop. There are plenty of other setups that will
work and every camera manufacturer will have equivalents to the lighting I am using here.

Once you have your camera and lighting all set up, you need to find a subject, some grass, and some water or glycerin for the drop. Flowers work wonderfully for this but don’t limit yourself to just one type of subject! A leaf, fruits, vegetables, or just about anything else that is small and colorful will work great.

I have a bowl of fake grass that works fantastic for this but it’s just as easy to go out in the yard and pick some long blades of real grass
and hold them up with a “McClamp” or something similar.

Once you have your grass in position, you can carefully place a drop right where you need it by using a syringe. I really prefer using
glycerin over water because it is thicker and will stay in place a lot longer.

Syringe used to place a drop of glycerin on blade of grass 

If you don’t have a syringe, try using a toothpick or straightened out paper clip to place the drop with. If you have a steady hand,
you can even get the drop to stick on top of the grass sometimes for a different look.

The last thing to do is to place your subject about an inch behind the drop and you are ready to start shooting.

Focus is critical when working at these magnifications as DOF will only be 1-2 millimeters. A focusing rail really helps as does magnified live view if your camera has it.

I prefer to shoot in Manual mode at f/8 or f/11 and 1/250sec. Check the synch speed of your camera model for correct shutter speed.

 I always use a shutter release and mirror lock up for macro work. The built in timer also works if you don’t have a release.

I then take a test shot with my flash at 1/2 power and adjust accordingly from there. I use a piece of white foam core board as a reflector when needed.

 

 

 

Miniature pumpkin at 1X life size, MPE-65mm, f/8, 1/250sec

Dahlia at 3X life size, MPE-65mm, f/11, 1/250sec

Petunia at 2X life size, MPE-65mm, f/8, 1/250sec

Dahlia in 2 drops at 2X life size, MPE-65mm, f/11, 1/250sec

 

Petunia at 3X life size, MPE-65mm, f/8, 1/250sec

 

Maple Leaf at 4X life size, MPE-65mm, f/8, 1/250sec

In this last shot, I
used a light spray of water on my grass and then placed it in the freezer until
there was “frost” on the tip.

With a quick search around the house or at the store, you can come up with lots of different subjects that will all work with this technique.
As Winter approaches, this is a great way to keep shooting when it’s just too cold, windy, or wet outside as well!

November 5, 2011
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ThinkTank photo has announced V2.0 of their popular Modular system and Skin system.
— In response to customer feedback, Think Tank Photo’s has completely redesigned its Modular Rotation System to provide additional features and benefits, including easier photography gear retrieval, better equipment fit, and an updated/inclusive style.  The Modular Rotation System consists of three product groupin…gs:  Lens Cases, Gear Pouches, and the Modular Component Set V2.0. And for those photographers who want no padding separating them from the gear on their belt system, Think Tank Photo has completely redesigned its Modular Rotation System Skin™ Components to provide additional features and benefits.  These include easier photography gear retrieval, better equipment fit, and an updated/inclusive style.  The new items will be available for sale in December. You can click on the link below to sign up for email notification when the new systems are available and as always, get free stuff with your purchase when you use the link!http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e56ez7hagubdmvag/start
December 13, 2010
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Cindy Landrum! Congratulations Cindy. Your entry # was selected by the random number generator this morning. I will be sending you an email with the details on claming your prizes shortly.

Thanks to everyone that entered and be sure to check back for another class giveaway coming up soon with more great prizes!

Ron

December 6, 2010
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After far too long, my new website is now live. A new look, new content, easier navigation, are among some of the new features. I will be adding more images and links over the next few days but there are lots of new images, especially in the food gallery. Take alook and let me know what you think.

www.rongoldmanphotography.com

Thanks!