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Live Show Recap: Lines

We’re back! Well, kind of. Chelsea got sick in Thailand and between that and jet-lag, she had to cut out before the live show. So Tony held it down solo this week, with the help of Justin and me of course. 

We looked at your “lines” photos, and there were some great ones. Next week we’ll be looking at your long exposures.

We enabled “super chat” on YouTube which is very weird. You can pay to have your comment highlighted, and the more you pay the longer it stays up, supposedly. 

Okay, we get into your photos here, I’ll highlight Tony’s picks below:

Over to me with your questions:

  • in short lighting, do you focus on the closest eye or the brightest eye? The closest.
  • how could a beginner get sponsored for travel photography? A beginner could not. You’d need a lot of experience and tens of thousands of Instagram followers.

Now to chit-chat, the part of the show where you say dumb things to us and we make fun of you.

  • why does Tony always look like he just got out of the shower?
  • do you fall asleep to camera overviews? “Tony the living sleeping pill”
  • HDR hate
  • 90’s choker trend
  • Tony should dye his hair

Ok, time to look at a portfolio! Way too long of an intro to that video, but good job bringing in the action. Gorgeous film reel! Maybe try a different layout for your photos, square crop doesn’t work with everything. Beautiful shots. Tony discriminates against left-handed people, so good job leading with that.

We get back into your photos here:

Back to me for some questions:

  • what would be your perfect camera? You can see his answer here. The closest so far is the Sony a99 II.

Back to your photos:

Last questions from me:

  • how much scouting do you do before traveling? A lot! Google Earth is a great resource, looking at other photographers shots from the same place, hire a model in advance.
  • there’s a Northrup Photo sub-reddit, if you’re a redditor.
  • congrats, Jim! 

And that is our show! Whoo, Tony deserves all the beer for that one. Thanks for watching, and join us next week for your long exposures as well as the triumphant return of Chelsea.

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Beginner Photography: Lines

Hey folks! This week’s topic was a fun one: lines. I like these abstract topics, partially because I’m lazy and partially because I just like abstract photography. Not that these images had to be abstract, but that’s what I tend to when shooting something simple.

The problem I came across with almost all of these shots was a lack of focal point. So some of these wound up being more like location scouting for when I have a model (most likely my daughter) to put in the scene at a later date. I actually love simple, stark shots of man-made structures especially. I think it’s something about finding a rare blank space in the city.

As usual, I shot in aperture priority at my lowest aperture. Some of these shots were of repeating patterns, so it makes the most sense to choose a small focal point and let the rest of the image blur. It helps to eliminate background distractions and your brain fills in the rest of the pattern for itself.

I walked around my neighborhood looking for lines and patterns. I first went to the train tracks, but where I live they are just in a straight line, which doesn’t give a very interesting leading line. Those shots wound up being unsuccessful. The sun was high in the sky, though, which made for lots of nice shadows. I sought out a few staircases that I thought would serve as a good subject. There were also a number of stone railings I liked. I converted all the shots to black and white since the pattern and texture were the focus.

This was actually an old shot from my phone that I loved but found no use for.

There is a person sitting at the end, but I wish they were larger in the frame.


This is a spot I’ve shot before, in my post on architecture. I think this crop works a bit better.

f/3.5, 1/800th for some reason, ISO 200.


This spot you’ll recognize from my “spooky” shots here. It could certainly use a focal point, but I love the zig-zag shadows on the stairs.

f/4, 1/640th, ISO 200.


Another old shot from when I was in San Francisco. Pup prints.

f/9, 1/200th, ISO 200.


So, there’s lines! I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone’s interpretations for the live show this week. What do you think of my shots? At all compelling, or just boring?