Random 008: JMD Builders

I shoot most of my architectural work using a full frame Sony A850 and a 20mm Minolta prime lens.  I also usually will revisit some compositions with a Sony A700 and an 11mm Sony lens for spaces where I need just a little extra room for a proper composition. 

While preparing to pack up my camera bag, I was standing here just looking out that at the beautiful cobalt sky, and thought I would shoot this one last shot.  I am really glad I did.


This exquisite space built was built by JMD Builders and will most likely be included in our Creative Spotlight in the near future.  This image was photographed using a Sony A700 camera with a Sony 11mm lens.

Creative Spotlight: Gleason Architects, P.C.

I received a call last August from Gleason Architects.  They were looking to photograph a historic building in Maywood, Illinois.  I met with Thad Gleason and Mike Koehl at their offices.  During our meeting, Thad and Mike outlined precisely what shots they were looking for.  As seasoned architects, they understand composition perfectly and it really made my workflow easy.


When I got to the space, I was very impressed with layout and final finish of the project.  Remodeling an historic building is no easy feat.  When I mentioned to Thad that I wanted to feature the work on my blog, I asked if he had any before photos.  You will be floored as I was, when I saw what they had to work with.  So, ‘what can you do with a good architect?’  Apparently, anything you want!  Below are some of the before photos from the Gleason Architects archives and some of our favorite after photos.


I have also included the entire summary from Gleason Architects.  Grab a cup of coffee.  It is an excellent read.  

If you are looking to work a miracle with your challenging project, don’t hesitate to give the team at Gleason Architects a call.   

Great Lenses: Minolta AF APO Tele-Zoom 80-200 1.2.8

Continuing in my list of Great Lenses is this gem from Minolta, the AF APO Tele Zoom 80-200mm 1:2.8

This particular lens was on loan to me from fellow photographer Ronny Robinson.  He was assisting me in an outdoor shoot a couple of years ago and while I was using my favorite 24-80 zoom lens, Ronny was using this amazing Minolta Tele Zoom.  


It really worked out well as Ronny was shooting candid shots from a distance while Mary Beth was directing poses and I was shooting the formal portraits.  (Nothing like having a good team to work with.)  While I do own really nice 80-200 f4 Minolta Zoom, the high speed of this lens intrigued me.


When we were finished, Ronny handed me the lens and said to try it out for a while.  Despite its size, the lens handles well.  Lens construction and build was top drawer, certainly among the best I've ever seen.  Focusing is super-fast and the extra speed really allows one to capture amazing available light shots.  Truthfully, I didn’t want to give it back.  This lens has just the right balance of sharpness and character that delivers beautiful vibrant images.  Suffice it to say, I’m looking for one to add to our arsenal of lenes.  I highly recommend this one!