Flew the Mavic today

The weather here has been very windy for almost a month.  Today it rained but the clouds started to break up near sunset.  I had updated the Mavac a couple of days ago and I had a battery that was about 60%.

I went out and took the Mavac up for the first time in over a month. I flew it around the Neighborhood and out about 1800 feet.  I was keeping it low because I could hear a private airplane in the area.  As I was bringing it back to the landing area the color in the sky turned a nice red orange.  I snapped a few photos as the low battery warning came on.  I flew the aircraft until the auto return to home kicked in and the aircraft did everything its programed to do, climb 30 feet and return.  Funny think the Mavac descended to about 5 feet above the landing pad and then I got the message that the it could not land, that was the first time that warning happened.  I canceled auto land and then landed the aircraft right on the landing pad.

So I need to figure out why the auto land wouldn't work, otherwise it was a good flight only lasting about 15 minutes.  

7 Tips for better Spring and Summer flowe photographs


Spring is here and Summer will be here soon and everyday it seems like a new flower is in bloom, take some time and check out your community and see if there are any formal gardens in your area.  If so These areas can provide you with plenty of subjects and chances to practice your close-up photo techniques. If you own macro lens pack it in your bag, a more affordable alternative to a Marco lens is a set of extension tubes.

On any given day you will usually find lots of people with sell phones and point and shoots snapping photos. For better results as a photographer the old saying rings true “If you snooze you lose” .  Set your alarm for before sunrise head out and get set up so you can enjoy the soft morning light and capture dew drops left behind by the cool night.
Below you will find a few tips to help you get some nice garden shots this summer.

Cameras: Almost any camera will give you a good photo in good, if you are looking for photographs that will isolate your flower from the background, or capture the whole garden in a wide angle view. Consider an interchangeable lens camera a DSLR or any of the new mirror-less camera systems. For more  information on mirror-less cameras check out the  pocket lenses podcast, every week Sonny talks about the latest news in the mirror-less camera world, he also has interviews from photographers from around the world.

Lenses: As I mentioned above flower gardens offer plenty of photographic opportunities so bring a wide angle lens, macro lens and a normal range zoom lens. You can also use a 70-200mm to isolate your subject from the background.

Tripod: A good steady tripod becomes your friend when doing close up photography or any type of landscape work. have a tripod and ball head that will support the weight of your gear.

Remote Shutter release: Pick up shutter release cable, or these days there are wireless options and cellphone options for remotely triggering your camera. But to keep things simple and keep you connected to your camera and subject get a generic cabe that is compatible with your camera. This is an accessory that will not add a lot weight to your bag but you can use it every time you are out shooting.

Reflector or flash: Use a 5 in 1 reflector the white side can be used to bounce just a little extra light into the flower helping to bring out the detail. The 5-1 also has a diffuser panel on the inside and this can be used to soften direct sunlight as the sun gets higher in the sky. A flash unit can also be used to add light, change the flash power output to just add enough light to not over expose the delicate flower petals.

Knee Pads: I have been using knee pads for years “best thing ever” I get mine at one of the big box hardware stores, mine are just a foam pad covered in a heavy nylon cloth and they go on with Velcro. Another option is the foam pad you can place on the ground these are nice when the ground is wet, rocky or muddy.  Knee protection is one of those comfort items that will really make your photo days a lot more enjoyable.

Spray Bottle: Have a spray bottle filled with water and a few drops go glycerin and you will have instant dew when mother nature doesn’t cooperate and there is no natural due on the flowers.

Other Items you should always have with you are charged batteries with out power your digital camera is a garden ornament, memory cards and filters (polarizer)

A good way to approach formal garden photography is to first look at the entire garden, remember to tell a story take the opening scene or the establishing shot. The opening photo can be a wide angle photo maybe low angle but don’t forget a high angle shot. Next look over the garden and decide where you want to shoot. Very important when you are looking for your subjects step back and look is there a pleasing background its much easier to get the photo right when you take it.

My last nugget of advise is be deliberate in your photography, take less better photos then hundreds of so-so photos, you will be very happy when you get home and you download your days photos into the computer. Its much easier to look over 75 photos the 400 photos.


8 reasons why tripods are good, 1 reason why they are Bad, and of course the ugly

Low light, long exposure, bracketing exposures, hyper focal distance and fine tuning the composition, these techniques sum up the first 5 minutes of a landscape photographers day at sunrise.

To accomplish this we need a stable tripod, or platform to work from.

The tripod will take away the caffeine shakes, the blur from an over aggressive shutter release depressing and most of all it will allow you to relax and concentrate on your photography. The tripod will help you with your practice sessions. you can make changes and actually see how the changes translate to your photograph.

I am not going to tell you one brand is better then the next I am going to say spend the money once to get a good tripod and ball head. Your tripod purchase is an investment one that will out last your camera body. A good tripod will last you a life time, just like good glass does.

There are many brands you may want to check out I have been using  Induro  Tripods and ballheads for years.  Look for one that meets your needs.  Carbon fiber is good if you will be hiking to you photography location. If you drive up to a spot hop out of the car and take your photo, you can save some money and get an aluminum tripod, because you don’t need to save those ounces.

Tripods really do one thing for us, they slow us down they allow us to concentrate of the composition and get it just right before depressing the shutter button.

The Good

  1. Slow us down
  2. hold the camera steady
  3. keeps the camera in the same position for multiple shots (HDR)
  4. Helps us get the composition correct the first time
  5. Allows us to take night exposures
  6. Holds a long focal length lens steady 
  7. Makes better landscape photographs possible
  8. Sports photography helps you to pan your shots smoothly

The Bad

  1.  Tripods tend to become planted in one place and you end up taking 50 photos from the exact same spot. This may be alright if you are capturing the sunrise on a particular rock formation (like z point in Death Valley). But when you don't take the time to move around you will be missing photographic opportunities. So my take away here is use your tripod as another tool but remember to look around and move it from time to time.

The ugly

  1. Leaving your camera attached to the tripod and lifting the tripod off the ground to make a photo. I have seen this plenty of times, I have even seen people trying to turn the camera into a portrait  shooting position with the tripod attached and legs extended sticking out to the right or the left.  Take a moment and remove your camera from the tripod if you want to do a few hand held shots. This may be acceptable if you just happen to see big foot crossing the creek and you need to get a full body shot, but this might also be the reason we don't have a clear full body photo of big foot 

Welcome to Joe Cosentino Photo

Joe Cosentino Photo is where you will discover the photographic services I offer.  Located in Central New York I can offer my commercial clients the personal service expected from a small town business. 

My family, Life style and senior clients have the option of an in studio or an on location photo experience. 

Check out the local classes and workshops section and you will find workshops offered throughout the United States as well as local classes where you can learn to understand your camera controls and how to use your camera to craft some amazing photographs.

Thank you for stopping by, please take a moment an sign up for my Newsletter, where you will receive a monthly e mail offering new tips and tricks as well as the opportunity to sign up for an upcoming class or workshop.