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Photo Of The Day – Mr. Nikon goes to f/1.2

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This past weekend I photographed another travel wedding, in Joy’s hometown. (Visalia) A friend in the area owns the rare and elusive Nikon 50mm f/1.2 AIS, so I borrowed it and used it for a couple shots. WOW, it is a beautiful lens! However, manually focusing at f/1.2 is pretty difficult; so it’s really for details and posed portraits only. For real photojournalism, I’ll stick with the much faster (and lighter, and smaller) 50mm f/1.4’s that have autofocus. Rumor has it that Nikon is working on a new 50mm f/1.2 with autofocus, but my personal decision is to save up for a 35mm f/1.4 instead. The AIS manual focus one is not that expensive, ($600 used) …and unfortunately the AFS one is at least $1K more. I’ll decide which to buy after more personal testing. For now, this camera geek is just happy to have held and created images with, well, one of Nikon’s mythical beasts. :-P (Thanks, Forrest!)

Take care,

by Matthew Saville

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Photography That Truly Inspires Me…

I often say that I love photography, or that photography is the most important “thing” in my life. (Implying of course that God, and people, don’t fall into the category of “things”…)

Really though, when I think deeply, it’s the subject matter I love. Meaning- if you told me right now that for some strange reason cameras and mother nature were no longer compatible, I would put away my camera without hesitation. I would thoroughly enjoy the beautiful great outdoors, even if I was only allowed to make memories…

Fortunately, it doesn’t work that way! In fact I believe that without photography over the past few decades, many aspects of the natural world would already be erased by the machines of human industry.

So, the thing that drives me has little to do with how fun it is to operate a camera, and even less to do with using a camera to put bread on the table. It has everything to do with the locations, the subjects, and the light, that cause me to get out my camera.

The following is simply a random collection of my current inspiration and enjoyment. Just a little “light browsing” for your holiday weekend!

The “classically trained”, large-format film photographers:

Rodney Lough Jr –

Peter Lik –

The go-light, high-adventure photographers:

Stephen Alvarez –

Jimmy Chin –

Matt & Agnes Hage –

…And of course, the late Galen Rowell. –

Next weekend I will be in Lake Tahoe to photograph a wedding; and the following weekend I will lead a Natural Light Portraiture workshop in Thousand Oaks, CA. (A few seats left for new attendees, one or two seats left for re-attendees!) …I know I promised a “best of 2010 weddings” blog post, but that will come NEXT, honest!

Take care,

(Joshua Tree, 2011)

(Seville, Spain, 2008)

(Yosemite, 2007)

(British Columbia, 2005)


by Matthew Saville

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Film: Engagement, Weddings, and Oak Glen Photog Shootout

A few TOTALLY RANDOM images from two recent rolls of (slide) film, just for fun. :-)

Tomorrow is the SoCal Photog Shootout in Claremont, CA! If you’re free, if you have a brand new Christmas present to play with, come play around with light with us! Models, knowledgeable leaders, and dinner are provided as usual. The cost is $55.

Coming next, the best of 2010 wedding photos!

Take care,

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by Matthew Saville

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Blogging From 34 Thousand Feet – A Bok Tower Wedding Picture

I’m traveling at 448 miles an hour right now, cranking U2 “With Or Without You” and getting a little emotional as usual. Another trip, another amazingly memorable wedding. Life is crazy, in every way it can be.

Here’s another “landscape” image from this weekend’s wedding reception at Bok Tower Gardens with Eric Farewell, the one photographer I know who falls into my “hero” category and is younger than I am. The picture is a merge of two different exposures- one for the earth, one for the heavens.

bok tower wedding reception

“I’ll see you again
When the stars fall from the sky
And the moon has turned red
Over One Tree Hill”

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by Matthew Saville

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Chalet Suzanne, Lake Wales FL – Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

A little over a year ago I photographed my friend Eric and Danielle’s wedding at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida. Eric is also a wedding photographer, and a dang good one too! At least once or twice a year we travel cross-country to photograph weddings together. Yes, we make that good of a team.

This weekend Eric and I are photographing Jennifer & Michael’s wedding at Bok Tower’s Pinewood Estate, and I’m thrilled to say the least! It is an outdoor photographer’s playland… For now, here are three panoramas from tonight’s rehearsal dinner at the ever beautiful (and TASTY) Chalet Suzanne, …while I get some sleep before the wedding tomorrow since it’s East Coast time. Enjoy!


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by Matthew Saville

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