Sister Josaphat Slobodian Creates Ukrainian Easter Eggs with Pysanky

Sister Josaphat Slobodian dyes an egg while she does Ukrainian eggs, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sister Josaphat Slobodian dyes an egg while she does Ukrainian eggs, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

In May of 1990 I was working on a feature story for the Philadelphia Inquirer about the fact that nuns were getting older and new nuns were not taking their place. The 132 acre province was home to the dwindling order of Sisters of Saint Basil The Great in Glenside. I believe I spent a day and a half there making pictures. It was a time when newspapers would give a photojournalist the time needed to capture images that would illustrate a story and do it justice. They also allotted a good amount of space for it with the Neighbors sections.

Sister Josaphat Slobodan heats up an egg to melt wax while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysnaky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sister Josaphat Slobodan heats up an egg to melt wax while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysnaky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) 

 

While I was wandering around the motherhouse grounds I met a few nuns that were kind enough to allow me to hang with them as they went about their day. One sister tended to horses, another maneuvered a tractor across the lawn, one nun was tending her garden and yet another was washing outdoor furniture. Some of the nuns taught at St. Basil Academy. The one I have never forgotten is the sister I met in one of the buildings of Manor College. Upstairs far above the classrooms was an attic which Sister Josaphat Slobodian used as her workspace. There, every Easter, she made Ukrainian Easter Eggs with a technique referred to as “Pysanky.” According to pysanky.info, Pysanky is an Easter egg decorated using a wax resist (aka batik) method. Its name derives from the Ukrainian verb “pysaty,” meaning “to write. Design motifs on pysanky date back to pre-Christian times–many date to early Slavic cultures, while some harken to the days of the Trypillians, my neolithic ancestors, others to paleolithic times.”

 

Sister Josaphat Slobodian places wax on an egg while doing her Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sister Josaphat Slobodian places wax on an egg while doing her Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

It is a really interesting process to watch. Sister Josaphat allowed me to hang around while she made the eggs. Some of the details in the eggs must have taken her hours to finish. They were so detailed with indicate patterns. I must say, it was some of the most inspiring art work I had seen in a while.

Sister Josaphat Slobodian draws a pattern on an egg while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sister Josaphat Slobodian draws a pattern on an egg while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sadly, Sister Josaphat passed away a few years ago. I just found that information out a few days ago. But with Easter coming, I thought it appropriate to share some of the images I made while she created her Ukrainian Easter Eggs May 1, 1990. A few days after I made these images, a small box showed up in the mail at the office. It held a very cool Ukranian Easter Egg that Sister Josaphat had made. It was one of the finished eggs in her collection that she noticed me admiring the day I was at the Motherhouse. In the box was a nice thank you note.

Sister Josaphat Slobodian draws a pattern on an egg while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sister Josaphat Slobodian draws a pattern on an egg while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sister Josaphat Slobodian draws a pattern on an egg while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sister Josaphat Slobodian draws a pattern on an egg while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Twenty eight years later, I still have that egg. It rests on my mantle.

Every time I look at it I think of Sister Josaphat.

A batch of finished Ukrainian Easter eggs created by Sister Josaphat Slobodian are shown Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

A batch of finished Ukrainian Easter eggs created by Sister Josaphat Slobodian are shown Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

 

What Makes A Good Headshot?

Next time you or someone you know needs a new headshot, take the time to ask yourself, “what makes a good headshot?”
To me, and I’ve been working as a professional photojournalist for over thirty years, a good headshot needs three things.

1: Good light (light that shows 3 dimensionality of the subject)

 (William Thomas Cain)

(Above – Studio headshot with grey backdrop and highlight on back of head)

2: Good face (it should show who you are and your face needs to fill a good portion of the frame)

Jennifer Robles is photographed Wednesday December 14, 2016 in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

(Above – Outdoor headshot with background out of focus)

3: No hands (no hands in face. hands are a distraction that take away light from the face)

PHILADELPHIA - MARCH 20: Academy Award winning actress Halle Berry poses for photos at the Four Seasons Hotel March 20, 2007 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Berry was in Philadelphia for a showing of her new film "Perfect Stranger." (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images for the Boston Globe) (William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

(Above – Academy Award winning actress Halle Berry in front of tan wall)

This are three basic rules of thumb. Another factor that needs to be thought about is, what image are you trying to portray in your headshot? Is it for business, acting, modeling, etc.??

 (William Thomas Cain)

(Above – Studio headshot on Grey Backdrop with no highlight on head)

Your headshot should portray what you need it to for whatever the ultimate usage.

Most times what I see that photographers tend to provide for clients is not a true headshot, but a nice portrait. That’s all well and good, but if it doesn’t suit your purpose, it is useless.

REHOBOTH BEACH, DE - JANUARY 25: Deborah Sharp who survived a five day ordeal in which she was raped and kidnapped in 1998, poses for a photo January 25, 2006 in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images) (William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

(Above – Portrait in home)

In my last year working as a staffer at the Philadelphia Inquirer, I worked on the picture desk for a time. In that time, I had many business portraits come though the desk for profiles or news blurbs of people ‘s comings and goings from companies. I’ve seen them all. Nice simple images with a solid grey background to outrageously lit (overlit) headshot with a background of all different colors, cloud backgrounds and lots off what says they are not to be taken seriously. Many of the worst looked like high school portraits. Trust me, you don’t want that.

PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY - OCTOBER 13: Heather Kumor Photographed by William Thomas Cain/cainimages.com for Fox Rothschild) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

(Above – Studio portrait on white backdrop – 3/4 length for client website in which the 3/4 view was requested)

PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY - OCTOBER 13: Heather Kumor Photographed by William Thomas Cain/cainimages.com for Fox Rothschild) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

(Above – Studio portrait on white backdrop – full length for client website in which the full length view was requested)

That said. Here are my thoughts on what makes a good headshot for various uses.

I believe that a serious business headshot should generally have the subject fill the frame in a diagonal pose, with their face towards the camera. Hands should not be anywhere near the face and mostly be at your side or folder in front of you and never be part of the composition. And, a grey backdrop is appropriate. A cloud or various color backdrop is highly inappropriate for any kind of business headshot. If you ever go to a photographer that offers you that, run. By all means run like there is no tomorrow. That will not help you to be taken seriously in business.

PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 9: Professor Jeremy J. Siegel (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Black Star) (William Thomas Cain/Black Star)

(Above – Headshot with more dramatic light on burgundy backdrop as per client request)

A more casual business portrait can be made outside, in a shaded area and either lit by available light or strobes (that means flash). Positioning should be the same as a serious business portrait, but in a nice outdoor setting.

5/13/11 12:53:17 PM -- NEW HOPE, PA. -- Veronica Haggerty -- Photo by William Thomas Cain/cainimages.com (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

(Above – more casual headshot outdoors with available light)

I believe that an acting or modeling headshot should have the same good solid light in the subjects face. Maybe not as three dimensional, but more frontal lighting. Maybe the composition should be slightly more diagonal.

One of the things that many people mistake for a headshot is an image that is more apporopr=iately used asa  portrait. A portrait generally shows more of an upper torso type of image which can or can not include hands. Generally, I always prefer that people rarely place their hands up to their face as the light tends to land on the hands and become a distracting plane in the image.

In the past when I was casting for a photo shoot, I would ask models for headshot. You would not believe how many models think a headshot is a three quarter length image or even worse yet, a full length photograph. I probably don’t need to tell you that those were the first ones tossed in the can because they couldn’t follow directions.  So, when someone asks you for a headshot, please, please, please, make sure that is what you provide. And make damn sure that your photographer can provide what you need to put your best foot forward, whether for business or modeling and acting. If you feel they can’t, move on to a photographer that can do it. Correctly.

4/26/11 2:39:27 PM -- Blue Bell, Pa. -- Fox Rothschild Attorney Jennifer L. Schwartz at work in the Blue Bell, Pa. office April 26, 2011. -- Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images for Fox Rothschild. (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

(Above – In office on location portrait with studio lighting)

When I do a headshot for anyone, the first thing I ask is what is their end goal? What do they want to headshot to show? How would they want to be portrayed? Once I have an idea, we can then plan on wardrobe. I always suggest keeping things simple. In many cases dark earthy colors tend to work best. Stay away from any kind of patterns. That might take away from your face.

Dr. Aakash Shah poses for a photograph outside Robert Wood Johnson Hospital Wednesday, November 16, 2016 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images for Ursinus College) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

(Above – Outdoor portrait lit with a portable strobe and backlit from the sun – the key here was to have the background in shade to make it recede in space)

The way we’ll set up headshot shoots is either individually or have a headshot day where we’ll block out a four hour time slot at a company and they’ll have 8-10 people set up a time for pictures. We actually just did a few headshot shoots over 7 hours where we were able to shoot 35 and 45 respectively.
This is done by bringing my mobile studio on location. It’s pretty simple. Lights, reflectors and a stool. People.

Each of the shoots takes maybe 15 minutes. The subject them will receive a link to a gallery of images for them to choose their favorite. In some cases we’ve actually had them choose the image they prefer on location by providing a laptop and showing  the images as we shoot live.

Next time you have to get a  headshot, think of some of the suggestions I’ve made here. The most important thing is to keep it simple. Show your best self and your headshot will be golden.

 (William Thomas Cain)

(Above – Just for fun – Portrait of dogs outdoors)

The day they retired Dandelion from Crayola Crayons

FORKS TOWNSHIP, PA - MAY 14: Crayola employees work in the crayon factory making and packaging crayons May 13, 2012 at Crayola in Forks Township, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)One of my favorite photographic subjects, and clients @crayola, has decided to retire the color #Dandelion. Wishing him well in his travels and waiting to see what color will replace him. Although it’s hard to replace that shade of #yellow in any #artwork. Hopefully, he, or she will be just as #colorful as Dandelion. This image attached is a photograph I made a few years ago of him coming off the production line at the Crayola #Factory for the first time. If you look real close you can see him on the very top of the dandelion stack.  #NationalCrayonDay #CelebrateDandelion #crayons #crayola #childhood #fun #celebrate #retirement #crayolafactory

The day I met the Berenstains and found we shared the same education and a mutual friend

Back in 2001, on this date as a matter of fact, I had the coolest assignment to photograph Jan and Stan Berenstain, creators of the “Berenstain Bears” childrens’ books.

I was even able to have stuffed versions of Sister Bear, Pappa Bear, Momma Bear, and Brother Bear in the image for fun.
What was supposed to be a 30 minute shoot turned into a 3 hour gab fest. We got to chatting and I mentioned that I had actually studied illustration and painting at University of the Arts, and it turned out that they had gone to the Philadelphia Museum School of Art with my old high school art instructor, Ed Smith. If not for Ed Smith, i may not have been accepted to the school. He wrote me a hell of a recommendation when I applied and also helped me receive a partial scholarship. They told me old stories about their days with Smitty at college and what the school, which eventually became Philadelphia College of Art and inevitably The University of the Arts of today. What a day. What glorious people. Sadly, the Berenstains have both passed on, but their son continues the family business.
As for Smitty. Well, he’s still around. Probably making someone laugh, listening to the Grateful Dead and sketching.

Greatest Chefs In Philadelphia History

I believe this image is from some time in the mid 90’s. I was assigned to shoot an Iamy, or David Iams society assignment. The event was at the home of #Chef George #Perrier (2nd from left). It featured some of the greatest chefs in Philadelphia history cooking on the grill. The one I most remember though, is Chef Tell (left), born Friedman Paul Erhardt who owned Chef Tell’s Manor House in Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania. It was a place that my wife and I frequented often and got to know Chef pretty well. He was a wonderful, jovial fellow always looking to put a smile on your face as well as feed your tummy. I recall one assignment where he was teaching a grilling class at his restaurant. He was showing the folks how to grill steaks. While I was photographing him, after one demonstration he handed me a fork full of steak and wanted me to taste it. As politely as I could, I declined because I don’t eat red meat. He snickered, then put his massive hand upon my shoulder, and squeezing the back of my neck said, “You’ve got ball my friend. No one tells me no.” Uh, oh!! I thought. Scared to death because he was a big imposing fellow. Then he busted out laughing. Received that he didn’t kill me, so did I. He never let me forget that night. Teased me whenever I stopped by.

I have to tell you. I always had the best doing experiences at his place and wish he was still around today. What a nice dude. To this day, I miss that guy.
That said, I can’t recall who the other chefs are in the photo. #cheftell #erhardt #perrier #dining #masterchef #genious #cook #dine #philadelphia #restauranteur #legend #manorhouse #greatfoodgreatcompany #easterbrunch #grill #barbeque

Image and Caption Sheet From One of My First Philadelphia Inquirer Photo Assignments

Going through my archives recently, I found some old negatives from one of my first Philadelphia Inquirer assignments. It was August 11, 1987, and I was assigned to make your typical grip and grin photo of Jennifer Hai-Ying Tsou as she accepted a sponsorship from the Jenkintown Rotary Club which enabled her to spend a year in China studying music. I recall making images of her address to the rotary, but not really digging the images. Since she was studying music in China, I felt the need to actually show that in a photograph. Luckily, after the luncheon, she agreed to allow me to make some images of her at the piano of her parents home in Jenkintown. These days Jen Su is an accomplished TV and Radio Presenter as well as Corporate Master of Ceremonies and and Actress/Singer. In the days of film, we had to type a caption for every frame we made, because many times we had a lab person, most likely the late, great, Gervase Rozanski, processing our film and then printing the images. The caption sheet was zeroxed to the back of the print and then the correct caption was circled with marker. If was a much, much different process back in 1987. According to the assignment sheet I made exposed 5 rolls of film for the assignment and got to work with one of my favorite writers from back in the day, John Ellis. I also got to meet a very nice young woman who has gone on to accomplish great things. One of the reasons I got into photojournalism was because of the cool people and things I get to meet and do. Beats being stuck in a studio working on an illustration night after night and being isolated from everyone.

In what other career would Bono of U2 promise to have a pint with you when you visit Ireland?

#flashbackfriday #bw #blackandwhite #jenkintown #rotary #pennsylvania @jensu1 @phillyinquirer #phillydotcom

Dentist Cares For HIV Patients

This is from an unpublished photo essay I worked on in 1989 at the Infectious Disease Clinic at Temple University. I spent a few days following around Dr. Michael Glick, who had started the IDC a year earlier. No one in the Philadelphia region was offering dental care to HIV patients at the time. Click and his staff were the only ones doing so that I had found at that time. Here are some archive images, from way back then.

HTML 5 Version Slideshow:


Long Before Teen Mom on MTV

Long before Teen Mom hit MTV screens, way back in 1989, while working for the Philadelphia Inquirer I spent a few days at William Tennent High School in Warminster, Pennsylvania making pictures of a program geared to keep Teen Moms in school. The school, and mostly, Centennial School District, set up a day care program so young women that had children while in high school could keep on attending school and get their diploma. It was pretty simple. The girls would drop of their child before classes started, then go to school. They could come back to visit the children any time during the day. Then would pick them up after school and in some cases, actually do their homework in the day care while waiting for the bus ride home.

Here are some of the images from the package I did in 1989. Images were shot with Tri-X film and probably pushed to 1600 ISO in most interiors with Nikon F3’s as camera of choice.

A teen mom does her homework while her daughter has a snack.

 

Teen mom and her daughter leave for school as her mother says good bye.

Teen mom and her daughter play during lunch break.

A group of teen moms share a laugh in the lunch room.

During lunch, a teen mom sets her daughters hair.

A young boy and girl play in the day care area of the high school.

Diaper changing time for a young child of a teen mom.

Teen mom drops off her daughter at day care at the school.

Lunch time in day care.

While her daughter is in day care, a teen mom chats in class with a friend.

A teen mom pours milk into her daughters cereal before leaving for school.

A child kisses her teen mom goodbye after being dropped off for day care.

Teen mom and daughter arrive for school.

Teen mom has a snack with her daughter.

Baseball, Baseball and more Baseball….

Over the last few days I’ve photographed a few baseball games. It’s actually one of my favorite sports to photograph. Mainly, because of the love I had playing the game in my early 20’s. Although, I pretty much rode the bench, except for that one time….

Picture it: 1987. I’m at the plate. First at bat ever in organized baseball. Take a called strike. Then take another. Count is zero balls and two strikes. And just before the next pitch, the umpire calls the game due to darkness. And that was that. Never played again. It took me a year to make the team, and finally got a shot and it was gone like that.

Anyhow back to shooting. Here is some video and stills from the past weekend. Slide shows and videos.

Odyssey Of The Mind at Pennsbury High School

SODYSSEY28P From left, Brayden Naskiewicz points to the ceiling while speaking with Thomas Cherian and Heeya Jagirdar of Afton Elementary School as they demonstrate their solution to No-Cycle Recycle during the Southeast Pennsylvania Odyssey of the Mind tournament Saturday February 27, 2016 at Pennsbury High School West in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. (William Thomas Cain/For The Inquirer) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Last weekend I photographed the Odyssey of the Mind competition in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania at Pennsbury High School. The Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics.

The competitors solved problems with great presentations.
Here are some clips and the actual images from the event.

SODYSSEY28P From left, Thomas Cherian and Heeya Jagirdar of Afton Elementary School ride on a tricycle the demonstrations their solution to No-Cycle Recycle during the Southeast Pennsylvania Odyssey of the Mind tournament Saturday February 27, 2016 at Pennsbury High School West in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. (William Thomas Cain/For The Inquirer) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

SODYSSEY28P Aiden Ordover, left, and Gabi Warner of New Hope Middle School perform their answer to Aesop Gone Viral during the Southeast Pennsylvania Odyssey of the Mind tournament Saturday February 27, 2016 at Pennsbury High School West in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. (William Thomas Cain/For The Inquirer) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

SODYSSEY28P Judges Olivia Fay, left, and Emily Wieder watch as Afton Elementary School demonstrates their solution to No-Cycle Recycle during the Southeast Pennsylvania Odyssey of the Mind tournament Saturday February 27, 2016 at Pennsbury High School West in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. (William Thomas Cain/For The Inquirer) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

SODYSSEY28P Aiden Ordover, left, of New Hope Middle School answers questions of judges Durrell Reichlin, center, and Raj Setlur, right, about their Aesop Gone Viral during the Southeast Pennsylvania Odyssey of the Mind tournament Saturday February 27, 2016 at Pennsbury High School West in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. (William Thomas Cain/For The Inquirer) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

SODYSSEY28P Celi Quay, left, and Anna Wendell of William Allen Middle School demonstrate their solution to No-Cycle Recycle during the Southeast Pennsylvania Odyssey of the Mind tournament Saturday February 27, 2016 at Pennsbury High School West in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. (William Thomas Cain/For The Inquirer) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

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Working Without Power On Deadline or Generating Pictures


Wednesday night I photographed a wrestling tournament in Robbinsville, New Jersey for the Burlington County Times. It wasn’t too far from home, so, I decided to leave my laptop at home because there was plenty of time to get there, come back and transmit to the newspaper’s office for layout.

After I finished shooting, I gathered my gear and headed towards the exit and saw people huddled around the door waiting out a torrential downpour. Not good. I shoved my gear under my coat and ran to the car. Made it. not too wet.

Drive home, slowly through the heavy rain. About three miles from home I get away from the rain. My thinking at this point was, “Yeah!!! No more rain.”
Then my wife calls and I thought we may have been flooded. She said no, that wasn’t the case, but there was no power. Great!!

So, I arrive home. Not sure when the power was coming back on I was about to pack up my laptop, in the dark, and head to Starbucks to transmit. Then I remembered, we have a generator. It was still on the back patio because we had set it up in case the ice and snow from a few weeks ago caused a power outage.
I went outside, used my iPhone 6+ as a light source, found the switches and started up that baby. Ok. so, now it’s running. Need to get power cord from there into the house. I did that, but not before getting the cable hooked on a tree and yanking it, thus smacking myself in the face with the end of the cord. Ouch!! Blood. No time to worry. Keep moving.

Once the cord was in the house, I found alight, unplugged from the wall, and plugged into the generator. Now we have light!!!
Next. Get power to the laptop. Found a power strip. Added that to the chain. No laptop is good. Oh no, how can I transmit? No wifi. But yes. I do have wifi. My iPhone 6+ serves as a hotspot. Sweeeeeettt!! Plug that in for power. I am then all set.

Dropped the SD cards into the Macbook Pro. Downloaded. Edited in Photoshop, Photo Mechanic. Pix moved to the office. I had to make sure that I saved the images high enough resolution, but compressed enough to not lose clarity. Save at quality 8 at 300 dpi 8×10. Pix sailed through the phone.

Now for the video. I thought that might be trickier, but I made sure that my video report was 44 seconds so i could save it small. Worked like a charm.
Moved the video, checked in, all was good. Now, I was done.

After I finished. I unplugged everything and then hooked up the fridge, bose and our SiriusXM radio. Had to have food, drink and music while waiting for the power to return. 🙂

I feel asleep, and eventually, at 12:40 AM, I was awoken by all the lights in the house going on. When the power goes out, people generally open every switch in the house like that is going to turn the power back on. All that does is freak you out in the middle of the night an the power comes on. Boy how brightly awake I was.

Looking back today, I realized that generator is wonderfully fabulous!!!!

Why Do Students Not Take Deadlines Seriously?

nohomeworkeexcuses

 

When I was teaching at a university, one of the biggest problems I found was that students never seemed to take a deadline seriously. It is one of the simplest rules. Get your assignments in on time! Not sure why that is so hard. Maybe they need to manage time better. Some of the excuses are plain stupid. One student said she had to work, another had a death in the family, another had her gear stolen. In that case, I asked for a copy of the police report. Never did receive it. I don’t think the student realized that faculty members speak with each other and that I was told the student had used the same excuse a semester before.

Last year I had a student challenge her grade. She believed she deserved a better grade then I had given her. I told her I didn’t give her a grade. She earned it.

She asked that I review the reasoning behind the grade she had earned.
So, I did. I made note that 8 out of 10 assignments were not turned in on time and they were almost a week late in most cases. One was never even completed. Another notation I made upon review was “student did not follow directions.” In that case the assignment called for one program, which was readily available on campus, but the student chose to use another program. Thus, not doing the assignment the way it was intended.

When I explained that her lower grade was due to the fact that she didn’t follow directions and couldn’t meet a deadline. She still didn’t understand.

This was my written response to her.

“I teach part time. I make pictures full time and have been doing so for 30 years.
I have never missed a deadline.
My father died.
I didn’t miss a deadline.
My dog died.
I didn’t miss a deadline.
My house flooded.
I didn’t miss a deadline.
The list goes on.
No excuses. Just meet the deadline.
 
Sometimes my deadlines are weeks or days. Sometimes they are hours.
I still haven’t missed a deadline. And that dates back to when I was a student attending University of the Arts.
 
I have also worked as an assignment editor. I call a photographer with an assignment. They get it in before the deadline. If they do not, I never call them again. End of story.
A photographer gets one shot to make a good impression. Meeting deadlines is key.
 
If I’m an art director and assign you to make a slideshow using this new software called Lightroom. We want to show what it does. You decide, since you don’t have it, you’ll use another program. I know Lightroom can be easily downloaded as a trial. You submit your slideshow, 6 days after it was due. Missed the deadline and totally screwed up my production schedule. The worst part is that as I look at the slideshow, I realize that it was not done with the software I, as the art director, hired you to use thus negating the whole project. Wasting my time, your time, and screwing up your clients production schedule. Do you think that the art director would ever call you again. The answer is no. Your one shot at making a good impression is gone.
 
The reality is that an art director or photo editor does not care if your father, dog, your house was flooded, you had studio problems for another class, etc… They care that you get the job done correctly and on deadline.
 
I appreciate the fact that you said you worked hard on the assignments. I’m sorry, but I just don’t see it. 

You obviously have some talent, but I’ve seen is flashes of brilliance with long periods of mediocrity.”

Unfortunately, I sometimes believe that students think we are insane and that we ask these tasks of them to make it harder on them. In actuality, we ask these students to do these tasks so they will have the knowledge and fortitude to succeed in the career they’ve chosen.

Hopefully, she gets it….soon.

Eastern Polar Bear Plunge in

A group of plungers run into the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

A group of plungers run into the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

A group of plungers exit the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

A group of plungers exit the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Judy Misoyianis of Vincenttown, New Jersey and Dennis Hart of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania dressed as Baby Boomers exit the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Judy Misoyianis of Vincenttown, New Jersey and Dennis Hart of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania dressed as Baby Boomers exit the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

From left, Amber Kenney, Karli Krug and Adam Bockius exit the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

From left, Amber Kenney, Karli Krug and Adam Bockius exit the 32 degree Delaware River during the eighth annual Eastern Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Saturday January 30, 2016 at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

600 souls braved 32 degree water temperatures to plunge into  the delaware river and raise money for special olympics on saturday at neshaminy state park in bensalem.

they helped raise $120,000 during pennsylvania special olympics’ eighth annual eastern polar bear plunge.

for $50 per person, a person could take a dip in the freezing river fir a good cause.

participants waded and splashed their way out into the water and around a banana rescue boat while high-fiving officers as they exited the frigid water.

members of trevose fire company wore white wedding gowns into the water.

hot chocolate and coffee was served by duke donuts, a sponsor of the event.

Ring Flash Pocket Wizards

My old friend Jon was selling a bunch of Pocket Wizards. Went over today and
picked up all of them. Then proceeded to play with them the rest of the day.
For those who don’t know what Pocket Wizards do, they are remote triggers
for flash or cameras which enable the photographer to not be tethered to a cable.
I most always trip over my own stinking cable, so this is a great thing. No more
tripping and knocking things over.

HARTSVILLE, PA - MARCH 28:  Artwork is seen through a ring flaw head March 28, 2014 in Hartsville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

HARTSVILLE, PA – MARCH 28: Artwork is seen through a ring flash head March 28, 2014 in Hartsville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

HARTSVILLE, PA - MARCH 28:  Pocket Wizards are seen through a ring on a table March 28, 2014 in Hartsville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

HARTSVILLE, PA – MARCH 28: Pocket Wizards are seen through a ring on a table March 28, 2014 in Hartsville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

From the studio at Wilmington University today. We were shooting in the studio and
this is a demo to show or remind students how the lights should be placed.

NEW CASTLE, DE - MARCH 28:  Lights are set in the studio for a shoot March 28, 2014 at Wilmington University in New Castle, Delaware. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

NEW CASTLE, DE – MARCH 28: Lights are set in the studio for a shoot March 28, 2014 at Wilmington University in New Castle, Delaware. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

Had to throw this in of a recovering Cooper. Looks much better today.

HARTSVILLE, PA - MARCH 28:  Cooper the cocker spaniel is recovering from a boo boo March 28, 2014 in Hartsville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

HARTSVILLE, PA – MARCH 28: Cooper the cocker spaniel is recovering from a boo boo March 28, 2014 in Hartsville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

Making one black and white image a day for a year using my old Nikon D1 and a 17mm lens.

Six Very Cool iPhone and Android Apps

During one of my basic photo classes a few weeks ago, the subject of photo apps for iPhone and Android came up. A student asked what kind of photography apps I use for my iPhone.
In no specific order, here are 6 of the apps I utilize most.
Camera + – Has allot of pretty cool filters and tools. You can edit the image, adjust horizon, add special effects as well as borders. One of my favorite things about the app is the HDR filter. Sometimes when using my iphone camera, the shadows are a bit dark. The HDR filter picks those up and makes the image pop. Some of the tools include image stabilizer, timer, and burst mode for fast shooting. You can share the images on FB. I don’t actually shoot with this app. My workflow with Camera Plus is as follows: Import image, edit (usually clarity filter to start), then FX filters, then export to camera roll. Then to Instagram or Facebook.
Instagram – If I shoot something with the iPhone, I almost always share it on Instagram. You can crop, add filters, tag, locate, share. Pretty fun app that helps me keep in touch with some of my fellow photographers.
BTW: My instagram is http://www.instagram.com/cainimages
PhotoCalc – (No longer available)  This app can be used to calculate depth of field, flash exposure, a solar calculator, and reciprocity. I don’t use it as much as I’d like, but it’s still a great little app.
LightTrac – This is an app that I use to determine the best time(s) to set up a shoot. It comes in handy especially for weddings. One day I was chatting with a bride about the flow of her day and we were trying to decide the best time to do portraits. She said, “What time do you think the light would be better on my wedding day?” I pulled out my iPad and opened LightTrac. The app told me the best time would be around 4:30pm, so we’d have at least an hour or two of decent sunset light for the portrait session. Love this app!!
Pocket Light Meter – I’ve just recently started using this app. One day I wasn’t sure if my light meter in one of my Nikon cameras was working properly. So, I downloaded this app, and made a quick test image and metering the spot in frame that I needed to expose correctly. This thing was great!! Not only does it give you a picture with the exposure alongside, it shows the date and time as well as GPS coordinates. Well worth the $1.99.
Easy Release – This app is a wonderful tool. Rather then carry a clip board with paper releases, I carry this on my iPhone or iPad. It has model and property releases and you can make a headshot of your subject to attach to the release form. Once the model has signed the release on your iphone or ipad you can email a copy to all parties. Very, very cool!!!

Watermarking Images

cain©-copyright1bc-400x300

Watermarks. I’m not a fan and really don’t like using them. But, when it comes to protecting our copyrights, incidents of late have made me rethink our whole policy.

While I can appreciate the fact that someone likes and wants to share an image, I can not allow theft of our images. There are sharing icons under an image for just that reason. If a person shares our images via one of those links, they and I can be assured that whomever sees the image will be viewing it as intended and that our copyrights are protected. One of the features of our host for galleries is those images can not be downloaded. In the past that was enough of a deterrent.

Recently, someone that we photographed made a frame grab of an image on one of our galleries and uploaded it to Facebook. They didn’t attribute the image, just posted it. Aside from the fact that the person did not have permission, one of the problems I have is the fact that the frame grab is not a finished product and totally misrepresents our work. The image file size is at least 3,800 pixels wide when I upload to my site. Most times when viewing on my site the image will display at at least 900 pixels wide. Those images are optimized for viewing on the site at that size. Then someone views the image on their iPhone and makes a frame capture of that picture. That image size is roughly 400 pixels wide. When posting the image on Facebook it looks nothing like we originally intend or want.

When we do find that someone has posted one of our images on Facebook without permission, we immediately report it and have it removed from Facebook.

There is a huge expense in producing high resolution images. Each camera costs at least $3,000 and then you factor in travel time, fuel, tolls, insurance, car insurance, etc., it adds up quickly. We can’t allow people to STEAL images from our site and post them somewhere without our permission.

We reserve the right to control how an image is reproduced because that is how we stay in business.

It seems that people generally do not understand that when we make a picture, we own the copyright of the image as well as the right to reproduce that image any way we see fit. We may chose to have an agreement, in writing that the client can reproduce the image, but that is at our discretion. And the client NEEDs to have permission via a written LICENSE to reprint pictures.

So, for those reasons, you may see some of our gallery images now feature a watermark like the one above. Proof CD’s will also now come with watermarked images.
Print orders will not be watermarked.

I do apologize for any inconvenience, but we need to protect our work and copyrights.
Please do not infringe upon our copyrighted work.


Old City Philadelphia Photo Walk

Image from today’s Old City Philadelphia Photo Walk.
Full gallery @ http://cainimages.photoshelter.com/gallery/Old-City-Philadelphia-Photo-Walk/G0000fMTx6RAGXzg


Family Portrait Photography Shoots

Over the course of a few days last week I had a few photo shoots.
Here’s some of the images.
Click the links to see the galleries.