Monthly Archives: February 2015

Why Can’t I Sell the Photo, I Took It!

Photofocus (old site)

I received a call from a friend of mine about a month after we attended Photoshop World in Las Vegas. He was excited an agency want to use an image he took at the popular Westcott Shooting booth. He asked me to hunt down the model and get a release form from him. I paused, took a deep breath and searched for the right words to tell him he can’t use the image. He snapped, “But why can’t I use the image, I took the photo!”. It’s true, he pressed the shutter that snapped the shot that took the photo. So why can’t he in good faith use the image?  It’s simple, he didn’t create the image, Westcott did.

There is more to taking a photo than pressing a button.

To create this image, this is what Westcott did:

  • Designed, built and paid for the set.
  • Hired a model.
  • Hired…

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Pray For Clouds – Landscape Photography in Monument Valley

Photofocus (old site)

NOTE: This post will also appear on my new site WESHOOTFUJI.COM


I am writing a series of posts about a recent trip to Monument Valley. A long-time client asked me to go out and do some one-on-one shooting with him. I hadn’t been there in 15 years so I jumped at the chance.

Monument Valley Sunrise  - Photo Copyright Scott Bourne - Shot With Fuji X100T Monument Valley Sunrise – Photo Copyright Scott Bourne – Shot With Fuji X100T

The winter in Monument Valley is often my favorite time to go. The crowds are smaller (sometimes you seem to have the place to yourself,) the hotels offer lower-cost (off-season) room-rates, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get clouds or even snow.

If you go in the summer (when everyone else does) you’ll have a better chance of capturing big, dramatic storm clouds. But you’ll compete with hundreds of photographers for space and it will cost more. It’s a trade-off.

Whatever it takes, if you…

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Portrait Photography |Placing the Main Light

Photofocus (old site)

The main light is the source of illumination for a picture. It’s the one that’s measured for exposure with an incident meter. Using one is explained in the Photofocus post Exposure Tactics: Incident Metering. It sets the mood for the photograph. It’s the one that all the other lights serve. It also provides the main diffused highlight in a portrait. It’s important. The question I get asked most often about it is “How do you know where to put the main light?” That’s a good question. A really good question. The answer? It comes down to symmetry.

Facial Structure

Faces are not symmetrical in about ninety-eight percent of the world’s people. These faces’ sides are different. One eye will be larger than the other, same for the nostrils, cheeks and even the width of each side will be different. These traits add character and interest. They also tell…

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