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Is there really a difference? The Canon 70-200 f/2.8 and the 200mm f/2 lens

For those with short attention spans: yes, there is a big difference.  But now onto to the real meat of the matter.

In the world of portraiture, especially outdoor portraiture, there is a strong following among those that really adore the bokeh of wide open apertures, and specifically the bokeh of 'fast' telephoto lenses like the Canon 200mm f/2 lens.

But we can't be alone in wondering this: is there that much of a difference between the 70-200 f/2.8 lens - a solid professional lens with fantastic performance, and the very heavy, very expensive 200mm f/2 lens.  

Not being the type of folks to rely on other's opinions of lenses, we decided to find out for ourselves.

We took the lenses out as part of a photographic "play date" of sorts - they kind where we film lots of content and snippets for the upcoming Outdoor Lighting course that will be released this Winter.  

And while we performed all sorts of hands on testing - testing that involved a running Belgian...

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We are creating more content!


As you all know, we are physically located in Manchester, New Hampshire, USA and as such, we are in our peak fall foliage season right now!  The colors are splendid, the fall air is getting it's chill, and we all know that winter is coming up fast.

In preparation for the long dark cold winter, we are banking new video content as fast as we can create it!  We are creating the content we will need to release the new Outdoor Lighting course!  

So while you wait for that course to go live (Winter, 2019-2020), may we suggest you use this time NOW to get up to speed on your indoor studio lighting work?  Remember: the real key to understanding lighting outdoors is to understand lighting indoors first!


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We are excited to announce new MONTHLY pricing!

Starting today, you can now get access to all of the content of The Master Lighting Course with just one low monthly payment.  Yes, we have changed to a monthly subscription!

I know you will be pretty excited about this - now you can come check out what we have cooked up and see all that we have to offer you and your photographic work.

You CAN learn photographic lighting!

You CAN improve the quality of your work both in and out of the studio!

You CAN stop copying and start CREATING!

The Master Lighting Course, with over 100 videos (or is it 120?  Seriously - we have SO MUCH CONTENT!) - we have the solutions to the challenges you face.  We arm with all the tools you need to not only use studio lighting, but to use it confidently and effectively.

Want to know more?  Want to check us out?  Sign up for The Master Lighting Course.  You won't regret it.

Questions?  Please contact us!

Remember: The Outdoor Lighting class is in production NOW and will be...

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Inspiration by way of fake cameras

Yesterday Kimberly and I stumbled upon a video describing the "fake cameras" used by Pixar in the latest Toy Story movie.  We were happily surfing though YouTube watching videos of painting restoration and fine art painting processes, when this little gem popped up.  It was truly fascinating - so much so that we wanted to share it with you.

In this video, the author is describing how a split diopter shot.  While the video does describe that type of shot, I'll go ahead an mention that a.) it isn't something we do in still photography, b.) have two different planes of focus is pretty neat, and c/) we didn't notice the shot when we watched Toy Story 4 either, so you aren't alone.

Why share this here?  Because folks as us all the time about our sources of inspiration.  And we can share with you lots on this subject, but we can say one thing about all others - our inspiration for our work, professional and personal, rarely comes from other photographers. ...

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Pet Photographer? Learning Lighting? Buy a dog!

Okay, so clearly we aren't saying everyone should go out an buy a dog (or are we?) - but we do have a very useful suggestion.

If you are learning studio lighting and plan to photograph dogs and pets, we strongly recommend learning with a stuffed animal and NOT a live pet.  

It is best to learn the nuances of lighting with a consistent subject.  One that will allow you to experiment and carefully consider your lighting.  A subject that will sit still.  For HOURS.  We recommend a large stuffed toy.

We would recommend you find a toy that has a shiny coat - not dull, so you can see the effect lights will have on fur and the specular highlights it can create.  Also, we recommend both white and black fur so you can learn to really nail that exposure.   The white fur give you the risk of over exposure, and the black fur gives you a chance to see how your darks will reproduce.

We have a Border Collie stuffed animal from Melissa and Doug. ...

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Studio Tour: Anthony Grassetti

Bud Thorpe and The Master Lighting Course are proud to present our first episode of Photo Studio Tour.

Today we present a tour of the fine art fashion photo studio owned and run by none other than Boston's Anthony Grassetti.

Anthony is a full time fashion photographer with serious skills. His live/work studio in Beverly, Massachusetts is something to see!

In this full length interview with Anthony we hear about the vision he had for creating his wonderful working space, and how he made that vision a reality in his 3,000 square foot photo studio.

If you would like to see more of Anthony's work, please visit

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Our LIVE interview with Animal Image Makers

aim interview live Jul 27, 2019

Lisa Asp of Twin Cities PPA (Minnesota, USA) interview us for our upcoming speaking engagements at the Animal Image Maker's Conference in 2020. 

Not only are we excited to be joining TCPPA in this amazing conference experience, we were thrilled to be interviewed by Lisa.

If you don't know Lisa, she is not only an amazing person, an accomplished photographer, and great steward of our profession, she is the head of the Animal Image Makers Conference.

This interview was LIVE in the Animal Image Maker's facebook group.  

If you are interested in the Animal Image Makers Conference, all the details are here.  We highly recommend this conference for those that make, or aspire to make, high quality images of pets as part of their profession or avocation.  

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We are Guest Artist of the Month for Hair of the Dog Academy

Kim and I are proud to be featured as the presenting Artist of the Month for Nicole Begley's the Hair of the Dog Academy.

Nicole runs a tight ship with her programs - she fill an important niche teaching the business of pet photography having created a large community and following.

Kim and I own and run Kimberly Sarah Photography, where we specialize in creating high-end client experiences and wall art for pets and their owners.  

To see our contribution, you will have to be a Member of her Hair of the Dog Academy (read: paywall), but if you are a working photographer in the world of pet photography, you won't regret the modest investment.  

We presented a 35 minute video the describes how we created our classic "Puppy Bowl" image.  From concept to lighting, we share it all.  If you are a HOD Member, be sure to check it out.

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Facebook LIVE event for the Master Lighting Course!

Uncategorized Jun 28, 2019

On Friday, June 28, 2019 we had another Facebook Live Q&A Event.  I covered a range of lighting topics we know you will find interesting!

To see the recording of the event, you will need to be a member of our Master Lighting Course Facebook group.  You can request access to the group here.

Yes, the video and audio quality are imperfect - we are getting better at the live stream game, promise!  We recently upgraded (significantly) the internet bandwidth coming into our studio to support a better stream, have new microphones, and are working on using a better camera for the stream as well!  Okay, so the quality is about what you expect of live streams, but if you know us, we are always looking to be better!  The quality of the content is totally on point, and isn't that what really matters? (wink)

Here is a direct link to the video.

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Our Facebook LIVE event!

facebook livestream Jun 12, 2019

On Friday, June 28, 2019 we had another Facebook Live Q&A Event.  I covered a range of lighting topics we know you will find interesting!

To see the recording of the event, you will need to be a member of our Master Lighting Course Facebook group.  You can request access to the group here.

Yes, we are working on improving our live stream quality - but we think our content is pretty darn great, so bear with us as we evolve.  The videos in our course are, of course, premium quality!

Here is a direct link to the video.

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