Month: November 2016

It is time to begin your life as a photographer and create your own reality.

November 27, 2016

Take one moment with me and reflect on the words you are about to read. I want you to think about your day so far…how did you wake up? Did you step out of bed with your left foot, or right? Did you step out of bed with both feet, walk to the bathroom or kitchen to start your daily routine? What was the next thing you did?

You access your digital information on a daily basis without even looking, thinking, or reacting. It’s just Second Nature.

I want you to reflect with me one more time. Did you check your email today? Did you check a text message or a website you frequent? I wonder if you even have to remind yourself how to swipe your smartphone, wake up your computer, and access the daily digital information you use every day…without thinking, without having to remember how to.

In my 15 years of teaching photography and almost 20 years as a professional photographer, I feel that what we want most is to use the camera to see like we do – and in turn see like a lens does. We want replicate the visual feelings we have in our real life, and recreate them seamlessly and without hesitation in our photographic life.

Whether we post our images online, make books, or make prints – we want the photographic process to be second nature. There is a way to get there…

If you really want to see like your camera and allow your photographic life to become as second nature and as fluid as a smartphone swipe, you need to start making photographs EVERY DAY starting RIGHT NOW. They don’t have to be works of art or even an image you love. Start by shooting around your house every day, and just the motions of turing the camera on, selecting apertures and spinning dials will be good for you.

Make sure you photograph with intention, purpose, and a clear goal in mind. OWN YOUR IMAGE!

What are you waiting for? Get out there and create your own reality and see your world they way you always have wanted. TTL….You can always SEARCH my blog (see, upper right hand corner?) for the content you want to read up on. Go ahead try me~

How to Photograph the Super Moon in New Orleans - November 14, 2016

November 11, 2016
 Learn how to Photograph the NOLA Supermoon!

Learn how to Photograph the NOLA Supermoon!

Photographing the Full Moon is hard. It’s bright, it’s moving, and it’s far far away…

There are some very simple tactics I can show you to photograph your best Full Moon ever. Back in 2014 I taught very fun workshop called “Shoot the Supermoon” and it was an amazing night. Together with about 10 New Orleans photographers we waited at the banks of the Mississippi River, cameras ready, for the blood red supermoon to rise. We were poised and prepared, we knew where it was coming from and when it would rise. It was only a matter of time. 

With some helpful smartphone apps, some 2x extenders and long lenses even YOU can successfully photograph a full moon.

On Novmeber 14th, 2014 the moon will RISE 5:38pm at 56.2º N/NE. You can open your COMPASS App and see where it will rise – I would suggest going to an area that has less light pollution (not downtown) and where your horizon is visible. (note: use the MOONRISE app and COMPASS app)

To be able to capture the moon at it’s LARGEST it is best to photograph is CLOSE to the horizon. The rising moon that close to the horizon has a visual effect that makes it appear larger to us than it really is, and it is stunning!

If you want to get a FULL frame, or close to it, shot of the rising full moon on Monday I suggest you rent or purchase a 2x extender for your lens. A 300mm or 500mm lens will get very close, but if you don’t have that lens, you can easily attach a 2x extender to any (canon or nikon etc) 70-200mm lens (which alot of folks have).

If you hurry, you can RENT a 2x extender from Lensrentals.com and they will ship it to you by Monday. Make sure you call them and note that you need it before nightfall.

For your EXPOSURE it is best to expose for the moon as the moon is reflecting the sun’s bright light and will be brighter than you think! You may have to stop down to get more detail in the moon’s craters, so I would suggest always stop down on your SHUTTER SPEED to allow you the possibility to hand hold if you do not have a tripod. If you have a tripod – USE IT!

For MORE INFO and EDITING tips go to my “Christmas Night Full Moon” Blog post from 2015 HERE!

ALSO! http://www.timeanddate.com/moon/usa/new-orleans for easy to read images like this!:



Voodoo Fest 2016: Only the Best! Festival Photo Gallery from Zack Smith

November 4, 2016

Voodoo Fest Photographers Never Had it So Good in 2016. 

Voodoo Fest 2016: A festival photographers dream? Low sun backlit dusty scenes during day and fog drenched textures at night. 2016 was a year in contrast for the Voodoo Music+Arts Experience where last year saw a cancelled day and sloggy conditions, while this last week was a blue sky paradise.  I haven’t shot Voodoo Fest in any official capacity since that amazing October in 2005 when I shot for Antigravity. The city was still reeling from Hurricane Katrina, but the festival organizers made the show happen anyway. 

About one week before the festival, Voodoo organizers called me up and asked if I’d shoot this year with the C3 team, the same photo team that shoots Austin City Limits, Lollapalooza and much much more. I was stoked, how could I say no? I have been so lucky as a music festival photographer in New Orleans to have deep ties to the 3 most amazing festivals in the city: French Quarter Festival, Jazz Fest, and now Voodoo Fest. I count my blessing…and I also count my steps:

Oct 28th – 20,626 steps

Oct 29th – 16,512 steps

Oct 30th – 7,480

As you can see, the first day of Voodoo I was finding my way, covering alot of ground and getting the feel of the fest. By the third day I was running less in circles and more A->B. 

Enjoy my favorite festival photographs from this years Voodoo Music+Arts Experience!

If you enjoy these photos and want to learn more about how to photograph a festival like this – you should take my How to Photograph French Quarter Fest in April 2017 – learn more CLICK HERE!

Enjoy the gallery below featuring Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Puscifer, Leon, and much much more!

Subscribe Now!

Get email updates on new Photography Workshops, Blog Posts, New Orleans Photo Galleries and more from the world of Zack Smith Photography!

Thank you for signing up for my newsletter! I send one out every week, or two and you can always opt out any time!

Beginner Digital