Paul Presnail Photography: Blog en-us (C) Paul Presnail Photography (Paul Presnail Photography) Thu, 14 Jul 2016 21:46:00 GMT Thu, 14 Jul 2016 21:46:00 GMT Paul Presnail Photography: Blog 92 120 Safety First One of the things I live for is finding deserted old houses, barns and buildings way out in the country.

At least they look deserted. But things aren’t always as they seem. It’s amazing the places people call home. And being out in rural areas, chances are very good that most houses have guns. Such being the case, here’s something to remember -  

Surprise and guns are never a good combination.

To protect myself against any possible mishaps or misunderstandings, I always walk towards these kinds of places slowly with my camera held high, calling out “hello, I’m a photographer”. I’ve never met an old recluse or worse, a meth lab, but it’s always possible.

If it does happen that someone confronts you, be humble and contrite. Apologize for disturbing them. Tell them you didn’t see any signs and that the place looked deserted. Then, very politely, ask if you can take a few pictures. Explain your reasons for stopping in the first place (I’m documenting old farms and a way of life that’s fast disappearing, etc.) and answer any questions they may have. Maybe even show them a few photos you’ve taken on your camera. If you're friendly, respectful, and polite, chances are good they’ll give you their permission.

However, just in case, park your car facing the direction you came in for a quick getaway.  

(Paul Presnail Photography) Thu, 14 Jul 2016 21:42:48 GMT
Secret Location I love shooting old barns and deserted houses and am constantly setting my compass in different directions looking for that perfect scene. If you're in the mood for finding those kind of shots, here's a secret location:

Go through Stillwater, MN across the bridge and follow Wisconsin 35 north. It starts out as freeway, but once you get off at the Osceola exit, the fun begins. I just take any road that catches my fancy from there and do a cross-stitch pattern across the farmland. There's no traffic and usually plenty of room to pull over. I can't tell you exactly where I found my shots because frankly I can't exactly remember, but that area is rich with Americana and history. Of course, try to be respectful of No Trespassing signs and locked buildings, stay out of old barns (the floors tend to collapse), and only take photographs when you leave. 

Good hunting!

(Paul Presnail Photography) deserted houses landscapes minnesota old barns paulpresnailphotography photo blog wisconsin Mon, 23 May 2016 21:41:08 GMT
What's in the bag?  



Most good photographers will tell you the most important camera they own is the one they have with them. To an extent, I believe that is true. However, I would say that the most important piece of equipment I own are my eyes and the vision to see what others might often miss. That said, technical aspects and capabilities of a good camera (and there are so many of them these days) do contribute to the quality of a photograph. So what do I carry? Here's a list of all the cameras I have used (and mostly still own) over the years:

• Kodak Instamatic - took it on a road trip out West and that's all she wrote. I was hooked. 

• Olympus 35C - my first "real" camera. No light meter. A great learning tool.

• Nikon FE2s - Tanks with 24-120, 70-200, 24-28 Nikon lenses. Made it all the way to France. I still have them.

• Nikon F100 - Still film, but with a panel of electronic controls - cool!

• Canon 20D - A great little camera - loved the wheel on the back

• Nikon D200 - A real workhorse and first "serious" camera. Added a 12-24 lens to my stable.

• Lumix DMC-LX7 - An incredible little camera with Leica optics. A derringer I always keep in my car.

• Fuji X-Pro1 - A rangefinder style camera that takes Incredible photos equipped with a 18-55 lens. Great for candid street work.

• iPhone 6s - Instagram becomes an obsession

• Canon 5D Mark III - The beast. Currently equipped with a 24-100 lens and soon to come 16-36 2.8 lens. 


(Paul Presnail Photography) Fri, 06 May 2016 16:35:34 GMT
Try a new perspective

Most times a direct, straight-on shot is fine and can result in a very pretty photograph. After all, that's how most people look at the world. But to really stand out and create intrigue, look for an unexpected angle to show your viewers an entirely new perspective on a familiar subject. 

(Paul Presnail Photography) Thu, 05 May 2016 01:40:49 GMT
Many happy returns I have always asserted that half of being a good photographer is knowing when to stop and go back if you suspect you've passed something important. Because, I can guarantee you, it won't be there tomorrow. As is the case of the photo above, glimpsed at 70mph on my way to go somewhere else. Something caught my eye and I decided to go back. The result is one of my all-time favorite photos (transferred from infrared to digital). Oh, and remember that part about not being there tomorrow - today it's condos. 

(Paul Presnail Photography) Sat, 30 Apr 2016 18:09:23 GMT
Spring is here and the photographing is easy

Spring is such a wonderful time for photographers. The colors are incredibly rich and everything changes from day to day. If you're shooting flowers, make sure to get as close as possible to capture the most detail. It's also very appealing to blur everything around one prominent bloom. To do this open up your lens as far as it can go using the largest aperture possible (remember, the smaller the numbers, the larger the aperture.) Or explore the possibilities in post production using tools on Instagram and other photo software. Happy shooting!

(Paul Presnail Photography) Sat, 30 Apr 2016 18:04:49 GMT
Reliving wonderful memories It's been wonderful creating this website and reliving so many wonderful memories of so many happy moments. I can't wait to make more!

(Paul Presnail Photography) Fri, 29 Apr 2016 21:36:36 GMT