Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cheys Quinceañera

Recently I had the honor of shooting a Quinceañera for a long time friend. After a long day of shooting and many more of processing, here are just a few of the many images from that day.

Facebook fan page...

If yawl have the time please check out my Facebook fan page...

All likes are greatly appreciated. Trying to hit 200 "Likes" within the next couple days.
I would like to apologize for my lack of participation with my blog. That will change from here on out to help keep my clients, family and friends updated.

Thank you all for your patience.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Facebook photo giveaway!

Since it is Christmas and the time for giving I've decided to do a photo giveaway to one person that is my friend on facebook. You can see the selection of images that are available for printing here...

If you are interested please send me an email to with your name and address, please use "Photo Giveaway" for the subject of the email so I can stay organized easier. Thursday night I will randomly draw a name and contact the winner on which image they would like to be printed (8X10"). If I receive the information on the image that the winner would like before Friday morning I will have it shipped Friday before the weekend.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog,
Scott Halford

Working on a project...

Starting January 1st I want to start a new project, something new that I've never tried before.

I'm looking for older individuals that would like "their story" to be told, preferably 60 and older. I love telling stories and bringing emotion to my images, thats what photography and art is about.

I would really like to understand my subjects, where they have been in there lives, their stories. If you know of someone that would be willing to share 30 minutes of their time and receive a free 5X7" and two 4X6" prints than please don't hesitate to contact me.

This is perfect for the family wanting a professional photo of a grand parent or great grandparent for free.

You can email me at or call me at 254-654-1738.

Scott Halford

Friday, December 17, 2010

Come join the Photography Corner!

... a leading photography resource website that includes member-written articles, an active photography forum, photography tutorials, equipment & product reviews, photography projects, monthly contests with great prizes, a photography blog, resources and directories to things like wedding invitations, photo galleries and more!

We have a monthly Photograph of the Month contest, as well as Contest Corner Challenges throughout the month to participate in, with prizes awarded for every contest (and don’t forget about our yearly Photograph of the Year contest). Feel free to post a photograph up in the Critiques & Feedback Corner and have the community critique your work, or get some feedback on a photograph. Keep up to date with Photography News, discuss and review Photography Equipment, and discuss issues that revolve around photography and matter to photographers. You can also keep up-to-date with photography industry news and everything important to a digital photographer with The Corner Blog.

Join a collection of beginner, amateur and professional photographers who call “the Corner” their photography home on the web.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Creating & Using Textures

Textures can be fun to use no matter what image you may be using it with. It turns something ordinary into something unique. The best part about it is that you can create your own textures very easily and in this tutorial I will show you how to create and use them (this tutorial was done in Photoshop Elements).

To create a texture all you have to do is take a photograph of something you would like to use, whether it be a brick wall, gravel, concrete, grass, wood, etc. There are many possibilities so be creative and try different things. I would recommend using a small aperture to assure the whole image in in focus. For this tutorial I took three images I wanted to make into textures, they were all done from my front porch.

Texture #1 is an image of the welcome mat:

Creating and Using Textures - Texture 1 - Welcome Mat
Texture 1 - Welcome Mat

Texture #2 is the wood on the front porch:

Creating and Using Textures - Texture 2 - Front Porch
Texture 2 - Front Porch

Texture #3 is a door:

Creating and Using Textures - Texture 3 - Door
Texture 3 - Door

As you can see, that was a very simple process. Here is the image I decided to use for this:

Creating and Using Textures - Image 1

and here are the results with each texture:

Creating and Using Textures - Results - Texture 1 - Welcome Mat
Results - Texture 1 - Welcome Mat

Creating and Using Textures - Results - Texture 2 - Wood
Results - Texture 2 - Wood

Creating and Using Textures - Results - Texture 3 - Door
Results - Texture 3 - Door

Now that you know how to create textures and see can see what they do I will show you how to apply them in Photoshop. I have Photoshop Elements 6 but this should not vary much from CS.

Open your desired image.

Creating and Using Textures - Photoshop - Open Image

Now open the texture and drag it onto the previously opened image (hold shift to align image while dragging).

Creating and Using Textures - Photoshop - Drag Texture 1

Creating and Using Textures - Photoshop - Dram Texture 2

Be sure you have the texture layer selected and change the “blending mode” to “overlay.”

Creating and Using Textures - Photoshop - Set Blend Mode to Overlay
Set Blend Mode to Overlay

Once you have set the blend mode to overlay, adjust the opacity accordingly.

Creating and Using Textures - Photoshop - Adjust Opacity
Adjust Opacity

Now flatten the image.

Creating and Using Textures - Photoshop - Flatten the Image

And you’re done!

DIY Flash Stand

We have all wished we could get a flash in a tight spot or an awkward position. This tutorial will show you how to turn an old house lamp into a very versatile flash stand.

The first thing is to find a lamp that you are not using anymore that has a clamp on it so you can attach it anywhere you like when you need to get into those tight spots. The lamp I chose has a strong clamp and can bend in any direction (which is a plus).

Next you need to disassemble the lamp except for the clamp and the post, those need to stay together (of course!). Be sure to keep the nut that held the lamp shade to the post because you will need that again.

You then want to drill a hole in your flash stand you got with your flash, if you got one. Make sure when you drill the hole to do it to the side so it will not interfere with mounting the flash and/or be able to mount to a tripod if you ever need to. Also be sure not to drill the hole too big.

Here is what mine looked like when I was done:

DIY Flash Stand - Image 1

Now all you have to do it mount the flash stand you just drilled the hole in using the nut you saved from earlier. Before you put your flash on make sure you tighten the nut with a wrench so your flash doesn’t fall off! Do not over tighten, it WILL break. Here’s a photo:

DIY Flash Stand - Image 2

Just mount your flash and your ready to go!

Here are some photos of the finished project.

DIY Flash Stand - Image 3

DIY Flash Stand - Image 4

DIY Flash Stand - Image 5

Giottos Rocket Blower (Large)

Honestly not much to review on this but without a doubt every photographer should have a rocket blower to remove all those dust specks found on the sensor of your dSLR. I personally use it for a lot of things that I cannot normally get to any other way such as the dirt that gathers around buttons, viewfinder, lenses, etc.

I went with the large version, not expecting it to be so large! Since it is larger than I expected it is not a mainstay in my bag because it won’t fit. Every time before a shoot I give my sensors a few good blows and most of the dust is gone (this thing moves a lot of air!), there are always a few strays that are easily taken care of in PP.

If you don’t already have a Giottos Rocket Blower, I would recommend picking one up, it will save you time in post processing and it’s a great tool for any photographer.

Here is a size comparison of it next to the Sigma 10-20mm

Giottos Rocket Blower

Benro A-298n6 tripod legs review

A tripod is one of the most important tools for a photographer that usually gets overlooked. Whether you shoot macro, landscapes or anything in between, a tripod is a great investment that will only need to buy once if a quality set of legs are purchased. I will not get into details about tripods in general since this is a review, so here we go:

Benro A-298n6 Tripod Legs Image 3


Load Capacity
17.6 lbs (8kg)

Head Attachment Fitting
Dual 3/8” & 1/4”-20

Maximum Height
69.6” (177.0cm)

Maximum Height w/o Column Extended
57.1” (146.5cm)

Minimum Height
7.9” (20.0cm)

Folded Length
22” (56.0cm)

5.4 lbs (2.5kg)



Leg Stages/Sections

Leg Lock Type
Twist locks

Independent Leg Spread

Spiked/Retractable Feet

Center Brace

Center column

Center Column Type

Center Column Sections

Benro A-298n6 Tripod Legs Image 1

Benro A-298n6 Tripod Legs Image 2

I had finally realized recently I needed a more sturdy tripod because I was at the beach shooting a sunset and the wind was blowing my cheap Wal-Mart tripod all over the place. After many hours of researching I came across the Benro A-298n6 that had all the features I was looking for and could not be beat for just over $100! I wanted a tripod that would support more that I needed, will I ever need to put 17lbs worth of gear on it? Probably not but the option is there if it comes down to it.

Benro A-298n6 Tripod Legs Image 4


  • Reasonably priced
  • Sturdy
  • Well built
  • Adjustable for ANY shooting needs
  • and well balanced for defending against muggers!


Weight but I went ahead with the purchase knowing that so I guess it doesn’t really matter to me; and as I stated as a pro, a mugger will think twice about it after being hit with a 5.4lb “bat”! (not including ballhead)

Benro A-298n6 Tripod Legs Image 5

So am I happy with my purchase? Without a doubt, YES and I would recommend this tripod to anyone that does not mind the weight.

I did just notice this specific model has been discontinued but more than likely there is an upgraded version about to be announced to replace it (check out more Benro tripods here).

Benro A-298n6 Tripod Legs Image 6

Cotton Carrier review...

I have been given the opportunity to review a new product on the market, the Cotton Carrier camera system. I had stumbled upon a link to the Cotton Carrier just over a month ago and knew this product was going to be a big hit with the photography community. Why no one has came up with a product like this in the past I will never know but now that it is here, myself and a lot of other photographers could not be happier. The customer service I have received from Mr. Grant Vetters was a huge plus; replied to my e-mails promptly and I can tell customer satisfaction is high on their list. On to the review…


Upon receiving the Cotton Carrier, there were a few things that really caught my eye. First off is that it came in a decent size black mesh back with the “Cotton” name embroidered on the tag. I have found this bag to be useful when out on a shoot for carrying my flashes, wireless triggers and a few other odds and ends. Next were the instructions, obviously from watching the videos on the Cotton Carrier site you can see how it works but the instructions are easy to read and have plenty of clearly visible color images. Most companies lack in this department, hopefully in the coming months and years as this product and company grows more and more they will not stray away from small things like this that (to me) make a big impact.

Cotton Carrier Review - Image 1

The two camera inserts that come with it are highly durable and are metal, not plastic. They are also stamped/engraved with the “Cotton” name. There is a rubber backing on them as to not scratch the bottom of your camera, it also helps to keep a snug fit once they are tightened down. As per the instructions I used a quarter to tighten them, you can use a non corrosive thread lock for that extra added protection from it backing out but I have yet to do it. Please be sure to really make it tight though, snugging it down will not suffice because rotating the camera to remove and put back in the chest and hip holsters can cause the inserts to rotate. So yeah, make them tight.

Cotton Carrier Review - Image 2

Next was to inspect the harness and the holster, again I was surprised with the quality. This thing is built to last and you can easily see that once you get your hands on one. The straps are easily adjustable and once you get them adjusted properly and are wearing it you can hardly tell it is there. I cannot tell you that it won’t make your back sweat in the heat because it’s already starting to turn into Winter here in NC. Andy Cotton did take that into consideration and made the back mesh so I have no doubt it will help on long hot days. The receptacles on the harness/vest and holsters are made of Lexan, again another thing I was worried about until putting them to the test.

Cotton Carrier Review - Image 3

Cotton Carrier Review - Image 4

I had a week to test this system out in many different ways. From the basic walking around town with only the holster to strobist model shoots. With many hours having two bodies, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS on the vest and Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L it was definitely more comfortable than using straps. To be honest when in the moment of a shoot you sometimes forget they are even there. Being a strobist style shooter I usually carry 2 bodies with lenses attached, light stands with flashes, umbrellas and a softbox so moving all this around with cameras on straps can really become a task. Using the Cotton Carrier has really made things a lot easier when moving all the equipment from one place to another since I don’t have to worry about swinging cameras or them sliding off my shoulders. I wish I had one of these about 6 months ago on our family vacation to Disney! We have twin 18-month-olds that have to stay moving to be happy, so carrying a dSLR around was more of a burden. Sadly to say the dSLR stayed in the room 99% of the time unless I went out by myself. I can assure you that will not happen again!

I meet up with another photographer (Jamie Hansen) yesterday at a model shoot he was doing. I wanted him to give the Cotton Carrier a try and of course he didn’t object. He had seen videos about it and was as curious as I was. While he was doing his thing I made sure to step back and get some shots of it in action…

Cotton Carrier Review - Image 5

Cotton Carrier Review - Image 6

Cotton Carrier Review - Image 7

Cotton Carrier Review - Image 8

At the end of the shoot Mr. Hansen didn’t want to give it back. In that short amount of time he was able to tell that this is a product that will make his job easier and told me that he will be ordering one as soon as possible. Thanks Jamie for being my subject for this review. Here’s a quote I got from Jamie about his time with the Cotton Carrier.

In my time as a photographer, I have tried several ways to carry my gear. I’ve tried hip packs, back packs, rolling suit cases, pelican cases, and even other harness systems. However nothing has felt so weightless like the “Cotton Carrier”. I had my Nikon D60 with my 70-200mm f/2.8 on the center post, and my D90, with a SB600 and a 35mm on the right side of the harness. I almost forgot that they were there. There was zero neck pressure, no swing issues, I could even kneel and not have my lens touch the ground. I know with this harness I could move a lot quicker in a wedding environment, and always be ready to snap away.


I hope this review has helped and thanks for taking the time to read it. It may sound like I am a fan boy of the Cotton Carrier system and I can say that I am not the fan boy type. When seeing the product and videos I was skeptical, others may still be. Now that I’ve gotten my hands on it and was able to put it to the test I can honestly say that it has exceeded my expectations as I am sure it will do to you also. Thank you Mr. Cotton and everyone involved in the development and production of this great tool for any level of photographer!