Daily Inspiration #349 by Kendrick M Howard

Dear Steve,

I thought I would dare to provide a little daily inspiration. I have to say that your site has been an absolute joy to read and has really re ignited the fire that has been in me for making images for many years. I stumbled upon it while researching the NEX system and credit you and your fellow snappers with the fairly recent purchase of an NEX 5n and shortly thereafter the purchase of the Voigtlander 35 1.4.

I am a small business owner who is fortunate to have a fair amount of business and also am the proud father of a 3 year old. Those top priorities don’t allow much time for photo shoots outside of my house. That fact discouraged me for a long while until I realized that if you keep your eyes open there really is a picture around every corner. Case in point; Last weekend I had about two hours to find something to shoot. The weather was dreadful with overcast skies but I was determined to find something. I drove around and took pictures of some things I had seen before and then I happened to turn down a street I had never been down before and there was this old rusted out Chrysler ripe for the picking. I had probably been past that street 100 times in my life time as it is just off a main drag in my town. To further reinforce my new philosophy about there being a picture around every corner I kept noticing (while framing the car) this pile of tires which was in the same lot. They kept nagging at me so I put the Voightlander back on and fired a couple. I simply love that shot. I would encourage anyone who is uninspired to open their eyes and minds just a little further and look at what is right around them. Everyone takes pictures of the Eiffel Tower but I’ll bet no one has ever shot those tires (perhaps with good reason – lol).

[ad#Adsense Blog Sq Embed Image]

One of the things I love about the Nex is the tilt out screen. The overhead shot of the hood was done with the 18-55 kit and probably wouldn’t have been possible with most cameras without the help of a ladder. The Voigtlander. There really is something about that lens. I never had a clue about character until I read about it on your site Steve but that lens really has something. I was frustrated with it at first but every time I would go through my shots it seemed the ones I shot with the Voigtlander always caught my eye. All the shots I have sent are via the Voigtlander with the exception of the overhead of the car. Everything was converted to B&W with Silver Efex Pro 2. The portraits are of my hot wife Jenni and part of her daily inspiration, Max and Sadie.

Keep up the good work on your site. Your probably already know this but you are providing a bunch of motivation to a lot of people out there and we appreciate it!


Kendrick M. Howard

From Steve: Thanks Kendrick!!!


  1. Really cool ! I like the Monochrome pictures, ’cause, the moment, the scene is more intense, the feeling that you can take when you see this kind of picture is more intense than color pics (maybe with vivid pix). I like !

  2. Love the tires! – would you care to share a little more on how you approached the B+W conversion? – I’m still struggling to get a similarly pleasing tonal range from my 5n. Thanks and keep up the good work!

    • Hi octoboy.

      Here is my basic conversion. Open raw in Lightroom. Adjust exposure if necessary and add a little clarity. Also fix white balance if necessary then open in Silver efex pro http://www.niksoftware.com/silverefexpro/usa/entry.php. I’m fairly sure I used the fine art high preset and adjusted from there. One thing I have noticed is if you sharpen in Lightroom and then go to silver efex it will then sharpen more depending on which preset you use which then makes it over sharpened. Steve did a nice video on silver efex which causer my to buy and then try. Hope hat helps.

  3. I like that the tires are on a slope. Seems rather precarious and irresponsible. Which of course means that the photo invited my brain to think about something, such as the tires shifting and rolling down the hill – and any photo that causes a mental response like that is a winner. I’d also like to see a shot of the tires from a closer perspective, where the tires fully cover the frame, just to see how the shadows and patterns play out… might be interesting, might not, but perhaps worth a look.

    • well I will just have to try that – hopefully they are still there tomorrow or Sunday. If not, crop it is. Thanks for the nice comment!

  4. Love that first shot, Sony NEX cameras coupled with Voigtlander lenses make a great combination. I wish there were more native e-mount fast primes.


  6. Awesome pics. The Chrysler ones were particularly incredible. I’ll be inspired for much more than a day.

  7. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the inspiration Kendrick, great photos! Your wife would make a fabulous muse for an entire photo series, and the car shots turned out nicely as well. They have an HDR quality to them, but not over the top. Keep on shooting!

  8. This is like love, we seek more and more away and always have at hand. 😉

    In everyday life we have a veil before our eyes, remove that veil and appear many things that go unnoticed, including photographs. 😀

    Gracias Kendrick

    Gracias Steve

  9. My first post here, but just came on to say that because of this website (not just Steve’s posts, but all the other articles such as this one) I have ventured into areas I never thought I would.

    I rented and then later purchased the Voigtlander 35mm 1.4 (I rented the MC, but purchased the SC version) and I am delighted by the results with the NEX-7. What a lens! It does not give me razor sharp results I get with my Canon gear but I just love the character. I end up converting most of my shots to B&W and they look even better to me.

    One thing that is nagging me is how this setup compares to the Leica X1. For about the same money, I get Leica quality albeit with a fixed lens but with AF. Any thoughts?

    Great site, great post, great pictures. Love it. Thanks!

    • Ahh yes – the things that nag at us. I have had the same problem which caused me to last week sell a watch (I’m a watch nut too) and buy a 5d mark II. The idea of full frame resolution was really nagging at me. It is a fabulous camera but for people I think I like the 5n better – I guess it depends on the situation. I feel like I’m pointing a tank at them with that 5d. Hey I wonder if I can get that Voightlander on the 5d…. Seems counter intuitive but we’ll see.

  10. Hot you say? She falls into the “fabuleuse” catégory… No need for you to go very far to get a great model… Cheers, koodos to her and I better find a good way to explain this comment to my fabulous pregnant girlfriend. I guess I can blurb something about saturation, lighting, exposure compensation… :-))

    • I just had a long day and you just gave me a good laugh 🙂 Thanks for that! I really need to do a whole series on her. Thanks for the very nice comments everyone.

  11. Thanks for sharing. Just thought the images of the rusty car would have been better in color? 😀 And yup, the wife is pretty. 😉

  12. Love your words on the Eiffel tower and those tyres. Reminds me the emotions I get from viewing William eggleston’s work. Nice work and great emotive connection

Leave a Reply to boris Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.