John Pocklington Photography: Blog en-us (C) John Pocklington Photography (John Pocklington Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:02:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:02:00 GMT John Pocklington Photography: Blog 120 90 Time For A Change Hello Friends!

I know it's been a while…well, a couple of years...since my last blog post here in The Darkroom. I wish I could tell you that I have been super busy working on some really cool photo projects and those projects have been preventing me to update my blog on a regular basis. As it turns out, I have been pretty lazy and have come to the realization that I'm not much of a blogger or writer. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy writing and I will continue to write and post things here in The Darkroom just not on a regular basis. My Instagram feed has become my "blog" of choice and really the only thing I keep up to date. I encourage you to follow me on Instagram for my latest view on the world.

As you can see, I have started to make some changes on my website and will continue to do so over the next few weeks. I have been wanting to make these changes for quite sometime and like with this blog The Darkroom, it's been way overdue. While some things will be different, a few things will remain the same…hopefully. When I finish making the changes, I will make a bigger announcement on Facebook, Twitter and of course Instagram.

I don't anticipate any major problems during these changes, but if you are not able to access your gallery from a recent project/shoot I did for you or if you are having trouble purchasing a file or print please let me know.

That's all for now…until next time!

Be kind to one another and thanks for all of your support!

Peace -

]]> (John Pocklington Photography) Fri, 02 Dec 2016 05:40:43 GMT
AND IN OTHER NEWS... For those of you who have been keeping track, it’s been a couple of weeks since my last post here in 'The Darkroom'. I got a little side tracked and have been working on creating a price list and enabling buying options for my images here on my website. Over the next few weeks, I will be moving some things around and doing some minor tweaking here and there. My goal is to have some prints as well as gifting type items (coffee mugs, key chains, t-shirts, etc.) for sale very soon. I will have of a formal announcement when I get things more finalized.

In the meantime, please let me know if you have questions or have any comments/suggestions. Thanks for visiting and for your support!


]]> (John Pocklington Photography) Wed, 05 Jun 2013 03:51:39 GMT
COLLECTOR ITEMS Get them while they are HOT! I got my new business cards in this week and they look AWESOME! They are mini size and are about half the size of the traditional size business cards. Make sure to get your very own “collectable” mini card the next time you see me. They are only here for a limited time (then I’ll have to order more)!


]]> (John Pocklington Photography) Mon, 20 May 2013 15:44:52 GMT
TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME Here is a stitched panoramic image of Target Field I created when I went to see the Twins take on the White Sox this past week. It’s a work in progress and a technique I’m still trying to master. Overall this isn’t a difficult thing to make since the stitching part in Photoshop CS5 is automated. The tricky part is knowing how many images to take and keeping the exposure and focus points consistent. After Photoshop completes the stitching, then it’s just taking the time to adjust the individual layers to make sure things are lined up correctly. In the case of this image, I took about 30 pictures using my Canon 6D with a Canon EF 50mm f1.2 L lens. The end result isn’t bad and I like how it looks in it’s current state, but it’s not what I wanted technically. The obvious flaws that stand out (at least me) are a couple of buildings in the skyline didn’t line up correctly, the foul line in along 3rd base is crooked and I didn’t take enough photos to fill up the outer edges of the image and couldn’t crop the image in a proper way to make it a normal looking photograph. Without seeing the image up close it might be difficult seeing the flaws, but they are there. I’m going to continue to work on this image some more, but more and likely it’s going to end up in the archives somewhere and be used as a reference image later down the road. I do have other images I have taken that I need to edit and stitch together. Once I have those images ready I will post them in one of my galleries...if they turn out that is.


]]> (John Pocklington Photography) Mon, 20 May 2013 15:37:07 GMT
Gone Fishing Just a short post for this week's edition of The Darkroom. Since it's the fishing opener in Minnesota this weekend, I thought I would share a picture I took in June 2006 of my brother Doug and his dog Pepper at the family cabin on Shakopee Lake (near Mille Lacs Lake). I like this picture a lot because it represents what Summer time in Minnesota is all about. Even though the cabin is no longer in the family, the memories and the the good times there will stay with me forever. Good luck to those fishing on lakes in the northern part of the state! Hopefully the ice will be gone by the time you throw out your first cast!  


]]> (John Pocklington Photography) Fri, 10 May 2013 02:43:49 GMT
Another One Bites The Dust...Sort Of It was only a matter of time. Hasselblad, an “upper crust” brand name in the photography industry, has announced earlier this week they were no longer producing the 503CW. This means the original camera line that started in 1948 has officially come to an end. With the end of the V-system (film based cameras), the company is now directing all of it’s attention towards the H-system (digital based cameras) and their oddly named mirrorless based camera system called Lunar. This is my Hasselblad 501c I got in 1995. If I had to guess, I would say I used to shoot an average of 8 - 9 rolls of film a week with this camera until 2002. Then sometime in 2003 I drank the digital Kool Aid and bought my first DSLR the Canon EOS 10D. As you would guess, the average rolls of film through the Hasselblad dropped off dramatically. It’s been at least 10 or 11 months since I last put a roll of film through it. I have a Polaroid back and do shoot some Fuji FP-100c and FP-100b film in it from time to time, but even doing that has become more of a challenge. I had plenty of chances to sell this camera for better and more current gear over the years, but I chose not to. This camera has so much sentimental value associated with it, I don’t think I could ever let it go from my collection. As sad as the news is, this is probably a good thing in the long run. Going forward, I really hope Hasselblad can stay relevant in this new era of photography. With the cost of DSLR’s only being a fraction in price to the H-system, it might be a difficult battle ahead for Hasselblad. In the mean time, I will still hang on to my 501c just in case film makes a comeback or if I need a good paper weight.

Here are a couple of links to check out on Hasselblad's website:

503CW press release -

History of Hasselblad -

Hasselblad in Space (NASA) -


]]> (John Pocklington Photography) Thu, 02 May 2013 22:24:04 GMT
Finding The Light This is going to be a quick short post for this week. The moment of inspiration can strike at any time and anywhere. I learned this a long time ago and that is why I have camera with me almost all of the time. While visiting my brother in the hospital, I couldn’t help and notice the light coming through the window for this image of Orchids. I tried playing with different focusing points and aperture settings while using my Canon 6D with a Canon 50mm f/1.2L USM lens. I closed my lens down to f/4 and used a shutter speed of 1/250th of a second and had the ISO set for 400.  


]]> (John Pocklington Photography) Fri, 26 Apr 2013 15:56:14 GMT
Timeless And Powerful Photography is about capturing moments. As you are reading this, someone out there in the world is capturing a moment right now. Some of the moments are happy, some are sad and some are just...well...moments. With every picture taken, time stands still and we are able to go back in time to remember and relive those experiences. When I attended the Hallmark Institute of Photography (HIP) in 1995, I had the pleasure of making several trips into Boston. I took a lot of pictures and of those photos I took there, this is by far my most memorable and favorite one. Until recently, I wasn’t sure exactly what store or which street this was taken on. Missing that information has always bugged me, but I was ok just knowing the approximate area this was in. With the recent news surrounding the tragic events in Boston and with the help of Google Maps, I was able to fill in the missing blanks. I now have more of a complete story surrounding this image. This was taken along Boylston Street in front of the Lord & Taylor store in 1995. I don't know if I will be able to look at this image quite the same way again, knowing what just occurred this past week. Every time I look at this image, I get chills up and down my spine and always think I’m looking at someone else’s photograph. When I took this picture I was concentrating on the guy sitting on the sidewalk. I did notice the another guy walking into the frame, but decided it was ok because I can crop him out later if I wanted to. When I finally got back to the darkroom at HIP and processed the film, I was just stunned at what I had captured. One of regrets I have with this image was not having the courage to talk to one or both of the gentlemen or get their names. It would be interesting to know where they are now or if they are still alive. Upon further examination, a few things stood out to me. I didn’t notice this at first, but the guy sitting was looking directly at me somewhat annoyed I was taking his picture and the other guy walking had a judgmental look to him staring towards the guy sitting. Then if you notice the guy sitting is wearing darker colored clothing and is more disheveled, whereas the other guy is wearing lighter colored clothing and is more clean cut. The last major thing that stood out was the space between the two. If you cut this image in half vertically there would be two different images with another two different meanings. There is so much happening in this small moment of time and can be interpreted in so many ways. Some people will try to find deeper meaning in this photo, but I have learned to take the meaning of it at face value and let the photo speak on it’s own. Nearing graduation from HIP, I was given the opportunity to meet one on one with Skip Cohen who at the time was the President and CEO of Hasselblad USA (Hasselblads were the recommended medium format camera to use for the school). I was able to show him some of my photographs including the one posted above which was shot with my Hasselbald. When he saw this image, he said he liked it a lot and this was one of the most powerful and striking images he has seen in a while. Mr. Cohen said it has so much meaning on many different levels that he was just overwhelmed and speechless. After talking with him for a few more moments about other things, I decided at the end of our meeting to give him the photograph. He gladly accepted the print and said he was going to have this framed and hung next to one of the original Ansel Adams prints in his office. To this day I have no proof if he really did or not, I’m just going by his word. Also, since he is no longer with Hasselblad, I’m not even sure if he still has the print or if it’s somewhere lost and forgotten about in the Hasselblad archives. I would like to think after 18 years Mr. Cohen still has it framed and next to an original Ansel Adams in his current office.


]]> (John Pocklington Photography) Fri, 19 Apr 2013 05:25:42 GMT
Still Hanging In There I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I was fortunate enough to learn my craft by shooting a countless number of rolls of film. I was able to learn photography by forever staining my hands with the smell of developer, stop bath, and fixer. I had to think about if I was going to shoot Black & White, Color Negative or E6 (slide film), what ASA to use, and how many rolls to bring with me. Now that digital is the new standard, I really do miss shooting film on a regular basis. I have tried to set a goal of shooting at least a roll of film a month, but in all honesty, I have not met that goal in over 6 or 7 months. It’s becoming more expensive and difficult in finding a good place for processing the film. As convenient as digital is, I really hope film photography never goes away. I also hope the new generation of photographers can somehow appreciate the magic moment that occurs when seeing an image appear for the first time from a blank piece of paper as it’s being processed, rather than having it instantly pop up on an electronic screen.


]]> (John Pocklington Photography) Thu, 18 Apr 2013 16:42:36 GMT
30 Days Of Biking It’s simple enough. All you have to do is ride your bike everyday in the month of April and then share your adventures online through social networks or blog sites. This isn’t a race, there are no special prizes and the only goals you need to reach are the ones you set yourself.

I did this last year as a way motivating me to get out and ride my bike more. I didn’t have any specific goals I wanted to reach other than ride more than I did the previous year. Which wasn’t all that much. As far as sharing my adventures, I knew at the end of the 30 days I would have a nice collection of photos and I knew I had to turn this into a project of some kind. I used my iPhone 4 and the Instagram app. I did use other cameras and took different photos at various angles, but surprisingly I ended up just using the images I took with my iPhone.
Here is what I did last year for 30 Days Of Biking 2012.

I also made each image as their own poster.

Other than the Instagram filter that was already applied, I edited these images using Adobe Photoshop CS5. However, I became a little disgruntled once I found out I could have saved myself a lot of time and pretty much do the same thing by using Lightroom instead. Oh well, lesson learned.

I took the 30 day pledge again this year. I have set some biking goals that I hope to reach later in the year. One of the bigger goals is to do a 50 mile ride. Before that happens, I need to look at getting a different bike that is a little more road friendly for longer trips. As far as sharing my adventures, I am once again using my iPhone 4 with the Instagram app. For this series of photos, I’m only using my iPhone and no other camera. I am also using a different Instagram filter as well.

This is what I have so far using Lightroom 4.

I haven’t decided on how to present the finished images, but hopefully I can keep the layout somewhat the same. I’m sure I will have another posting about this sometime next month and will more and likely have the finished images posted in the Snapshots gallery in the Current Work tab.

For more information about 30 Days of Biking:


]]> (John Pocklington Photography) Thu, 04 Apr 2013 19:05:39 GMT
It's Just Me This week’s post is going to be a little less exciting. I’m going to give a little insight on my recent self portrait I posted in the Snapshots gallery under Current Work and on my personal Facebook page.

What prompted me to take this photo in the first place was my beard. The day I took this image, I was going to shave off my beard and thought I should do a before/after picture. As I was setting up my camera, I couldn’t help and notice the late afternoon light coming through my apartment window. Without getting too philosophical about what I think photography is (maybe I will talk more about it in later posts), I just knew I couldn’t pass up on this moment. The light was too perfect. So rather than use a flash or the house lamps like I was originally going to do, I decided at the last minute to just use the natural window light. Again, without getting into long discussions on my thought process on why I did what I did, I only took 3 exposures and nothing more.

Here’s a top view graphic of the set up. If you want to create your own graphic, I found this neat website where you can do so. I believe it’s still in the beta phase, but it still works well.

As you can see, it’s pretty simple enough other than the actual gear being used. I used light coming through the window, Canon 6D, Canon EF 50mm F1.2 L lens, tripod, and iPhone with the EOS Remote App.

One of the new and cool features I like on the Canon 6D is the built in WiFi. I am able to wirelessly control the camera and the settings by using my iPhone. This lets me be further away from the camera (instead of at arms length or setting the self timer) and have better control on what I get.

Here is what the image looked like before I went through the editing process.

After a few adjustments in Adobe LIghtroom 4, this is the final look.

When it comes to editing an image, there are no right or wrong ways to go about it. I could tell you what I did, but in the end it wouldn't matter much. All I will say is that less is more and if I can make the image look better with minimal adjustments the easier my job becomes.

And in case you're wondering, I still have my beard. I think I'm going to keep it for a little while longer.


]]> (John Pocklington Photography) Thu, 28 Mar 2013 23:42:47 GMT
An Evening With The YouTube Ladies


Well my role as “Official Photographer” turned out to be more of what I expected, just a fan in the crowd with a camera that knows a thing or two about taking pictures. Although I didn’t make it on the guest list, I was still more than happy on how the evening turned out! I was able to hang out with my good friend Jen Dolen, see a great show, and take some great photos!


I was able to meet Nataly Dawn after the show and she was disappointed the guest list thing didn’t work out. I assured her that it was ok and that I still enjoyed the show and I will still be a fan! She was super nice and very down to earth! In addition to having my picture taken with her, I also got her to autograph her CD I bought. We briefly got to talk about Jack’s new video on YouTube which was pretty awesome! Hopefully when she comes to Minneapolis again we can get the photographer/guest list thing figured out.

  I also met with Lauren O’Connell who was the opening act for the show. Like Nataly, she was really awesome to talk to and very accommodating in autographing her CD and having my picture taken with her. In addition to her own solo career, she also formed a group with Nataly called My Terrible Friend. They recently covered the song “I Started A Joke” by the Bee Gees and the video can be found of all places on YouTube. I really hope to see Lauren in her own headlining show sometime soon! Maybe be the photographer for her show??? (Just putting it out there.)
    However, the bonus moment of the evening was meeting Danielle Ate The Sandwich! I just happened to recognize her as she walked by and was in shock that she was here in Minneapolis. After sounding like a complete dork telling her I was a fan and how I enjoy her music videos on YouTube, she decided to take the open seat next to me and we got to chat a little further. As it turns out she recently moved here to Minnesota from Colorado with her boyfriend. We talked a little bit about photography (told her to come see me or Jen at National Camera Exchange) and her up coming shows. Again, like Nataly and Lauren, Danielle was super cool and was nice enough to let me have my picture taken with her. Hopefully I will be able to catch one of her shows now that she’s here in Minneapolis and maybe take some photos as well??? (Again, just putting it out there.)


]]> (John Pocklington Photography) Fri, 22 Mar 2013 04:24:58 GMT
How I Knew Her About four years ago I was surfing for music videos on Youtube. During one of my searches, this band Pomplamoose popped up as one of the recommended/sponsored  videos for me to watch. I was pretty hesitant at first because 1) I’m not a Beyonce fan. 2) it was a cover song of “Single Ladies” by Beyonce. and 3) I didn’t wan’t to waste 3 minutes of my time on a band I never heard of. However, my photographer instincts took over and I couldn’t say no to Nataly Dawn’s eyes in the screen shot and I decided to clicked on the link.

Suffice it to say, I became a fan of Pomplamoose in a matter of seconds and have been following them ever since. Not only did they change my view on cover bands and songs, they also introduced me to a new kind of video/music recording style called “Videosongs” (it was new to me at the time). This newer medium defined by the other half of the band, Jack Conte, has two rules 1) What you see is what you hear. No lip-syncing of the voice or instruments. 2) No hidden sounds. If you hear it in the song, at some point you will see it video.

Pomplamoose is more than just a cover band, they also have originals songs as well. All of which can be found on Youtube, iTunes and other social/music websites (yes...including Myspace). Both Jack and Nataly also have side/solo projects which led me to other Youtube musicians that I now follow like Danielle Ate The Sandwich and Julia Nunes.

Anyways, Nataly has a new CD out called “How I Knew Her” and is currently on tour. One of her stops is here in Minneapolis. In fact, her show is tomorrow night 03/20/2013 (or tonight depending on when you are reading this) at the Bryant Lake Bowl and Theater. Here is one of her songs.

This is were things get a little more interesting. The other night while deciding on going to the show, I thought about how fun it would be to photograph the show. So just like any other normal person would do, I thought it would be a great idea to send Nataly a Tweet and ask if I could be the “Official Photographer” for the show. Assuming my Tweet would be lost among the hundreds of other messages she gets, I figured I wouldn’t get any sort of reply. Or If I did, it would probably be a corporate letter saying ‘Are you crazy? HELL NO!’ and/or a court order telling me to keep back 1000 yards from the venue. Well...I was WRONG! To my great surprise, she tweeted me back saying that I could be the "Official Photographer" and would put me on the guest list!!! I normally don’t get freaked out about things like this, but I'm totally freaking out! I’m not exactly sure what kind of access I will have or if I’m going to even meet her and the band. Regardless of what happens, I’m just happy to get into the show, get a good seat and the opportunity to capture some great photos!

]]> (John Pocklington Photography) Wed, 20 Mar 2013 04:06:53 GMT
The Good, The Bad and The Unfortunate The Good - SONY CYBER-SHOT DSC-RX1

This camera was announced back in September 2012 and is now finally hitting the market in full force. I was able to shoot a few frames on the sales floor yesterday at “the day job” with a dealer sample. Just like it’s smaller cousin the RX100, I was equally impressed with the overall speed and operation of this camera. What makes this camera pretty unique is that it’s a moderate pocket sized point & shoot style camera with a full frame 24 mega pixel CMOS sensor and has a fixed 35mm f/2 T* Sonnar Carl Zeiss lens (more specs can be found on Sony’s website or on I think the engineers at Sony did a terrific job at maintaining a classic feel on a modern design. If you’re looking to impress your friends and want the best of the best, this is the camera for you. However, is it worth the $2800? As much as I love this camera, I do think it is a little over priced. I’m not sure what I would be comfortable paying, but I think at this point I would rather put the $2800 towards a couple of really nice Canon lenses or a Surly Moonlander Fat Bike or a Honda Ruckus.



This past week one of the local film based processing labs in the Twin Cities has closed it’s doors forever. I believe yesterday was their very last day of operation and it makes me a little sad to see them go. I have only used their services via “the day job” and not with them directly. Although it’s too late, I’m thinking I should have picked up my Hasselblad and shot more E6 or Black & White film to help them keep their doors open a little longer. Just like that one saying goes...You don’t know what you have until it’s gone. With them no longer serving this photographic community, one can only hope the other remaining professional film based labs can not only adapt, but survive the shrinking photofinishing market.


The Unfortunate - LEICA 50MM F/.095 NOCTILUX-M ASPH.

I’m not at liberty to show you what is under this black labeled box. What I can tell you is that I had one of best and one of the most expensive hand made lenses in my hands for a brief moment of time. It was pretty weird holding a piece of glass that is worth more than the car I’m currently driving. It was like holding a double rainbow with a ray of sunshine at the same time, while heavenly choirs sang and the clouds above parted. So why did I title this as the ‘The Unfortunate’? Unless someone was feeling very generous and wanted to get me a really, really, REALLY nice gift for my 40th birthday, owning this lens and a Leica M body to go with unfortunately...nowhere near happening for me anytime soon. Beyond that, I can’t talk about the whereabouts or status of this lens at this time other than to say the lens does exist and it is AWESOME!

]]> (John Pocklington Photography) Thu, 14 Mar 2013 16:52:46 GMT
A New Chapter I officially launched my very first website yesterday! It came with a little fanfare, but it was a big weight off my shoulders. This was something that was long overdue and I have struggled with for many years. Ever since my days working for the Monticello Times, I never had a good platform to show off my photography on a regular basis. I currently use social networking sites to show my work, but it’s really not the same thing as having a ‘real’ website. I can now with great confidence direct people to this site and make it easier for those who want to see my work without having to jump through a lot of hoops.

I am looking for your feedback, comments and criticisms, so that I can keep improving and stay on track of my goals. As the photography industry evolves, I look forward to embracing those changes and share my thoughts, experiences and new techniques here on this blog. I will also use this blog to announce news, events and other things related to my photography work. Thanks for your support and please come back again!

]]> (John Pocklington Photography) Wed, 06 Mar 2013 18:18:32 GMT
An Evening With Dessa at the Minneapolis Institute of Art  

Dessa sounded awesome! She put on a great show and even debuted a few new songs.


The Gear

Sony Cybershot RX100

Shot in RAW, set in Program Mode, auto flash, auto ISO. Processed in Lightroom 4.


The Lowdown

This was my first experience in using the camera in the "real world" and not at work on the sales floor (my day job is working at National Camera Exchange). I was really excited about going to the show and equally pumped in using this camera! Although, I didn't have time to try out EVERY function, it performed like a champ and lived up to all of the hype. Considering on how poor and low the lighting was here in the crowd, I was impressed on how quick the camera was able to focus on a moving subject and take the picture right away with the flash. However on this shot, the camera did back focus a little and made Dessa slightly out of focus. If you have ever seen Dessa perform live, you know how much she moves around which makes it more of a challenge to get a good picture of her. Overall, I enjoyed this camera a lot and look forward using it again on future adventures.


]]> (John Pocklington Photography) Sat, 02 Mar 2013 05:34:06 GMT