Photo Notes A place to talk about making images.

October 1, 2022


Filed under: Animals,Fine Art,Fine Art Portfolio,Micro Photography — John Siskin @ 2:10 pm

Since I’ve been out here in New Mexico I’ve done a lot of images of flowers, no surprise there. As you may know from other posts, I use a lot of interesting, even strange macro/micro equipment. I particularly like the Medical Nikkor (old version), Vivitar 90-180 Series 1 Flat Field Zoom and the Nikkor 60mm F2.8 Micro. Regardless most of the images were made with my Nikon digital cameras: the D800 and the D850. Anyway I really enjoy this work, and I hope you do also. Thanks so much for your continued attention!


As you might imagine I’d prefer that these pages don’t get filled with a great deal of text. If you’d like information about a specific image, please e-mail me at and I’ll let you know what I know. Of course, if you have specific requests about an image you’d like to purchase please use the same address. If you’d like to go ahead and purchase an image, please use the Paypal link below and give me the browser link to the image and your shipping address.

I am also trying a couple of things that will give people an opportunity to support this work. While I am fortunate to have enough money to continue to do this work, some things are pretty expensive. For instance 11×14 film is hard to get and costs about $300 for just 25 shots and a 120 roll of Ilford Delta 400 is close to $9.

A few links


Introduction Page

Monument Valley

Taos Pueblo

Night Sky


Monastery Road



Ice and Snow


Sugarite Campground



I did a large show when I was still in Indianapolis called Courting Chaos. The link will take you to the pages which describe the work and its evolution. These images are, well, chaotic and many of them are nudes. I hope you’ll find it interesting.

Links to my books, still available at Amazon!

January 19, 2016

Ghost Dog #1

Filed under: Animals,Fine Art,Fine Art Portfolio,Portraits — John Siskin @ 2:22 pm
Ghost Dog #1

Ghost Dog #1

This image is from a recent shoot, about a month ago. I like to revisit my images a few weeks after I shoot them, it improves the way I edit the images. I really like the images from this shoot. The dog is huge, and still growing. He has a sort of Mohawk hair cut which gives him a sort of goofy look. The way he’s leaning into the frame builds on this feeling. This is one of the few images I’ve used without cropping, surprisingly one of the others is a dog as well.  This dog is a cross between a poodle and a St. Bernard. I’m sure he’ll be interesting and a challenge!

My own dog, a simple chocolate lab, is still unsure of how to behave in front of the camera, but we’re working on it.

Coco & Her Favorite Toy!

Coco & Her Favorite Toy!

I used my Nikon D800 and a Tokina 28-70 f2.8 lens for Ghost Dog #1. I was in the studio with my Norman 900 series strobes. I used the big soft box, a converted Broncolor Hazy Light, and a light panel. It’s important to give enough light, and to have some direction in the lighting, or the dog will appear shapeless.

Anyway if you want a print of Ghost Dog #1, use the link below. I’ll send you a print mounted and matted to 16X20 inches. No additional charge for shipping in the U.S.

I’m going to give a Micro-Photography Workshop soon ( and another Lighting Workshop, probably in March. Please check them out. You can find out more about my workshops, and access some FREE Classes at my website.

I hope you’ll also check out my books, use the links below:

January 5, 2016

Dodie the Reader

Filed under: Animals,Basic Photo Technique,Portraits — John Siskin @ 2:55 pm
Dodie the Reader

Dodie the Reader

In my experience shooting animals is a lot like shooting children: you must be set up and ready because the subject won’t sit patiently while you get ready. With an adult or a non-living subject you can work for hours looking for the right combination, but not with a dog. I got less than a dozen shots before Dodie, that’s the dog by the way, wasn’t having anymore. Treats will only buy you just so much attention. I had the lights and the camera ready, the exposure dialed in as well, before I brought Dodie over to the table. I also had a pocket full of treats. I think I only got three shots with the glasses. I stood between the dog and the camera, trusting that everything was properly set. If I had moved behind the camera Dodie would have moved as well. The sitting was over in about 15 minutes.

I used a Calumet 750 travel light and a 60-inch umbrella here. The camera was a Kodak DCS Pro 14n. This was my main digital camera for quite a few years. One of only two full frame cameras when it was new, and the only one with a Nikon mount.

I got two shots I thought were special from this sitting. This second version, which I call Smart Dodie looks like she is giving a lecture. I’ll probably put up a separate purchase link for this shot soon, but for right now you can see a larger version by clicking on the image below.

Smart Dodie

Smart Dodie

I should also mention my book B-Four. I put this book together with many of my favorite images. I’ve just added links to the book from other images that are included. You can see all the images if you go to the link.

The link below will let you order a print of Dodie the Reader mounted and matted. The image will be about 13 inches wide, and about the same height. I hope you’ll consider ordering one, the price is just $125, which includes shipping in the United States. If you’d like me to send a print somewhere else let me know at, I’m sure we can work something out.

You can buy one of my other books by clicking on the titles below:

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