Jacques' Photo Blog

For the foreseeable future, I'll be living part-time in both New York City and Kazakhstan. While I'm abroad, Happening Photos cofounder Steve Hart will continue to serve our clients in the US, and I will expand Happening Photos' service area into Central Asia. Within just a few days of arriving in Kazakhstan, I had already booked two event photography jobs in Almaty and a wedding in Dushanbe. This blog will be my primary vehicle for sharing experiences, information, and photos about places I visit and my work as a photographer. I hope you enjoy it, and I welcome comments, questions and story ideas. Please feel free to use the guestbook to share your thoughts.

Hiking with a Micro Four Thirds Camera

December 12, 2016  •  6 Comments
If you've read my other blog articles, you know I switched from big DSLRs to Micro Four Thirds (MFT) cameras about three years ago when I began traveling a lot and needed a smaller kit. In the past two years I've had many opportunities to do day hikes in the mountains of southeastern Kazakhstan, just outside the city of Almaty, and my MFT kit has b...
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How to Check for Dust and Clean Your Digital Camera's Sensor - Tools and Techniques

November 28, 2016  •  Leave a Comment
Why bother? Every time you swap lenses on your digital camera, it's an opportunity for dust to settle on the sensor and make little black specks in your photos. Although many modern cameras have self-cleaning mechanisms that shake dust off the sensor every time you turn on the camera, they may not remove it all. So, it's worth checking your camera...
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New Cable Car to the Top of Kok Tobe in Almaty, Kazakhstan

March 20, 2016  •  3 Comments
Since first coming to Almaty in October 2014, I've been watching with interest the reconstruction of a cable car that used to run from my neighborhood up to the top of Kok Tobe, a large hill with an amusement park and a grand view of the mountains. Last week it finally opened. Yea! I've walked from home to the top of the hill many times, and it's a...
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How to Get Small - Part Five - Studio Lighting in Your Pocket

August 25, 2015  •  Leave a Comment
This is the fifth in my series of articles on "How to Get Small" in assembling a professional photography kit. I've always enjoyed the challenge of doing more with less, and it's been particularly on my mind in recent years as I've spent a lot of time in faraway places, flying with laughably small luggage allowances, encountering unexpected photo o...
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How to Get Small - Part Four - Why I Switched to Micro Four Thirds Cameras

October 21, 2014  •  4 Comments
This is the fourth in my series of articles on "How to Get Small" in assembling a professional photography kit. I've always enjoyed the challenge of doing more with less, and it's been particularly on my mind in recent years as I've spent a lot of time in faraway places, flying with laughably small luggage allowances, encountering unexpected gear-i...
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How to Get Small - Part Three - My Little "Big Gun" Lighting Kit

October 21, 2014  •  4 Comments
This is the third in my series of articles on "How to Get Small" in assembling a professional photography kit. I've always enjoyed the challenge of doing more with less, and it's been particularly on my mind over the past year as I've spent a lot of time in faraway places, flying with laughably small luggage allowances, encountering unexpected gear...
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How to Get Small - Part Two - My Super-Portable Lightstand & Umbrella Kit

October 05, 2014  •  2 Comments
This is the second in my series of articles on "How to Get Small" in assembling a professional photography kit. I've always enjoyed the challenge of doing more with less, and it's been particularly on my mind over the past year as I've spent a lot of time in faraway places, flying with laughably small luggage allowances, encountering unexpected gea...
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How to Get Small - Part One - My New Favorite Full-Size Tripod

March 30, 2014  •  2 Comments
I'll be posting a series of articles on "How to Get Small" in assembling a professional photography kit. I've always enjoyed the challenge of doing more with less, and it's been particularly on my mind over the past year as I've spent a lot of time in faraway places, flying with laughably small luggage allowances, encountering unexpected gear-inten...
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How to Get the Most Out of Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries

March 09, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
This is a bit techno-geeky, but a lot of people have asked questions or expressed concern about the performance of rechargeable lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries, so I thought I'd write this up for anyone who's interested. There are a few things to know about these batteries that can help you get better performance out of them. • What are li-ion batt...
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Spectacular Scenery on the Road Between Dushanbe and Khujand

September 12, 2013  •  Leave a Comment
The drive between Dushanbe and Khujand is not the same kind of prayer-inducing experience as, say, bouncing along in a 50-year-old bus with bald tires on a dirt track with no guard rail and barely room for two vehicles to pass high up in the Himalayas. The M34 was recently and well remade and has an occasional guard rail. But, it passes through som...
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