Nick Adams Photography Blog » Professional beach portrait and wedding photographer on Sanibel and surrounding SW Florida areas.

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  • Welcome to the Nick Adams Photography Blog!

    Welcome to my blog. Please check it out often. We are going to be updating it regularly (honestly!). We will also be running promotions throughout the year, so make sure you come back. I would really like people to get involved so let us know what you think. Any input is appreciated and welcomed. I intend to add a little local info to these pages; things that are going on, special events, you get the idea. Although this is a photography blog I want it to be a fun and interesting place to hang out, Enjoy! Nick

The Roettger Family Beach Portrait, Captiva

I had the pleasure of taking the Roettger family beach portrait on Captiva Island. You can tell we had a great sunset:)

It’s funny but being that we are in the tropics, the weather is very changeable. In the summer months we have rain everyday, very short spells mainly but daily rain never the less. The weather forecast looks something like this: 90 degrees, sunshine from sunrise to 3 PM then showers in the pm. Now you could copy and paste that forecast for six months of the year. The challenging part for me as a photographer is that it can be raining cats and dogs at the studio and half a mile down the road it could be bright sunshine. How do I combat this? With the photogs best friend… webcams! I have a whole folder of links to webcams on my iphone that I use on a daily basis. The webcams don’t lie! Give it a try.

Back to the Roettger Family, we had a great shoot, everything turned out fantastic. They came to our viewing studio and selected their pictures and ordered a stunning fine art gallery wrap collection of five images. They have since been shipped out and delivered by our trusty partners, UPS.  I then received an amazing letter that read as follows:

 “I received my pictures yesterday and I LOVE THEM!  I was very nervous spending so much money, but it certainly turned out to be the right choice.
Thanks you for your service, your talent, and your expertise .  You made our night so much fun, but most importantly, you made memories and keepsakes we will treasure forever!”
Thank you Mrs Roettger and family for trusting us to be your photographers, it’s people like you that make this job so rewarding and fulfilling. Hopefully we will see you next year for your family beach portrait.
Family Beach Portrait, Captiva

Captiva Beach Portrait

Family Beach Portrait, Beach Family Portrait Captiva Sanibel

Captiva Family Portrait

Family Beach Portrait, Reunion Family Portrait

Family Reunion Captiva

Family Beach Portrait, Beach Family Portrait Captiva and Islands

Sunset Portrait Captiva

Drone Photography and a Captiva Beachfront House

We had our aerial drone photography platform out on Captiva Island for a recent real estate shoot ( Drone photography a great way to show perspective of location. In these pictures you can see exactly the proximity of the house to the Gulf of Mexico, the back bay, Blind Pass and Turners Beach. Used in conjunction with your more usual land based images, aerial photography offers a compelling way to market a house sale. Not only that, its a fantastic way to see/show the beauty of the Sanibel and Captiva Islands:)

Drone Photography

Captiva Paradise

Drone Photography

House with a view

Drone Photography

Front entrance


Drone Photography

From the entrance

Now this is the backyard most people dream about.

Who wouldn’t want to wake up this view every morning?

Drone Photography

Turners Beach, Captiva


Drone Photography

Turners Beach and Blind Pass

This view shows the relationship of the houses location to the surrounding areas. Note the power lines on Captiva Drive. You can also see where the back bay meets the Gulf of Mexico under the bridge at Blind Pass. The houses at the top, left of the picture are on Sanibel, whilst everything in the foreground is Captiva.


Drone Photography

Captiva, from Gulf to bay

This is a view of Turners Beach and in the distance the view towards Pine Island Sound (or the back bay). The Gulf of Mexico is in the foreground. At the horizon is the coast of Pine Island. It’s incredible to think that it would take approximately 1 hour 40 mins to drive to the southern most point of Pine Island from this location. You could try a boat at 30 minutes. Or you could try paramotoring at PlanetPPG on Pine Island. Flying a paramotor across the Sound would take you a couple of minutes (although your not allowed to land on the beach on Captiva so that would be tough:)

Drone Photography

Turner Beach

Drone Photography

Captiva Island, Real Estate

I was out filming last night on Sanibel and Captiva Islands and I started to think about all of the people around the world that would like to be here right now. So I compiled this sixty second film (Sixty Seconds in Paradise) so that you can get your island fix:). Feel free to share. This was all shot over a three hour period. The young osprey are alongside the bridge at Blind Pass between Captiva and Sanibel and the roseate spoonbills were at The J.N ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge.


  • maggiie schwarzm - November 14, 2015 - 7:51 AM

    Awesome! What a beautiful sight to see, especially after all of the violence in Paris. Thank you for sharing your wonderful work and talent! Sincerely, Maggie SchwarzReplyCancel

smallhd_702_bright_ninja_blade_reviewI just purchased the SMALL HD 702 Bright Full HD Field Monitor and had recently bought the SmallHD 501.
I find the built in displays on DSLRs and mirrorless cameras to be lacking so I was looking for a solution for filming in the bright sun here in Florida. A while back I had purchased a 7″ monitor from Digital Juice and it was pretty bad. It took forever to boot up, it was next to impossible to see in the bright sun and it was pretty big and clunky (but it was cheap:)). I also have an Atomos Ninja Blade which is way better but still not great in direct sun. (and it’s a recorder so it’s bulkier)
It put me off using monitors with DSLR’s for a while. Although I still used monitors for my drone video downlink. I recently had one go bad that had a wireless video receiver built in. So it made me re-think about getting another monitor. I figured if I could have one decent monitor and share it between applications then I could justify the cost. I could share the use from filming in the air with my drone, to using it on land attached to my Movi M5, to using it on my cameras for regular filming.
I looked at a lot of different monitors and external recorders. I ended up deciding against an external recorder because I shoot very little 4k, so the rather lossy internal 4K codec is fine for what I do. If I need to record Prores  then I can do that to the Ninja Blade. Also the fact that adding a recorder to a monitor adds bulk. I narrowed my choice down to the SmallHD 501 and SmallHD 502. The only difference between the SmallHD 501 and the SmallHD 502 is the fact that the 501 only has HDMI connectivity in and out, while the 502 has HDMI in and out and SDI in and out with cross connectivity. Meaning you can input into the monitor from the camera with HDMI or SDI and output to a second monitor with either HDMI or SDI. I decided to get the 501 as I do not currently own cameras with SDI connections and I was trying to save a little. I shoot with Canon DSLRs predominantly but I also have a Panasonic GH4 and have recently purchased the Sony A7R ii. I do however rent various cameras for different projects and a monitor is always something that can be used.
The SmallHD 501 has a MSRP of $899, its a big chunk of change for such a small piece of technology but boy, once I tried it out, I was a convert!
The definition of the monitor is stunning (1920×1080), critical focus is a breeze. The weight and the size of the 501 was perfect for DSLR’s and my Movi, build quality is ‘first class’. I was such a convert that I started looking to the future and realized that I would probably own an SDI capable camera in the not to distant future and if I didn’t, I would certainly be renting one.
So after looking into the different options that SmallHD had to offer, I learned that the SmallHD 702 Bright was about to be released. It sounded perfect, it had SDI and HDMI connections with the added bonus of a daylight viewable 7″ monitor. I returned the SmallHD 501 and put myself on the waiting list of the SmallHD 702 Bright. Ideally I would have kept both but with an MSRP of $1499 for the 702 Bright my budget would not allow it. Fast forward a couple of weeks and I now have the SmallHD 702 Bright.
The SmallHD 702 bright is a stunning monitor, it has all the features of the SmallHD 502 with the added bonus of an extra 2 diagonal inches of viewable real estate. Not forgetting the 1000 nits, daylight viewable screen (twice that of the 500 series).
It also has extra battery options. The 500 series use the hugely popular Canon LP-E6N batteries (used with the Canon 5D,7D etc.). While the 702 can use a combination of Canon batteries along with the equally popular Sony L series batteries. The Sony batteries slide down to be seated at the bottom of the battery receiver plate whilst the Canon LP batteries flip around and slide up to the top of the receiver plate. You can use two Sony L’s or two Canons, you can even use one of each if you like:) You can also get a D-tap to Canon LP adapter to run from Anton Bauer and Sony V-mount batteries for even longer run times.

I won’t go into all of the features of this monitor there are many, but I will say it has everything you could need in a professional monitor. It has vectorscopes, histogram, waveforms, peaking, zebras, punch-in and much, much more. It also has the ability to have multiple screens with different options/tools for each. One nice feature is the ability to add LUTs by the way of an SD card to the monitor. Say you are shooting in a really flat, desaturated profile like Sony’s S-log or Panasonic’s V-log, you can have the monitor display the flat image with a LUT added (the same is true for the 500 series). I don’t know about you but I find shooting in S-log truly un-inspiring:) having the ability to see a somewhat graded image makes it much easier to use. It is certainly better for showing clients in the field. You also have the ability to take screen shots and save them to the SD card which can be used as color or continuity references at a later date.


Am I pleased with my purchase?
In a word…. Totally!,  no regrets. The daylight viewable screen truly is ‘daylight viewable’, I was skeptical at first but it really is, (see the video) even with the sun directly on the monitor. Would view-ability be improved with a hood? Absolutely but you can definitely use it without. It does what it is supposed to do and more. The form factor is good, it’s reasonably compact for a 7″ monitor. The menu navigation is easy with just two controls, the clickable joystick and the back button. I love the fact that it is not a touch screen monitor. Sounds odd but with my experience with the Ninja Blade, once you have been using the touch screen for a while the screen gets covered in finger prints, which in turn reflects the light back to the user making the monitor even harder to see on a sunny day (even with a hood). It’s fine indoors but not out.  I must be clear though, I am not out to bash the Ninja Blade it is a phenomenal monitor/recorder and worth every penny. I have used it since it’s release and love it for most applications. I wanted a quality monitor to compare the brightness of  the SmallHD 702 bright and had I not returned the 501, I would have used it.


Which monitor to buy?
Undoubtably the size and weight of the 500 series monitors are better suited for gimbal use and they are arguably more proportionate with DSLR’s and mirrorless cameras, however, you really need a hood in direct sunlight. You also have the option to add a side-finder attachment to the 500 series of monitors which is not possible on the 702. The 702 is considerably heavier than the 500 series SmallHD, add in the additional weight of the bulkier Sony L batteries and it packs on the ounces. Having said that, the daylight viewable screen of the 702 bright is awesome, it’s a game changer for me. I am far more likely to use it on a regular basis if it is not a struggle to use and this one certainly is not. The ability to add considerable runtime with Sony’s L series batteries is both needed with it’s extra power consumption and appreciated. Check out the video you will see what I mean. If you are wondering how bright the 500 series monitors are, (manufacturer states they are 500nits), I would guesstimate they are somewhere between the Ninja Blade and the 702’s brightness. You definitely will need a hood with the 500’s on bright sunny days but they are totally useable. In fact I used one without a hood on a gimbal on a sunny day and it was perfect for composition purposes but you would need a hood for anything else.

There are a couple of monitors at the time of writing that are coming to the market place. Video Devices is making an external 4K recorder that has just been released. It costs less than the 702 monitor does (around $1395) but like I said my priority is the monitor and not the recorder. There is also a Blackmagic monitor which is about to be released that is a third of the cost of the 702 ($495)  but again, no talk of daylight viewable. Ikan also recently joined in with an affordable monitor looks good but is yet to be released $550

Recommended Accessories :

I purchased the SmallHD screen protector and the neoprene bag although I have not used either yet.

A good quality ball head or monitor clamp is a must, I just purchased the Xtender friction mount 200 series and it is a great monitor mount, very well made. Much better than a ball head. You do not need two hands to adjust it, which is nice.

Canon Batteries or  Sony L series batteries

HDMI cables. I use the thin HyperThin cables. If you are using the 702 Bright on a smaller camera like the Sony A7 series cameras or the GH4 I would reccomend using a cage or a rig on your camera. Although I have used the 702 on the hot-shoe mount of these cameras, I do not think it would take much of a knock to rip the hotshoe off the body. I may be wrong but I personally would not chance it.

I use the Varavon Zeus cage for my Sony A7Rii and I would highly recommend it.

I would also recommend a sunshade, SmallHD’s shade is very good for the 500 series. (at the time of writing the 702’s sunshade has not made it to marketplace, although I have it on backorder.)

Regrets: Only one: I wish I could afford to keep both the 501 and the 702 SmallHD monitors:).

  • maggiie schwarz - November 8, 2015 - 6:33 PM

    Wow! That’s way above my pay grade!!! Good luck with all of your new equipment!Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Sincerely, Maggie Schwarz, Slate Hill, NYReplyCancel

Slow Motion Video Booth

This weekend we used our slow motion video booth for a wedding at The Sanctuary Golf Club on Sanibel Island. It really is a blast. We have a backdrop set up with lots of props on tables. It literally took a couple of minutes after it opened for everyone to start joining in the fun. The hilarious part is

Nick Adams Photography/ Slow Motion video Booth

Slow Motion Booth Fun

Nick Adams Photography/ Slow Motion video Booth

Lovely Bunch of Coconuts!

Nick Adams Photography/ Slow Motion video Booth

Slow Motion Booth Poppers!

Nick Adams Photography/ Slow Motion video Booth

Pregnancy in Slow Motion:)

Slow motion video booth

when people get to see the slow motion video clips right there and then on the screen. You could hear nothing but roaring laughter coming from the booth. The ironic part is that the bride said she wasn’t really “the photo booth type” luckily she trusted our judgment and it was a huge hit. We have had a photo booth for the last several years and while it is fun, this is on another level. You could see people returning to the dance floor laughing and joking….it’s infectious.

The finished product will be like the example video below but much longer. We take all the clips, vary the speeds add some cool music and voila!

If you are wondering how much space you would need: The backdrop is 9′ wide so the booth would need to be approximately 10’x20′ although we can scale down the size of the booth if we need to. It just means you would not be able to get as many people in it.

Call us about pricing, we have discounts for clients that book multiple services with us.

Contact us at 239-395-7671 to hire the slow motion video booth for your next event.

Shelby and Brandon were the Bride and Groom in this wedding. Look out for an upcoming feature on the blog. We are going

to showcase everything from the photography to the wedding film to the finished slow motion video… coming soon!