A Great Guide, Some New Hardware And Software, The Bookshelf And Some Films, What You’ve Missed This Week In Photography

Photo by Nathan Anderson

Photo by Nathan Anderson

Today we’ll talk about some cool stuff that got our attention last week.

A USEFUL GUIDE

Photography for Beginners

Photographer Touch has a great post on Photography for Beginners. If you are starting out, or need to refresh the basics of photography, then this is for you. It comprehensively covers everything from understanding your camera, composition guidelines and common mistakes beginners make. Photography for Beginners over at Photographer Touch is definitely worth your time.

HARDWARE AND GEAR

The new storage solution for Photographers

Storage is getting more and more complex due to the huge amount of information generated each day. Last week we noticed that Drobo and Nexsan were nicely melting together as part of this less known company’s portfolio called StorCentric.

Photoshop on the iPad

Many digital retouchers and photographers will be able to unleash all their creativity on the iPad. (well, not now, but still). A fully-featured Photoshop is coming to the iPad, but you won’t be able to get your fingers on it until 2019. Nevertheless, you can sign-up to keep yourselves posted with the latest news about it. They promise to keep all the familiar desktop tools and workflows fully integrated. From blend modes, layers and resolution, everything about your PSD files will be kept just like if you were in a regular desktop environment.

Holga is alive and well

Restyling mobile photography, Holga Digital has made a pretty interesting comeback, now it brings us the Holga Printer. This retro-looking device will allow you print images directly from your phone, but without WiFi, without even batteries simply by using Fujifilm’s Instax instant films. Even though these aren’t state of the art prints, they are a great way of making your photography experience even broader.

SOME STORIES

The US Combat Cameraman

Since Robert Capa, the role of the war photographer has taken on an amazing mythology. NATO published an 89 seconds video depicting the work of Austin Boucher, the US Army Cameraman. He documents soldiers in peace and war, at rest and in combat. Earlier this year we knew that the US Navy was cutting down their photographer positions to save money. Even so, they are aware that the job of every Comcam is to be there to document history.

Philippe Halsman meeting Jean Cocteau

Last week Magnum Photos published an epic story of how the encounter between Philippe Halsman and Jean Cocteau went when they met for the first time. Halsman was a great portrait photographer and worked with the likes Dali and Clint Eastwood. This story is quite a delight to read if you are into Photography and Poetry.

THE WEEK IN IMAGES

Destination Europe

The European migrant crisis is a serious topic, and many photographers have been there to document the terrible drama of families escaping from violence in their hometowns. In this collection of photographs from Jason Florio, you can see the hectic reality of refugees on their way to reach a dreamed land in Europe.

This is a Small World

Click here to watch all the winners from the contest made for capturing the smallness we rarely see thanks to the Nikon Small World 2018 Award. Click here to watch the entire selection from the contest, they all look from outside of this world (there are even photographs of human neurons). It is extremely psychedelic.

The Final Appearance of the Giant Puppets

For 20 years, the Royal de Luxe theater company has presented their giant marionette show. But now they are moving on from the giants and planning something else for the next extravaganza. Click here to watch a collection of the final appearance of the iconic giant puppets.

THE BOOKSHELF

Author: The Portraits of Beowulf Sheehan

Beowulf Sheehan is an American photographer known for photographing authors, artists, and other figures. He is considered to be his generation’s foremost literary portrait photographer. His latest book is a great asset for people into portraits that have a different vibe in them. Also when purchasing it a portion of the proceeds will go to BookUp, a program of the National Book Foundation.

THE FILMSHELF

Refugee (2016)

Narrated by Cate Blanchett, Refugee is a short documentary film available at Netflix depicting five photographers approaching refugees in different ways. In the film, you’ll see the work of Lynsey Addario, Omar Victor Diop, Graciela Iturbide, Martin Schoeller, and Tom Stoddart.

Kodachrome

We love movies about photographers, even when they are fictional because we know that to some extent, they have developed their characters upon the idea of the photographer itself. This film is about a dying photographer who wishes to go to a small photo shop that is the last place that develops Kodachrome film and will stop developing Kodachrome in a few weeks. Well, it isn’t all about that of course, there is a whole drama involved, but Kodachrome is the main player.

This Week’s Update Sees Us Recovering From Photokina 2018 – Here’s What You May Have Missed

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Photokina 2018 is long gone now, but it was a total blast. This event is known as the largest and most anticipated photographic event in the world. Before this year, it happened in a biannual format, but after 2018 it will become a yearly event according to this. Camera makers are making it pretty tough for us consumers with such an overwhelming amount of gear to choose, and this year was extremely exciting due to game-changing appearances. Today we want to talk about the main highlights from Photokina, but we will be focussing on gear…so here is your 2018 cameras and lenses from Photokina update.

CAMERAS

Alright, since everyone (literally, everyone) released new cameras with innovative technologies, we’ll mention only one from each brand. It is important to mention that some of these brands got in before everyone else and released a couple of weeks before the main event, but for historical purposes, we will group them around Photokina 2018.

Canon EOS-R This isn’t Canon’s first mirrorless attempt but it is the first that really made some noise. The EOS-R is a full-frame mirrorless camera with a new lens mount. We are pretty sure that some true Canon devotees will take the mirrorless route they are trying to build with this camera, but the general review consensus seems to be that Canon’s offering still lags behind Sony’s mirrorless. You can get the official specs here.

Fujifilm GFX 50R Fujifilm reaffirmed that they’re are far from being interested in full-frame based cameras. On the other hand, they are putting traditional medium format camera manufacturers against the wall. The newest GFX 50R is a smaller and cheaper medium format in a range-finder system. This camera is still a serious investment but is the first real approach to an all-in-one purpose system that could work from the streets to the studio.

Leica S3 Leica is famous for releasing the most exclusive and desired range finders ever, but they released a DSLR this time… Like what? This isn’t a regular DSLR, so don’t freak out, this is a medium format DSLR camera. The S3 was quite a unique launch at Photokina. This camera is a massive tank that could be pretty interesting for certain fast action shooters. You can take a better look at the system here.

Nikon Z7 Nikon also released prior to Photokina their brand-new shiny mirrorless the Z7. This isn’t the first attempt from Nikon, and honestly, it does look nice because is a complete new system, unlike Canon that simply deflated the 5D into a Mirrorless system. General feedback from the photography community is that this is a very positive entry into the market. You can check out their specs here.

Panasonic LUMIX S1R This camera really got some attention at Photokina. Panasonic has been making some really serious breakthroughs in the camera world, especially on the video side for quite a few years now. This camera has a broader scope and goes beyond vlogging enthusiasts to the professional photographers demanding more powerful specs.

Phase One XF IQ4 150MP There isn’t anything truly innovative from Phase One at this point besides making things bigger and bigger in terms of Megapixels. Their last camera was 100Mp, and this one is 150Mp. These guys need to start doing something else before Fujifilm, Sony and now Leica all take their market share away from their exclusive hands.

Ricoh GR III Oh yes, the newest camera from Ricoh is an update of their mythical GR system. This camera could be an ideal option for those serious photographers that aren’t quite fully into street photography and want to have something to keep with them all the time.

Zeiss ZX1 Mad projects like this one really get the attention of serious photographers. Zeiss has been known for their state of the art optics, but this time they went nuts and introduced a full-frame compact camera with a fixed 35mm f/2 lens with 37.4 megapixels. But that isn’t the real breakthrough, the big deal is that it comes with built-in Lightroom, so you can develop RAW files in the camera. You can take a further look at it here.

LENSES

Fujifilm adds three new GFX lenses to their roadmap After releasing the GFX 50R (and announcing the development of a 100Mp beast, the GFX 100S) Fujifilm still unveiled three new lenses from their line-up:

  • Fujifilm GF100-200mmF5.6 R LM OIS WR
  • Fujifilm GF50mmF3.5 R LM WR
  • Fujifilm GF45-100mmF4 R LM OIS WR

This fills their medium format lenses roadmap a little bit more.

Ultra wide-angles from Laowa Venus Optics has a very peculiar and specific niche with their Laowa system, the ultra-wide angle lenses. At Photokina 2018 they released a lot of new lenses that could be a great solution for certain filmmakers and cinematographers.

Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sigma has a thing for all in-one lenses, and this time they announced five lenses, but the one that really got some attention was the 60-600mm zoom lens. It will be available in october 2018 with a price tag of $2,000.

Sony 24mm F1.4 G Master™ Prime Sony has quite a full portfolio in terms of cameras (being a pioneer in the mirrorless system for serious photographers) so they relaxed a bit this time and they announced some lenses. One of the most interesting is their widest G Master Prime lens yet, the 24mm F/1.4, which got some attention indeed.

Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Tamron announced a powerful ultra-wide angle lens, a 15-30mm lens with a pretty decent aperture of f/2.8, which is quite fast for such wide focal lengths. This could be an interesting solution for a lot of photographers working with Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras. You see guys, you shouldn’t have changed your mounts.

FILM

Kodak Ektachrome is finally and officially back, and shipping now! Last but not least, Kodak finally made their Ektachrome available again. After a long wait and a lot of expectations around it, it has finally become a real thing. And you can start buying them now!

So that is our gear round-up from Photokina. We hope you enjoyed this update. Leave us a comment, if you have anything to add.

Gear, Hurricane Florence, And A Book Recommendation Are All In This Week’s Epic Edits Round Up

HARDWARE AND GEAR

Fujifilm’s 100MP Medium Format Mirrorless Camera

Fujifilm is wicked, and it seems that their roadmap has carefully been released to specific people who “leak” their information out. Just last week Fujirumors published a story about a 100 Megapixel medium format camera right after the leak of some information about their affordable medium format camera. We don’t expect that it will be cheap, but it will definitely be cheaper than the current 100 MP camera on the market from the exclusive Phase One.

Panasonic Lumix G9

This is a great example of what happens when a brand listens to its users. The Panasonic G9 is aimed at “still” photographers rather than video shooters. Based on the specs it seems that the G9 is possibly the best camera for still photography they have ever built. It keeps with Panasonic’s tradition of Micro 4/3rds sensors with 20.3 Megapixels and it uses the same batteries as other cameras from their lineup – like the GH3, GH4, GH5, and GH5S. This shows that they are very interested in their users’ needs.

Photo Studio by Konseen

One of the best things that technology has given to photography is portability. Just recently Konseen launched a pretty interesting tool, a pop-up tent that is a portable full-size photo studio. This takes the minimalist lighting approach to the extreme. This micro-studio could make professional portrait photography a more accessible discipline.

What About a Water-Resistant Lens Case?

Lenses need to be kept safe always, they are an essential part of your camera, and arguably the piece of kit you should invest in the most. Just recently, ThinkTank announced “Enhanced Camera Lens Protection”. These are called “Lens Case Duo“, and they promise to be great for storage or travel. Oh, and they say they are water resistant of course.

 

SOME STORIES

Artist Alters a Photographer’s Picture, Calls It Art, and He is Getting Away With It

Appropriation strikes back, this time Hank Willis Thomas is on the spot thanks to an altered photograph from Graeme Williams. Read the story here and make your own conclusions. Is it theft or art?

Raising Goosebumps

From Elina Brotherus project Annonciation to Sally Mann with her famous Intimate Family work, Motherhood has been an intriguing theme in contemporary photography. Here LensCulture interviews contemporary photographer Cate Wnek about her work titled Raising Goosebumps. Here she uses photography to cope with the fears and vulnerabilities of motherhood.

IN THE CROWDSOURCING WORLD

Lumapod, The Super Lightweight Tripod

What about an ultra-light tripod solution? Well, yeah, we are basically describing a lot of tripods by saying that, but what about a REALLY portable solution? Something the size of a flashlamp or even smaller? That is exactly what these guys have designed, and they got their crowdsource pledged in less than 90 minutes… And with lighter and more compact Mirrorless cameras, its maximum payload of 2kg in the larger size tripod is not a big problem.

THE WEEK IN IMAGES

Hurricane Florence

Hurricanes are never good news, and Hurricane Florence dumped high winds and rain on much of the American Carolinas. More than one million people where under evacuation orders, and here is a brief collection of images by The Atlantic. These photos are from the preparation, and these others are from the hurricane’s aftermath.

Behind the Image: A Moment of Quiet in the Madding Crowd

This is a really fascinating image by Nikos Economopoulos. He is a photographer from Magnum so you can expect some really interesting amazing images. Here he talks about his iconic image.

THE BOOKSHELF

William Eggleston, From Black and White to Color

William Eggleston is the king of the mundane, he captures seemingly banal elements that surround him with such a careful eye, that even the most ordinary things gain meaning.

Here in this book, you can delight in not only with his color work (which is his most famous) but also some really pleasant black and white images as well. Eggleston’s well crafted and consistent sense of aesthetic, which can take some time to appreciate, is really a wonder to view.

Grab A Coffee And Chill With This Week In The World of Photography

Image via Fujifilm.

Image via Fujifilm.

With Photokina getting closer, it is no surprise that we got a lot to talk last week in terms of equipment. This week we have a pretty techy digest for you folks, so sit back and prepare yourselves!

HARDWARE AND GEAR

Canon EOS-R

So, Canon finally decided to release their contribution to the Mirrorless world with much fanfare. This week they announced a very promising system that includes a body with a new lens mount, and of course, a new lens lineup to match.

Fujifilm XT-3

Fujifilm’s posture is clear, they are not interested in full-frame formats. This week they released their third version of their mirrorless flagship, the XT-3. This camera system has some legacy already, and we can expect nothing less than extreme quality.

Fujifilm GFX 50R

Is Fuji about to change digital photography forever? Last week we talked about the positive implications for photography behind this strategy of making medium format a way more accessible format for photographers all over the globe. We are just speculating here, but this could mean big things for cinematography if they manage to integrate their Cine lenses line-up with this camera!

Phase One IQ4 I50MP

Apparently, the adequate response for the exclusive brand Phase One is to simply crank sensors up to 150 Megapixels. Honestly, they’ll need to do more on the innovation side instead of aiming to reach the gigapixel camera with Fujifilm giving the masses the medium format they deserve. This is not a critique, it is just an opinion.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6 PF ED VR

One of the most valuable assets from Nikon is their NIKKOR lens lineup. Not this week exactly, but a couple of days ago they released a lens they announced the development of back in June – a 500mm f/5.6. If you are into action, sports and wildlife photography this could be a great solution for you.

Loupedeck+

Enabling image development in the digital age via a physical medium is an amazing experience. Fine tweaking an image with a precise graphics tablet is really satisfying. This week Loupedeck announced their new Lightroom Console, and it looks amazing!

A SAD STORY

A Photographer go Beaten Up after Publishing a Photograph

Jibon Ahmed, a Bangladesh based photographer got in some really messy trouble thanks to publishing a photo of a young couple kissing. We are not criticizing a foreign culture, but it is hard to hear that a fellow photographer was beaten for posting a photograph. Maybe what people can do when living within this hermetic cultures is to create an alias or a side account. This is very difficult and ultimately, what we don’t want to see is any more photographers getting in trouble for doing what they love the most. Our support goes out to Jibon Ahmed and we hope he continues publishing images.

THE WEEK IN IMAGES

LensCulture Art Photography Awards

For the first Art Photography Award from LensCulture, they selected 38 contemporary photographers from 18 different countries, which are making a pretty remarkable work these days.

Multi-verse

In this essay by Canadian photographer Amy Friend, you’ll find a series of particularly creative candid photographs with a very intriguing and illuminating twist.

Images of the Destruction Left by Typhoon Jebi in Japan

Watch this image selection form The Atlantic in order to reflect about how fragile we human beings are when compared to mother nature. These images are strong…

Photos of the Week: Hovercraft Racing, Mud Wallow, Balls of Fire

Another selection from The Atlantic showing some really interesting stuff going on all over the globe.

THE BOOKSHELF

California Captured

The style and mythology of Mid-Century Modern California architecture as seen through the eyes of American photographer Marvin Rand, one of the best architectural photographers ever.

This Week In The World of Photography

After a long time of being silent, we want to make Epicedits a great place again for you. Every week we get a ton of information about the world of photography, so we’ve decided to post a weekly briefing so you can stay up-to-date with the most relevant photography related news.

Photo By Gorup de Besanez - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Josef Koudelka photographed in Venice, Italy (1986) – Photo By Gorup de Besanez – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

EVERYBODY MIRRORLESS

Mirrorless cameras are no longer the future, they are the present, and some big characters have finally understood it. Due to their tradition we want to wish them the best of luck (you know who you are C and N companies), and we hope to see some great results in the following days

Nikon Z7 arrived

Nikon tried to make a breakthrough in the still incipient world of mirrorless cameras with the Nikon 1 series. That camera was like an odd attempt to make Point & Shoot cameras more capable in terms of lenses. Now we have the Nikon Z7, a full frame mirrorless camera with a new lens lineup. It will require some time for Nikon to validate their new lens lineup as a wise move or not.

Canon wants to be in the game as well

Canon also made a not-that-successful attempt on the mirrorless camera world with their EOS-M system. Just this week some information was leaked about how they might present a full frame mirrorless camera as well with something they are calling the EOS-R. This was supposed to happen on Photokina we guess, but since Nikon put one foot forward, they might release it prior to the big photographic event which will take place on September 26th-29th.

Even Panasonic wants to get in

Panasonic also wants to be on the full frame mirrorless camera league, and you guessed it, we could prove that rumor on… Photokina. This comes exactly ten years after Panasonic unveiled the world’s first micro four thirds camera, the G1.

Since the Full Frame Mirrorless camera field wasn’t that crowded, it seemed logical for both Canon and Nikon to make some interesting innovations there.

Fujifilm is Democratizing the Medium Format

On the other hand, Fujifilm never considered full frame in their road-map, and the rumors on the Fuji side is that they’ll release at even more accessible Medium Format Mirrorless Camera this year.

Medium format photography was extremely exclusive just a couple of years ago, until suddenly, Fujifilm shocked the world with the GFX 50S medium format mirrorless camera. After that, the game changed, and it is expected to be pivoted again thanks to a long rumored medium format mirrorless interchangeable lens rangefinder camera that is rumored to be announced before Photokina as well.

It is supposed to be only 10% of the regular medium format cameras (like Phase One or Mamiya). This makes full frame to be the new “cropped” as Fujifilm makes medium format a financially viable option.

A GREAT STORY

Yuri Cortez is having a great time

Do you remember how AFP’s photographer Yuri Cortez got crushed by the Croatia soccer team on the 2018 World Cup? Well, he got invited to Dubrovnik thanks to his photographs, and his cheerful attitude as well. Here you can see how awesome photography can be!

THE WEEK IN IMAGES

BRINGING FILM BACK TO LIFE IS HARD

On Ektachrome

A couple of weeks ago we noticed that the long awaited Kodak Ektachrome was finally in the hands of some really privileged test photographs. We really hope they are having some fun with those roles. And if you are wondering why this moments are so slow paced, well, then watch some of the photographs of the factory itself from the very inside, and maybe you will understand how complex film making could be.

On Ferrania

Ferrania Film built a site solely for keeping us posted about their comeback, how nice is that from them.

IN THE CROWDSOURCING WORLD

The team behind the full documentary on Josef Koudelka titled “Koudelka Shooting Holy Land” wants to make this documentary accessible to all of us via a DVD edition. You can back their project here!

See you next week folks!

Some Incredible Photography Stories, Tutorials and Awesomeness from This Week

Well it’s about time we fired up the blog again, so I thought it would be a fun experiment to share what we have found in our rounds of the Internet in the photography world. There have been some absolutely stunning things shared lately, so let’s jump in.

Photography Composition by Anton Gorlin- This has to be one of the most definitive blog posts of the year in the photography world. Anton goes into a staggering amount of detail on the topic of composition in a way that is almost worthy of a short book on the topic. He has also reset the clock somewhat for tutorial sites like this one on the quality of content that is possible, and increasingly expected, in the photographic community. Well done to him on this amazing piece.

The Best Photo Printer for Photographers by Dahlia Ambrose – While it’s a pretty dry topic, if you get seriously into photography, you will probably want to start printing your images at some point. And it is actually a good exercise it it makes you consider the details when you’re shooting and also when you’re doing post production. This very long article offers a solid reasoning as to what sort of printer photographers should be looking for and why the Canon ImagePrograf Pro-1000 came out top of her reckoning.

How to Capture Great Photos in Low Light by Craig Hull – The folks over at Expert Photography are really turning up the volume on some very useful tutorials lately and this low light photography article is part of that push. This one goes through the different types of light and how to react to them, covering gear and process as well as the best camera settings for low light photography. Very useful and worth a read.

£300 vs £5000 Camera Setup by Pablo Strong- This video goes into the core of gear envy. Can you get comparable shots on a 300 pound setup as compared to the most modern and quality 5000 pound rig? Now, experienced photographers will know that a good photographer with a poor camera will almost always outperform a poor photographer with an expensive camera, but it’s always worth watching videos like this as it really hammers home the issues. Horses for courses as they say.

The Day the Soviets Arrived to Crush the Prague Spring- If you are a history nut like me, then you are going to want to have a look at this amazing historical collection of Soviet tanks and soldiers rolling into Prague in 1968 to quell a popular uprising. These images are very powerful, but also very useful for any student of history or photography. It’s also the reason why a lot of people decide to become photojournalists.

Free Image Editor for Mac – If you are a Mac user then you might like to check this out. This guy built a totally free (no cost, no ads etc) image editor for the Mac. Just like that. Personally I love stuff like this and I think it’s always worth supporting it when it comes out. I don’t know why he did this, but it’s great. Take a look and you can even ask him a question about it over at Reddit.

Photographing an Ultra-High Contrast Landscape: Case Study by Spencer Cox- When you’re curious about technique or just starting out, then not much is more useful than a solid and practical rundown of how something was done. That is why “case studies” in photography are always hugely popular (and rightly so). This one has a lot of tips and tricks for the landscape photographers among us and is well worth reading.

Final Thoughts

That should give you a LOT of stuff to get started with. Hopefully it doesn’t overwhelm you. We will try to make this a more regular column here on Epic Edits so hit us in the comments if you come across something that should be included on our next list.

10 Helpful Recent Blog Posts on Photography As a Business

The dream of taking a photography hobbie to pro level is something that intrigues a lot of amateur photographers. Photography is a tough business in the pro leagues and you need to make sure you have the right advice.

We have collected a few pretty cool resrouces that have been written on the topic of photography as a business in the last couple of months by people who know what they are talking about.

If you have seen any other cool blog posts on the business of photography, then share them in the comments!

The Business Side of Photography – How to Allocate Resources - This guest post on well-known photographer, Chase Jarvis' blog, from renowned author & business expert Ramit Sethi helps creative artists + entrepreneurs decide how to allocate resources for profit & growth.

30 Things you Should Know to Help you Start a Photography Business - In this post Gina Milicia – author of Digital Photography School's brand new eBook, “Portraits: Making the Shot” shares 30 lessons for those wanting to get into the photography business. “Follow your bliss

25+ Resources for Starting a Freelance Photography Business - Photographer” is one of those professional titles that many people want. And why not? Taking pictures is fun and exciting. But you'll need a first-class.

Why Your Photography Business Should Have a Newsletter - It seems like every time I turn around, another social media outlet is changing the way they are showing our information to the people who “like/follow” us. 

How to Keep Your Photography Business Busy During the Slow Times - How to keep your photography business busy during the slow season winter months.

The Number One Reason Your Photography Business is Failing - So many photographers are terribly frustrated at the constant flux of photographers in their markets. They say, "There are so many photographers in my area who are charging so

How to Promote Your Photography Business with Video Showreels - If you're trying to grow your business and connect with clients on a personal level, then learning how to promote yourself with video showreels is a great step

Give Your Photography Business A Holiday Boost - The holidays are a great time of year for photographers to have some fun with their clients while also boosting business.

The Best Things I've Done for My Business - Jasmine Star takes a moment to share things that've helped her photography business in hopes of shedding light into her "mangled path" to becoming a full time photographer.

14 Respected Photographers' Plans to Jumpstart Their Photography Business - The new year might already be underway, but that doesn't mean it's too late to solidify – or start! – planning for 2013. We were curious what plans photographers had in mind to help jumpstart their photography business, so we

Get Photo-News with the PhotoVerse App

Last week, the developers of an iPhone/iPad app contacted me about using my RSS feed to pull content for their new application. It’s a pretty cool idea, so I said “go for it!”

PhotoVerse collects photography related news and blog posts like any RSS reader, and makes it handy for anybody interested in photography to keep up on their reading while also allowing them to share the articles on social media networks. In essence, it’s a preloaded feed reader just for the photography nuts.

The developers also asked me if I would like to test out the application… but I’m on Android, so no luck. Instead, I asked if you guys could have some freebies or discounts. Here’s what we have to hand out.

ENTER FOR A FREE COPY OF PHOTOVERSE

I have 5 coupon codes for a free copy of the app. It goes for $0.99 in the iTunes store, so you can go buy it if you don’t want to wait for the raffle.

If you do want a free copy, watch the Epic Edits Twitter account for the start of the raffle. I’ll do it within the day, and the first 5 to reply will get the coupon.

Anybody out there have this app already? How is it?

Stepping Back for a Better Perspective

By the title alone, you may be thinking that this article has something to do with composition and perspective in photography. While that may be a useful topic at some point, that’s not what this is about… not directly anyway.

I’m speaking more about the big picture stuff here. Life in general.

My life has been in a state of drastic change over the last five months, and a lot of ups and downs have come with that change. The whole situation allowed me to really evaluate what was and was not important in my life. So here are a few thoughts on photography from the viewpoint of a hobbyist.

MY UNINTENTIONAL DISAPPEARANCE

Five months ago, I had no intension of putting the camera down or stepping away from my blogs. But life happens and I wasn’t left with much of a choice. Back in August 2010, I announced that I had packed up from San Diego and moved back to North Idaho where I grew up. That one event sparked a drastic change in my life.

Not only did we move (which is a painful and expensive process in itself), but I also decided that it would be a good time to become self employed as an engineer. It made a lot of sense because we live so far out in the boonies, the commute to the nearest city would eat up several hours of my day. I got all set up to pull work from my previous employer to get me off and running.

But then I started looking for work with other clients — more previous employers, previous associates and bosses, local companies. This takes a lot of time, and I don’t get paid to do it. But I did land a few other jobs via my contacts and I ended up being very busy. Not just a little busy — I’m talking 12-14 hour days, 7 days a week. Of course, that type of thing doesn’t go on forever, but there was a solid month where I couldn’t leave the house, watch TV, see friends, etc. Honestly though, I’m not complaining… the paychecks make it worth the effort.

It hasn’t been all profit though — it takes money to make money. The move alone set me back $15,000 out of pocket between all the house stuff and the move. Then I had to drop another $8,000 on a piece of software for my engineering business. So yeah, a couple hundred bucks for Photoshop looks a lot different to me now. At any rate, I’m finally starting to get caught up with the money situation.

In short, I’ve been busy either working or trying to scrape up future work for myself. I wouldn’t have it any other way though — I absolutely love working from home, setting my own rates, deciding what to work on, and wearing pajamas and slippers all day. So far, it seems to be working out and I plan to continue being self employed as long as I can.

THINGS THAT FELL OFF MY PLATE

With the self employed gig keeping me busy, I really had to evaluate what other activities were important enough for me to spend time on.

My family has to come above all else, so any small amount of time I have off has to be directed toward them. And now that I live across the street from my parents, next door to my grandmother, and within 30 miles of my brother and the in-laws, I have more family to spend time with on a regular basis. It’s great though, I do enjoy being back home (as does my wife).

The next two biggest things in my life are photography and blogging. With everything else going on, I just haven’t been able to justify spending much time on them. Sure, I posted a couple things here and there, shot a few rolls of film from time to time, but nothing at the level I was at before the move. Hell, I even managed to acquire a bunch of “new” film cameras and darkroom equipment in the last few months… but I’ll get into that on the film photography blog later this week.

Part of me feels terrible for letting things go for so long, but I always remember to take a step back and look at the big picture.

BIG PICTURE FOR A HOBBYIST

I’m not a professional photographer or blogger. Not even close. I make about 30-40x more per month with engineering than I do with photography and blogging combined. So when push comes to shove, it doesn’t make sense to spend a bunch of time on my hobbies. The first priority has to be putting food on the table and paying the bills.

I enjoy doing both of these things, and I don’t see myself giving up either of them completely. I just need to come to terms with the fact that they are, and will be in the near future, only a hobby. Just for fun.

The other interesting thing about photography and blogging, for me, is that they continue to make a small amount of money even when I stop doing them for several months. The blogs have been earning consistent numbers for the last five or six months — I even picked up a couple of direct advertisers and saw some spikes in affiliate payouts. Photography has been fairly even too — a couple of small sales plus a signed print.

So I don’t get terribly stressed out when I have to step back from my hobbies for a while… they seem to just keep going on their own at some moderate level. Of course, by taking time off, I’m not growing these hobbies. My goal is to eventually make a decent income from blogging and/or photography so I can decide if it’s a viable career path, but engineering is my primary career and money maker right now.

LESSONS FOR MY FELLOW HOBBYISTS

Most of you can probably relate to having photography as a hobby/passion. And most of you can relate to having ups and downs in your life.

So when you find yourself short on time, don’t sweat the small stuff. Photography shouldn’t come before the really important things, like your family or your job. Even if you have a lot of followers on a blog or on Flickr, most of them will still be around when you get back to it.

And taking a bit of a break from time to time might not be a bad thing. I’m getting to the point where I really want to get back into things — shoot some photos, get the darkroom up and running, post some stuff on the blogs. If you feel obligated to pursue your hobbies in rough times, they’re not fun any more.

Of course, it’s a different story for those making a significant income from photography and/or blogging. They don’t have the same luxury of choice — it is an obligation. As a hobbyist, be happy that you can choose where to spend your free time.

This is getting drawn out, so I’ll end it there. My big message here, is that I’m still alive and I plan on continuing with the photography and the blogging. I’ll be too busy for these hobbies from time to time, but I’m still around.

Capture Your Passion in a Paycheck: Promising Careers for Photographers

[tweetmeme]This guest article was written by Ellen Berry, a member of the BrainTrack writing staff. She writes about a variety of job and career related topics.

It’s hard to find photographers who aren’t passionate about what they do. Perhaps it is the boundless potential of what can be done with photography – and the images that it captures – that inspires such enduring interest. Used to create art, document details or tell a story, photography is both an artistic and scientific medium – unlike any other.

But there are so many ways that photography is used – in almost any industry and location – and it can be hard to choose which career or careers are best suited for you.

Careers in Photography

Now more than any time in history, images are used to make money. Trends in innovative design, documentation methods, diagnostic approaches, and Web-based services combine with technological advancements in camera equipment and image processing to create an ever-increasing demand for skilled photographers. Industries that rely on photographers to conduct business, and the careers within them, include:


My camera makes an ideal travel companion, and taking photos that I plan to sell allows me to write off expenses from my trip.

News / Publishing – still photography is used in combination with multimedia to record and present what is seen by the photographer

  • Editorial photography used to illustrate stories in magazines and books in print or online
  • Photojournalism for newspapers and news websites
  • Paparazzi candid photography of celebrities and newsworthy figures
  • Teaching photojournalism students

Fine Arts / Craftsmanship – producing original works of art using artistic techniques for display, production and sale

  • Fine arts photography for exhibition, commission and print sales of frameable art; includes still life, abstract, portrait, documentary, nature, botanical, and landscape
  • Crafts photography for creating pieces of art sold as crafts or used to create art pieces such as fashion accessories, tableware, giftware, etc.
  • Teaching of artistic techniques and use of camera equipment

Learning graphic design changed the way I take photos – now more than just to capture an image, photography allows me to create the foundation for a final product.

Scientific – used in scientific research and applied sciences, business, military, and the arts

  • Medical photography for keeping medical records, publishing journal articles, and diagnostic purposes
  • Forensic photography to aid in investigations and courtroom cases by accurately reproducing a scene of a crime or accident; black and white, infrared, and spectroscopy may be used
  • Astrophotography to record astronomical objects and large areas of sky and space
  • Aerial and satellite photography for use in the archaeological, geophysical, and cartographic sciences
  • Stereophotogrammetry used in archeology to combine photos to create mosaics which document and reproduce large areas. Equipment uses satellite GPS technology to map specified areas
  • Geologic photography for surveying, mapping, and documenting rocks, minerals, and formations
  • Photomacrography and photomicrography for capturing magnified images through lenses or microscopes
  • Infrared, ultraviolet, fluorescence, and high-speed photography, and thermography for capturing unseen scientific elements or processes
  • Industrial photography for documenting equipment, production processes, work organization, employees, products, and layout for administrative or industrial relations use
  • Teaching scientific photography techniques and use of camera equipment

I try to keep things simple by taking pictures of my jewelry on my kitchen table using household knick knacks and natural lighting.

Commercial / Industrial – used to create images (as compared to works of art) for sale

  • Stock photography for creating collections of photos sold in catalogs or online that are purchased for use in brochures, websites, magazines, posters, etc.
  • Advertising photography for illustrating and presenting products; used by marketing departments and ad agencies
  • Fashion and glamour photography for taking pictures of clothing designs or products presented by models, or the models themselves
  • Restaurant / food photography for use in packaging, advertising, magazines, and websites
  • Real estate photography presenting the structure and decor of commercial buildings and private homes for sale or rent; includes 360 degree panoramas
  • Event photography for ceremonies, parties, conferences, and promoted events
  • Studio / portrait photography for families and individuals, pets, school pictures, and headshots for performers
  • Teaching of commercial photography techniques and use of camera equipment

Underwater photography is used in many of these industries, and uses special equipment to capture images that cannot be captured by standard camera equipment.

Choosing a Photography Career

Most careers in photography require a combination of creativity, knowledge of specialized photographic equipment, specific knowledge of the relevant industry, a keen eye, patience, and the ability to travel frequently and carry equipment. Some jobs in dangerous situations require courage and risk. Many photographers are self-employed (so business training is essential) and expected to own their own equipment. Additional considerations when choosing a photography career include:

  1. Building a portfolio

    Even before you know what industries or kinds of photography interest you, start taking photos. In every aspect of your life, look for ways that you can try different camera equipment, take photos of different subjects, experiment with techniques, and create pieces for your portfolio. Challenge yourself to tell stories with images, capture telling moments, make objects look aesthetically irresistible, and portray commonplace things in uncommon ways. Nothing is more important in photography than being able to demonstrate your talent and skill.

  2. Exploring careers

    Start with an assessment of your current interests and skills – perhaps with the use of career tests and books, or career counseling. Consider which industries (like real estate or news) elicit a deep interest in you and offer lots of areas for discovery, and then become familiar with the details of the various kinds of photography careers relevant to those industries. Research blogs and websites about different kinds of photographers and their careers. Find successful photographers and ask if you can shadow them on the job, or apprentice with them, to get practical experience. Check out the many professional associations for different fields of photography. Be sure to include the creative, technical, and business sides of photography in your exploration.


  3. When taking stock photo images, I try to think of all the ways the image might be used – by graphic designers or administrative assistants in specific industries for use on websites, in brochures or presentations, etc.

    Identifying complementary careers

    Once you’ve identified three primary areas of interest, consider how you can combine them. By developing skills and knowledge in complementary areas, you create a unique skillset that distinguishes you from the competition, and establishes a wide foundation for career growth and stability. For example, knowing how to use Adobe Photoshop and other post-processing programs, scanners, and graphic design techniques can infinitely enhance your skills and hireability. Adding formal training in marketing, business, science, food photography, or fashion are examples of ways to further increase your earning potential.

  4. Personal branding

    As early as possible, begin to consider yourself as a marketable commodity when it comes to your career. Consider becoming self-employed (even if you are working or in school full time) as soon as you’ve identified your career path, since becoming a sole-proprietor is easy, usually free or low cost, and can provide tax benefits and support your business learning. Keep in mind that your presence online, in addition to in-person, reflects your personal brand so be sure to put your best foot forward when networking and interacting through social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

  5. Gaining skills

    Having identified a career path that appeals to you enough to warrant formal training, compare different options for learning. Photography programs are readily available through four-year colleges and vocational schools, both on-campus and online. College degree programs for photographers are usually in the fine arts, and can vary in length from two to six years. Any program should be accredited through the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the United States Department of Education (USDE).

Ellen Berry is a member of BrainTrack’s writing staff, and contributes regularly to BrainTrack’s Career Planning Guide, which features additional articles about developing career goals, matching passions with careers, and job searching.