Monthly Archives: January 2008

WRITING PROJECT: Social Photography

Photography has become a very social pastime with the uprise of digital cameras, the Internet, and photo-sharing websites. Photographers from all around the world are sharing their work, viewing the work of others, and making connections with people they would have otherwise never met. It’s an amazing thing how social networking and photography have almost merged into one big culture: Social Photography.

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

  • Write a post on a blog and share your experience with social photography websites. See below for more details and examples.
  • Go to the form at the bottom of this page and send me your name, email (kept private), and link to your project entry. If you don’t have your own blog, you can always ask to write a guest post on one of the many photography blogs out there.
  • Once I collect the links from the participants I’ll publish them on my blog. You can then write another post and link to either all or only your favorite articles by other bloggers.
  • Limit one article per author for this particular project. You are more than welcome to visit other participating blogs hosting projects dedicated to other social media sites and take part in those projects (I’ll explain more below).

DEADLINE: MARCH 22, 2008

This project is actually part of a larger project being termed “The Social Media Mega Project“. InspirationBit is hosting the mega-project, and I’m hosting a small portion of this project on photography related websites. Several other bloggers are hosting similar mini-projects to fill the gaps in the mega-project. These projects span the following topics:

So if you can offer up your experience in any of those social sites listed above, feel free to visit the project pages and participate.

WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT…

As photographers we have a lot of options when it comes to social-based websites. We have the photo-sharing sites like Flickr and Zooomr. We have social media sites like photographyVoter and PictPicture. Then we also have some interactive sites like photophlow. Simply pick your favorite social site and choose a topic to write about that you feel comfortable with.

This topic could be how you integrate this social media site into your blogging, photography, or daily life. You could tell us about your good or bad experiences, how would you compare this social networking site with others, what do you like or don’t like about it, how you benefit from becoming a frequent user of this site, what secrets have you learned about it, and/or what tips or warnings would you like to inform others about. It can really be anything related to that site — just share what you know.

As a couple of examples right here from the archives of Epic Edits, Martin has already written about his Top 10 Flickr Hacks, and I’ve written about Flickr Etiquette. I’ll actually be following up soon with a new article on photophlow, how to use it, what it can be used for, and the benefits of using it.

So start thinking about those social pholography sites that you use, and put together your thoughts on how you can share your experience with other photographers.

PROJECT ENTRY FORM

Sorry folks, the deadline for project submissions is over. Stay tuned for the project results on the 24th.

PhotoDump 01-20-2008

Yet another great week of photos from the Flickr Pool! We had another try with using photophlow to get through the photos. We had so many photos to get through that I had to cut it short after 4 hours. I think we’ll need to split it into two days if we continue to use it. This week, we also had everybody vote on the photos to decide which ones show up in the PhotoDump. I think that worked out pretty well, but a real voting system would be much nicer. I’ll talk more on this subject later, for now check out the photos we picked.

,,, (1 of 1)o'erflowing glassempty spacewhere bluebirds flyHiddeLorrypassive rebuildWe Support Our TroopsGondolaPlay with meIMG_9495Game, set & matchsprayer's crime sceneRailroad RomanceKuromameMissing Rungs*a stop in heaven along the wayLightsnotre dameLittle Big Rockwarp speed 3Lucha Librecustom-cabten20080113_120052_Flowers_and_Fountain_D3__3975-1Fifteen Miles Of HazeNinelouvreWindmill's of my mind!Manifriends Chelsea Beach 080114January Challenge: Over the Footbridge (Jan 14)La PalmaThe last stand!The Closed DoorMavericks Surf Contest 2008 - Greg Long & Jamie Sterlingfuture of atomic mistakes 2 of 2White Tail FawnMatt_Boyle_077a touch of sunnot friends, you and i, not friendsWilsona fast escaperusty bellies sunsetHeaven Hammer (Missing)Dye in the MilkCuatro ramitas en la arenaStippich Stairs

Birthday Gift #7 – Free Web Hosting

The seventh birthday gift for our one-year party will be 3 months of free web hosting provided by Top Hosting Center, and instigated by our buddy Antoine. Here’s what they’re offering up for one raffle winner:

Top Hosting Center Logo
  • 10 GB HDD Space
  • 10 GB Bandwidth
  • 10 MySQL
  • 10 Domains
  • 10 Sub-Domains
  • 10 Emails
  • 10 FTP Users
  • NO Free Domain Name

This could be a great way to get yourself started with a new website to test the waters. If you find out that websites are too much hassle or if it’s just not your thing, at least it didn’t cost you any hosting money!

SO REMEMBER…

If you want in on this one for the raffle, leave a comment on this post with the phrase “FREE HOSTING” in the comment somewhere. And don’t forget that every comment you make for the entire month of January (on any post) will count as a raffle entry for this and the other giveaways.

Also, check the main Birthday Party page to see all of the prizes being offered. And if you have a prize you’d like to give away for the birthday party, let me know!

Link Roundup 01-19-2008

PROJECTS

  • Revisit and Retouch
    CameraPorn
    There’s not much time left on this one, but you still have a chance to get in on it. Inspired by a previous Epic Edits project, Ryan is asking his readers to process a photo from his archives. So give it a shot, I’m curious to see what other people come up with. I’m still working on my entry.

READING MATERIAL

  • Are 14-bit Raw Images Really Any Better Than 12-bit Raw?
    Earthbound Light
    From the earliest days of raw file capture with digital cameras, they have always been 12-bits per pixel. Now both the Nikon D300 and D3, as well as the Canon 40D can do 14-bit raw captures. But since 14-bit files are bigger, are they really any better?
  • DIY Flash and Lighting Hacks for Digital Photographers
    digital Photography School
    Most of us can’t afford a full lighting rig – however what if there was a way to experiment with the type of lighting gear that pro photographers use without spending too much money? What if you could make it yourself.
  • “Best Photos From 2007″ by JMG-Galleries Blog Readers
    JMG-Galleries
    29 photographers from around the globe show off their self-chosen best photos from the year of 2007.
  • A Proposal for the Creative Commons
    Dan Heller’s Photography Business Blog
    A proposal to require CC-users to register themselves, thus adding a layer of trust (and complexity) to the whole system.
  • Saving About $50 On a Bounce Flash
    Digital ProTalk
    David shows us a neat little DIY project for flash lighting accessories.
  • How to Create Bokeh in Your Photos
    Beyond Megapixels
    Great introduction and overview for working with and achieving bokeh (background blur).
  • Guitars for Sale
    The Image Crucible
    A well-done critique of one of my photos… though, it’s not exactly one of my better photos (the critic chose it, not me). Regardless, I’ve been reading the Image Crucible for several weeks now, and the author does a VERY good job at providing a well thought out and informative critique.
  • Video of the Week — Sorry, no video this week.

Photophlow Round Two, Who’s With Me?

photophlow badge

Last week’s photophlow experiment was fairly successful. We had a good group of people show up to view and talk about the images in our Flickr pool. The downside to the meeting was that it took almost 4 hours to get through 170 images. It was a touch too long, so I want to try this again and maybe refine our process. This one will be a little more structured, and hopefully it will be even more educational and entertaining for everybody involved.

8AM PST (GMT-8), SUNDAY JANUARY 20

Again, I’ll try to show up a little early (as long as Flickr doesn’t decide to turn the lights off for half a day again). I’ve switched the date and time to accommodate those who couldn’t make it last time, so we’ll probably see a different group hanging out with us. And to make things more productive, here are some ideas to keep us moving along through he photos.

  • I CONTROL THE PHOTOS
    The photophlow team is working on a “slideshow” mode to basically force everybody into private mode (thus not displaying images to the group when they are clicked on by other members). It gets too crazy if everybody is clicking on their own stuff while we’re trying to go through the photos in the pool, so if you want to check something else out set yourself to private mode so you don’t disturb the group.
  • BE FAST TO COMMENT
    If I see a dead silence for more than about 10 seconds, we’re moving on to the next image. If you want to discuss an image, get that first comment out there quickly. Photophlow is fast-paced, so don’t hold up the show.
  • BE FAST TO MOVE ON
    It’s easy to get caught up discussing a single photo for 5 or 10 minutes, but try to limit the discussion so the group can move forward. If you want to make comments on the Flickr photo, open it up in another window or tab and come back to it later.
  • WHISPER NON-RELATED CHATTER
    Use the whisper function if you want to have a side conversation with somebody else in the room. Too many conversations happening at the same time results in a lot of confusion, especially after you have about 15 people in the room.
  • BE OPEN, BUT BE NICE
    It’s fine to say that you don’t like a particular photo, but it doesn’t add much to the discussion. Offer up the things that you like about it, and discuss the elements that you think might improve the photo. This is where a lot of the learning takes place — when everybody offers their perspectives in a non-threatening manner. As a rule of thumb, just assume that the person who took the photo is in the room with you.
  • YOU PICK THE PHOTODUMP PHOTOS
    I’d like to see if I can get you guys to do some of the work and actually pick out the photos for the PhotoDump by voting. Here’s what I propose: When I “/ponder”, you “/approve” if you want the photo to be included. DO NOT “/disapprove” if you don’t like it — that’ll just make the votes harder to count quickly. I’ll let the voting go for about 10 to 15 seconds, then we’re moving on to the next photo.
  • HAVE FUN AND LEARN
    Don’t forget to have fun. If you break “the rules” by accident, it’s not the end of the world. Just have fun and be courteous — everything will work out fine.

As the photophlow team continues to develop the application, this little meet-up should get easier. Not only are they working on the presentation mode, but they’re also talking about developing a voting system of sorts. The main idea right now is to get in there and help us figure out how to best utilize photophlow. If there’s enough interest in certain features, the guys behind the website are very receptive to input and feedback. You could actually help shape the outcome of photophlow.

So let’s give this thing another shot this weekend, and we’ll fine tune it from there. In the near future, we might need to split this up into two sessions due to the amount of photos submitted to the pool each week. Not only that, but a set schedule should result in more participants so people can plan ahead. So who’s showing up this Sunday?

Birthday Gift #5 – A Free .com Domain

The fifth Birthday Gift will not be a kidney (sorry to disappoint, Phill). Actually, Antoine Khater from All Day I Dream About Photography is offering up a one year .com domain name registration for the birthday raffle. What could you do with a domain name? Maybe you could start up that website you’ve had in the back of your mind. You could join the ranks of photography bloggers and photobloggers, or maybe you could start up a blog on a totally different topic. Heck, you could even get your own name if somebody else hasn’t done so already.

It seems like everybody has a website of sorts nowadays, so why not join in? Or if you have, and you’re like me, you could always find a use for another domain name… I think I’m up to six or seven of them now (although not all of them are being used).

SO REMEMBER…

If you want in on this one for the raffle, leave a comment on this post with the phrase “FREE DOMAIN” in the comment somewhere. And don’t forget that every comment you make for the entire month of January (on any post) will count as a raffle entry for this and the other giveaways.

Also, check the main Birthday Party page to see all of the prizes being offered. And if you have a prize you’d like to give away for the birthday party, let me know!

ADIDAP is Down, But Antoine is OK

Antoine is fast becoming a friend of mine, and he’s having a bit of an issue with his photography blog at the moment… actually, with his host. And it may be terminal. I know some of you read his blog, so I just wanted you guys to be aware that he’s fully aware (and a little ticked off). So think happy thoughts, and let’s hope for a successful revival so we can get back to reading his stuff.

UPDATE: Antoine’s site is back up and running! Glad to hear he didn’t lose any information.

Railroad Romance

Railroad Romance

Rich Legg | 09/11/2007 | Unknown Location | 104mm * f/5.0 * 1/250s * ISO100
[See it at LeggNet’s Digital Capture] [See it at Flickr]

This week’s photoblog is a special edition. The photo isn’t mine, but it’s one that I processed. Rich Legg ran a small project by calling photoshoppers out to process one of his untouched photos. I barely squeaked my way in by being the fifth one to contact him. I won’t go into all of the details on why I processed this image the way I did, because I’ve already done so on the project results page over at Rich’s blog — so go definitely check it out!

Railroad Romance Post-Processing

  1. Original JPEG
    Here’s what the full-sized JPEG image straight out of the camera looked like.
  2. Processed RAW
    I didn’t do much processing in ACR on this one. Auto Exposure settings with slight adjustments. And I cropped it way down (for reasons mentioned on Rich’s blog). I also cloned out the rock in the bottom right corner.
  3. Curves Adjustment Layer
    I brought up the contrast a little with an “S” curve to start things off.
  4. Channel Mixer Adjustment Layer
    I ran the channel mixer with 34% red, 66% green, and the output set to Monochrome. This made a black and white image, but I then set the blend mode to Overlay and reduced the opacity to 80%.
  5. Saturation Adjustment Layer
    I reduced the saturation by bringing the level down to -35 and leaving the Hue and Lightness alone at zero.
  6. Photo Filter Adjustment Layer
    I used an LBA Warming Filter set at 35% density to warm up the image. I should have reduced this value for web output because the web browsers tend to show things slightly oversaturated, but this is how I sent the file back to Rich.

Enjoy!

Birthday Gift #4 – My First Photobook

If you thought one photo was a fun idea for a birthday present, then how about 25!? Prior to Christmas, I put together a photo book of my favorite photos and sent a few of them out to my family for the holidays. I had six books printed, and I shipped two of them to myself. I’m keeping one on my bookshelf, and the other one will be shipped off to one of you!

So like I said, this book is one of only six in existence (and I probably won’t be printing anymore). Not only that, but it will be the ONLY signed copy of the book out there — nobody else got the signed version.

Granted, the print quality is not quite at the level of the art print from yesterday, but it’s honestly not bad. I bought the book through Shutterfly, and I was pretty impressed with the overall ease of use, pricing, speed to fill the order, and the very decent quality of the book that arrived.

The book is 8-1/2″ by 11″ and you can see a preview of the contents in the embedded Quicktime movie above (feed readers will probably need to visit the site to see it). You can see that they have several options for layouts, and I didn’t even use a fraction of them. These books are a pretty neat way to gather up a group of your photos and put them all in one place.

SO REMEMBER…

If you want in on this one for the raffle, leave a comment on this post with the phrase “PHOTO BOOK” in the comment somewhere. And don’t forget that every comment you make for the entire month of January (on any post) will count as a raffle entry for this and the other giveaways.

Also, check the main Birthday Party page to see all of the prizes being offered.