Monthly Archives: May 2010

New Feature: Epic Edits Flickr Challenge

[tweetmeme]I’ve been meaning to do this sort of thing for a while, so let’s see if we can get it going. How does a periodic photo challenge sound? You know — I post a topic/subject, you post photos to the Flickr pool, I pick out some good ones to exhibit in a blog post, you become rich and famous (no promises though).

A few other sites and forums do this sort of thing, so why shouldn’t we? Our Flickr group is getting quite large and we have a ton of great photos coming through each day. In addition to the PhotoDumps, I’d like to highlight some specific topics of interest. Here’s what you need to do in order to participate in these “assignments”:

[UPDATE 5/24/2010] This challenge is over and the results have been posted. Check there for the next assignment, or visit the Flickr group page.

CHALLENGE #1: “STREET PHOTOGRAPHY”

FLICKR TAG: “EE-STREET”

Interpret that as you will, it just needs to be in the realm of “street” and “photography”.

  1. JOIN THE EPIC EDITS FLICKR GROUP
    The only way to post photos to the pool is to join the group, so get on there if you’re not already.
  2. POST PHOTOS ON THE CURRENT TOPIC
    Get out and take some new photos, or find some old ones in your archive that relate to the current topic. Put them in the pool, and remember that you’re limited to one per day. Feel free to interpret the topic as you see fit.
  3. TAG YOUR SUBMISSIONS: “EE-STREET”
    I need to have a good way of finding your submissions, so tag them correctly and make sure they’re in the pool.
  4. WAIT FOR THE SELECTIONS
    After a week or two, I’ll pull together some of the best submissions for a featured blog post.
  5. WINNER PICKS THE NEXT TOPIC
    Each round, I’ll pick out my absolute favorite from the bunch and that person will get to choose the next topic.

Submissions to any round can be new photos posted to the pool or old photos that you’ve already posted. Doesn’t matter — just make sure you tag your submissions appropriately. I’m also going to select photos for the post without notice, so don’t wait until the last minute.

Here’s what a selection might look like (these ones are just mine, the real post will come from you guys)…

Over the Can

Black and White

Battling Fuel Prices

Gangsta

Cigar Humor

Big White Boxes

3 Cops

I Poop Little People, Then Ride Away

Mexican Bus Stop

Link Roundup 05-15-2010

Baby & Me Boutique Winners!

First of all, a big thanks to Jill for offering up some great prizes from her shop! By the response we had with this contest, it was a big success.

Another big thanks goes out to all of you participants — I was so glad to see everybody posting photos and commenting about Jill’s products. If you haven’t seen the contest entries yet, go check out the comment section on the previous post.

I always have a hard time picking out winners for photo contests, but this one was considerably more difficult. All those cute babies and kids… so many deserving of a prize. But I could only choose one, and I chose this elegant little doll:

Flower Baby

Congrats to Sharon for this great photo! Downright adorable.

And for the second prize, the raffle goes to Jane for leaving comment #39:

The cocoon & hat combo would be my choice of photography props. I’m just getting started as a baby photographer & would USE it & LOVE it!

So there it is — the winners have been sent off to Jill and she’ll take care of them from here.

But wait… there’s more!

Jill was so thrilled about the response for the contest, she’s offering up a 10% discount just for the readers of Epic Edits. How cool is that? All you have to do is email Jill (via her Etsy shop or womenwhodoitall[at]gmail[dot]com) about the item(s) you want and mention Epic Edits sent you. Awesome — thanks Jill!

VISIT BABY & ME BOUTIQUE

10 Must Have Online Tools for Professional Photographers

[tweetmeme]This guest post is from Melissa Tamura, who writes about online degrees for Zen College Life. She most recently ranked the best online colleges.

Technology advances rapidly, changing many aspects of the way we live and the way we work. Photography is a field where the people working in it feel the touch of evolving science every day. While increasing complexity can often be overwhelming, the benefits far outweigh the obstacles. Perhaps the greatest aid for many shutterbugs is that photography is simpler and less expensive than it has ever been. In order to highlight this point, here are 10 must have online tools for professional photographers, all of them free.

1. The Library of Congress

The Prints & Photographs Reading Room at the Library of Congress website is an amazing free resource for photographers. In addition to an extensive catalog of digital images, the resource boasts webcasts, articles, the Flickr project, and a photographer’s toolbox, which contains too many free photographers tools to itemize here.

2. Getty Images

Getty Images, Inc. is one of the largest suppliers of stock images for businesses and consumers. Their archive includes more than 70 million images and illustration and 30,000+ hours of stock film footage. While the archive is not free to use, it is free to use for inspiration, and Getty Images provides a suite of free tools for photographers and other artists.

3. Sports Shooter

Sports Shooter is a brilliant website that focuses on one of photography’s most challenging arenas. This website is chock full of articles, guides, and tools, and it boasts an impressive workshop and message board community. Even non-sports photographers can take advantage of the skills that they hone there.

4. Photography Blog

The Photography Blog, owned and operated by professional photographer Mark Goldstein, is one of the best free resources available to young photographers. In addition to being a helpful community, they cover everything from techniques to buying guides. Bookmark this one and read it every day.

5. Photojojo

Photojojo is an easily digested website that caters to photo tips and DIY projects. However, the tips aren’t useless one-liners. These are highly useful, focused techniques such as printing your photo to food items, or a simple way to turn a photo into a mural.

6. Digital Photography Review

Digital Photography Review is by far the best free review website for photographers. In addition to their well-respected camera reviews, they offer galleries, a glossary, a great blog, and sample challenges. Never buy a critical piece of photography equipment without checking it here first.

7. About.com

About.com has an immense selection of photography articles. There are options here for all interests and enough material to keep you reading for days. More importantly, unlike many free photography websites, there’s no need to worry about the sources.

8. SmugMug

SmugMug doesn’t share Flickr’s notoriety but it does offer all of the same benefits with a few extras. These extras include online editing, sharing, and a suite of HD tools. They also allow you an unlimited amount of photos without spam or ads all free. This is guaranteed to become one of the top free photography services you rely on.

9. Photo.net

Photo.net is the largest and most diverse community of photographers on the web. In addition to the forums, Photo.net has tons of tools, articles, reviews and galleries. The community is international so it is active around the clock. It’s also a great opportunity to have one’s work critiqued, and you get amazingly fast responses to legitimate problems.

10. Digital Photography Magazine

Digital Photography Magazine is the premier online magazine in addition to being the premier print magazine. Everything they publish online is free, and the quality is on par with everything they publish in the print. All professional photographers should make it a point to stop here every day.

Leverage these tools to capture and create amazing images, and share your newfound knowledge with the world. However, remember that these top choices are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to free online tools for the professional photographer. Keep your eyes peeled. You never know what might come into view.

Melissa Tamura writes about online degrees for Zen College Life. She most recently ranked the best online colleges.

[from Brian] What are some other useful online tools for professional photographers? I know we have a few pros out there, I’d love to hear from you guys.

Wix Has a New Photography Blog

[tweetmeme]I was recently informed that one of our sponsors started up a photography blog of their very own! It looks like they have a few posts over the last few months, but I believe that they “officially” launched just a few days ago.

They appear to be off to a good start with some educational articles scattered among their “Photo of the Day” series (great photo submissions from the readers). Aside from the photo posts, they have article categories such as Photographer Zoom, Photography How-To’s, Small Business Toolkit, and Designing with Wix.

I’m also happy to see that Epic Edits is listed in their “Blogs We Love” section on the sidebar. And we’re in good company by the looks of the other characters in that list. So get over there and check out the new Wix Photography Blog.

WIX PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG

PhotoDump 05-12-2010

More great stuff from the Epic Edits Flickr Pool! This selection of photos is from those entered in the pool between 04/18/2010 and 05/11/2010.

Tiny Disco Balls by shandopicsShinedown @ House of Blues (Twisted) by Tasha {Redwall Photo :: Music}Suspended For Belief by Devansh <On a Hiatus>1*2*9=18/365 by JiuckSinister House by jumpinjimmyjava - iKIVA .... you can KIVA too by BadrSPortraits :: Char by Tasha {Redwall Photo} by magf by Mathias.Pastwafields by rince_77Amazing Portrait of Merunisha Peel by Brian AuerDay 154 - Bokeh Shoes by somedesignerguyFinding My Way by shandopicsBailey Auer 1 by Brian AuerDay 303: The Birthday Girl by poopooramaBike World by Jeff KreulenWith an Imperialist RGBSight, Comrade by Darth KrakenOne Small Human in BIG WORLD by robinn.whisper... by sam_samantha_MG_7808.jpg by BrianLarterTwo sides of a story by kristinssonInfinite Tranquillity by thefatcat44 (Doug Chinnery) by BadrSDay 283: Birthday Bitch by __multifacetedLamb. Arkansas. by Rex Lisman PhotographyCanyonland Motel by dannyoneSun on the Rocks and Trees by jezza323Black and White by photo_gratistrue by -=regina=-A Roll In A Field by jezza323Envy 1 by Stina Stockholm196/365 - you don't have put on the red light by joshfassbind.comMaría by FacilySencillosullen by Yury TrofimovLa Habana by CdL CreativeGreen Cobra by breischl

Win Photography Props from Baby & Me Boutique

Hi Epic Edits readers. I’m excited to be here and have the chance to introduce myself and my shop. My name is Jill and my shop is called Baby & Me Boutique. I sell a variety of crocheted items, but what I would like to share with you today are my photography props. I make all sorts of fun props for baby photo shoots: cocoons, hammocks, beanies, booties, and more! Many of my products are available in sizes for young children as well.

Good props are an essential for every child photographer. I love photography, although I’ll be the first to admit I’m not that great at it. However, with props like these even I can take a good picture. My props add a creative and professional touch to photos. And in the hands of a true professional (such as the talanted Shanda Leigh who provided the pictures you see here, and many of you I’m sure) they make the most gorgeous photos! Cocoons in particular are a growing trend and I offer several types in my shop.


I truly enjoy making the things I sell, which lets me keep my prices low and feel good about it. I love to see my products go to good use and create beautiful pictures. I hope you’ll stop by and take a peek! http://womenwhodoitall.etsy.com

GIVEAWAY CONTEST DETAILS

[tweetmeme][Brian here] First of all, a big thanks to Jill for offering up some free product to the readers of Epic Edits! She’s offered to give two winners any single item from her shop, so we have two ways that you can enter the contest (you can enter both ways and we’ll pick one winner from each).

DEADLINE: May 13, 2010

  1. POST YOUR BEST BABY/CHILD PHOTO
    Place a photo (or link to a photo) in the comments below of your best baby/child photo. Post only one photo, and it must be your own. This is a judged competition, so post your very best.
  2. TELL US WHICH ITEM YOU LIKE BEST
    Hop over to Jill’s shop and browse through her products. Then leave a comment below telling us which item(s) you like best. The winner will be a random selection (and be sure to leave this as a separate comment if you’re entering a photo too).

So there you go — two ways to enter for a chance at some free props!

“The Contact Sheet” Book Winners

Book Review: The Contact Sheet

Last week, I did a book review of The Contact Sheet and we had a couple of extra copies to give out. A big thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway and helped promote the contest — we had a good number of entries in just a few days.

The winners were chosen randomly, one from the reTweets and one from the comments over at FeelingNegative.com. I contacted both of them last week right after the contest and they both accepted the prize, so that’s that! Here are our winners:

Bill Wolff for the Twitter entry
Marc Hodges for the comment entry

If you didn’t win and you still want a copy of the book, you can buy one directly from AMMO Books or through Amazon.com (affiliate link). For how good the book is, the price is very low and totally worth it.

And stay tuned for more free stuff coming down the pipeline. We have another small contest coming up tomorrow (not for books though… something totally different).

Fine Art Photoblog Opens the Door to Guest Submissions

After several years of posting images exclusively from the “core” photographers of the Fine Art Photoblog, we’ve decided to open things up for guest posts. We get frequent inquiries about joining the blog, so this is a compromise between that and being completely closed off.

If you’d like to see your work featured at the Fine Art Photoblog, visit the “Contribute” page and fill out the form as much as you can. Your form entries will be sent to us via email and we then decide which submissions are appropriate for the blog — not everything sent in will be posted. If you want a feel for the level of quality we’re looking for, visit the archives:

We’re not too picky about subjects or specific content of the image, but we’re more concerned about the quality level and artistic value of it. Is it something that other people might hang on their wall?

And one last thing — it is encouraged that you provide a means for viewers to purchase prints of that particular image (via POD or self printing). One goal of publishing to the Fine Art Photoblog is to sell some prints! (And we don’t even take a cut). So if you’re interested in having your photos posted alongside some other fantastic photographers, check out the links:

NOW ACCEPTING GUEST CONTRIBUTIONS
PHOTO SUBMISSION PAGE

Want Some Free Stuff? DIYPhotography.net Has It!

I try to give out freebies here when I can, but Udi has gone over the top with his latest contest/giveaway! Head over to DIYPhotography.net and check out the giant Bag O’ Goodies that he has up for grabs.

This is a judged photo contest split into three parts. Part 1 has been announced and the topic is “food”.

This will be a three-part assignment. In each part you will be asked to take a picture and submit it to the contest. Here is the thing, you must use one of the techniques portrayed in DIYP to take that picture.

Seriously… check out the prizes that are up for grabs. He’s got over $870 worth of stuff to give out — all very cool stuff.

On a side note, props to Udi for quitting the day job and going “problogger”. He’s doing an awesome job at ramping up the blog, and I’m quite envious.