Tag Archives: PhotoBlog

Link Roundup 05-23-2010

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

Link Roundup 04-15-2010

Say Hi to the New Photography Blogs

Ronald Waves
Creative Commons License photo credit: ***Karen

I recently posted some tips for starting a new photography blog and I asked any new bloggers to promote their sites. I had actually expected more of a response, but we did get a few chiming in with their links (similar situation to the recent Twitter post… *hint, *hint). Is nobody blogging anymore? Or is everybody already blogging?!

At any rate, I thought it would be cool to give a shout to the new kids on the block and offer up some encouragement in their early days. Keep at it, you guys — your future returns will be proportional to the effort you put in now.

[tweetmeme]And for those new bloggers who didn’t drop a link… sorry! You missed the boat! That’s blogging for ya — be fast and get lucky.

Be sure to check out a few of these new blogs — you might like what you see (and you never know who will be the next “big thing” in the photography blogging community). Some of them strive to become a community pillar, others post for fun, and others are just exploring the whole blog thing. Whatever their reason may be, click through and see what they’re up to (a rush of new visitors is a huge source of encouragement for new bloggers).

My feed reader is almost filled to the brim, but I found several of these blogs worth adding to my list of follows. So, really… check ‘em out and welcome them to the community.

Tips for Starting a New Photography Blog

Rocket Launch Sequence
Creative Commons License photo credit: Zoramite

Blogging about photography and photo blogging are great ways to improve yourself as a photographer, give back to the community, make new friends and contacts, and express yourself. Not every photographer is interested in starting a blog, but I’m sure there are a few of you out there.

[tweetmeme]Epic Edits is getting to be an “old man” in the blogosphere (over 3 years running!), but I’ve recently launched a new blog (FeelingNegative.com) and I was reminded of all the things that new bloggers have to deal with. As I prepared this new blog for entry into the Web, I found myself making decisions based on my experience here at Epic Edits. Some of these decisions are not so obvious to folks with no prior blogging experience, so I’ve written down a few thoughts to consider if you’re planning to start a photography blog or photo blog.

HAVE A CONCEPT

Start 3 months before launch.

  • Identify some specific audience that you can relate to.
  • Find untapped opportunities and niches.
  • Blog about what you know and shoot.
  • Blog about what you want to learn.

That last point is a big deal. Teaching others about photography or displaying your work to a growing audience will force you to learn and grow at an accelerated rate.

PLAN PROFUSELY

Day 41:What's on your mind?
Creative Commons License photo credit: L S G

Start 2.5 months before launch.

  • Identify your overall site message or theme.
  • Think of possible site names that fit your theme.
  • Choose a blogging platform: WordPress.org, WordPress.com, Drupal, Blogger, etc.
  • Look for possible themes and styles (but don’t pick one yet).
  • Determine a posting frequency that you can keep up with.

Again, the last point is important. Blogging takes a lot of time on a regular schedule, so don’t assume that you can hit 3 posts per day with 1 hour of work. Just be realistic.

OUTLINE THE STRUCTURE

Start 2 months before launch.

  • Lay out 3-5 main topics/genres (should be vastly unique).
  • Use sub-topics to further separate content.
  • List several theoretical post topics/titles for each category.
  • Evaluate the outline and refine the structure.

Getting the site structure is key — you don’t want to be reorganizing a bunch of posts or photos a year down the road because you failed to plan ahead. Of course, leave yourself room to expand the categories and sub-categories.

TECHNICAL STUFF

Start 1.5 months before launch.

  • Set up your platform and theme.
  • Find and install useful plugins and widgets (depending on platform).
  • Do some customization… graphics, colors, etc.

If you’re not familiar with blogging platforms, this might take some time to figure out. In that case, keep it simple and choose a platform that works for you. Otherwise, use what you know!

WRITE, WRITE, WRITE

Start 1 month before launch.

  • Write 2-3 articles for each main category (so about 10 total).
  • Proof, edit, and improve your articles.
  • Test your platform, theme, and plugins with the articles you’ve written.

After you write the articles, check out your site and make sure things are displaying correctly and linking up the way they should. You should be just about finished tweaking the site at this point.

START THE SOCIAL ENGINES

BMX Engine
Creative Commons License photo credit: chilsta

Start .5 months before launch.

  • Get on Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, etc. Find 2 or 3 that you like.
  • Leave out site links if you want to launch the site on a specific date.
  • Connect with other bloggers and photographers in your niche.
  • Invite a few friends to get the site going on launch date.

Social media can be a great source for spreading the word, but use these communities as a sincere participant — pure self-promo is considered spamming in many circles.

PRE-LAUNCH ANNOUNCEMENT

Start 1 week before launch.

  • Post 5+ of your pre-written articles, pull remaining into draft for post-launch.
  • Make the site viewable to the public (if you were using an “under construction” plugin).
  • Contact friends and fellow bloggers for a preview (and tell them the launch date).
  • Take a break! You’ve put in a bunch of work, so take a breather before things kick off.

If you’ve done your homework and spent the time to make a few contacts in the blogospere, you should have a few friends willing to give a hand with the launch party. Just don’t push too hard for promotion and try to connect with other bloggers and photographers on your level. The “big dogs” get a lot of “check out my new site” emails every day, so don’t expect them to act on every single one (they’re not being rude, they’re just trying to keep up with their own affairs).

LAUNCH ANNOUNCEMENT

This is the big day!

  • Make it official and mention your new baby every chance you get!
  • Remind the previewers that today is the big day for you.
  • Watch for comments and stats — this is the exciting part of early blogging, so enjoy it.

Site launches are always different than what you expect, so don’t expect anything and just enjoy the ride. You might get a flood of visitors and you might get a dozen. Just stick with the plan and the word will get out eventually as long as you have something interesting to say or show.

POST-LAUNCH

Weeks after launch.

  • Publish on pre-set schedule and try to stick with it.
  • Seek promo opportunities: guest blogging, links in social profiles, etc.
  • Announce your social extensions on the blog so new visitors can connect with you.
  • Accept feedback on your work and make an effort to improve your blog.
  • Refine your schedule, focus, and intent. Keep an open mind to change.

It can take months to grow into a new blog, so don’t give up after two weeks if you don’t have 5,000 visitors and 50 comments per day. Your blog will grow at a rate proportional to the effort you put into it, but even the best bloggers started at the bottom and worked their way up.

FIND YOUR GROOVE

Months after launch.

  • Split your time between writing, interacting, and promoting.
  • Reach out to other niche bloggers with links and mentions from your site.
  • Give, give, give… and take very little. Blogging is about giving, not taking.
  • Re-evaluate the plan frequently, make sure you’re on track with your goals and ambitions.

Blogging is like playing the stock market — you have your ups and downs. Sometimes it’s your fault, sometimes it’s just how things go. Get into a groove and find your place among the community. Get to know your readers and other bloggers in your niche.

HAVE FUN WITH IT

Blogging and photo-blogging is a rewarding experience if you have the right attitude. Give it some time, share your knowledge and your artwork, participate, build the community, and have fun with it.

Anybody out there thinking of starting up a new photography blog, photo blog, or personal blog? How about the new bloggers on the block? Where are you guys? Throw out some links in the comments if you just started a blog within the last few months. And for you seasoned bloggers, what other tips do you have for starting a blog?

New Fine Art Photobloggers… Coming Soon

For the last several weeks, current members of the Fine Art Photoblog plus one special guest have been voting, discussing, voting again, picking, and choosing from a pool of 44 portfolios in search of a few new artists. The process has admittedly taken longer than anticipated due to the large number of high quality portfolios and in part due to the international nature of our team (we’re all on wildly different time zones).

The selected photographers will be announced no later than Monday, June 30. The Fine Art Photoblog team is currently preparing the announcements and a press release so that our new additions can get the welcome they deserve. Rather than just make a quick announcement about the new photographers, we’d like to make a lot of noise and get these folks off to a running start.

To those anticipating the final results of this whole thing, we appreciate your ongoing patience and support.

Last Call for Fine Art Photoblog Portfolios

The deadline for portfolio entries is end of day June 2 (that’s today!). If you’re interested in becoming a part of the Fine Art Photoblog, get some photos together quick and submit the link with the form provided on the official announcement page. And don’t forget to check out some of the portfolios already entered — we’ve got over 30 artists in the mix and a good deal of them are very good.

Enter Your Fine Art Portfolio

Fine Art Photoblog Opens the Door to New Photographers

I’ve been hinting at this for about a week, but it’s now official. The Fine Art Photoblog will be accepting portfolios for review in search of one or two new photographers to join us. Before you get too excited, be sure to read this entire post and soak in everything that we’re asking for.

Back in December, I posted the first call for portfolios. We had 30 people submit their work, vote on each other, and 6 of the top photographers were accepted. By early February, we had finished building and testing the site and we had a hugely successful site launch thanks to the help of many people in our community. OK, so that’s the history in case you missed it a few months back.

And now we’re doing it again. But this time, we’ll only be bringing on a few new photographers to supplement our existing team. We’re looking for upcoming artists who want to gain exposure for themselves while contributing to something larger.

WHAT WE’LL EXPECT FROM YOU

Before we even talk about portfolio guidelines, we want to bring up a few thoughts about what is expected of a “Fine Art Photoblogger”. We don’t require many things, but we’re very passionate about the guidelines we do set. Here are some basic commitments you can expect within the group:

  • Post at least one new photo per week.
  • Have the ability to sell unsigned prints on your own via “print on demand”.
  • Have the ability to produce signed (and optionally) limited edition works.
  • Participate in our private forum by bringing up issues, voicing opinions, etc.
  • Come up with new ways to market the site and put the plans into action.
  • Plan on sticking to it for at least 12 to 18 months.
  • Be a team player and treat the website as an equal share democracy.

If you’re still interested in being part of the team, read on.

HOW WE’LL RUN THIS SHOW

This time around will be a bit different from the first time. Portfolios will be accepted for a period of two weeks from now (DEADLINE: June 2). The seven of us at the Fine Art Photoblog will judge the portfolios alongside a few guest judges. Then we’ll bring in the selected photographers as outlined by the “Break-In” period. Here’s the basic rundown:

  • You submit portfolios
  • We select up to 2 photographers
  • The new photographers will be “broken-in”
  • If everything works out, they stay
  • If not, they don’t

We know it’s a little different from the first portfolio review, but the site is in a different place too. So if you’re alright with the terms so far, read on.

ABOUT THE “BREAK-IN” PERIOD

Maybe this sounds bad, but it’s just something intended to protect the photoblog and those already involved with it. After some discussion, we all decided that the following plan would be best for any new photographers brought into the website. If you are selected to join us, here’s the process you can expect to go through:

  • You will post 3 photos under a guest account. This will help us evaluate how well you fit in with the blog.
  • After your first post, you’ll be brought into the private forum. We’ll then be evaluating your interactions with the other photographers and getting a feel for your level of commitment to the site.
  • After your 3 photos are posted and you’ve been active with the forum, the seven of us will decide if it’s right to bring you on full time.
  • If you’re asked to join, we’ll make you a full account on the blog and transfer ownership of your 3 photos to your account. You’ll also get an email address and we’ll add your contact information and bio to the website.

I know, it’s probably a bit like a hazing period with a fraternity, but it’s just to give us some options in case things don’t work out. So if this still sounds like something you want to do, read on.

AND ABOUT THOSE PORTFOLIOS

We’re going to be a little more strict with the portfolio entries this time around too. If portfolios don’t meet the requirements outlined here, they won’t be considered for review. In addition to some general portfolio guidelines, here are the requirements:

  • A maximum of 20 photos, and a minimum of 10 photos.
  • The photos must be your own work and should represent you as an artist.
  • Must be accessible in the form of a web address — don’t send us loose photos.

That’s it really… just a small set of photos. We’re limiting to 20 photos because we may end up with more than 30 portfolios for review — even at 30, that’s 600 photos that all of us have to review.

Once the portfolios have been reviewed, I’ll post all the entries we have this time around — that way everybody can see some other portfolios and see all the great work. We’ll also announce the photographers who will begin their trial period.

SUBMIT YOUR PORTFOLIO HERE

DEADLINE: June 2

UPDATE: The entry form has been closed and portfolios are no longer being accepted. Keep an eye out for the results in the days to come!

CURRENT PORTFOLIO ENTRIES

Radially

Radially

Brian Auer | 03/08/2008 | Venice Beach, CA | 75mm * f/4.0 * 1/60s * ISO100
[Print Pricing] [Contact for Signed Prints] [See it at Flickr]

This was shot using all natural light (it was in the shade on a very sunny day) and the camera was handheld with a 50mm lens. This plant caught my attention as I walked the canals of Venice, California — it was along the sidewalk behind the houses. The pattern was so very strong, and the colors so deep that I couldn’t pass it up. The water droplets on the plant were just icing on the cake.

Radially Post-Processing

  1. Unprocessed RAW
    Straight out of the camera — untouched.
  2. Processed RAW
    I did a few basic adjustments to get the white balance correct and to bring up the contrast and saturation. Nothing very extreme though.
  3. Dodge & Burn
    Here, I used non-destructive dodging and burning techniques to really make the contrast stand out where I wanted it.
  4. LAB Saturation
    Using the technique I outlined previously for boosting saturation via LAB color mode, I strengthened the greens that are so inherently present.
  5. High Pass Sharpen
    I used a very subtle sharpening by running the high pass filter and setting the blend to overlay at 50% opacity.

As you can see, lots of little changes really add up from start to finish.

Link Roundup 03-08-2008

More great stuff this week from the World Wide Web! As always, I’m constantly amazed with the things people are publishing on a daily basis. Here’s what caught my attention this week.