Tag Archives: photography

Watch PhotoNetCast Live — Tonight!

[tweetmeme]Over at PhotoNetCast, Antonio has been making constant improvements and feature additions to the site. One of the most recent is “PhotoNetCast Live“.

This is a dedicated page on the site that holds a video feed and chat box. So when we’re recording, the video feed will be rolling and you can see/hear the show in real-time. You can also join in the making of each episode by asking questions or making comments in the chat box directly below the video feed.

So if you’re interested in listening to us record the show and seeing our faces, head over to the PhotoNetCast Live page at 9PM PST tonight. Again, the next show will be recorded at:

9PM PST (11PM CST), September 23, 2010

Swing by tonight and say hello if you’re a fan of the show.

A Preview of “Shooting Robert King”

I was contacted by Media Junction the other day about an upcoming documentary video on war photographer Robert King. Here’s a brief overview:

At times war photographer Robert King resembles a heroic misfit straight out of the pages of Scoop, thrown into the heart of battle, struggling to adapt to the brutal environment he finds himself in. Occasionally comic, often touching, more often dark, Shooting Robert King, the tale of Robert King, is a unique and personal journey, a film which follows him over 15 years and through three wars.

His journey starts in Sarajevo in 1993, a 23-year-old fresh out of Art College and prepared to dodge bullets on the front line dreaming of a Pulitzer Prize. His dream proves elusive. Fired by his photo agency and struggling to make ends meet, any swashbuckling allusions Robert holds for the career he has chosen quickly evaporate: as he realises this is one of the toughest professions in the world.

Despite himself, Robert stays in the game, over time establishing himself as a respected professional, his work making the front covers of global media titles. Over 15 years Shooting Robert King records Robert’s life from boy to man, to husband and father. It is a biography, which leads from reckless naivety to maturity hardened by war and softened by family. It is a story, which forces Robert to inevitably question why he chose a profession, which involves an endless trail of death and destruction.

I have a pre-release review copy of the video coming in the mail, and I’ll be doing a full review once I see it. In the meantime, be sure to follow the link below to the main site for a preview of the film and information about where you can purchase it. The release date is September 27.

SHOOTING ROBERT KING

10 Things Photographers Should NOT Do

Don't Panic
Creative Commons License photo credit: quimby

[tweetmeme]We usually see photography tips on the things we should be doing, so I thought it would be interesting to turn it around and look at the things photographers should not be doing.

The items in my list are not comprehensive by any means, but I find them to be fairly important with regard to most photographers out there. And of course, these are only suggestions and opinions… so don’t get too twisted up about them.

I got the idea for this title and article from a post at Daily Blog Tips called “10 Things Bloggers Should NOT Do“. Also worth a read for my fellow bloggers.

1. DON’T EXPECT RESULTS OVERNIGHT

Learning photography takes time — and that goes for the artistic and technical aspects. Sure, you might be artistically and/or technically inclined, but you probably won’t have galleries begging for your photos a month after you pick up your first camera. The process of learning photography and developing a personal style can take years (or even a lifetime). Just keep at it and you should start to notice improvements in your work as the months turn to years.

My latest accessory
Creative Commons License photo credit: n0r

2. DON’T LUST FOR NEW GEAR

New gear is exciting, isn’t it? Bigger better cameras, faster lenses, filters, tripods, flashes, bags, etc. Don’t get me wrong — it’s fine to get excited over this stuff. But don’t make it your life’s goal to constantly buy the next best thing on the market. My advice is to buy new gear when you need it rather than when you want it. You’ll know that you need something when you repeatedly find yourself missing opportunities (or even paying jobs) due to a lack of some feature or piece of equipment.

3. DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL

This one goes for anything in life — failure leads to success, improvement, and learning. You might screw up one or two shots from time to time, but you’ll remember those mistakes next time you head out (and hopefully you won’t make them again).

gallo_02
Creative Commons License photo credit: Zolfo

4. DON’T GET COCKY

Whether it’s seemingly justified or not, nobody really likes a cocky bastard. So you sold a print, got into a gallery exhibit, got featured on some big website, etc — that’s great, but don’t let it go to your head. Don’t talk down to other photographers or put yourself on a pedestal. If you do, it’s only going to drive people away.

5. DON’T IGNORE THE CRITICS

If you share your photos anywhere on the web, you’ve probably had unsolicited critiques. Of course, you’re more than welcome to ignore them, but it usually doesn’t hurt to read them and think about it. You might just learn something or improve a photo. But, keep in mind that not all advice is good advice.

6. DON’T MAKE IT COMPLICATED

Photography is relatively simple on the technical side. Too many times, I’ve seen new photographers get hung up worrying about modes and settings when they really don’t need to. As you continue to shoot and educate yourself, you’ll pick up the technical stuff quite easily. Besides, if you worry too much about the technical side, you’re more likely to miss shots entirely.

Discuss ideas, explore trends, find the new, be inspired
Creative Commons License photo credit: jonhoward

7. DON’T STEAL IDEAS

This goes for any form of creative expression. You see what I did at the top of this article? I gave credit where credit is due because I borrowed an idea and turned it into something of my own. Same thing for photos — if you borrow a concept from another photographer, make sure you give them credit. And look at it this way — if you inspired others to create new things, wouldn’t you like it if they gave you recognition for that?

8. DON’T NEGLECT YOUR GEAR

Cameras and other photographic equipment can be delicate at times. With the cost of cameras and lenses today, it’s worthwhile to take care of them. Try not to bang it around on things, drop it, get it wet, etc. And keep your gear clean if you want it to last — lens elements and sensors in particular.

9. DON’T IGNORE “THE RULES”

The rule of thirds, symmetry, leading lines, perspective, background, depth of field, framing, crop, and so on. You’ve probably come across some of the basic rules of photography either on the web or in a book. Then you also see advice out there saying “break the rules”. So what’s the answer? Follow them? Break them? Here’s the thing… there’s a major difference between breaking the rules on accident and breaking the rules on purpose. It’s called intent, and that’s what separates the good from the bad. So learn the rules, then learn how to break them.

10. DON’T STOP LEARNING

Probably the worse thing a photographer (or any hobbyist/professional) can do is stop learning. There is a ton of stuff to learn about photography and art in general, and the flow of new information only increases as technology advances. So always be open to learning new things — even if you think you know it all!

What other things do you think photographers should not do? Are you guilty of any on my list?

When is School Necessary for a Photographer?

This guest post is contributed by Becky Patterson, who writes on the topic of Become a Photographer. She can be reached at beckypatterson89[@]gmail[.]com.

Graduates Share a moment
Creative Commons License photo credit: Will Hale

There are different schools of thought on this issue – while some people feel that education lays the foundation for success in any kind of profession, there are others who feel that creative jobs like photography don’t require a formal education and are best learned through experience and a good eye for detail. The jury’s still out on this one and I doubt there will ever be a verdict that’s unanimous; however, there are certain times when a formal education comes in handy when it forms a part of a photographer’s arsenal:

  • When an employer demands it as a pre-requisite for a job – it makes no sense to remain adamant against going to photography school if it’s a job that you really want.
  • When you don’t know the first thing about photography and are eager to learn everything there is to know about this field.
  • When you want to learn the technical aspects of photography and are unable to do so with the aid of self-help books and tutorials alone.
  • When you want a degree in photography even though you don’t really need it – you want to go to college even though you’ve already made up your mind to be a photographer; you would rather do a degree in photography than choose just any random major.
  • When you want to become a professor or teacher of photography – some established photographers choose this route as a way to change careers if they don’t want to travel much or if they are looking for a new way to stay on in the same field.
  • When you want to learn and become an expert in the finer aspects and more complicated techniques of photography – some skills are best picked up in school where you have experienced teachers to impart them to you.
  • When you want to study photography at a school that’s reputable and renowned for its degrees.
  • When you want to learn more about photography to augment and support all that you already know.

[tweetmeme]While an education in photography may be more relevant today, no matter how many degrees you hold in photography, and no matter how prestigious your school is and how good your grades are, you become a good photographer only with practice; it’s the most important thing for a photographer – the more you practice, the more experience you gain; and the more experience you gain, the better you become.

This guest post is contributed by Becky Patterson, who writes on the topic of Become a Photographer. She can be reached at beckypatterson89[@]gmail[.]com.

Bicycle Portraits – Part 2


Bicycle Portraits / Part II from Bicycle Portraits on Vimeo.

I wrote about the “Bicycle Portraits” project a few months ago when they were trying to raise the initial $15,000 for their book project. Well, they met their goal and it’s on to part 2 where they need to raise an additional $7,500 by September 16.

Again, the idea is to turn this project into a self-published full-color hard-cover photographic book. Stan Engelbrecht and Nic Grobler recently started investigating South African bicycle culture and the lack of cyclist commuters out there on our roads. In their travels, they’re photographing fellow cyclists and learning more about them for the book.

The deadline is really short on this round, so get over there and pledge some money today. Your donations will only go through if the goal has been reached by the deadline.

And don’t forget that a $50 donation acts as a pre-order for a copy of the book (which is the price of most hard cover photo books anyway). Of course, larger donations will get you additional perks.

So head over to the Bicycle Portraits Kickstarter page for more information on what the project is about and how you can help.

Link Roundup 09-01-2010

Finally starting to clear out my feed reader and catching up on these link posts. I have about 10 or 15 more in the hopper, but I’ll save them for another day.

15 Examples of Environmental Portraits

[tweetmeme]Here are the results from another great round of Epic Edits Flickr Challenge! #5 was all about “environmental portraits” (chosen by the winner of the last round), and we had another great set of entries. This round was difficult for me to choose photos because environmental portraits share a blurry line with traditional portraits and street photography.

The winner this round was Carsten Fischer, also known as “topfloor” on Flickr. As the winner, he gets to choose the next topic:

CHALLENGE #6: “CAMERA PORN”
FLICKR TAG: “EE-CAMERAPORN”

For those not familiar with the term, “camera porn” is a photo of cameras or other photography gear as the main subject. Just remember that the photos must be in our Flickr pool and tagged with “ee-cameraporn”. Now for the environmental portraits, starting with my favorite:

counting fish
counting fish by topfloor

This photo is really catchy to me… though I can’t put my finger on a single reason for liking it so much. The low perspective gives a more intimate feel to the scene. The complimentary yellow hood and blue fins work well together as secondary focal points. The man himself is an interesting subject. All together, it works very well.

On with the other selections I made:

Risky
Risky by topfloor

Surfer and Board
Surfer and Board by Brian Auer

Mahout
Mahout by KBTimages.co.uk(uk_photo_art)

Cheesman Park and Grey Skies
Cheesman Park and Grey Skies by RussHeath

Dads with crazy cameras are hilarious!
Dads with crazy cameras are hilarious! by RussHeath

La hilandera
La hilandera by Miguel Aguilar

Name Forgotten
Name Forgotten by Brian Auer

Model for the masses
Model for the masses by topfloor

Sketch Artist
Sketch Artist by breischl

_MG_0168Monk
_MG_0168Monk by Joanie H

DSC_2450
DSC_2450 by joshuamorris15

Homeless, Names Unknown
Homeless, Names Unknown by Brian Auer

Master of Light - Joe McNally is blessing us
Master of Light – Joe McNally is blessing us by topfloor

Chamunda Devi 1_Chilam
hamunda Devi 1_Chilam by SaritsInOz

New eBooks Worth Checking Out

[tweetmeme]With my lack of spare time during the move, I’ve managed to miss 4 new eBook announcements! Since I don’t want to flood the blog with a bunch of book reviews all at once, I’ll post all 4 together with brief descriptions. I have, however, downloaded and flipped through all 4 books, and they’re all great reads from outstanding photographers and authors.

So if you’re looking for something new and informative to read, start here and see if anything interests you. If you’re looking for more, check out my archive of book and eBook reviews.

This post contains affiliate links.

NEW BOOKS FROM ED VEROSKY

25 Amazing Boudoir Photography Techniques ($9.95)

“This is a natural followup to my eBook, ’10 Ways to Improve Your Boudoir Photography Now’,” says Verosky. “In this book I’m presenting a quality list of 25 solid boudoir shot examples. This isn’t just a sequence of poses to copy; I’ve designed it to serve as a very concise, flexible, and extensible set of real-world examples to learn from. Each one details, in plain language, what the look is supposed to accomplish, the general setup/blocking of the elements, the technique I use to prepare and direct the subject, and the gear and settings I use to achieve each look.”

And for those of you into flash photography, Ed is giving away a Canon 580EX II flash unit on his website. See the details for entry rules.

NEW BOOKS FROM CRAFT & VISION

SAFARI, A Monograph ($5.00)

SAFARI, A Monograph is the second in the series The Print & The Process. David duChemin unpacks the images from a 10-day safari in Kenya, first letting the images speak for themselves then diving deep into the process behind the photographs. This eBook offers an honest discussion about the issues connected to the creation of duChemin’s SAFARI monograph, including the gear used, the techniques employed, and the lessons learned. It’s a 62-page PDF eBook that will provide you with inspiration amidst the details of the Why and the How. This is not so much about how to photograph your first safari, though you’ll learn that too; it’s a look at the lessons learned, and re-learned, by a photographer who is now 25 years into his craft. Also included are the Adobe Lightroom settings used for Serengeti Chocolate, the duo-tone look in which much of his SAFARI monograph has been styled, and a downloadable Lightroom Preset.

Chasing Reflections ($5.00)

Chasing Reflections is the third in the series The Print & The Process. Eli Reinholdtsen is a creative photographer who, through her unique and skillful approach to reflections, captures moments and juxtapositions that are truly an art form at its finest. Reinholdtsen digs deep and shares tangible ways to scout, setup, and shoot complex and magical photographs that push the envelope of visual poetry. Her playful descriptions aren’t shy of digging deep into the techniques required to capture movement, timing, and contrast. Chasing Reflections is an inspiring collection of 37 photographs that stand on their own a pieces of pure art (The Print) followed by a discussion of the creation of those visual moments (The Process).

The Magic of Black & White – Part III, Nine Photos ($5.00)

The Magic of Black & White – Part III, Nine Photos, takes us through nine gorgeous black and white images with the goal of teaching more advanced techniques to give our images more subtlety and power. Clearly taught in Photoshop, and 5 of the lessons in Photoshop Elements, Andrew takes us through Toning, Split Toning, Exposure Blending, Textures, and the creation of Diptyches and Triptyches, all without losing sight of the idea that our work should be driven by intent with the goal of creating photographs that honour the Artist’s need for expression and the Geek’s need for excellence of craft. And all that without getting mired down – the examples and the illustrations Andrew provides compliment his clear teaching style and make this book a pleasure to read.

Link Roundup 08-23-2010

Okay… these are a little old, but I’m just getting back on the ball with my feed reading and link sharing. I have plenty more coming, but I didn’t want to push them all out at once.

On a side note, we’re also going to get the Flickr Challenge going again. The current challenge is “environmental portraits” — you can read the announcement here and see the current entries in the pool. I’ll be choosing the winners sometime this week.

Getting Your Work Online With a Photography Portfolio

[tweetmeme]This guest post was written by fotograf Rune Johansen

One of the many challenges of working for yourself is finding work. As a professional freelance photographer, the more avenues through which you can obtain work the better. One great way to gain exposure and get potential clients to view your work is to set up an online portfolio. An internet-based photography portfolio if designed well can really bring a touch of class to your work and allow people to view it at their leisure. It also gives you the opportunity to control exactly what your potential clients see, highlighting your best work and leading them through the information you want them to have.

HOW DO I BUILD AN ONLINE PORTFOLIO?

There are many ways to get your work online as a photographer. There are websites set up that allow you to sell prints of your work just by uploading high-res images to your account and letting the website do all the sales work. Of course they take a commission but for a lot of photographers this has become a steady stream of income. There are also websites like iStockPhoto that allow you to sell generic images for designers to use in their work such as on websites and in magazines. This can also pay well.

If you want a personal online portfolio, however, you will usually have to build it yourself. Don’t worry though if you don’t have any web design skills to speak of and the thought of building websites intimidates you. Adobe and many other graphics application developers have added the capability to build basic portfolios directly from inside their programs. Photoshop has a built in gallery feature that will automatically size your images, create thumbnails of them, and create an XHTML/CSS or even a Flash-based webpage containing all your images. Play around with the software and see what you can come up with.

Other options for a portfolio include using an open source solution such as Joomla! or WordPress to create a framework for your site, then using the many plugins and extensions available for these platforms to customise the site and turn it into a gallery based website. If this is too much of a challenge or you simply don’t have the time, hiring a designer to do this for you will usually prove to be much cheaper than having one develop a website from scratch. Have a look around freelancing websites and call some local design agencies to see what the prices are like, you may be pleasantly surprised.

WHAT SHOULD I HAVE ON MY PORTFOLIO?

It is important to make sure you have the right information on your website, but it is equally important not to overdo it. Many people make the mistake of writing their entire life story on their portfolio and crowding the images with lots of text. As a photographer it is important that your work speak for itself, so a minimal description – usually just a sentence – will normally suffice. An “About” page should be included, but should only have the minimum of information needed for your clients, such as relevant qualifications and experience you have as a photographer. Possibly include some hobbies and interests as this helps people get a better idea of who you are, but a photograph of yourself will go a lot further to winning you clients (if it’s a good picture!).

In summary, there are lots of ways to get your work online and no professional should really be without an online portfolio in this technological age. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a professional portfolio and it will serve you well for years to come.

Written by fotograf Rune Johansen