Saturday, March 31, 2007

03/31/07: New Flash Diffuser from Gary Fong Inc.

This week at the Wedding and Portrait Photogrpahers International convention in Las Vegas, my cyber-pal Gary Fong introduced his latest flash diffuser invention -- the "Whale Tail." Read more about it on the Gary Fong e-store or by clicking here.

The Whale Tail claims to be the first ever diffuser to offer a rear wall bounce, an instant change-out gel tray for color modification / creative effect, as well as a propreitary fastener system that allows the Whale Tail to attach to almost all flash types. I haven't had a chance to test a Whale Tail yet...and his inventories are running very low (as always!)...but as soon as I do get my hands on one...I'll post some sample images.

Keep up the good work Gary!

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Friday, March 30, 2007

03/30/07: Thoughts After a Rainy Day Wedding...

Typically I do a quote of the day on Friday...but today I shot a wedding and it rained almost all day long. So...instead of a quote...this is a personal reflection for the day!

Sometimes you have to look for indoor shots with lots of natural light, sometimes you look for outdoor shots under over-hangs...and other times you just have to buy a bunch of cheap umbrellas and get creative.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

03/29/07: Logo Design Service

Looking for an affordable, easy solution for your photography business logo? Or, do you have another small business for which you need a logo? Try http://www.1800mylogo.com/ -- they have several packages and affordable prices. In fact, I intend to use them to develop a logo for Daily Photo Tips in the near future! :)

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

03/28/07: Street Photography

A cool place to learn more about observing and photographing people is -- on the street!

Wikipedia defines street photography as "a type of documentary photography that usually features people in candid situations in public places such as streets, parks, beaches, malls, political conventions, and other settings."

Street photography can be an excellent way for a photographer (or just any person) to overcome shyness and learn more about approaching strangers. Sure, it can be a frightening experience -- we all loathe being rejected -- but once you realize that you can approach people and just ask if you can take their picture for a photography learning assignment...you'll be surprised at how many people will let you take their picture!

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

03/27/07: "One Light" Workshops

I love going to photo workshops -- if I had unlimited resources, I'd make a career out of attending photo workshops all over the world! Unfortunately, I do have limited resources...so I typically attend only a handful of workshops each year. One of the best workshops, in my opinion -- in terms of bang for the buck, is Atlanta photographer Zach Arias' "One Light" workshop.

Zach teaches about a dozen or so "One Light" workshops each year -- all over the U.S. His philosphy is basically do more with less. He states on his web-site "We have one light in the sky, the sun. Good enough for the earth, good enough for photography." For 2007 his "One Light" workshop rate is just $325. I have yet to attend one of these amazing seminars...but I do plan to sometime in the next year. For more information about attending a "One Light" seminar, go to www.onelightworkshop.com. You can also find out more about hosting a workshop in your city.

Keep up the amazing work, Zach! And thanks for sharing your knowledge with fellow photographers.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

03/26/07: Wedding Photographers...Check Out This Web Site!

If you are a wedding photographer, or you aspire to be one, I encourage you to check out BanquetBuzz.com. Banquet Buzz is an online community for wedding vendors of all sorts (though it's dominated by creative photographers! ;-)). Be sure to register as a user so that you can view and participate on the forums. You'll find plenty of inspiration from the many photographers and other wedding vendors who are members of the Banquet Buzz community.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

03/25/07: Check Out These Cool Portrait Session Videos

The Wall Street Journal recently released an ad campaign called "Every Journey Needs a Journal" where a number of famous people are profiled in "life journey" form. If you click on one of the celebrities to see a little about their journey you can click on the "behind the scenes video" that shows each of the celebrities being photographed. The photo sessions appear to have been shot with just one external strobe with the subject in front of a seamless white backdrop. I thought each session was cool to watch to see how the final image was made -- be sure to watch them all! :c)

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03/24/07: A Fun Challenge...

Regular readers of Daily Photo Tips know that I love to challenge photographers to shoot outside of their comfort zone. Today, I really did that. I shot film for the first time in a LONG time. Yes, I was cleaning out some of my gear bags when, on a whim, I thought it would be fun to shoot some film of the spring colors. What a challenge! (And...how quickly we forget!) I wasn't able to chimp, change ISO values from shot-to-shot, and I kept wanting to change my white balance to compensate for sunny vs. shade shots!

So if you are looking for a challenge and you still have an old film SLR or two...go out and shoot some film just to see how much your life has changed since digital has taken over! :)

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Friday, March 23, 2007

03/23/07: Quote of the day...

Today's quote comes from Todd Henry who runs AccidentalCreative.com. This quote comes from his podcast episode # 39 and I think it can be applied directly to photographers who fear making mistakes when trying something new. Too often I've seen photographers get frustrated or angry with themselves when their images don't live up to expectations or win awards -- and I'm not afraid to admit that I've seen a photographer like this in the mirror! :)

"Anger leads to bitterness. Bitterness leads to pride. Pride is directly opposed to creativity.
Why is pride directly opposed to creativity?
Because proud people don't like to be wrong. If you are going to be fully unleashed creatively, you're going to be wrong a lot. Proud people often refuse to take chances because they are afraid of the consequences of being wrong. If they fail, they always chalk it up to someone else's actions or decisions, never their own. As a consequence they never allow the possibility of learning through mistakes."


You can get a free 20 day trial subscription to the Accidental Creative by going to the web-site and signing up...

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

03/22/07: Great Video for Children's Photography!

Our good friend Me Ra Koh of Me Ra Koh Photography just announced her new DVD series "Documenting a Child's Life" -- volumes 1 and 2 can be pre-ordered TODAY for under $50!

Go check out the video trailer on Me Ra's blog -- http://www.merakohblog.com/ -- and be sure to mention you heard about it on DailyPhotoTips.com!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

03/21/07: Great Value on Consumer Photo Printers

If you are looking for a basic consumer photo printer and you don't want to spend much...check out Canon's eStore Outlet center for great deals on printers and scanners. For a limited time you can buy printers and get a free pack of Canon photo paper -- a $9.95 value.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

03/20/07: Nature Photo Contest


While perusing the Sigma Photo web-site for more information about the new killer 200-500mm lens I posted about 2 days ago, I came across a nature photo contest sponsored by Sigma. The contest theme is "Faces In Nature" and the top prizes include Sigma DG lenses. Entries must be received by March 30, 2007 -- and they do have to be shot using Sigma lenses. See the contest rules for more details.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

03/19/07: Just a reminder...

March 22 is the deadline for post-marking your "Cash In With Canon" fall 2006 rebates! I just put mine in the mail today. For once I remembered!!!

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

03/18/07: Check out THIS lens!

My friend Dan Schimpf of World in My Eyes Photography sent me this article from DPReview about Sigma's new amazing 200-500 mm f2.8 lens. The lens has some amazing features -- starting with the constant (non-variable) aperature, to the included teleconverter (which can transform the lens to a 400-1000 mm f5.6 lens!), to a very cool LCD panel built-in to the lens that tells you how far you are from your subject.

I plan on ordering one for each of my Canon camera bodies. ;-P

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

03/17/07: Book Recommendation for March


Spring is just a few days away (on my calendar, anyway!) so I thought I'd mention a great nature photography book I recently picked up -- Jim Miotke's The BetterPhoto Guide to Digital Nature Photography (Better Photo Guide to) (ISBN # 0817435530). I'm almost half-way through the book and I really like what I've read so far. It's a great book for advanced amateur to intermediate photographers who want to improve their nature photography. Miotke gives excellent, easy-to-follow advice on light, composition as well as digital exposure. He also gives photo assignments for the reader to put into practice while learning from his nature photography lessons. In addition to being a great photographer and author, Jim Miotke runs BetterPhoto.com -- an online photography training site with a great variety of photography classes as well as a whole host of excellent instructors. Check out the book and check out the site!

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Friday, March 16, 2007

03/16/07: Quote of the day...

As much as I dearly love researching all kinds of fun photography topics for daily photo tips on DailyPhotoTips.com, every now and I then I have to remember quotes like these, from famous American photographer Arnold Newman, known for his "environmental portraiture" style:

"There are no rules and regulations for perfect composition. If there were we would be able to put all the information into a computer and would come out with a masterpiece. We know that's impossible. You have to compose by the seat of your pants."
-- Arnold Newman

"A lot of photographers think that if they buy a better camera they'll be able to take better photographs. A better camera won't do a thing for you if you don't have anything in your head or in your heart."
-- Arnold Newman

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

03/15/07: Become a Better Sports Photographer

I sit here in my comfy living room recliner witnessing Duke take an unusual early exit from the NCAA tourney (there goes my bracket...I don't remember when I had them leaving...but it wasn't in the first round!), I'm compelled to post a good tip for sports photography.

Probably one of the best web-resources for sports photographers is sportsshooter.com and the Sports Shooter Academy IV is just around the corner. Sports Shooter Academy is a five day hands-on training experience that puts students right along the sidelines of NCAA sporting events. Some day I'd love to attend one of these!! One of the coolest things about Sports Shooter Academy is the reasonable cost -- under $500 for students and just $550 for working pros.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

03/14/07: Sensor Cleaning Video by Kevin Swan

Our friend Kevin Swan (awesome Indianapolis photographer) who runs the New School of Photography recently posted a short video demonstration of sensor-cleaning using pec-pads. Check out the video on the New School of Photography web-site.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

03/13/07: Great Gifts for Photographers!


Not sure what to get your photographer friend on his or her next birthday? Click here to order "Chimpin' Ain't Easy" merchandise from our friend Aaron Johnson of "What The Duck?" fame.

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03/12/07: Check Out PlanetNeil.com!

Here's another great site for information to boost your supplemental lighting skills. Neil van Niekirk is a New Jersey based full-time photographer whose work is just simply amazing.

I love his dedication to shooting only in manual mode as well as his advice for making flash not look like flash. You're truly an inspiration Neil!

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

03/11/07: Another Wedding Lesson Learned...

I've worked well over 120 weddings since 1985 -- and I always seem to learn a new lesson each time I shoot a wedding. Yesterday was no exception! :)

I use Lowepro lens cases to carry my lenses on my belt when I'm shooting a wedding. (see picture below for image of a Lowepro case from B&H)



The wedding I shot yesterday was in a fairly small church but I shot it without an assistant so I had to move around quite a bit during the ceremony to capture the shots I wanted / needed to get. Notice the zippers on the case? Those zippers make noise when attached to a fast-moving photographer in a quiet church. Solution? Duct-tape? Nah...too sticky!! Electrical tape!! Of course! A small piece of electrical tape wrapped around the zipper pull will deaden the noise of the zipper! :)

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

03/10/07: Tip for Wedding Photography

If the bride and groom have sets of grandparents that are still living...make sure not only to get a formal portrait of the grandparents with the new couple, but take the time to get a nice photograph of the married grandparents. Ask them how long they've been married. Chances are they may be celebrating a golden anniversary (or other milestone) in the near future -- so a nice formal portrait of the grandparents is a definitely a keeper image!


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Friday, March 09, 2007

03/09/07: Quote of the day...

This weekend marks the beginning of an earlier beginning to daylight savings time. Naturally, there are photographic implications of the time shift! So, I figured this was an appropriate quote for this weekend's time shift. ;)

"I must admit that I never need an alarm clock to roll out of bed when shooting. I'm probably much more enthusiastic at 4 A.M. than any other time, especially when Mother Nature greets those golden moments of light that happen only once in a while. I admit it, I'm addicted to fleeting moments of magical light."
-- Chuck Haney

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

03/08/07: Composition Tip - Shoot for Layers of Interest

Mandatory reading for anyone wanting to improve the composition of their photos -- this post over on the Strobist blog. :)

The concept of shooting for layers of interest (as well as evaluating your images for layers) can made a huge difference in good shots versus great shots.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

03/07/07: What The Duck - "Hold That Thought"

Another classic from our friend Aaron Johnson at What The Duck. :)






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Sunday, March 04, 2007

03/04/07: Great Tutorial for Canon Shooters...

Check out this photonotes.org site for an awesome tutorial on shooting with Canon EOS cameras with flash. It covers a lot of the basics of getting good shots using on-camera flash and fixing common problems when a flash is necessary. There is also good information about how the camera meters with flash in different shooting modes. There are two parts to the tutorial -- don't miss the link to part II at the bottom of the page!

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

03/03/07: The Eyes Have It!

Another tip that was discussed at the Open Source Photo seminar in Indianapolis earlier this week was capturing the eyes of a subject while they are looking up. This is a particularly appealing composition tip when photographing the innocence of a child. Either shoot from above or climb higher than the subject (small step-ladder, chair, whatever works!) and ask them to look up toward the camera.

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Friday, March 02, 2007

03/02/07: Quote of the day...

Today's quote is another funny one...or, well, it made me laugh anyway!

"(Professional) photographers are like hookers: at first we started doing it because we liked it and it felt good, then we kept doing it but only for our friends, and NOW we're still doing it but are charging money for doing it!"

--Dean Collins

EDIT:

Found another quote that I think kind of goes with the above one. ;)

"The photographer is like the cod, which lays a million eggs in order that one may be hatched."

--George Bernard Shaw

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

03/01/07: Do's and Don'ts of Wedding Photography

Tamron sponsored photographer Michael Ayers gives his list of top ten do's and don'ts of wedding photography on the Tamrom web-site. I'm especially fond of his recommendation for using a lens shade instead of a UV filter to protect your lens.

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