Friday, November 30, 2007

11/30/07: Quote of the day...

This quote is rather controversial, in my opinion, as photo contest judges often have a much lower threshhold to define the difference between an amateur and a professional photographer.

"People who earn less than half of their income from photography are amateurs. This has nothing to do with the quality of their photography."
I've seen contests where the official rules state that an amateur is someone who earns less than 5% of their income from photography. To each their own (definition). :)


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

11/26/07: Hexadecimal color codes

If you need to find out the hexadecimal color code for a particular color in your digital imaging project(s), you need to visit :)

Bookmark this page:

You'll be surprised how much time you can kill on this site.

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

11/25/07: Exploring Urban Ruins

I've done a little photographic exploration of urban ruins -- back in the day before children came along -- and I am still fascinated by the prospects of photographing anything that is old, abandoned and disused.

If you are also intrigued by derelict buildings and urban decay from a photographic perspective, check out this web-site dedicated to photographic exploration of urban ruins:
If you know of other web-sites dedicated to urban ruin photography (amusement parks, hotels, sports facilities, junk yards, whatever...) -- please share them by posting in the comments section! :)


Thursday, November 22, 2007

11/22/07: Be sure to over-do the main course!

Today being Thanksgiving or "turkey day" in the United States I wanted to take an opportunity to remind photographers to always over-do the main thing. If you are hired to photograph a wedding...don't forget to get LOTS of pictures of just the bride and groom alone. I've heard from people who've told me that their photographer didn't get enough (or, perish the thought, ANY!) formal pictures of the bride and groom alone. I realize that a lot of emphasis has been placed on purely photojournalistic photography at weddings these days...but that doesn't mean your clients want JUST candid pictures! In all likelihood there are going to be parents and grandparents who want, expect, and deserve good quality posed pictures -- at the very least, a wide assortment of candids that show them just the main subjects of the day!

So remember to "keep the main thing the main thing!" It's better to have too much than not enough when it comes to pictures of life events like weddings!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

11/20/07: Check out this amazing camera!

Check out the Red One (tm) video camera. It's a video camera that will shoot hi-res still images like no other video camera. I don't know much about it (and at nearly $17,500 for the body and between $4,950 and $8,500 per lens -- I better just get two of them...he-he-he...), but it looks revolutionary! The convergence of super high-quality still and motion picture capture devices is becoming reality.


11/19/07: Shooting for you? Or for a client?

It happens all too often -- I hear from people (not clients of mine) who tell me they didn't get the images they wanted or expected from their wedding photographer. Part of that has to do with wedding photography style changes (posed vs. photojournalistic) and the conversion to digital (where it used to be in the film days you'd get a set of less than 100 proof pictures total and with get a LOT more than that!).

I think a lot of photographers get caught up in shooting for themselves and not for their clients -- they concern themselves more with winning awards, gaining acceptance to associations, or showcasing images on web-sites or blogs. Don't forget -- your clients are footing the bill...your obligation is first and foremost to them. And remember, not all clients want the same take the time to find out what your clients like and want in their images, and work your style in to what they want.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

11/17/07: Are there flaws in your workflow?

This morning I realized I made a serious mistake in my workflow -- the processing, posting and archiving of images. In Adobe Bridge I use the * ratings to sort out keepers from non-keepers (a polite way of saying "the junk"). I typically shoot in RAW, make batch edits in Bridge and use the Image Processor to create the jpeg files (for final presentation / printing, etc.).

After posting the images I then go back and delete the non-keepers -- anything that doesn't have at least a rating of 1 star (one *). However, by saving the jpeg files in the same location as the RAW files, a JPG folder shows up in the same location. When I searched for "all unrated items" and deleted them (or, I should say "sent them to the recycle bin" to be more accurate) -- I inadvertently deleted the JPG folder. Normally I don't save the files in the same place -- I create a separate folder for the keepers -- but this morning I goofed and saved them with the originals. Fortunately I was able to restore the all-important keeper jpegs from the recylce bin -- but I learned that I could have made a really dumb mistake in haste.

What potential flaws do you have in your workflow that you might need to fix?

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

11/11/07: The "establishing scene" shot...

If you photograph in the documentary or photojournalistic style in any way, shape or form, you should be to include 'establishing scene' shots in your images of the event you are shooting. Establishing scene shots are self-explanatory -- think in terms of Seinfeld episodes where the outside shot of the corner diner is shown before they cut to scenes insdie the diner -- yet, all too often, photographers neglect to capture quick shots of the venue or location where an event is being held. These establishing scene shots help to define chapters of the album, slideshow or scrapbook you intend for displaying the images.

So take a few minutes to consider the "place" -- the scene setter images -- to help design the presentation of your documentary images.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

11/03/07: Try taking "Rain Man" images!

Did you see the movie "Rain Man" with Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman? Did you watch the end credits where the images the "rain man" shot on the cross country drive were featured?

Sometimes I like shooting pictures in what I call the "rain man style" -- random shots taken while driving, often featuring motion blur and / or rather mundane things that compelled the character played by Dustin Hoffman to take photos of. Here are some examples I shot earlier this week in "rain main style"...

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Friday, November 02, 2007

11/02/07: How'd you do that?

How did I do this?

It's actually a very simple modification in Adobe Elements 6.

Go to:

Enhance > Adjust Color > Adjust Color Curves

Then select the "Solarize" style!

The above image was taken outside a fast-food restaurants (one of our favorites!) around dusk. Made for an interesting solarization project, eh?


11/01/07: Photographing kids...

Get down on their level!