In the past, retouching a model's face or body for magazines covers or ads has often been a source of ethical debate. Now in 2019, it seems like reshaping one's features have become globally adopted in photographs as in real life. What led to such a shift? Beauty enhancing vs. quest for youth Nowadays, botox, implants and injections are not only coveted by aging men and women. I became even more aware of this trend when I watched this widely viewed video called "I Got Surgery to Look Like My Snapchat and Facetune Selfies." It had been online … [Read more...] about Reflections on beauty standards and photo editing, part one
Last week's PhotoPlus Expo has officially come to a close. Between all the talk about full-frame mirrorless cameras, on-stage demos and seminars, there was a ton to see and do as a photographer. More than 200 exhibitors showed off their latest and greatest products. Attendees saw everything from new cameras and lenses, to post-processing software and camera accessories. Next year's PhotoPlus Expo is slated for Oct. 24-26, 2019. But who is it for, and should you plan on going? Who PPE is for Compared to WPPI, PhotoPlus Expo (PPE) reaches … [Read more...] about So long, New York!
Several years ago, hard drives were very expensive. This caused most photographers to free up disk space by deleting unwanted photos. Nowadays, hard drives are much cheaper, sparking a different debate: Should I keep or delete unwanted photos? Here are a few suggestions to help you decide if you should keep or delete a photo. Create a rule for when to delete or keep a photo My personal rule is to keep all photos except for the following: Accidental shot of the floor or the inside of my camera bag. Flash misfire where the image is … [Read more...] about To keep or not to keep a photo. That is the question!
Look at your image and ask yourself what do you notice first, the image or watermark. If all you see is the watermark, it’s too large. If you have to hunt for the watermark, it’s too small. Your goal is to strike a happy balance. Showcase your image — let the quality of your work speak for itself — and the viewer will be encouraged to look for your watermark. Want to learn more? Check out this article, "How big should your watermark be?" … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: Make sure your watermark strikes a balance between showcasing and protecting your work
It’s OK to crop, especially when you crop for impact. An example I use is a shot I took during a high school cross country meet, where the running path was filled with many athletes from different schools. I was only focused on my son’s team. I took a great shot of his teammate mixed with other athletes. Looking at the original image, you could tell they weren't in first place. A simple crop changed the story. The new image now shows them in first place leading the pack! Remember, these weren't shot for editorial use. If I shot for a … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: Crop for impact
It never fails. Every fall, Apple announces a new iPhone that's packed full of new technologies. An emphasis is placed on the camera, highlighting past features such as portrait mode, dual lenses and more. This year, with the iPhone XS and XS Max, Apple has added one new killer feature to its camera — the ability to change your aperture after you take your photograph. So, what's this mean for photography? Will all our DSLRs and mirrorless cameras be overshadowed by this new, glorious iPhone? Great technologies The ability to change your … [Read more...] about What does Apple’s iPhone XS announcement mean for photography?
When collaborating with a model on a TF shoot— Trading your skills for their skills— let the model have access to all the images. This will enable them to review the images, select their favorites, and analyze them for the mistakes they made. If you’re worried they will post unedited images, place a watermark on the image stating they are proofs or unedited. Want to learn more? Check out this article, “To Give or Not to Give ALL Images—That is the Question” … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: Give a model access to ALL images from a collaborative shoot
As a budding young photographer, I cut my teeth with gelatin silver printing. It would be some years before I became aware of daguerreotypes (c. 1839), heliographs, photogenic drawings, wet collodion, tintypes, calotypes, cyanotypes, platinum/palladium prints and Cibachrome. This is just a partial list of historical photographic techniques. Just as vinyl records are still coveted and collected by a few, most of these old techniques have been rediscovered as new techniques continue to emerge. Takashi Arai is a very thoughtful contemporary … [Read more...] about Giclée by any other name: Printmaking today
Last week, Tony and Chelsea Northrup posted a controversial video on YouTube that tried to define what a professional camera was. It centers around sales for all of the camera manufacturers. It makes some good points about how higher-end cameras can enhance a photograph. That being said, for the most part making a great photograph is not about the camera — it's about the photographer. While there are certainly cameras geared more towards professionals, including features that pros tend to take more advantage of, it doesn't mean that you … [Read more...] about What does a “professional” camera really mean?
You might have seen an article by Bloomberg that came out earlier this month, discussing Adobe's plans to create a full-fledged version of Photoshop for iPad tablets. This won't be like Adobe's current Photoshop app offerings for iOS — instead, you'll be able to do everything you can do in the desktop version of Photoshop CC, right on your iPad. It's supposed to be revealed at the Adobe MAX Conference this October, with a release date sometime in 2019. But this is really just the continuum of Adobe adapting for smaller, touch-screen … [Read more...] about Photoshop CC is coming to iPad in 2019
“I cry when I edit.” These are words I hear when talking to new photographers. They get overwhelmed and some — like my new friend Carmen — limit their shooting. This short story is about a recent adventure I had with Skylum’s Co-founder Dima Sytnik and head of product development Ivan Kutanin when they flew in from Ukraine to ask us our opinions on the new features of Luminar. Here’s your chance to get items on your editing wishlist heard by the people who write the software! Remembering my frustration when learning to edit and organize my … [Read more...] about “I cry when I edit” — that’s literally what she said!
When a hard drive gets full, it takes longer to read and write the data to and from the disk, slowing your system down. Adding large amounts of photos to a local drive can fill the drive fast, causing poor performance. Additionally, trying to run an operating system and applications while also opening and closing files means your disk is trying to push data in different directions at once. This is one reason why it’s best to keep your photos on a separate hard drive from your operating system and replace a smaller drive with a larger one when … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: Replace a full hard drive
It's not my intention to offend fellow photographers, but in my opinion, your watermark should be a reflection of the size of your ego. Big ego, big watermark. Little ego, little watermark. How can you strike a balance between showcasing your work and preventing someone from stealing it? Here are a few suggestions. What size should my watermark be? Look at your image and ask yourself what do you notice first, the image or watermark. If all you see is the watermark, it’s too large. If you have to hunt for the watermark, it’s too small. Your … [Read more...] about How big should your watermark be?
On many social media sites, for various reasons, we are seeing a high degree of censorship and banning for anything considered "Mature".* Regardless of your personal feelings on the matter, for those of us producing fine art nude or boudoir photography, it's becoming increasingly difficult to share our uncensored work over the internet. Here is a quick tip on how to create a frosted glass effect that nondestructively blurs only the parts of your image you choose, to satisfy the interweb censors and people parts police. In the interest of … [Read more...] about How to censor your photos for social media, non-destructively in Photoshop
When choosing a backup method, select the Sync option, here's why. We want two identical drives to be the same bit-for-bit. If the main drive fails, we simply swap and use the synced drive until we rebuild a new one. No downtime. To achieve this, choose the Sync option. Syncing creates two identical copies that are updated when either file changes. If a file or change is detected on drive A, drive B is updated. If a file or change is detected on drive B, drive A is updated. If a file is deleted on one drive, both are deleted immediately, so be … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: Photographers, Choose the Sync Option When Backing Up a Hard Drive
We Live in the Most Photographed Century Thanks to point-and-shoot cameras, lower prices on professional DSLRs, and cell phones, of course, we live in the most photographed century ever. This is exciting—but for some reason, people are not printing as much. It can’t be price, prints are cheaper now than they have ever been. It can’t be lack of print labs, there are lots of local and online print labs. This leads me to believe people may not realize how easy it is to print their cherished photos. Let’s take the mystery out of printing and get … [Read more...] about 5 Tips for Printing Your Photos
Have you ever wondered if a job is worth accepting? Here’s a quick way to determine if a job is right for you by seeing if you would answer “yes” to at least two of these three simple questions. Do I like the person commissioning the project? Is this project good for my portfolio? Is this project good for my business financially? Answering yes or no to all three questions is an easy choice. The decision gets a little harder when you're mixing yeses and nos. Do I like the person (or company) commissioning the project? Just … [Read more...] about Is this Job Worth Doing? How to Decide to Take It or Leave It
A good friend of mine — but a huge pain in my butt — kind of gave me a backhanded compliment the other day. You know the kind..."I'm a fan of your earlier work" or "Your presentation will be inspiring if people are listening." Hers was in the form of a sentence that basically said she would be great at photography or video editing if she had the network of friends I have. I could hear my mother say, "Robert, keep it positive, I mean it,” so I just smiled. I offered her resources to learn from but, nope, she said she doesn't learn like that, … [Read more...] about How to Apply a Little LUCK to Your Photography
Elizabeth Kite posted in Photoshop and Photography — looking for recommendations. She asked. "Can someone recommend a good digital camera that is reasonably priced??? Under $500." My reply. Wait.. has anyone asked Elizabeth what she needs the camera for (other than automatic exposure and the like?) Imagine if she said she needs a reasonably priced car under $1500.00. If it's a second car for her child, that's reasonable. But if she said she wants it to be a daily drive or– let’s take this to an extreme--she wants to enter it into a race, now … [Read more...] about How to Give Advice on Buying a Camera
How good a photographer do you think you are? Awful? OK? Good? REALLY Good? Astonishingly Good? Or are you an imposter? Photographer and YouTube contributor Jamie Windsor explains the thinking that makes people think they are better at something than they really are. Avoid that psychological trap. It's all in this video... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmSYI6AjFUg As Jamie said, "Don't be too precious. Precious will hold you back." … [Read more...] about Why BAD Photographers Think They are GOOD
A few months ago, I discovered an amazing action to edit my sports shots in Photoshop. Everytime I use it, I get great feedback from my followers and athletes. Let me show you how you can, in one simple click, turn out a good picture into a massive impact work of art. What is a Photoshop action? An action, simply put, is a series of modifications that are recorded to obtain a precise result over and over again. An action can be as simple as a single saturation layer but can also be a very complex algorithm with hundreds of interrelated … [Read more...] about The Photoshop Action That Will Bring Your Sports Shots to Another Level
When I first ventured into photography, I started out with a Nikon D5100. From there I upgraded to a D800 (thanks to winning a Photofocus contest on Twitter) and later a D750. Last year I made the tough decision to go mirrorless, ultimately purchasing a Panasonic Lumix GH5 and eventually, a G9. Now I've made another switch. And it's not because I was dissatisfied with my Lumix gear — quite the contrary, in fact. My Lumix system was awesome, and one of the best decisions I've made to switch to them. But after a week of tough thinking, I've … [Read more...] about It’s Not About the Camera — It’s About Evolving as an Artist
I'm a part of several photography groups on Facebook, and some provide a suggestion to provide your camera settings for any photos you uploaded. Things like aperture, shutter speed and ISO, for instance. And while it can certainly be interesting to see these settings and see what they can do in certain situations, they don't matter in the long run. Settings Won't Help to Recreate a Photograph Unless you're shooting in a studio with no windows and can control the environment completely, settings won't be the end-all to recreating a … [Read more...] about Knowing the Camera Settings for a Photo Isn’t Really Important
When packing for trips, I find myself seesawing between my Fuji X system and Nikon DSLRs. We do underwater, street, nature and landscape photography. Do I pack the Fuji X-Pro2, the crop sensor Nikon D500 and my old D800 or complicate things and buy the new Nikon D850? Earlier this winter, we were packing for street and winter nature and landscape photography in Japan. My wife and partner in Aperture Photo Arts is a die-hard Fuji shooter and between us, we have most of the Fuji X lenses and spare camera bodies. This was the logical … [Read more...] about Rediscovering a lens that I already owned
The time has finally come — the WPPI Conference + Expo is here! It's my first time attending the show, and I couldn't be more excited to check out the expo floor, some classes and to network with other photographers. As a first-time attendee, here's what I wanted to do to get the best out of my conference experience. Three Types of Classes There are loads of classes at WPPI. They're broken into three groups — platform classes, PLUS classes and master classes. Platform classes These are 90-minute sessions that don't require any … [Read more...] about First Time Attendee? Getting the Most Out of the WPPI Experience
(Vanelli's note: Michèle Grenier, a talented sports photographer based out of Quebec City, Canada, needed 75 hours of mentoring before she could complete her degree in photography. After meeting her at Photoshop World a year earlier, she called to ask me if I could be her mentor—I’m based out of the East Coast of Florida. Honored, I said yes and, when she arrived, we dove into a 13-hour day of learning and shooting. To help reinforce her learning, I asked her to gather her thoughts and write a few “How I Got the Shot:" articles. Here’s what she … [Read more...] about A Lesson I Learned About Seeing Opportunities
The chances are that you haven't ever attended a photography tradeshow, and I think you're missing out on several good opportunities. I think this is my 9th WPPI, and I wouldn't even consider not going. Not only do you get to go to Las Vegas, which is a terrific break from winter weather and a marvelous place to explore the mountainous desert (not to mention the sites and flavors the Strip has to offer), but you'll also get a multi-faceted education that can't be replicated. Here's some of what you get by attending this sort of thing in-person … [Read more...] about 4 Good Reasons You Should Attend WPPI
https://soundcloud.com/photofocus/the-infocus-interview-podcast-photofocus-podcast-january-19th-2018 Remember to check out our great sponsors including TruLife acrylic face mounted prints. Today's episode, Levi sits down with Sharky James. They talk about their photographer heroes, the industry and more including how he got started in the industry. Then a fun round table with Pamela Berry, Levi Sim, Bobbi Lane and Kevin Ames as they discuss 2018 trends, goals and tradeshows for the upcoming year. Get the show … [Read more...] about The Infocus Interview Podcast | Photofocus Podcast January 19th 2018
Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Cathy Seaver, a commercial photographer in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She works primarily for Cull Group shooting product, corporate headshots, and other client needs. In her off time, Cathy enjoys getting out into nature to shoot what she sees around her. She is also an avid horseback rider, enjoying her time in the saddle on trails and playing around with a bit of dressage. Check out her work on Instagram. In November I came across an activity I hadn’t encountered before. While I wasn’t entirely … [Read more...] about Is Baiting Wild Birds For Photography Ethical?
If you don’t know how to shoot something, don’t do it and expect to be paid. Be honest and upfront. Okay, there’s more to it of course. If you want to learn how to do something, absolutely learn it. However, if you take a paying job and you are in WAY over your head, it's probably not the smartest thing to do. I was inspired by a post that commercial photographer had vented about on social media. Someone had contacted him and wanted a step by step detailed guide on shooting a commissioned piece that this photographer had no business accepting … [Read more...] about Be honest and upfront on your work