(Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Frank Doorhof, who introduces himself.) "I think this is one of the most heard problems in my workshops, 'How do I find creativity?'" -Frank Doorhof But before we get into this, let me introduce myself. My name is Frank Doorhof, a fashion/celebrity photographer based in the Netherlands and specialized in teaching workshops. I was brought up with a passion for photography/video and movies. I still remember being glued to the TV at my grandparents home because MTV would be coming, and my grandparents … [Read more...] about Finding creativity
You might have noticed two companies in the photography industry doing things that are frustrating you. It's possible one of these companies is even confusing you. Today I want to share two mistakes that I know are frustrating me, and could likely be frustrating you. My hope is that these companies notice some commentary here on Photofocus and respond to your frustrations. Nikon First up is Nikon, but before I dive in, know that I am a Nikon photographer. I have been forever and will continue as such. But when a company does something that … [Read more...] about Two brand mistakes that are frustrating photographers
"You may never become rich financially being a photographer. You will live a very rich life." -Kevin Ames The photo above is me in 1986 right after completing the photography of one of Atlanta's landmark buildings. That is the face of a photographer who absolutely loves his job. Contrary to current reports ... According to a post in SLRlounge.com, being a photographer as the 25th worst job in America. In the first line of the post, the article cites 24/7 Wall St. as saying that they believe the 2018 Jobs Rated Report from CareerCast makes … [Read more...] about Photographer — one of the worst jobs ever? Never!
In this video, I share suggestions for getting the most of out Photoshop World with my intern Jason Geld. I've been attending Photoshop World since 1999 and have attended all but one. Over the years I've built a network of friends and business associates. I make it a point to bring my interns to this event so they can experience and receive the same benefits I have over the years. I strongly encourage you to invest in your education and attend Photoshop World. Here are a few of my top suggestions to help you get the most out of Photoshop … [Read more...] about How to get the most out of Photoshop World Orlando 2019
As you might already know, I am seriously thinking about changing my DSLR gear in favor of mirrorless. Because it would require a very important investment — perhaps one of the biggest I could make as a photographer — I want to feel 100% confident about my decision. For review purposes, I've been loaned two camera bodies: The new micro four-thirds Olympus OM-D E-M1X and the full-frame Sony a9. This article reviews my first photoshoot experience with the latter. Our first date Cloudy sky, soft light coming through the window, this was the … [Read more...] about Will I switch from DSLR to Mirrorless? My first photoshoot experience with the Sony a9
(Editor's note: This guest post is from an avid workshop attendee, Thomas Lehman. He is a retired medical school professor with a deep interest in travel and making great photographs on his way. In this post he asks a question all of us will benefit in considering.) The most important question "Why am I taking this photograph?" is one of the points most often overlooked in the field. Most people just point and shoot to document an event.A considered photographer will be worrying about exposure, contrast and composition.But even these details … [Read more...] about Why are you taking that picture?
I've been using DSLRs from the day I started doing photography. But frankly, with the growing quality of the Mirrorless market, I feel quite tempted to do the big jump ... Still, will spending my hard earned money really be worth it? Today I'm sharing my thoughts, hopes and concerns about completely switching my photography gear. Once upon a time ... Not so long ago, I remember living a happy and fulfilled life, taking pictures in the gyms with my two DSLRs, never second guessing my cameras or lenses. They were doing what I expected from … [Read more...] about Are you considering switching your DSLR to a mirrorless? I am
"I'm good. All my photos are stored in the cloud." Have you said this? Have you heard someone else utter these words when bragging about having everything backed up? I certainly have. It is time to reconsider cloud storage. Here are two, fairly short stories to think about concerning storing photographs and videos or any other content in the cloud. One of them is a personal experience. Digital Railroad (DRR) Digital Railroad was a website that provided its photographer members with archiving services and a marketplace where customers could … [Read more...] about Are your photos safe in the cloud? Two cautionary tales
When I suggest “Don’t reinvent the wheel,” I’m not advocating stifling your creativity, I’m suggesting to modify the wheel to become proficient. Start with a solid base, technique or lighting pattern then slightly modify it. Once it’s to your liking, modify it some more! Doing this enough times can completely change your original concept while keeping your work on a solid foundation. This also applies to editing your images. Doing this will also help prevent you from getting bored. Want to learn more? Check out this article, "Striking the … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: Be creative, but don’t reinvent the wheel, modify it
The golden ratio or golden mean — have you already heard about it? It's a very popular composition rule in the photographic world. But did you know there is a golden ratio for a face's beauty as well? What are those ratios based on, and how do people look like with those perfect features? Here' what I found. I wrote part one of this series in a very serious vein. Now it's is time to have some fun. A revised and scientific procedure I must confess. I felt quite inaccurate once part one had been posted. I did my Photoshop transformation based … [Read more...] about Reflections on beauty standards and photo editing, part two
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