Today is Mothers Day in many parts of the world, and it got me thinking about the role of family in my life. It was my mom who paid for those first rolls of film to be developed and all those flash cubes that I used on that early Kodak 110 film camera. It was my Mom who always made sure we had pictures at family events and on trips (and still does till this day). It was Mom who built the family photo albums. The Role of Parents How many of us owe our career or our greatest passion to our mothers or fathers? Both played a key role in my life … [Read more...] about Putting Family Back Into Photography
For a very long time I have operated by a simple motto: A checked bag is a lost bag. While that is clearly hyperbole, its still a good guideline for anyone who flies. Because when I say lost bag I mean your cameras may get lost. Even if your bag isn't misplaced, theres a real chance your camera gear will be. Documents filed with the TSA from 2010 to 2014 show 30,621 claims of missing valuables, mostly packed in checked luggage. The rest occurred at security checkpoints. Total property loss claimed: $2.5 million. Some experts believe that only … [Read more...] about Why You Should Think Carefully Before You Check Bags Containing Cameras When Flying
The last time I visited Lower Antelope Canyon, near Page, AZ, was in February 2014. I had arrived with about an hour before the local Navajo operators were closing for the evening, so my time exploring the area was brief. As I was ushered out of the canyon by the diligent canyon keepers, I knew I would have to return and ensure ample time to take properly survey the area with my camera. Fortunately, that opportunity presented itself a little over a year later, when I returned to the undulating and confined spaces of this marvelous slot canyon … [Read more...] about 3 Tips On Photographing Lower Antelope Canyon
Note: We've got two hangouts this week Thursday Lightroom and Business. Make it a double learning day. Don't miss our next Google Hangout. The event is Thursday, May 30, 2015. Its absolutely free to attend thanks to SongFreedom and Drobo. It starts at 1PM Eastern/10AM Pacific. Join Skip Cohen and Richard Harrington and special guest of Resource Magazine. Adam Sherwin is one of those fortunate individuals who found a love for all things photographic at a very early age.Adam's writing, and opinions, are based on his journey from dark … [Read more...] about Mind Your Own Business — Creativity, Diversity and Survival for Photographers
I recently found out that Photoflex has closed its doors (https://photoflex.com.) While I never had a close relationship with Photoflex, and they weren't ever sponsors here at Photofocus, I used many of their products over the years and even often referred new photographers to the Photoflex lineup of affordable, high-quality products. They consistently offered good value. For three decades, Photoflex filled photography studios around North America (and the world) with gear. I am sure I am not alone in my sadness over this sudden news. For … [Read more...] about When It Comes To The Photography Business, Things Change
I used to shoot with Hasselblad cameras way back in the day. The negatives were square. I cut my teeth on those cameras and since I spent so many years working with Hasselblads, shooting square just came naturally to me. A Little History Square format has been around since 1929 when it was introduced by Rollei. There is a rich history of square format photography and it seems to be making a comeback thanks to sharing sites and other mobile apps. I have started shooting square format again. Roughly 90% of my current images are square. Many … [Read more...] about The Advantages Of Square Format Photography
Editor's Note: While You might have summer on your mind, now's the perfect time to put your plans together for winter shooting. Recently, I went on a 2 1/2 week trip to Iceland and Norway during the winter season. Upon doing my research of the historic weather reports for those areas during that time of year, along with looking at the current forecasts, I was able to get a good idea as to what I should expect. I also had lots of conversations with fellow adventure photographers who have been to these areas about recommended accessories to keep … [Read more...] about Five Items For The Cold Weather Photographer
Our friends at lynda.com have put together a great video essay discussing the role of Photoshop and image manipulation and its place in photo journalism. There are a lot of thought provoking points in this pieces. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R47xZwxF1T4 … [Read more...] about Photoshop and Photojournalism
In the beginning of the year I wrote, "Have You Created Your 2015 Metadata Copyright Preset?" reminding us to update our copyright information for the New Year. This quick tip made sure we added our copyright information to every photo we imported into Lightroom. Our next step to protect our images is to register them with the Library of Congress. Lightroom makes this final process just as fast and easy. I thought my images were already protected? The moment you capture an image, you automatically own the copyright of the image. If someone … [Read more...] about First Quarter is over: Have you registered your photos?
Recently, I saw a collection of April Fools posts on Facebook by photographers who tried baking in some irony by sharing photos from a oft-photographed US National Park that they dubbed as their most creatively challenging, all while being derisive about the homogeny of photos being posted by others online. Now, while I know that these posts were mostly written in jest, I also believe that there is truth behind every joke, especially if you continued on to read the comments on each of the posts. As I read these posts, I felt a tinge of sadness … [Read more...] about A Simple Tip For All Photographers: Just Be There and Get The Shot
This week's podcast offers a special treat. We talk Scott Bourne out of retirement to come on to one show as a guest. Rich and Scott catch up about Fuji cameras and cloud photo editing. Then Levi Sim sites down with boudoir photographer Jennifer Rozenbaum to learn about her approach. Get the show here or get it on iTunes Don't forget to post a review on iTunes. Scott Bourne Longtime readers will of course recognize Scott as the founder of Photofocus. We wanted to catch up with him and learn about what he's been up to. … [Read more...] about Photofocus Podcast April 5, 2015 — Scott Bourne and Jennifer Rozenbaum
Since the age of 16 I've competed in Martial Arts competitions. My performance was under a microscope. It was simple, if my performance was great the judges would give high scores and the crowd roared with applause. If my performance was marginal, the judges would give low scores and, If the crowd disagreed, they would voice their disapproval. Their support was comforting but did very little to change the outcome. After the event, I would ask the judges for advice and request they give it to me straight. Sometimes I liked what they had to … [Read more...] about Find a Trusted Voice to Critique your Photos
Data loss is something that I wish upon no one. Those who have experienced this catastrophe already know that one occurrence can easily mess up one's day, jack up one's week, and quite possibly destroy one's year. Many of us have priceless photos of those we love, places we've experienced, and people we've seen. We want to keep those photos with us for our lifetime! That's why some of us have resorted to external hard drives to archive the lovely photos we take, right? But the right workflow matters. Using External Storage There are several … [Read more...] about Safe and Simple External Storage
There are three things that have no place in any business: ego, arrogance, and entitlement. The photographer who expects everything for free, is envious of others' success, or has an ego so inflated that they are unable see past their own faults is a sure-fire way to sabotage their image. It may get them so far, but toxic traits don't go unnoticed for very long. Instead, let's strive for self-esteem, confidence, and humility. You're likely to get more with honey, than with vinegar. This Post Sponsored by: Drobo. A family of Safe, Simple, … [Read more...] about Ego, Arrogance, and Entitlement
It isn't very often that I switch camera systems. Especially after I've spent more than $10,000 of my precious life-sustaining money on crap and gear combined with more time than a grad student would study just to learn how to use it all. My photography career changed ever since, um... I wanted it to change. Part of that change incorporated some interesting decisions that affected my gear choices. Weird right? --There's been a small update to the article regarding an error I was encountering while shooting in continuous high. See the end of … [Read more...] about I Made The Switch From 5D3 to X-T1- Here’s Why!
Sometimes I feel like I am a photo-hoarder. I travel, create photographs, and then they just sit and collect virtual dust in my Lightroom catalog. It's sort of like the old saying: "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" If we create a photo and never share it with anyone but ourselves, does it exist? Of course it does, but what's the point? I create photos for many reasons, partly because it's a way for me to enjoy and experience things I normally would not if I were not a photographer. But the … [Read more...] about A Tree in the Forest
This week's podcast interviews photographers Cindy Harter Sims about printmaking and competitions. Then we catch up with well-known glamour photographer Lou Freeman. Tune in and get inspired. Get the show here or get it on iTunes Don't forget to post a review on iTunes. Cindy Harter Sims Cindy Harter is a portrait photographer located in Cartersville, GA. Her philosophy for her life and her business is Live Independently. Feel Intimately. Love Courageously. She shares her philosophy on making images that inspire. Who is … [Read more...] about Photofocus Podcast March 15, 2015 — Cindy Harter Sims and Lou Freeman
Guest posts, don't we all love them? Think of how refreshing it is to hear a new voice from the crowd! This is one of the ways that photographers can give back something inspirational, educational, or otherwise neat or fun. In her spare time she enjoys DIY projects, playing guitar and mandolin, obsessing over Apple products, and driving her Mini Cooper. She's an awesome and fun goofball and I've found that she gets addicted to starting and voting for photos on some websites. … [Read more...] about How to Become a Professional Photographer – Guest Post
I, like many of you, have dealt with technology for quite a long time. I can understand how confusing (or even difficult) it can be upgrade or a replace an already expensive machine, but let me tell you that now is the time to upgrade! An upgrade from a four year old machine to a new machine can yield a pretty impressive performance boost if you choose the right stuff! Choosing the right stuff for the performance you want can be a little confusing. So time for me to geek out and hopefully get you on the right track for a good investment! Why … [Read more...] about Upgrade Your Computer! Upgrade Your Performance! Part 1: CPU
Note: Im not a lawyer and anything I say should not be taken as legal advice. Drones are a hot-topic right now, since the FAA released proposed regulations on commercial UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle). Fellow Photofocus author Kevin Ames already went over all of the restrictions and licensing. For most people, these rules won't apply. Were hobbyists, using these drones for personal use. The lines are a little grey between hobbyist flights and commercial flights. An easy way to think about it is this If youre getting paid for aerial work, then … [Read more...] about I’m a Drone Hobbyist … Really!
Some believe photographers shouldn't be seen nor heard during a shoot, they should blend into the background capturing candid shots.Others believe in order to get the shot, you cause a reaction to make it happen. With my outgoing personality, I tend to make the shot happen but I also know the value of blending in and waiting for a special moment to unfold, letting it happen. Its up to you to decided which photographer you need to be for the situation presented to you. Making it Happen During a golf event for an accounting firm, I started to … [Read more...] about Make it Happen, or Let it Happen: Which Photographer Are You?
I received a call from a friend of mine about a month after we attended Photoshop World in Las Vegas. He was excited an agency want to use an image he took at the popular Westcott Shooting booth. He asked me to hunt down the model and get a release form from him. I paused, took a deep breath and searched for the right words to tell him why he can't use the image. He snapped, "But why can't I use the image, I took the photo!". It's true, he pressed the shutter that snapped the shot that took the photo. So why can't he in good faith use the … [Read more...] about Why Can’t I Sell the Photo, I Took It!
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending Capture Cinematic Weddings with Ray Roman in Fort Lauderdale. The in-depth seminar took place at a hotel just steps from the beach. We learned how to maximize picture quality with proper exposure settings, understanding how to master the speeches and get perfect audio every time, and how to price & position our work to gain high-profile clients. It was great watching some of Rays favorite wedding films to help illustrate everything we were learning. The next day, Rays master class put … [Read more...] about Capture Cinematic Weddings Seminar Review
You have a camera now what? I came across this meme on Facebook recently and it made me laugh yet reminded me of questions Ive recently been asked. Being the resident photographer among friends, Ive been asked the following questions several times over the past couple weeks. I picking out a new camera, whats the best camera to get? My husband/partner/wife/girlfriend got me a camera, whats the best way to learn how to use it? Let me address the first question: I picking out a new camera, whats the best camera to get? To many this question … [Read more...] about New Camera, Now What?
One of the least exciting piece of photo gear has to be a sandbag. I can't remember the last time I was in a room filled with photographers and we enthusiastically talked about them. Although sandbags are not exciting, they are an important piece of gear that adds safety to a set. Common Uses for Sandbags Weigh a light stand down. Counter balance for a boom. Steady a tripod in wind during long exposures. Keeping seamless paper from curling. Avoid a Mess (Add a Bag Inside) Here is a neat trick. Fill a heavy duty plastic Ziploc bag with sand, … [Read more...] about Neat Trick for Filling a Sandbag
You might have heard that Canon just announced two new cameras. The Canon EOS 5DS and the EOS 5DS R, which will feature a 50.6 MP sensor. Really? 50 MP? Do you really need a 50 megapixel camera? What is a Megapixel? Megapixel means that a camera can capture 1 million pixels per image. That means a 12 megapixel camera can capture 12 million pixels per image. Does that mean a 50 megapixel camera is amazing? Im sure the camera is amazing but why would you need 50 megapixels? Ask your self how and where you utilize your images? Are you and your … [Read more...] about Do You Really Need a 50 Megapixel Camera?
Thanks for all the great questions you've been sending in to the Photofocus podcast. This week is a two part show. First up, Rich Harrington catches up with photographer and educator Abba Shapiro to tackle some great topics to help photographers. Then Levi Sim catch up with Ray Roman & Matt Thompson to talk about shooting weddings and making the transition from photo to video. Remember, you can post questions for future shows via Twitter with the #pfqa or send us a note here at Photofocus. The music in our podcast comes from the cool … [Read more...] about Photofocus Q & A Podcast with Abba Shapiro + Ray Roman & Matt Thompson — February 5, 2015
UrbEx and Me Growing up in New York City gave me a very strong appreciation for architecture. After all, I was surrounded by some of the grandest and most densely packed buildings on the planet. However, that appreciation didn't fully mature until I began immersing myself in photography during my freshman year of college in 1996. Fortunately, Syracuse University, my alma mater, had a wonderful selection of architectural styles on display throughout the vast campus, so my fascination with buildings continued to grow. It wasn't until later on, … [Read more...] about A Primer in Urban Exploration
Coming up with a great idea is challenging for me. I only know one person who can come up with a great idea on the spot, and that's Photofocus editor Rich Harrington. Recently, our studio was selected to design a Dream Shoot for LensRentals.com. We could do anything we wanted, a wide-open project, and LensRentals.com would provide all the gear we needed. One of the hardest things for me to do is come up with a good idea. I have ok ideas all the time, but most never amass to anything. Here are a few ways that I come up with a good idea. … [Read more...] about Coming up with a Great Idea for a Photo
Keeping your Lightroom catalog safe is essential to preserving your hard work. After all, your catalog contains your organization (and possibly the bulk of your edits). The Quick Answer on Location So where should you store the catalog? The answer is it depends. Single computer: create a folder on your local hard drive, name it Lightroom Catalog and save the catalog to this location. This is the fastest way Lightroom can access the catalog. Multiple computers: create a folder on an external hard drive, name it Lightroom Catalog and save the … [Read more...] about Where Should I Keep My Lightroom Catalog?