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
Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Matt Kloskowski who's a lead instructor at Photoshop World. You can take a class called Lights, Aerial Camera, Action! with Russell Brown at the conference. Last week, I posted some thoughts about the quad copters/drones that have become really popular lately. I mostly posted about how I personally didn't find them useful for landscape photography. This time, I wanted to post a few follow up thoughts. Look for Patterns Bill Fortney (amazing photographer, amazing guy, awesome friend of mine)shared … [Read more...] about More Thoughts and a Really Cool Video on Quadcopters
This is a guest post by Matt Kloskowski be sure to catch him at this year's Photoshop World. Theres been speculation for a while now, but its confirmed. Apple is stopping future development of Aperture. The writings been on the wall for a while now. Aperture actually came out right around the time when Lightroom did (even a little before). But its been stagnant on version 3 for a while now, and Lightroom has continually pulled ahead. Anyway, all the debates over which is/was better don't matter much now. If youre an Aperture user, its time to … [Read more...] about 10 Things Aperture Users Need to Know About Lightroom
Guest post by John Van Steenburg In my last post we discussed "Knowledge + Action = Profit" and now lets look at four key areas of every business and see if we can know what we need to know (or need to rethink our assumptions) to identify a good idea, create an action plan and move on it until we recognize the success or failure of each position taken. The questions below are generalities which are good starting points. Dig deeper into each specific question, and chart out not only your standing, but also your competition. Putting it on paper … [Read more...] about Self Assessing Your Photography Business
As the new year rings close, we are opening up new and exciting opportunities to our audience. We know the endless amount of talent that is out there and I'm sure there are many that read Photofocus that would like to have a voice to share their passion. If you are an artist that has a story, a tutorial, inspiration or an educational article that you'd like to share on the Photofocus platform, we want to hear from you! The Photofocus audience is the most important asset to the success of this site. So we want to constantly add good and … [Read more...] about Guest Contributors on Photofocus
This is a guest post by Thomas Shue - lilsamedia.com/blog Follow him on Twitter: Today I am offering you some tips about back lighting. Simply put, when light is coming from behind a subject, it's said to be back lit. But before I tell you why back lighting is go great, I feel I should talk a little about front lighting. In most cases people tend to look for the light to falling on to the front of a subject. This frontal light falling on a subject can cause all sorts of problems from flat looking images with lack of detail, to squinting … [Read more...] about When to Use Back Light
This is a guest post by Stephan Bollinger - www.stephanbollinger.com Follow him on G+: plus.google.com/+StephanBollinger My previous article about the advantages of portfolio reviews has created a very interesting discussion. The question was raised Why would I need a portfolio, Im not a pro, and even more intriguing what exactly is a portfolio. To clarify a few things, first let me say that having a portfolio has nothing to do with "pro" or "amateur". I don't like these terms anyway, because it implies that a "pro" creates better pictures, … [Read more...] about I’m Not a Pro, Do I Need a Portfolio?
This is a guest post by Thomas Shue - lilsamedia.com/blog Follow him on Twitter: I know that most of you have heard of the wide angle lens before. And also know that most of you think the wide angle lens is meant to take pictures of a wide piece of real estate such as a landscape photograph. Well you can certainly use a wide angle lens for that purpose, but in most cases the landscape will look flat and lack detail because everything will appear so far away. You see, when you think wide angle, you should to think close up. That's a … [Read more...] about Creative Uses for a Wide Angle Lens
My name is Mark Gvazdinskas (AKA Silent G) and one small piece of dark glass has changed my photography and how I see the world. Forever. Im a landscape, architectural and concert photographer based in San Luis Obispo, California. When Im not shooting product or working with other photographers at Really Right Stuff you can usually find me shooting up and down the coast. Along with taking pictures I love to teach and I was recently invited to be an instructor at the CLICK! California Photo Festival, focusing on long exposures seascapes. This … [Read more...] about The 10 Stop & How it Changed My Long Exposure Photography
This is a guest post by . Using gels is a great way to infuse vibrant colors into your images that can either dominate or introduce subtle tones that help to communicate a mood. Gels can be beautiful and elegant, however, be sure that the color serves a visual role and try not to go overboard or appear too gimmicky. If the gels aren't being used successfully to communicate a mood or purposeful color palette, it can look like it was simply used to make a boring photograph more interesting and miss the mark. Aim to have your gel become an … [Read more...] about Using Gels to Infuse Color Into Your Photographs
This is a guest post from Terry White. Terry is a great photographer and an Adobe wizard. He's also got a great workshop called "Master The Shoot." The next one is this Saturday in Cincinnati. __________________________________________ I use both standard studio strobes AND continuous lighting. I pick and choose between the two depending on what Im lighting and what I think will do a better job. For my continuous lighting I have relied on the Westcotts Spiderlite TD5 and TD6. The TD6 has really served me well with a better overall design over … [Read more...] about Review: Skylux LED Studio Light
Before we jump right into the geek speak... indulge me for a moment. Perhaps it's summer grilling season, but I've got food on my mind. I love hamburgerswho doesn't? The way I see it, I've got two choices when I want a burger: I can order out or I can stay in, and there are benefits to both. If I go to McDonald's I can get a Big Mac fast and ready to eat including pickles, cheese, a sesame seed bun, and their Special Sauce. That's incredibly convenient and it tastes pretty good. If I choose to stay home and make my own burger, however, I can … [Read more...] about Do You Need to Shoot RAW+JPEG? Try Lightroom’s “Big Mac” Button
While most photographers rely on autofocus (even the pros), sometimes autofocus isn't the right tool. Perhaps your camera keeps latching onto the wrong object. Or perhaps using the Autofocus assist lamp is drawing too much attention as you try to shoot that dramatic performance. Its okay, cameras over manual focus for two real reasons. For control freaks and for when autofocus fails to give you the results you want. Here are a few tips that will help you nail focus (even when you're adjusting it manually): Sometimes theres too little … [Read more...] about When to Use Manual Focus on Your Camera
If you want to learn to make art, you should learn from artists. A couple of weeks ago I learned an important lesson by contrasting painters and photographers. Painters do an activity called "En Plein Air", which refers to painting in the open air; photographers would call it shooting on location. There's this terrific contest in Logan, Utah requiring painters to have a blank canvas stamped Monday morning and then they have to submit finished work Wednesday morning as the kick off to the arts fair. The works they turn out in just two days are … [Read more...] about Want Quality Pictures? Savor Like a Painter
Im often asked how many exposures I use for my HDR images and tend to make myself unpopular by answering As many as it takes. This sounds glib but it is, in fact, the truth. Some people appear to be under the impression that you can get by with always shooting, for example, 3 images spaced 2 stops apart. This may work most of the time but that will likely be by luck rather than design. An outdoor scene will probably be captured fine using exposures from -2EV to +2EV but inside a cathedral with bright, stained glass windows, for example, it can … [Read more...] about How Many Exposures Should You Shoot for Great HDR Images?
This is a guest post by Skip Cohen. Be sure to check out Skip Cohen University August 11-14 in Chicago. A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so. Mahatma Gandhi A year ago I joined Trip Advisor. The reason was a request from one of our favorite … [Read more...] about Consumer Strength: The Power of Social Media
Austin Skyline at Dusk Dave Wilson A 3 exposure HDR taken around 9pm. I love the way the long exposure has blurred the surface of the water and the great colored streaks from the lights on the opposite bank. This is a guest post by Dave Wilson. Circle Dave on Google+. I took this shot when. I was downtown with a couple of fellow photographers from work and we ended up at Auditorium Shores (in Austin, Texas) just after sunset. The colors on the water of Lady Bird Lake were superb and the sky was just right for great night shots. Contrary to … [Read more...] about How to Shoot Skylines at Night
Using HDR in the image below allowed me to reveal the details of the machinery as well as the colors of the sky. I shot the image using 14-24mm lens at f/11. Editors Note: This post builds upon Levi's earlier post on Starbursts. When you include the sun in you composition, you have framed a scene with a very high dynamic range--shadows facing you and full sunso HDR software is ideal for making a picture revealing the whole scene. The sunrise through the trees and the Canyonlands sunset above are both HDR composites. If not, they would both … [Read more...] about Combining Starbursts and HDR
This is a guest post by Skip Cohen. Be sure to check out Skip Cohen University August 11-14 in Chicago. I know everybody would love to just close the book on 2012, but even though we're half way through this new year, think about last year for a minute. As you analyze last year, think about what you really need to do better, instead of blaming things on what you think is a boring name, logo or site design, the "frosting". So often we all do the same thing - we blame the challenges on the "low hanging fruit", the easiest things we might … [Read more...] about Are You Tired of Your Image?
When I started making pictures, my day job took me all over the world and I ended up with lots of time to go out shooting in various countries. This was mostly at nighttime and mostly in cities, like this bike I found tethered to a post in Dubai. As I walked the streets with my camera and tripod I learned one cool technique that added pop to my pictures: starbursts. Whenever I show these pictures, people always ask if I used a lens filter or photoshop to make the rays shooting from the lights, and the answer is, "No." This is done one hundred … [Read more...] about Wanna Add Pop to your Pictures? Try a Starburst
Guest Post & Photos by I was running a lighting workshop where we were using natural light (augmented by reflectors and strobes) and noticed that many of the newer photographers were suffering from the same problem. They would walk into a room, get an idea, pose the model, fidget with their camera settings, shoot, fidget some more with their settings, the light would change, they would reposition the model, fidget, shoot, sigh. Reposition, move a reflector, fidget, shoot, sigh. You get the point. They never got the shot, the … [Read more...] about Honing Your Skills – Speed Shooting (NSFW)
Portrait photographers like David Ziser and Clay Blackmore taught me very early in my career that great portraits are almost always short lit, and that made me happy. Knowing that a simple technique could give me a leg up in making great portraits was music to my ears. Unfortunately, I didn't really understand what that meant for a long time. Once I realized exactly what short lighting is, I saw that almost every photograph of every subject, from landscapes to libraries, is likely to be more successful if it's short lit. What is short … [Read more...] about Short Light: The Professionals’ Choice for Making Great Architecture and Landscape Photographs
A little while ago I showed you how I used a translucent diffuser to create soft light with a speedlight and hot red hairdo in a hot red jeep. When you shine a little through a translucent material, it's spreads out that light and makes it bigger, and a bigger light is a softer light. I love soft light. But speedlights are expensive and calling them temperamental is an understatement. The diffuser can be had for well under US$50, however, and is the perfect complement to the largest, cheapest light source in the solar system: the sun. I'd go … [Read more...] about Professional Portrait Light from a Simple Tool
Have you ever attended a truly great seminar? Where the impact on your life was enough to actually motivate you to change? A couple of weeks ago I attended Skip Cohen University's THRIVE in Las Vegas, and it was just that sort of event. The best thing about SCU is the relationships you get to build with other photographers as well as the instructors. I finally met Tom Shue and he invited me along for a wonderful afternoon making pictures with him and Clay Blackmore. Clay is an instructor at SCU, and it was really a pleasure to get out and see … [Read more...] about Going for Red! Diffusion + White Balance = Big Color