Friday, December 30, 2011

Be Wary of the "Flickr Hug"

Yesterday I had the pleasure of Rick Sammon reviewing my portfolio. To say the least I was nervous. What if he hated my work or what if it turned out that I was a terrible photographer? The couple of weeks leading up to the review I continuously thought about what I wanted to get out of the review. Finally, I decided that what I wanted was an honest and objective look at my work from a seasoned professional. Up to this point I had received much praise from my friends and family and the few times I had posted work on Flickr it was always met with they typical “great shot”…“nice work” comments.
Before the Review
After the Review!!!

When the interview started Rick asked me what I wanted to get out of the review so I told him what I was looking for. Over the next 45min we looked at my work and he gave me some great pointers to help me improve. The hard part was trying not to defend my work. I kept my mouth shut and listened to him seeing as how he is one of the top photographers in the world. It is in our very nature to defend what we do but there are times when you need to bite your tongue and listen to the masters. Today my mind is racing with new ideas and ways to go back and improve my older images as well as ways to improve my overall ability.

So, what does it mean to be wary of the “Flickr Hug”? It means to be careful that your ego doesn’t out way your ability. If you want to feel good about your photography just post any image on Flickr and soon you will be getting “Flickr Hugs”… Rick Sammon puts it this way “don’t believe your own PR”.

If you are serious about your photography then I cannot recommend enough that you get a professional portfolio review. If you do get the review remember to listen more than you speak.

You can find out more about Rick Sammon HERE.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Best of 2011

Here is just a quick look at some of my favorites from 2011.  It was a great year and I am looking forward to what 2012 has to offer.  Thanks for reading, watching, and/or listening!!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Video Tutorial-Removing Dark Circles Under the Eyes

Have you ever noticed that sometimes just under the eyes you see dark shadows.  This is caused by a light source casting a shadow.  It is certainly more defined on some than others but often times it cannot be avoided at the time of capture.  Photoshop gives us ways of correcting these shadow.  Take a look at the video below to see at least one method.
This will take you directly to my website where you can check out other video tutorials.  You can also change the resolution there to best fit your download speeds.  Enjoy!!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fruit and Spice Park (Homestead, FL)

I have lived in Florida for almost 7 years now.  Today my wife and I decided to try out the fruit and spice park that is within 10min of where we live.  I am amazed to have lived next to such a photographer's paradise for so long and not known that it was here.  There is something to be said about your own "back yard".  I see my self spending a good bit of time there throughout the year now.  We had a great time and despite the fact that we were there in the worst possible light I did come away with a few keepers.  I also found out that bamboo looks really cool in black and white!!!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Don't Stop with one Edit

Kim and Zackeal (Wife and Son!!)

Use your post processing tools!  We as photographers have more post processing tools than ever before and yet sometimes we shy from using them.  I find myself in that group ever so often too…  It is safe to be there.  Lately, though I have been trying to step out of my “normal” post processing.  The first thing I generally do is post process an image to the point that I like the image.  Then, I will create a few virtual copies of the image and play around with some of the post processing options that Lightroom 3 has (use whatever tool you have in place of Lightroom 3).  Some of these I go wild on and would never show anyone but I learn so much by trying these different settings.  The fact that it is a virtual copy means that the original image is safe so it doesn’t matter what I do to the images.  It does not hurt to play around and you can learn some interesting things about the editor you have chosen.  You might even be surprised by some of the effects that you can get.  It could also assist you on developing a style.  When I first gander at an image I generally know what post processing tools will work.  Why?  Well, because I have played around with Lightroom and/or Photoshop.  Stop being safe with your editing….  The sky is the limit!!!!  Besides if it turns out terrible there is a delete key on the keyboard.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I Hate HDR?

This is a can of worms topic in the world of photography.  Generally speaking photographers fall in one of two categories:

  • Category 1:  "I HATE HDR, it is overdone, overused, it is a gimmicky post processing trick that attempts to turn a bad photo into a good one, and I can't stand it".
  • Category 2:  "I LOVE HDR, it is a great tool because it lets us see a dynamic range closer to what the eye sees."

Here is something to consider:  People that buy and/or enjoy photography but are not photographers seem to all love HDR (generally speaking).  These folks don't know it is HDR or even what HDR means.  They just know whether or not they like the photo.  What an interesting concept.  The end product is all they care about.  They might want to know what the photographer was thinking when they composed the image or they might like to hear the story of it's creation.  But dollars to donuts they could care less if it's HDR.

I want to charge each of you with this...  FORGET the method used for a given photograph and evaluate wether or not you "like" the image.  In the end, that is all that really matters.


Check out these other posts regarding this same topic:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pocket Wizards for the Nikon

 Pocket Wizards (PW) have interested me for a good bit of time. This system is designed to allow you to have iTTL (or E-TTL for Canon) control over your flashes off camera. Yes, Nikon has the CLS system that uses the flash from your camera or commander unit to have off camera flash but they are limited by line of sight. If you are outside the sun can limit it’s effectiveness as well. Until now they were only available for Canon cameras. The Nikon version of the PW exists!!! Better yet, I have them. I purchased a Mini TT1 (transmitter) and two Flex TT5 (transceiver) units so that I could control two off camera flash units. I also added the AC3 to allow full control of the flashes directly from the camera.

Below is what I see as the pro/con list.
• No line of sight required
• Range (800’)
• TTL function
• Flash Compensation from the camera
• Flash Compensation and Manual control available from the camera with optional ACR
• Mini TT1 has a low profile on the camera
• Can be used to trigger studio strobes
• USB upgradeable

• Cost
• Size of the Flex 5 is larger than expected but still small
• When using the AC3 the camera no longer has an option to mount a flash. This is only useful for when you have a large group and you are looking to add a little fill in addition to the off camera. Not a deal breaker because you can always just remove the AC3 if have to
• AC3 dials are easily moved. I am a right eye shooter so when I go vertical my nose comes in contact with the dials and changes settings. Not a deal breaker because once I am used to this it will no longer be an issue.
• The instructions are painful to read but what would you expect from photo related manuals?