Monday, April 30, 2012

Adobe Creative Cloud

I must admit, when I first heard about the Adobe Creative Cloud I was skeptical. The thought of “renting or leasing” software just didn’t sound like a good idea. The more I thought about it the more I kept returning to Adobe to read more. Then, it dawned on me to do the math.

Because I am an existing customer with CS5 (the deal is good for CS3 and CS4 as well) I can get the Creative Cloud (which includes ALL Adobe CS6 products) for 29.99 a month. That means I get access to 2500.00 worth of software for approximately 360.00 a year. The down side is that I don’t own the software right?

Well, think about this. Adobe refreshes their software every two years. At the rate of 29.99 a month in two years time I will have spent 720.00. If I had bought the software for 2500.00 then I would be upgrading for 1049.00 for a new version. That means I save 2829.00 by going the Creative Cloud route. That is no small chunk of change (you could buy a Nikon D800 for that!)

So, how does this work?

You pay Adobe 29.99 per month if you are an existing customer, student, or teacher and you have access to the entire line of CS6 products. Otherwise it is 49.99 per month which is still a great deal. You will download all the products to your computer just like always and they will run natively on your machine. Once per month the software will connect to the Adobe site to ensure that you are still subscribed. A full time internet connection is not required.

All in all it sounds like a great deal and I am going to be going this route. There are several of the Adobe products that I have always wanted access too but couldn’t afford outright. I am a little bummed about not having the physical software to keep forever but then again, I can’t remember the last time I used Photoshop 7…. So what am I really missing out on?

You can check out more about the Adobe Creative Cloud here:

Adobe has not changed their standard upgrades if that is what you would rather do.  Good job Adobe for giving us different options!

As always, if you have any questions just ask away!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Best Laid Plans

A bride goes through months and months of planning making sure everything is perfect.  Then, the big day comes and one of the few things outside of her control hits.  It rains all day.  However, this isn't a fear that rests solely with the bride.  The photographer also has this fear.

We are hired to produce great images to help them remember their day for years to come.  We were not hired to complain, be grumpy, or be limited by these same events.  We must produce because that is our job.

There is one thing you must have to produce good images (other than a camera).  If you have this then you are only limited by your creativity and the understanding you have of your equipment.  The one item is good quality of light.  Seek this out above all and the rest can fall into place.  If you are in a location where the light quality is lacking then you best have a means of producing your own light.  Great light can overcome almost anything because the environment is no longer a factor.  It is all about the light and it's direction.  For example,  the two images above were taken in a standard hotel.  The first in the room where the bride was getting ready and the second in the lobby.  These were not spectacular locations but it is what we had to work with.

Tip: If the environment isn't favorable shoot with a wide open aperture to help blurr the background. This will cause the subject to be seperated from the background.

Side note:  I talked to the hotel prior to taking the bride around the lobby to ensure that it was okay with them.  The last thing you need to add to a difficult day is being kicked out of the hotel.

You owe your clients good images regardless of the situation.  Perhaps the couple wanted to get married at someones house and that location was less than picturesque.  Does that bride or groom deserve less than good images?  No.  We have to produce because it is not only our job but our duty.  These are images that will last a lifetime and there are no do-overs.

I can honestly say that wedding photography is one of the most difficult things I have ever attempted to do photographically speaking.  However, there is nothing like showing the bride and groom their finished images and seeing a smile on their face.

Thanks Angeline and Andy for the privilege of shooting your wedding!

Oh, this last image?  Well, sometimes you get lucky and the rain stops for 5min.  Seriously, it was only for 5min.....

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How to Export Using Lightroom 4

Here is a tutorial on how to use the export function of Lightroom 4.  LR4 makes it so easy to create new jpegs from my RAW files that I find no need to keep jpeg copies of my images.  Take a look and let me know if you have any questions.  Remember, RAW Rules!

Monday, April 9, 2012

What is a Photograph?

Window at Le Gras by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (worlds first photograph)
A photograph can be different for each individual person.  Some view them as tech-tile objects to be placed into an album - a memory of times past.  Some see them as pixels that are simply made to be punished.  Even others view them as evidence of something real.  Which one of these is correct?  All of them because photography can be different for each individual person. 

To me a photograph is simply two things.

1.  It is a moment captured in time.

  • The first permanent photograph was taken in 1826 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce.  It was entitled "Window at Le Gras".  It was an eight hour exposure and the first image to record a moment in time.  It isn't much to look at but it revolutionized media.

2.  It is the photographer's (artists) interpretation of that captured moment.

  • Each photographer sees the world differently.  There are certain colors, angles, and perspectives that catch the eye of the photographer.  How he or she chooses to record an image is distinctly unique to that individual.

This is why it is vital to a photographer to discover how they see and what it is that drives them to produce images.  Once this is discovered their own unique style will begin to flourish.

What does a photograph mean to you?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sun N Fun 2012

Last Flying B-29 Super Fortress
This past weekend I (with the family) attended Sun N Fun in Lakeland, Florida.  I had heard about this "fly-in" for years but never realized just how big the event was.  There were thousands of airplanes.  Some dating back to WWII.  If you are into planes at all then mark this on your calendar for next year.  It is a week long event and my estimate is that it would take at least 3 days to begin to see it all.  It is the "Disney World" of aviation says my Wife.


Now, if you are both into aviation and into photography you may end up with sensory overload.  I have only gone through a fraction of the images I took but here are some of my favorites so far.  I was lucky to have some cloud activity which is almost always a good thing for photographers.

There is a very difficult aspect to photographing prop driven planes.  That is if you use too high of a shutter speed then the props are frozen.  The key is to show the props moving.  To do this you have to maintain a shutter speed of 1/250 or slower.  It is very difficult to get a good sharp image from a 300mm lens when the shutter is so slow.  In order to attain a sharp airplane but still have blurred props you have to pan with the aircraft.  It took me a good bit of time to get the hang of this but once you do the images look so much better.

P-51 Mustang
Remember to mark Sun N Fun on your calendars for next year!!!  I hope to see you there!  If you have any questions about anything photography related just shoot me an e-mail or give me a call.  You can find more information about Sun N Fun here at