Hey everyone. I’m on the plane heading back from Portland. I was out there for work this week and found some time to go shooting. Yesterday morning, I met up …
A few weeks ago I posted that I was a guest on TV show called “The Home and Family Show”, and giving some photography tips. The show airs on the …
Last week I posted a photo I took in Breckenridge, Colorado. In the post I had mentioned that I didn’t know the area and that I got somewhat lucky in …
If you’ve never been to PhotoWhoa.com, you need to check out their site. It’s a photography blog/store with lots of great stories along with lots of great deals on photography …
I get asked all the time what filters I carry. And many times, whenever I recommend filters on one of my online training courses or shows/webcasts, people will comment on …
Hey there and happy Monday. I just wanted to let you know that my new eBook is out (and my first eBook-only, not print, book). It’s called Landscape Photography Workflow …
Okay, I’m going to admit this right up front. This is not a photography tip. The headline I wrote is totally meant to grab attention (hope it worked) But I really wanted to write about this. I’ve seen this tip help (or how it could have helped) so many freakin’ photographers out there and I couldn’t think of any other title that people would actually read
The Back Story
This time of year, many photographers are packing up their stuff and heading to cold places to photograph, or for vacation, work, or all of the above in some combination. Now, if you already live in a cold place, then you probably know what type of gear, clothing, etc… to pack. But what if you don’t (like me).
A True Story
Years ago, I went on a photography trip out to Moab, Utah. I looked at the weather forecast and it showed that the lows would be somewhere in the 40’s. “Meh… no problem!” I thought. I live in Tampa, Florida where it doesn’t get in to the 40’s much (although it is as I write this). And when it does, everyone breaks out their winter coats, boots, scarves, gloves, snow shoes (maybe not the last one). But I travel enough that I’m in cooler weather often, not to mention I grew up in the northeast so I know what it’s like. Anyway, so when I saw 40’s I didn’t think much of it. 40′s ain’t bad at all.
What Did I Miss?
Some of you already know the ending to this story because you’re saying to yourself, “Yeah, it was 40, but what about the wind”. Sadly I didn’t think of that. And I paid for it. We got out to some locations and there was a 10-20mph wind blowing. As I’m sure many of you know, 40 isn’t so bad. But 40 in high winds can get really cold really quick. So cold that all I wanted to do was get back in the car when I was supposed to be out there shooting. It wasn’t just uncomfortable, it was downright miserable. I couldn’t be creative and I couldn’t even think about shooting. And I was with a group and several people were the same way. You know who wasn’t? The people that had the right clothing.
Okay, So Why Am I Writing This?
So what’s the point here. The point is that I think there is a secret to getting the most out of your photography gear in the winter that a lot of people can miss. The right clothing. See, we spend so much money on our photo gear
I mentioned the other day that I’d be in San Francisco this week and was looking for some places to shoot. I’ve also posted (several times before) of my bad …
Hey everyone. I’m heading out to San Francisco today for an Adobe event. It’s not really a shooting event and I’m not sure how much time I’ll have, but the Bay area is one of my favorite places so I packed up my camera gear with me as well. Just searching around 500px.com (which is what I do whenever I go on a trip somewhere for inspiration and cool places to shoot), I found a ton of great long exposure possibilities so I’ve got my ND filters too. But, if anyone reading knows so good photo spots, by all means please let me know. I’ve always wanted to get a photo of the top of the Golden Gate poking through the fog, but I’m not even sure if this is a good time of year for that. All I know is that any time I go to shoot it, it’s totally engulfed in fog
Anyway, here’s a couple of photos I took on my last trip out there. I went to one of the popular beach areas (Baker beach, and no I didn’t see any nude beachgoers ) to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset.
(click to see the photo larger)
But as it got closer to sunset, some hazy stuff started to roll in and covered the bridge. So I switched gears,
Yesterday on our live talk show, The Grid, we talked about ways to become a better photographer in 2014. One of the things we talked about was how it’s okay to try to model your work after some of the pros out there. It’s okay to try to shoot weddings like Cliff Mautner, or light portraits like Joe McNally. Learn what the pros do that interests you, try to shoot like them and develop the confidence that you need, and your style will naturally develop from it because, well, you’re simply not Cliff or Joe. That alone, will make sure that your photos and your style are different from theirs.
Same thing goes if you’re into shooting outdoors and landscapes. It’s okay to go to Death Valley and shoot the typical photo that everyone shoots at the Racetrack with the mysterious moving stones. Learn why that viewpoint at that time of day is good, and take the photo. Build your confidence by visiting some of the “gimmee” spots where ever you travel. Nobody said photography, and making a great photo, means going to a place no one else has and taking a photo that nobody else has. Sometimes it’s just fine to go to a place that everyone has gone before, and put your own spin on the location. Maybe your tripod is up higher or lower than the others. Maybe you go at sunset rather than sunrise or you do a long exposure when no one else is. Even though you may be modeling your photo after another photographer or photo you’ve seen, I think just the fact that you’re taking the photo (and processing it), makes it different.
The 50/50 Rule
This brings me to the Photographer’s 50/50 rule. I’m not sure where this rule came from. I learned it many years ago and I wish I could credit some one for it, but I have no idea where/how I learned it. Basically, the premise is
Hey everyone. Today on our live talk show, The Grid, we’re going to go back to a topic we covered last year – the key steps to becoming a better photographer in 2014. We have a special guest, one of my favorite photographer friends out there, Karen Hutton. I know she’s going to bring a lot to the table because, well, she’s awesome, talented and just so cool to talk to. Anyway, we’re not just going to rehash last year’s show but also put some new stuff in there as well, so I hope you’ll check the show out at 4pm Easter time. In the meantime, I wanted to talk a little about the first step and how it’s impacted me over the last year.
The Most Important Step
For me, one of the most important steps, and one of the most satisfying years in my photography, happened when I decided what kind of photographer I wanted to be (that’s the first step by the way). Personally, it was one of the most impactful moments in my photography career so far, and I think developing a plan can tremendously help your photography going forward.
See, 2012 was a big year for me because I really had some clarity and purpose in my photography. I told the story in last year’s episode but I’ll give you the quick version. Working at Kelby Media Group, I’m surrounded by many inspirational photographers throughout the year. You name it, from portrait, to landscape, macro, lighting, wedding, fashion, food, aviation, or even car photography. Because of my job in being the Director of Education there, I spend time with people that are at the absolute top in their field. In doing so, I think a very natural thing has happened to me over the years – I’ve tried to be everything. I’ve never really defined to myself what I want from photography. I’ve known that I’ve been better at some areas than others, but I’ve always felt that, with time and practice, I could get really good at any one of those areas if I decided to really put my mind to it. But up until 2012, I hadn’t put my mind toward any one thing.
Once I started thinking about it, I realized I love photographing the outdoors. Landscape, travel, and even people that are enjoying the outdoors became the type of photographer that I wanted to be. Once I figured that out in 2012, I noticed a huge improvement not only in my photography, but also my happiness as a photographer.
So What Happened In 2013?
I continued that focus in 2013 and I have to say, it was a HUGE year for me as a photographer. You have to realize that my job is not to travel around and take photos. But I do have the advantage in that I travel about once or twice a month for my Lightroom seminars.
Hey there and happy Monday. You may notice a little bit of a blog facelift. I tested out about 20 different blog themes and came across the one you see …
Hey everyone. First off, if you’ve noticed me a bit absent lately, it’s because I’ve totally been taking it easy over the holiday. I finished my last Lightroom seminar on Dec. 13th, and really pulled back on as much as I could, so I could enjoy some holiday time with my kids to watch as many holiday movies as we could, and cram in as much xBox time as possible I’ll resume a more regular schedule in the beginning of January though.
Anyway, I recently downloaded Topaz Labs new Star Effects plug-in. As a landscape photographer, I love shooting in to the sun. I usually close my aperture to around f/16 and try to get that nice star effect of the sun just as it’s on the tip of hitting the horizon or some other element in the photo (and yes, my photos are still plenty sharp at f/16 for all of you lens geek/techies).
So I gave it a try on a photo I took at Clearwater beach, which is about 30 minutes from where I live. The sun had just went behind a cloud and I couldn’t get the sun-star I was looking for as it happened. But Star Effects definitely helped out.
I’ll admit it, I’ve always said when it comes to landscape photography I rarely ever shoot at any f-stops other than smaller apertures (f/11, f/16). Those smaller apertures help to …
I just wanted to let you know that my fall photography field guide class is live on Kelby Training. Yeah… I know it’s a few weeks late. All I can …
My Kelby Training online class on photographing fall colors is just about done and should be up any day. But if you’re looking to go shoot early this week, I …