This week a new social network has really started promoting itself and seems to have amassed a fairly active user base, very quickly. Candid is an elegantly designed micro-blogging tool designed to focus discussion around specific topics rather than users, with the end goal of keeping everyone anonymous. The big question is, will it last or is it another wannabe network to be ignored? And most importantly, as photographers, is this a network that should be on our radar?
Articles written by Ryan Cooper
I recently had the opportunity to try out Lexar's modular workflow line of products which is an array of modular components that fit into a multi-bay, hot-swappable hub that connects to your computer via Thunderbolt or USB 3. After spending a few weeks with this interesting product, here is what you need to know. In this review I will be covering the hub itself, along with the SSD, SD Card Reader, and USB Hub modules.
There was a time when file limits were considered near impossible to reach ceilings. Each was designed many years ago for photos made by cameras with single-digit resolution. Times have changed, and unfortunately the formats have not. We now are faced with file size limits that are becoming more and more restrictive as cameras collect bigger and bigger chunks of data with every photo.
I'm a portrait photographer. I think that is pretty obvious by my portfolio being completely full of people photos. The nature of the portraits I shoot varies from time to time, but ultimately I make images of humans almost exclusively. Being specialized is great, and even critical, according to many, in regards to creating a photography career. There really isn't any doubt it in that. However, don't let that specialization bar you from ever trying out other types of photography.
DSLR makers have developed a rather interesting propensity to focus their R&D budgets on creating the fanciest, most marketable sensors possible. A camera, however, isn't just limited to the scope of its sensor. There are so many other upgrades that could be made that have nothing to do with megapixel numbers. Below are a few straight out of my dream list that likely would be pretty difficult to make work.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know how much random, toxic, hate is spewing around the internet. Many sites have even started getting rid of comment sections because trying to moderate so many putrid posts gets exhausting after a while. Photographers are often the target of completely uncalled for, targeted, hateful notes from some of the web's most vile cretin. Learning how to effectively handle these sorts of attacks is critical to maintaining your sanity and resolve.
Beyond the most obvious upgrades such as more pixels, bigger ISO numbers, and auto focus, has anyone noticed that the general feature set of DSLRs really doesn't change very often? I certainly have! There have been, in my opinion, obvious things missing from DSLRs for years that would make me a very happy camper if added. DSLR makers pull out your notepads!
Search Engine Optimization is hard. It may be relatively simple, but it is still really hard. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. There are always going to be far more people clamoring for the top search rank than there are useful top search ranks to earn. Thus, you must be smarter than your competition. Don't fall prey to some of the most common mistakes. Instead, let your competitors make it so that you can rise and succeed. Here are three mistakes to avoid.
A photoshoot is a high stress situation that can often push emotions to their limits, and lead to conflict that can tear a great shoot to pieces. Part of your job, as the photographer, is to captain the shoot in a way to avoid this sort of thing. Everyone has a responsibility to be professional throughout the shoot but it is you who must ensure that they adhere to this.
I can see it in your eyes! Excitement is brewing for some sort of fancy new lens or the latest camera body that breaks all the megapixel records. I know because I do the same thing! Surprisingly, though, in my experience it isn't the latest, fancy, glass that truly improves my photography, rather, I've found that making the right small upgrades tend to have a much more profound impact as they make the act of doing photography so much less of a hassle. Which, in turn, frees more of my focus to attend to the images I'm creating rather than fighting with gear which is refusing to perform.
Photographers can often be lumped into two distinct camps. The first is the "what" group which is represented by people who study their craft and follow tutorials as if they are a scripted set of instructions never caring about anything other than if the technique works or not. The second group is the "why" group who study their craft and follow tutorials while also striving to learn about why what they are learning actually works. The second group has a tremendous advantage over the first as their deeper understanding of technique gifts them with far more versatility than those who simply collect a library of preset recipes with little care as to why those recipes work.
It goes without saying that creating a comfortable, safe environment while shooting beauty photography can go a long way towards building a strong working relationship with your model. Comfortable, however, is what I'd define as the "barrier to entry." What you really want to do is go beyond that by giving your model a slight boost in confidence. By building up the model's self-esteem you get her thinking positively, and that state of mind leads to fantastic moments which create a genuine spark of expression.
Nearly every day I am hearing about some pseudo-horror story from a model or client about a shoot that went missing because of some technical problem after the photos had been created. Nothing is more frustrating than working hard to create the images that your client wanted only to be unable to deliver on time (or at all) because of some unforeseen technological problem that derails your entire process. As a professional you need to be prepared for these sorts of surprises before they happen so that you can always be ready to pivot and still deliver on your promise.
Recently, Ted Forbes over at The Art of Photography posted a rather interesting video that challenges the pervasive axiom of the artistic world that the action of making art will inevitably translate to an audience valuing and appreciating your work. Forbes asserts that our society is so saturated with creative content makers that it is nearly impossible to create photography that people care about unless you are pushing beyond the normal limits and expectations of what is already present in the world. I agree with this on the surface; however, I also feel that it doesn't tell the entire story.
The Neewer Flat Panel Reflector is a great tool designed for those looking for the benefit of something such as a V-flat or large reflector frame without the bulk of having to haul them around. The Neewer Flat Panel Reflector is basically a 3 foot by 6 foot wind sail that you can use as reflector or flag during virtually any shoot. At $69.99 the Flat Panel Reflector offers fantastic value for an innovative new light modifier to add to your arsenal.
As a group, we photographers tend to like to do everything ourselves. I think it is something about depending on someone else that pushes against our most basic instincts. However, great portrait photography is always a team activity. This team can range from just you and your model all the way up to a full production, but one thing remains consistent: without a team, there is no photo.
When I sat down to read the copy of Picture Perfect Lighting by Roberto Valenzuela my first expectation was a book that parroted much of the same content that many other photography books had already laid out many times in the past. Basic lighting tips, the exposure triangle; the usual sorts of stuff that you'd expect from a typical book on photography. To my surprise, however, Picture Perfect Lighting offers a delightfully unique glimpse into lighting that can help beginners and veterans alike.
Some of us photographer types are rather notorious gear junkies. I'm as guilty of it as the next guy. We like our toys and love to collect as many gadgets and doohickeys as we can get our hands on. Few things grab our attention more than the spec sheet of the newest cutting edge camera. Our budgets, however, aren't as infinite as our eagerness to spend them, which often leads to the need to prioritize purchases. Despite what your eagerness is telling you, the most valuable update might actually be upgrading your computer rather than that shiny new camera body.
Your online portfolio is one of the most critical tools you have at your disposal when looking to make a sale. Clients are looking to your website as a sign of both your skill and professionalism. The customer wants to find a photographer who is the perfect fit so your website needs to be built to enable that feeling. Below are four priorities that photographers often overlook when designing their websites.
The Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM APO Macro is somewhat of a red herring that doesn’t get talked about very often. Most macro shooters are content with a 100mm macro lens, and most portrait shooters tend to go with a 70-200mm for their telephoto needs. 150mm just isn’t a focal length that is commonly seen these days. Does that make this Sigma lens a sleeper gem or just another lens to overlook in favor of other options?