Archive for November, 2011
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of filling my week with Rick Sammon! The photography educator joined Leo and me on TWiT Photo in our swanky TWiT studio in Petaluma and did a live demo of creative lighting solutions. That same week, I made my way down to Google HQ at Mountain View and introduced Rick at his talk to Google’s photography club. I even got on the other side of the lens and posed as a model as the “Godfather” shared his know-how with an eager audience. Watch the video for the expert’s vital lighting tips, and check out his blogpost!
Don’t miss a chance to watch or listen to your favorite photographers – download the TWiT Photo podcast on iTunes for free :)
This week, in response to popular viewer demand, we brought lighting expert and Strobist author David Hobby to the TWiT Brickhouse for an enlightening episode of TWiT Photo. David savors the opportunity to connect the entire gamut of photographers – from amateurs to pros – through online communities like strobist.com and Flickr. One of the his most notable accomplishments is making dynamic lighting accessible to everyone. With his content rich lighting courses, continuous stream of educational posts, DIY techniques and affordable gear recommendations, he has revolutionized the industry.
David explains to us how he went from a photojournalist to a lighting guru (though he is way too humble to call himself that), and how he still finds unlikely inspiration in his everyday world – which includes two children, his wife,and a whole lot of kids’ soccer matches (I hope that team realizes how lucky they are!). And, what is The Strobist’s favorite light modifier? A cheap bed sheet .….really. Watch the show for more DIY tips and advice for using gels and filters, and David’s recommendations for the best batteries, generators, and – of course – strobes.
“A little fill light from right near the lens axis can allow you to get away with almost anything else, lighting-wise.”
“When shooting in an iffy location, it is always easier to apologize than to get permission. If someone in authority is not actively telling you “no,” go ahead and try it.”
“When planning a photo, start off by thinking about what you want to accomplish with the photo. Think “big picture,” and work backwards to the details.”
Have questions, suggestions or praises? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today is the last day to bid in the Thirst Relief Mentor Auction! I’ve signed up this year as a Mentor, donating 90 minutes of instructional time to the highest bidder. Bid now to win a one-on-one session with me via Skype or at WPPI, and you can help save lives while improving your photography!
As the winner, you can use the time however you want. Are you a beginner seeking tips to take your images to the next level? With extensive experience as a photography judge and educator, I can give your portfolio a critique as a whole in addition to critiquing individual shots. But the opportunity goes way deeper than that.
Maybe you know you’re a great photographer, but just can’t seem to break into the market? I can offer valuable time- and money-saving advice, gleaned from years of figuring out this industry, to help get your business off the ground. I’ll help dissect your business model to find the areas where you could be saving or making more, and I’ll assess your website and marketing materials to offer feedback on how you’re reaching out to potential customers.
Act fast! Bidding ends tonight at 11pm EST.
All of the proceeds of the annual Mento Auction benefit Thirst Relief International‘s efforts to provide humanitarian and disaster relief to those in need worldwide through the provision of safe, clean drinking water. The mission of the auction is twofold, to save lives and change the world, and to create better and more successful photographers.
Look at these numbers: Last year, the sponsors and 90 mentors who participated in the Mentor Auction raised more than $40,700 which directly provided 8,147 people with clean water. Add to that the incredible wisdom and talent that is being shared through these mentoring sessions to create more successful photographers and entrepreneurs, and it’s truly a win-win for everyone involved
Start bidding now: http://bit.ly/uH5PH6
I have had the pleasure of working with landscape and travel photographer Colby Brown through TWiT Photo, both as a guest and as a judge for our Guest Quest contest. In this guestpost, Colby talks about what passion can do for your photography, and he couldn’t make a more fitting example. After picking up his first digital SLR just 5 years ago, this ambitious newcomer has already amassed major clients such as The Sierra Club and National Geographic, and his infectious enthusiasm for the art has made him a leader in the growing Google+ community of photographers. Just look at the pictures below to see what Colby means when he says that each of his photographs “tells a story of life on this planet.”
Follow Colby Brown on Twitter.
Post and Photos by Colby Brown
There is no doubt that the digital age has left its mark on the photography industry. Not only are cameras and lens more affordable for the average photographer, but the increased popularity of social networks has allowed photo sharing unlike ever before. Google+, for example, has only been in existence for just a few months and already it has hosted over 3.4 billion photos, which is a ridiculous amount. Because of these factors, and others like it, the act of taking photographs has never been easier or nearly as popular.
However, like many other art forms, photography might be easy to pick up, but it is also difficult to perfect. One of the most asked questions I get from students of my photo workshops is, “How do I take my images to the next level?”. For most photographers, I believe that it is easy to grasp the concepts of exposure, light reflection and even all of those fun “guidelines” we all read about, such as the rule of thirds. But a photograph is much more then a mathematical equation or a set of tips to help with composition, right?
You see, many of us who do this for a living learned a very important lesson at some point throughout our careers. We realized that while an image can be a dime a dozen, our passion as artists was truly unique. All the great photographers of our time were not only passionate about their work, they learned the importance of capturing that passion in each of their photographs. Have you ever looked at a photograph and been drawn to it, but not sure why? I believe that certain undefinable aspect is the artist shinning through. Anyone can take an image, but not everyone can capture a photograph.
Now I am happy to answer your next question, which most likely is “How do I do that?”, but I think you might be a little disappointed, because it is as simple or as complicated as you wish to make it. For many of us, it took years to fine-tune our creative vision and learn to truly find our passion within this artistic medium that we love. While there are certainly many aspects of running multiple photography businesses in the photo industry that I do not enjoy — such as marketing — as a general rule of thumb, I try not to work on projects or accept contracts where I am not connected to the subject matter. If I don’t care about what I am documenting, why should I expect others to?
At the end of the day you should always try to follow your heart when it comes to your photography work as it is the first step in attempting to take your images to the next level.
After stepping into Viansa‘s wine cellar, I spotted Rachel. A stunning Hollywood-style beauty, she readily embraced the extravagant photo shoot experience of dreams. Unusual in a wedding environment, a photographer couldn’t ask for more. What did we do with this freedom? Three Profoto D-1000s made the scene, a medium chimera with control grid as the key light, and a small chimera for the fill – and finally, the ever so inspiring rim light. Precariously placed down a corridor of wine barrels, with a blue gel, the rim light had two purposes: kissing Rachel with that soft blue sheen on her shoulder and skipping off the barrel sides illuminating the aisle.
See more from Rachel + Jeff’s Viansa Winery Wedding.