Tag Archives: Facebook

Why You Should Be Printing Some Photographs

On a recent trip to Disneyland and to Chicago, I was struck by how prevalent the use of smart phones, in particular the iPhone was being used for photos. People were taking photos of themselves, where they were, friends, short video clips, long video clips, video conferencing to friends while on the road and more. Heck, I had a Nikon D700 with me and I still used my iPhone to snap a few shots of Chicago. What I did not see were any people sharing PHOTOGRAPHS, only electronic images. No wallet prints, no small albums or any other printed media. People were passing around their phones and other devices.

John Hancock Tower Chicago

In talking with a some of these people, I  learned that very few of them actual printed the images on to paper, ever. The images lived on the phone, Facebook, Flickr or home computer. They were  looked at briefly online and then never seen again as new images take their place. And unlike photo albums of years gone past, nobody pulls out their cell phone or laptop at home to look at pictures.

As it turns out, very few people are printing any of their photographs any more. That’s a real crime in of itself,  but it also goes to show that prints should be part of your collection. Yes, you can have a thousand images on your phone or tablet but what good are they if nobody ever sees them?  What good are they if the kids can’t see pictures of their vacation because they don’t know where the images are out on your hard drive, they don’t have access to your computer or they dont know what widget the images are on? How can they share with friends at school about where they went on vacation or show off to neighbors?

We re losing something precious by not printing photographs. Facebook is well and good but we humans are tactile bunch. W want to touch and hold in our hands things like prints. And it’s not the glow of a tablet, we  want pictures that do not require software, hardware, power supplies, dim rooms and all that goes it with the digital generation of viewing pictures.

This is something we as photographers need to educate our customers to do  and we need to do it ourselves. When was the last time you made 4×6 prints to show off to friends your last vacation around the dinner table or coffee shop? Did  you just dump a few hundred images on Flickr or Facebook and call it good? People get excited about holding real pictures.. They get excited about real time sharing of stories. They get excited about touching pictures. It’s time to get excited!!  Make some prints and spread them around!!

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Posted in Articles, iPhone, musings, photography, ramblings Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

80 / 20 rule or how good is good enough

Point and shoot cameras are a dying breed. Virtually everyone now has a smart phone with a camera and that includes myself. Yes, I have my very expensive cameras for projects and assignments but in truth, often times for myself, I’m shooting with my iPhone. Why? Because it’s “Good enough”. For 80% of the time, it’s perfect for what I need in my daily life. Would I shoot a wedding with it? Only if you paid me AND signed a contract saying as much. For most people, it’s the old 80/20 rule where the 80% is close enough. The iPhone or other smart phone is 80% close enough and they dont need or even want that last 20%.

With the new software like Snapseed and Photoshop apps, you can do alot with the phone or iPad that even a year ago seemed out of reach. You can now get iPhoto for the iPad.. really? a real editor and photo manager on an iPad? Oh yeah.. now we are styling.

So here is an image taken with the iPhone and edited on the phone using Snapseed software. Pretty amazing !!

 

I love shooting 30 second video clips for one group I’m active with on Facebook. Why? Because it’s a fun way for people to really get to know me by HEARING me speak and watch me talk about something. I’ve included a small sample here of my “Cooking Show” for my friends on Facebook.

As Pros, we sometimes forget that the 80/20 rule really does apply in alot of ways. AS consumers, we live in great times but all the apps will not make you a professional photographer. If you want a professional shot, you need to track one of us pros down for that critical 20% of your life when the iPhone picture just wont do. But also remember  that with a bit of work, that small phone can take some amazing images.

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Posted in editing, editing software, equipment, Hardware, iPhone, technique Also tagged , , |

500px and showing off your pics

[dropcap_1]M[/dropcap_1]y new site for showing off images is called 500px.com and they beat the pants off Flickr and most other photosites by a large margin.  You can click on the image below and see what I mean. You get the image and all the details you would like to know about the image plus an comments.

You DONT get the infamous Facebook compression fuzziness or the dated Flickr interface.  And you can sell your images through 500px which is always a good thing.

You can write a blog on 500px. You can have a portfolio that is separate from the main photosite. You can embed images into your own website. You can track friend’s posting of new images and you can build a catalog of favorite images that you like. You can upload FULL SIZED IMAGES and to top it off,  it’s cheap for a year 49.95 for the year with unlimited uploads.

What else is there? How about an iPad app that brings an excellent way to show your images on your IPad. After fighting with Flickr on the iPad for the better part of a year, this means alot to me.  And you dont need to log in to see new images, just open the app. There are third party apps for the Droid users and they provide much of the same user experience. Since I dont have a Droid, I can not personal vouch for these apps.

You can find my 500px site here:

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Posted in Articles, Competition, musings, photography, Portfolio, portraits, Uncategorized Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Musings on choosing your peer group

The few paragraphs below came about on Facebook in a private group I belong to called Photographers Unleashed. This is a place for photographers to hang out, ask questions, get critiques and complain all in the safety of a private area. It’s also an invitational group so one needs to be invited to join. Someone needs to think enough of you and your work that they think you can be part of the group. It’s a nice compliment when a friend does think this of you. We have a huge range of experience and talent but the overall common features are we all are passionate about photography and we want to improve both as a photographer and as an artist.

This story starts a few days ago when one of the younger photographers posted he was quitting the group and in a nutshell, he felt that he was being picked on and expectations were too high. He didnt say it that way outright but the message was there between the lines.

Getting older does have a benefit or two and one of them is to say what needs to be said without fear. It’s the idea of ” I really dont care what you think because there is nothing you can do that has not already been done, said or put on me”. Older also means (most times) that one has learned a lesson or two along the way. So when I read this post from this photographer, I sat down and wrote a short but heartfelt piece that only an older and more experience person could write. Several people commented on my words but I never did hear from the young photographer. He probably views me as more of a jerk right now but then when I was his age, I probably would have done the same thing. I just hope he read it anyways and took it to heart.

It was suggested to me to re- post it on a blog and I thought it sounded like a good idea. So here it is.

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You dont grow unless you stretch beyond your comfort level and if you dont do that, you become stagnant which is a terrible fate for any artist. Natural talent will carry you only so far, at some point you need a teachers and a community. If the community does it’s job right, they will support you and help you grow but that does not mean it’s always compliments.

More often than not, it’s something that hurts because we as artists tend to impart our images with a great deal of emotional energy. So when someone says something critical about an image that we think is hot shit, it stings all the more no matter how true the comment is. All artists are guilty of this at one time or another and we all have to learn to live with it and somehow process it and grow from it. You can grow or you can run.. not much else is available in the choice categories. As (name withheld) said, its the critical comments that really can add directiion to your path by showing you where you *need* to grow.

I put the word *need* in stars because it’s subjective but it serves to illuminate a point. I use critical comments all the time to act as a guide post as it were to help me see beyond my personal likes, dislikes, baggage etc and to get a glimpse of how other people see my work. Sometimes they see far better than I do because I’m too involved in the work, it’s too personal and almost impossible to pull back enough to see a bit of truth.

And yes, sometimes it stings.. alot. But, it’s a rare time I really let it get under my skin for any length of time. Note I said for any length of time, as it ALWAYS gets under my skin when someone is critical of my work. After all, photography is an extension of one’s self to a degree. But I can honestly say that in the past few years, after I learned to let go of of the emotional attachment and really listen to what was said, I’ve grown. Sometimes just a touch, other times it’s like the lightbulb going off.

You lose all of this support structure by hiding away from your peers or another way to say it, by hiding from those who would be critical of your work. It’s far easier to be somewhere where there is platitudes and accolades on how pure your work is, how cool it is and so on. But, the road less traveled is generally the better way to success. The path with resistance will make you grow and become a better person/photographer/friend . You just have to choose it and embrace it know that while it will hurt now and then, overall you will be in a far better place.

We can’t make you stay and we certainly wont beg but we would miss you and your contribution to the group. I personally wish you well on your path wherever it leads to.

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Long Live the Pocket Camera, the Pocket Camera is dead

the top and sides of an iPhone 3G S.
Image via Wikipedia

Yet another single use device has bitten the dust or I should say, is biting the dust even as I type this. The “pocket camera” or “Point and shoot” is dying a fast and unlamented death. The cause of death is the smart phone of which no matter which one you use, iPhone, Droid etc, now have a reasonable camera built in. It’s the old “good enough” syndrome of the consumer. The smart phone hits the mark in convenience and is good enough for most consumers to grab that snapshot.

When I’m scouting for locations, do I pull out my Canon G11? Nooope.. I pull out my iPhone with the GPS and then shoot and tag. I use my G11 about once a month if that. I use my iPhone at least once a day to shoot a picture of something. It could be a reminder of a phone number, a product in the store, something I’m doing that friends would find interesting.

Just the other day, I replaced the seals on my medium format camera. As I did the job, I took the iPhone and shot pictures every  now and then and put them up on Facebook in seconds. Not real time but close and alot of people enjoyed it. Could I do that with my fancy G11? Not a chance. I would have to shoot, upload to the computer, resize and then upload. The phone literally took seconds to complete the entire task. And that included enhancing the images using software on the phone.

Facebook which has the most pictures online, even more than Flickr which is one of the best photo sites, has some interesting statistics.  Facebook at last count has something like 50 BILLION pictures uploaded on it’s site. Flickr shows that it’s most popular camera is the iPhone 3G with the typical Nikon/Canon DSLRs in the 2nd/3rd slots. Not a point and shoot anywhere to be found in the top listing. Personally, I take shots with my iPhone and load them straight to Facebook. I’ve become so used to that feature and the ability to shoot an email on demand, I would not consider any pocket or point and shoot that didn’t do this. Nobody wants to shoot images on their point and shoot and then take it home, transfer to the PC, fix them and then upload to Facebook or Flickr or whatever. They want to shoot and go right then. And so long as the image is good enough, they are happy.

Most popular camera on Flickr

Most popular camera on Flickr

PSExpress, CameraOne and Best Camera are three apps I use all the time on my iPhone. Between the three, I can normally get a “good enough” image out of my iPhone. Would I shoot a wedding with it? Nope.. but as a guest I would be happy to use it to get the occasional snap. I will say that once I used my iPhone 4’s video, I never shot video on my Canon g11 again. The phone was just that much better then my 500 dollar camera.

Does anyone want to buy a slightly used G11?

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Posted in Competition, editing, editing software, equipment, firmware, Hardware, photography, ramblings, technique Also tagged , , , , , , , , |

Lights, Camera and Action!!

Back of a Blu-ray Disc. I took this.
Image via Wikipedia

Oh yeah.. baby loves video 🙂  So I finally bite the bullet and bought ProShow Producer by Photodex. I used some images from the Westcott photoshoot at Photoshopworld as a test for a quick and dirty slide show. I tossed this together without reading ANY docs, just ran the wizard, clicked around a bite and off we go. In less than an hour I had pretty much made this show which included finding music on the internet.

Now I need to really dig into the software. It can do so much like layers and masking on the slides.  It’s a lot easier than Premier and I like the end results more than Animoto. A cool part is that it has a kick butt “create” menu panel. Anything you would like to export the show into is there. BlueRay, DVD, self contained EXE, Flash, Youtube, Facebook and more.  Way cool and one of the best export panels I’ve seen for video like this. Right now I have it running in Fusion on my MacPro in a Windows XP image and it works just fine. It would be nice to have an OSX version but this is very workable for now.

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Posted in Business Aids, commercial photography, editing, editing software, photography, technique, video, wedding photography, youtube Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |