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Does Having Better Gear Make You a Better Photographer?

By on Apr 18, 2017 in Getting the Shot, Photography, Theory Thursday | 0 comments

*** Update #1: This article is not really for the pro or advanced “semi-pro” photographer but rather the new photographer who has the mindset that a brand new and more advanced camera will somehow make them a famous photographer. If you are a working professional or even a hobbyist that has years of experience,  you probably know more about your style and what you need than I do. That being said, this article is not really targeted at you. It is more for those considering purchasing the latest 1D X mk ii when the 6D or even 70D would do just fine.  At some point in our journey through photography we find ourselves lusting after the latest and greatest gear. We suddenly want to go “full frame” or “mirrorless” without fully understanding the camera that we currently own. We fall for celebrity photographer ads talking about the latest camera or gear...

Is Becoming a Photographer Really Worth It?

By on Apr 5, 2017 in Photography, Theory Thursday | 6 comments

Recently, I saw a friend post about whether “it” is really worth it. This passion that we all have, this “thing” that we pour our hearts and souls into that may or may not yield something in return. My response was more or less like the typical “it’s the journey, not the destination” type answer. However there is a little more to it than that. This is what I want to explore today because it is something that I think so many of us creatives deal with. We struggle with finding the meaning in our work, expressing ourselves and not to mention trying to find a way to make a living from it. Going Nowhere is Still Going Somewhere One of the points that was brought up was the fact that you’ve invested so much time into learning and honing your craft and for what? It goes nowhere. One of the points that I countered with is that simply by learning...

How to Make Realistic HDR Images in Aurora 2017

By on Apr 5, 2017 in Technique Tuesday, Tutorials | 3 comments

If you have followed me for any length of time you will know that much of my work is or has been done by merging images to create an HDR image. Whether you like them or not you have to admit that HDR has somehow grabbed a study foothold in the world of photography. However, like most people I went a little crazy in my younger years but have toned it down a bit (pardon the photography pun) in recent years. Say want you want about HDR photography, it is here to stay and strangely some of crazier images keep getting picked up and shared by news outlets and different sites. I made it into viral list with a shot of a local McDonald’s. That list has been shared and reshared and transformed ever since it was first published in 2012. Similarly, another horrible shot was shared by USA Today. At any rate, what I am talking about today is talking about how to turn a basic image into a...

Are Your Pictures REALLY worth 1000 Words?

By on Apr 1, 2017 in Photography, Theory Thursday | 0 comments

Recently, I overheard a conversation where a photographer stated that many photos are “never worth a 1000 words” or something to that effect. At first, I believed he was right and then my coffee kicked in and I started to think straight. I realized that if your photos are not worth a 1000 words then you are doing it wrong!  Tell a F*cking Story! The whole point of this is to get you to realize that your photos should tell a story. Be it a fantastic journey or a horrible event, they should speak to your audience. Even eye-bleeding HDR photos may tell a fantasy or sci-fi story, if done correctly. Same thing with thing with instagram photographers. Their photos reflect or tell a story that resonates with with their fans. So why does it seem so hard? Well, sometimes we are just taking the easy way out and hoping to simply record a scene and put the pieces together in post...

How to Add Cinemagraphs into Adobe Portfolio

By on Mar 31, 2017 in Photography, Technique Tuesday, Tutorials | 0 comments

Few people know that with your adobe creative cloud subscription you also get a powerful website creator. This is included in the photographer’s deal that adobe has as well as the full creative cloud subscription. I first came this over at Kelby Training who have a great course on how to get your site up and running in about 10 minutes. The first thing that you are going to do is head over to myportfolio.com Once you login, you can go ahead and start finding a suitable layout for your site. These layouts are all responsive and your cinemagraphs will look good on your desktop as well as mobile. What I find for cinemagraphs is a simple layout works best as you want the cinemagraphs to take centre stage. Once you have the site the way that you want it, it is time to add in your cinemagraphs. This is an extremely simple task to do. Click on the “+” icon on the left and...

Getting Good Photography Advice is Hard. Accepting it is Even Harder!

By on Mar 23, 2017 in Photography, Theory Thursday | 0 comments

Years ago I wrote and subsequently had to delete a great post about online critiques. For some reason the post attracted a lot of spam and I think that later compromised my site. However, it was a great post and you can read it here. At any rate, the point of that article was to explore the idea that the people who are giving critiques or “advice” are sometimes not offering much in a practical sense. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I got exactly what I was looking for from none other than the legendary Jared Polin. The thing is that there are people out there that just want to rip you a new one. Even if you want a solid critique they will pick apart your image until you wish that you had never taken it. When I reread that old article, I realized that nothing much has changed in the 4 years since I wrote it. Except for the fact that I am seeking advice. The trouble is...

5 Secrets of the NIK Collection

By on Mar 23, 2017 in Photography, Technique Tuesday, Tutorials | 0 comments

Years ago the NIK collection was one of the leading plugins for lightroom and it was competing with the likes of ON1 and other plugins. The NIK collection was and still is my go-to plugin for creative ideas and attempts to make a boring image better. The sad part is that since Google purchased the NIK collection, not a lot has been done with it. By not a lot, I mean outside of making it free, they have not updated a single thing. However, this is not such a bad thing as the plugin is well made and while an update would be welcomed, not quite needed at this point. This should not put you off from downloading it and adding it to your lightroom arsenal. It can help in a pinch and could make the difference between a boring photo and one that really has some pop. Before we get into the secrets there are a few things that you should know about the collection. What NIK is NOT I recently saw a...

When to Work for Free and When to NOT

By on Mar 19, 2017 in Photography, Theory Thursday | 0 comments

The debate about whether to work for free or not as been going on for some time and I don’t think that it will ever go away. The reason being is that there are always people wanting top quality work for nothing and (oddly enough) there are people who are willing to work for nothing. Recently, I saw Gary Vaynerchuk talk about how people were getting too fancy and wanting to charge money for services when they should be giving it away. I scratched my head and thought “Easy enough to say when you run a multi-million dollar company” but there is some truth to what he says. It’s obvious he knows what he is talking but for photographers working for free can sometimes also mean being taken advantage of.   When to Work for Free When it comes to clients and projects, I want a win-win situation. A win for the clients side is getting the images or the work that they...

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