Monday, June 15, 2009

Mrs. Ohio America Photo Session

I had the good fortune last weekend to be able to photography Stephanie Gooden, Mrs. Ohio America. She was a lot of fun to work with!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rocked a Showcase Image at One Model Place

I got a nice surprise today. One of my images from last week's shoot with the oh-so-cute Stacy was picked as a Showcase Image on One Model Place. How fun!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Chaos of Stock Photography

I've been a participant in the stock photo industry for years and it's hard to get a grasp of who the stars are. Participating in any activity and not knowing where the pinnacle is or what it looks like is problematic. We're all tossing darts, not knowing where the dartboard is. I suppose the true problem is that there isn't a single dartboard, and each one blinks on and off as a photo need arises. The trick would be how to anticipate the need and have the photo already on sale. Be ready for anything.

The nature of stock = chaos.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

How to learn photography

Last night at dinner, a friend asked me "So, how did you learn photography?"

I told him a long answer about the one photography class I had in college, about how I used an SLR to photograph my paintings. I told him how I started using digital cameras around '96 and got my first digital camera, a 0.5 MP Kodak DC50, in '97 and started feeling that digital was a lot more like painting than film was--it clicked with my brain. I started my first web site. In 2000, I bought a Nikon CP800. By 2003, I bought a Nikon CP5700. I was an internet forum junkie. In 2004, I started entering contests and won over 93 "Picture of the Day" or "Picture of the Month" awards in 18 months. I bought my first digital SLR camera. I showed my photography alongside my paintings in exhibitions. I sold my photography through galleries. I started selling them as stock images. I started shooting photos for a few local and regional newspapers and magazines. In 2005, I joined the National Press Photographer's Association. In 2007, I started shooting models, which led me to photographing paying clients. I joined the American Society of Media Photographers. I've shot corporate work, Archbishops, Presidential candidates. I've had my photos licensed in over 20 different countries. I'm happy to say that I've left my teaching position now to focus on my photography exclusively, and to develop it further.

That was a long answer, and I know it wasn't what he really wanted. The real answer goes something like this: You learn through asking the right questions--and making friends with people who are willing to answer those questions.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Protect your cameras this summer

If you are taking your dslr to the beach, you should plan to protect it from sea water and sea spray.

I went to Wal Mart and bought a roll of vanilla scented (bonus!) small garbage bags, like for bathrooms or the like.

Make a hole in one corner of the bottom of the bag. about 2" (4-5 cm) around.

Push your lens (lens cap on, hood off), through this opening.

Use gaffer tape to seal the bag to either your lens hood and/or the end of the lens.

I use Op/Tech straps that have quick release clips. I take the neck piece off and push the camera ends of the strap through the top of the bag, thus extending the bag falloff area to behind the top of the camera, so gravity keeps it in place. Tape around these holes to seal them and your done.

With this, you have the body and lens encased in plastic, except for the back, but you need access to the controls and LCD, so you don't want that covered anyway. The bag is long enough to hang over your hands, so the back of the camera isn't going to get too wet.

I've used this setup in rain, at the beach, on boats, etc. What you want to watch out for more than anything is salt water. Salt water kills cameras.