Image copyright Shiv Verma. All rights reserved. Click on image to view in the SCU Lightbox
It's Mirrorless Monday and the perfect day to share an image captured by my good buddy Shiv Verma. Shiv's a LUMIX Ambassador and always sharing images that leave so many of us wanting more.
He was in the Palouse, and I grabbed this explanation from Wikipedia:
"Traditionally, the Palouse region was defined as the fertile hills and prairies north of the Snake River, which separated it from Walla Walla County, and north of the Clearwater River, which separated it from the Camas Prairie, extending north along the Washington and Idaho border, south of Spokane, centered on the Palouse River. This region underwent a settlement and wheat-growing boom during the 1880s, part of a larger process of growing wheat in southeast Washington, originally pioneered in Walla Walla County south of the Snake River."
The image was captured in Washington state, south of Spokane. Shiv wrote:
The fields of the Palouse photographed along the road about midway to the top of Steptoe Butte. It started with cloudy skies, but then the sun peeked through providing lovely light.
Captured with the Full-frame LUMIX S1R and the LUMIX S Pro 70-200 mm f/4 lens at 200mm. Exposure triad: f/11, 1/40 sec, ISO 200. Click on either thumbnail below for more information.
More of Shiv's images are just a click away. Follow him and the entire US LUMIX Ambassador team. They're regularly speaking at LUMIX retailers and conventions around the country. They're one of the most diverse and creative teams in professional photography, and should all be on your radar. You'll be surprised at how much great content they share.
Just outside Taos, New Mexico is the Rio Grande Gorge, and it's quite the sight to see, especially standing at the very top in a good wind!
My camera of choice on our recent trip was the G9 matched up with the 14-140mm lens. It's incredible how fast and accurate the focus is, and the 14-140 range gave me everything I needed 90% of the time.
Most of you know my first love is the business and marketing side of our industry, but that doesn't mean I'm not passionate about having a camera in my hands.
The image at the right was at 14mm and picks up the expanse of the gorge as a group of river rafters make their way downstream. I later grabbed a shot at almost full extension.
The image below was at 126mm and then enlarged 200%, to show the detail. In the image to the right, it's the middle boat!
I'm a minimalist when it comes to post-processing beyond cropping and an occasional tweak using Luminar's clarity booster on the image to the right.
The G9 is remarkable! I grabbed the screenshot from the Panasonic site about the key features. As LUMIX Ambassador, Jim Schmelzer talked about recently in his "Why?" podcast, the more the camera can handle the technical issues, the more time he has to be creative with his clients.
Well, no camera can do it all, but the G9 comes pretty damn close!
Click on either thumbnail for more information.
Image copyright Jim Schmelzer. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
"Why?" is all about the movers and shakers in professional photography. And, the best way to get to know each one is through one of their favorite images. Jim Schmelzer joins me on this new episode and what a kick it was to catch up to him.
Jim and I have known each other for a whole lot of years, going back to my early Hasselblad days. We'd see each other at virtually every major conference/convention in professional photography.
But the common denominator that's the most fun for both of us right now is being involved with Panasonic's LUMIX family of cameras. Jim is a LUMIX Ambassador and captured the image above with the new LUMIX full-frame S1 and the 24-105 F4 L-Mount Lens.
Jim's main passion is portraiture, but there's nothing he can't photograph. He's a talented instructor, and over the years, most often we'd catch up when he was doing a demo in the Westcott booth. Check out his educational website with a visit to James Schmelzer Workshops.
The "Why?" series is brought to you by...
Communication is ever-changing, and your ability to expand your reach, promote your business and in turn, increase revenue is more powerful than at any other time in history. A considerable part of that continually changing world is in mobile technology and the world of texting.
Here's an example of how I'm using one of PhotoTexting's apps for my own business. Text the word "speaker" to 888-981-6118, and you'll get a response back from me with a link to my mobile page. (And, be assured I'm not saving your number to use for anything other than to demo my brochure and speaker page here.)
I use this app as a company brochure. And, there's an added benefit - when I'm teaching, attendees get the notes from my presentation without worrying about taking their own. It allows them to kick back and listen without worrying about writing down a link or specific tip on building a stronger business.)
Check out everything PHOTOTexting has to offer. There are so many different applications and ways for you to build stronger brand awareness, increase sales, and expand your reach.
Yesterday was Mirrorless Monday, but Memorial Day got top-billing. However, keeping in the tradition of going mirrorless I was in and out of the house all day long with one "visitor" after another.
Two years ago we put in a butterfly garden, and it's been a source of nonstop tranquility from the very beginning. While we're still work in progress understanding the plants they like, and their behavior, nothing beats a holiday weekend with minimal plans and a new camera.
Usually, the "kids" show up in the morning and afternoon, but this weekend they seemed to come and go all the time. Out came the G9 with my favorite go-to lens. As a kid we'd chase them with a butterfly net to get a closer look, now it's strictly the camera!
by Skip Cohen
For the past few months, we've shared a lot of great images and content about the new full-frame LUMIX S. As I was taking a scroll through Panasonic's website I came across these short videos featuring three of photography's most recognized artists. Each video is only a minute long, but demonstrates the passion of three different photographers, each having their own unique mind's eye visions.
If a picture really is worth a thousand words, then the three videos below represent the equivalent of the complete works of Shakespeare! Regardless of what camera you usually work with, take the time to watch each video below to appreciate not only the artists themselves but the technology and creative tools Panasonic has brought to the industry.
What a kick!
“Detail in everything from the smallest pebble to the expansive canyon walls are faithfully reproduced. Such a flexible camera system, that can render the extraordinary detail of these geological wonders”
“As the sun went down and the light began to fade, I felt at ease knowing that I had a camera that is perfect for low-light photography. Photographing the workers mining the sulfur through the night I thought would be challenging, however, I was easily able to capture their work with precision focus.”
“Especially in professional portrait photography, in which a shallow depth of field is required, it is tricky to set the focus right on the eye. I am astonished by the precision of the auto focus of the LUMIX S1R which takes over this task for me and sets the focus perfectly on the eye of the model…”
NEW! LUMIX S1 Kit, Digital Mirrorless Camera with 24.2MP MOS Full Frame,
24-105mm F4 L-Mount Lens - DC-S1MK
Click for more information
It's Mirrorless Monday and what better day to share a few of "Mirrorless Mark's" (Mark Toal's) images captured yesterday during a little of the Cinco de Mayo celebration in Woodland, California. Click on each one to view them through the SCU Lightbox so you can appreciate the quality and detail.
They were both photographed last night with the new full-frame S1 with the 24-105mm lens at ISO 12800. From the very beginning of shooting with LUMIX cameras the ability to shoot in low light has been one of the features, I've enjoyed the most! And, check out the S1 video below that will take you through this fantastic piece of technology!
NEW! LUMIX S1 Kit, Digital Mirrorless Camera with 24.2MP MOS Full Frame, 24-105mm F4 L-Mount Lens - DC-S1MK
Click either thumbnail for more information
You'll find so many great images along with solid ideas and tips on Mark's blogs. You'll never be disappointed in the content he shares. As always, check out the LUMIX Ambassador team. They're an incredible team and focused on helping you raise the bar on your skills set and the quality of your images.
It's Mirrorless Monday and what a kick to share today's post! Here's the backstory which leads right into a sneak peek to some terrific future events!
At the beginning of April, I shared the light painted image above of Ms. Bubble Trailer by Suzette Allen and Jonny Yoshinaga. Ms. Bubble Trailer was on a mini-tour in northern California. "She" was just getting started at becoming a personality in photographic education. She's no longer a mechanical object, but the co-star in the story of two passionate artists and educators! She's loaded with personality as well as gear and outdoor metal prints from Bay Photo!
Last week Suzette shared the video below, taking us through the making of the light painted image. Light painting isn't something you'd do for every client, but it's a great addition to your skill set. At a time when competition is fierce, you need a few things up your sleeve to make your work different.
Suzette captured the image with the LUMIX G9 and the 7-14mm lens. Click on either product below for more information.
Suzette has packed a lot of great information into this video. In just fifteen minutes she takes you through a journey in capture and post-processing, light painting from start to the finished image of "Ms. BT" in the California redwoods. She's a remarkable instructor, and the combination of her and Jonny sets the stage for an upcoming series of programs not to be missed.
In September Ms. Bubble Trailer, with a whole lot of help from Suzette and Jonny will be hitting the road for eight weeks, and over 13,000 anticipated miles. They're starting from California and heading to Panasonic in NJ, then down the east coast to Florida and back to California. They'll be teaching every week along the way with great workshops and meetups to help you raise the bar on your images. Plus, you can count on lots of surprises and one opportunity after another for many of you to meet one of the most respected educators in professional photography...oh, and let's not forget about Ms. BT.
Just like "Where's Waldo," we're going to be tracking "Ms. BT" and her "team" with images and updates every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday starting in September! From gear to technique to great locations stay tuned as Suzette and Jonny bring you some of the very best in creative education and FUN!
Remember the word fun? It's one of those words too often lost in business today. We all get so wrapped up in the stress and challenges of working that we forget to have fun. Well, here's a new spin on creative education with great programming, terrific products and an unmatched passion for teaching!
Stay tuned - the link to all things BT will be right here every day of the tour. What a kick!
The Bubble Trailer Light Tour
Being creative and traveling light, but heavy on good content!
Click on the image to view in the SCU Lightbox!
In the 193+ year history of photography, there have never been more creative tools for artists than today. Technology never slows down, and Panasonic has just raised the bar again with the new full-frame mirrorless S1.
In last week's Mirrorless Monday post, Mark Toal wrote about a new way to see with one his new favorite features on the S1, shooting in other formats, like panoramic at a 65:24 size ratio! This week I wanted to share an incredible image by Ben Grunow taken in what his eyes saw as total darkness, a "total blackout."
Ben regularly shares stunning photographs on his website, in some of the most diverse galleries of outdoor images in the industry. You'll never be disappointed in the content he shares. Ben's alsoi part of the LUMIX Ambassador team, one of the most skilled teams in professional photography. They're always sharing great content to help you raise the bar on your skillset.
by Ben Grunow
It amazes me how far cameras have come in the past few years. This shot was taken before the sun came up at iso 10,000. I couldn’t see without my head lamp on. Total blackout in front of me.
I figured I would take a few shots before the sun came up, not at all thinking that I would be able to see detail and color in the foreground. To my eyes everything was black and usually I would have to use the light of a powerful headlamp or flashlight to paint in any sort of detail to capture what was directly in-front of me on different settings.... I feel like I can look at photography now in a different light and capture what was not possible before!
Pretty cool that this is close to what some animals can see like at night. Limitless possibilities!
The image Ben is sharing was captured with the New LUMIX S1R and the 24-105mm F4 Lens. Click on either thumbnail below for more information.
Intro by Skip Cohen
It's "Mirrorless Monday," and my good buddy "Mirrorless Mark" (Mark Toal) is back with a different perspective on Panasonic's new full frame mirrorless S1 camera. When it comes to passion for the craft, it's pretty tough to find anybody that can top Mark, and it's one of the things I appreciate most when hanging out with him.
I'm not a tennis player, but there's that concept that if you play tennis with somebody better than you, your game improves as well. That's the way it is with Mark, photography and the new S1. Mark's no stranger to SCU, and in so many of his images, he's always sharing a different perspective. One of my favorites was his infrared image in the "Why?" series.
Well, this week he's having fun with two different size ratios, 65:24 and 2:1. Many of you know my Hasselblad history. So it's a kick seeing a panoramic size ratio matching the X-pan.
Mark shares so many great images along with solid ideas on his blogs. Just click on his photo above to link to his website. You'll never be disappointed in the content he shares. And check out the LUMIX Ambassador team. This is one of the most diverse groups in photography, and they're always sharing great content to help you raise the bar on your skillset.
Mark captured the images in today's post with the 24-105mm lens, all at 24mm. Click on any image to enlarge it on the SCU lightbox.
NEW! LUMIX S1 Kit, Digital Mirrorless Camera with 24.2MP MOS Full Frame,
24-105mm F4 L-Mount Lens - DC-S1MK
By Mark Toal
"Seeing in a New Way" - This is the slogan of one of my favorite photo companies, Lensbaby. They make lenses that let you tilt, bend and skew the world you see through your camera lens. It also sums up how I try to see the world and my photography. As part of my job for Panasonic I get to try out all the new Lumix cameras so I can teach sales people and customers about them.
I’m always looking for that one thing that the newest camera will give me to see the world differently. When I received the new Lumix S1 full frame camera I was impressed with the shallow depth of field and ability to hand hold the camera at really low shutter speeds until I came across the new frame size ratios, 65:24 and 2:1, in addition to the usual 4:3, 3:2, 1:1 and 16:9. That got my attention.
I forget about it until I was showing a customer different features on the S1 and switched to the very wide 65:24 shape. He immediately recognized it as the shape of the image from the Hasselblad X-Pan super wide film camera that he owns and bought the S1 just for this feature.
I’m still getting used to seeing the world through these shapes, but that’s what I love about learning something new. I get to see in a new way.
Images copyright Jonny Yoshinaga. All rights reserved.
There's something about going to a car show that makes it a photographic magnet, and it goes so much deeper than the beauty of the cars themselves. I love the passion of the owners and the pride that goes with the investment of years in the restoration process. They know every inch, bolt, spring, hose, and switch. They've taken an object and turned it into an almost living being, complete with albums of pictures no different than a family album from birth to the current moment.
At a show in Ohio several years ago, the owner of a beautiful 1937 Packard shared his album with me. He spent eight years looking for the parts. It took four cars to build one complete piece of perfection. It then took him five years to completely rebuild it, right down to doing his own paint job. The car was stunning, but paled in comparison to the pure joy and pride he shared!
I'm late for Mirrorless Monday this week, but it's never too late to share great images. My good buddy and LUMIX Ambassador Jonny Yoshinaga shared these image from a car show recently, and his use of depth of depth of field and composition. You can imagine the pride of each owner as you look at the finished restoration.
These images are all captured with the new LUMIX S1 full frame mirrorless, and they're remarkable. They were all shot wide open at f1.4 with the 50mm Leica certified lens. The camera is an amazing piece of technology and well worth a trip to your LUMIX retailer to check it out. Click on either thumbnail below for more information.
Jonny had a ton of images from this one show, and I pulled a few of my favorites to share here. I love the detail. Click on any image to enlarge it on the "lightbox."
Jonny needs to be on your radar along with the entire US LUMIX Ambassador team. They're one of the most diverse and creative teams in photography. They're on the road all year long speaking and teaching at LUMIX retailers and a variety of conventions/conferences. In fact, Jonny and a few other members of the team will be at ShutterFest in the Panasonic booth on April 23-24. If you're there it's a perfect time to meet them and check out the complete LUMIX line.
Images copyright Suzette Allen. All rights reserved.
One of the best things about our industry and the Internet is the way we share images today. Suzette Allen shared the light-painted image above yesterday on Facebook, and I loved it.
There's a fun part of the backstory, and it helps if you know a little about Ms "BT" (Bubble Trailer). Sheila and I were first introduced two years ago when we saw Bubble Trailer in images Suzette and her husband Jonny shared when visiting us in Florida after taking BT to Burning Man.
Since then, "BT" has become a leading personality in photographic education. It's no longer a mechanical object, but the co-star in the story of two passionate artists and educators! And, she's loaded with personality as well as gear and outdoor metal prints from Bay Photo!
Suzette and Jonny hit the road last week with a mini California tour but stay tuned, because there's lots more coming later in the year. You're going to hear a lot about the three of them. Even better, there are some fantastic educational opportunities coming up to help you raise the bar on your skill set!
Suzette posted last week:
Come to Bay Photo on April 4 and you are in the area (Santa Cruz, CA) from 3-5pm to enjoy some [safe] S'more and Smiles! Sorry- no campfires allowed! BUT get a selfie with Ms Bubble Trailer and check out her beautiful EXT Metal Photo gallery! First thirty people get some BT swag too!
And while it's got nothing whatsoever to do with the tour, BT or for that matter even photography...today is Jonny's birthday! So, Happy Birthday Buddy - wish we were there to help you celebrate!
Meanwhile, with the top image of BT at night in the woods, Suzette published how the image was created using the LUMIX G9 and the LUMIX G 7-14mm lens...
Light Painting with @BubbleTrailer in the redwoods! We just had to do this!! We waited until dusk to capture her tiny-ness next to that huge tree....we photographed this with a #LumixG9 on aMeFOTO tripod at IS0200 for 10 seconds on each exposure. (most were at F7.1 but a few at f4) Combined in Adobe Photoshop with masking, using 8-ish exposures, we were able to get all of the elements in pretty light. We just used our big flashlights and lit up each area of the image separately.
Gotta make a print of this... what [BayPhoto] product do you think? Maplewood print? metal? Acrylic? ideas??
The camera sees more than the eye. So why not make use of it?
Over the years I've heard so many of you talk about how photography helped you through a rough chapter in your life. From divorces to death of a loved one to failed businesses, health issues and depression friends have talked about how immersing themselves in photography has helped them stay focused on their values and find balance in their lives.
"Balance" has to be one of the most abused words in business or for that matter life. We all talk about the importance of balance as if it was a juggling act that could be learned with practice over time. Well, it's so much more - we're challenged every day to make choices and with each option comes a focus on our priorities. While often our brains know precisely the path we need to take, our hearts often go in another direction.
The image above is a perfect example. While business is excellent and the new blog is getting a lot of nice comments, my heart has been elsewhere. Yesterday, while outside I spotted the spider above. My initial instinct was to knock down the web, step on the thing and treat it like any bug we see around the house. But here's where photography became therapeutic.
Looking closer I was drawn to the red spikes on her back. That led to Google and looking up "Florida Spiders." Wandering a little further through cyberspace I learned it was a spineybacked orb weaver, and because they eat bugs that damage house plants and crops, it's a beneficial spider.
Keep in mind the spider above is at best 3/8 of an inch across, the size of a child's fingernail. So, out came the 30mm macro lens and the LUMIX GX85. I switched to manual focus and was able to get within a few inches of her. Again, thanks to Google, the lighter color and bright spikes mean the spider's a female.
But capturing the image was only the first part of getting my mind to focus on something other than the rut I was in. The next step came with wanting to share the image. I don't profess to be a professional photographer. My primary focus is helping you with the business and marketing side of photography, but having been around so many artists for so many years, I know more than I let on and I'll match my passion with anybody.
So, I decided to share it in several Facebook forums, and the response has been terrific. Each comment and "like" added to the fun of knowing I got the shot. And, in turn, it helped me out of the rut I was in.
It's one of the few times, I've taken my own advice from so many past blog posts and used my camera for the fun of capturing a little of the world around me. I didn't set out to do anything with the camera except relax and chill.
Meanwhile, my little buddy has expanded her web and is fast becoming a daily project for me. I'm going to wind up moving her, but the web, in just 24 hours has expanded to cover a 3-4 foot area for the core pictured on the right. It extends 4-6 feet beyond that for the anchors to the top of the pool cage and a hibiscus plant below.
And there it is - my whole point and along with Edward Weston's quote above - the camera truly does see more than the eye.
Recognize those times when you need to step away from working and recharge your battery.
“To me, photography is an art of observation.
It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…
I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see
and everything to do with the way you see them.”
Few things beat the beauty of a Florida sunset. Out with my FZ1000 last Thursday it was a perfect evening, and as the sun was dropping it was as if somebody said: "Cue the boat!" Across the horizon came a speeding boat. While this is hardly scientific, and really meets the definition of a grab-shot, I was surprised at the detail when I enlarged it 300%. Plus, these are screen shots of jpegs.
We've got two people in a boat that was easily a few hundred yards offshore. The driver is taking off his glasses, and you can see the end of one earpiece. His friend seems to be having a great time - mouth open and a grip on the leash of the dog, who appears to be looking back. Obviously, the image breaks up a little at 300% magnification, but that doesn't change the amount of data collected in this one frame.
I've been shooting with LUMIX cameras for the last four years. While my passion is helping you with the business and marketing side of photography, and I don't make a living as a professional photographer, that doesn't mean I don't appreciate great optics and the ability of LUMIX to often make my images look better than I deserve. LOL
The FZ1000 with its fixed bright Leica DC Lens 25-400mm F2.8-4.0, and super-fast LUMIX DFD focusing technology weighs in at under 2 lbs. Like most of the LUMIX family, it's perfect for travel. With retail pricing typically around $500 it represents one of the most bang-for-your-buck cameras in the industry.
Isn't time you checked out the complete LUMIX line, including the new full-frame S1, at your Panasonic dealer?
Fast Food Fridays are all about ideas to help you build a stronger more effective business model and often increase brand awareness. I started the series because so many of you are right-brained creative types with little interest in the operational side of your business. Plus, because you're business owners and struggling to find balance in your life between all the different hats you wear, Fast Food Friday posts hopefully help you focus on various aspects of your life other than your subjects. There is no auto-focus button when it comes to life.
Last week I wrote about the importance of getting back to basics, your skill set. The greatest marketing programs in the world won't make up for poor quality images that NEVER meet your clients' expectations, let alone exceed them!
I want to stay on a similar theme. Today's "blue-plate" special is about ways recharging your battery! It's a key ingredient in everybody's fight to find balance and stay focused on your priorities. And, the only key ingredients are time and the discipline to recognize when you need a break.
Is it time for you to take a short break?
Recently I noticed a little burn-out syndrome starting to creep into my life. I think it began with the grief of losing Molly the Wonder Dog, but it continued with some long flights on our WPPI trip, followed by not getting enough sleep and allergy season kicking in here in south Florida. Put all of that together, and you've got the perfect ingredients for a little apathy and a lack of enthusiasm and at times, even creativity.
Too often we deny our lack of energy. For me, I was going through all the motions and getting everything I needed to do done, but there was no sizzle. Life was like a can of soda left open overnight - it had color, flavor but no fizz! Well, you need fizz!
Here's how I snapped out of it, and it's hardly rocket science!
The first step is to recognize there's a change going on. I realized l was slowing down in my passion for the craft. I was going through all the motions but wasn't having fun. "Fun" is one of the most important words in business today and it's often lost underneath all the baggage that stress drops on your doorstep.
Second, is taking the time to do something to change what you're going through. Again, it's hardly scientific but does require a plan of attack. For me, it's often as simple as just unplugging and staying out of my office, off email, and removing myself from the work environment. I needed to go off-the-grid for a day or two. If something urgent had come up, I was available, but overall I needed to change my environment.
Third - do something you love. Often snapping back to your passionate self is as easy as going out and shooting for an afternoon on your own. Other times it takes good friends, people in your network who know you, understand what drives your passion and are just fun to be with.
For me this week it was both. I needed to grab a camera and change my environment, and Suzette Allen and Jonny Yoshinaga were here for a couple of days of their vacation. We rented a boat and headed out on the inland waterway with a ton of Panasonic LUMIX gear.
Everyone's needs are different when it comes to getting out of a rut, but the key starts with recognizing you're in one. I've shared this thought so many times in the past, but you can't create images that tug at people's heart-strings if your own heart isn't in it. And, it's okay when that happens - as a small business owner and artist you're dealing with a lot of variables, and many of them outside of your control. So, learn to recognize when you need to take a break and then follow-through with recharging your battery.
On the airlines in the safety pitch before every flight they always tell us, ..." in the unlikely event of a change in cabin pressure, put your mask on first before you help others." Well, it's no different in business, and you've got to take care of yourself before you can effectively get back to helping your clients and associates.
Most important of all remember one of my favorite quotes:
"It's just a bad day - not a bad life!"
Image copyright Jennifer Maring. All rights reserved.
"Why?" is all about some of the most respected artists in photography today. When I started the series over two years ago, I wanted to find a way to introduce you to more photographers and their work. Well, what better way than through the backstories behind their favorite images?
Jennifer Maring is in the spotlight today, and she's a multi-talented artist regularly demonstrating her skill set across several different platforms. She's a photographer, an educator, a decorator, presenter, cook and a great friend to so many of us in the industry. She's a diverse visual artist focused on a wide variety of passions!
Working together with her husband Chuck, she's half the team of Maring Visuals. You'll find her on Youtube promoting great photography, sharing great recipes and decorating tips through "Together in Style," and her diversity goes on and on in a steady stream of focus on a healthy lifestyle.
Click on her "Why?" image above to visit Maring Visuals.
She's also a LUMIX Ambassador. The image above was captured in Verona, Italy with a LUMIX GH5. I wanted to share this short video below, because it's a perfect example of three of Jennifer's passions - great photography, travel, and people. As you watch the video, think about how you might tell your own story. While the star of the video is the LUMIX GH5, it's also about Jennifer, her artistic eye and her passion for storytelling.
In the video she shares a piece of wisdom I loved:
"If you don't have a challenge, then you're not telling a good enough story!"
To see more of Jennifer's work and enjoy her diversity as she defines art and lifestyle, click on the banner below and visit, "Together in Style."
And, a big thanks to the sponsor of the "Why?" series and a new SCU partner, PhotoTexting.com. Communication is continually changing and PhotoTexting is giving thousands of photographers the ability to market in the mobile side of life! Check it out with a visit to their website. You can't afford to miss the opportunity and upgrade how you communicate with your clients.
What a strange few weeks it's been - until you go through it, nobody can describe the process or the pain of losing a pet. And it doesn't matter how your brain reminds you that pets don't live forever, or how lucky you were to have had such a fantastic friend in the first place - it's all about the hole in your heart, which is anything but logical.
Well, here I am on a Sunday morning and focused on some different feelings that came out of nowhere yesterday. Directly they have very little to do with photography, but everything to do with memories and the appreciation of looking back.
As a kid, my Dad and I collected antique musical instruments. My mom would drag us into antique shops looking for odd size plates, and we needed something more relevant to us. He played trumpet all through high school, college and even in a band in the Army Air Corps in WWII. I played trumpet and French horn in high school, so music became a sidebar hobby for us. Over the years we built quite a collection.
However, my most favorite piece is my Dad's cornet. It's been sitting on a shelf on a bookcase for the last two years and slowly turning black as the tarnish took over everything but my memories. I decided it was time to pull out the silver polish and clean it up. I with I had done a before shot because it was completely black.
When I was done, I grabbed a small roll of black velvet and captured a few shots, playing with a LUMIX FZ1000, available light and post-processing in Luminar. As I fooled around with the images, there were so many great memories that came back.
Too many of us spend so much time focused on the day in day out challenges of business and life that we forget to take those important walks down Memory Lane. We're so preoccupied with defining success that we don't appreciate those moments when a look in the rearview mirror is just what we need.
Cleaning Dad's cornet was like rubbing a magic lantern. It took me back to seeing him smile every time he could still triple-tongue a note and play Flight of the Bumble Bee (you've got to be a trumpet player to appreciate that) and he did it right up into his 90's. I thought about all the great times we had together carrying some of our instruments out of antique shops in pieces. I laughed over the tuba we bought for $5.00 and took it home in three shopping bags. One smile after another came over me and then the biggest smile of all...thinking about Molly the Wonder Dog and my Dad hanging out together right now.
Wishing all of you a terrific day and time to savor those memories and appreciate whatever it takes to get them to bubble to the surface. So, whether it's looking at old photographs or just something in your home that reminds you of special moments from days gone by - don't rush the process. It's like drinking a glass of great wine - take it slow and appreciate it.
And as always, grab those eleven-second hugs with those people most special in your life, because the time you have with them today will be those memories you savor tomorrow.
Happy Sunday everybody!
One of my favorite cameras to travel with is the little LUMIX GX85. It's often sold in a kit configuration and comes with a 12-32mm LUMIX G Vario lens. It's the perfect travel camera weighing only a pound and having most of the features that's made Panasonic's LUMIX line so legendary.
Most of you know, I don't make my living as a working pro because my passion is helping you with the marketing and business side of photography, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate quality in my gear. And, like many of you, I've always been a little skeptical about the quality of kit lenses.
The GX85 went everywhere with us in Los Angeles last week, and I'll be sharing more images in future posts. But, if you're looking for an ideal camera for travel, family time or just having at your fingertips, this is it. And, because of it's ability to use interchangeable lenses, the GX85 can use 27 different LUMIX lenses.
Click on any image to find out more about the GX85. You should never be without a camera, and while cell phones keep getting better and better, they can't do what a good camera can!
The two images above were shot at 32mm on the zoom at f5.6 @ 1/100 ISO 200. They're straight "out of the can."
While it's hardly a scientific test, I put it through my own "taste" test at a Farmer's Market last Sunday - nothing fancy, just handheld at some of the various stands. I post-processed in Luminar with only a minor tweak using one of the presets for mild image enhancement. Then I zoomed in to 100% and then 200% enlargement on the Luminar desktop. Remember, these are screenshots and not even close to the original file size.
And one final sidebar footnote. I'd forgotten one of the best benefits from the days when I lived in California - the fruit is ALWAYS fresh! Now living on the east coast, at best berries only last a few days before they start to get moldy, but the berries above were probably picked less than 48 hours before appearing at the market! The market was their first stop direct from the farm. Everything is fresh!
Sheila and I pretty much ate our way from one end of the market to the other!
Intro by Skip Cohen
Since launching in 2016, we've shared thousands of posts here on the SCU blog, with information on virtually every type of idea to help you build a stronger business. Well, as we get more into 2019, we're going to be sharing more technique posts to help you not only develop a stronger and more successful business but raise the bar on your skill set.
I love this post we're sharing today, thanks to Suzette Allen. While it might seem like a lesson in outdoor landscape photography, learning to work with slow shutter speeds is a skill applicable to so many different images you capture, including photographing a wedding and children playing, to name a couple.
Roday is "Mirrorless Monday," and Suzette is out with with a LUMIX G9 and two different lenses. More information about each one is linked in the thumbnails below.
Suzette has several different blogs, all filled with great content on technique, new ideas and often providing inspiration and insight into her passion for the craft, people and life. She's just a click away. Then, follow her and the entire US LUMIX Ambassador team. They're regularly speaking at LUMIX retailers and conventions around the country. In fact, she'll be with me and several of the other LUMIX Ambassadors at WPPI in the Panasonic booth #934 February 27-29. They're one of the most diverse and creative teams in photography, and should all be on your radar. You'll be surprised at how much great content they share.
by Suzette Allen
There’s something magical about the silky softness of a waterfall, shot with a slow shutter speed! While it’s very easy to do once you know how and have the right equipment, it seems just like pure magic before you master it! In this blog, you will learn how to capture water flow with a silky soft look, whether it be a grand waterfall like Havasu or a babbling brook down the road from you.
One thing that is necessary is a tripod, or at the very least, set your camera on a rock or log or something very stationary. Camera movement will destroy this effect in a fraction of a hot second!
In the examples here I’m using a Mirrorless Micro 4/3 camera- the Lumix G9 and either the 7-14mm lens above or the 8-18mm lens. I have my camera on a MeFoto Backpacker tripod which is light and easy to hike with, so it was my companion for the 57 miles we hiked in 7 days in the Grand Canyon on this trip!
Note: There were times I used it as a walking stick as well, when we walked the Narrows in freezing cold water in Zion National Park too! But next time I won’t do that—I’ll tell you why (and show images) in a different blog!.
Anyway, the trick to getting a soft silky water look is shooting in manual mode and using a slow shutter speed. Typically, you are shooting in the daytime, and hopefully in shade (or you will NEED neutral density filters), and you want to shoot with the shutter speed at 1/8 of a second or slower if possible. It was relatively soft light, but at ISO 200, which is the lowest my camera goes, and the aperture at F22, the highest f-s top it offers, the slowest I could go was in the range of 1/5 to 1/8 of a second. Otherwise my image was overexposed.
It usually requires a bit of experimenting with a DSLR because you cannot see the effect or the exposure through the view finder and you need to shoot and adjust and re-shoot and adjust a few times until you get the right combination. Even if you use a meter, there is some experimentation or at least bracketing.
What I love about the Mirrorless Lumix is the EVF, or Electronic View Finder, which shows you exactly what your exposure looks like AND the effect of a slow shutter speed! [Be sure to turn on the Constant Preview feature to see that]. My camera is ON Constant Preview all the time and I literally cannot live without it.
The other benefit is the Zebras feature, which shows any part of the image that is overexposed with little black zebra stripes, alerting you to the overexposure BEFORE you take the shot! Take a look at this short video taken of Havasu Falls, where I show how I can confidently get a great exposure without any blown-out pixels (or needing to bracket or use a meter).
This feature is also turned on ALL the time on my camera and is an invaluable tool for getting great exposures all the time.
Turning on Constant Preview on the Lumix G9
Menu>Custom Wrench>Monitor&Display>Page4, bottom item: Constant Preview
turn to ON
Setting the Zebras on the Lumix G9
Menu>Custom Wrench>Monitor&Display>Page5, almost bottom item: Zebras
Choose SET and then choose [Zebra2 100%] and then turn it ON. Hit the center Set button on the camera back to be sure it is turned ON.
A few notes about this technique.
For the last ten years, the line between photography and videography has gotten thinner and thinner. Many of you are now shooting both still images and video, most often with the same camera. I know with my own images, working with any of Panasonic's LUMIX cameras, I switch back forth with the push of a button.
That works fine for me, but remember my business is based on the educational side of marketing and business. I don't make a living as a photographer, but most of you do! I'm very excited to be sharing two great videos in this post - both featuring LUMIX Ambassador Griffin Hammond.
"Griffin Hammond is a documentary filmmaker in New York City, known for producing DIY filmmaking tutorials for indie filmmakers, and his award-winning documentary Sriracha."
In the same way, so many of you have taken workshop after workshop to build a strong skill set in still imaging; it's time you did the same in filmmaking. I'm hoping you'll spend the next few minutes ( 3 1/2 to be exact) and watch the short film above. Pay attention to how Griffin tells the story. Then drop down to the video below and check out the newest member of the LUMIX family, the S series, and you'll have a better understanding of the gear he used.
If you're headed to WPPI later this month, Panasonic along with the LUMIX Ambassador team will be sharing the excitement of the S series with twenty-six different short programs in Booth 934. It's an opportunity to check out how this new full-frame camera continues to set the standard for technology and reenforcing the LUMIX tagline of "Changing Photography!"
There's a great expression from the old west, meant to evoke the image of a town having a new sheriff come to power and shake things up..."There's a new sheriff in town!"
Snow Goose at Sunrise
Bosque del Apache
Panasonic Lumix G9 with the Leica 100-400mm lens
Exposure triad: f/11, 1/800 sec, ISO 640.
Seeing this image shared by my buddy Shiv Verma last November, I realized that Bosque del Apache has been on my bucket list for far too many years. It's time to change that in 2019.
Just in case you don't know about Bosque del Apache:
"The Refuge is 57,331 acres located along the Rio Grande near Socorro, located at the northern edge of the Chihuahuan desert. The heart of the Refuge is about 12,900 acres of moist bottomlands - 3,800 acres are active floodplain of the Rio Grande and 9,100 acres are areas where water is diverted to create extensive wetlands, farmlands, and riparian forests." Quote taken from: https://www.newmexico.org
"Each season, the Bosque del Apache offers unique bird and wildlife viewing opportunities. Peak visitation occurs in winter when bald eagles and thousands of sandhill cranes and snow geese flock to the fields and marshes. Plan to visit the weekend before Thanksgiving during the annual Festival of the Cranes. This world-famous event includes speakers, special tours, and arts and wildlife displays." Quote taken from: https://www.socorronm.org
While it is "Mirrorless Monday," today's post is also a perfect example of the best thing about our industry, the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft. Although Shiv and I crossed paths several times in previous careers, we've managed to get in a lot of quality time over the last couple of years thanks to Panasonic. Shiv's a LUMIX Ambassador, and over the years we've caught up to each other at various shows and even my house for dinner when he's speaking at the Southwest Florida Birding Festival in Fort Myers.
He posted the image above on the LUMIX Photographer's Facebook page, and it was so beautiful, I wanted to share it here in a post. Remember, this is a screenshot, so you can imagine how stunning the original must be at maximum resolution.
Check out the gear Shiv used to capture this image with a click on either of the thumbnails below. "Changing Photography" is Panasonic's tagline. They never slow down in bringing the very best in creative tools to photographers all over the world.
You'll enjoy more of Shiv's work with a click on today's "Mirrorless Monday" photograph above. Then follow him and the entire US LUMIX Ambassador team. They're regularly speaking at LUMIX retailers and conventions around the country. They're one of the most diverse and creative teams in photography, and should all be on your radar, and you'll be surprised at how much great content they share.