It's Throwback Thursday and while I shared these techniques many years ago, the more photographers I "meet" online, the more relevant understanding lighting technique has become. There are so many of you who could raise the bar on the quality of your portraits with better lighting!
In 1999, Don Blair and I published Don Blair's Guide to Lighting and Posing Body Parts. That's 19 years ago, and the information we shared in this book will never go out of date. The whole idea for a book like this started during one of Don's programs when somebody sitting near me said, "This is great stuff - there should be a book on this!"
Well, the sweetheart of Don's life, his wonderful wife Donna, had passed away a year or so earlier and the project started with a dual purpose - to help photographers improve their portraiture and to give Don something to help take his mind off the pain of a broken heart. I remember being on the road with him several times, and he'd always buy a rose and put it on the pillow next to him as his own tribute to Donna.
We did all the photography for the book in Las Vegas with models from the area because we wanted to introduce the book at WPPI the following year with a program that included the same models. Tony Corbell, Terry Deglau joined us as we storyboarded each page on the wall of the hotel room where we were shooting. Remember, there was no digital imaging then - every shot for the book was first captured on a Polaroid proof. Bambi Cantrell later added the finishing touch with the author's portrait for the back page on the right.
The fun of today's post has two parts. First, so many of you need to understand the basic principles of good lighting, and it doesn't get any easier than to share Don's examples, complete with diagrams. Second, what a kick to take this walk down Memory Lane. Even though I've shared some of the backstories about Body Parts before, "Big Daddy" was one of the most loved photographers in the industry. I think about our adventures together all the time. It's a great reminder why the memories we help people capture are so important!
If you need help in improving your portrait technique, technology has changed a lot, and Marathon Press can still print the book, but no longer have it in stock. If you've got an interest let me know in the comment section and I'll pass on the information.
Happy Throwback Thursday!
In this new episode of One Location, One Lesson, One Lens, David Akoubian shares some excellent tips on bird photography.
Even if you're not a bird photographer, the advice he gives is universal to so many different applications. And, he's doing it all on location at one of the places on my bucket list, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. He's in New Mexico for the Festival of the Cranes, which has taken place every November for 30 years.
David's done an excellent job packing in solid how-to content in this three-minute video, but so has Tamron in capturing the power and the beauty of an estimated ten thousand cranes and twenty thousand geese arrivIng during their winter migration.
David's no stranger to SCU with several different posts over the years, although one of my most favorite is his episode of "Why?" from 2017. To enjoy more of David's work click on any of the two screenshots I pulled from this video and don't forget to check out David's workshop schedule to fulfill your own bucket list of photography trips!
David's "co-star," along with the birds, is Tamron's SP 150-600 G2 lens. It's a remarkable piece of glass, and a necessity for birds in flight:
"When photographing birds in flight, one thing that's critical is a long lens, and I'm using the Tamron 150-600 G2...
and has made my bird photography, especially birds in flight, easy and fun."
This couldn't be a better time to check out Tamron's family of products and especially the instant savings on the SP 150-600 G2 lens. Tamron's making some of the finest optics in photography today and always staying focused on ways to help you raise the bar on the quality of your images! Just click the banner below for more information.
Chamira Young and I have been having fun with Luminar 2018, taking turns each week and sharing another tool we're working with. However, the true joy of the relationship with Skylum and this terrific software is our ability to direct a portion of sales through SCU to one of my favorite nonprofits; Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.
The original promotion was initially scheduled to end on November 30, but in all honesty, we can't come up with a reason to not let it run until the end of the year, at which time we'll direct help to another nonprofit. So, for every Luminar purchase through December 31, we're donating $5 to NILMDTS.
The image above is this week's pick and my final image - Instead of using a preset, I chose to use a couple of different tools. Here's the original on the right.
Accent AI Filter: This filter is the first one on the filter selection list, and it's the perfect place to start. It automatically analyzes the image and makes the necessary adjustments. Remember with all the Luminar filters you can adjust the degree of impact on the image.
Tone Filter: Next step was to adjust the "Tone" - which adjusts overall brightness and contrast. I also went a little deeper into "Smart Tone" along with playing with the highlights, shadows, blacks, and whites.
Structure Filter: Last, I tweaked the image using the structure filter. It enhances clarity and micro-contrast in the surface areas between the edges detected in an image improving perceived detail.
With what I felt was a minimal adjustment to the image, I chose to crop and enlarge the butterfly 100%.
And, for those of you who don't know how to tell the gender of a Monarch butterfly, a male two black spots on either side of the hind wings.
It's the speed and ease of use I love most about Luminar and obviously the results. But, every aspect of the image is adjustable and when you're done, you can click on the history of the changes you made, and they're saved in your archives. The image above is showing the original image along with the changes I made, except for cropping.
Check out Luminar
If you're looking for a unique holiday gift this season, check out the sale on this print from John Sexton.
"This 5x7" handcrafted silver gelatin image is being offered for one week only at the very special discounted price of $150 – a significant saving from the gallery retail price of my prints. Unlike my other prints, this 5x7" print – printed by me on 11x14" silver gelatin photographic paper – will be delivered UNmounted, and without an overmat. Please know that this special discounted price is good only for orders placed prior to midnight Friday, November 30, 2018. After that date the price will increase to $300."
Launched last week on "Black and White Friday," there are just 48 hours left for this offer.
Whether you're a collector looking to own a unique piece from one of photography's
best known artists, or searching for a great gift idea for someone special, John's work is remarkable. His photographs are in collections and galleries all over the world. And, he's no stranger to SCU, helping us launch "Why?" with the very first episode in 2016.
Click on the print to the right for more information about John and this stunning print.
A few years back I started a series of blog posts I called "Nick's Pics." Like so many different projects with good intentions, things got busy. While Nick and I have never lost touch in our close to thirty-year friendship, sharing his favorite picks from cyberspace slipped through the cracks.
Nick Vedros is all about creativity. You never know what he's going to find on the Internet that will get your wheels turning. What I love most about so much of what he shares, is they're constant reminders of the world outside our door that's firmly rooted in imaging. It's so easy to have day after day go by with the only thing you think about being your own business.
Well, Nick is back in the SCU stream, and sent me this short video yesterday, and I loved his choice for a morning dose of creativity. Here's a lesson in concept, design, photography, and artists who loved the creative process involved in album covers.
It's part of the Earworm series on YouTube. Shared on the Vox channel, they've done an incredible job telling the backstory behind the great jazz albums of the '50s and '60s, starting with the image on the right. It doesn't matter whether or not you're a jazz lover, this is about one aspect of the history of great design elements.
As you watch and listen to the story, think about your own work.
What if you took a few of your favorite images and like the way the Earworm team has told the story, you told yours? What if you took several images and shared the skills involved in capturing and creating the photograph? What if you talked about the artists you've been influenced by? What if you shared how and why an image was cropped to tell your story, and at the same time demonstrated your skillset in capturing great photographs?
And, even if you hate my idea of applying some of the storytelling techniques used in this video to your own work, just appreciate the design elements and how each album was created with a particular look that became the signature look described by Vox/Earworm on YouTube as:
Blue Note captured the refined sophistication of jazz during the early 60s,
giving it its signature look in the process.
Nick is a perpetual student of imaging, art and design. He's no stranger to SCU sharing a number of great posts over the years and joining me for an episode of "Why?" in 2017.
Take the time to watch the video whether you're a jazz fan or not...What a kick!
Image copyright Jeremy Chan. All rights reserved.
At PPE in NYC a couple of weeks ago I met Jeremy Chan through my good buddy Matthew Jordan Smith. Since Matthew moved to Japan, we don't catch up as often as we used to and neither of us knew we were both going to be at the show. He introduced me to Jeremy.
Throughout the next couple of days Jeremy and I kept bumping into each other at various booths at the trade show. We're all part of a relatively small industry and sometimes it's surprising how many common friends we all share.
Getting home from PPE, Jeremy sent me a quick IM on Facebook, just to say hello. That led me to his Facebook page and a lot of stunning images. So, loving great images and appreciating how the Internet has helped make our industry a smaller place, I asked him for permission to feature one of his photographs.
Not only did he say yes, but he sent me the following:
San Francisco City Hall is a magical place to photograph. This photo is captured around 5 pm which is during sunset. So, the golden hour light is leaking in from the west side of the building. By combining the “yellow” light on the upper floor and the two lamps, the photo is made naturally with the warm color tone, which is exactly how I wanted it to look.
Check out more of Jeremy's images by visiting his Facebook page. Just click on his photograph above.
In the meantime, look at your schedule for 2019. One of the most significant benefits of attending every possible convention/conference you can work into your schedule is networking! And, there's very little that beats the power and fun of meeting people who you've only met in cyberspace, face to face!
Image copyright Feko Photo. All rights reserved.
It's no secret I'm a groupie. My passion in this industry is helping photographers with the business and marketing side of imaging, but I never slow down in following artists in social media, and it's even better when I meet a few of you on the job!
Meet Ryan Bassett from Feko Photo in Cleveland. We were visiting friends in Ohio and wandered over to Headlands Beach. It was late afternoon on an overcast and chilly day. Ryan was on the beach with a bride and groom. I started talking to the other photographer working with him on the shoot.
It's always a kick when I'm watching an artist working, and no matter what question I ask, I always get a response that suggests they think I'm another "Uncle Harry." They're always polite, but the look on their face says, "Go away amateur!"
For the shot above Ryan had the couple walking down the path to the beach through the tall grass and sea oats. I loved the way he was working with them. He was lying in the sand, getting as low an angle as possible. He came over to the car as we were leaving, and I know was wondering if I was legitimate or a stalker. LOL I asked him if he'd send me the shot. Well, he did, and there it is, and I'm betting his clients loved it.
There's no doubt the couple loved this image, and it's a perfect time to remind everybody of your biggest goals with every client - exceed expectations and make yourself habit-forming. Click on the image if you'd like to see more of Feko Photo's work, which includes both Ryan and his partner Al Garcia.
Ryan, thanks for sending me the image to share. However, you're living in Ohio and until Spring there's a good chance to get that same shot you'll be lying in a foot of snow. I'm happy to show you the beaches here in Sarasota any time!
Remember the word "fun?" It's one of those very special, easily understood words that are too often lost in business today. "Fun," often disappears under the baggage of business and the stress of responsibilities and commitments. We forget to make the time for fun.
A month ago I was introduced to Luminar 2018, and it's added a new dimension of fun to my images. Two weeks ago I shared the first post in Luminar Corner, a new SCU feature. Chamira Young and I are taking turns every other Wednesday having fun with Skylum's Luminar 2018. Each week we're sharing a different tool or combination of filters and then using the before and after slide bar.
I pulled today's image from my archives going back to Szalay's farm stand in Akron two years ago. It was about this same time of year and loaded with pumpkins and the typical fall collection of squashes, dried corn, and a harvest theme. The original image was shot in 2016 with one of my favorite cameras to travel with, the LUMIX FZ300. It was shot at f3.2 @ 1/160 ISO 100.
I combined two of Luminar's tools. First, I used the "Tonal Compressor" preset. While it's easily adjustable, I left it at 100%. It recovers highlights and opens the shadows and adds a hair of contrast, saturation and clarity. Second, I love the "Structure" filter which I pushed just a little. The definition of what it does, right from the drop-down box in Luminar 2018 is:
"Enhances clarity and micro-contrast in surface areas between edges detected in an image improving perceived detail and making photos stand out."
I know everybody has their own opinion on stuff like this. For me, it was fun giving a flat, boring image a little more personality and a stronger illustrative look. It's what I was going for, and it's an especially good way to demo what this amazing software is capable of doing!
It's a NO-Brainer!
Put in the special discount code of "SKIPCOHEN" and receive an additional $10 off. That means you can buy Luminar 2018 for $49 USD and upgrade from the previous version for $39 USD. The code also applies to the purchase of Aurora HDR 2019.
Please Note: For every purchase made between now and November 30, 2018, through the SCU link on the left, SCU will be donating $5 to Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep.
I've written dozens of posts and magazine articles over the years about getting the most out of every conference or convention you attend. Time is your most valuable commodity, and there's so much going on at a good trade show.
Next week many of us will be in New York for PhotoPlus Expo and while the platform speakers and classes are a necessity, make sure you pay attention to what your favorite companies are doing in their booth right on the trade show floor.
Tamron USA is a perfect example. They'll be offering a "Clean & Check," bonus rebates and are giving away an SP 70-200/2.8 G2 lens. But, my favorite activity in their booth is always the number of programs they have going on each day.
Check out the live demos with some of the most respected artists in professional photography. Six times each day there's another program, but don't just go to watch or listen to the demo. Take the time before or after to introduce yourself.
Get to know the speakers and the staff at Tamron USA. Their tech team is second to none and will be there to help you with questions and ideas to raise the bar on the quality of your images. They need to be in your network, and each one has a pretty amazing talent for education and hands-on demonstrating.
You'll find the Tamron team just two booths from the front entrance of the trade show in booth 819. And, while you're there check out all the members of the Tamron family of outstanding lenses. They're manufacturing some of the finest glass in imaging today.
For example, check out the new SP 70-200mm F/2.8 lens they're giving away at the show. Just click on the banner below and then scroll through their website for the rest of their line. Then, at the show, check out those focal lengths on your wishlist, not currently in your camera bag!
See you in NYC!
It's Marketing Monday and the perfect time of year to share a post out of the archives about selling prints. I'm still surprised at the number of photographers who claim they can't sell prints, especially when we're got such a great selection of unique materials and technique available through the professional labs.
For example, two months ago I shared a post about Bay Photo's Performance EXT Metal prints. It's been outside my home in the hot sun and rain since then and still looks like it just came out of the box. It doesn't need to even be hosed down or cleaned and continues to be a talking point every time we've got friends over.
Well, it's October and the seasonality of the fourth quarter is on your doorstep. You've got an opportunity to sell more prints, increase revenue and bring the close of 2018 to a stunning ending by offering your clients new opportunities and ways to display their images.
But, it won't happen if you don't put in an effort to help educate them! It's up to you to help your clients understand the power of a print.
A few years ago at PPE in NYC, I got into a discussion with Bryan Caporicci and Rob Nowell of Sprouting Photographer. The topic was the importance of printed images. Bryan hit me with an idea that's brilliant. Listen carefully, because he's sharing it and invited all of you to steal the idea.
When Bryan works a bridal fair, he hands each bride a floppy disk, labeled with his contact information and says, "I'd love to show you some of my images. Here's a collection of some of my best!" The brides look at him like he's from another planet and ask, "What am I supposed to do with this?" They have no idea what to do with a floppy disk.
**POOF** Bryan's got an instant connection to explaining why printed images are so important. After all, who's to say a DVD is going to play on anything twenty years from now and who knows what a jump drive will look like. In fact, if you were to receive anything on a floppy disk right now, what would you do with it?
Need another tool? I've shared this in other posts in the past, but it's time to remind many of you again. Michele Celentano has offered every photographer the right to reprint "I Believe." She wrote it at least five years ago. She uses it as part of her presentation package. It's printed on nice stock and tucked into each folder she gives her clients. She talks very openly about why she believes in printed images in her "Mind Your Own Business" webcast.
Just click the screenshot of Michele from the webcast if you haven't heard Michele talk about the importance of printing your work.
So, here it is, you've got Bryan's floppy disk idea; Michele's "I Believe," which you can print and share with clients and the idea of framing a jump drive, which started as a joke to make the point. Here's another idea. In support of the whole concept of printing images, Bryan put together the one minute video below a long time ago, which again makes the point. All of you can make your own demo video, just frame some DVDs and jump drives!
And for those of you who like everything either black or white - it's never going to happen. Clients are always going to want digital files for their Facebook pages, websites, cell phones, etc. The Internet has changed the way we share images, but we don't have to give up on prints.
Printing images is absolutely NOT dead - everyone just has to do a better job of planting the seed with their clients.
"So the next time you're traveling and the conditions aren't ideal, don't get discouraged.
Keep shooting, take chances and embrace the unexpected."
That's Ken Hubbard's closing comment in the video below, as he and Armando Flores hit Glacier National Park in Montana. A lightning strike ignited a small part of the park, and the fires added a layer of haze over every location they go to photograph.
This video is one of the best in the Tamron series to date because it's loaded with good solid, helpful content. There are so many things outside a photographer's control, leaving artists with the need to draw from their skill set.
With each image, Armando expresses a little frustration with the scene not being what he was expecting but then shares his mind's eye vision in how to salvage the moment. The images included in the video are stunning and the perfect reminder that great artists never give up on capturing beautiful images.
Armando's working with Tamron's SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 lens. For more information click on the banner below. And, check out the schedule for all the upcoming events/workshops this month.
There's a lot to choose from, and each program gives you an opportunity to expand your network with Tamron's Tech Team, and check out what all the buzz is about with Tamron's family of outstanding lenses.
Image copyright Mark Toal. All rights reserved.
It's Monday and "Mirrorless Mark" is back hitting a couple of favorite points about photography and working with LUMIX cameras.
Right out of the blocks I love the fact he shot in black and white, setting the camera to Monochrome D mode. So many of us have our roots in black & white. I love the richness of the tonal range in the image above. Second, comes Mark's point about traveling light. The G9 body only weighs 1.5 pounds, and with the lens Mark chose he was just over two pounds. That's light enough to literally NEVER be without a camera.
The last point I love about Mark's guest post is he shot everything on auto, making a point about the reliability of Panasonic's technology to make sure you never miss a moment. He could have chosen a dozen different ways to capture the image but went with simplicity in a moment of limited time.
Check out more of Mark's images together with his blogs by clicking on the image above. You'll never be disappointed in the content he regularly shares. And check out the LUMIX Ambassador team. This is one of the most diverse groups in photography.
Click on the G9 body or the 12mm F1.4 LEICA SUMMILUX high-performance wide angle lens for more information.
by Mark Toal
It’s been hot, and smoky from forest fires for weeks in the Northwest. When I can’t sleep because of the heat I’ll get up in the middle of the night and read or watch YouTube. YouTube videos seem to have reduced photography to a battle of sensor size, lens quality, ISO, anything but the image itself!
No matter what camera you use there is somebody to tell you you can’t take good photos unless you use something other than what you have. Hardly any of these people show you images they have taken.
The beauty of Micro Four Thirds cameras is the small size that allows you to always have a camera with you. I was reminded of this again when I decided to stop by the Portland waterfront on the way to my son’s house. I was carrying my Lumix G9 with the Leica 12mm lens. I had set the camera to shoot in the Monochrome D mode.
As I walked up to the railing of the walkway over the river a young man rode up on his bike, took off his shirt and pants and jumped into the river. As he climbed the railing I turned on the G9 and took three quick photos with everything on the camera set to auto.
Maybe the image would have better if I had used a larger camera and lens, but I more than likely wouldn’t have been carrying it especially on a 90-degree day.
I've added a new step to my morning routine, EVERY morning. I make sure I'm never too busy to take a scroll through my Facebook "Home" page and catch up on what everyone has been sharing. Last night Ed Heaton shared the image below from Grand Teton, and I loved it so much I wanted to share it as an SCU guest post this morning. Ed is no stranger to SCU, and I've shared a few of his images over the years.
What I loved about this one was the stunning image combined with the point he made about arriving on the scene early. Ed and his son are award-winning landscape artists, but it occurred to me that "arriving early" needs to be every artist's mantra. For Ed and Zach it was about securing a good spot without the crowds, but for many of you, especially wedding photographers, it's about being prepared and just possibly capturing those first special emotion-filled moments of a couple before they officially start their life together.
Click on Ed's shot of Grand Teton below to see more of his work and Zach's. And, check out his workshop schedule. Whether a workshop or private instruction, Ed Heaton Photography offers some of the finest educational support in photography.
by Ed Heaton
One might say “there’s no need to get there early, we have plenty of time before the sun rises”. Well, anyone that knows Zach and I will tell you that we always arrive early to capture slightly different images and to secure a good spot. I’ve done this since I’ve been teaching workshops and I will continue doing it because I do not like fighting for a good spot in line 😊
Here we were first to arrive which allowed us to capture the stars over the Grand Teton with the full moon lighting the scene. Not long after we got our shots, people and headlights started showing up polluting the scene. I’m not complaining about other photographers per say, the problem I have is the lack of courtesy and common sense.
Don’t walk in front of other photographers and don’t keep shining your light around the whole scene (someone certainly could have the shutter open). It’s just a fact of life these days and I’ve learned to deal with it but that doesn’t mean I like it!
- Singh-Ray Filters - OP/TECH USA - Really Right Stuff - HoodmanUSA - X-Rite Photo & Video - Asolo
Last week and right on time, Profoto introduced the new B10. I shared the trailer video for the launch featuring Two Mann Studios and Joseph Radhik last Wednesday. But, there's a lot more to the story, and I like the way Profoto's put this backstory video together about the B10 and why it's a significant part of the family.
Going back to my roots at Polaroid and working with many other companies in the industry over the years, so often new products were introduced by accident, rather than through research and defining an actual need and benefit. I love this background video on the new B10 because it introduces you to the thought process behind the product. It's not an accident but is well-defined with a purpose and benefit to helping photographers control the light.
The video gives you a chance to meet the people involved, and they've made sure they don't miss anything in the development process from the B10 itself to the compatible accessories and even the design of the backpack. I love the comment from Jacob von Matern, the designer of the pack, "Because like the B10 the bag too has to work flawlessly. It's a combination of all the details in perfect harmony."
It's time to get yourself into a Profoto dealer and check out what all the buzz is about. Just click on the banner below to learn more about the B10. Profoto never slows down in helping photographers raise the bar on the quality of their images and their ability to control the light wherever they go!
Life is all about timing...the unreachable becomes reachable, the unavailable becomes available, the unattainable...attainable. Have the patience. Wait it out. It's all about timing.
We live south of Sarasota, Florida a mile from Nokomis Beach. I've written about the beautiful sunsets and last week even a sunrise. Well, this summer because of the red tide and thousands of dead fish, we never made it to the beach. Stimulated by man's pollution, the red tide took over the ocean this summer, and while it's usually a couple of weeks, this year it's gone for months. The smell of dead fish up and down our favorite beach takes away from going over there, even to photograph a sunset.
Well, last night after a summer of being absent, I headed over to catch a sunset and missed it! As I got there the sun had already dropped below the horizon. As I walked down the path to the water with a couple of cameras, a couple who was leaving said to me, "You missed the most beautiful sunset by fifteen minutes!"
True, I missed the "main event" but the image above was looking south-east and the sunset was still in its glory. The couple who wanted to let me know what I'd missed, never even looked up as they walked to their car. Then, ten minutes later it was gone, with just a hint of the previous light show.
Years ago I wrote an article for PDN, interviewing Kirk Voclain about his work with seniors. One of his secrets is to get them talking about their friends, goals, and dreams. As they relax and talk more, he looks for that sparkle in their eyes when they hit something they genuinely love - *click*, and he starts to get the beautiful expressions his work is known for.
Joe Buissink talks about the same thing with bridal couples. The engagement session isn't about expanded coverage, but getting to know the couple and they, in turn, get to know him. Building trust and a relationship make him a welcome addition on the wedding day. At a time that's always chaotic, he's a welcome friend. The couple knows Joe already, and their trust becomes a pivotal ingredient to natural expressions in the images Joe captures to tell their story.
Back in the film days, photographers hung in their longer to make sure they got the shot. Well, digital came along, and a quick chimp and too many people move on. They think they got the shot, but the best one might still be coming!
So, here's my point...timing is everything and together with remembering to stay with a scene to make sure you captured the decisive moment add to the formula for success.
Just a few days ago on their YouTube channel, Tamron shared this short video featuring Australian photographer, Glynn Lavender at work with the 17-35mm ultra-wide-angle lens. I love sharing these short videos for several reasons.
I love the tagline on Tamron's page for the 17-35mm lens,
"Wide-angle photography just got easier."
"The 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD (Model A037) is an ultra-wide-angle zoom lens that combines superb image quality with outstanding portability as the lightest and smallest size in its class.* It uses four LD (Low Dispersion) lens elements to minimize axial chromatic aberrations. And with two GM (Glass Molded Aspherical) lenses not only can it provide the sharpness and contrast demanded by high-end lenses, it can also handle peripheral point image reproducibility."
Check out more about this remarkable lens along with Tamron's complete product line with a visit to your Tamron dealer. And, get to know Glynn Lavender with a click on any of the three images I chose for this post.
Tamron never slows down on their goal of helping photographers raise the bar on the quality of their images through great optics and a dedication to education and support!
Intro by Skip Cohen
Remember the word "fun?" It's one of those extraordinary words so often lost in business today. We're all so wrapped up in results, efficiency and defining success that many photographers simply forget to have fun. Yet, being able to take time to have "fun" is one of the definitions of being successful - in anything you do.
It's Mirrorless Mark Monday, and our good buddy is out and about having fun with the new Lensbaby Sol 22 and a LUMIX G9. And, just to set the stage - neither Mark or I have any sponsorship/business relationship with Lensbaby. We just like the company, the people and the products. Going back to my early days at WPPI, they were regular exhibitors. Over the years I've watched them grow, and today they've got a whole family of creative tools for photographers.
Follow Mark and the LUMIX Ambassador team and put their Facebook page on your radar. Mark never slows down in sharing his passion for imaging, and he's never without a LUMIX camera. Check out his site and blogs with a click on any of his images in this post.
Click on either thumbnail above for more information.
by Mark Toal
When the first Lensbaby was announced more than 10 years ago I was the first one to buy it at my local camera store in Palo Alto. I remember the owner saying, “only you would ask for something called a Lensbaby”. A few years later I moved to Portland, Oregon and got to know the creative, fun people at this company that fits Portland perfectly.
Over the years they have invited me to try new lenses before they are released. They recently wrote me about trying out a new lens designed especially for micro 4/3 cameras. Since the idea behind a lot of the Lensbaby lenses is to create a blurry edge around a sharp center they lost some of their affect when the lens that was designed for an APS sensor cropped the image in a micro 4/3 camera.
The Sol 22 is designed to fit the micro 4/3 sensor perfectly - Panasonic LUMIX and Olympus users can get the full Lensbaby affect. Just click on the Lensbaby thumbnail to the right to link to the website and these remarkable creative tools.
Several times a week I wander through the Tamron USA website along with their YouTube channel, and I'm always amazed at how I manage to find something new. I'm not sure how I missed this a few months ago, but it's packed full of outstanding content!
It's the Tamron Magazine, and the spring lead article was all about macro photography. And, while it might have been an article kicking off Spring, if you're into macro, it doesn't matter what time of year you're out with your camera. There's always something amazing in tiny world, so many of us never notice.
There were fourteen excellent tips to help you fine-tune your macro skills in this article, but that was only one of the featured stories. The magazine is packed full of outstanding content, all staying true to Tamron's goal to keep helping photographers raise the bar on their skill set.
So many of you are called on to demonstrate your skills in macro every day, yet you've never really considered beefing up your skill set. From commercial applications to a traditional ring shot on the wedding day, understanding how to get the best macro images needs to be in your bag of tricks!
Check out the Spring issue with a click on either image above and then visit to your Tamron dealer. There's a lot of buzz going around about Tamron. Isn't it time you found out why?
The Tamron tech team is on the road with some terrific programs coming up in September.
You'll find them in Fort Worth, TX, Cincinnati, OH, Waltham, MA, Greenville, NC, Fairfield, NJ and Mobile, AL in the months ahead. Just click on the van to see the schedule and then don't miss the opportunity to meet some of the most talented educators and artists in photography!
Here's the newest "One Location, One Lesson, One Lens" episode from Tamron USA and it's a kick. I love the quality of the images shared in the video, along with great content.
Charley Voorhis is no stranger to SCU and we've shared several videos featuring not only him, but the Wenatchee Valley in Washington State. In this new video, he shares some great insight into what he's trying to do, including why he's using Tamron's 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD (B023) lens.
He makes a comment early in this short video about bringing in the valley along with the climbers in the images. Well the images are stunning and he did just that. Remember, I'm sharing screen shots from the video and they're tack sharp - imagine what the originals must be like!
Check out the 10-24mm lens with a click on the banner below. While you're there, if you haven't visited a Tamron dealer recently, it's time to find out what all the buzz is about. You'll find their complete dealer listing with a click at the top of the page featuring the 10-24mm lens.
And, find out more about Charley's work with a click on any of his images in this post!
There's so much incredible content in the Profoto archives on YouTube. Hundreds of videos, each with an ability to help you fine-tune your technique and elevate your skill set. I may have missed sharing this video from Pye Jirsa last year, but that doesn't change it's relevance to the images so many of you are working to capture today.
In eight minutes he's not only packed in ten different ways to shoot the same scene but with each one he's given you all the specs on his setup. Again and again, he shares the "recipe" for the image, and while most of you won't be shooting at the top of a mountain range, it doesn't change how much you can learn from watching a great educator at work.
Check out more of Pye's educational support for photographers with a visit to his teaching website. As one of the co-founders of SLRLounge.com, Pye always walks the talk when it comes to education and working to help photographers better support each other. He never compromises on his gear, the quality of his images or his passion for education and the industry.
Profoto never slows down in their product development or their efforts to help photographers raise the bar on their skill set.
Check out the Profoto B2 and find out what all the buzz is about.
It's the off-camera flash system that literally goes just about anywhere! Click on the B2 banner to the right for more information and to find a dealer near you.
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.