Intro by Skip Cohen
A big portion of my life, growing up in professional photography, started at Hasselblad. There was never a question whether you were a professional photographer as long as a Hasselblad was over your shoulder. Today, all that's changed and so often I hear stories, especially from wedding photographers, who were at a wedding and had people all around them with what was perceived as better gear.
In this new guest post, Guilio Sciorio hits on a challenge many of you have faced when shooting with smaller cameras. Looking to find out more about Guilio? Check out his site and his recent guest post.
" I outfitted my GX7 with a red Lance Strap (LanceCameraStraps.com) and a MeFoto Road Trip (mefoto.com)"
When I switched over to a small camera there were some fears I had to address. One of the bigger fears that filled my head was about the looks. With their retro styling many small cameras look beautiful. The old-school photographer in me didn’t think it was a “serious” enough camera, but the artist in me just wanted to take my pretty small camera everywhere I went.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that the camera became more than a tool. It became a fashion accessory and one that I proudly wore around my neck. The little pretty camera was fun just to have, people would stop me and ask what it was and they wanted to try it out. The looks of the camera transcended the photography world and little did I know it would be a factor in transforming my photography.
The Pretty Camera, A Trojan Horse
Once I realized what was happening with my camera I started to use its pretty looks to my advantage. People just gravitate to a good looking camera while on the flip side people often get intimidated with a “paparazzi” style camera AKA the DSLR. As a portrait photographer I want my subjects to be at ease, natural, honest. If my subjects are tight and nervous I have to spend time to help them relax but if I don’t have to? Well then I can spend more time making the image I need to get for my clients and most times my shoots are finished fast.
At my shoots I don’t rarely have conversations about the tech of my camera anymore. My conversations are about how pretty my camera looks. The subjects want to have their photo taken and that helps me take better photos than any amount of pixels, sensor size or any new gizmo could offer. The fact that my pretty camera has loads of tech working behind the scenes is icing on the cake.
Every Monday for the past couple of months we've had a guest post from one of Panasonic's LUMIX Luminaries. Each post has added a helpful sort of "how to" perspective on some aspect of photography. Just for the fun of it, I wandered into the LUMIX Luminary Lounge and pulled some of the images showing what the LUMIX family of cameras can do and also the skill set of the Luminaries. This is a pretty slick group of very talented artists!
A big "thanks" to Panasonic and the artists for allowing me to share the images. I wasn't able to find images from all of them, but you can count on seeing more in the months ahead.
Note: Click on any image and you'll be taken to the artist's Instagram or Twitter page.
Intro by Skip Cohen
With each guest post in Luminary Corner, I'm blown away by the diversity of these artists. They're an incredibly talented group of people, but even more impressive than their skill set is the passion they have for the craft. Over and over again they're pushing the envelope with a never-ending display of game-changing creativity.
What a kick to have this post this morning from Giulio Sciorio. Check out his website and pay close attention to his workshop schedule. He's teaching some outstanding concepts in hybrid technology and animated portraits. Here's your chance to bring a new dimension to your work.
You'll also find the latest from Giulio and the other members of the LUMIX Luminary team in the LUMIX Lounge, a great place to follow their infectious creativity!
It’s been two years since I sold my DLSR and took on shooting with a small camera full time. As a photographer that learned on larger film cameras, the transition was an adventure in art and emotion. I grew up with Hasselblad and Nikon film cameras then moved onto the DSLR in 2005. While the move from analog to digital was pretty straightforward, it was still risky in some ways. I had many fears that came to the surface that I had to address before moving forward, but eventually I was able to overcome my fears and move into the exciting new world of digital photography.
Moving from a large “serious” looking camera to a small mirrorless camera was both challenging and exciting for me at the same time. However, there were some similarities with this transition to mirrorless as to the move from analog to digital. Overall the joy’s outweigh the challenges which is why I never went back to a DSLR. Below are some joy’s and challenges that I had to deal with when moving to a small camera. I hope these help you think differently about photography, creativity and running a smart business.
A small and light camera means I can take my Lumix with me everywhere I go: Joy - Being able to take a camera as small as a GM1 or even my GH4 (when I need a full featured hybrid camera) means I can take a camera with publishable image quality everywhere. I’m not relying on my iPhone as my take along camera anymore. Plus on assignments, my Lumix kit is half the weight of my DSLR’s. My back don’t scream at me the day after a long shoot anymore.
Clients won’t take me seriously: Challenge - Like most creative challenges, this challenge is one that lived in my head. Thing is clients hire me because of my artistic vision and that I deliver that vision on time and on budget (most of the time). That said, I eased my clients into the idea of seeing me show up with a camera that looks half the size and one that might be silver with a red strap. :-) As part of my marketing efforts I shoot personal assignments and share with my clients. I shot a few personal assignments with my small camera and presented them to my clients. Their response was quite favorable which is when I told them it was with a small camera. Their response to my openness was to give me assignments based on my personal work. That is when I started to shoot assignments exclusively with a mirrorless camera.
If you’re selling your vision it don’t matter what you shoot with. No one can replace you regardless of camera.
Shooting lighter meant shooting faster: Joy! - My first assignment with the Lumix GH3 was an experience in ease. The gear is so much lighter and faster to setup (I practice pre-processing) that when I show up on the shoot I already have my desired looks built in. This allows me to shoot full sized JPEG’s with RAW’s and in tight deadline I deliver the full sized JPEG’s to the client via Dropbox while at the shoot. I’m able to offer such a fast turn around because I preprocess my images, I get a live view of what I’m capturing and I’ll transfer the JPEG’s to my iOS device over WiFi which backs up to Dropbox automatically. Bonus - because I’ve been able to shoot faster than before I began to make it a practice of shooting short video clips with each shoot regardless if asked or not. Because the camera has a true live view I don’t guess what the final shot will look like. I can see it live which at that point I just capture either a still, a short motion clip or both at the same time. Everything looks the same, I can deliver over the web right away which means I’m my clients hero. I’m going above and beyond and I have more media to license which means more money.
Shooting video like a photographer: Joy! - This is the biggest joy for me. Video is the future, the sooner photographers come to grips with this the better. Once you realized that the mirror’s in cameras are going away and embrace the advantages of a live view camera, shooting video is straight forward and easy. Like many when I got my first DSLR that shot video, the 5DMKII the first thing I did was shoot video and like many I discovered how hard to shoot video with a DSLR is. I suddenly could not use the viewfinder. The autofocus no longer worked and the video looked nowhere near as nice as my stills. It was like I had two cameras in one. Suddenly I had to start thinking about my shoots like a still photographer and like a filmmaker. Thing is I’m not a filmmaker, I’m a photographer and I want to shoot my video with the eye of a photographer. I want my video to have it’s soul rooted in still photography.
In my head I wanted to see my still photography take on new life, in 2009 most of my marketing was done online. If my work is being seen on a screen far more than a print I need to make my art for screen media and if I could I’m at an advantage. Thing is by the time I setup my DSLR to shoot video I had spent 30 minutes extra to setup not to mention thousands of dollars in gear. This really kills the pace of the shoot not to mention prices most shoots out of budget for video which is not the way to grow a business.
Video and Still example of an assignment for Panasonic’s GM1 Launch:
Shooting with a camera that is designed for both still and motion I can finally shoot video with the heart and soul of still photograph. I’m not making movies remember, I’m simply shooting a few clips of video with each setup. Using a hybrid camera like the GH3/GH4 that has a true live view of exposure and focus (other mirrorless cameras simulate the live view) I don’t have to guess what the photo/video is going to look like. My autofocus works the same regardless of what mode I’m in and the video and stills have the same look! Add to that I can trim my video in camera if I need to and I can deliver a full sized JPEG, and HD or 4K video clip right from the camera.
So within the 30 minutes it would take for me to just setup my DSLR for video I can complete a full hybrid shoot with still + (motion + sound) plus setup, breakdown.
Growing my Business: Joy! - Any transition to new technology in a particular industry has it’s benefits and challenges. That said I must add that this transition from DSLR and static photos to a hybrid camera (specifically the Lumix GH) was easier than I thought. Most all the fears I had were in my head which I had to overcome by facing the challenges head on. Any smart business owner makes time to look for new ways to grow their business. Since I’m able to shoot faster than before, adding on hybrid products (still + video + sound) was a no brainer. Understanding that core concept that with a Lumix camera I can shoot video using the same settings as my still photographer was one of the biggest breakthroughs in my career.
As a business owner that sells media (my products) I can now capture more media (still, video and sound) in less time which makes me more profit. The fact that the camera is lighter, smaller and less costly is icing on the cake.
Intro by Skip Cohen
We don't normally have very many "how to" posts, but I've been shooting mirrorless with the LUMIX GH3 for a couple of months now and I'm blown away by what this camera can do. I've also been pleasantly surprised over the comments and questions that come up, not only via the various forums and email, but in the Panasonic booth as well. If you haven't checked out the full LUMIX line, it's definitely time.
Panasonic will be at WPPI in booth 611 in the Grand Ballroom. Check out the complete LUMIX line and meet the Luminary team March 3-5.
In this short video post this morning my buddy, Rob Knight, takes you through one more feature of the GH3 and how to custom white balance in the studio environment. Find out more at us.panasonic.com/lumixlounge or robknightphotography.com and check out Rob's guest post from a few weeks ago. He's got some great tips on indoor flash.
Any camera you would actually use with off-camera flash or studio strobes has the ability to set a custom white balance. Using a custom white balance eliminates a lot of guess-work when you’re color correcting images, even if you’re shooting RAW. Your RAW files will have the correct white balance when you open them in Lightroom, Camera RAW, and so on.
Since you know that all of the files are starting with the same settings, if you decide to make changes to the white balance you can easily correct multiple files at once. If you are shooting JPEG’s it is even more important to start with the correct white balance.
The process for setting a custom white balance varies from camera to camera. Some are rather complicated, and some (like the LUMIX cameras I use) are quite simple. All you really need is a good grey card or some other white balance target.
I like the X-rite Color Checker Passport because it has a WB target and a full color-checker chart in a small durable package. Check out the video to see how easy it is to set a custom white balance with your LUMIX camera. The video shows how to set the custom WB with strobes, but the process is the same whether you’re using flash or not.
Top tips and strategies for getting more followers, likes and comments on Instagram as a photographer by Dave Surber
When we started Luminary Corner, the idea was to be able to share with you the diversity of nine artists all recognized in the industry for their expertise in imaging. I had no idea of the depth of their creativity, knowledge or willingness to share. Today's guest post from Luminary, Dave Surber, adds a new dimension in diversity and education as he helps us through the "mystique" of Instagram as a marketing tool.
Check out more of Dave's work on his website. Follow him on Twitter and of course on Instagram. And after you've tracked him down at those three locations, don't forget Google+.
If you are a photographer, and you are not on Instagram yet, you're missing out. Instagram is a great vehicle for self-promotion and for meeting other artists. Not only that, it’s an entire social network built exclusively around photography and motion.
Let's quickly look at some statistics of Instagram:
So what does this all mean to a photographer? It means Instagram is a massive opportunity for increasing the exposure of your work while promoting your photography.
I joined Instagram in September of 2011 and in just over two years I've gained well over 19,000 followers, received over 340,000 likes, along with over 7,400 comments. I say this to you to illustrate the amount of engagement that is possible on Instagram. And I am by no means on top of the Instagram food chain. So far my experiences with Instagram have been great! I have met loads of new people and it has definitely helped me establish a presence in the realm of stills/motion work.
In addition, it has led me to tons of other artists that I may have never met otherwise- this is arguable the best part of Instagram.
Now that I’ve made my case on why you should join Instagram, let me give you some pointers on how to maximize your Instagram experience as a photographer.
If possible, always take pictures with a camera rather than a mobile device (ie smartphone or tablet). One of the best features of Instagram is that it allows its users to upload images into the Instagram application. This means you’re not limited to posting pictures taken directly from your mobile device. You can upload any image you want (except for those that are banned by Instagram’s terms of service). Use this opportunity to show off your photography skills using a real camera. Don’t be limited by using the camera on your mobile device.
As a Lumix Luminary, I love using both the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 cameras for Instagram as well as for many other applications. Both cameras are Wi-Fi enabled. This allows me to connect either camera wirelessly to my mobile device. From there I can quickly download any image I want to my mobile device via the Lumix Link mobile application. Once the image is saved onto my mobile device, I can edit and post the image onto my Instagram account. The whole process can be done in under a minute. Another advantage of using a camera rather than a mobile device to take your Instagram photos with is that is that you retain a larger and higher quality original image. This gives you greater options for that image down the road.
Connect your Instagram account to your colleagues, friends, and family that are on Instagram. After all they’re probably your biggest fans. That’s a great place to start building your following. Make sure your Instagram account is not set to private. You can find out more about privacy settings at: http://help.instagram.com/116024195217477
Follow, like, and comment on other people’s content! You need to engage with other people on Intstagram! Listen to what other users have to say, and notice what they like and dislike about your work. User critiques of your work can be very rewarding.
Use Hashtags! Hashtags are a great way to increase the amount of people who see your “tagged” photo.
To tag a photo:
1. Upload a photo and choose a filter or a non-filter.
2. On the screen you see after choosing your desired look, type your #hashtag in the Caption field (example: #LumixLounge)
3. Note: If you want to tag a post you've already uploaded, just include your #hashtag in a comment on your photo.
Tip: You can increase viewership of your photos by tagging them with popular tags. You can find popular tags through the use of mobile applications such as Tags For Likes (available on both iOS and Android devices).
You can find out more about Hashtags at: http://help.instagram.com/351460621611097?sr=1&sid=0FmVRdOVfFhfU3zWa
Use Statigram! Statigram is an online Instagram client. It allows users to see their Instagram analytics, shows users the best times to post content, and it also holds contests for Instagram users. Best of all, it’s free! You can check it out at: www. Statigram.com.
Most importantly have fun! After all it’s Instagram- it’s supposed to be fun!
Well, I could go on and on this topic! Believe me, we’ve only scratched the surface of Instagram in this blog post. Maybe I should revisit it in a future post. What do you think? If you you have any questions, comments, and/or criticisms please submit them into the comment box below.
Hope to see you soon on Instagram! Or better yet, on Instagram using a Lumix camera!!
And to all those Lumix Intagram shooters out there, don't forget to hashtag your pics with #LumixLounge to be a part the Lumix Community Gallery.
Welcome to Luminary Corner. Besides being a recognized member of the professional photographic community, each post author is a member of Panasonic's LUMIX Luminary team.