Monday, November 26, 2012

Shutterfinger: Your photos are worthless (unless…)

Shutterfinger: Your photos are worthless (unless…):

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Getting Better...Naturally

Getting Better...Naturally:
Last week I got carried away and bought my youngest brother a Pentax for his birthday. A profligate gift*, but he assures me it'll count for birthdays and Christmas for several years. I bought him a Pentax K-01. It hasn't been popular, so the price has plunged to as little as $316.95 at some places. At the same time, several people I've talked to who use them really like them. I just thought he might like the offbeat style, and the high image quality. He's very happy with it so far. I got him the black one with the 40mm pancake lens. (That one should be called a crêpe lens.)
Pentaxk01I'm looking forward to seeing some of his pictures. (Hint, hint, Scott.)
Also last week, I found myself sinking slowly into a muck of agony about black-and-white conversions. Comparing Raw converters. Reading about this and that conversion technique. Does this look better, or this? Playing with tones, trying to get things just right.
But of course there is no longer a helpfully limited number of controls. There's an effective infinitude. Crazy-making.
It took me a few days to find the key: just do it. My new strategy is to take a few dozen pictures every day and convert two or three of them. Get them looking okay, then move on.
The hope is that I'll get better with practice. Maybe "hope" is too wishy-washy a word: I know I'm going to get better with practice. Because that's just what happens naturally.
My brother called me after he took his first JPEG. He's new to digital photography and I think he was feeling a little overwhelmed by all the options and the newness and unfamiliarity of all the procedures. I gave him the same advice—just take pictures, correct them as best you can, move on. The more often you take a few pictures, the better. I told him to pick up the camera every day, or as often as he can.
Of course, you do have to try to get better as you go. Mindful, not mindless. But I think a lot of things in photography are susceptible to this strategy—keep doing it, keep up the do-think-do-think-do servo mechanism, and you gradually get better at it. You might only make barely perceptible progress from one go to the next, but barely perceptible progress over a long period of time = major progress.
That's my kernal of wisdom for today.
*Thought process: first I was going to give him one of the old cameras I have hanging around here. Then I thought, wait a minute, he's going to have to invest a lot of time and effort into learning how to operate the camera and work on the pictures—why make him do that with an old, out of date camera that he might not be happy with for very long? A new camera makes much more sense because really, his time is worth a lot more than the cost of the camera. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.
Original contents copyright 2012 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.

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Monday, October 08, 2012

Robin Wong: Shooting on the Street and Being Myself

Robin Wong: Shooting on the Street and Being Myself:

Make sure to read the discussion on the bottom of this post, it is both crucial and wise to think about what he writes.

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Sunday, September 09, 2012

Photography One of the 10 Worst College Majors for Your Career?

Photography One of the 10 Worst College Majors for Your Career?:
Photography One of the 10 Worst College Majors for Your Career? photodegree
Is a college photography degree worth it? It depends on who you ask. There are plenty of successful photographers out there who have never set foot inside a university photography lecture, while others have done just as well after earning that diploma. According to a recent study by Kiplinger, however, you might want to think twice before checking the “photography” box on your college app. After analyzing the salaries and jobless rates for grads of the 100 most popular majors, they found photography to be one of the 10 worst, and write,
Shutterbugs beware: The new-grad unemployment rate for film and photography majors is only narrowly better than the rate for high school dropouts. Film and photo students face tough competition in a crowded industry, and low starting salaries are the norm even in expensive industry hubs such as New York and Los Angeles. Interestingly, film and photography grads are still the best-paid of the art majors, though they make almost $10,000 less than the typical holder of a bachelor’s degree.
Some interesting figures: there’s a 7.3% unemployment rate for photo degree holders in general, and a 12.9% rate for recent graduates. The median salaries are $45,000 and $30,000, respectively.
Worst College Majors for Your Career [Yahoo via Fstoppers]

Image credit: Class Photo Shoot by A. Blokzyl

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

More birthday presents

Kolton got more birthday presents in the mail on Wednesday, he is one happy camper!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Making the Most of Long Exposure Handhelds - Introduction - (Mobile) -