Everyday life may not seem like the most intriguing subject matter to photograph, but you will likely change your mind after seeing these - http://bit.ly/1eXD9eC
Recently, while visiting my favorite terestrian cantina, George's Camera, I sensed that our own Obi-Wan Kenobi, and real life mentor, Walter O. Koenig, was having a "state of the industry" conversation with Peter Francis, one of the gurus of gear at George's. The Force has a funny way of directing your attention to matters that impact the way of life of all photographers.
I won't regurgitate the exact conversation, instead, I will tackle some of the themes in each "Episode" and provide my commentary. These are my opinions and you will have to seek out Walter and Peter for theirs - consider it part of your hero's journey ;)
In this Episode I will cover the following "concern": Everyone with a camera thinks they're a photographer.
Conception: That this is not a good thing and that it hurts the industry and "true" professionals who's livelihood depends on photography.
Here's the truth as it is relayed to me through The Force: everyone that owns a camera IS a photographer! Of course they are!! It just depends on what your definition of a photographer is.
Technology has narrowed the learning curve so much that one could literally walk into a camera store, purchase a $3000 camera and lens, put up a website, and create a brand called "I'm-a-pro-photography.com" and get work. So of course everyone with a camera thinks they're a photographer.
Is it bad? No, it's not. In fact, I think it's a great thing. Now, before you send Boba Fett after me consider this; 1. Just because these people call themselves photographers does not mean they are professional photographers, and 2. It also does not mean they are technically adept and Jedi Masters of the camera and all things "phorce" (see what I did there?) related.
For example, many of these folks are not devoted to full-time photography. Many hold a full or part-time job and are at the very early stages of their photography journey. Second, they are years away from achieving the technical expertise for every scenario of photographic work (although I would argue that technology has also narrowed the time gap). Lighting and composition competency cannot be advanced by technology compared to gear and social competency. So what's my point?
My point is that true professionals will recognize that the influx of photographers into the industry is no different today as it has been in years past. True photographers, and more importantly, talented photographers, are able to transcend the competition and have their work and expertise stand out from the crowd.
How so? Well, ask any professional photographer that actually has clients and they will tell you it's through business competency. Your talent will get you half way there, but your business skills will get you through the door, and to the bank.
Another reason why the influx is great for photography... The industry can sustain itself through continued sales and competition by the manufacturers. Imagine that products were not moving off the shelves (which many are not now), the manufacturers would have no reason to expand their lines or improve on their technical instruments. Today's poor sales are not a result of less spending, in fact, the money is still being spent, just elsewhere.
Also, can anyone say Lynda.com, ScottKelby.com, or any other photographic instruction site out there? They would be out of business if the industry was regulated to only "professional" photographers.
Additionally, look at Apple for example. Did you know they are working on a DSLR style camera? Well, they are. Look at their patent submissions recently and you will see that they want a piece of this pie. Apple recognized that people wanted to share images quickly and that software was the new king, not hardware, and that is why the iPhone is the most popular sharing gadget used today by enthusiast and serious photographers alike, no matter what or how you label them. This will likely change with future generation cameras that are now integrating App-like architecture into their software. We simply need to agree that competition is good for all of us.
Which leads me to the outer regions of Onderon. Where do you suppose that many if these wet behind the ears photogs are competing? Exactly - in the wedding and family portraiture sector (not that there's anything wrong with this choice of subject matter). By the four moons!, you say... John, you are right. I know!
You don't have to be a master of The Force to recognize the fierce competition in wedding and portrait photography. Is that bad? I'm not even sure if that is even the right word. Haven't we already realized that most people prefer to work with photographers they already know? In fact, let me save you tuition money in marketing 101 for anything you set out to do - it's all about who you know, and this is spot-on for photographers just crossing into the rift.
Episode I ends with the realization and acceptance that finding work as a pro and non-pro in photography is not easy. It never has been and never will be. Clients know someone that knows someone and so on and so on, and the more people you know within your circles that enjoy your work are more likely to hire you if they don't have an uncle Bob in the family that has an expensive camera and calls himself a photographer... so even then, you may not get the gig anyway. Patience, timing... and marketing, my young Padawans.
So before we wish the would-be claimers be turned into bantha-fodder, let's step back a moment and take a deep breath... it's so easy to take a turn to the Dark Side...
Darren Rowse wrote an article on Digital-Photography-School about 100 things he learned about photography.
His points are excellent actually and it got me to thinking about my 100 things that I've learned (see #100 on Darren's list)
I'll post my list soon, but for now, I think I would immediately add the following: Make prints of your finest images. Your photos want to be published and shared tangibly.
I'm not sure what number that will be on my list... but it's pretty high up there!
Take a look at Darren's list. What would you add to it?
The Colombian ship mans 160 people and is on an Asia-Pacific tour. A tour of the ship can be had beginning Monday 11-4-2013.
That's right. Samurai, dragons and mythical beasts, beautiful women, and ugly bad-guys are all part of this blockbuster that Universal Pictures is releasing in December 2013. Although the film was plagued with changes during production the trailer shows no sign of letting down. It has been a while since a good samurai flick has been shown to U.S. audiences, Could this be Keanu's next Matrix? I definitely checking it out! How about you? Check out the 47 Ronin trailer below.
Talk about a sweet gig! Jason Bell is a British born photographer that lives in London and New York. Don't let the title of the article fool you though. Jason is known for photographing Hollywood royalty. Jason has received critical acclaim in portraiture and editorial photography. His site can be seen HERE.
I wonder what went through his mind when his agent told him that Prince William and Kate selected him as their photographer? I tried reaching out to Jason but none of the links on his site work. I'll wait to hear back from his agent and I hope to get more information on what he plans on using during the shoot. I'm sure the machinations are already at work in his mind on how to best go about this.
What if you had the opportunity to photograph a member of the Royal Family... what would you pack in your camera bag?
Here is a great story about a creative couple that want to realize and create something beautiful together. Truly inspirational. Check out the video and leave your thoughts. Would you be willing to drop your career to pursue your creative dream? Nick Olson & Lilah Horwitz did.
[Click here or on a photo to go to a slideshow of the glass cabin.]
I wanted to share this great tutorial put together by Karl Taylor Photography focusing on product photography and lighting. It is really in-depth and worth watching. Let me know what you think. - John
Every once in a while you discover a real gem tucked away within the grand recesses of the music industry. It was my fortunate opportunity to listen and observe the development, recording, and mastering of this wonderful band aptly titled, AsOfLate. Aptly, I say, because "as of late" I've been wondering if the radio business will ever learn that instead of grinding out the pop 40 hits all day until we get tired of a track, they may want to consider playing music with lyrics that can be digested by folks with a sophisticated ear - but that's my problem, not yours ;)
I simply wanted to introduce you to this special band that I anticipate will do great things. Take a look at their video here for and download the single FREE (you can listen to Age With Purpose down below). And, if you like, help them out with a donation so they can continue to introduce great tracks for all of us!
Visit these sites for more information: QuadrantStudios and AsOfLate
It's official, Sony has just announced that it has released the world's first smartphone attachable lens-style camera.
Snap it on your phone, prop it on its legs, or hold it in your hands, the DSC-QX10 or QX100 (coming soon) does not require any wires or very much technical know-how. If you know how to download an app and press the camera icon on your smartphone you will be well on your way to snapping images pretty much right out of the box.
Icing on the cake: With the built-in WiFi you can instantly edit and share your photos directly from your phone.
Check out the Specs on Sony's site for:
DSC-QX10 (18MP with Sony Lens) $249.99
DSC-QX100 (The QX100 has a professional grade Zeiss lens and 20MP) $499.99
I'll let you know what these are like once I receive my test model. I can tell you this... I hope the next iteration of the iPhone has a slightly larger screen. It would make this experience quite interesting. Also, kiss point-and-shoots goodbye!
It's true... your smartphone just got smarter!