1 Easy Way to Guarantee Your Photography Will Improve

1 Easy Way to Guarantee Your Photography Will Improve

How do you make every day count as a photographer? How do you make every day count for yourself? There is 1 major project that thousands of people start every January 1st that improves their lives and it has nothing to do with going to the gym. Photo-a-Day, or 365 Projects, is the secret to success for many photographers of every level. They are fun, challenging, sometimes mundane, sometimes exhilarating, and always a great teacher. Why do people commit to taking a photograph every day for a year – rain or shine, sickness or heath, inspired or not? I will explain the main reasons why Photo-a-Day goals are healthy, what you can do with the results, and how to get started. 3 Reasons to Start Taking 1 Photo Every Day: Presence, Practice, and Purpose Your only requirement for starting a Photo-a-Day project is the desire to participate. There are 3 main reasons photographers make this commitment: Presence, Practice, and Purpose. Let’s look at each one in detail. Presence In art and in life we’re thinking about the next big thing. A Photo-a-Day goal makes you think about right now. Looking for something meaningful, interesting, or even funny to photograph every single day helps to slow down time. Mindfulness gives you heightened awareness of your surroundings and you start seeing the photogenic in everything. Over time, your eye gets better and more discerning which allows you to walk away from every situation with more winning shots than duds. Your everyday environment may look very different to you at the end of the year than it does today. Practice The daily discipline...
Have All Your Holiday Pictures Become The Same? Try Telling A Photo Story

Have All Your Holiday Pictures Become The Same? Try Telling A Photo Story

The holiday season is in full swing and for many of us it is a time to spend with friends and family, some of whom we may not get to see often. Is it great to have that group shot of long lost friends or 3 generations of family in one frame? YES! But why not test your skills this year at telling a photographic story. Follow these simple steps to communicate just how beautiful, exciting, or sentimental your time was spent over the holidays. Doing so just might jog those memories ever more clearly in the years to come and leave you with something to always cherish. The Checklist A good way to start is by considering what your story or angle will be before you even pick up a camera. Plan ahead the shots which will be most critical, whether they are portraits or wide angle landscapes, that best tell your story. Having a loosely memorized shot list will increase your chances of capturing those key moments as they arise, since there will be many distractions while you shoot. Follow the Same Rules as Writing Whether you are blogging, sharing on social media, making a scrapbook, or submitting for publication your viewers will need to understand the context of your pictures. As you shoot, remember the who, what, when, where, and why. Your goal is to explain to viewers the reasons for your subject’s actions. Variety is the Spice of Life To tell a bigger more compelling story, shoot the subject or event from a range of viewpoints. Understanding beforehand how you would like your photographs to be read...
Personal Bests of 2014 – Get Inspired and Share Yours

Personal Bests of 2014 – Get Inspired and Share Yours

We celebrate progress on all levels – whether you’re a pro trying to stretch your personal limits or a novice who just learned how to shoot manually. We get better every year that we stick to our photographic and cinematic goals. Here are the personal favorites of 2014 from a variety of our employees, friends, and partners from all backgrounds, styles, and skill levels. Check out the images and videos below, see what they shot with, and get inspired. Do you have a 2014 shot that’s a real contender? Enter it into our year-end photo contest for a chance to win up to $500 in gear rentals! This is one of Seán Duggan’s favorite images from 2014. He took it while deep inside an ice cave that extended 300 meters back beneath an Iceland glacier. His guide provided the perfect sense of scale for this enormous “room”. This is an HDR blend of 3 exposures shot with a Canon 5D Mark II and a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 lens. Want to get a shot like this? Join Duggan on his next workshop, Winter Landscapes, Ice Caves, and Auroras, in March, 2015. In his worldwide workshops, Michael Corsentino teaches students how to achieve fashion and glamor portraits like this City Girl Fashion editorial he shot in Brooklyn. Corsentino lit this scene with a Profoto B1 Air Flash and an Elinchrom Deep Octa. His work and travels can be followed on Instagram: @corsentino. Travel dominates every year of Michael Bonocore’s life and 2014 was no exception. He ran the second camera for a SmugMug Films production on the adventures of surf photographer Chris Burkard. Burkard documented...
7 Tips You’ll Want to Know Before Gorilla or Chimpanzee Trekking

7 Tips You’ll Want to Know Before Gorilla or Chimpanzee Trekking

Dean J. Tatooles specializes in fine art panoramic landscape photography, wildlife photography, and indigenous portraiture from remote locations around the world. He also works with top-rated travel companies and fellow professional photographers to lead photographic safaris in India, Kenya, Iceland and more. Fresh off a trip to Uganda, Tatooles uncovered a few helpful tips for future trekkers to capture the best images possible and ensure a gratifying experience. In his pack, Dean carried Nikon D3s and D800E digital SLR bodies with Nikkor AFS 80-400mm f 4.5-5.6 ED VR and 70-200mm f2.8 G AF-S ED VRII lenses. Continue reading to find out what 7 recommendations Tatooles adamantly encourages trekkers to consider before departing. 7 Tips You’ll Want to Know Before Gorilla or Chimpanzee Trekking by Dean J. Tatooles No. 1:  Be Mindful of Moisture For those of you who have seen Gorillas in the Mist, in Uganda the vision of sweeping mountains and dense jungle masked in a coat of soft mist is very real. The indigenous people have aptly named the gorilla’s home the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Impenetrable is, at times, an understatement. If you have ever photographed in rainforests or jungles, you have undoubtedly encountered moisture problems. The majority of fellow wildlife photographers know too well about the annoying spot of condensation that appears deep inside the confines of a lens right as the lens cap is removed, often happening at the most inopportune times. One way to deter moisture is to avoid removing your lens from your camera body and leaving it out of your pack as much as possible in the open air. Utilizing one lens may be difficult for those...
The Four Best Places to Post Photo Essays

The Four Best Places to Post Photo Essays

There’s no shortage of apps and services out there these days that help you manage and share your photos online. No matter what your needs are, you’ll likely find something that fits them well. The art of the photo essay, however, hasn’t had the best time finding a home. Most photo sharing sites lean towards large, full-screen images that look great, but leave little room for accompanying text. In this article, we’ll look at four services that are actually good places to post long-form photo essays. First, let’s talk about what makes for a good photo essay sharing site. I’ve got three basic criteria. I should be able to intersperse images with text. The site should still support the display large images. There ought to be a community to share with. Almost all content management systems and web hosting providers like Squarespace and WordPress allow me to do #1 and #2, but unless you already have a large following on your own website or blog, you’re mostly posting into a big echo chamber. With those three criteria in mind, let’s look at what we have. 1. Ello.co Ello.co is the much-ballyhooed new social network that has positioned itself as the anti-Facebook. Whether it’s actually going to succeed at deposing Facebook is something that’s a bit dubious, but in the process it’s turning into an ideal space for photo essays. Ello allows you to post images and text in a very linear fashion. There are no advanced tools available for layout; what you get is a basic image–text–image–text layout. This satisfies the basics of what it takes to post a...