In a completely completely different format of his podcast, The Candid Frame, Ibarionex Perello had a conversation with Jeffery Saddoris of the Faded and Blurred podcast about a very different aspect of photography. The topic was the role they wanted photography to in their life.
Their messages were simple. One of them was: Be more afraid of not doing anything than of the result of doing something and failing.
This struck a cord with me. It is better to fail at something than never try to do it in the first place. I can’t tell you how many times I have not done something because I would have been upset that I might fail at it. I should be looking at how I would feel if I never attempted the challenge in the first place.
There are a lot of goals that I have for my life. I haven’t accomplished most of them. Why? Probably fear of failure.
I have posted my goals for the year. I haven’t accomplished most of them Why? Fear of failure.
I think we all have that fear, but the fear of non-action should be stronger. As a water polo coach, I knew that the only way to get better as a team was to challenge ourselves. We have to step outside of our comfort zone in order to improve. We should never look back at a situation and say to ourselves that we thought about doing something, but decided against it because we might not be successful.
What is the motivation for getting off of our butt and trying something new? That motivation should be the opportunity to learn.
Nothing is learned from inaction. Learning only takes place if we have a result to learn from. Action gives us the result from which we can learn and improve.
Why bring this up now? Because I have been paralyzed by the fear of failure. It is time to be motivated by the fear of inaction.
I will be discussing more of the conversation in the future. If you would like to listen to the podcast you can click on the image above or here: The Candid Frame #109 – In Conversation #1
Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Posted 2 years, 1 month ago at 2:10 pm. Add a comment
The Going Pro podcast is hosted by Skip Cohen and Scott Bourne, two pillars in the photography community. I have been listening to it since the first episode and usually there is some good information in each episode. But in episode thirty three, every idea was important and common sense.
They talked about how to behave as a professional. What they really did was remind us about how we are supposed to act with everyone we deal with in everyday life. They talked about respect.
How do you show respect?
Dress appropriately. Don’t over dress. Don’t under dress. Dress according to the both the situation and your personal style or brand.
Have a good hand shake. Firm. Confident. Look the person you are greeting in the eye and say their name. And then remember their name and use it in the conversation.
Focus on the person you are talking to. Don’t be looking over their shoulder for someone bigger and better. You choose to walk up to that person and start a conversation. Don’t waste their time.
Show respect in what you call them. Don’t assume a first name basis relationship upon the first meeting. Especially if they are a well established individual in the industry or they are older than you. If I was meeting either of the hosts (and I have), I would refer to them as Mr. Bourne or Mr. Cohen until they said to call them Scott or Skip. Not because they are older (I’m not sure they are), but because I respect what they do and what they have done. Calling someone by their honorific is a sign of respect.
Honor peoples gifts. A business card is a gift. If someone you are dealing with gives you a business card, take a moment to look at it, read it, and complement them on some aspect of the card. The Japanese have a ritual about business cards and take the exchange of business cards very seriously. If someone thinks enough of you to give you a business card, show them respect by actually looking at it.
Don’t interrupt. Even if it is just to say hello, the person you want to talk to is already in a conversation, don’t think your presence is more important than that conversation. I am guilty of this and it is something I am working on correcting. I don’t want to wait to say a thank you or just acknowledge a great contribution, so I interrupt with a quick thank you or such. I will be waiting from now on. It’s polite.
The small, seemingly inconsequential points above have been mostly lost in today’s society. We are all about being cool and casual. We have forgotten that there is a proper, polite, and respectful way to deal with people.
If you remember how to show respect, you will get more from the relationships you are trying to form. Both in your personal life and in business.
Besides, it’s the right thing to do.
Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Posted 2 years, 2 months ago at 12:25 pm. Add a comment
Salt Creek Sunset
Soap Lake, WA based wedding photographer, Gavin Seim, is VERY active in the photographic world. Among other things, he shoots weddings, writes and sells Lightroom presets, and hosts the Pro Photo Show podcast.
I have mentioned Gaven Seim before in one of my 5/5 posts and I listen to his podcast regularly. It is sometimes long and rambling, but it is full of good information. He has two formats; a round table, where he has guests and they have a discussion on the topic of the day and a solo format, where it is just Gavin talking.
Pro Photo Show #74 is a solo format podcast. Normally, these are not as valuable as the round table formats, but this one was profoundly inspirational. He talked about making your images “Crazy Awesome” in terms of image quality and he distilled the process down to six basic key points.
Five of the six points deal with getting it right in the camera. It is important that you do your best to get the shot right i the camera and not rely on post processing to solve your problems with inadequate technique. Seim’s first five points that are easy to understand, but often difficult to execute and if you don’t get them right, number six doesn’t make a difference.
The six key points are:
Optics – Without good glass, your images will never be tack sharp.
The Sensor – You have to know and work within the limits of your camera’s sensor.
Light – You have to learn how to capture the full dynamic range of the scene.
Focus – Your images will only be as sharp as your ability to focus on the subject.
Stability – The more the camera moves, the lower quality your image
Processing – What you do after the picture was taken affects the final result.
Gavin’s six key points aren’t new or revolutionary, but in his podcast he goes into the details and thoughts behind each. He explains both why it is important to correct each point and how to correct each key issue. He gives examples and is passionate about the process. Gavin writes about the Six Keys to Getting Great Image Quality in your Photos in his a post on f164.
Seim makes a great case for photographers to be the best that they can in their craft. If you are serious about your photography, you need to listen to this podcast.
Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Posted 2 years, 2 months ago at 12:59 pm. 2 comments
Yosemite National Park holds a special place in my heart. I remember as a little kid going there with my parents and learning about the glacier carved valley and camping under the granite walls. I returned again in the last few years and explored more of the park including Tuolumne Meadows and more of the back country.
In between my more frequent trips there, I have been researching the park including it’s history, wildlife, and photographic value. In doing so I discovered a great resource for learning about both the power of photography and the park itself.
Yosemite Nature Notes is a video podcast series produced by Steven N. Bumgardner for the National Park Service. He has produced 13 videos that document different part of the history or natural history of the park. Each video is 8-10 minutes long and includes interview with rangers and some awesome footage. I have shown many of them to my classes and every time I do, the kids want to go there and see it all first hand.
I think episode nine is my favorite. It shows a phenomenon called frazil ice in Yosemite Creek. This just makes me want to visit in the winter and spring. Episode ten is about rock falls. Rock falls are when a part of the valley wall breaks away and falls into the valley below. It’s something to think about next time you are in the valley.
From a photographic perspective, the videos are great ways to see potential locations for shooting. Episode seven about the Tuolumne River shows some great rapids and falls that look interesting and have motivated me to get into shape to make the hike to shoot them.
If you have time, take a few minuets and watch a couple of episodes. You won’t be disappointed.
Please use the form below to leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Posted 2 years, 3 months ago at 11:31 am. 1 comment
I listen to a lot of podcasts and I have noticed a trend recently; a lot of the “photography” podcasts are discussing using DSLRs as video cameras. I have a problem with that. Video is NOT photography. OK, you are using the same camera, but if you are a photographer, you are not shooting videos.
Photography is about capturing a moment in time. You can hold a photograph. You can pass a photograph to other people. A photograph can be looked at for a moment or for a long period of time. A photograph needs only one person to take it and you only have to worry about the light.
A video must have technology to view it. You can’t hold a video. You can’t give a video to someone else. A video forces you to watch it on its own time line. To properly produce a video you need a crew or at least two people. At least one to operate the camera and one for the sound. When producing a video, you MUST have good sound and good light.
I have nothing against video. I think with the iPad and other new technology, we are going to see more and more opportunities to use video, but video is not photography. Just because your camera can produce video doesn’t mean that you have to use it. Yes, I have been in situations where a short video would be nice, but I wouldn’t want to focus my attentions to it. And when I listen to a photography podcast, I want to listen to something about photography.
If you are going to produce a photography podcast, blog, book, or whatever, focus on photography. Not on video.
Posted 2 years, 5 months ago at 9:02 am. Add a comment
I listen to a lot of podcasts including Tips From The Top Floor with Chris Marquardt. Usually, it is a great podcast in which he answers a lot of questions on photography ranging from beginner to advanced and does a pretty good job with it. But I have to disagree with his latest topic on his show. In show #488, he reads one of his blog posts called The Post Digital Era.
Now I don’t have any issues with people who like or use film. Just like I don’t believe that there are any real good arguments for or against Canon, Nikon, PC, Apple, Toyota, Nissan, Ford, Chevy, etc. I think you need to find the thing that works for you for whatever reason and use it. I have written on that subject in the past.
I think that people are interested in film for a variety of reasons. One, we all like to go back in history. Look at styles of dress, cars, and movies. Film lets us go back and “re-live” the old days that we all love to do. Two, as people become more proficient with their cameras, they embrace the challenge of being more precise with film. Finally, I think that film, like Mr. Marquardt says, gives a different look to peoples images.
If that is what you are looking for, by all means, go out and shoot film. More power to you.
My issue is with the blog post is that in some ways, it makes individuals who use digital seem inferior. Chris talks about a clean darkroom vs. the digital darkroom. Cropping, framing, and getting it right in the camera. I agree. I think you should always try to get the image right in the camera, but with today’s technology we have the ability to crop, fix, alter, and enhance an image.
He mentions HDR and how it was over the top when it first came out. True, but if those are the type of images you like, produce them. It doesn’t make you a bad photographer. He goes on to say that digital photography has produced a “spray and pray” mentality. It has. For some. For others the spray and pray mentality has made their photography better. As they learn how use their camera to view the histogram, check the composition and framing, and control their tools to capture the vision they have, they start producing better and better images. And they do so with less shots.
All of those are fine and I can see his point. What I don’t understand is the idea that we should embrace imperfections. He claims that “you are bound to realize that for more and more photographers the digital way is becoming less and less satisfying.” Seriously, I just don’t see that happening. I think you see more and more photographers seeking a different look. Take a look at Flickr, there are tons of photographers who are posting images that look different. They have found a process or method that shows their vision the way they want it seen.
As he states, some photographers are adding grain to enhance the feel of an image. He lists programs and apps such as Hipstamatic, instagr.am, and Best Camera add a look to your photographs that you can’t get straight out of the camera. Does that mean we all need to return to film or that we are unhappy with digital? No.
In fact, I think it implies just the opposite. With the programs we have available today, we can take the picture and then add a variety of filter and affects to achieve the image feeling we visualize in our mind. Take the picture, apply the filter, get a certain look. If you don’t like it, you can go back and start over with the same shot at no cost of time or money. You can’t do that with film. Ok, you can take the film, scan it, import it into a program like Photoshop and then manipulate it, but isn’t that extra steps in the workflow just to work digitally?
He goes on and discusses the music world and how we seem to like our flawed products. He states that we like the impure sound of music that is produced by an amplifier or a “humanizer circuit”. I disagree. I think that we like a sound that is real. We like images that show our vision. We want images that produce a certain feel in the viewer. Just as the music industry wants a certain sound to create a feel for the song.
He writes “Instead of fully controlling every aspect of their work, more and more photographers deliberately introduce elements into their workflow that are hard to reproduce exactly the same way. Look for instance at some of the instant film materials you can get through the Impossible Project at the moment. Predictable results? Hardly. Or look at double exposures. Taken by different photographers. Did you know you can buy exposed film on eBay to add your own second layer of exposures, then develop it to find out what you’ve got? What an element of surprise! Some deliberately shoot film that is far beyond its best-before date and take advantage of the interesting characteristics some aging film materials get. Some expose the whole 35mm film, including the sprocket holes, and some even partially remove the lenses from their cameras and tilt them to achieve effects similar to lensbabies and tilt lenses – that’s called “freelensing”. Or the deliberate manipulation of the medium, as seen in the emulsion lift, where integral instant film is taken apart and the photo emulsion gets transferred onto a different material.”
He is right, more and more photographers are trying new and different things. They’re thinking outside of the box, but I think the question is why. I think the answer is because they want to be different. They want to make their images stand out while still showing their vision. And in some cases, they just want to see what happens. They experiment and experimenting is good.
Mr. Marquardt is right. I think film is becoming more popular again, but it isn’t because we are dissatisfied or unhappy with digital or that we like imperfections. It is because it is different and “new”. It is a challenge to get the shot right in the camera the first time. And because it is unique, not a lot of people are using it. And I definitely don’t think you are inferior if you shoot digital. Or film. Or Canon. Or Nikon. Or medium format. Or you use a Chevy to get to your shooting location. Who cares! Use the tools that make you happy and help you capture the image that matches your vision. That is the bottom line.
I will continue to listen to Chris Marquardt on Tips From the Top Floor. I recommend that you do also. He is informative and entertaining. If anything, he will make you think once in a while. And that is a good thing.
Posted 2 years, 5 months ago at 11:49 am. Add a comment
I have been listening to a lot of podcasts recently. Ok, I have been listening to them for several years, but just recently have been giving them a lot more thought. There are some good ones, some are not so good ones and I have noticed a few trends.
One, more and more podcasters are selling something. They sell workshops, dvds, books, or websites, but they are pushing something to buy and distributing less and less information. Two, a lot of them are podfading. Podfading is what happens when a podcast stops being produced. It usually starts with a missed podcast, then the time between them gets longer and longer, and finally, they just stop being posted. Finally, good podcasts don’t do any of the above, they just keep getting better.
LensFlare 35 is one of those podcasts that keep getting better. Dave Warner is the host and guiding force behind the production. Dave started the podcast as a Canon based show, but in 2010, he branched out and it is now a photography show that crosses to all sides of the DSLR world.
He interviews some great photographers in all areas of photography from teenage amateurs to some of the best known pros in the business. He has interviewed some of my favorites in George Lepp, Art Wolfe, Jeremy Cowart, Jasmine Star, Gary Martin, and William Neill. Honestly, the list is too long to put here, but they are all good interview. Dave also doesn’t just interview photographers. He has interviewed guests that are experts in photography and the law, digital image storage, printing, post production, and gallery owners.
In addition to some great people, he asks strong questions. He doesn’t throw up softballs for the guest to sidestep or give vague answers, he asks direct and sometimes very demanding questions. And he does it in a way that puts the guest at ease in their answer. He asks about the guests’ history in photography, how they got discovered, and how they got into their particular area of photography. He also asks questions that help the listener, like what the photographer should look for in that area of photography, how to capture the shot once the photographer sees it, and then what they do with their images after the capture. If you listen to the podcast and pay attention, you will learn something about photography, no matter what experience you have.
In addition to the above, he keeps the podcast at a reasonable length, but doesn’t stick to a predetermined time frame. If Dave and the guest are getting along and lots of good conversation is taking place, then the show can run long. If not, it can be cut short, but it is always conducted with class and professionalism.
The bonus is that not once have I heard a plug for a workshop, book, or product of his. Plus, the one (maybe two) ads that do run on the podcast are relevant and short in length.
If you don’t already listen to LensFlare 35, you need to add it to your podcast feed and start listening. You will not be disappointed, podcasts that are free of self promotion are few and far between.
Posted 2 years, 6 months ago at 10:03 pm. 2 comments
I listen to a lot of podcasts. I have 23 of them on my iPhone that I listen to regularly and another 10-15 on my computer at home. I listen to them when I am in the car traveling to work, vacation, the store, where ever. I am a podcast junkie. I haven’t listened to the radio in ages. I include video podcasts in this catagory. I don’t watch them in the car, but while waiting for appointments or whatever.
I have learned a few things about podcasts. Some are good. Some are bad. And some are both.
Bad & Ugly
I am not going to list the podcasts here, but if you read between the lines you’ll figure it out.
It is NOT a podcast when you film yourself shooting a waterfall, birds, mountain landscapes or whatever and all the viewer sees is a waterfall, birds, or a mountain landscape with a camera firing off at 6-8 frames per second as the sound in the background. If you don’t have narrative about what you are shooting, why you are shooting it, or what you are trying to do with the camera, it is NOT a podcast. It is just a bad video.
You wouldn’t post or make public the images that you are not proud of, why do that with a podcast? Just because you can post something doesn’t mean that you should.
It is NOT a podcast when most of the material you talk about is a plug for your latest and greatest workshop or light modifier or whatever. It is an ad. There is nothing wrong with advertising, but not at the expense of most of your material.
You have thousands of listeners around the world and you’re plugging a workshop that has room for 15 people. Make your sales pitch and then move on to the reason we downloaded the podcast. If you tell everyone that you will be answering questions about photography, answer some. Or a lot. If your podcast is supposed to be an interview, then get to the interview. 15 minutes of interview and 45 of the workshop plug is not why we downloaded you.
It is NOT a podcast if you produce one every 6-8 weeks. It is a reminder that you are not doing what something on a regular basis. This is the reason I don’t produce a podcast. I don’t have the time to do it right on a regular basis.
It is NOT a podcast when you rebroadcast something you did for someone else. If you want to include it in your feed, fine, but don’t add it to your count and say it is a podcast.
There are some really good podcasts out there. They are done well, educational, and entertaining.
The Image Doctors
This is produced by the Nikonians.org website. Jason Odell and Rick Walker talk about Nikon equipment (obviously) and some of their shoots that they go on. But they include tips, ideas, and other information that can make you a better shooter. Their equipment reviews are honest; giving you both the things they liked as well as the things they didn’t.
Scott Bourne puts together some great guests and all they do is answer questions submitted by listeners. They always answer the questions in depth and from two points of view. It is a VERY educational podcast about photography. And the website that goes with it is one of the best photography oriented sites on the internet.
This Week In Photography is a well produced podcast about everything photography. Host Fredrick van Johnson along with co-hosts Alex Lindsay, Steve Simon, Ron Brinkmann, and Aaron Mahler talk about the past, present, and future of photography. They all have an immense amount of experience in photography and are very entertaining as they give tips, opinions, and insights on photography.
The Candid Frame
Host Ibarionex R. Perello interviews individuals in the photography world. Most of them I have never heard of, but they have some great insights and thoughts on ideas that make you think.
Thoughts On Photography
Paul Giguere has a great podcast on living a photographic life. He has interviews and thoughts on being a photographer and producing images that are interesting and tell a story.
Bill Crawford and Ed Hidden talk about and interview people about mostly studio lighting. Lots of interesting ideas and insights on thinking about how to use studio lighting.
The magazine is good. Brooks Jensen produces a short (4-5 minutes) podcast about his thoughts on photography. Everyone of them are thought provoking and relevent.
Dave Warner interviews a lot of the iconic photographers using Canon gear. Yes, it is Canon, but we all know it is not about the gear, but the eye behind the viewfinder and you can hear what those great eyes have to say on this podcast.
Podcasts are a great way to learn about photography and lots of other subjects. If you are producing a podcast, take the time and effort to do it right.
Posted 3 years, 5 months ago at 12:51 pm. 1 comment
Well, this is it. The start of a new website and a new blog. Ok, it really isn’t a new blog, it’s my first blog. I have two photo sites.
This is the first one. I intend to use this as a general photo/business blog. I want to document my photographic life and the start of my business.
The second is Nature Light Photography (which isn’t up and running quite yet). After listening to Kevin Swan on the Pro Photo Show podcast. I realized that I can’t have all of my pictures and thoughts on a website that I want my clients to look at and appreciate everything I can do for them.
This is the start. I am sure that there will be several revisions to the look and such of the website, but I’m looking forward to the journey.
Posted 3 years, 8 months ago at 8:24 pm. Add a comment