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November 2012 Archives

November 1, 2012

November 2012 Issue



November 2012 Issue



November 2012 Issue

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November 2012 Issue


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November 2012 Issue

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November 2012 Issue



November 2, 2012

November 2012 Issue


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November 2012 Issue


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November 2012 Issue


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November 2012 Issue


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November 2012 Issue


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November 2012 Issue


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November 2012 Issue


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November 2012 Issue


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November 2012 Issue



November 5, 2012

Horse Sense: 12 Tricks for Better Equine Photography

By Ann S. Gordon, CPP

All images ©Gordon Photography

When I was 8 years old, I was photographing horses with my Brownie Flash Six-20. The camera had two settings: 5 to 10 feet and “Beyond 10 feet,” which I probably didn’t use reliably. The horses in those images had bulbous noses, large heads, and very long back legs.

Today, more than 50 years later and having photographed hundreds of equines in my animal portraiture business, I know how to make the animals look their best and reflect the breed or equestrian sport their owners enjoy.

Even if you don't specialize in animal photography, you may be asked by clients to include a horse in a portrait, as was a friend of mine recently. If so, you’ll find the following tips helpful in capturing wonderful images of the large, easily distorted, incredibly beautiful animal that is the horse.

1. Use a long lens. Try a 200mm or 300mm lens, and stand back as far as 1 foot per millimeter. In other words, when using a 200mm lens, shoot from 150 to 200 feet. This helps minimize the distortion that can happen when photographing such a large animal.

2. Use a fast shutter speed. A minimum of 1/250 to 1/500 second is best. You can use shutter priority to make sure things don’t blur if you’re working in an arena where the light is constantly changing, but I like to use my manual setting for most things. Even with a standing horse, those ears move, as does the tail.

3. Have an assistant. You’ll need one to make noises, move horse feet, rattle buckets, and hold onto a fractious horse so the owner can look relaxed. In order to keep the animal calm, the assistant needs to be very comfortable with horses.


An assistant who is very comfortable with horses helps keep the
horse and owner calm and looking their best.

4. Get down. Your lens should be at the mid-shoulder of the horse. Any higher than that, and the animal’s legs will look short. If you’re too low, the legs will appear long—really long. I wear gel kneepads so I can move quickly without hurting myself.

5. Start with a groomed horse. Make sure the owner understands the horse has to be clean, clipped, brushed, braided (if appropriate), feet painted, and ready to go when you show up. Use Show Sheen and lots of it, except where the saddle or person will sit—you don't want anyone slipping and sliding.

Continue reading "Horse Sense: 12 Tricks for Better Equine Photography" »

November 16, 2012

Aftermath: A Photo Essay in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

By Cate Scaglione, Je Revele Fine Art Photography

In the days following the hurricane, I set out to help deliver donated goods to the hardest hit areas within my community. I brought my camera along, not only to help me process what had happened in the days prior but with the thought that it would allow me to help inspire donations from across the country through our social media network. In the process of delivering supplies, I saw the profound sadness of memories depleted. But even in the wake of such loss, people's spirits were surprisingly resilient. I spoke with so many people who were grateful for their lives and the support they received. They didn't mind being photographed and many welcomed it. They just wanted to share their stories and make it feel concrete. I noticed that when people tearfully described their losses from this storm, it was rarely mentioned in terms of dollars, cars, or jewelry. Not even once. What I heard time and again was the mourned loss of photos, the priceless archives of our memory. I realized that in a way, photos are the currency of the journey our lives. In this photo essay, I attempted to capture the surreal images of a joyful life ravaged by disaster. I tried to create a reverence, to find beauty and meaning in what is now gone. I hope it inspires you and serves as a reminder to continue helping the charities that support these victims. They will need our help long after Sandy's wake.


ProShow App Mobilizes Slideshow Creation

By Betsy Finn, M.Photog.Cr., CPP

Wouldn’t it be nice to spontaneously create a professional-looking photo video for your clients when you are on the job? Well, if you are a Photodex ProShow Web user, you can now do that in addition to accessing your existing shows directly from your iOS device.

The ProShow App is easy to download and install from the Apple App store. Once installed, you will need to log into your account (so that your shows will be saved, etc). It is free to create a basic account, but you may find the upgraded accounts more suitable. There are three levels available: Free, Plus for $30 per year, and Premium for $150 per year. Free accounts have the ProShow Web watermark on videos, Plus and Premium account holders can upload their own custom watermark. The Premium account will also give you totally unbranded videos (Free and Plus videos have a ProShow Web outro), and full 1080p HD video output.

Since I already had an existing account with ProShow Web, once I logged into the app for the first time, I already had shows in the app. I really appreciate the cloud-based storage of slideshows and such, because it is frankly a pain to try to manually sync multiple devices, let alone remember on which device you created a particular project. In the screenshot below, you can see a few slideshows, ranging from completed shows to works-in-progress.

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Four shows are displayed on the screen at a time. To view or edit additional shows, you do have to swipe over to the next page. To create a new show, you simply click on the “new” icon. Alongside that button is a refresh button, in case you don’t see a new show that was added (e.g. from another device). It is pretty easy to delete shows; the app follows typical iOS delete behavior—long hold on a show until the show pictures begin to shake, and then you can delete any show by clicking on the bubble X at the upper-right. When you are finished, just click the red Done button.


Continue reading "ProShow App Mobilizes Slideshow Creation" »

November 19, 2012

Booksmart Studio Metal Media Adds Shine, Depth, and Unconventionality

By Stan Sholik

As photographers strive to set themselves apart from their competition, many find offering a unique look to their clients for their prints is a brand-enhancing way to stand out. Booksmart Studio is providing just such an option with inkjet printable aluminum. Photographers with a compatible inkjet printer can create samples, portfolio pieces, and final prints for clients as easily as they create inkjet prints on common media. The look is unique, often three dimensional, and is sure to set your work apart from your competitors.


The five available surfaces of inkjet printable media are, left to right, Satin White, Matte Silver, Satin Silver, Brushed Silver, and Satin Gold.

Five different surfaces are available for the fine art media aluminum sheets that are coated to accept most dye and pigment inks. Satin White has the look of smooth luster paper and is best for images with high detail and saturated colors. Satin Silver has a very fine grain structure that also lends itself to detailed images, and the surface reflects light back through the image making it almost three dimensional when viewed from certain angles.


The Satin White media has the look of smooth luster paper with
high sharpness and saturation. I muted the saturation somewhat
when making this print.

The surface of Satin Gold media is similar in reflectance to Satin Silver, but has an appearance somewhere between brass and 24k gold. This tends to mute saturated colors, and I found it perfect for a bridal portrait where softness is a virtue. Booksmart’s Matte Silver media also provides a muted look, but without the three dimensionality of Satin Gold. Matte Silver also appears somewhat yellowish under certain lighting conditions, but far less so than Satin Gold.


This photo doesn't begin to do justice to the Satin Gold print that
is far more beautiful. As light reflects from the print at different
angles, the depth of the photo changes from two dimensional
to three dimensional.

Brushed Silver is the final surface option and it is my personal favorite. With the texture of brushed aluminum sheet metal, it’s probably not the choice for romantic portraits or for weddings. But the infrared landscape photo I printed on it is just amazing, as is a commercial still life. The illusion of depth is outstanding, as is the ability to hold a deep black and clean white.


An infrared image printed on Brushed Silver appears positive in
some areas and almost negative in others while retaining the
surface pattern of a brushed aluminum sheet metal. Blacks are
deep and rich, and whites are clean with good detail.

Continue reading "Booksmart Studio Metal Media Adds Shine, Depth, and Unconventionality" »

November 20, 2012

Nanoha Macro Lens for Mirrorless Cameras Delivers 5X Detail

By Joan Sherwood, Sr.Ed.

This specialized lens takes macro to an extreme level, achieving 4X to 5X magnification. The built-in LED illumination lights the plane of focus perfectly with a simple USB controller. Four aperture settings (f/11, f/16, f/22 and f/32) give you some control, but even at f/32 the depth of field is so shallow that I could focus on the ridge of a dime and have the plane of the coin be out of focus.


The lens comes with four target holders that snap into the lighting module, which is also removable.

If you have a Micro Four Thirds Olympus or Panasonic camera or Sony NEX camera, and you want to do some extreme macro exploration, with possible stock photography or creative background uses, this $499.99 lens from International Supplies will open a new creative window for you.

Pictured: crapemyrtle petal (top),
guinea feather (center),
edge of dime (bottom).
Click image for 900x900 pixel image, downsampled from 3,024x3,024 pixels.




Review: "The Passionate Photographer: Ten Steps Toward Becoming Great"

By Ellis Vener


“The Passionate Photographer, Ten Steps Toward Becoming Great”
By Steve Simon
Published by New Riders 

This book may change your life.

Newspaper photographers are by their nature storytellers who most often must collapse a complex narrative into a single frame. This is the training Steve Simon brought with him when he moved his career from being a newspaper shooter for the Canadian Edmonton Journal daily toward doing longer-term documentary projects for other editorial outlets as well as corporate and non-profit clients. Simon began that evolution back in the mid-1990s with a self-directed project about what life was like on the United States side of the border at a time when the Canadian press was full of stories about how Canada was becoming more like the USA. Since beginning his freelance career and moving to New York City, he has been acknowledged by groups like the Art Directors Club of New York, and he has won a National Press Photographers Picture of the Year. His clients include Nikon, Lexar, Apple, The New York Times Magazine, and Mother Jones. He also lectures at the prestigious School of Visual Arts in New York City, and teaches workshops and seminars. In short he’s not only successful but respected by clients and peers. Mr. Simon has also written and photographed four books of which “The Passionate Photographer” is the latest.

Mr. Simon’s evolution from daily news shooter to freelance documentary photographer frames the narrative of “The Passionate Photographer” in which he shares what he’s learned about creative and professional growth. These lessons are applicable to all professional photographers even if you have never had an interest in being a photojournalist. The book is written cleanly and concisely, and its path is not complicated: Discover or rediscover the kind of photography that inspires you to great depths of passion, which Step One defines as “an inch wide, a mile deep.” Once you have figured out that critical first step, the rest of the steps flow toward the natural goal: sharing your passion for the subject. Simon’s passion is photographing people in their cultures, and he’s turned that passion into a career that regularly takes him around the world.

“The Passionate Photographer” contains some very basic technical information scattered throughout, and Step Six (a useful conceit of the book is that chapters are called Steps) is a 16-page discussion about light and color, but this is not a book about technology or photographic technique. Instead it’s about psychological states that lead to creative breakthroughs. The meat, potatoes, and gravy here are the interrelated topics of how to get yourself out of your comfort zone because being passionate about what you do means being willing to take (sometimes calculated, sometimes not) risks, how to engage more creatively and more closely with your subjects, and how to keep failure from discouraging you (“Step Seven, The Art of the Edit: Choose Well and Be The Best You Can Be,” “Step Eight, Assessing Strengths and Weaknesses: Never Stop Learning And Growing,” “Step Nine, Action Plan: Setting Goals And Creating Strategies”).

Step Ten covers the crucial part: “Follow Through: Share Your Vision With the World.” Steve Simon’s final words in “The Passionate Photographer” summarize not only this last chapter but it seems his entire approach to his career: “Shoot, share, learn; and shoot some more. Repeat. Enjoy. Become the great and passionate photographer you dream of being.”

HP MagCloud Is Just About All You Can Ask for in Budget Self-Publishing

By Joan Sherwood, Sr.Ed.

For any photographer who wants to self-publish a look book, brochure or calendar, HP offers a high-quality, low-cost option with MagCloud. One of its most impressive features is the ability to publish your work and offer a digital version for free. Over a minimal baseline price, you have control over the price of your printed and digital product. There is no minimum to how many print versions you or your client must buy. If it came with it's own mini downloadable graphic designer, it would be perfect.


The only minor barrier I’ve discovered in using HP MagCloud is that you (or someone you hire) will have to design the pages. Photographers are not often skilled page layout and graphic designers with a flair for typography. Though HP provides templates for their various formats for multiple applications, including Photoshop, InDesign, Word, Pages, Aperture, and others, designing a page is not the same as composing a photo. Once the designing is done, you only have to convert to PDF and upload. On the other hand, you may have materials already designed and ready to go in your existing marketing materials and templates (double-check trim and bleed areas).

The last caveat is that your readers will have to register on the MagCloud.com site to be able to see and download your publication.

We had samples of the print products sent to us (a large calendar and square and rectangular perfect-bound books), and the quality is absolutely top notch for its price. The MagCloud blog has helpful entries, including one that demonstrates what implements can write on their uncoated satin paper stock if you intend to make a calendar (most pass the smudge test).


There are too many positives to mention, but my short list is that your digital publication can include active hyperlinks, the print quality is fantastic, binding is sturdy, and the digital version is fully functional with iPad.

GoSmart Stylus: See What You're Doing (Black Friday Offer)

By Joan Sherwood, Sr.Ed.

GoSmart, Inc. offers an innovative stylus that uses Capacitive Coupling Technology in the form of conductive wire configured like crosshairs on a coil, which allows you to see exactly where your lines are going. The wire is sturdy and bends to a range of angles to fit your writing style. On the side are two rare earth magnets, which can secure the stylus to an iPad 2 (untested) or other magnetic surface.


The stylus comes in two styles: the rocket ship shape of the 300 Series, and the more pen-like look of the 200 Series. I was pleased with the feel and weight of the metal barrel, but the choice of cap colors (red, blue, black, white) is a little “meh.” I tried it with a variety of art and note-taking apps on an original model iPad, and while my aristic skills may be lacking (below), the stylus’ performance was not.



These retail for $24.95 each and come in very attractive packaging from JustGoSmart.com.

Friday Nov. 23, 3:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. PST.
Use code WERSMART at Amazon checkout http://amzn.to/Xe5atE201211we_gosmart_stylus2.jpg


iLapse: Awesome Time Lapse Video Creator

By Joan Sherwood, Sr.Ed.

iLapse from Mea Mobile is a fantastically simple intervalometer for your iPhone or iPad. The app records your video at 1280 x 720 for output at 24, 25, or 30 fps. at intervals from .5 to 20 seconds, and for a total of up to 10,000 frames. It tells you how long your sequence will take and how long the resulting video will be at your chosen frame rate. You can lock exposure and tone, or leave it to the camera to adjust as conditions change. It works tethered to USB power or with the phone’s battery. If you do a long sequence, your phone will heat up noticeably. Once the sequence is finished, the app automatically processes it to High Definition time-lapse video, and you can watch it immediately and save it to your camera roll to use as you’d like.



If you want to take a sequence of stills, you can do that, too. It’s amazingly fun and simple, and it’s only $1.99.



November 27, 2012

October 2012 Issue


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October Issue 2012


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October 2012 Issue


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October Issue 2012


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September 2012 Issue


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September 2012 Issue

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September 2012 Issue

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August 2012 Issue


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August 2012 Issue


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November 28, 2012

If Style Is Your Bag: A Roundup of Fashion Camera Bags

By Robyn L. Pollman

The rules for my bag test are simple. I select camera and electronic equipment I own and use for both personal and professional photography to put into each carrier. With the exception of laptop and iPad pockets, I don’t put other items into exterior or interior pockets. To fit all my usual gear into the bag, I may or may not use all of the removable protective padding that comes with the bag.

All the bag contents shown here fit inside each bag while still allowing the zipper or snap to be closed.

Jo Totes; $107; jototes.com
This classically styled and comfortable Georgia Nautical satchel has plenty of pockets to keep photographic and personal gear organized. The faux leather exterior is complemented by a dark blue cotton lining.



Best feature: Security. The antiqued metal hardware locks, and the iPad pocket zips.
In this bag:
Nikon D700 body with grip
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
Nikon SB-800
HTC Evo Shift 4G phone
Abie Designs camera strap
Wallet-size WhiBal card


Epiphanie; $224.99; epiphaniebags.com
Brooklyn is that rarest of photographic accessories: a fashionable camera backpack. Load up this chic bag and you can carry it all day. It accommodates a 15-inch laptop, iPad or tablet, camera with attached lens, one long lens, one short lens, flash, battery pack, and wallet.
Best feature: Easily converts from a backpack to a messenger bag to accommodate your travel and shooting needs.



In this bag:
Nikon D700 body with grip
Nikon 50mm f/1.4G
Nikon 85mm f/1.4D
Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8D
Lensbaby 2.0
Nikon SB-800
Apple 15-inch MacBook Pro
Speck SeeThru Case for MacBook Pro
HTC Evo Shift 4G phone
Abie Designs camera strap


Emera; $169; emerabags.com
Move over, boxy camera carrier, there’s a new bag in town. She’s well bred but knows how to hang. An ideal merger of function and style, the Classic Canvas bag boasts seven customizable, padded compartments for stashing, and room for a laptop and water bottle as well.



Best feature: Looks and carries like a handbag, and you’ll love the extra protection of the metal feet on the bottom.
In this bag:
Nikon D700 body with grip
Nikon 50mm f/1.4G
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
Nikon SB-800
Apple iPad2
Speck iPad2 FitFolio Cover
Abie Designs camera strap


Kelly Moore; $229; kellymoorebag.com
A portion of the proceeds from the purchase of the Thirst Relief Bag will provide a lifetime of clean drinking water for up to four people through thirstrelief.org. Inside this bag you can carry a camera body, 10-inch lens, flash, phone, batteries, 17-inch laptop, and accessories. The outside back pocket can hold a 15-inch laptop or tablet.



Best feature: The handle is exceptionally durable and secure.
In this bag:
Nikon D700 body with grip
Nikon 50mm f/1.4G
Nikon SB-800
Apple 15-inch MacBook Pro
Speck SeeThru Case for MacBook Pro
Abie Designs camera strap



Continue reading "If Style Is Your Bag: A Roundup of Fashion Camera Bags" »

November 29, 2012

June 2012 Issue


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June 2012 Issue


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June 2012 Issue

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June 2012 Issue


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June 2012 Issue



June 2012 Issue


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November 30, 2012

Jim Crotty's Top 13 Tips for Nature Photography

1. Shoot early and stay late. Nature and landscape images are all about the quality of the light. The light on the margins of the day is always best, particularly during autumn and spring. Stick around for at least an hour after sunset; it’s often when the best color occurs with dynamic clouds.

2. For wide landscapes, longer exposures make better images. This is true particularly when working with greater depth of field through smaller aperture settings, like f/16 through f/32.


This image was exposed for 1/40 second at f/22, ISO 400. ©Jim Crotty

3. A stable shooting platform is essential. I invested in a professional grade tripod and ball head, and it’s worth its weight in gold. (I love the products from Kirk Enterprises in Indiana, especially the L-brackets custom made for my camera bodies.)

4. Bad weather is good, but avoid weather that’s so bad you put yourself and your gear in danger. The subdued light of a rainy morning or afternoon evens out the variation between highlights and shadows, making it easier to gain proper exposure while retaining detail throughout the histogram.

5. Photograph water in low light. Capturing flowing water, such as a waterfall or stream, is best in low, subdued light. Sunlight will completely blow-out highlights when you’re going for that cotton-candy effect with moving water.

6. Manual focus is your friend. Maintaining sharp focus of a subject with close-in and macro photography outdoors can be challenging due to wind and an extremely shallow depth of field. Autofocus on macro lenses can jump all over the place. In my landscape photography, too, I prefer manual focus. Detachable flash and reflectors are great tools to use for macro subjects outdoors.

7. Use a split neutral density filter with landscapes at sunrise and sunset. This brings together the variation between bright sky and dark foreground. Some photographers are making use of post-shoot digital tools that come close to doing the same thing.

Continue reading "Jim Crotty's Top 13 Tips for Nature Photography" »

May Issue 2012


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May Issue 2012


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May Issue 2012


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May 2012 Issue

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May 2012 Issue


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May 2012 Issue


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May 2012 Issue


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About November 2012

This page contains all entries posted to Professional Photographer Magazine Web Exclusives in November 2012. They are listed from oldest to newest.

October 2012 is the previous archive.

December 2012 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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