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Three 30 Second Tips to Better Photos:

by Gavin Seim:

Ready in 60 Seconds: After you choose the subject but before before you release the shutter, try taking a full minute to think about your scene and how you’re about to capture it. Really. Don’t just look at it. SEE IT. Sometimes we feel pressured to click. But even with a portrait, learn to take a little time and you’re images WILL improve. With some scenes you can even spend longer. Check out the 111 Project.

Sparks: I stood outside well before the exit. Experimenting, considering the scene, trying to predict the light. The effort paid off with a great candid from a challenging scene.

Cut The Trash: I know, you’ve already taken 60 seconds, you have a plan. But look again. Maybe even take a test frame. Controlling tone, removing clutter and distracting elements is one of the most neglected elements in art making. If something is not adding to the image, it should not be in the frame. Either you move, move it, or it will move the quality of your final image down to LOW.

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Pro Photo Podcast #81. LIGHT & ZONES.

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Today’s Panel... Gavin Seim (G Pixel).

Today Gavin goes in depth on light, zones, meters and making images come out the way we want them, every time. Foregoing long errata and going straight to analysis of using light and Zone to control the results of our images. Lets jump in.

Podcast #81 forum discussions:

Main Time Indexes:

  • 00:00. Quick News.
  • 03:55 Visualizing and Zones essentials.
  • 09:47 Working the Light. Our scenario.
  • 20:00 Editing and fulfilling the visualization.
  • 33:03 Light does not always cooperate.
  • 39:35 The break. Silver Shadows 2, iUSA etc.
  • 42:40. A light recap.
  • 44:45 Using Light meters.
  • 50:40. Wrap up. What we can do with light & Zones.
  • 58:00 Pick and closing.

Links to things we mentioned.

The new Silver Shadows 2 black and white Lightroom presets.

Continue reading ‘Pro Photo Podcast #81. LIGHT & ZONES.’

A Look Inside TimeScapes – DSLR Video Just Keeps Getting Better.

by Gavin Seim – I’m more a still than a video man myself. Maybe it’s because I’ve not found a way to print videos yet. Still, their value can be unrivaled and the quality that’s come about in the past few years is stunning. Not long ago ago DSLR video was a new toy. That has changed very fast.

This is a neat 25 minutes behind the scenes at Timefest 2011 and gives an inside look into Tom Lowe’s impressive TimeScapes project. And an almost equally good look at some very impressive video gear, including some brand new stuff from Kessler. To top it off, the guys hanging out are experts like Vincent Laforet, Shawn Reeder, Tom Lowe, Carson Garner, Ben Wiggins and many more.

I have to say I love the planning they put into each sequence and wish it happened a bit more in the world of stills. These guys know that if they don’t plan right, they won’t get the footage. What’s next? How about time lapses on 4×5 film drum scanned and rolled into footage. OK maybe that’s going too far. Or is it? Well just enjoy the video. Then share some thoughts about how your using DSLR video… Gav

111 Photo Project – One Goal One Hour. One Image

by Gavin Seim. Spread the word. Because its’ time to raise the bar. I have a challenge to photographers everywhere. One that will teach us all something. I know this because I’ve started doing it. It’s addictive, educational and I plan to do it a lot more. Different expedience levels will accomplish different things, but everyone will learn something new.

When you’re done, come back post a link to your result. For those that would like, email me and I’ll even call you personally to critique and talk about the image for no charge.

The premise is this. Nearly every photographer I know needs to SLOW DOOWWN. I’ve encountered this in everyone from newbies, to some of the most experienced and award winning photographers in the world. We need to stop the clicking and start the thinking. the better image we make in camera the better piece of art we’ll have when we’re done. There I said it. And I’m included. I’ve on a mission to slow down.

One of my results of slowing down. I spent hours planning this single frame and I learned so much from it. Even the exposure is over 2hrs. Click the image to see the details in my journal.

So many images being are made, but there’s not enough thought about whats happening when we press the shutter. Anyone can take a “pic”. But not anyone can be a craftsman. It’s not to say everyone is making bad images. I just think we need a moment if silence. Silence from the clicking. Making great images is not about how many you take. It’s not about having so many to put on your blog that our eyes bleed when we read. It’s about real quality.

The 111 challenge is this.
Spend one hour in the field, planning and capturing a single composition. In camera. Planning and making that single scene.You can edit after, but at least one hour making that one image that achieves one goal. It’s not that every image needs to take an hour or more. But if you really do this, you will start thinking more about every image you make. No matter long long it takes.

No matter what genre you work in, you will benefit from this one. Slowing down and learning to see in one area teaches us to do it on others. It’s opened my eyes in every area of my work. You may not be able to execute this project at your next wedding. But will help your next wedding, or anything else.

What do you get? Mainly you get knowledge. Which is extremely valuable. Every time you take on this challenge, or take it further, it will open your eyes to new ideas. Plus you get to display the Pro Photo Show achievement badge on your site along with the resulting frame.

There’s no photographer that this will not help. I speak from experience when I say it’s amazing. Remember not to pick just any subject. You need a subject that’s inspiring. You need a plan and the right light and make it all happen. This will all take far more than an hour, but once you have the goal, spend at least that just composing and planning for the final image.

Once we master this, maybe we’ll plan a day long image setup. Also for anyone that finishes and wants it, email me and I’ll call you and give an honest one on one critique session on the image for no charge. So, do you have the discipline to take this on? I look forward to seeing what you learn… Gav

Some simple guidelines.

  • There’s no deadline. Think about your goal. Plan a trip or event worthy of this image.
  • You can’t spend a random hour. Spend it making the best image you’ve ever made.
  • You can spend MORE than one hour in the field making the image. Just not less.
  • Planning the excursion, subject or post edits do not count towards your hour.
  • Plan one composition. No spending an hour making random images hoping for success.
  • You can make test images, but only to help you refine the one image you’re after.
  • It can be HDR or bracketed if you like, but we just want to see one image in the end.
  • Take your time in post. It’s not part of the hour, but it’s relevant to a great image.
  • Take that one final image and post a link in the comments. Make sure it’s ONE image.

Pro Photo Podcast #77. Better Concepts and Evil Laughs.

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Today’s Host... Gavin Seim

On this shorter episode Gavin takes a look at what he learned with another month on the road. A discussion of 4×5 film, a look at learning and working conceptually, and a little practice session on evil laughs.

140 minutes of night. Gavin's longest ever exposure. Click the image to see Gavin's post with all the details.

Podcast #77 forum discussion:

Notable Time Indexes:

  • 00:00 Introductions quick updates.
  • 04:09 Experiences from a month on the road.
  • 12:32 Random interesting video and things.
  • 16:27 A month long trip with 4×5 film.
  • 26:05 Lightroom Power online workshops.
  • 28:00 Main – The Concept Photographer.
  • 45:05. The after show. Picks and stuff.

 

Links to things we mentioned.

Gavin’s Online LR Workshops.

Lightflow Aperture Presets are now available.

Video. Battle At F-Stop Ridge. Can you say, Awesome.

Good reads on using Zone System for digital. One by M Frye…. http://bit.ly/me3SjA and a thesis by Gary Meek…. http://bit.ly/lrTfYO

Color images before there was color, by Prokudin Gorskii.

Ansel Adams videos.

PICKS:
Rothco 550lb. Type III Paracord.

Gavin’s favorite travel apps list is here.


 

Pro Photo Podcast #75, Lots of photo tips. And other stuff.

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Today’s Panel... Gavin SeimDenns ZerwasEric GuggenheimMark Teskey.

On this roundtable we discuss a lot of tips and mistakes to avoid from various genres of photography. We also get into some news, industry and business talk and more.

Podcast #75 forum discussion:

Notable Time Indexes:

  • 00:00 Introductions, micro 4/3 stuff and other news.
  • 21:25 Workshops announcements.
  • 26:17 Techniques for different situations. Architecture.
  • 35:09 Techniques for different situations. Outdoors.
  • 53:15  Techniques for different situations. Weddings.
  • 1:00:50. More tips on photography. Avoiding mistakes.
  • 1:20:40 Marketing. Things on our mind about the industry.
  • 1:37:15 Announcing Pro Photo Show LIVE.
  • 1:42:14. After show. Random things.

Links to things we mentioned.

Info on live show. Post coming soon with details. I’ll add a link.

Lights & Shadows. HDR and tone workshop. Coming to CA in April.

LR Power, Lightroom workshop. Coming to CA in April.

The new Fuji X100 rangefinder style.

It goes head to head with the Leica X1.

Some other interesting models.

Ricoh GXR,

Sigma DP2.

Continue reading ‘Pro Photo Podcast #75, Lots of photo tips. And other stuff.’