Tag Archive for 'leica'

5 Stock Photography Tips & Shooting the Mediterranean with a pocket Leica!

Bright lights of Monte Carlo. ISO 400, 2.5 sec. @ f4

by Lawrence Sawyer. First, let me thank Gavin Seim for the invitation to write a piece on my recent experience shooting stock photography in the Mediterranean. This was a dual-purpose trip: anniversary cruise, and a test of my theory that with the right choice, one could actually shoot salable stock with a point-and-shoot pocket camera. Now, a little background…

I’ve been shooting stock photography since my college days in the early 1980’s, and make a living doing it. I have several thousand images on file at four U.S. agencies and dozens of sub-agents worldwide. I have a new book out, entitled  See It, Shoot It, Sell It! -How to Earn a Great Second Income Taking and Shooting Photographs of Virtually Anything. That title embodies the way I work: I shoot “found images” more than anything else. I have learned over the years that there are countless opportunities to shoot highly marketable images all around us, every day… if we just learn to see them.

So when I’m shooting stock, here are the five main criteria I use in evaluating a scene:

1. Is there a message here? There needs to be either a solid piece of information in this shot, or a pure-magic artistic element to something mundane, like beautiful light on a cityscape.

2. Can I pull it off technically? An elk in a shaft of sunlight is killer if it’s 50 yards away and I have 300 f2.8 with me, but pointless if it’s 500 yards out.

3. Does it have enough appeal that it will sell to a broad audience? I worry about this one less and less, because all images are available now to the whole internet-connected world, and somewhere, there is a buyer for darn near anything.

4. Can I shoot it better than it’s likely already been done? If it’s a scenic shot, I’m careful not to be enamored by the place just because it’s my first visit. But if the light is phenomenal, I’ll roll the dice and shoot first, then ask questions later. The more famous the place, the more skeptical I am of my ability to make great stock on my first visit. I try to research how much a place has been shot before I go in with guns a-blazing.

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Pro Photography Podcast #56 Roundtable. Nerds, Ziser & Outer Space:

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On Todays Show:
Gavin Seim
Kerry GarrisonDennis ZerwasDavid ZiserBrady Dillsworth

midnight-seattle-panoramic-seim-l

This week we talk about some great new gear and goodies, as well as hear cool tips from some great guests including the one and only David Ziser. Here’s all the glorious links and there’s a lot of them.

Podcast #56 forum discussion:

Deals:

Digital Wakeup Call. Discount with promo code: ZGSDWC09

OnOne Software 15% off: Use Promo Code PRPHTPC

Photomatix Pro from HDR Soft. Save 15% with code PPS15

Cool stuff from PMA 2009:

7″ Album. Portable Photo Viewer. Would be a great client presentation tool.
David also mentioned a similar product by Digital Foci.

The Spyder Cube. Color target.

Lensbabies.

California Sunbounce. Light manipulation tools.

Hahnemuhle do it yourself gallery wraps look really cool. (found them on B&H).

I also found some videos on Hahnemuhle’s news page. And a PMA video over at CameraTown.

Trek Tek monopod .

Kerry like the Sensor Clear and Sensor Pen from Lenspen.

Acratech tripod heads looks cool and well made.

Continue reading ‘Pro Photography Podcast #56 Roundtable. Nerds, Ziser & Outer Space:’

Leica… Welcome To The Master Race?

leica

by Gavin Seim: I’ve given thought what I would say about Leica. I was even told I should not write about this. In the end decided that I would give my honest thoughts on this brand.

Let me first say that I’ve never owned a Leica personally. I’m fairly confident they make a good camera and I confess I have felt the draw of owning a Leica. Their fairly small, high end and retro. I’ve felt that voice that says “If you own me, you’ll be way cooler than you are now”. So while at PMA 09 I decided to stop by and give Leica the chance to convince me why I should pay more for one of their cameras.

I was escorted to the Leica PR guy who was more than a little defensive about the my question, which was essentially this. Why Leica? Why should we photographers spend 6k on a rangefinder body and 4k for a 50mm lens? Understand I don’t mind saving and paying thru the nose for gear that’s worth it. I wanted Leica to show me why theirs was. Continue reading ‘Leica… Welcome To The Master Race?’