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Pro Photography Podcast #52 ~ The World, With Rick Sammon:

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Host Gavin Seim: Seim Studios
Special Guest: Rick Sammon

Show notes

This week we talk about nature, travel and general photography tips with Rick Sammon. Rick travels all over the world for photography workshops and has written 30 books in his career as a photographer.

The Pro Photo Show Winter contest has begun. Enter now.

Rick Sammon workshops are coming all over the world.

Rick uses Photomatix for his HDR. You can use promo code PPS15 to save 15%

Aperture for general post processing.

Rick uses magic tricks from Tannen’s Magic in New York.

Rick uses the Wescott stand and diffuser for his flashes.

Seim Effects and the new PW2 LR presets.

Gavin’s HDR portrait gallery.

The HDR Portraits & Weddings Project

Check Out My HDR Portraits Gallery:

Those of you who follow my work, know that I love HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography. I’m especially fond of pushing the limits, with HDR portrait, wedding and other non standard uses. I started experimenting with HDR people shots in 2007. I also use it for nearly all of my nature work.

I have a bunch of favorites, and have finally compiled them onto one page on the Seim Photography site. If you’re intersted in HDR stop by and maybe you’ll get some ideas. I know I’m not the only one shooting HDR however. If you know of other great HDR, share them in the comments... Gavin Seim

Talking HDR on the Camera Dojo Photography Podcast

I was a guest on this weeks Camera Dojo podcast with Kerry Garrison talking about all things HDR.

We chatted about the various techniques and tools, and I shared my techniques for HDR portraits. I just listened to myself this afternoon. It felt different being on the guest end, but it was relaxing. This won’t be in the PPS podcast feed, but If you’re interested head over the Camera Dojo and give a listen. While your at it you can drop by iTunes and subscribe to their showGavin

Six Tips to Build Your Photography Business:

by Gavin Seim (Updated 01/10) — With winter on and economic downturn in many parts of the world, you may find yourself looking at the numbers in horror. OK maybe I’m going too far, but many photographers are concerned about the amount of work on their schedule. I’m a blessed man. And while things are moving along, I too am looking at ways to put more on the calender.

Now I’m not the worlds chief authority on marketing. What I do know is that amazing service is a never fail approach. Beyond that there’s is no instant solution, but hard work pays off and these tips will get you thinking. I’m going to assume you already have great service (you do right?), then keep it short with six tips that can help you get noticed in this competitive market. I also found another cool article by Sean Clayton about getting your phone to ring that you might want to check out.

  • #1. Give Some Classy Freebies:
    Sometimes the best way to make profit is by giving something away. You don’t have to devalue your work by shouting FREE prints to the world.  Try sending  gifts to past clients for anniversaries or graduations. They don’t need to be photos. In fact something else might make a HUGE impression. Chocolates, a gift card for dinner. Maybe coffee or a bottle of wine. They may have loved your photos, but clients need a reminder to talk about you. I know it sounds expensive, but it will WOW past clients and usually pays. There’s various ways to give gifts and perks. Just be creative and see what matches your style.
  • #2. Send Images to Venue’s:
    Sending out promo images from a venue is a great way to make yourself memorable and build venue relationships.  A pile of 8×10’s for their book or some web files for their site is fine, but lately I’ve been taking it to the next level by giving notable things like larger canvas images and albums. Venues nearly always need great images to show off to potential customers and what can be better than them showing off yours. Make sure you put your name on them in a classy fashion and send some business cards along. The venue will appreciate the images, and you can get free advertising, which is always the best kind.

Continue reading ‘Six Tips to Build Your Photography Business:’

Become a Better Photographer in 90 Seconds – 24 One Line Tips

Ghosts of Clepsydra Geyser - f164By Gavin Seim: (updated 09/11): I often hear from photographers asking me to look at their work and tell them how to be better photographers. In ten seconds I can usually tell them how to improve because we often overlook simple things. There’s nearly always something we can improve, no matter how much experience we have.

Most rules are universal to photography of any style or any experience level. Of course these rules are meant to be broken, but general concepts help us stay on track and we should only break rules for good reason. These are some tips I keep in mind with my own work. Hope they give you a few reminders. When your done here some join us in the forums to get some personal feedback. OK let’s roll.

  1. One primary subject. If you have more, you’ll have distraction.
  2. Omit needless objects. Getting them out will clean up your scene.
  3. Slow down. Many images are ruined because of RTC (Rush To Click).
  4. Tonal control is essential. Use the Zone Scale, Burn & Dodge.
  5. If a background detracts from your scene, change or carefully blur it.
  6. See Light. Where’s it coming from, how can you use it.
  7. Learn the rules photography. Then you’ll break them for good reason.
  8. Don’t just center things. Use the rule of thirds & others. They work.
  9. Eyes. Watch close, keep them sharp. They hold emotion.
  10. Use the Magic Hour. Around sunrise/sunset, light happens.
  11. Keep it sharp. Watch your shutter speed & subject movement.
  12. Space is valuable in a frame, keep clutter away with comp & tonal control.
  13. Harsh sun can be bad. Learn to manipulate it and find good light.
  14. Shadows are critical. Without them the light gets ignored.
  15. Great images start in camera. But don’t underestimate careful editing.
  16. Use fresh ideas, but also go for those old reliable images.
  17. If the weather is foul, it doesn’t mean the photos will be.
  18. Lines lead the eye. Pay attention to where they go and intersect.
  19. Change hours. Different times of day will transform a scene.
  20. Think about shadows and dimension. Flat light is usually boring.
  21. Motion Blur can be very powerful, but use it carefully.
  22. Take time to really LOOK at your subject before releasing the shutter.
  23. Study. Photography has 150+ years of history. Go learn about it.
  24. Remember… Slow down, refine, simplify. Analyze your scene.

 

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This award winning image has a lot going for it. Notice the balanced intersecting lines, bold colors, and simplicity of the scene. It leads the eyes and tells a story.

Focus Blurring was an effective tool here. The light at the ceremony was great but I wanted the focus on the couple. I used a Lensbaby to give me the soft edges and then some work in post production to make the viewers eye go right where I wanted. The blue could have also been done in post, but I enjoy the Lensbaby.

Silver Waves of Grain: Motion blur was used heavily in this 5 min+ exposure. This gave a ghostly feel to the fields and clouds, completely changing the feel of this scene. Then detailed tone work was done to add depth and dimension. You can click the image to read a detailed article on f164.com about how it was made.

Watch the details. Look To the Wind, is one of my early (and more recognized) HDR portraits. The space gives it a bold cinematic feel and the simplicity of the deserted beach adds strength to the scene. Looking back however I could have watched my lines more. The way the horizon cuts at the shoulder is not ideal. It's still a great image, but if I was doing it over I would try being higher with the camera for an even more powerful composition.

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Pro Photography Roundtable 8 – PPS #48

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Todays Panel…
Gavin Seim ~ Seim PhotographyEffects & Presets
Kerry Garrison ~ Camera DojoL7 Studios
Dennis Zerwas ~ DZ Photography

Show notes
Episode Forum Discussion

Nikon launches the D700, the Sb900 flash, and two new lenses.

A cool article about sharpening in Photoshop

What brides and clients think of photo websites.

Is NILMDTS (Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep) doing things right? (@27:10)

The Hassleblad H3d has 50mp. A nice camera.

Boda Bag. Looks interesting, but is it all that great?

Tamrac Modular Accessory Belt is what Gavin uses to carry gear during shoots. He just attaches MAS pouches to it.

Dynamic Photo HDR. A PC only HDR program that looks pretty cool.

Kerry has been reviewing out the Photo Basics Strobe Lights. from photobasics.net

Ken Rockwell has articles on setting up your camera.

Rocket Air for cleaning sensors.

Visable Dust is a popular cleaner for heavy duty cleaning.

Picks of the week.
Kerry Likes the Black Rapid R Strap.

Dennis says Phanfare is now his anti-pick because they have taken away features.
Smugmug is his new most favored one.

Gavin is excited about his MP3 Tape