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An Open Letter to the Artist Support System

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Support is a funny thing.

As an artist, 96% of our career is spent dealing with rejection. Rejection from friends, family, other artists and even the art world itself. Making a living from art can be a very long and lonely, misunderstood journey, especially in the beginning, and having a decent support system can help make that early journey a little more bearable.

But just as we’re often learning the ropes of how to be an artist, we also know that you’re learning the ropes of how to best support us. We need you, and here are the best ways you can help us out.

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10 Essentials Nitty Gritties Every Pro Photographer Should Have On A Photoshoot

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As a pro photographer there are all sorts of little tips & tricks that you learn on the job.

Aside from the basics – camera, lenses, lighting etc.  there are those little secrets of the craft that help you go from amateur to pro.  These are little tricks of the trade that I have picked up from my years as a photographer.  One of the things we photographers are great at is “improvising”  I have seen some of my fellow photographer friends come up with the funniest tools for getting the job done.

10 things never to be without when heading out on a photoshoot.  All of these things can be picked up at your local grocery/hardware store.

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How ‘Do What You Love’ Can Be A Realistic Career Option

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To quote a recent article I read titled “Do What You Love” Is Horrible Advice:It’s easy to confuse a hobby or interest for a profound passion that will result in career and business fulfillment. The reality is, that type of preexisting passion is rarely valuable.”

Um…no.

If you haven’t read that article go ahead and take a trip over there when you get a chance…or not, if you’d rather not be fuming the rest of the day. The author is a great writer, with many other fantastic articles, but this one was just so…wildly inaccurate. I tried to just label it as one of those unfortunate things orbiting the internet, but it was just gnawing at me. How many potential artists are out there now, squashing their dreams because they’re reading fear-mongering articles like this on the internet?

Well hopefully not a lot, but still, the thought of some teenage kid selling his guitar because too many people told him music was a “hobby” and not a career choice just kills me. He’s a teenager. Anything is a career choice.

Of course people are all entitled to their own opinions, right?

Exactly, which is why I’m going to spout mine off right now.

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How I Built The Set For The Holy Mary Photograph

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I met Viviane many years ago when we were added to a project together as photographer and stylist by a designer friend. The project never launched but we always kept in touch to see what each was doing. So at some point after we few years we both said: “Why don’t we ever shoot???” This started a 30 min brainstorm through facebook chat. We both wanted something very stylized. She suggested something like a “holy mary”? Then I came in and suggest something darky holy mary. And the idea was born. “The Holy Sinister Mary”.

…on the edge of your seat? Onwards…

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4 Questions Amateur Photographers Need to Stop Asking – And What They SHOULD Ask Instead

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“Love your photos! What kind of camera do you have?”

“… …”

Look, I get it. I’ve been there. Being an amateur photographer is tough for a lot of reasons, but a large one is having to humbly ask questions you desperately wish you didn’t have to say out loud. At some point in our lives, every professional has started out as an amateur. We’ve all been on the other side of the coin, secretly trying to make sense of all the photo technical jargon while still trying to appear like a coherent adult that deserves to own a camera.

Photographers are irritated by this question because when someone asks this, they are essentially reducing their entire profession to what they are currently holding in their hand. It happens a lot, and the insult is literally always on accident, but that doesn’t mean hearing it gets any easier. But while my blood boils every time I get asked this, I just have to tell myself to chill the eff out. It’s my fault for being annoyed, not yours. I know you don’t mean to be insulting; you just want to learn. You’re simply trying to figure out a little more about the process, and asking about the camera is your go-to step one. And that’s what everyone does! Hell I did the same thing as a newbie – upon observing the fact that my point-and-shoot just wasn’t achieving the same effect as a pro, the question out of my mouth to any photographer that would listen was, “What kind of camera do you have?” I was naive and stupid and I didn’t know any better.

But now I do know better. It’s not that it’s a stupid question, it’s just that it’s not the best question, and sometimes rewording things just a bit can get you a much more useful answer. It’s not that pros are mean or anything, they’re just human beings, and human beings respond differently to different questions. So in the spirit of helping new photographers get the information they’re actually after (while at the same time avoiding pissing off every established photographer they ever hope to learn from one day), lets lay down a few ground rules.

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The best way to do a focus stacking: Macro Focusing Rails vs Focus Variation

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This tutorial is about how to obtain a large depth-of-field using focus stacking.

The main question is: Is it better to use a macro rail or is it better to vary the focus of the lens?

As Alex, I use focus stacking (or “deep focus fusion”) quite often and most of the time I just shoot a series of photos with varied focus instead of a series with varied distance, using a rail.

Until now I always thought, that approach is a bit dirty, because it introduces changes in the magnification, but often it was the only way, because the depth of the object was far too deep for any rail. Imagine for example shooting a landscape. :-)

But now, I wanted to know for sure what is the better method and and did some tests.

One thing I can say to start with: With complex scenes, it is a good idea, not to change the position of the camera!

But now let’s take a closer look:

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The Ultimate 365 Project Guide Part IV

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The third part showed you some really great motivation techniques to keep going. On top of that, Part III demonstrated how your bad days are as valuable as your good ones. Part IV revolves around the most precious thing a photographer can achieve: a unique signature.

In the first part of the Ultimate 365 Project Guide I briefly described the four stages of growth. The final and most important stage is creating your very own style of photography. Let me show you how basically everyone can achieve a unique signature with the “Helsinki Bus Station Theory” and how your 365 project will help you here.

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The Ultimate 365 Project Guide Part III

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Marius Vieth – To The Limit!

It’s time for Part III of the Ultimate 365 Project Guide! The second part covered the golden rules, how to turn failure into success and why the battle royale of your own photos helps you improve in the long term.

Part III Revolves Around The Most Important Ingredient Of Your 365 Project: Motivation.

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The Ultimate 365 Project Guide Part II

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Marius Vieth – Ice Cream

In Part I of the Ultimate 365 Guide I explained whether a 365 project is meant for anyone, where that journey might take you, why it’s important to actually walk a 1000 miles and how the love for the process is more valuable than the desire for the goal. So let’s start off with something very essential to every 365 project:

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When Common Sense Breaks Down: Why I Bought A Mirrorless Camera And Keep My DSLR (And Bunch Of Film Cameras As Well)

Benn Murhaaya - http://murhaaya.com

I read the article by Martin Gillman about moving back from mirrorless to DSLRs which was published on DIYP a while back and had to respond.

To get some background on me, I am amateur photographer, in the original meaning of the word (lover of) and also in the sense, that I don’t shoot paid gigs anymore. I used to work as a concert, event photographer, shooting around 20 gigs a week. For seven years, I’ve been a staff photographer at Prague based tattoo and body mod studio Hell.cz again shooting gigs and shows, at current time I am working with few pantomime theater groups besides doing my own stuff that ranges from building pinholes to shooting and developing 4×5 slide film with a view camera. (see murhaaya.com for yourself)

I mentioned the gigs to give you some idea, that I’ve sort of been around the block and I am not blabbing about something I don’t know anything about. My main workhorse now is still a Canon 5D Mark II with a four prime lenses ranging from 24/1.4 to 85/1.8. No zooms, that’s how I roll. You roll however you like.

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