I’ve mentioned the importance of mobile battery backup and charging in a few articles recently (see 10 Travel Photography Essentials and 10 Tips for Better Photography Conventions & Trade Shows), so I decided it was finally time to start taking my own advice. Let’s face it– “getting away from it all” sounds great in theory, but the reality is that most of the time we have to stay connected. And while location shooting, travel, trade shows, chasing down new business, and shuttling my kid from one activity to the next can all be fun and rewarding, they do tend to drain the life force out of phones, tablets, and laptops pretty quickly. While a car charger obviously helps, it doesn’t come anywhere close to solving the problem. That’s why I decided to try the Anker 2nd Generation Astro3 12000 mAh External Battery Charger. In a sleek- lightweight package only slightly bigger than my iPhone, this thing really packs a punch. [Read more...]
I’m not entirely sure, but it is quite possible that I witnessed a sign of the rapidly approaching Apocalypse this morning. There was no plague of locusts descending from the heavens. No fire. No brimstone. The earth continued rotating on its axis just fine. I’m sure nobody else even noticed. Regardless of its subtlety, it still came at me out of nowhere like a brick to the side of the head.
I don’t think there’s a whole lot of debate over the premise that Photoshop has become the gold standard in photo editing software. I’m pretty sure that my earliest use of Photoshop goes back to Version 3 or 4. Now deeply entrenched in CS6, I’ve decided to sit tight for a while. If I actually stopped to think about the relatively small percentage of PS’s full functionality that I actually use on a daily basis, I might also have to stop and ponder why I’m not still using an earlier version. Features have obviously evolved over Photoshop’s lifetime, but much of my workflow remains the same. So, in the absence of some huge development that I just can’t ignore, PSCS6 and I are doing just fine together for the time being. Also, while I see the potential benefits of The Cloud– immediate updates, etc.– there’s still a part of me that remains more than just a little pissed off about the new subscription format. There seems to be a new deal every time I turn around, and nobody seems capable of giving me a straight answer to the question of how much it costs when the discount period comes to an end.
It would seem that I’m not alone.
There’s nothing quite like a vacation, road trip, adventure, or combination of the three to get your creative juices flowing. Sometimes hitting the road is exactly what you need to get yourself out a creative rut. New surroundings– especially if they are outside your comfort zone– have a way of injecting your photography with the shot of adrenalin it’s been missing. When you’re planning these excursions, though, there are certain essentials you need to pack– items designed to protect your gear and images, while making sure that your shot of adrenalin isn’t wasted.
If you were here on Monday and I bored you half to death with my tips for improving your tax situation for the coming year, get ready for the other half. I know that nobody actually likes to think about this stuff. We’d all much rather learn how to make a kickass softbox with a box of matches, a flashlight, and a roll of toilet paper. Eventually, though, taking charge of your photography’s financial well-being becomes one of those cross-roads moments. Might as well rip that bandage off and grab the bull by the horns.
For those of you keeping score, that was three metaphors in a single paragraph. The bottom line? Just do it.
It’s that time of year again. The annual humiliation. Taking financial stock of the past 52 weeks in a feeble attempt to hold onto as much of my hard-earned cash as humanly possible. The accountant might as well be dressed as the Grim Reaper. The list of things I wish I was doing, rather than getting ready for the tax man, is long enough to make Santa’s look like a grocery list.
Hopefully, you had a successful year. Business is not only steady, but growing. You’re organized and keep good records. Unfortunately, the artist in many of us often takes the lead. That can be a good thing for your photography, but not so much when it comes to paying the piper. While it may be too late to improve your tax position for 2013, there are things you can do to help make sure that you’re much better off a year from now.
It’s that time of year again– when the ghost of a martyred, 3rd-century Catholic priest looks down upon us, whispering the 11th Commandment into our collective romantic consciousness.
“Thou shalt mark this day with greeting cards, heart-shaped boxes of candy, and the perfect gift for that special someone. Or else!”
One of the things that I try getting across to my students is that despite all of its amazing capabilities, the camera is just a box. Yes, it is programmed with a seemingly limitless number of exposure combinations, but when all is said and done it’s just a box. It has no artistic intent. We have to speak its language, telling it what we see, in hopes that the image in our head matches the image in the box. It is a box with a cylindrical window on the world. It’s the quality of that window that is often the subject of raging debate. Nikon or Canon? OEM or third party? Everyone has an opinion. Interestingly enough, the one thing that many– if not most– agree upon is that kit lenses should be avoided like the plague.
I completely disagree. I say go dig that kit lens out of wherever you’ve hidden it and put it to work. For those of you who’ve somehow been convinced that your photography can’t possibly be of adequate quality until you drop money you don’t have on a lens you can’t afford, I say that nothing could be farther from the truth.
The sound was a combination of high-pitched whine and intermittent clicking, with just a hint of angels and puppies crying in the background. My external hard drive was singing its swan song. Still in what should have been the prime of its life, my trusted backup drive was being taken from me– a victim of an insidious digital disease that attacks without warning or reason.
A little over the top?
In any event, as I was backing everything up to the new replacement, I found myself going through and taking the time to look at photos I’d not seen in a long time. Before I knew it, I was going through virtually every image in almost every folder, realizing that I should have done this a long time ago.
When I was still practicing law a lifetime or two ago, some of my colleagues and I used to say that the practice of law would be so much more enjoyable without the damn clients. Obviously this was just a form of letting off steam when dealing with a problem client– usually accompanied by copious amounts of bourbon. When I made the jump to photography ten years ago, It didn’t take long for me to learn that the same maxim held “true,” regardless of whether I was carrying a brief case or a camera bag. It appears that problem clients are everywhere.
Even in the mirror, if you’re not careful.
Let me explain.