Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Video Camera Formats

There are 5 main formats of video cameras currently being used and/or produced. Here, we will explain a little bit about each of those types.

1. Mini DV (digital video)
This uses small video cassettes to record. Mini dv is the industry standard for professional videography. They can record high quality and offer easy editing ability. The ability to connect to a computer via IEEE1394 connection (firewire) offers video transfer without a loss in quality. The tapes can then be saved so there is no concern with deleting files from a crowded hard drive as they can just be uploaded again later. Mini dv cameras are available with single and three CCD (charge coupled device) sensors. A three CCD sensor provides a more professional look to your finished video but a single CCD is much more economical. A couple of disadvantages of mini dv are: upload time, and the cost of the player. Mini dv tapes upload in real time, so if you have an hour of footage, it will take an hour to upload to your hard drive. A mini dv player is additionally needed if you upload a lot of recordings. If you use your camera to play back the tapes while uploading, this will eventually cause wear to your video heads. Frequent use requires a mini dv player for uploading to save the heads in your camera. The pros do far outweigh the cons for this format however. If you are serious about video or plan to do a lot of filming, I think mini dv is the way to go. (KEH.com has multiple Canon models (GL1, GL2, XL1, XL2), and one Sony model in stock.)

2. DVD-R
This type of camera records directly to a DVD-R for easy playback on most DVD players. This is a very convenient method of filming but it does not allow for any editing later and the recording time is limited with higher quality modes. If you are a casual shooter just looking for convenience and not a lot of control, this may be the route for you. The quality is not as high as with mini dv cameras, but the ease of having a finished product as soon as you hit stop may be all you need. (KEH.com has one Canon model in stock, DC330).

3. Hard Drive
This camera has a hard drive built into it, to record directly on to. There is no need for tapes, memory cards or DVDs. These cameras are becoming more and more popular and are starting to be made with three CCD sensors which makes them even more desirable. Of course, a 3 CCD hard drive camera is going to be much more expensive than a similar mini dv camera. Your only real recording limitation is the size of the camera’s hard drive; the more space available, the more recording you and do. A hard drive camera will connect to your computer via USB, and the files can be easily copied over to your computer’s hard drive for editing. The transfer time is much quicker than with a mini dv. However, some video compression will occur which can affect video quality. Overall, this is a decent choice for serious videographers. The quality is still going to be a bit better with mini dv, but if you don’t mind sacrificing the slight difference in quality for ease of use, this option could work for you. (KEH.com has one Sony HDR-CX12 in stock).

4. Flash Memory
Flash memory cameras are very similar to hard drive cameras except that they record on to an SD memory card. These recordings will be much more compressed because of the size of these cards and will cause a big reduction in video quality. However, these cameras are typically much more compact and rugged, making them easy to transport and kid friendly. The ability to edit is not lost with this camera either. So, if you don’t mind average video quality and need portability, this is a great option to consider. (An example of a Flash memory video camera is The Flip.)

5. Digital SLR
Some new digital SLR cameras are now adding a video feature. It is only found in the models with the live view feature. Hollywood is taking notice of this and has started using these for the filming of movies and TV shows. Not all of the models are going to be suited for those purposes, but they all offer pretty good quality. As of right now, it looks like the Canon 5D Mark II is the leader of the pack as far as quality goes but the Nikon D300s and the Canon 7D are pretty good also. The only real drawbacks to this format is recording time and focusing. You can only focus these in manual mode. There is currently no auto-focus for digital SLR video. This can make tracking a subject more difficult. The recording time is limited to the amount of time the shutter can remain open, and the size of the memory card being used. For example, the 5D Mark II can record up to 4GB per clip. This equals out to about 12 minutes of high definition or 24 minutes of standard definition video. A lot of professionals are starting to go the DSLR route for their video needs now. If you are filming something that can be done in segments, this is a great choice. It probably isn’t the best option for a baseball or softball game but it is great for movies, documentaries, or other quick scene films. The quality is great and the upload time is short. (Some models included that have video are: Canon 7D, 60D, 5D Mark II, Rebel T1i, T2i, T3i, T3. Find a Canon model in stock here. Nikon D90, D300s, D3100, D5000, D7000, D3s. Find a Nikon model in stock here.)


- Katie Conner

Monday, March 28, 2011

Designing Albums

Today's guest post comes from Shauna O'Brien (Mooney as of this coming weekend- congrats Shauna!), who is a photography album designer. She offers tips, references, and options to consider when designing photo albums for your clients (or when outsourcing them).


I started designing albums during my time working for a photography studio, when I happened to mention my Photoshop skills and interest in doing album design. Through trial and error, plus seeking inspiration and tutorials on the web (this site is fantastic), I was able to create great storybooks for weddings. Albums can be a great source of income for you and an opportunity to provide even more value for your clients. The opportunities are not just in wedding photography either. Senior portraits, family sessions, boudoir, glamour, travel, and fine art projects are all fair game- basically any kind of images can be put into an album. And if you're one of those photographers averse to designing your own albums, or if you would just rather be taking photos, then it's one of those tasks you can outsource.

Ask around, who do your friends use for their design? Some may use companies like Revolution which have a streamlined the process to send pictures, add a description, and make a few artistic choices before they create a design for you. The benefit is the price point, and multiple designers to create any particular look or style. They even work directly with album production companies like Azura Albums whose product is (in my opinion) the very best. A privately hired designer will be familiar with your images and style, can often accommodate special requests, and will send you the final PSD files to edit as necessary. Or, you can even have your designer work with the clients directly to edit.

Editing is a huge part of the process that can be painful for some folks. Changes to the album design can be done through a series of emails, through the phone or Skype sessions, in person at your studio, or the best option I have found so far: Album Exposure. This great program not only gives you a classy and simple way to share your albums with clients, but they can also easily add their comments directly on each spread. It isn't confusing-- it looks just like a book (thus negating the whole "single page" versus "left-right spread" issue) and you aren't toggling between email, album preview, and editing software to do your editing.













Another part of editing is photo choices. Some photographers will ask the Bride and Groom to choose "all the photos they want included" which can be overwhelming. They love all of their wedding pictures, and have no clue that 547 pictures can't be squished into a 10-spread book! A designer can take care of this, by pre-designing a book with their expert skills in selecting images. When I design wedding albums, I try to create a book that tells the story through events and emotion, as opposed to showcasing too many portrait images. There is also a matter of balance--include a little bit from each part of the day: Preparations, the ceremony, portrait sessions, the reception with all of the toasts, tosses, and dances. The goal is to artfully place a few pictures per spread (usually more than 5 starts to look too "busy"), suggest when certain images may be better served as framed 5x7's (posed pics with mom and dad) and assure them that they are making a great investment to showcase their memories, especially if they have to purchase more pages than they originally intended (to fit all 547 pictures in).

Portrait books can be a little more difficult, because there isn't a storyline to thread throughout the book. Your goal is to minimize repetition. For instance, a senior album should have a good range of different poses and outfits-- choose a few of each, rather than an unbalanced collection of 32 "red shirt" pictures and only 4 of the blue. Additionally, you should take style into consideration- ie. what Photoshop actions you are running, what graphics (if any) you are incorporating, the depth of your layers, and the framing of smaller images. Consider your style, as you want your studio's albums to match the vibe of the images they are presenting. Consider your client's style, because they are the ones paying the big bucks for the book. And then consider the classic style, because let's face it, they're going to have this book forever, and they don't want it to appear dated (I'm looking at you, bride and groom in a brandy snifter).














About: Shauna is a graduate of The Savannah College of Art and Design, lives by the beach in Los Angeles, and has been working on albums nationwide for a few years now. She is currently deciding whether or not to take on the grueling task of designing an album for her own upcoming wedding. To contact Shauna, email her at: shaunamarieobrien@gmail.com

above album layouts © Shauna O'Brien

Friday, March 25, 2011

Auto Focus and Manual Focus Troubleshooting

There are multiple designs on lenses to switch from the auto focus function, to the manual focus function. You may see one of these designs (or similar) on your lens, regardless of brand or format. Some are more self explanatory, while a few are a bit trickier if you're unfamiliar.
The non-existent switch
Some lenses don't have a switch at all. In this case, the AF/MF is controlled by the camera focus function only. On film cameras this is usually (but not always) a switch located near the bottom of the lens mount. On digital, it is usually a button or a control in the cameras menu. (Note: The Nikon "G" lenses don't have a focus switch on the lens, but also does not have an aperture ring)

The manual/ auto focus switch
This is the most common type of AF/MF switch and is found on the side or front of a lens. A simple movement of the switch does the trick.


The manual/auto focus ring
This ring is mainly found on Nikon brand lenses and goes around the barrel of the lens. There is a locking button to the side of the marked M/A box that must be pressed in before the ring is turned to switch your focus function. These rings are more fragile than the "switch", and should be changed more gently as they tend to crack with use (if cracked, the rings can be replaced by our repair shop).


The locking collar
The focus ring on these lenses also acts as a locking collar for the AF/MF function. The collar needs to be pushed up, or pulled down to change the focus function. On most lenses, it's an easy push or pull. On some Tokina lenses however, the collar must be switched at one end of the focus scale or the other (infinity or the closest focus). If you have one of these lenses it's important not to force the collar if it isn't snapping into place.

Another thing to note about this type of function, is that sometimes the function is missed because the collar, when in MF, covers up the notations on the lens. So for example, in the photos above, when the lens is in AF mode, you see little notations for AF and MF. When it's in MF, you only see an M for MF and if you don't know to push the collar up to put it into AF, it can be quite confusing. On the Pentax and Mamiya medium format auto-focus lenses specifically, the notations don't even exist. (We get a lot of returns from customers that think these lenses aren't working or auto focusing simply because without a reference manual, it's tricky to know that this function is there and how it needs to be switched.)


More lens troubleshooting- other possible issues
There are a few other possible issues that your lens may have if it's not auto-focusing on your camera.
1- It's not compatible with your camera. (Read about digital lens compatibility here and here)
2- The contacts are dirty. (Read about cleaning contacts here)
3- Something is truly broken within the lens (electronics, loose wire, etc.)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Photos of the Week

This weeks theme is color landscape (ok, so maybe it turned into waterscapes...).
Photos submitted to the KEH Flickr group pool.

Here Comes the Sun...
Here Comes the Sun, by: John, HamWithCam

kemasik stones
kemasik stones, by: xazzz

Sandkey Park - Clearwater Beach - Florida
Sandkey Park (Clearwater Beach, Fl), by: diegOdariO Photography

Salem, Ma.
Salem, Ma., by: Brian Maryansky


Our next two themes will be: people and places.
Join our Flickr group and submit your photos here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

KEH Camera Contributors

Editors note: There's so much experience and expertise here at KEH that it would take an entire book to share it all. Everyone comes with different education and work experience in the industry, with different specialties and skills. Since we share mini bios on our contributing writers (outside of the company), but rarely get into details about who we as KEH employees are, I thought it was a good time to share a little bit about us. I asked our top 4 regular contributors to write a little something about themselves and their experience (and then was talked into writing a little bit about myself as well).

Dennis Rouse- My background started in the repair field in 1983. I had three years ('83-'86) of Tech School in Electronic/Video/Audio Repair. While in school, I got a job working for a TV Repair shop. With 3 years of experience, Minolta hired me to repair their photography equipment in 1987. I worked for Minolta for 5 years and various other camera repair shops for an additional 6 years (for a total of 14 years in repair). 

I changed to retail sales (of photography equipment) in 2000 to work for Wolf Camera. In my 5 years at Wolf, I was a Sales Associate for 2 years, Used Equipment Manager for 1 year (buying and selling used equipment), and 2 years as a Store Manager for 2 different stores.

I came to KEH in the Spring of 2005 to work in the Returns Department. For the past 16 months, I've worked as the Sales Manager here. Something that I'm constantly looking for is ways to improve KEH's relationship with it's customers.

Michael Reese- I have a Bachelor Of Fine Arts in photography and have been shooting professionally for over 15 years. After school, I immediately began teaching youth classes and continuing education in photography and art. I am well adept in the traditional realm of photography, but my passion lies within the fine arts of the craft. My interest is in doing work outside of the normal confines of conventional photography.
My multi-media and installation works are concept-based and explore social and humanistic concerns. The photographic image many times becomes a means to an end and only a part of a larger idea. I am a loyal Nikon user but am open to many types/brands of equipment including my cell phone camera as a way to express myself photographically. My other passions include music and writing, which are all interconnected into my overall creative process. 

I am constantly exhibiting my work and have been the recipient of a number of grants/awards from the N.E.A., City Of Atlanta Cultural Affairs, Atlanta Airport and MARTA to name a few.

Over the past 7 years working at KEH, I have been in a number of departments but am currently in Technical Support.

Patrick Douglas- I've been in the photography industry for over 20 years. My interest in photography started in high school in the late 80's, which is where I built my first pinhole camera. After that I was hooked! During college, I began entering local photography competitions and photographed my first wedding. At that point, I decided to pursue art school specifically. During this time I worked for Wolf Camera & Video while photographing weddings and portraits part-time. I graduated (in Commercial Photography) from The Art Institute of Atlanta in 1995 and received the award for "Best Portfolio" of my graduating class.

Today, I am still photographing and have expanded my areas of expertise to include: nature, families, high school seniors, corporate events, weddings, architecture, and have recently started dabbling in time-lapse. I have always used Canon equipment (with an occasional "flirt" with Pentax 645AF, Bronica ETRSi and a Yashica Mat 124G). I currently shoot with Canon DSLR's and a variety of flashes and lighting equipment.

I have been at KEH since last June, where I work in the Technical Support Department, which still allows me to dabble with my favorite toys—Cameras! I also enjoy traveling, spending time with my family, fishing, kayaking, and camping and hiking throughout the southeastern United States.

Arthur Z.- Like many of you, I started taking pictures as a child. At that time, it
didn't matter what I took pictures of, I just liked getting them back 10 days later to see if any came out. I got my first SLR camera when I was 14. At that time, my goal was to be a photojournalist. I worked for the school paper in high school, as well as freelancing for the local newspaper in my hometown. When it came time for college, I decided that I wanted to become a "real" photographer. I had equipment, limited experience, but needed knowledge, so I went to the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale for a year, and then transferred to The Art Institute of Atlanta to complete my photography degree.

After graduating, I started working for a portrait studio in Atlanta. Several years later, I moved up north and opened a camera shop. It was great- I sold cameras during the day, taught photography classes in the evening, and shot weddings on the weekends. After several years however, I moved back down to Atlanta where I came to work for Wolf Camera, first as a salesperson, then managing stores for them.

After leaving Wolf, I went to work for a local photographic equipment rental house. I was a buyer for them for a few years. During that time, I had also built up a video business doing weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, and family events on the weekends. One day, I got a phone call from my friend Ed, who was the VP of Wolf Camera when I worked there. He was now working for KEH, and told me that he wanted me to come to work for him. The rest is history. Fourteen years later, Ed still works here, and so do I.

I'm here Monday-Friday, 9am to 6pm, working in the sales department and will gladly enter your orders and answer any and all of your questions during that time. It's because of your continued loyalty to me over all these years that has helped me bring success to KEH.
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Jenn Fletcher- I became really interested in photography while attending an arts magnet high school where I took as many photography classes as possible. I dove head first into the medium and interned at a local daily newspaper where I won numerous national press awards, which only fueled my passion more and aided me in the decision to pursue photography in college.

I ended up at The Savannah College of Art and Design where I studied photography and printmaking. During one summer, I enrolled in a study abroad program that took me to study photography and art in the south of France. Shortly after graduating I dabbled in gallery curating, event planning, visual merchandising, retail/cafe management, and photography and writing for a monthly tattoo magazine.

I have been at KEH for a little over four years now and started the KEH Blog a little over a year ago. I work as a technician and run the daily operations of the blog as editor and writer, as well as running the other social media platforms for the company. 

Outside of KEH, I run my own photography business doing freelance writing for web and print publications, teach workshops, take portraits, and exhibit my personal photography work. Most recently, I had my first photography book published, and was named one of "The South's Greatest Photographers" by The South Magazine.

I'm a fan of traveling, furry animals, peanut butter, and decorating for holidays. And I'm not a fan of pickles, birds, or bad etiquette (don't forget to write your "thank you" notes!).
 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Camera Collecting

I have been drooling over John Kratz's camera collection for some time now and have asked him to share some information and tips with you on the process of collecting cameras. Kratz states, "I collect these cameras because I think each one stands out in its own way. Some may have been marvels of engineering. Some are just fun or silly, good for a laugh. Most of them, I think, are beautiful to look at - wonderful achievements in design. I don't use (most of) the old cameras, and some people consider that a crime, but hey, someone used them, and that doesn't mean they aren't loved... I love them!"

Tower Camflash 127
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People tend to look at me funny when I tell them I collect cameras, and I can't really blame them. After all, I've been living on this earth for well over 40 years and never gave a thought to vintage cameras until just a few years ago. Now I wonder how I could have missed them! Then again, I guess I never really had any exposure to most of them. My knowledge was limited to the common cameras that were available in my time - the Kodak Instamatics, the Polaroid SX-70s. Of course, I had seen TV shows with old-time photographers hidden under a cloth, exploding flash powder in hand, and black & white movies with press photographers popping out spent bulbs, but still never gave it any thought. Eventually, of course, I did begin to discover all of the amazing variations out there, and have become captivated by them. Similarly, the people who give me looks when I tell them I collect cameras usually go from being perplexed to being fascinated once they've actually seen some of them.
Kodak Happy Times Instant Camera

I began collecting in 2007. At that time, I was posting my own photos on Flickr and I discovered the "Through The Viewfinder" group there, where people use modern cameras to literally shoot through the viewfinders of vintage cameras. Once I saw those old cameras and started discovering the incredible variety of styles and designs, I was hooked. I just think it's so cool that the same basic device can range in design from a box with a hole in it to a precision-machined case filled with intricate mechanisms.
Brenda Starr camera box

Tips on collecting: First, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with all the different types of cameras that are out there.They come in many forms, and so there are several sub-categories which could serve as the focus of your collection. There are box cameras, folding cameras, rangefinders, SLRs, TLRs, toy cameras, subminiatures, and the list goes on. Also, many people collect cameras that are only made by a single manufacturer. It does help to have a specific focus for your collection, since it allows you to ignore anything that doesn't fit. Some collectors (myself included) will buy any camera that appeals to them, regardless of what type of camera it is or who made it. That's fine, but since there is a vast variety of vintage cameras out there, you can see just how much of an advantage it can be to collect with a specific emphasis.

Argus Lady Carefree
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Sabre "620"

By the time you've become acquainted with the huge variety of cameras that are out there, you're sure to have several on your wish list. Now you need to know where to get them.Vintage cameras can be found at antique stores, estate sales, auctions, online (Ebay, Etsy, etc.), and of course, at KEH.com.
Bell & Howell Filmo № 75

Technicolor Mark Ten

When searching for cameras on online auctions there are a few things to watch out for. First, it's generally a good idea to ignore the word "rare". Certainly, some cameras are indeed rare, but more often than not, that word is applied to cameras that are about as rare as a raindrop. Secondly, be aware that the average person has no idea what any given vintage camera is worth. People tend to think that if something is old, it must be valuable. Most of the time, that is not the case. I constantly see people asking ridiculously high prices for cameras that may be worth $5. So how do you know how much a camera should cost? Do your research! One of the best resources is McKeown's Price Guide to Antique & Classic Cameras (find a used version here). It has photos, descriptions, and values for tens of thousands of cameras, and is known as "the bible of camera collecting". The book doesn't come cheap, but it is worth the price. There are other camera price guides as well, though none as comprehensive as McKeown's. (Editors note: KEH also uses McKeown's as one of its research and pricing sources. Other factors that go into the flux of collectible pricing is economic factors, and supply and demand. The newest McKeown's guide is also 5-6 years old now). The values in price guides are usually pretty accurate as a guideline, but in the end, it really just comes down to what the buyer is willing to pay for a camera.

Batman Digital Camera

Photo Mission Action Man

So what role does condition play? Well, some collectors are mostly interested in how the cameras look, so cosmetic condition is more important to them than if the camera works. Others however, insist that a camera be fully functional. It really depends on the individual as to what is most important, as there is no exact guidelines to follow when collecting. As pricing goes however, a camera in working order and with good cosmetic condition (and all of it's original pieces) will always fetch a higher price. Also with anything you might collect, original boxes, paperwork, and accessories add to the value. Exactly how much it adds to the value depends on the individual camera. For example, an old Kodak Brownie box camera may have an original box with colorful characters on it, and that box is quite valuable just by itself. On the other hand, I have an old Brownie box camera from a few years later, and the original box for that camera is just a plain tan color with the name of the camera in plain black type. That box adds almost nothing to the value of the camera.

Indra Lux

About the writer/collector: John is a mechanical designer from New Jersey. There are currently around 200 cameras in his collection, and it is continuing to grow. To see more of John's personal camera collection, click here.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Interview: Marlo Herring

Today's interview is with photographer and digital photography technician Marlo Herring...Tell me a little about how you got into photography and where you're currently at in all of it?

I got into photography when I was twelve years old. From that point until now I read everything I could get my hands on that was photography related. I’m truly addicted to the photographic process, and will sell the farm to ensure that I can continue it. I was introduced to a commercial photographer when I was in the 11th grade and did some training with him. In college, I was the photo editor of the newspaper during my freshman year. During my second year in college is when epiphany struck and I met another commercial photographer that changed my entire scope of photography, and I’ve never been the same since. I trained under him and a few others. And although I have an art degree, that’s really what took my abilities, or at least my confidence, to a higher level. I have a deep understanding of the photographic process in its commercial form and its fine art form. I have shot for commercial clients as well as exhibitions throughout the years. I started out as a film photographer and made the transition to digital. Now, I seem to be moving backwards, only shooting digital when it’s necessary to meet a photographic goal quickly. Call me crazy, but if it’s personal or fine art, I prefer the process of film photography and a traditional wet darkroom.

As far as style, I’m still in self-discovery.I’ve tried my best to figure out what my style is, and I’m struggling. I’ve had others tell me what they think it is, but I’m still not quite sure.
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I understand you work for Turner Broadcasting / CNN. What are your responsibilities there?

Yes, I’m a digital photography technician for Turner, which embodies many roles. Some of my responsibilities include on-site client servicing with finalized imagery. This includes the use of Capture One, Photoshop, Photomechanic and countless other post production software programs in the industry. Much of what I do is related to the digital photography workflow and trafficking. I deal with a minimum of 10,000 images being sent through our internal and external systems. Explaining all of this may sound a bit abstract but it’s difficult to describe in words without actually being on site. My job presents many challenges and offers me the ability to problem solve in a variety of creative approaches.

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Why is Photography important to you?

To me, every photograph is like a mini time machine. It whizzes you to that exact moment in time and ignites a cosmic connection that your senses have to some deeper emotional place. Whether this is voluntary or involuntary, it still happens. We are all connected to some deeper source, and photography is a vessel to that connection. I’ve dedicated my life to this level of communication and tapping into that source. I have moments in the photography process where I feel like God has uncloaked him/herself.
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How would you liken photography to poetry or music?

In poetry, you’re using language to cleverly decipher. In music, you’re using notes to strike a chord in the emotional fabric of us all. In photography, you’re using light to make one moment last for a lifetime. I would say that all of these forms of communication are languages of the Gods (referencing Greek mythology). -->
What motivates you to do what you do?
I’m motivated because I can’t, and will never master photography, or myself, and the drive that I have to try to master both keeps me interested. Also, the more that I learn about photography, the more I understand about the world. Honestly though, it seems like the more that I discover, the more questions I have. I will never win this thing, and that’s what I like the most. I’m up for the challenge.

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Does the price of a camera matter in ways that it affects the artistic quality of the picture?

Absolutely not. You can make art with a disposable camera. In fact you make better pictures when you release yourself from the pitfalls of economic marketing. A camera can’t give you imagination. A person with imagination will run circles around a person with a fancy and expensive camera. They are just owners. Tools are important and great, but shouldn’t be a hindrance. Once you have a camera, you can make a picture. But that’s not art. The art is taking your thoughts and imagination and translating that into an image that communicates your message. Once you’ve mastered the technical aspects of how your camera works, then you can remove yourself from that and start to use the camera as an extension of your eye and heart to make images that inspire.
Do you think that a person must possess talent to capture emotion and expression in an image?
Lets make a quick comparison, because I could write a book about this question as I have very strong feelings about this that goes into a metaphysical context; but I wont go there. I will say this however... Everybody who studies Martial Arts wont be Bruce Lee. It’s about your dedication, practice, imagination, technical understanding, creativity, and aptitude.

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Do you think that society would be different if photography was never invented?
Human beings are very adaptive. If photography didn't exist, it would be something else that fulfilled this need. Since I’m partial to photography, I would love to believe that the world would come to an end if there was no such thing as photography.

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How do feel digital memory and the “endless roll” phenomenon has changed the industry?
On one hand, it’s given the true artist an unlimited and incredible palette. On the other hand, it has given the tech junkie more things to get distracted by. Maybe it’s not a bad thing because the true artist will always rise to the top, and the person that really wants to be a photographer but is so consumed by megapixels will just stay distracted. Those distractions are actually good for the true artist, because they can just blow past those stuck in the pit.
Photographers also aren’t just still guys anymore, but they aren’t just video guys either. The platform now is multi-layered and complex. You have to be able to take a still image, however you create it, and then publish it however you choose. So for me, that means shoot film and/or digital, make a video of my process, put a website and blog together, get some followers, develop some discussions, write about my thoughts, learn and teach others, and also develop a financial source and income for all of these things combined.


For more on Marlo Herring, watch an interview video with him here.

PS- At the time of posting, Marlo's website was unfortunately taken down to be worked on and is currently not available. If you'd like to view it at another time, you can bookmark the site at: www.marloherringphoto.com

all photos © Marlo Herring

- Michael Reese

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Making Your Photo Business Green

Today's guest post has two things in common with the holiday that is today, St. Patrick's Day. For one, we're talking about green things. And two, our guest contributor is Patrick Williams!


Patrick Williams is a photographer who is truly making a name for himself- not only with the impressive work that he does, his established client list, or his passion for life, but also by encouraging other photographers to implement green-friendly practices into what they do.

Over the past couple of years, Patrick has developed an initiative in his work to be an eco-friendly photographer. He has incorporated green and eco-friendly standards into everything he does. He reuses and recycles whenever possible, has replaced paper address and logo stickers with reusable polymer stamps, and has implemented the use of carbon neutral transportation to provide deliverable items to his clients.

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Today, we're going to talk specifically about labor and delivery (couriers, FedEx, or brown) services...
One of the things we have dealt with in our studio is the way we deliver our products. Not the packing, the materials, or any of the tangibles (that is whole different post!), but the actual service we use to send our products to our clients.
We are located in a metropolitan area, and business moves at the speed of light here. "How soon can I get the images?", "I need it yesterday", and "immediate turnaround" are phrases I literally hear every single day from our corporate clients.
Not so very long ago we were using couriers multiple times a week to satisfy the needs of our clients. One car making a special trip to pick up one package (often just a single DVD), to make another special trip to one destination the same day. When we started thinking about impact, we realized carbon output is at it's highest with a courier... costs were pretty ridiculous, too.
We started thinking about using UPS or FedEx ground for next day delivery - the drivers are out roaming around in the area, so less fuel is wasted for the pickup and delivery.
Then a low emission fluorescent light bulb went off - USPS drives by my mailbox every day, rain or shine! I can make labels online in my studio and stick my packages in the mailman's hand; no extra fuel at all! Mail it Priority Mail and it will usually go anywhere local in a day, for about $10-20 less than a courier.
Need more tracking and definite timely delivery? UPS also offers a carbon neutral delivery add-on now also. For just a few cents extra, your package delivery will be trackable AND carbon neutral.
So, it goes like this: when a shoot is booked, we briefly explain our impact initiative to clients when the topic of delivery comes up. We will courteously ask our clients if they actually have a deadline for the disc of images, or if they have a deadline for just the images (the impact is tied to the physical DVD).
Surprisingly, only 50% of the time will clients need the images immediately. In these cases, we handle requests for 'a couple' of images by email. When the client wants more than a couple, we post them on our server, send the client the log in information, and let them pull as many off as they want (which is faster than a courier, by the way). In both cases, we mail the high res DVD USPS Priority Mail or UPS carbon neutral.
40% of the time our clients don't have a deadline at all - they just have a conditioned response of 'immediately' when the topic of delivery is discussed. We mail the DVD USPS or UPS and sometimes (one out of five shoots?) have to send an image for a pop-up deadline before the disc is delivered.
For that 10% of time when a client simply has to have the *disc* of images immediately after the shoot - we will get a courier... Ok fine, I lied. I haven't ordered a courier in months! I am still waiting for that 10% that **really** needs the disc immediately.
When armed with the knowledge of 'why', and provided with a way to access the files, everyone is perfectly happy to pull what they need off the server and wait for the disc. They also love INSTANT access on the server.
For our studio, we had our IT guy build the PC server (sorry Mac) which gives us the ability to create web folders for clients and securely share files over the web. It is a Windows Server and cost us about $800 in materials and software to build the current 4TB version from scratch (expandable to 10TB with standard SATA drives). It is also the server that enables our employees to telework. If you don't have an IT guy, funds to build a server, or interest in anything PC, you can also look for a comparable Apple version, or try online sharing services like MegaShares, youSENDit, or SendThisFile.

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Bio: Patrick Williams is located in Atlanta, GA, and has a true passion for what he does at his photography studio, PWP Studio. He and his team capture special events for PWP Studio’s established client list, which includes the Georgia Aquarium, Wolfgang Puck Catering, KIA, Porsche, and many of the local Atlanta 'heavy-hitters'.
In 2005, Patrick helped to launch the first satellite chapter of Flashes of Hope, a nonprofit organization of award-winning photographers who photograph children fighting cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. The organization works to capture the beauty of these children, make them smile, and provides the children’s parents with a portrait that captures the bravery and dignity of their child. (We previously posted about Flashes of Hope and other photography charities, along with some words on the topic by Patrick here.)
PWP Studio website: http://www.pwpstudio.com/


photos © PWP Studio

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Alternative Camera Displays

When thinking about ways to display your camera collection, there's the typical methods of shelving it and casing it. But what about something different? Here's a few ideas...



Wall it
vintage camera display
Vintage Camera Display, by: Tim Melideo Photography


Repurpose it
Vintage Polaroid Land Camera Lamp, by: CE Cork Lighting Co.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Baby Shower Gift Idea

A cute gift idea for a baby on the way who has a parent that happens to be a photographer... a vintage Fisher Price toy camera! Even better, from one photographer to another, gift the camera with an IOU for a maternity shoot or a family photo shoot for when the baby is born.

F.P. made multiple models of these toy cameras over the years and they can typically be found in antique stores.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hungry for Cameras

Camera Cookies
Camera Cookies, by Creative Sun

camera cookies!
Camera Cookies, by Katie Blair Designs

Canon Camera Cookies, by Cookie Jan's Creations


Poloroid Camera Cake by Kandy Cakes
Polaroid Camera Cake, by Kandy Cakes

Leica Camera Birthday Cake
Leica Camera Birthday Cake, by Custom Cake Shop

Canon Camera Cake
Canon Camera Cake, by Quaint Cake