Where to make a living in photography in the digital age ??

Do it as a dedicated professional, catering to the segments of the market which value our craft.

Monkeys do evolve, and so must professional photographers.

The niche at the high end of professional photography has been getting harder and harder to reach, in many ways…

Due to the influx of part timers and iPhone and Android photographers, there have been fewer and fewer jobs out there for the true dedicated professionals.

It’s become harder just to gain the experience to arrive as a professional.

It’s been getting harder to approach clients who value photography.

With the evolution of technology, in terms of gear, software, printers, and deluge of images both ho hum and OMG good, it is harder to impossible to achieve that level at which one may rest on ones laurels.

And yet, there is always room at the top.

Some people at the top still value professional photography.

This said, the middle and bottom are and have been gutted.

An influx of people, many of them very talented amateur photographers, many with limited business experience, many faced by a pool full of big, small and very hungry fish, are giving away the farm.

With no farm, the crop of customers has been dying out…

Ever try joining those spam sites for people who desire family photos for $100?

Some are so spamy, once you join and they have your email, try opting out… Good luck.

Why get a wedding for $5,000 when you can get one for $500 from cousin Bob?

Why pay $2,000 for a boudoir shoot, when Aunt Jen will shoot it for $300?

Why pay anything at all, when you can Continue reading

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Recent Firmware Update Fix for D-Link 655 Wireless Router and Galaxy S-4 (T-Mobile) compatibility issues

There is a fix to the D-Link 655 N wireless router and Samsung Galaxy S-4 compatibility issues…

On a  recent upgrade of my Galaxy S to a Samsung Galaxy S-4, to help with various presentations of my photography to clients and prospects, I ran into significant networking issues..  Both wired and unwired.

Instead of an iPad or similar, I use the Galaxy’s fairly large bright screen and handy pocket size to be able to make presentations on the fly…. I also use it to make phone calls…

This was put at risk almost immediate  Router Crashes with the D-Link N+ 655 that happened as soon as I started using the Galaxy S4, and required a router reboot.. and only worked for a few mins there after…

Turns out it was a know issue… Don’t believe me?  Google it… I did.

Continue reading

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Panoramas for Google Maps

Been busy getting precertified for taking panos for use in Google Maps…

Pretty tricky stuff, lots of it under NDA… So I cannot tell you how I do it…

It is pretty cool thou…

Here is a pano tour I did for a local business:

View Larger Map

To use it, just click and drag around each pano frame… or use the navigation chevrons to move from pano to pano.

What’s not to love, right?

As you can see, the tours are fully imbeddable into ones site.

The shots were taken using a Canon EOS 20D 8.2MP Digital SLR, of all things…


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Learning my Canon Mark III and these video tutorials at Canon USA really help

Took some searching and here they are.

Canon has made a slew of video tutorials on how to use the Canon 5D Mark III.

The folks at Canon helped me to find them.  But it still took some searching to find them again on my own, so I thought I’d book mark the tutorials here.

Cameras being so visual, nothing like a quick video to help learn a new system.

Find them Continue reading

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D7100 24.1 Megapixel Nikon DSLR in DX format announced and available for preorders

Nikon D7100 DSLR, 24.1 Megapixels, 24 Megapixels

Nikon D7100 DSLR

Adorama and Amazon are taking preorders for the 24.1 Megapixel (MP) D7100 for $1,196.95. These are scheduled to go into full release and ship as they become available from Nikon on a rumored release date of March 21, 2013.

From what I can glean from the tech specs on the Nikonusa tech specs, the D7100 seems like a Nikon D7000 platform using a Nikon D5200 sensor at 6,000 x 4,000 pixels and 24.1 MP.

In addition to the standard D7000 feature set, the D7100 seems to include a further 1.3x crop mode at 4,800 x 3,200 pixels (13.5 MP) and maybe one or two other nice Continue reading

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You buy on eBay? Well, they are hiding the feedback some more !!!

How eBay feedback system hides poor buyers and sellers

Notice the 100% Feedback Rating. And the 75% feedback as seller, nicely hidden in the details. (Click to view full size)

Okay, eBay is still used for some purchases and sales… But, it keeps getting dicier and dicier.

Aside from the fees and other expenses… The feedback used to mean something.

A seller used to be able to control to whom they sold.

A buyer, or seller were able to leave feedback, including bad feedback, easily.  It is almost impossible to leave bad feedback on eBay these days.

So, this means less about the value of good feedback.  The 100% positive feedback here it turns out is quite a bit less.

How much less?

Ever look at the feedback details Continue reading

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Switching to Canon 5D Mark III from Nikon D800 and D7000 – Unhappy with Nikon Low Light Mid Range Pro Camera Offering…

Nikon’s D800 is an excellent camera for still life or landscapes.  I’m switching to the Canon 5D Mark III.

While I love the D800‘s on body pro control features, I prefer DX (APS-C) formats, and do shoot my D800 in APS-C mode, even with full frame glass.  There is currently no Nikon body offering which I feel addresses my shooting requirement.  I feel there are many pro and perhaps uneducated pro-am shooters not well served by Nikon’s lens and body offerings.

My backup camera is currently  the DX Nikon D7000.  Love this body… which is getting long in the tooth.  I’m looking for a DX camera body with control features like the D800.

Or, even a full frame FX like the Nikon D600, with the D800 control features.  The D600, while possessing a superior (IMHO) sensor to the D800, has dumbed down control features.

Nikon hasn’t undated the  D300s…. This leaves Canon’s 5D Mark III, currently Amazon’s 5th best-selling DSLR body.  No surprise to me now…

What’s so nice about the 5D Mark III (aka 5D3) ?

I’m a 35 plus year Nikon shooter, switching to the Canon side… What would make me leave the Nikon fold?  Nikon has left me with no great choice for a body with the 16-24M Pixel resolution I prefer with great on camera pro control features and great high ISO/Low Light performance.

The Canon 5D3 can be bought for a bit over $3,000 new, or a bit over $2,000 used…  That puts in on price parity with the Nikon D800…

And, the 5D3 has fast auto- Continue reading

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‘In Character: Actors Acting’ by Photographer Howard Schatz – A Book Review

Book Review, Foreward by Roger Ebert, Howard Schatz, Howard Schatz Photographer, In Character: Actors Acting, Robert Klein, Kelsey Grammer, Don Cheadle, Edie Falco, Rosie Perez, Stage Actors, Screen Actors, Hollywood Actors, Front Cover In Character: Actors Acting” © 2006 by Photographer Howard Schatz is a great book of some technically very poor photography…

How great is this book?

If you are a photographer of people, if you don’t own this book, you should consider at least reading it at your local library.

Why read a book on photography of technically very poor photography?

First of all, Schatz is a Continue reading

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Sigma 8-16mm Ultra Wide Angle Lens on Nikon D800 in DX mode for Fashion Shoot … Works Great !!

Nikon D800 in DX mode, Sigma 8-16mm for Nikon, Sigma crop sensor on Nikon FX camera in DX mode, Fashion photography with Nikon D800 and Sigma 8-16mm

Nikon D800, Sigma 8-16mm @ 8mm f/11, ISO 1600.  Click image for larger view.

The Nikon D800 full sized (FX) sensor body takes images which for my purposes generally have far too many megapixels.

Fortunately,  the D800 can be used in crop sensor APS-C  or DX mode.

Unfortunately, there is currently no pro or semi pro Nikon body which can match the D800 in DX mode performance.  If you like to shoot in DX mode, the D800 is best choice… for low frame rate shooting…

Today, I gave the D800 a run at a fashion model in DX mode with  Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM FLD AF Ultra Wide Zoom Lens for APS-C sized Nikon DSLR’s attached.

As you can see, the image pops.  I much prefer my results on the D800 in DX mode with the Sigma 8-16, to the D800 in FX mode with the Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 II DG HSM.

Click here to see some pixel peeks of a direct comparison of these lenses.

View a larger version of the image by clicking here.

Seen full size, the whole image is very Continue reading

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Ultra Wide Zooms for Nikon DSLRs by Sigma and Tokina Tested and Reviewed Sigma 8-16mm, Sigma 12-24mm Version II and Tokina 11-16mm on Nikon D800

Review, Versus, Compared, Performance, Image, Picture,  Case, Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 EX DG IF HSM Aspherical Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens for Nikon SLR Cameras (Top) and   Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 AF II DG HSM Lens for Nikon Digital SLRs (Bottom)

Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 EX DG IF HSM Aspherical Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens for Nikon SLR Cameras (Top) and Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 AF II DG HSM Lens for Nikon Digital SLRs and their cases(Bottom).

I have been and have not given up on being a crop sensor (DX) shooter.  However, I recently acquired a Nikon D800 full sized (FX) sensor body and have been experimenting with it.

Being a shooter who likes to go wide, I am experimenting with wide angle options.  Not having given up on DX … I’m trying out DX vs FX ultra wide angle options before committing in any direction.  These lenses can be pricey and can be sharp or not so sharp…

Why did I, a DX guy,  buy the FX D800?

It was in Continue reading

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Problems Running PS CS6 with Dell XPS 8500 i7 Intel Quad Core Windows 8

I bought a Dell XPS 8500 Desktop, Intel® Core™ i7-3770 3.4GHz, running Windows 8 PRO.

It was configured as a really hot machine to run Photoshop CS6… which was choking on my  two-year old Windows 7 HP machine after I upgraded to the Nikon D800 and its 36 Mega Pixel files.  A Photoshop PSD file grew from about 200 MB typical with a Nikon D7000 16 Megapixel file to about 1 Giga Byte typical with the D800 files… Just a save operation took maybe 30 seconds…  So, I considered upgrading…

This was a built to order standard configuration Dell.  That is, it was a standard choice, I could buy, but was built and shipped after order.

The monitor and system came separately.

Full machine configuration is further down in article.

For a few days, I had the joys of using two monitors on my system.   Addicted.  Don’t know how I ever made do with only one monitor all these years.  Better living through technology now.

Dell?  They shipped the system without a Continue reading

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What is Nikon doing for Pro DX and for a Pro Sub 20 Mega Pixel FX Camera?

Bought a Nikon D800 used for cheap… and now have to spend a ton on FX lenses in the wide to medium focal lengths… and am not happy…

The 36 Megabyte files are too big for most portraits which most folks like for their web sites…

12-18M seems a very sweet spot for web use images, which more and more clients are demanding.

Why did I buy the D800?

Cause it was only $2300 used in great shape… But… It requires a faster computer and longer wait times for processing EVERYTHING. Why was it only $2300? Because the pro who bought it couldn’t justify the price of ownership when his clients wanted a 50-200 Kilo byte JPG for their Facebook photos…

I really like a number of the pro features and high ISO capability of the D800.

Thing is… for what most of us produce most of the time… we do not require more megapixels.

What we do like and need is less noise, faster Continue reading

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Using Portrait Professional Version 11 along with Photoshop to edit a glamour or beauty head shot


Portrait Professional 11, Photoshop CS5, Post Processing, Beauty Editing, Glamour Editing, Nikon D90

After Portrait Professional 11 and Photoshop Post Processing, Nikon 105mm 2.8D AF Micro, f/25 1/160 sec, ISO 200, AB800 with 86″ Parabolic Soft Box for fill

Portrait Professional Version 11 is quite a significant upgrade to this useful program.

While Portrait Professional 10 was a useful program.  It did not really excel at face recognition.  One was required to place all the face points individually.

Any misplacement of facial points required going back to the drawing board with the program.

Version 11  Continue reading

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