How I Choose a Photograph

If you read last week’s post you would know that I have a bunch of projects in the making. A large part of my job is editing the thousands of images that are attached to any one project. Choosing the right photograph from a scene or a series of scenes that are all related can be the make or break to getting an image published or more importantly a happy client. Typical day shoots for me will produce anywhere from 1000 to 3000 images. Some of these could be a series of images created from a motor drive sequence, while others could be entirely different compositions with entirely different stories attached. So how do I choose a photograph? And how do I complete this crazy editing task efficiently enough to feel like the editing process isn’t a complete and total burden?

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3 Creative Tactics for Better Photos

As photographers, we are always on the quest for what I call “Optimal Light”; you know, that beautiful light that hangs on the margins of the day – sunrise/sunset. But what if that light was non-existent on the only day you had the opportunity to head out and photograph? Are there any creative tactics for you to use to produce better photos when things aren’t happening the way you truly want them to? Here are three creative tactics that I use when everything else is failing.

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3 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Subject Before You Pull the Trigger

In May of 2013, the sheer volume of images getting pushed to social media was staggering. The online photography forum Petapixel cited a 60 second video from another online community (BuzzFeed) that highlighted the numbers of what is getting published to the web every 60 seconds. It is completely overwhelming to know that 27,800 images were being uploaded to Instagram every 60 seconds, Facebook received 208,300 uploads in the same timeframe, giving them 9 billion uploads every month! Are you getting the cold sweats yet?

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Time for a Little Neutral Density Filtration Break

I have taken you into the realm of fixing your photos that suck. Suggested you to ‘f’ the rule of thirds, even told you that HDR is not for me. Now it is time for a little filtration. Time to discuss what I use in the field to balance my images for a lot of the lighting scenarios that many believe Photoshop is the holy grail of fixes for – time for some neutral density filtration.

On our workshops and tours, we get a ton of questions about using neutral density filters. And while there are something shy of a bazillion of these filters available, we are going to discuss three basic categories of Neutral Density filters: Circular Neutral Density filters, Variable Neutral Density filters, and Graduated Neutral Density filters. We will also discuss some of the subsets within these categories, and mention some of the manufacturers of the most popular styles.

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‘F’ the Rule of Thirds

“You learn a lot of things on the way to 500. None more important than this… ~ The Knockaround Guys.

The rule of thirds is probably the first and quite possibly the most popular compositional tool out there for photography. I don’t really know anyone who hasn’t started to become a decent photographer who hasn’t followed it, but like Vin Diesel said in The Knockaround Guys, “You learn a lot of things on the way to 500.”

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What to Do When Your Photos Suck

You may find this hard to believe, but there are times when every photographer struggles with what to do when their photos suck. I struggle with it, Art Wolfe struggles with it, and you can even bet early photographers like Ansel Adams and Henri Cartier-Bresson struggled with it. The difference here is that pros typically take so many photos that the bad ones just get tossed into the trash can. These days, that’s a virtual one found on our desktops. We don’t dwell on it, because frankly, we don’t have time. 

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This is Why You Need to Use Lightroom

Use Lightroom because it is a non-destructive, importing, cataloging, processing, exporting, and sharing software designed as an all-inclusive platform specifically for photographers who need photo and video imaging control. It is completely integrated with most of Adobe’s additional software packages specifically, but not exclusively limited to/with Photoshop. Phew! With those two statements alone you can already begin to understand the power of this program. It allows me, the stand alone photographer, to run a photography business without the need for an army of other people managing my office and images for success. Thus, I realize more of the profits while I attempt to work less, unlike many of those whom I compete against.

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5 Reasons to Reject an Image

With the age of digital photography now becoming a mainstream part of society, how do you decide what photos are good to keep and what ones should be thrown in the trash? While we need reasons to reject an image, we don’t necessarily want to form a hypothesis of rules. If you ever take a workshop with me you will quickly realize that I choose to disregard rules in almost every aspect of my life and my photography. And I believe that creativity cannot be contained within a set of rules.

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Open

With the announcement of our new website last week, I discussed changing directions. About taking your current status quo and trying to explore new avenues with your photography. Wonderful, right? There is a catch here though, and that is becoming open to the change. You can decide to go for it, decide you can make images in another discipline, but the bottom line is, regardless of your decision, you are going to need to become much more aware of your current surroundings in order to achieve it. And in reality, it’s not even about awareness, but a conscious effort or training even.

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