Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring In Munich

April has a way of bringing back wonderful memories of travelling to Europe a number of times over the last 10 years. Spring is so beautiful there. Ever since I was a student in Amsterdam I have felt a special attachment to Europe. I'm not sure I could live there again, but it is always in the back of my mind that I'd like to give it a try. The above photo is from a wide shopping lane in Munich, Germany.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Workshop On Monday

It'll be uncharted territory on Monday when Bill Clark and I conduct our "Social Networking For Photographers" workshop at his studio in Minnetonka. Although I've made plenty of short presentations for our BNI chapter I haven't done anything quite like this before. I have prepared numerous screen shots and gathered a whole lot of printed info but I am still a little bit apprehensive about keeping everyone on track for a number of hours. Luckily, much of our time will be a hands-on segment where we will be assisting each of our attendees with their particular web networking venues. For me, this is the "acid test" to see if I should consider teaching social media networking in the future.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Print Your Pictures

When I was about 13 years old I found a roll of 220 roll film in a drawer at my grandparents house. I asked my grandmother if I could process the roll in my darkroom, and she said that would be fine as she had no idea what could possibly be on it. To my suprise it contained priceless baby pictures - of me!

Important family heirlooms can easily disappear if they are not handled properly. This is more true today than at any other time in history. The digital rennaisance has made it so easy to capture and display images electronically that we often forget to make paper prints of the special faces and moments in our lives. How much of your old music library is contained on 8-track or cassette tapes. If you have any sitting around they are probably collecting dust since most of us do not have equipment to play them on. I have precious recordings of my son's early words and others of my dad sending greetings when I studied in Europe, but they are archived on reel to reel audio tape. They may very well never be heard again and that is a shame. If you are leaving images on cell phones or media cards remember why you took those photos in the first place. A print is the best way to be sure your artwork can be passed on to future generations.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Model Session With Annie

Tonight J&K Creative! had a fun and very energetic model photo session with Annie. She brings so much excitement and energy to her work. We really look forward to having her back soon!

So many awesome images that I hardly know where to start.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Using Gels In The Studio

Today I'm setting up a model session in the studio that involves a quick way to change background colors - gels! All three of the samples shown here were taken on a medium (18%) grey seamless paper background. The positioning of the background light (the one with the gel) needs to be done in such a way that the color does not spill onto the model. This is true whether the light is coming from a low or high angle. The key light, in this case a medium sized softbox should be tilted down about 45 degrees and feathered toward the camera so it does not light the background. Set up a low reflector on the opposite side (for fill light) aiming up toward the key light and you should have most of the pieces in place. Like most recipes, flavor to taste.
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Monday, March 15, 2010

Solving a puzzle today

Double posting in Facebook has been a problem I'd love to solve. What I want to do is post to my blog and have it appear in Twitter and Facebook. I do not want to have Twitter send it to Facebook! Google access can be activated or deactivated. I'm afraid it stops the Twitter posts in both directions. So far I haven't figured it out.

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Nikon Shutter Actuations

When I look back over the last few years I "shutter" to think of how many images I've made with my D200. Covering assignments like dance competitions or hockey tournaments will have a shutter clicking away like a popcorn popper. Even though Nikon assures us that a shutter will hold up to over 100,000 actuations one tends to worry about just how many pics we've taken and how much longer we can be confident in our camera's reliability.

Recently I decided to purchase a second D200 used body. I knew it was coming from a reliable source and for the price, didn't worry too much about activations. However, I was still curious. Well, leave it to info I found on my favorite website (Although I am a member, you don't need to be to read the boards) I found out how easy it is to check your camera's total frames shot.

Visit and have the page analyze your EXIF information. You'll find more details than you think you maybe ever want to know about your camera by uploading a recent image.

My results were interesting. My first D200 had 67,336 actuations and the one I recently purchased had 17,201.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Portrait Album Viewer

I'm still practicing with my newly discovered album builder. Here is a collection of portraits that have been sitting in a file for awhile. Since they were formatted for a book it was pretty easy to resize. Only snag is that you have to be able to produce a multi-page PDF file. I used Acrobat.
Click the center of the viewer to see it's real power!

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It's Time For Creativity Spring Cleaning

Photographers that happen to live in the snow belt northern states tend to have one thing in common. We hibernate. And when that first indicator of spring comes (the State hockey tournament) we start to get that itch to get a fresth start on the senior and wedding season. The trick is to figure out where to start as the job is too big to imagine all at once. Since you are sitting here in front of the computer, that might be a good place to start. Get out the cleaning cloths, dusters and squirt bottles and give that cpu, keyboard and monitor a good wipe down. If you really want to see something interesting open your cpu and check for dust. You WILL find dust. Next look to the left and right of your monitor. All those loose papers need to be filed or thrown. Now expand that circle and soon your office or studio will be ready for all those shiny faces lining up to have you make them superstars!

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Wedding Album Viewer

Today I worked on a way to show potential clients a sample of our custom designed wedding albums.

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Remote Photography

This weekend I had a chance to use the new little remote triggering device for my D2oo. It is an inexpensive way to trigger wirelessly from up to 100 feet. I can see that nature photography takes a lot of patience!

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Tulips are a sure sign of spring!

Just as I thought I couldn't take any more days of cold and snow a little glimmer of hope arrived. Tulips started appearing for sale at our local grocery store. As I posted earlier, Kathy brought home a few bunches last week and they brightened up our kitchen for days. We really started getting ready to hear the crack of the bat, or the sound of a distant lawn mower or kids playing in the park. This has been one of the toughest winters ever for me and I am thankful it's nearly over.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Collioure, France

I was backing up some files today and checking them with a second DVD drive. This one was selected at random and I had never printed it before so I thought I'd work it up quickly in Corel.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Corel Painter Moment

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