This week was the Season 2 debut of our live talk show, The Grid, and Joe McNally was in the studio to talk with Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski about copyright infringement.
Brad here, just wanting to share this video about the team from LensProToGo with you. I was going to stick it in the Pimpy Thursday post with everything else, but then I watched it. That’s when I decided it needed its own post, because, well… Just take three minutes and watch it, and you’ll see why.
If you’ve rented from LensProToGo before, you’ll love seeing the heart of the team behind the company. And if you haven’t, I would just about bet you’ll be looking for a reason to try them out after you watch this video :)
And make sure you check out their blog – LensProToGoBlog.com – for tips on photography, choosing lenses, interviews with photographers, cool videos, and all sorts of other great stuff!
EVERYONE NEEDS A HERO
For the last two weeks I had the distinct honor of being one of four photographers involved in judging the graduating class at a high-end photography school. The students pay 60K to learn and master the art of photography and come from all over the world. Before graduating each student must produce a twenty seven-image portfolio of his or her finest work. The student portfolios are judged by an outside panel of working photographers who judge each photographer on the merits of their work. During the judging process the students have their work critiques and receive helpful advice to guide them in the transition from student to working photographer.
By the end the judges worked with 160 students and viewed 4,320 images. Hopefully the lessons learned will last a lifetime for all involved. The two lessons that stand out the most to me are the importance of starting a portfolio, or website, with your most powerful image and finding the hero in your image. Starting your portfolio with the most powerful image is critical if you want to make a great impression with your work. You can never assume any potential client will look at all of your work.
Equally as important is finding the hero in your image. The hero element is the focus of your image and helps the viewer understand your reason for creating the photo. The hero element can be as simple as a great smile in a portrait or an intense stare in the portrait of the Mona Lisa. The image of the model show has the hero element focused on the hair but the hero can be complex, subliminal or screaming from the image.
Take the photo of Hillary Clinton taken during the mission to capture Osama Bin Laden. There are many people in this image, including President Obama but the hero in this image is actually Hillary. Take a good look at the focus of this image and her expression. Everything else in this image works to create this powerful moment but the photographer focused directly on Hillary and she is the hero or focus of this powerful image.
Who’s the hero of your images?
Today, start thinking about how you can make your images stronger by finding your hero. There are many ways to do this from using depth of field, to lighting to direction of your subjects when possible. For the landscape photographer the hero might be color, or shape but every image has a hero and from this day forward I hope you find your photo hero.
Hey gang, Brad here again, letting you know about the Season 2 premiere of our popular talk show, The Grid.
Tuesday, June 28 at 12:00 noon Eastern
Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski, and special guest Joe McNally
That’s right, we’ll have the one and only Joe McNally in the studio to help bring in the new season!
As always, you can join the discussion on Twitter with the hashtag #thegridlive, and in the live chat on the show page. Hope to see you there!
Hey gang, Brad here. You know the drill ;)
NAPP (The National Association of Photoshop Professionals) has a pretty sweet new referral program that’s just launched. You earn rewards for each of the first five people you refer and then some serious stuff for 10, 15 and 20 rewards. The prize for referring just one person is a $25 gift certificate to The Official NAPP Gear store! Check out all of the details here.
While you’re at the NAPP Member Site, make sure you check out the latest discounts from 500px ($10 off premium account), Adorama (10% off Gitzo and Induro tripods & heads), BlowIt Fans (10% off the new V2 fan), Tether Tools (free JerkStopper with purchase of Tether Table or Studio Vu), and more!
Check out the latest classes that have been added in the past week:
– Edgy Photography: From Photo Shoot to Photoshop with Calvin Hollywood
– Photoshop Elements 9 for Beginners with Larry Becker
Kelby Training Live
Here are the next dates for the Light It. Shoot It. Retouch It. Live! Tour with Scott Kelby:
– July 6 in Toronto, ON
– July 21 in Calgary, AB
– July 22 in Vancouver, BC
And check out our newest tour, The Art of Photo Painting with Fay Sirkis:
– July 29 in Washington, DC
– August 3 in Los Angeles, CA
St. Lucia Workshop with Joe McNally
Joe McNally is heading back to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia this August for his Advanced Flash Techniques in the Islands workshop! It’s held at the beautiful Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain resorts August 15-20. Head on over to Joe’s blog or the resort website for all the details. (Insider tip… Make sure you book at least one night at Jade Mountain. The place is AMAZING!!)
Lightroom Workshops with Rob Sylvan
Our buddy Rob Sylvan of Lightroomers is joining the Lightroom Workshops and teaching workshops in Providence, RI, Manchester, NH, Boston, MA, and Jacksonville, FL. Head over to Lightroomers.com to check out dates and all the details!
EXDR with Vincent Versace
Vincent Versace has released the third installment of his Welcome To Oz 2.0 series, EXDR: Extending The Dynamic Range of Focus! In this new lesson, Vincent shows how to use his popular image harvesting technique from a different point of view in regards to focus, blur, and image structure to get the most out of your photography. Click here for all the details!
That’s it for today. Have a great Thursday!
Introductions are in order…
I am Pete Collins…”The New Photoshop Guy,” or, as I am called around the office, “Monkey Boy.” I have done a bunch of stuff in the past… from surviving cancer, teaching tennis, competing in Disc Golf tournaments in the U.S. and overseas as well as living in Bangkok, Thailand for over 6 years. I have a Fine Arts degree and I have been a graphic designer for the last eight years. I am a Canon shooter and I have shot just about every type of photography you can imagine. The sole reason why I got this job is because Scott lost a bet and I was the booby prize. Can I use the word booby in this blog? I guess following after Jay Maisel and Moose Peterson, I can get away with it. :D
Ok, so once I was given the privilege of writing this post, I had to decide what I was going to say. This is big stuff! My plan was to write this hilarious post where you would laugh and think what great a guy I am and my name would become synonymous with cool. My picture would be put into dictionaries next to the word cool, and people around the world would talk to their friends and say, “Did you read that super cool blog post by Pete?” Isn’t that the goal? Isn’t that what we all want?
The truth is… we all long for acceptance and will do almost anything to avoid rejection. I will try to become the person that everyone will like, and I will easily compromise my principles if it means that they will think I am cool. And I bet just about every one of you reading this is the same way. Our lives are lived behind masks that we project to the world and we live in fear that someone will see the real us behind the illusion and reject us. Being rejected is one of our most painful experiences, because it says that we are not worthy and there is something inherently wrong with us. Once we feel rejected we just want the hurt to go away, but unfortunately, the heart remembers that pain so we seek out ways to distract ourselves from the pain and do things to ensure we are not rejected again in the future.
However, the very things that we are doing to cover up our hurt and our pain are causing a greater sense of isolation. We have traded our pain for numbness, but the cost is loneliness. We are so alone and we are not truly alive. The crazy thing is that we think we are the only ones who feel this way. I know because I am one of them… I know I am screwed up, but I am pretty sure that you have your act together… and since you have your act together I must pretend I have mine together too so you won’t think I am worthy of your rejection. So we pose and pretend and act like everything is ok, and yet inside both our hearts are dying. So in order to numb the loneliness, I stay busy, I find things to entertain me, I strive to find that perfect niche in society, or that perfect photograph that will validate my life. I put on a fake bravado, I make people laugh so that they won’t see my fear, or I spend countless hours trying to craft my words in a blog so that it will give people the impression of how important and smart I am. But, all that does is strengthen the masks that hide my real heart from you.
Have you ever watched a child get lost in the joy of a moment? They are not burdened with any sense of shame and they are not concerned with what others will think… they are free and full of life.
I want my life to be like that, and I bet you do too… I am trying to regain that joy… I want to be stirred to tears by the beauty that surrounds me, and not be so critical of others. I want to let go of my masks and let you see the real me, and have you accept me despite my warts and my fears. We have this awesome power to come alongside each other and encourage one another yet we don’t do it because of fear. If we will dare to allow those close to us to start getting glimpses behind our masks, I bet they would start to do the same, and before you know it… we might all be living real lives and with real joy. Imagine how much more wonderful our art, or music, our relationships would be if we were really alive and not caught in the self-imposed Matrix. What if I did things because I loved doing them rather than doing things based upon whether or not it would be accepted by the masses? Am I going to live a life of fear or joy…? That is the $64,000 question.
One final question before I go…
How comfortable are you with love? Are your masks keeping you from really being honest and intimate with those around you? I bet someone near you could really use a loving word from you right now… and the crazy thing is when you push past the fear inside and say it to them, it chips away at the masks in your own life and opens your heart to be free a little bit more. At the end of life, do you want people to say? “He was a great photographer, but his life was a mess” or would you rather them say… “He was full of life and look how that showed in his relationships and his work.” Do me a favor, instead of taking time to comment on this post, which will do you no good… since I can’t read; call up someone you love and just let them know they are special to you. Then go take some pictures, or draw or sing or dance and do it with a sense of wonder as if you were a kid again. Give yourself permission to be real and alive!