Our friend and KelbyOne instructor Moose Peterson has released the latest issue of his BT Journal, and it’s huge! This issue is packed with more images, more video and more text then ever before so you feel like you’re right next to them in that Landie! This issue is 80 pages (it’s normally 24 pages) this time. It centers around Moose’s July Africa Adventure. Before you think further, the issue is the length it is because so much of what it is to be a wildlife photographer, going to Africa and much more has been clouded with time. The romance, the technical, the good for your soul and so much more are what bulks up this issue and it is inspiration I think you need and will enjoy reading! Those of you wanting to improve your wildlife and landscape photography, what are you waiting for? Go get it now!
Pete Collins here filling in for Scott…
I don’t know about you, but when another photographer says to me… “You have to go there!” I tend to nod politely while internally I am thinking… yeah right, it can’t be that good. So for a couple of years now I have heard about Old Car City outside of Atlanta, and how great it was, but I was secretly like “it can’t be as good as they say.” Well, I am here to admit that Old Car City is definitely worth putting on your bucket list. According to the Internet, which only tells the truth, this place is ranked as the third best junkyard in the world behind the Russian space junkyard, and the Airplane boneyard out in Arizona. (of course I don’t know who rates these things or what is the criteria, but at the end of the day this place is pretty darn impressive.)
Located about 50 miles outside of Atlanta in White, Ga. (Yep, way too easy to make inappropriate jokes so let’s move on.) This dixieland automotive museum spans 34 acres with over 4000 American cars covering over six miles of trails. The thing that makes it so unique is that the cars are becoming one with the environment… some of them have been around since 1931 and have been reclaimed by trees, grass and bushes. I could give you a lot of facts, etc… about the place, but I am going to write this from my perspective as a photographer and first time visitor and hopefully you will enjoy the images and the insight with the end result being that you having a new place added to your bucket list. Be sure to check out their website, OldCarCityUSA.com.
I drove down from Chattanooga with my buddy and fellow camera junky Mike Daniels; he did the navigating. I tend to get distracted and miss places, so I was glad he was there to guide us. I was then extra glad that he came along since Dean Lewis (the owner) only takes cash and I conveniently forgot my wallet. :D The cost of entry is $25, and Dean is happy to direct you down the road to an ATM if you forget. Dean was busy doodling on one of his cups and talking to a gentleman named Clint Brownlee when we arrived. Dean is what I like to call “a mess.” Now for those of you not from the south the term “a mess” can be used in a variety of ways depending on the tone/inflection and twinkle in the eye of the one speaking. This particular use of the term means “someone who is unique and inspiring, and yet maybe a bit strange.” Sort of like that uncle that you hope will come for Christmas and bring his amazing set of fireworks, but then you spend the whole time trying to not let him drink too much eggnog before he goes out to light them so he doesn’t lose yet another finger. :D (I hope that makes sense… someone you want to watch, just to see what he will do next.)
Clint Brownlee is another one of use crippled with the photography bug and is responsible for putting together the Old Car City blog, and he happens to follow Scott and our crew, so he was able to vouch for me with Dean. Actually, Dean knew of our group because last year at Photoshop World in Atlanta we had a workshop come out, and then Bill Fortney has done a class out there. I told Dean that I was Scott’s boss… but I don’t think he bought it since he then tried to charge me double. :D Make sure to check out Clint’s blog. Clint volunteered to show me around the place… which is a huge undertaking… only 34 acres… meh, we should be done in no time. As we started out, he shared with me that he and a friend of his had been coming out here multiple times a week when they first discovered the place and I now understand whey.
To get a true feel of the place, you need to appreciate this new installment that Dean has placed near the entrance to the cars. Yep, that is pretty creepy. Larry Becker titled it “Youth Springs Eternal!”
Once past the baby dolls, it became sensory overload… It wasn’t a matter of trying to find something to shoot, it was trying to narrow your focus so that you could actually not spend the entire day just at the front of the place. You know that feeling when you come across something so neat and cool that giggles sneak out spontaneously? It was at that point that I felt like Roy Scheider in Jaws… “We are going to need a bigger boat!” We were going to need a longer day and more energy to be able to take it all in.
Clint was doing his best to be a tour guide, but at a certain point I just needed to play, and so I asked if I could take off on my own to wander around with my camera. It was early morning, hot, humid, wet and I didn’t care… I was in heaven. How good a place is it? I don’t know about you, but I hold my breath when I take a picture, and at one point I realized I was really out of breath from taking too many pictures back to back… it was such a target rich environment. Think of it like a giant easter egg hunt with 4,000 golden eggs.
Let’s talk about my gear and my approach for the day.
Hi everyone and happy Monday! Corey Barker here filling in for Scott today because he is on vacation and Brad “The Beard” Moore asked us to post a little something. With Photoshop World coming up in a few weeks I wanted to share my thoughts around what used to be one of my most favorite parts of the event and that is the Guru Award competition. (I say used to because I can no longer enter, I actually help judge them now.) Anyway in case you are unaware, the Guru Awards is a contest open to all Photoshop World attendees who can submit images in a number of categories like Commercial, Retouching, Artistic, Photography, etc. These images are then judged by a panel of experts and then the winners are announced at the event. The reason I think this is such a great thing is because where I am at today can be somewhat attributed to winning a couple of these very awards.
Long before I was an instructor for KelbyOne and Photoshop World I was a regular NAPP member and had attended several Photoshop World events. When I first heard about the Guru awards I was rather intimidated because I did not think my work was good enough to win. However one year I found a piece I had done and decided to just submit it to see what would happen. Besides it was free to enter so what was there to lose? Well it turns out that image ended up getting me recognized as a finalist in the Artistic category. Suddenly my confidence got a little boost. So the next year I was determined to do better so when I registered for Photoshop World I immediately started playing around with images to submit. After coming so close the last time, I just had to see what I could do for the next one.
Why was I so motivated? I wasn’t getting paid. Yeah there is the glory of winning but I also realized I was getting something worth more. It is because competition breeds creativity. It wasn’t necessarily the award itself that was the goal, though having an award is certainly great for marketing purposes. I was once told by one of my instructors in art school to always enter art contests. Big or small, local or national, enter as many contests as you could handle because selling yourself as an award winning designer gave you and edge over others but later I discovered it was more than that. I started to realize that I was becoming better and better at Photoshop and I found ideas were coming to me a lot easier than before. The result of pushing myself to do something different, that no one had seen before. I was having fun!
A couple years later I ended up taking home the Guru award in the Commercial category. I was getting recognized for my work at a major industry event. Which was pretty cool, but I was also getting something much more valuable, I was advancing my skill set. I continued every year to enter not just the Guru awards at Photoshop World but also other design competitions until, in 2006, I was hired to be an instructor for what was then the National Association of Photoshop Professionals as well as an instructor at Photoshop World. It was a dream come true! I found out later that they had remembered me winning a couple of Guru awards and that was how my name stuck out more than others for the job.
So the moral of the story is to push yourself to be better than you are. There’s is always more to learn. Always try to show the world something it has never seen before, or perhaps to look at something in a different way and enter as many design contests as you can. Not just for the industry recognition, which is great, but because the nature of competition will enhance your skills and make you more creative.
If you are in fact going to Photoshop World this August in Las Vegas you still have time to enter the Guru Awards. The submission deadline is July 20, 2015. Go to www.photoshopworld.com for more details.
A Creative Exercise
I want to leave you with a little creative exercise that I do often that helps me keep my creativity alive and also presents problem solving scenarios. It’s called the 30-Minute Composite. Choose 2-4 random images in your library of photos. Then give yourself just 30 minutes to come up with something cool. You can only use the images chosen beforehand and give yourself an assignment like a movie poster or a package design, or whatever. The key is to stick to the time limit. By limiting resources like the number of images and the amount of time you are forcing yourself to be creative in a pinch. This will condition your mind to come up with creative solutions. Now you will not succeed every time. Many times I have gotten to the end and had nothing to show but I may have gotten a better understanding of the software or how to approach something the next time. We can learn from failure as much as we can from success. Try it and see what happens. I do this exercise at least once a week to keep my wheels turning. It beneficial and it is a lot of fun! Have a creative week!
Morning everybody, and welcome to “late post” Monday! Just a few quick things:
1. Quick Lightroom Skin Retouching Tip
Today I posted a quick tip on Skin Retouching in Lightroom over at LightroomKillerTips.com, based on a question I was asked at my seminar in Hartford on Friday. Here’s the link to that tip, but if you want more pro-level stuff in Photoshop, check out Kristina Sherk’s just-released online class on “High-end Skin Retouching” over at our site (here’s the link to her class – it’s getting rave reviews!).
2. Why didn’t anybody tell me Van Halen released a new live Album with David Lee Roth?
I saw them in Tampa a year or so ago when they just kicked off their new tour, and they sounded great live (but the iTunes review comments are pretty mean all the way around. Ack! Anyway, I just previewed some of the songs and it sounds OK to me). I’m in that group of folks that feels like Van Halen isn’t “Van Halen” without David Lee Roth up front!
3. More Helpful Features from Exposure.com
My favorite online photo-storytelling site keeps getting better and better â” Exposure.co has added a new text-only feature for folks who want to have a story block without having to have an image to go with it. If you’ve got a sec, here’s a link to my photo stories over at exposure.
4. Very proud of RC!
Next Saturday he’ll be in NYC to see his work hanging in the Joshua Liner Gallery there – how cool is that! If you missed the whole story on Friday, here’s the link. Very cool stuff (and very proud and excited for RC!)
5. I’ve been trying out a new lens!
It’s just a loaner, so I only have it for a few more days, but Canon’s new 11-24mm is one of my favorite lenses ever! Super sharp all the way to the edges, and that super wideness is super awesome! Hope to have some test shots soon â” I’m working on two shoots where it would be awesome (my shoot in Hartford this past week fell through, so I’m onto something new). I will say this â” I’ve yet to shoot it anywhere near 24mm â” it’s all 11 to 15mm range stuff (mostly 11) as many of you know (link) that I’m not a fan of 24mm (I really like a much wider lens, but I’ve never had the opportunity until now to shoot a full frame body with 11mm super-wide, and let me tell you it is sweet!).
OK, gotta run – hope you all have a fairly decent to on the verge of awesome Monday, and we’ll see ya here tomorrow where I hope to actually have a proper post written and in place sometime late tonight. :)
P.S. When I mentioned retouching stuff earlier, I didn’t mention this but I’m teaching a class called “Retouching Faces” at the Photoshop World Conference & Expo coming up in August. You can see the full schedule of classes here.
Today is Memorial Day in the United States, and our offices are closed as we honor and remember those who gave their lives in service to our country.
This post is dedicated each year to the memory of David Leimbach, (shown above; the brother of our friend and colleague Jeff Leimbach), who died seven years ago in combat in Afghanistan.
Just a humble word of thanks to the dedicated men and women of our armed services and to all those who came before them who laid down their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy each day.
Here’s wishing you all a safe, happy and healthy Memorial Day.
All my best,
I can’t believe it has come to this, after not even two full weeks, but I either have to dump my Apple watch and go back to my Fossil watch, or I’m literally going to have to buy a 2nd Apple watch because the battery life issue is ruining the entire Apple Watch experience for me.
By having a 2nd watch, I could keep one on the charger, and then each day or so swap the watches, so one would always be charged.
I am not kidding.
How did it come to this?
It hit me this morning, when I woke up and my watch was just about dead. I put it on the charger for a couple of hours and went about my morning, but I noticed that during that two hour block I looked at my empty wrist about 5 times. The fifth time, I really needed to know what time it was, and my iPhone was charging on the other side of the house, so I had to find my iPad just to know what time it was.
A couple of days ago, it was when it went dead at work because I had forgotten to charge it and my charging cable was back at home. A few days before that it was when I went to look at it after waking in the middle of the night but it was dead (I really like knowing the time if I wake up…do I have 15 minutes left to sleep or three hours? I even made a special Apple Watch clock face just for when I go to sleep).
These are all my fault for not monitoring the battery life of my Apple watch closely enough, but I don’t want to have to baby sit the battery on something I’ve never given a second thought to in my entire life. Watch batteries had been something I had to replace every four years, but now I’m worrying about my watch battery every single day.
I know it sounds like a “1st world problem” but I’m already worrying about my iPhone 6’s battery charge (so much so that I’m now carrying a Mophie), and my iPad, and my MacBook Pro’s battery, and I needed another thing to worry about charging like I needed a hole in my head. I’m sure over time I could condition myself to monitor the watch battery status more closely, but the problem is…I don’t want to. This watch is supposed to make my life easier — not give me something new to worry about charging each day.
Besides telling time, the Apple Watch really does just one main thing…
It keeps me from having to dig my iPhone out of my pocket. That’s really its main advantage, and that’s great, but I’ve just replaced one minor inconvenience (pulling my iPhone out of my pocket), with a bigger inconvenience (losing the use of my Apple Watch for two hours at a time every day or so).
Aren’t there other options?
Sure. I could buy a clock for my nightstand, and that way I could charge my Apple Watch all night every night. I just don’t want to do that. I want a wrist watch like I’ve always had. I could buy another $40 charging cable and keep it at work, so I’d have one at home and one at work, so the whole “battery ran out at work thing” wouldn’t happen again, but then I’d have to take off my watch at work for a couple of hours each day. I don’t want to do that either. There are probably other compromises and workarounds, and I hate to say it but the one that makes the most sense is:
…to buy a second Apple watch.
That way, one of the two would always be charged. When I wake up in the morning each day (or before I go to bed each night), I would just take the fully changed one off the charger; put it on my wrist, and put the other one on the charger to get fully charged. It’s too perfect. Except of course, for the price.
I already bought the cheapest one they make — the $399 sport version. I wanted the Stainless Steel version for $700, but I just couldn’t mentally spend that much on a watch (I never have — that kind of money is reserved for guitars). ;-). So, I couldn’t pull the trigger on the $700 Stainless Steel model, and today I’m doubly glad I didn’t.
So, if I bought a 2nd Apple Sport Watch, I’d be at around $800, but then I’d have to order the black sport band separately (I’m still waiting on the original black sport band I ordered on pre-order day), and that was another $50, so a 2nd one would make a total of $100, which would bring my total Apple Watch investment (for two of the cheapest ones they make, but with black sport bands) to…
$900. Plus tax.
That’s a lot just to make my one Apple Watch not stress me out.
As for the rest of the watch…
I’m perfectly happy with all the rest of it. I love the screen. It’s slickly designed overall. The apps are pretty clever. It’s well-thought out and solid, and it’s fun (and fun is worth a lot to me), but after using it for about two weeks, I realize what I use it the most for is…a watch, and I don’t need a watch that requires me to baby sit the battery or buy a second one to make up for the really bad battery life.
That’s why I’m dumping my Apple watch
So, today I’m going back to my simple $85 Fossil watch (seen below), and the next time I’ll have to worry about the battery is probably sometime in 2019.