Wednesday
Jan
2013
30

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Chris Orwig!

by Brad Moore  |  28 Comments


Photo by Bruce Heavin

My name is Chris Orwig, I’m a photographer, author, teacher and on the photography faculty at the Brooks Institute. Thanks for reading and let’s dive in!

“A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is in a word effective.”
-Irving Penn


Actress Isabel Lucas photographed at Gaviota Beach.

Penn was right, good photographs have a dynamic force that affect us and sometimes even bring about change. And the photographs that I like most, are those that help me to celebrate and savor life. These are the photos that capture fleeting moments that would have otherwise been lost. They make me feel, think, remember and thrive.


Surfer and rock climber Jeff Johnson photographed with large format camera and expired film.

You see I’m a photographer because I was once hit by a car (you can hear more about that in my TEDx talk, Finding the Magnificent in the Mundane). A few years after the incident, while I was still in bad shape, my Dad gave me a camera which changed my life. The camera helped me to shift my focus from pain to something else, and looking through the viewfinder gave me new resolve and new life. It literally helped me to heal.

Even more, the camera became a passport to go out and experience the world in a deeper and more wonderful way. And so that’s why today, I’m a photographer who clings to his camera and who sees photography as a gift. It’s not something I do because it’s trendy and cool, it’s something I do because it renews who I am. Photography is a lifeline that deepens and enriches my life. The French photographer Marc Riboud was right, “Photography is savoring life in 1/100th of a second.”


Broadway performer Jarod Mason on the NY Brooklyn Bridge.

Well that’s my story, yet what is yours? Why do you make photographs and what qualities do you look for when striving to make an image that is good? Obviously, we all have different answers to those questions and we all have different taste. Yet, what unites us all is that making good photographs is something that fuels our life. We make photographs because of a passion that runs deep. So how then do we make better photographs? How do we get beyond where we are today?


Surfboard shaper Danny Hess in his San Francisco workshop.

What I’ve discovered, is that it’s not just about the composition, gear or even how the photograph was lit. What makes it good, is that it is illuminated from within…. like true wisdom and beauty which wells up from the inside. Good photographs get beneath the surface of things and reveal more.


World champion surfer Tom Curren looks out to sea.

The art and craft of photography, it’s a mix of the inside and out. Photography requires learning to see, arrange and compose the external appearances of life. Yet, often it’s this side of photography that gets in the way, good photographs are about more than all of that. The best photographs help us to see what isn’t even there. As photographers, we know this is true because we have experienced this first hand. Like in those moments when you hold your camera up to you eye, and its like looking through a microscope that magnifies our vision to see what otherwise would go unseen. In those moments, the camera deepens our senses, clarifies our focus so that we can capture something unique, intriguing and strong…. something that that goes beyond visual cliché.


Isabel Lucas photographed just a moment after the first image in this post. Sometimes it’s the slightest changes that help make an image come to life.

Yet, this doesn’t happen all the time. Sometimes our cameras work against us, like a cumbersome curtain that blocks out the light. Sometimes, inspite of our best efforts, our photographs fall short. Why is that? Just like in other forms of art, like music …. why is it that one musician can take a guitar, three chords and the truth and write a global hit? Surely, it’s not about the quality of the instrument or the notes. Then what is it? What’s the secret sauce? I think it’s the mixture of technique (three chords) and a passion to convey what we believe and what matters most (truth).


One day I was in the front yard testing out a new camera. I looked up and saw my daughter Annika walk through the front door.  I quickly asked her to pause and I captured this frame. Capturing authentic moments like this feeds my soul.

This “secret sauce recipe” isn’t something new. A few thousand years ago Aristotle wrote, “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” You want to take better pictures? Make photographs that are externally interesting and internally strong. And if these photographs are significant to you, there will be a greater chance that they will mean something to someone else.


World Champion surfer Kelly Slater is someone who I deeply admire and respect.

Too often we make pictures of things that don’t mean anything to us at all. It’s like we are afraid to fail and afraid to be ourselves so we use caution and create images that we know will be a success. Then we share these photos and all of the hits/votes/likes distract us from being original and we decide to follow the majority crowd. Yet, great art is rarely achieved by walking in the middle of the road.


Australian singer and songwriter Angus Stone creates music that honestly reflects who he is.

Great art and great photography require that we bravely challenge the status quo. And to be a great photographer, you have to tap into who you truly are. No one can compete with your uniqueness, claim that and use it as your edge. Veer from the well worn path and go out and make photographs for your self. Take a risk to create photographs that authentically reflect your vision and voice. And who cares if you fail. It’s always better (and more fun) to fail while being original than to succeed at something that isn’t authentically you.


Chris del Moro is a surfer and artist who is authentic through and through.

Next, come up with your own definition of what makes a photograph good. Then strive to make photographs that match your ideals. And along the way, constantly ask yourself, “What makes you come alive?” For what the world needs is photographers who are brimming full of life.

Cheers,
Chris Orwig

If you would like to experience this blog post in audio form, you can listen to it here or download a free audio mp3 version here.

For more about who I am and what I do check out the links below:
TEDx Talk
Framed Episode
Portfolio + Blog

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P.S. Resources/Ideas

Becoming a better photographer is a lifetime journey that never ends. Therefore I wanted to highlight a couple of ideas and learning resources that might help you along the way.

1. IGNITE + THRIVE

I am about to launch a creative inspiration resource I think you will really enjoy – it’s called “IGNITE + THRIVE”. This resource is series of audio programs that will help you ignite the creative spark so that you can truly thrive. Think of it like having your own creative coach.

If you’re wanting to become more creative, curious and alive, click on the following link to sign up to be notified when it goes live: IgniteAndThrive.com

2. FORGE YOUR OWN PATH
There are many different ways to learn photography and grow: photo school, workshops, online courses, books, blogs, assisting other photographers and so on. If you’re reading this, I assume you’re already doing some of that.

Yet, don’t underestimated the power of forging your own path. I love how Herman Melville put it, “A whale ship was my Harvard, my Yale.” And because of that whale ship journey, Melville wrote one of the greatest pieces of literature of all time. Maybe what you really need to do is take a nontraditional path. Why not hop on a boat, go on a journey and get some more life experience under your belt?

3. LEARNING RESOURCES

Always be on the lookout for resources or workshops that are mainstream and some that are not. This will get you out of your comfort zone and help you stay sharp. On that note, it would be great to hear from you about what workshops, courses, books, etc. that have helped you in the most significant ways. Add your suggestions in the comments. To get the thread going here are a couple “off the beaten path” ideas that I recommend:

1. Celebrated photographer Rodney Smith is offering a unique workshop this spring that I am planning to attend. This one isn’t cheap, but Rodney has a profound way of helping others find their voice. To learn more click here.

2. My friend and highly successful commercial photographer Erik Almas, has recently released a unique photography and photoshop training DVD – find more info here. For one of the bonus tracks on the DVD, Erik and I sat down and talked. Watch that interview for free here.

3. And of course, there are a ton of other amazing and affordable resources/workshops put out by some great people and organizations. The ones that I have on the top of my list that I want to attend are by: Jeremy Cowart, Zac Arias, Julieanne Kost, Tom Bol, Matt Kloskowski, Jeff Lipsky, Nevada Wier and David Robin… to name a few.

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Thanks for reading and a huge shout of thanks to Scott and the Kelby crew for the honor of being a part of the mix – THANKS!!!

Tuesday
Jan
2013
29

I’m Back from 48-hours on an Aircraft Carrier….

by Scott Kelby  |  18 Comments

…but I still don’t have a full blog post about this amazing experience, and the incredible of team of people who make a modern aircraft carrier work with extraordinary precision. I just finally got through the images just last night (long story), but there’s so much to tell I couldn’t get it done it time for today’s post. (iPhone photo above by Ed Buice).

I’m going to show some images and talk about the shoot on tomorrow’s live episode of “The Grid” and hopefully later today I’ll post some of the images to my Facebook and Google+ pages as well. My goal is to have the full post for here on the blog by Friday, so I hope you’ll stop by one of those spots beforehand or I’ll see you on Friday (of course, tomorrow is “Guest Blog Wednesday” and Thursday is “Free Stuff Thursday” as always).

Cheers,

-Scott

Saturday
Jan
2013
26

Amazing Deal for Today Only, Learn How to Publish A Book!

by Brad Moore  |  6 Comments

Hey gang, Brad Moore here with a quick Saturday post to let you know about a deal that’s good for today only.

As some of you might know, our friends Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch just wrote a book called APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book. Guy is a well-known author and speaker; his last traditionally published book, Enchantment, was a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. Shawn is our app guy and good friend; he handles apps for Kelby Media Group and has written a few books on iOS development and design as well.

Normally, this book is $9.99 for Kindle, and $16.49 for print. But for today only, Amazon has selected APE as a Kindle Daily Deal, which means it can be yours for only $1.99!

Kindle Edition: http://amzn.to/APEtheBook ($1.99)
Print Edition: http://amzn.to/APE-DeadTreeEdition ($16.49)

Guy’s experience as an author and entrepreneur, combined with Shawn’s 4-5 years working for a traditional publisher during the invention of most modern mobile phones and tablets, has resulted in an incredible book that you really should own if you have any interested at all in selling or marketing your work. And at $1.99, it’s a steal.

APE is an amazing book with over 208 five-star reviews. It is being praised as “the bible” on modern day publishing. In fact, the most helpful negative review states that the book is great but critiques it on its $9.99 list price. Good thing you can get it at an 80% discount!

This is a deal we just couldn’t pass up sharing with the readers of this blog. APE covers more than just novels and ebooks. It teaches you the ins-and-outs of publishing, how to make a book (both ebook and print), how to print a book, how to sell a book, and most importantly: how to position and market yourself after your book has published.

It covers every book genre from the next great American novel to a full color trade book like Scott’s photography books—it really does have it all.

Remember, this deal is today only. If you think you might be interested, buy it now and deliver it to your Kindle device later. Because Amazon controls the pricing, we have no idea when it will turn off. It could be exactly 24 hours, or it could end a little early.

Friday
Jan
2013
25

Some Shots from the Falcons / 49ers NFL Championship Game (and a cool giveaway!)

by Scott Kelby  |  291 Comments

Above: One of my favorite shots from my remote cameras positioned right next to the Pyro. I particularly like the way his headshot and name appear on the giant video screen behind him, which honestly was a “happy accident.”

OK, the outcome wasn’t what we were hoping for, but it was a great game, and a great season for the Falcons, and I was just tickled to even be a small part of their post-season photo coverage team. Before we get to all the remote camera stuff, a little background on shooting the game:

There were eight photographers covering the game for the Falcons (their regular crew of superstars led by Jimmy Cribbs, along with Michael Benford, Lynn Bass and Matt Lange), and we were all given a long assignment sheet (from Michael) of the shots we needed to cover before, during, and after the game (a small snippet is show above) in addition to covering the regular game action.  Michael knows I’m into the whole remote camera thing but we planned our most ambitious remote shoot yet.

Continue reading

Thursday
Jan
2013
24

It’s Free Stuff Thursday

by Brad Moore  |  42 Comments

The Grid with Dixie Dixon
Yesterday we had fashion photographer Dixie Dixon as our guest on The Grid, and man was she a hit! If you missed it (or if you were one of the people having issues with the streaming feed), you can watch it in its entirety right here or on KelbyTV.com (where it will be posted later today). She shared some great career advice that anyone who’s just starting out can take to heart, and answered plenty of great questions. And, if you missed her guest blog earlier this month, you can check that out right here and see her work at DixieDixon.com.

Capturing The Modern Family Portrait with Tamara Lackey
Whether you’re a family portrait photographer by trade or just want to get some great photos of your own family, you’ll want to check out the latest class on KelbyTraining.com, Capturing The Modern Family Portrait with Tamara Lackey! Tamara shows you how to interact with both parents and kids on location and in the studio, the gear she uses, how to plan for the shoot, choosing locations, and even tips on wardrobe.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free rental of this class!

Kelby Training Live
Want to spend a day with RC Concepcion, Matt Kloskowski, or Ben Willmore? Check out these seminar tours!

Lightroom 4 Live with Matt Kloskowski
Jan 25 – Oklahoma City, OK
Jan 31 – Austin, TX

Photoshop CS6 for Photographers with RC Concepcion
Feb 1 – Covington, KY
Feb 27 – Richmond, VA

Photographic Artistry with Adobe Photoshop with Ben Willmore
Mar 19 – New York, NY
Mar 20 – Washington, DC

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free ticket to one of these events!

Operation Photo Rescue
If you or someone you know had photos that were damaged in Hurricane Sandy, the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan is hosting Operation Photo Rescue on February 2-3. People can bring up to 20 damaged photos to be evaluated and possibly restored and printed at no cost to the owner. They’ll be accepting photos from 10am – 5pm each day, and you can get all the info at OperationPhotoRescue.com.

Winners
The Business Side of Ed Greenberg Rental
- Steve Saragian

Photoshop CS6 for Photographers with RC Concepcion
- Alan

Photoshop World Speed Pass
- Jennifer Brinkman

Calvin Hollywood and Glyn Dewis Class Rentals
- Paul M

Wednesday
Jan
2013
23

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Robert Caplin!

by Brad Moore  |  2 Comments

About three years ago, I was noticing a new trend in photography, that of photo collectives, like Luceo, MJR, Prime, and Razón that were making their way onto my various news feeds through social media. I thought it was quite clever how they used their collective social networks to share the work of their various members in a way that didn’t seem pompous or overly self-promotional as it can often seem when when an individual ‘toots their own horn’ and continuously posts only their work on their personal accounts. It was then I thought, ‘why not create a similar resource for all freelancers like myself? I’ll call it “The Photo Brigade.”

It all started on Facebook where I began sharing links to great blog posts from many freelance bloggers with anyone who was interested in following our feed. Rather quickly we had over 1000 followers, at which point I felt it was time to turn Photo Brigade into an actual blog. Fortunately, over my short career I’ve become acquainted with many amazing photographers who also thought it would be a great way to get extra eyes on their recent work and agreed to participate in this concept. With the help of my super-talented, graphic designer wife Laia Prats, we built the blog and thus The Photo Brigade was born.

We live in an age where a vast majority of photo editors, image buyers, and art directors use both social media and general google searches to find the content they’re looking for, so it’s incredibly important for photographers these days to keep their work online and searchable so that they and their work can be easily found. One of the best ways for photographers to be found organically on on the web is to have their websites search engine optimized (SEO). One of the best ways to make that happen is by blogging. All that text that is written within a blog is crawled by search engines like Google, resulting in higher placement in web searches.

Blogging isn’t easy. It’s a labor of love. In fact, both Scott and Brad can attest it’s taken me many months to finally get my ass to write this very post, which I’m typing on a flight to Barcelona. I’ve run my own personal blog for years and there’s been some months when I was very regular with my posts and some months when I’d neglect it altogether. I’d noticed the same trend among my many peers and also noticed many talented individuals who didn’t blog at all, which I felt was a great disservice to them. My inspiration in starting The Photo Brigade was to not only share and promote the amazing work of my peers, but also to encourage and inspire my fellow freelancers to get their ass in gear and hop on the blogging bandwagon.

Since I graduated college I’ve only ever been a freelancer. Among many other responsibilities, that means I’ve had to purchase my own gear, worry where my next paycheck would come from, think about health/gear insurance, my retirement plan, deal with tons of administrative work, and most importantly promote myself by getting my name out for the world to see. So in building The Photo Brigade, I wanted to turn it into resource that I personally would love to use. There were many websites I used for inspiration, such as Sports Shooter where I got my first social exposure through their message boards in the days before Facebook.

Beyond all the stellar work I’ve seen and the amazing photographers, editors, and industry professionals I’ve connected with through The Photo Brigade, what I love most is the ability the blog has to adapt and grow. While we started simply featuring blog posts, we’ve since begun working with a long list of contributors to create great content like product reviews, contests, gear guides, guest posts, and other various industry-related content on the business of photography. Some of those contributors are personal friends of mine and many are those who’ve reached out expressing a desire to be part of what we’re doing, which has been the ultimate driving force behind our desire to continue this labor of love.

I’m excited to see where things go in the coming year. Along with cool contests and great features in the works as usual, we’re also working hard to expand our columns to take a deeper look into the photo industry all in hopes to become an even greater resource for working professionals and enthusiasts alike.

It’s important to mention The Photo Brigade wouldn’t be possible without the tireless work of my wife, Laia, who spends many hours/day scouring the web and editing blog posts, tweaking the design, and putting up with me. Additionally, that of our sponsors who have helped us in many ways by supporting us, providing awesome gear for reviews and prizes for our contests. To our contributors who have guest blogged and provided material for us to share, we tip our hats and give great thanks. Most importantly, thanks to you, our readers, who regularly visit our site, follow our social networks, and/or participate in any way by liking/sharing/commenting on our Facebook posts, tweets, and so on. The more we see your interaction, the more we know what we’re doing is useful and good.

If you’re interested in being part of The Photo Brigade in some capacity; guest blogging, being featured, or simply just visiting to enjoy our content, I hope you would send me an email, bookmark us, and follow us on your favorite social platform. Can’t wait to see your work and interact with you all moving forward.

Thanks Scott for the opportunity to guest post on your awesome blog and share our community with yours!

You can see Robert’s work at RobertCaplin.com and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, and check out The Photo Brigade

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