Tag Archives: Photography

Get Great Photos of Family and Friends this Holiday Season Yourself

I thought I would take a moment and step away from food photography and just speak on photography in general. With the upcoming holidays virtually upon us a few of us will be taking photos of family, friends, scenes, etc. So let’s step back and make the photos we take good memorable shots. Take time to know your camera whether it is your phone, a point and shoot, or a DSLR.  And yes, take into consideration lighting (light has many different colors that your camera picks up that we need to compensate for). Our brain makes instantaneous calculations to correct what we see; our cameras need help to get things right. This means getting the White Balance (WB) correct. Let’s not let that colorcast make our friends look alien.

As a final note:  sure, carrying your photos around on your phone or tablet is nice and perhaps this is today’s past time. But prints are a true keepsake. Prints have permanence, remembrance, and value to us all in a special way. If you decide to get prints, take time to know your pixel parameters and the right dimensions for your camera.  Remember, resolution requirements for screen rendering (mobile device or desktop) is not the same for prints. Get your prints done right and they will last.

What’s Wrong with the Chicago in Focus Dream Town Photo Contest?

What’s Wrong with the Chicago in Focus Dream Town Photo Contest?

Copyright is paramount to photographer. As a photographer here in Chicago I considered entering this contest. That is until I read the ‘Official Rules’. Here is an excerpt from the Official Rules for the Dream Town Photo Contest.

‘By entering this Contest and submitting an Entry, Entrant hereby grants Sponsor and its affiliates and subsidiaries a perpetual, irrevocable worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicense able and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, and display the Entry in whole or in part, in any media now existing or subsequently developed, for any purpose, including but not limited to Sponsor’s photo contest, and the advertising and promotion of such photo contest.

You acknowledge and agree that Sponsor may use your Entry in any manner, including but not limited to: selling and distributing publications containing the Entry, changing or reworking the Entry by making color or size changes, making derivative works of the Entry, and using the Entry on the Sponsor’s website and on promotional material for Sponsor’s website or publication. 

Entries must be original. Entries must not contain third party materials or images violating any rights of publicity, trademark, or copyright.  Entrant grants the Sponsor (except where prohibited by law) the right to use and publish Entrant’s name, likeness, city and state, biographical data, and/or any information contained in an Entry in print and/or other media in connection with this Contest, including on the Internet, by the Sponsor, its partners, and third party entities, without additional compensation, notice, review, or approval.’ 

And for the winners…..

‘Acceptance of a prize constitutes permission for the Sponsor and its designees to use winner’s name, city and state of residence and/or likeness, and any winning photograph, for purposes of advertising and trade; in any and all media now or hereafter known worldwide in perpetuity, without limitation or further compensation, notification or permission, unless prohibited by law. By participating, the Entrant further agrees to release and hold Contest Parties harmless from and against any and all claims, damages and liability of any kind arising from or in connection with, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, the acceptance, possession or use/misuse of the prize, participation in the Contest or in any prize-related activities, and assumes all liability in connection therewith.’

Yes, they can use the photos of all contestants forever in any way they see fit and can collect compensation for use of your photos and you get nothing.

Definitely read the rule before entering this or any contest. Seems like they are paying $4,000 to collect hundreds, maybe thousands of photos that they can market in the future for their own compensation and cut you out, the original photographer.

How to choose the best SD Card for your Camera

How to pick the best SD card for your camera, indeed. This is a good question. Even the experts don’t agree. But their insights are helpful for you to make good choices.




Samsung announced the new Galaxy NX Mirrorless Camera

Samsung announced the new Galaxy NX Mirrorless Camera; video sharing came to Instagram;  the Canon T4i and Olympus PEN cameras got new firmware; the Lytro camera had its Wi-Fi capability unlocked; and Leica unveiled the G Star-RAW Edition of the D-Lux 6.

This is rather interesting and worth sharing.


Photos Still Not Sharp!!!!

Photos still not sharp? Maybe you need advanced fixes. Camera shake may just be only part of your problem. I came across this article in Photography Talk. This article could help.




Snapshots vs Photographs

First and foremost perhaps we may want to ask a few questions. Like, why is this important or who cares? I am in the moment, I got the shot, boom, there it is, and I was there. The concepts of composition, exposure, color balance, post-production (aka development) hey who the heck cares, not my concern, I got the pic and I am sharing it. I’m done.

Here’s a quote from a photography blog; ‘Generally people agree that a randomly snapped photograph, mostly captured via the “point and shoot” style without much thought would result in a commonly ordinary looking snapshots. On the other hand, a good photo usually would come from stronger technical execution and bold artistic projection.’

Here’s another quote on the distinction; “Snapshots are personal. They record a personal history and are very important for that reason, but only to people who know the people and places in the photos. Technical quality is less important than capturing the people and place in time. Digital point and shoots and smart phones are ideal for this purpose.

Good photos grab anyone’s attention without any personal or other history. They speak for themselves. Ideally they take an interesting subject and highlight what makes the subject interesting through selective focus, contrast, etc.”

Here are my thoughts. When I first became seriously interested in photography my research directed me to the concept of a photo vs a snapshot. When I first heard the definition (as you can also observe via the aforementioned quotes) I thought it was rather pretentious, a snapshot can be taken of anything the person sees at the moment they decide to take the shot. Usually a snapshot is a quick rough capture to document a scene or event. A photo on the other hand is a well thought, composed, exposed and executed capture of a scene or situation that may border art form. However, as I continue to stride to hone my skills I discovered how challenging it is to master photography. And I can honestly say now that the distinction appears to be accurate. As in many photography blogs, articles, and tutorials continue to relate: 
the real question is not who is a photographer, but what is a photo and what is a snapshot.

So let me put this on the table; the next time you look at an image think to yourself, “Is this a photo or a snapshot?” Over time you might see the differentiation and it might just impact how you approach capturing a scene.

This is not to say that snapshots are not important or fun. I think to capture a scene at the time is great. You just don’t have the time to compose and or think about a shot every time. And so what if the color space is off, you get the idea. It is these instances in time that are important and should not be missed. Heck, I carry a smart phone, which I read somewhere, is perhaps the best point and shoot camera you can have, and I even have a small gorilla pod with a phone holder. I just can’t hold the phone steady all the time and I want a good pic. That’s just me. I think snapshots we take can be priceless at times. Heck, they could be ‘great accidents in photography’. Hmmmm, I’ve heard that somewhere too.