Category Archives: Report

15 great links for you to see 50 photos a day

28 great links for photo sites to help you get your 50-a-day habit started...

Great links for photo sites to help you get your 50-a-day habit started…

Great links for photo sites to help you view 50 photographs a day

In a previous post I challenged you to take a serious look at 50 photographs a day. By gaining an insight into the work of others you can get both inspiration and guidance. So in this post I have put together a links for photo sites to help you find 50 photographs a day.

15 links for photo sites
Thousands more links for photo sites…

In addition to these sites and directories there are literally thousands of photographers with their own sites. There are also many sites that are photography related. A range of web sites will send you daily pictures, or provide daily blogs for you to view. Try a few out and after a while you will be able to get daily pictures through email or visit your favourite sites for you daily dose of photographs.

The important thing is that you view and critically appraise as many photos as possible every day to extend your skills.

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

365 Project

365Project - a great way to get your photos seen and to see the photographs of other people.

365Project - a great way to get your photos seen and to see the photographs of other people. Sharing and commenting is a effective way to learn.

Getting your pictures seen is what its all about

Photography showcase websites have been popular for some years. Flickr, Photobucket, and 500px are examples of popular social/sharing photo-sites. There are many more. However, some social-networking photography sites are a bit intimidating for the photographer who is just building up confidence. It is sometimes daunting to post your shots when you unsure. Getting started posting online is easier if you are with a friendly website where the community is supportive and helpful. 365project is one such site.

365 websites provide a challenge for users to post a photograph every day for a year. The idea is simple. Photographers challenge themselves to produce photographs daily just for the fun of it. You have to provide the self-motivation to take a daily picture and to become a part of the site community. Beyond that pretty much anything goes. There is no agenda as far as the site is concerned. Do as you wish (within the bounds of decency and legality). If you become a part of the community regular posting is important. Your ‘followers’ miss you if you don’t post, so you feel obligated to keep your photos going. The community spirit is very strong. Everyone helps each other. It is astonishing how friendly the site is and how helpful everyone is when you need it. The 365project is definitely about community.

Great things, bad things, wonderful things, exciting things, tragic and the mundane, the 365ers are there for all of that. Believe me it is tear-jerking sometimes. The community all rally around and help out, congratulate, support or just provide {{{{hugs}}}}. It’s fun supportive and enjoyable to have people so focused on your interests and theirs and you get to share intimate insights into peoples lives.

Regular commenting on peoples photographs will bring in return comments on your shots. 365ers are really positive about the photos they view. People do not make bad comments. They may refrain from comment, but will definitely talk about the good aspects of your shots. If you just pick up on the positive comments and repeat good ideas in future shots you would learn a great deal. If you ask for advice people make really helpful and useful comments. Not every one agrees with everyone else. But, its all about understanding your photography so accepting different approaches to a shot is all part of the learning process.

As your skills progress some shots may prove to be crowd pullers. The site has a ‘popular page‘ where pictures that have caught wide attention get posted. The popular page helps pull new visitors to your project helping you make new friends.

A daily photograph is a challenge and lacking inspiration sometimes is part of the journey. The project has members all over the world. Normal and everyday for you is totally new for some of them. So just take a shots that you like – even if it is your cat, and post it on the site. Er… actually, take a picture especially if it is your cat. The ‘Awwwww’ factor is big on the project (cats on 365 project). Appealing pictures are very popular.

If you like a photograph ‘Fav’ it with the button at the top of every daily picture-page. ‘Favs’ are stored in your fav pages which keeps your favorite pictures. You can also look at other people fav pictures. This is great for developing your ideas about what is a good picture. It’s helpful to look at good photographs every day. It develops your skills as a photographer. Favs are the pictures that influence your photography, give you ideas and help you improve.

Camera carrying becomes a habit. You get to know your camera intimately. 365project is also a great place to get to know post-processing. Helpful comments, ideas, tricks and tips are shared everywhere. The site also has lots of articles, discussions and help groups.

There are some really fun things to try out during your project…

  • A 30 day challenge on a theme (black and white; mobile shots; abstracts…)
  • Taking a photo and link it to a music track every day
  • Two weeks of abstract shots
  • A photo each day that starts with a letter of the alphabet from A-Z
  • Photograph the seasons throughout the year
  • A self portrait week, or month, or whatever.
  • A regular timed photo every day, say, taken at 2.30pm.

There are lots of ideas like this on the site and a weekly theme for you to follow, among other things.

Using the site is free – just register and start. There is also an ‘ace’ membership for $19. For that you get two extra albums and access to online editing software. There is a lot more to the site – more information can be found on the site. You can use any camera – its about the shots, not what equipment you own.

Seriously committed to your photography? Want to be a part of a committed photographic community? 365project is for you. It’s an excellent way to build your skills and confidence. And, I can tell you, it is quite an achievement to finish the year. Enjoy!

Shutter Speed Exposed!

There are plenty of reasons to understand shutter speed better. It is an important controller of many aspects of the composition of our photographs. When things are moving fast we can fix them – capture the speed of the moment. And, when things are moving slowly the camera can make them look fast. And, when we are interpreting movement in our image we can inject a little blur and make it look like our image has movement just like the real world. Shutter speed is one of the three main aspects of exposure along with ISO and Aperture. Shutter speed is about our exposures.

Today we have published a new entry in our Photographic Glossary… Shutter Speed

Contribute A Definition?

Send us a definition of a photographic word or phrase...

Send us a definition for our list of photographic words and phrases. Simply write a clear definition and send it in. Include an original picture if you wish. Give us your name and a link to your website and we will credit your work.

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
By Damon Guy see his profile on Google+.

Project Based Learning is Best

Colins Complete Photography Course.
A great book available on Amazon

The best way to improve is to do…

When you read a book, you learn things. However, practical application is different to book knowledge. I am reminded of a great line in a film, “…there’s a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path” (Morphus – ‘The Matrix’). In Collins Complete Photography Course you get to “walk the path”.

Actually doing photography is what teaches us to move forward. This book is about taking our inspiration, our passion, and developing our skills through project-based photographic work. Its about getting involved; getting inspired. Learning through projects.

This is a project based way to take the important steps that lead you to get control of your camera, get control of your ideas, get control of your confidence. Step by step the book takes you through the things you need to master photography. By inspiring you to undertake projects it helps you to get an insight into one interesting aspect of photography at a time – learning from inside the experience. It is a great book to grab your enthusiasm and to express your art… while learning.

Here are some things that others have said about: “Collins Complete Photography Course

“This is a really instructive book…” By Mrs. C. Leigh.

“…if your photography has gone a bit ‘flat’ or you’re struggling to find a subject, it would be worth buying this book for the inspiration alone.” By J. Mousley

“An excellent book for anyone starting on their photographic journey…”. By ‘Fellingmal’

 
If you want to move your photography forward this book can take you on a great journey. It is an opportunity not to be missed. Buy it now…
Collins Complete Photography Course


Is Flickr Being Murdered By Yahoo!

Gizmodo, the Internet gadget magazine  External link - opens new tab/page, has reported that Yahoo has killed Flickr (How Yahoo Killed Flickr and Lost the Internet  External link - opens new tab/page). Well, as a daily user of Flickr I am happy to report that our dear friend is actually still alive. However, is the site mired in its own development? Is Flickr in good health?

The Gizmodo article is inflammatory and ranting in its tone and there is some vitriol in there too. Mat Honan, the author of this report, seems to have an axe to grind. He has a good grasp of the history of the Yahoo! corporate machine. As a Yahoo! watcher since its first week on the Internet I have noticed a certain desperate, clutching at straws. The collective buzz and rush of the Internet has frequently passed Yahoo! by, barely fluttering its coat-tails. And, yes, Yahoo! has also rushed headlong into things with apparently the wrong motives – as Honan points out. It has also been a typical multinational by doing those things. It has allowed development and project scope to become mired in every corridor. This is not news. Yahoo! and many other large corporates have the same problems out there on the Internet as in any walk of multinational business life.

Flickr was once a brilliant place to be. It was vibrant, active and the images excited everyone. The social traffic was incredible, the networking was years ahead of its time. Yes, Honan is right. Flickr is no longer that vibrant community. Clearly something has gone badly wrong. Yahoo! bought Flickr in 2005 and since then the incredible thundering waters of Flickr has quietened to a backwater. On top of that the recent technical fluffs that have come out of Flickr have not done anything to help it recover. It is drifting along with no commitment and only the occasional attempt at self-rescue.

Some of the other Internet power-houses of the moment have got the image bug. Facebook, once scoffed at images, and yet now can’t seem to get enough. The rumbling rapids of 500px seem to have captured the imagination of the worlds image professionals. It seems to be the place to lay out your wares. I think there may be some truth in what Honan says. Flickr is not healthy – but it is not dead either.

I think Honan shows some lack of understanding about corporations. Facebook is the big hit of the moment. Everyone looks to Facebook to take the next big step. I cannot see it lasting. They have already lost their definition, their precision. Their expansion is likely to become unwieldy and like many behemoths before them they will mire too. This is an almost inevitable result of the tendency towards giant-ism in corporates. It is part of the corporates life cycles. Flickr may be the first social networking site to be a casualty, although not fatally so (yet). However, lots more will go that way. I don’t think Yahoo! will rescue Flickr, but then Yahoo! does very little that is exciting.

Canon 5D III woe fixed with black tape!

Black tape fixes light leak in new Canon 5D mkIII

Black tape fixes light leak in new Canon 5D mkIII.
Image from lensrentals.com.

Electrical tape fixes the problem

Hands up if you have used sticky tape to fix something… yup, I guess most people have. Now top camera manufacturer, Canon, have too.

Earlier this year the new Canon 5D mkIII ran into trouble when a light leak became apparent behind an LED display. According to Lensrentals.com the tape fix is light-tight. Roger Cicala says in his latest posting, “Some people seem to think tape is a bad or cheap fix. It’s Not.” He goes on to say that this tape is extremely durable and the fix… “works flawlessly”. It “seems silly, but it’s logical and effective”.

The problem does not undermine the testing process at Canon. It is not possible to test every scenario or new developments would never make it to the consumer at a reasonable price. We now know how unlikely the problem scenario is to arise. Canon have dealt with the issue confidently and quickly and are shipping with a simple fix. This sort of issue arises frequently in hi-technology first releases. There appears to be little reason to lose confidence in Canon. If your camera is affected Canon will fix the problem for you.

The light leak in the new Canon 5D mkII caused upset, production delays and delayed shipping. After investigation Canon issued a notice to assure users and offered to fix the problem free of charge. Independent scrutiny has confirmed Canons examination of the problem. The light leak skews the results of the automatic light meter readings. However, this only happens in extreme low-light/dark conditions. The use of auto-metering in extreme low-light is an unlikely scenario. Canon say that there is insignificant effect on exposure.

Read the full story… www.lensrentals.com

Of Softboxes and light… New Interactive Website

The difference between hard and soft light can make or break your picture.
New website provides interactive light experience

A new website has been exciting photographers of all levels. The site, Virtual lighting studio by zvork External link - opens new tab/page is an interactive site allowing you to set up studio lights. You test your light set-ups on a virtual person. The pictures above show two light set-ups with one light using a softbox and as an alternative a bare strobe (flash).

You can use up to six different lights. Each can be set up differently. There is a bare strobe (flash); snoot (focusses the light); a ring light and two sizes of soft box. The intensity of the light can be changed from hard light to soft light, as well as the colour too. You can even turn on the ambient light and control the intensity and colour of that as well. To vary the light conditions you can move the light right or left of the person, around the back. In addition you can move the lights up and down to get light from above and below. Back and forward options allow you also move each light nearer or further from the subject.

Once you have designed your light set-up you can take a snapshot and try another. To see the light set-up as a design you can swap between the studio view and the light layout design. You can print it off or keep a copy as an image. The drawing of the light set-up could do with some further development, but it is perfectly understandable and usable.

One feature I particularly like is the ability to temporarily turn off all the lights except one using the ‘solo’ button. This is to enable you to adjust that one light without the impact of the others. Then you can turn them back on again to see the final result.

Virtual Lighting Studio web page

Virtual Lighting Studio web page.

One criticism – after playing with the features for I was not able to eliminate a light band under the chin. It looks like a line of reflection from a mirror and it is not life-like. It doesn’t interfere with the overall experience if you ignore it.

I spent several hours with this page. Really the best thing to do is try it. For starters and improver’s in photography it is a wonderful opportunity to play with a range of light conditions. For more advanced and professional photographers it is an invaluable light design tool. It provides everyone with a design planner for lighting on a real shoot. I really enjoyed using this site and have used some of the results.

This is an interesting and useful site that photographers at all levels can benefit from trying out. It is free and provides a full set of help details. Click the button in the top right hand corner of the site. The site is still in its Beta version… out for testing with the public. So feedback and comments will help the developers to improve the site.

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