Photo workshop: August 25-27 in Chicago

Join Ben Long in Chicago next month for a three-day workshop on composition and critique, sponsored by Juniper Workshops:

Through lecture, one-on-one instruction and shooting, we’ll discuss and explore many compositional ideas and examples before going out to try them on the streets. Afterwards we’ll cover some important post-production skills and practices as we select images for group analysis. Online photo sharing sites and forums can be a nice way to get feedback on your images but virtual feedback is a poor substitute for actual in-person group critique and we’ll conduct two of these during this workshop.

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Easy Tiny Planet video

Yesterday I mounted the Ricoh Theta on my motorcycle’s handlebars and went for a spin with a friend. The Theta software has a built-in Tiny Planets feature that is very fun. Sadly, it only outputs a final product that’s 640 pixels wide, but given that it’s a 2-button solution to create this effect, I’m still impressed! Read more »

Recognizing Tonal Potential

Very often, good photos are the result of a photographer being able to recognize the potential in a scene, and very often that potential is one based around manipulating tone. Learning to develop an eye for tone will not only allow you to get better shots, it will open up a realm of subject matter that you may not normally recognize. For example, consider this shot:
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Exercising at Home

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After finishing up a ten-day job last week I came to Oklahoma to visit my parents. Tired from the previous week-and-a-half of shooting, and not wanting to think any more about images, I spent a couple of days ignoring my camera. But, with each day bringing nice afternoon light, I quickly began to worry about falling out of practice. I didn’t feel up to getting out for any kind of big shooting expedition and didn’t have any need for particular kinds of images so I decided that simply doing some exercises was all I needed. It’s often difficult to have a fresh eye in a well-known environment, so goal-driven, exercise-oriented shooting can often get you capturing frames in places where you normally feel there’s nothing to shoot.

Read on for more details about the exercise that I tasked myself with.

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Finding a Lighter Camera

Ow. I’ve been having a lot of pain in my left shoulder lately. It might just be age, but I can’t help thinking that all these years of carrying a camera bag on that shoulder have left me messed up. The years of having a pound of bird riding on that shoulder probably didn’t help either.

 

Years of camera bags and a shoulder-mounted bird have left me with a lot of shoulder pain. Hence the need for a lighter camera.

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WordPress or Squarespace – Which Is Best For Photographers

This site has been running off of WordPress for years – since way back at WordPress version 1 – and hasn’t had a re-design since WordPress 2 was released. Recently, I encountered Squarespace while helping a friend put a site together. I was very impressed by Squarespace’s ease-of-use, beautiful designs and thorough feature set. Seeing Squarespace also made me realize that my own site was looking very dated, so I decided it was time to bring completedigitalphotography.com into the modern web era. This posed an immediate quandary: should I stick with WordPress or migrate to Squarespace? Which, I wondered, was best for a photo site?

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Wondering about Polaroid?

On The Practicing Photographer this week, I talk to fashion photographer Troy Word about his use of Polaroid. Along the way, he brings us up-to-date on where the current state of Polaroid is, how you can easily get into Polaroid gear, how to mix it with digital, and what you can expect to spend along the way. Most importantly, he speaks to how it can change the way your photographic eye works. You can watch it right here.