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Monday, December 27, 2010

Seasonal Lights-Florida Botanical Gardens






I was looking to shoot more light displays.This time the targets were the displays at Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.The 425,000 lights amongst the foliage provided a nice backdrop for family pictures.

Downtown St. Pete Christmas Lights




It is fun shoot the Christmas lights in your area. Don't forget the tripod if you are planning to shoot at night. Experiment (slow shutter, zoom, etc), shoot and have fun!!!!
Here are some pictures I shot on December 12, 2010 in St. Pete.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Photo Inspiration

Recently, a PJ student asked me how to become a better photographer. My answer is short and simple: shoot, shoot, shoot and follow other photographers.
For example, you can receive photo inspirations from the Photo Blogger
I also look daily at photos on Flickr, newspapers and magazines. I look at the photos and I ask: Is the photo newsworthy? Is this shot different/original?

For me, photography is constant hard work. There is always room to improve and to learn from a photographer. So, Robert, stay open for critiques and shoot, shoot, shoot in MANUAL mode :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Simple Flash Photography


I noticed that I got caught up on lighting gear lately- beauty dish, softbox, umbrella, etc. Lighting is fun but how about going back to the bare minimum? Yes, the bare flash. I forgot that a bare flash mimics the sunlight so I went out yesterday and shot some pictures of Nicoleta in St. Petersburg.
I dragged out all of my gear from the car, 6 flashes, lighstands, reflectors.... and then I suddenly decided to use one bare flash for the whole night.
Here are some pictures that demonstrate that sometimes going back to ONE bare flash can become a fun experiment. Since I am using an SB600 on a lightstand, I need no triggers for the flash.
Here is a great and SIMPLE tutorial by Chuck Arlund on how to use one basic flash to improve your photography (read the comments posted too).
To read more about Nikon's CLS system, click here.
I put the flash on a flash stand instead of the flash gun (monopod) and placed it in different angles to create different lighting effects. Unlike Chuck Arlund, I used no reflector, just one flash (1/200th is my syncspeed). I also used one lens- Nikon 50mm, 1.8- this lens is sharp!
To see Nicoleta's other shots, click here.
Some of the shots (Nicoleta wearing a white shirt) were taken with the 3 lighting set up (one beauty dish to the right or left of the camera, one flash to the right of the subject and the other flash was on the left side of the subject).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Good news- PJ student Brenda Ramirez got published.

Good news- PJ student Brenda Ramirez got published. She is shooting in manual mode. Way to go, Brenda!
Preparing to "Walk A Mile In Her Shoes" | Her Campus hercampus.com
Seniors Vanessa Rojas, Michelle Fones and Alicia Gomez, take advantage of the cooler hours of the day and chalk in front of the bookstore to advertise "Walk a Mile In Her Shoes", an annual international march to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence.

Allyn DiVito's Portfolio

Today I got to meet a great photographer, Allyn DiVito. He works now at USF and I was astonished to see his portfolio. His portfolio is.... there are no words for your portfolio! Allyn, it was a pleasure meeting you and I hope that one day you will be back in the media :)
Allyn, I am speechless about your photos!

The editors from the Crow's Nest welcome your stories and pictures :)

BTW, I just talked to the photo editor from the Crow's Nest from USF St. Pete. Her name is Aimee Alexander, her email is aralexa2@mail.usf.edu
She would like to have some students write and/or photograph so if you are interested, please get in touch with her.
Please submit photos at 300 dpi with captions. For more details, contact Aimee.


Let me know how things work out.

Best,
Andrea Lypka

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Steve McCurry coming to Tampa Straz Center March 2011

He is coming as part of a national geographic live tour, to talk about his images in the Ferguson theater, 7 pm Tuesday evening in March 2011.
Should be interesting. Tickets $25-35.
For more details, click here.
McCurry is best remembered for his photo of an Afghan girl he shot in 1985 and became the cover of National Geographic. It is an iconic and memorable image. He continues to photograph in Asia and in conflict zones. He is also famed for shooting the last roll of production Kodachrome slide film which was processed this summer.
Check out his images. He is one of my photographic heroes, and so a chance to hear him live will be much anticipated.
The story on NPR about the Afghan girl.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Camera Straps

Camera straps come in handy if you don't need to use a tripod. I have the R strap and I love it... until I have to attach my camera to a tripod....
Check out this link to the Blackrapid camera strap.

I saw a similar strap in a German magazine, called sun-sniper.


I think this is a German product. It doesn't have any pockets on the shoulder pad like the R-Strap, but comes with a shock absorber. This one also has a steel wire version.

The regular camera strap version is available for about $55, and the steel wire version for $75.

Monday, October 11, 2010

How to Get Published

Today PJ student, Brenda Medina got published and she gets the extra credits:http://hercampus.com/school/usf/celebration-national-coming-out-day

Way to go Brenda!!!! She is shooting a D50 in MANUAL mode. I am soooo proud of her because she has improved a lot and she has learned to shoot in manual mode.

A week ago, PJ student Evan Tokarz also published an article and photos: http://www.newrootsnews.org/viewNews.cfm?nID=7F5B197650

Here are some other published works by Evan:http://www.newrootsnews.org/viewNews.cfm?nID=7F5C137C55

Extra credits and congratulations!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Photoshop Tutorials

Photoshop Tutorials:

Photoshop tutorial on CG Channel

Color Correction

USF's Atomic Learning (look for CS5 or LR tutorials)

Post Processing Drill



Photo by Deb Wolfe


Post Processing Drill
This activity will refresh or launch your post processing skills. Among the students there is probably a range of thinking, skills and software types. So let’s look at a "before" image and you guys create the "after" picture. Let the images do the talking.
I'm attaching an image that came straight out of the camera. The photographer is Deb Wolfe. Your mission is to make the shot better.
Use Photoshop/Lightroom or Aperture to edit this image.
Please bring your post processed image to class upload the image to a computer and give a brief explanation of what you did to the photo and the tools you used.

NOTE: The original photographer retains copyright to the submitted image. Anyone post processing this image is granted a limited license for editing purposes only. Ownership of the post processed image cannot be claimed by those participating in this exercise. In addition no person is granted the rights to publish, distribute, use the image in derivative works or sell the image(s) except for publishing for this class.

The Future of Photojournalism

Most of the jobs in the media field require multimedia skills. We will talk more about photo essays and multimedia stories, what software to use, workflow, etc.

Check out the following articles to find out more about the multimedia storytelling and the future of photojournalism.
Partnership of Photojournalist and Writer, by Melissa Lyttle
The Girl in the Window- multimedia story

A Different Approach to Storytelling- A conversation with Brian Storm, the founder of Mediastorm.org


An article about Luceo Images, a photo coop.

Is Photography Dead?- an article in Newsweek

The Future of Photojournalism- a panel discussion

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lightroom tutorials

Free Lightroom Tutorials,

While Photoshop is the most used photo editing software, I am using Lightroom to select, group, categorize my photos. I am also using Lightroom for quick edits.

Here are some free tutorials for you:

http://tv.adobe.com/show/getting-started-with-adobe-photoshop-lightroom-3/

http://www.peachpit.com/podcasts/channel.aspx?c=3fb38e18-6612-4f81-b0eb-e899b5813b57

Tip du Jour:
When deciding on a crop, you may want to use compositional guides for the rule of third's, golden spirals, triangles, etc. Go to the develop module, select the crop tool, then press the "O" key till you see the guide you are looking for.

31st ANNUAL COLLEGE PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST

Online entries: pfmagazine.com/photography-contest/enter-contest-online/

EARLY Entry Deadline:
October 18, 2010 ($3.95 each)

FINAL Entry Deadline:
November 23, 2009 ($4.95 each)

FIRST PLACE :: GRAND PRIZE :: $2,000 cash grant
PLUS Nikon D90 camera and lens system (or equivalent)

SECOND PLACE :: $1,000 cash grant
PLUS Nikon D90 camera and lens system (or equivalent)

THIRD PLACE :: $500 cash grant

5 FOURTH PLACE AWARDS Five $100 grants

100 HONORABLE MENTIONS
All Honorable Mentions will be listed in the May 2011 issue of Photographer’s Forum magazine and will receive a certificate of outstanding merit.

Winning photos will be published in the May 2011 issue of Photographer’s Forum and entered into Nikon’s Emerging Photographers Hall of Fame. All contest finalists, top 8% of all entries, will be published in the hardcover book Best of College Photography 2011.

*

Early entry fee is $3.95 per photo entered.
(uploaded or postmarked on or before October 18, 2010)
*

Final entry fee is $4.95 per photo entered.
(all entries must be uploaded or postmarked on or before November 22, 2010)
*

Rights remain with photographer.
*

Subject matter is open.
*

Finalists notified by January 28, 2011.
Winners notified by February 14, 2011.

This contest is open to all high school and college students in the U.S., Canada, and around the world.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Geekfest

Just a heads up, if you haven't seen that Geekfest is coming 9/24 to 9/26... it's $100. Use the links below for more info...

http://blogs.tampabay.com/photo/2010/08/geekfest-photo-conference-in-st-petersburg.html

Schedule

If you would like to attend but can't afford, please let me know so that I can put you in touch with the organizer.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Buying your first camera and lens- Compromise, compromise, compromise

Buying a camera and a lens can be challenging for all of us. Cameras and lenses come in all shapes, sizes and price. So which one should you buy???? Well, as I often say in the class, the answer is “It depends.” Ask yourself some questions: What do I plan to use the camera/lens for? Do you want full frame or APS-C lens? Zoom or prime lens? Because if you mount an APS-C lens on a full frame camera body, you will loose information around the edge of the picture. It all boils down to one major question: How much money do you want to spend on your first DSLR and lens? If you can answer this question, get ready to compromise (kit lens vs specialty lens vs third party lens, full frame sensor vs cropped frame sensor, camera features, including live view, bracketing, etc.).

If you want to do sports photography or you plan to take pictures of birds (and you can’t get closer to your subjects), you may need a telephoto lens or supertele (400 mm and up on a full frame camera, 300 mm on a cropped frame camera but these lenses tend to be HEAVY and expensive) and you can also buy a matching teleconverter (you loose image quality). You can also look into third party lenses like Tamron or Sigma. Often times, third party lenses are cheaper. Or you can try a kit tele-zoom lens. I have used a kit tele-zoom lens when I shot night time football pics and I was okay with the results (I used monopod/tripod) because I knew I could not afford a faster telephoto lens.

If you want to do sports photography in low light, you may need a fast (f 1.4, f. 2, f. 2.8) telephoto lens (with a focal length of 135-300 mm and up).

The size of the image sensor determines the cost of the camera (full frame vs. cropped frame). In addition, if you plan to do sports photography in low light conditions/nighttime photography (when you use available light), you may need a camera with high ISO capabilities. When you shop for a camera you might want to consider the digital sensor. For instance, the Canon 7D or the Nikon D300 have a cropped sensor APS-C which is not bad at all. I think you need to be a Pro to justify spending a big hunk of money for a full frame camera like the Nikon D700. As a photojournalist, I am happy with my cropped sensor camera and when I decided to go with the cropped sensor camera PRICE was a major issue (the lenses for APS-C cameras are cheaper too). To read the debate on the digital sensor size, go to Cambridgeincolor.

A couple of things I want to point out about full size sensors. These cameras perform very well under low light conditions (high ISO capabilities with less digital noise), have better image quality BUT they are expensive.

If you plan to shoot close-ups of bugs and flowers, you should look into a macro lens (about 50-200 mm in a full camera, 35-200 mm on APS-C). These lenses tend to be expensive and they are used for macro photography only.

Ultra-wide zoom and prime lenses (14-24 mm on a full frame, 10-20 mm on a cropped frame) are used in environmental portrait, landscape, and architecture photography. The main problem with any wide angle lens is the distortion you will get (Barrel distortion bends lines outward, pincushion bends the lines inward- but lens distortion can be corrected in PS or Lightroom).

Wide angle lenses (21-35 mm) are mainly used in landscape photography.

I hope this helps you a bit. You may want to check out the Digital Picture link.

and DP Review for the specs on cameras and lenses.

Another great source is CNET. -- it's like the Consumer Reports for electronics ... they also rate online sellers AND rank selling prices from low to high (if you click on the header of the price column to sort the listing in this manner) so you can shop with confidence ...

B&H Photo out of NYC put together a guide for "prosumer" DSLRs and it's worth a read. The video is also nice.

Though they go through some technical stuff, most of the concepts are covered during the course so it shouldn't be totally foreign to you. Take notes. If you have questions, ask me.

So far, here are my three cents:
• stick with either Canon or Nikon and you can't go wrong regarding your investment. If you plan to stay with the same brand camera, I would encourage you to buy better lenses that would fit the camera brand of your choice.
• my most recent camera body purchase is the Nikon D300, and -- I did NOT purchase a kit lens with this camera; rather, I went with a third-party zoom lens that also has macro capability (no Nikon zoom lens offered macro -- close-up -- shooting at the time I made my purchase 2 years ago); macro allows me to focus very closely on small objects which are great for photojournalism detail shots OR things you may be selling on eBay; my third party lens is made by Tamron (other third partly lenses are Sigma, Cosina, etc.). Note that all third party lenses are made to specifically fit a manufacturer's camera body, like Canon or Nikon, so if you order one ... do make sure you are buying the one that fits the brand of camera you own or are buying ... a Canon mount lens will not work on a Nikon, etc.
• used gear- Another option is to buy a used camera from an authorized dealer like Cameta Camera or B&H. Both companies have competitive pricing, you won't be paying sales tax, shipping is often free AND they have a wonderful return team so if you don't like what you purchased, it's easy to send it back (not all online retailers are this nice about return authorizations).
Bottom line, buy a camera you can afford and you can use.

Pinhole Cameras and Pinhole Photography

Digital Imaging with Pinholes, Zone Plates, and Alternatives, a manual

Nikon pinhole adapters on eBay

I have one on order $29.75
+$7.95 shipping


Pinhole images

Pinhole videos

History of pinhole cameras

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Home-based Abstract Writers for the New York Times Regional Media Group Editing Center

My friend, freelance journalist, Susan Ladika emailed me about this freelance opportunity.

This ad (see below) is running now in the Gainesville Sun. The background: The client really is an international newspaper and the work is boiling down stories to 100-200 word summaries with a headline. Pay, I've heard, is $20 an hour. Hours are basically midnight to 6 a.m., though I also have heard that there may be some flexibility on the front end but bulk of the work is during that time frame.
If you are a night owl and want to earn some extra money, this might be worth a look. Often work-from-home jobs are a scam, but this one is not. They're creating the space at the editing center now for the project, which will launch in September.
If you are not interested, but know of someone who would be, please pass it on.
Have a great Thursday,
Jeff


Home-based Abstract Writers

The New York Times Regional Media Group Editing Center in Gainesville is looking for freelancers to write summaries of articles appearing in a leading international newspaper. The successful applicant will have above-average reading comprehension and writing skills and be able to function under deadline pressure. Computer skills and command of English language are essential. Journalism background helpful, but not required. Applicants should be available to work from home or other remote location at night and/or early morning hours. The editing center is located in The Gainesville Sun. If interested, please send resume to jobsinfo@sunwriters.com

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

National Estuaries Day Photo Contest



National Estuaries Day Photo Contest

Help celebrate National Estuaries Day by entering a photo that captures the beauty of Tampa Bay in Weedon Island Preserve's "Tampa Bay Estuary Photo Moments" Contest. The contest is open to all amateur photographers. Deadline is September 17 to submit a matted or framed 8 x 10 or 11 x 14 print. Submittals can be mailed or hand delivered to Weedon Island Preserve's Cultural and Natural History Center. Prizes include eco-tours and donated kayak trips. Contest winners will be announced during the National Estuaries Day program at Weedon Island on September 25. Sponsors include the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, Sweetwater Kayaks, and Sensing Nature, LLC.


Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center
1800 Weedon Drive NE
St. Petersburg, Florida 33702

Email: weedonisland@pinellascounty.org

Center Hours:
Open Thursday - Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Closed Holidays

Preserve Hours:
Open daily, 7:00 a.m. to time posted, approximately 15 minutes before sunset. Daily closing time is posted at the entrance to the Preserve.
Open Holidays

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tip 1: Fill Flash Why Should I Use Fill Flash?

My friend, blogger, Kevin Hing, purchased a nice camera- Nikon D300s and asked for some tips he can use while he is in Ireland.
First tip, put me in your luggage, Kev :)
These tips may be useful for beginner photographers too.
Before you buy a camera, do your research to make sure that you are buying the product you need. A good source for this is DPReview.com and their review of the Nikon D300s is quite good.

1. Fill Flash
The on-camera flash can be useful when shooting a subject in low light or shadow. In this example, my subject was backlit, so her face had no detail in the first image that I shot without flash and using ambient light.


There are various ways to "doctor" this image, but the easiest is to use the on-camera fill flash. If the light is to harsh looking, you can place a tissue/Band Aid over your built-in flash to soften the light. Try it with the tissue and without and see which one you like it.

• you can also control the amount of fill flash falling on your subject's face by the distance you stand from the subject. If you are closer to your subject, you let in more light; if you are farther away = less light -- use the zoom feature of your camera to pleasingly frame the subject's face regardless of the distance between the two of you

• the objective of the fill flash is to "fill in" just a little to enhance the quality of light already falling on the subject's face -- fill flash can be used in direct sunlight or open shade to augment available light

In the second picture, I used on-camera flash with a tissue. As you can see, the subject's face has details now.


In order to reduce the disturbing light shining through the window behind her, I zoomed in on her face in the third photo because she is the subject of my image.

Experiment with this technique before you go out to take fill flash portraits.













Here is an image where the fill flash is too harsh.All the images in this post were unprocessed.
An example on Fill- Flash photography is Apple bobbing.

Monday, August 9, 2010

RAW vs. JPEG in Wedding Photography

Wedding shoots scare me to death because there is no chance to reshoot the images: if I miss a moment, it is a lost one. But as always, do your research and scout the place before you get there. My last photoshoot was this Saturday at Josephine and Arthur’s 25th Wedding Anniversary. The assignment was challenging because I had to take pictures in a room with big windows and my backdrop for group shots was a white wall with a painting on it. Not to mention the white dress Josephine was wearing and the 15 person group shot that was a last minute decision.

I shot the pictures in RAW format because I was afraid that I need to do more post production. All the images in the album are proofs and I edited them a little (crop, sharpen, dodge). Next time, I would shoot the images in JPEG to save time. Ultimately, I think I made the right decision because I was shooting in low light and I had high contrast issues. I also had plenty of space on my camera’s compact flash card. After I shot the images in RAW, I edited them in Lightroom 3 and saved them in JPEG format to upload them on the photo gallery. Some photographers recommend saving the processed images in DNG format (it’s lossless) instead of the JPEG format.

So, why shoot JPEG/JPG? This file format is already compressed and processed inside the camera, JPEGs can be opened in all photo editing programs, and this file format allows for minimal post-processing. Minimal processing is what photojournalists do. BUT, every time you edit a JPEG , you lose information and sometimes the camera may not process the file correctly. Shoot JPEG to save time and space on your harddrive and flashcard. Most photojournalists shoot JPEG. One of the best wedding photographers, Jasmine Star, also shoots JPEGs. I would still recommend using the largest JPEG format available to take images.

Why shoot RAW? If you think you need to do more post-processing on your images, shoot RAW. RAW images are unprocessed (lossless file format) and contain more data. Thus, the photographer can do more post-production work on the images. BUT, RAW files are much larger and take up a lot of space on your camera card.
Before you decide in which format you shoot, I would recommend you to shoot RAW+ small JPEG to see the difference.

Ken Rockwell gives a good explanation on the RAW vs. JPEG.
Another tutorial on RAW vs. JPEG is on the Digital Photography School’s site.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Shai Kremer- Between Art and Documentary Photography




Amid all of the developments in the Middle East, Shai Kremer hopes to help people understand the region through his photographs. His exhibition “Infected Landscape” opened at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in Tampa on May 29.
The New York and Tel-Aviv based Kremer documents the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a conflict he has breathed and lived in for many years.
"You don’t feel the war when you live in Tel Aviv, you just live a normal life like you live in Tampa...like a routine of everyday life under occupation, 43 years of living under control of a military that decides if you're going to study in the next town or not, or if you're going to a doctor or not. ..."

Kremer’s seven years of work, photographic discoveries and research is compiled into the “Infected Landscape.”
"I believe in the force of this medium, photography in order to make a changes — not apparent changes most of the time, but it's something that donates to this effort to make a change. It’s like a small drop but still, it’s worth something, and it’s worth my sweat and my time and my energy doing that."

Unlike war photographer Robert Capa, who mainly documented the flesh and blood in the battles, Kremer focuses his camera lens on the desolate Middle East landscape torn by conflict and by terror. Ruins of military training zones and illegal settlements dominate his images, and the people remain small figures in the landscape. In his photographs, Kremer juxtaposes beauty and terror. His images are, as he says, the “metaphoric portrayal of the military disfiguration of the Israeli landscape” symbolized through chopped-down olive trees and ruins of destroyed military bases.
"I am taking a step backwards, and create this composition in order to be like very seductive, and to talk about beauty, and from that to engage the audience, to (seduce) them to see it and spend more time, then they see the pattern; they see whatever each one relates to in the image. The message gets inside like in a more effective way than if it was an image of blood and fire and war, something like that that was just fleeting, because you saw that yesterday, the same image, another image the day before, so it's something unusual."

His devotion for social documentary photography comes with a price. During the Lebanon war, in 2006, while he was on assignment for The New York Times, he risked being shot at and arrested when he photographed a chopper landing in a temporary landing zone in Haifa.
"I saw another chopper that was about to land, and there was a group of birds that was following him. So it was like formation, and it was a great metaphor, because that's what I was assigned to portray during these ten days the Israeli people. So I thought it's a great metaphor to show a group that was following the force. It was ninety percent of the population of Israel back then that was for the war in Lebanon."

In his images, Kremer plays with the gap between beauty and terror. And he provides food for thought and a fresh angle of view.
"If people knew how to listen, and how to accept the other, and to have a dialogue and to respect the other narrative, I think we will be in a much different place than where we are now."

For his images, he calls for a global dialogue.
"I am not against or for the Arabs or Israelis; I think they are both wrong. … I don’t have something against the soldiers; I think they are innocent and just doing their job most of the time. I am coming against the political decisions that make these things happen. That's what I am critiquing. It’s about Israeli society and the way it continues to be a more military country — the way this phenomenon is getting on and on."

He says that his call for an open dialogue among artists and the audience was received differently in Israel.
"It wasn’t talk, it was more shouting. The crowd was splitting in two, and it was like that. I could barely talk. In other places it was more like what we saw today. I could explain my project and my work."

Joanne Milani is the curator of the museum. She says the museum welcomes artists with different opinions. She was drawn to show Shai Kremer by Julie Saul, gallery owner.
"She is a woman with Tampa roots, who has a very successful New York photography gallery. And she brought to our attention Shai Kremer. And we were fascinated by the quality of his work, by the issues he addressed, even though it certainly raises controversial questions about the politics of the region. We decided this was an exhibition we couldn't pass up," she said.

"I am just happy that … Muslims and Jews will be talking and on the background is my work. By that I think I accomplished my mission. It’s a very nice finishing process," Kremer said.


The exhibition ran at FMOPA through July 17. For additional information, visit www.FMoPa.org
The New York Times Magazine article mentioned in the story can be found here.
video

Audio File on Youtube.

Shai Kremer's website.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Research in Journalism? - Not at the Guardian

There is a heated debate going on in LinkedIn about freelancers vs. bloggers and free content providers. Critics say that bloggers and free content providers don't provide quality work. It may be true. I blog because I want to provide my view to my audience on journalism, reporting and photography but I don't edit my posts carefully as I would do with an article. So, yes, mistakes do happen because blogging is a hobby for me and I don't always have time to edit my work. I always thought professional media outlets do their best to produce high(er) quality content. I also argued on LinkedIn that journalists are journalists because they do research and their writing is clear. The article about the changing media landscape in the Guardian disproves my theory that journalists have higher standards. I am wondering if they even have copy editors there...
I would expect to know more about the "opportunities" out there since I am a currently unemployed journalist. All I read about is opportunities for "paid content" and about falling advertising avenues but that does not translate to opportunity for journalists to get paid for their content nor that the paywalls will work and they will get paid in the future. I thought the writer was supposed to tell about "opportunities" for journalists but she missed totally the point. So yes, everything is wrong with this article- numbers, details and title don't add up.

Monday, July 5, 2010

How to Shoot Fireworks


Well, shooting fireworks last night was a bit challenging because there were NONE. It's a bit tricky when you set up your camera on the tripod with a wide angle lens thinking that fireworks will be nearby so why bother with a telephoto. I found a cool spot on the top of the roof and waited for the fireworks on St. Pete Beach. Since nothing happened for a while I decided to go ahead and shoot the fireworks on Pass-A-Grille. My images would have been better if the fireworks would have been closer. So my advice is to make sure that fireworks will be where you are standing because if you miss these shots you may have to wait for months... Still don't know what happened to the fireworks on St. Pete Beach....

The hardest for me was to anticipate when most of the fireworks will go off. You want to press the shutter release when the firework start and finish before they end. Otherwise you will have less spectacular shots...

Here are the steps to take good fireworks images:
1. location and lens (use wide if you want to include background and a telephoto for closeup)
2. use the "bulb" mode in your camera or slow shutter speed (experiment). For my shots I used the bulb mode,and I pressed down the shutter release button when the fireworks started. I checked back to see if my shots were properly exposed. If my shots were overexposed I used a higher fstop to let in less light.
3. I used higher aperture (f16 and f18)
3. low ISO (100 or 200)- NEVER go with higher ISO as you will have grainy images. While grain sometimes can be cool in night shots, I would not use high ISO when I shoot fireworks.
4. TRIPOD!!!!! Tripod is needed for all low light photos. Do not use monopod instead of tripod, they are two different beasts. I literally had to force myself to bring a tripod for this photoshoot as I very rarely use one. I would use next time a sturdier tripod because of the winds. Also, turn off the vibration reduction on your lens if you use tripod.
5. cable release is necessary but I had none. It was hard to fight wind therefore my images are not as clear. So buy a cable release before you shoot fireworks!
6. Manual Exposure!!!!
7. Manual Focus because at night lenses just don't focus well on auto focus.

Fourth of July Photogallery on Flickr

More tutorials

Darren Rowse's tutorial
Scott Kelby's post

Monday, June 28, 2010

How to Create a Website for Photographers? Part 1

Hmmmm... that's the big question. HELP! This takes longer than I have expected. Since I am unemployed, I guess it is time for me to look around and create a site on my own.
Here are the first steps to create a site on a budget:
1. I bought a domain name on godaddy.com
2. I found a hosting provider: parcom.net (cheapest)
3. I tied to webshost to the domain name
4. I am in the process to download Wordpress because I plan to use it as my content management system.

Some sources I found interesting
Build A Cool Photo Gallery Website from Wordpress

How to Create Websites Using Wordpress


25 of the Best Photographer Portfolio Websites

A tutorial for downloading Wordpress for a Parcom account

Monday, June 14, 2010

Blue Hour Photography


A good exercise for a beginner photographer is to take pictures of a place at different times, during sunrise, sunset, blue hour and at noon to see how the lighting conditions change (as the sun rises you have harsher light and shadows, during sunset you have warm colors, during overcast you have even light). I have always wanted to take pictures Downtown Tampa during blue hour. Blue hour is a magical time to shoot after sunset or before sunrise. I have not shot blue hour shots before sunrise so I will talk about blue hour photography after sunrise. The characteristic of the blue hour photography is the rich blue sky you get if you take pictures after sunset. Blue hour varies- if the sky is clear, you have more time to take blue hour pictures after sunset, if the sky is cloudy, the blue hour happens earlier and you have a narrower window of time to shoot. My advice is to start taking photographs from East to West because of the narrow window of time and use shorter shutter speeds to obtain richer colors. Longer shutter speeds may give you a nice sky but they wash out the lights on buildings. Because of the low lighting conditions and slower shutter speed you use for low light photography, a tripod is a must to avoid motion blur. To see if your exposure is correct, don’t use your in camera meter but use your histogram. I don’t leave the camera’s white balance in auto because most cameras try to warm up the cool colors in the sky. Instead I set the white balance in manual mode and I start at 3400 (note- you can solve this problem in post processing by changing the color temperature). If you can’t set your white balance manually, set it at tungsten. Chimp to see if you got a nice blue sky. I usually take a couple of shots and adjust my white balance accordingly to bring out the blue sky. I start with the following camera settings: ISO 100 or 200, f 6 or7 and 1/45 (if I shoot right after sunset and I have some light). I do test shots and change the settings each time I change the place and the sky gets darker. You have to experiment. The last University of Tampa images were taken with 4, 10 and 15 seconds exposures and f 15 (with the higher fstops, I wanted bring out the starburst). Still, the third minaret remained overexposed so it is something I have to pay attention next time. All the pictures were taken using a wide angle lens, hence the lens distortion that I never got to correct in Photoshop. I only shoot in RAW file format and I use the manual mode. I prefer getting the perfect image in camera because I want to do as little post processing as possible. I only used tripod for the night shots and not for the blue hour shots (big mistake!). I should have used a shutter release cable to avoid camera shake and manual focus as I had focusing problems. I will remember these things next time .
Things to remember:
! Tripod!
!!!!! Do not set your ISO higher! Even though I used a tripod with my Nikon D300 and the pictures I took with ISO 560 are noisy.
!Check the lights on the buildings and street to see if they are overexposed!
! ISO 100 or 200 to minimize the digital noise in the picture
! Long exposure!
! Use a moderate fstop (use high fstops if you want to achieve the starburst effect on the lights; higher fstops are needed for full zoom)
! Remote control! (I don’t have one but I will get one soon) Instead, I will use the “self timer” function in the camera, this allows the camera to rest a couple of seconds before the exposure.

There is even a Blue Hour Site where you can figure out the exact time of the blue hour in your area and a blue hour group on Flickr. Have fun shooting blue hour images and let me know about your results.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

How NOT to write an article

The article on TBO.com sounds like a joke to me and it is the perfect example of how NOT to write an article. I mean, I get it that reporters run out of time and this and that but still. Fact checking, doing research and actually interviewing people IS YOUR JOB. Dear Tribune correspondent, I don't want to see a press release, a quote from an email and a quote from the artist's website presented to the readers as "a story," PLEASE. If it's a blog, that's fine. If it's an article, then it's not fine. USF and I bet other universities offer reporting 101 courses and TBO editors can also have a higher regard for their audience. That's why journalism goes down the drain.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Multimedia Story Ideas- Challenge Yourself

Some of my students asked me for photo story/multimedia story ideas.
Well, how about localizing a national event (for example, oil spill story with a local angle when the oil disaster hits us. Sadly, it will hit Tampa Bay in a matter of days).
Also, look how other newspapers come up with their stories. For instance, Time has an album called Today in Pictures and Pictures of the Week.
In this means, that yes, you should have your camera everywhere with you at all times :)
I am also looking for stories on my own. This story in the NY Times, One in 8 Million, just yelled at me- do a Tampa Bay version!
Make a list and include places and faces that interest you. This way, you can come up with a story idea almost every day.

Digital Alteration of News Photographs

Back to media ethics again. This time The Dominion Post's credibility is questioned. Obviously, the NPPA Objects To Dominion Post's Digital Alteration Of News Photograph
That's all very good, but how can ethics be enforced if newspapers' editors think outside these ethics rules?
I agree with the NPPA that news photographs should not be altered when used in news context. I do dodging and burning and I still crop the image if it is too much headroom space. Ken Irby from Poynter approves the use of these tools within limits.So what are these limits? Ken Irby's answer is when these practices "obliterate(d) background detail, and this overdramatization, or gross exaggeration of what's real, goes too far."

And then he goes on by saying that the "removal of visual content" is unnacceptable in news images. The editors at The Dominion Post did not consider at all ethical standards when they removed the candidates running for re-election from the image and they attached the image to the news story.
I hope to have a heated debate with fellow photojournalists and j students in the Tampa Bay about this issue.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Photography exhibition at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (FMOPA)

In conjunction with the exhibition at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (FMOPA), “Infected Landscape: Works by Shai Kremer,” FMOPA is presenting two events addressing the controversial topics raised by the show.
Kremer will speak on his work at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 29 at FMOPA.
Born in 1974 in Israel, Kremer photographs a Middle East landscape that is scarred by the warfare of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For him, the wounded, infected landscape is a stand-in for the war-torn lives of people on both sides. He does not take a pro-Israeli or pro-Palestinian stand. He takes pro-human stand.
Admission to the talk is free for FMOPA members and $4 for non-members.
A PANEL DISCUSSION on the social, political, military and psychological ramifications addressed Kremer’s work takes place on Sunday, June 6, from 2 to 3:30 pm at FMOPA. The museum opens that day at 1 pm. so attendees can view the show before the panel discussion. Admission is free for FMOPA members and $4 for non-members.
Panel moderator is Rob Lorei of WMNF. He also is host of “Florida This Week on WEDU. Panelists: USF Professor Abdelwahab Hechiche is a native of Tunisia. A Fulbright scholar, he studied at the Sorbonne and has been a Fellow at Harvard University, among many other honors. Steve Schwersky was born in Boston. The Clearwater resident is currently Chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council for Pinellas and Pasco Counties, as well as being a member of B’nai B’rith. Kuwaiti-born Samar Jarrah has been a reporter for Jordan Television in Amman, Jordan, and for CNN World Report. She has lived in Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt. Dr. Simon Firer was born in Israel and studied psychology, dentistry and business at three universities in Wisconsin. He is also a sculptor who works in bronze.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Royalty Free Music for Photographers

Even though I often advise my students against using music for their multimedia projects sometimes it is necessary. Here is a site that is worthy to explore:http://incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free/
Make sure you check out the FAQs, mention the creator/company and DONATE to ensure that this music stays free.
Another option is to look for a local band, ask permission to record a track from them that would add to your story and mention the name of the band.
I do not use music in my multimedia stories but I have seen stories on Mediastorm.org that use music.

How to Shoot Flowers


I will take pictures on May 20th for the Tampa Bay Orchid Society. While I mostly shoot events, I decided to take the challenge and learn how to shoot flowers. Here are some shots I posted on my Flickr before I decided to cover the event. All images were taken using available light. The first 15 pictures were taken with a normal lens and the last 16 and 17 were taken with a 17-50 mm Tamron 2.8, and the rest with a 50 mm Quantaray 2.8. I borrowed the Quantaray lens from a friend and I love it. In the next couple of days, I hope to post more flower images and hopefully better ones.
Based on Jim Tear’s advice, here is what I plan to do on May 20th to cover the event that starts at 6:00 p.m.:
1. Arrive at 5:30 p.m.
2. Reserve an end of the bloom table for use as my mini studio
3. Tape a black velvet backdrop to the wall with masking tape with the middle about eye level or higher. Mine is 34x41". Bigger would be more efficient
4. Place an 8 inch posing block on the bloom table. Mine is 8x12x20". This way I can turn it 3 ways to place the flower I’m shooting near eye level.
Further tips:
4a. Be careful. Many orchids are top heavy and tip over easily
4b. Keep flowers about 2 feet from the backdrop to ensure that the backdrop will be solid black
5. Place the daylight balanced hot light at the same level as the flower and move it in close to eliminate shadows and to reduce the exposure needed. Someone in the orchid society brings in the lamp so everyone can see the true colors of the flowers when they show each plant to the members and talk about it.
5a. Do a custom white balance and also shoot a white sheet of paper for white balance in Lightroom
6. Shoot all the larger flowers. Jim Tear uses a Canon 24-105 mm f/4 is lens. Flowers 4" or larger will fill the frame with his full frame 13 mp canon 5d.
7. Shoot all the smaller flowers with my sigma 150 mm macro lens.
8. Move the black velvet to a wall behind the hanging plants.
9. Shoot all the hanging plants.
10. Shoot the 2 bloom winners
11. Finish & and leave by 9:30

Instead of using the hot light, you could use a studio flash with a softbox. One medium or large box is sufficient if placed 1-3 feet away to eliminate shadows. Or you could use a speedlight with a flash diffuser. It might be necessary to turn down the speedlight exposure and to angle down the flash head. Using the equipment he uses, Jim Tear can carry everything himself in 1 trip: camera around his neck, camera bag with lenses and spare batteries and spare cards, cloth shopping bag with the backdrop, tape, speedlight, and posing block. According to Jim Tear, 1 photographer should do all the shooting. The 2nd photographer moves the orchids in and out of the shooting position; turn the plant so the best flower faces the camera; look carefully to avoid using a fading flower with brown spots. The photographers can switch roles but it's best to have 1 shooter & 1 orchid wrangler for several shots.

Here is how Jim Tear shoots these events:

- I shoot with the camera horizontally for all shots. It’s easier to hold the camera this way.
- I process all images in Lightroom
- I crop to a vertical frame in Lightroom if necessary. With 13 mp I have enough pixels to throw away for the results needed for this shoot.
- I often use ISO 3200 but 1600 or 800 would be better
- I use aperture around f/14 but f/22 would be better
- I use shutter around 1/80 sec
- Check histogram to be sure highlights are not blown out--especially for white flowers
- I shoot hand held for speed and convenience but using a tripod would be better
- I use a full frame 13 mp canon 5d. It’s rather low noise at high ISO.
- For large flowers (>= 4 inches across) I use a canon 24-105 mm f/4 is lens.
- For small flowers I use a sigma 150 mm f/2.8 macro lens
- Make sure the flower is not moving before shooting it
- For each plant shoot the label as well as the flower--preferably just before the flower. color balance and exposure is not critical for the label as long as it is legible
- Shoot 1 flower straight on filling the frame but not cropping any part of the flower
- It is a documentary shot--not an art shot--keep it simple smarty
- In addition, shoot a flower cluster, if you like

For more tips, see the American Orchid Society's website.
Common mistakes when shooting flower quality awards

More helpful hints from AOS


He also shoots the meeting. The photographer should try to get a good shot of each person who stands to give a committee report, take pictures of the president, the education speaker, the main speaker, the bloom table speakers. It is very important to shoot the members who won the bloom table awards. There are two winners: the main winner & the novice winner. For all of these people pix, he uses his full frame 13 mp Canon 5D with a 70-200 mm f/4 lens. He uses a Canon speedlight with a flash diffuser. Because the ceiling is too high to bounce, he points it horizontally. ISO 3200 is okay for the quality needed, Jim Tear said.

How the images are used:

-in the monthly society newsletter: they use small pix of the orchids
-on the web site: they use both people pix and flower pix
-for slideshows: they use both people pix and flower pix
- he delivers 450x450 pixels jpegs via his website.

See Jim Tear’s images from the Tampa Bay Orchid Society's meetings. See the gallery of the most beautiful orchids in Tampa Bay.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Master Portraits from Pepito

It was a pleasure meeting Pepito a couple of weeks ago when he demonstrated how to do a nice portrait, set up lights and proper posture. He refers to the portraiture as a form of art.
He is known for his sepia portraiture collection and his simple lighting.
Every day Pepito studies master painters' artwork and yes, he is still using his Haselblad medium format camera. He says he prefers to get the picture in the camera and does little post processing.

He also develops a relationship with his clients.
"I talk to the people, I am like a psychologist. I tell them how to think of something," Pepito said. He talks to his client prior to the shooting about wearing long sleeved shirts in the same color. The reason for long sleeves is that the arms of the subject may become a focal point in the image (the skin has a lighter tone and it attracts the eyes).

What size image should I buy?
Pepito always answers this question prior to the shooting.
- The size of the wall determines the size of the picture
- What impact does the client want to achieve with the picture?
- The investment the client would like to make
All three elements play a role in the image size selection.

If Pepito is using available light, he prefers the light after sunset or the subtractive lighting in the park (shade).

Here is his advice about how to be a good photographer and business person:
1. compose in the camera
2. learn from master painters
3. always get to the scene earlier than your client
4. give your clients a questionnaire and keep it after they fill it out. It has their names, Bday, pets, hobbies, it is easier for a photographer to engage in conversation and "warm up" a client
5. on the clients' Bday, Pepito sends a postcard with their portrait as a reminder

Here are some behind the scene shots where you can see him setting up the light and positioning the subjects. His main light is a softbox to the left of the subject, a white reflector panel to the right of the subject, a background light or hair light behind the subject and an umbrella behind his camera.









Here are some portraits too where I used the same settings.

Posing a male client is different.





"You can be the greatest photographer, but you will starve to death if you don't do marketing," he said.

Pepito's blog is here.
Pepito's website is here.

Portrait Lighting techniques.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Thoughts on Food Photography

Recently I had the opportunity to attend Jim Sykes' workshop on food photography. The location was at the Teatro Restaurant in Ybor. Frankly, it was one of the most difficult assignments so far because I was soooo HUNGRY. And when you are hungry you just can't concentrate. I always thought food photography was simple and boring. Well, it is not. You have to be very detail oriented to get the best lighting and the perfect shots.
Here is my take on food photography.

Have a stylist who will deal with the food. Arranging the food and decorations takes a LOT of work, leave it to a professional.

Use the best food on a clean, possibly white plate. Setting is not as important because the focus is on food. Therefore, a simple background and a shallow depth of field adds dimension and context to your images. Like the one here:



Crop tight- in my situation this is not a problem, I am a tight cropper "by birth" :)










Your goal is to bring out the texture and the color of the food and you can do this with lighting. Here are some behind the scenes shots I took before the shooting started:






To see some of my food shots, click here.
To read more about photo photography, click here.

More information about food photography.

Lighting techniques.


Thanks, Jim!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

NYTimes Photo Submission Opportunity -- A Moment In Time

Here is an interesting email I received about this photo project.


On behalf of the New York Times photography blog Lens, I would like to invite you to join us in a project called A Moment in Time. Thousands of photographers of all experience levels will be capturing the same moment on Sunday, May 2nd at 15:00 U.T.C. That's 8 a.m. in Los Angeles, 11 a.m. in New York City and Santo Domingo, 4 p.m. in Algiers and London, 7 p.m. in Moscow and 11 p.m. in Beijing.

This is the first step in trying to connect photographers around the world. While anyone is welcome to participate, we are particularly hoping to see submissions from students and professors of photography.

We are asking participants to think about where they want to be and what they will focus on. Consider how to represent yourself, and your community, with one image.

To help stimulate ideas and to act as guides, we are suggesting the following categories for images:

· Community
· Play
· Work
· Family
· Relationships
· Nature/Environment
· Religion
· Arts and Entertainment
· Money and the Economy
· Social Issues


Photos should be no larger than 5 MB, ideally 1000 pixels wide or more. In keeping with photojournalistic standards, please keep Photoshopping to a minimum.

After you take your photos, submit your best image as soon as possible to http://submit.nytimes.com/moment. The link will go live that morning, directing you to a Web form. You will be asked to categorize your photos by location and subject, and to include a caption that helps tell the story.

Photos will quickly appear on the Lens Blog and The New York Times Web site. Your photo will be displayed in our A Moment in Time display, and may also be spotlighted in a Lens post. Please feel free to contact me with any comments or suggestions.

Check the Lens Blog for more information about A Moment in Time. You can also find us on Facebook or Twitter (@nytimesphoto) for updates. To join our official Facebook event invite, click here.

A Moment in Time is open to everyone. The project will be greatly enriched with your help. Please spread the word far and wide.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Reverse image search engines

Yes, you can download my images from this blog or Flickr BUT there's a free way to find people who steal your images online.
TinEye is a reverse image search engine. You upload the image you want to search and it will show you the sites that use the image.
For a How To article on TinEye click here.

Other reverse image engines you can use:
Free Foto
RevIMG

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Best of Photojournalism 2010 winners

The NPPA's The Best of Photojournalism 2010 winners: http://bop.nppa.org/2010/still_photography/winners/

The photos leave me speechless and they also inspire me.

Localize an international event- Thai New Year

Ethnic events provide great photo opportunities for me. So Google nonprofits, religious places and meetups in your area and you will have plenty of opportunities to take photos. Yesterday the Thai Wat in Tampa celebrated the Thai New Year with a festival that involves sprinkling water to bring good luck in the new year. Here are some candid photos I took at the Thai Temple Wat Mongkolratanaram in Tampa. I also posted some images on Flickr. My favorite pictures were about the watersplashing event.














Photo and Video Hosting Sites

I use Flickr not only to publish but to edit and store my photos. Just in case, if my hard drive kicks the bucket. Flickr is more than a photo hosting site, it is a social media platform with all kinds of groups so it is worthwhile to check it out! Flickr offers two types of accounts: free and pro. The free account gives you limited access, you can upload 100 MB of images and 2 videos a month. I have a PRO account that gives me unlimited storage space so I can use it as a backup.Flickr is easy to use, it also has a built in photo editor program, Picnic, and it is the most popular photo sharing site. To see my images on Flickr click here.

Another site is Google Picasa. It does not have the rings and bells that Flickr has, it is easy to use and I recommend it for beginning digital photographers.

Other websites are:
Photobucket
Smugmug

You can read a detail review about these photo sharing sites here.

I use Flickr because it is cleaner, easier to navigate, has the most users, so I can get the most exposure. You can tag your images, join several groups on photography or search by typing in keywords.

Most of these photo storage sites can be linked using an application to your own website and your other social media sites including blogs, Facebook and LinkedIn. Some photographers link their Flickr photostream to their website to drive more traffic and increase their exposure. If you have your own website, try connecting your Twitter, Flickr, my blogs and Facebook to your site and your website will look more active and interactive.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

FREE education about photography by the nr. 1 photographer- Chase Jarvis

This guy is just phenomenal and is using social media to spread the love for photography. That's right, it's free to watch any and all live feeds from some of the world's best creative instructors on creativeLIVE.com
Social media and the internet make education either free or affordable. I would argue that SM also raises the quality of education when guys like Chase Jarvis and others jump in!
Check out other sites where you pay a monthly fee and you get the best of the best tutorials!
http://www.kelbytraining.com/
http://www.lynda.com/

Also- support local artists and photographers who offer quality classes at an affordable price. I took classes and therefore I can highly recommend the following photographers in Tampa Bay: Loyce Hood and Jim Sykes, they are both awesome and they LOVE to teach.
Their websites:
http://loycehoodphoto.com/
http://www.jrsphotos.com/

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Shooting pelis on weekends- Documentary photography

The pelicans are back and the fishermen,too. The last two weekends have picked up, and Liz Vreeland from the Seabird Sanctuary is rescuing an average of 20 birds per weekend, which I expect to double in April as conditions ripen. In the next few weeks, as it warms up, the bait will return and she is looking at an increased number of entangled and hooked birds! Liz Vreeland thinks she may have more birds being run over, as they are laying on the road again. The piers are getting more active- more fishermen, more cars. No signs yet to warn people that the birds won't move for cars, so this is one thing people can do...let people driving on the pier know.
That being said, it really is beautiful out there in this weather! Please round up your friends and help these birds. They need photographers documenting abuse and other important topics. They need rescuers. If you are interested, let's do a meetup and help a good cause. For more info contact Liz at elivree@yahoo.com

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Helpful Websites on Photography

http://www.Editorialphoto.com

http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/index.jsp

http://www.Photo.net

http://www.robgalbraith.com

http://www.kenrockwell.com

http://www.libraryofphotography.com

http://www.digitalphoto.com

http://www.asmp.org/

http://www.ppa.com/

http://www.kodak.com/cluster/global/en/consumer/products/techInfo/ac61/


photography using existing light

www.photonhead.com

http://imaginginfo.com

http://www.allthingsphoto.com

http://www.ddimaging.net/html/resolutions___file_size_charts.html

www.photodo.com

http://www.cameras-scanners-flaar.org

http://www.dpreview.com/

http://www.Zuga.net

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials.htm

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/

http://www.usfphotography.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=j55tqanaa5241emhkt1tg6aju7;www

http://www.gimp.org/

http://blog.magnumphotos.com/2008/11/wear_good_shoes_advice_to_young_photographers.html

http://www.photogs.com/bwworld/

http://photocamel.com

http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/index.php

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

For Paws Hospice


For Paws Hospice set to introduce its Mobile Animal Shelter M*A*S*H Unit at Mutt Strut Event benefiting The Humane Society, March 20th on Honeymoon Island. For more information go here.

ALSO-

3.9.10

Open letter to the community

Bosco’s List

The look on Bosco’s face says it all, “I have my life back,” and we know it will be a good life for this little dog who only needed a helping hand.
With just a single announcement on Facebook Bosco found his wheels when someone remembered an unused wheel cart sitting in their closet.

Bosco’s List is a simple idea, one that could help hundreds of pets; if you or someone you know has a cart, lift harness or other unused special needs aid for a pet, contact For Paws Hospice and we’ll add it to a database. Nothing could be easier.

Your browser may not support display of this image. Then when a pet like Bosco needs help our volunteers match that request to the available list and another pet gets the gift of mobility. The cart or aid costs the recipient’s family nothing – just a promise that when they no longer need the item they will add it back to the list so another and then another pet can be helped - it’s paying forward.

For Paws Hospice and the original device manufacturers will recondition any cart and make all arrangements for fitting, adjustment and delivery at no cost to the recipient family.

So please take a minute and forward this message to your social media groups, family, friends and especially your veterinarian - they are the folks most likely to know where there are unused carts - give a life of mobility back to the Boscos in our community.

Thank you,

Harlan Weikle

Executive Director

ForPawsHospice.org

Irish boy looking for a home for St. Patty's (Seminole, FL)

My photographer friend, Bryan Leighty is looking for a home for a dog. Here is his posting and pictures:
His name is Orlando but I've always said he should be called O'Malley or Murphey. He's got red fur and white feet with freckles. His tail is tipped with white like a fox. He's clearly an Irish boy!

We actually aren't sure what breeds Orlando is a combination of but we are sure he's a retriever. He's got that silly retriever personality. He's a big goof that wants to play and be on the go but the moment you touch him or offer affection he will stop still in his tracks, frozen, waiting for you to pet him. He'll saunter over to the couch in the evening and offer you his paw. If you take it he'll stick his chest out and hope that you rub it. We don't allow foster dogs up on the couch or the bed but he desperately wants to come up and cuddle with someone. He'd be a great snuggling buddy for someone.

Orlando has never been our dog. We work with several rescue groups and do fostering. A while ago a shelter in Georgia contacted me and said that they had an amazing dog that needed rescue. They were overfull and he had to be rescued or he would be put to sleep, he only had one day left. So we brought him down here. He was just an untrained baby when we got him, but very big. So we worked on training him. He now knows all his commands... sit, stay, wait, down, and shake. He knows the basics of walking on a leash and settles down into a perfect heel. So it's not that we don't want him... he's a great dog! but we already have two dogs and he deserves to either be an only "child" or to have playmates that will play with him (ours our not v active).

He does not chew on things anymore, although he still has a weakness for the occasional sock (still outgrowing that puppy stage). He is completely potty trained and has never had an accident. He is not much of a barker but will bark if someone knocks or rings the doorbell, he will quiet down when you ask him too. He's crate trained but nearly ready to have free reign at night.

He gets along with all dogs and cats.... very playful. One of his favorite things to do is go to the dog park and run and play. He's also a great jogging/biking/swimming buddy. You name it, he's up for it.

In the evening he'll find a spot, close to you, and settles down with a bone or just to sleep. He's cute when he decides it's bedtime and he'll head out to his crate and put himself to bed.

When you come home in the evening he'll get so excited that his tail will wag so hard that his bottom will move faster than his front so he'll go crooked. It's hysterical... he just can't control that tail!

He's not perfect as he's still very young and a rescue. It takes him a little while to feel safe somewhere but once you show him the rules and that he's loved and safe he's a real sweetheart who just wants to please you. He just wants to fit in with a family and belong... you can see it in his eyes and it breaks my heart that he hasn't found that yet.

He is slightly taller than a retriever. His weight is about 80 pounds, which is mostly muscle because he's not that much bigger than a regular large lab.

He loves to play with children and is quite gentle. One of his closest doggie friends was a chihuahua so he's quite used to playing gently with smaller dogs, cats and children. He might do better with older children or children who are used to dogs simply because of his size and energy level.

He is most definitely the dog that will grow up to be a loyal companion... ready to go at any moment for adventure and perfectly happy to cuddle on the couch with his ear scratched.

Orlando is neutered and up to date on shots and heartworm.... he does have a small rehoming fee. We do an application and a vet check because want to find him the best home possible!

Are you the home for Orlando?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

HDR- High Dynamic Range Images

HDR- High Dynamic Range photos are post processing techniques (tone mapping, blending etc) that allow for greater color luminance and depth of an image. I use Photomatix Pro software and play with the settings as I learned from RC's tutorial, then I take the photo into Photoshop, play a little bit more with it and voila...
I do not use Photoshop CS4 to merge my images because I get better results in Photomatix.
I try to make my HDRs look a bit more realistic and not so "plasticy" looking but you may like that type of look.

So what is an HDR image? I use the exposure bracketing setting on my camera and shoot 3 images with multiple exposures- one at -1 EV, normal and a third one at +1 EV. But you can use more exposures too.

Recently I also made my first ever HDR portrait. Check it out here.

Here are some HDR tutorials:
http://www.layersmagazine.com/my-deconstruction-of-the-hdr-image.html
http://abduzeedo.com/how-create-hdr-photos-hdrphotomatix-tutorial
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/hdr-plea.shtml
http://www.michaelalbany.com/hdr2/PortraitsInHDR_2.camrec_controller.swf
http://www.stuckincustoms.com/


Here are 3 of the images I shot over the weekend:






And the resulting HDR image is here.