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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The best and cheapest lavaliers!

I don't talk too much about products, but I need to mention these lavaliers I bought months ago from Giant Squid.
It was $30 plus shipping and I also feel I got quality lavaliers (compared to other brands I experimented with). The store owner is Darren Nemeth, you can contact him at

This is the cardioid lav I use with my Zoom H2 and also the Olympus DM-520 digital audio recorder that I place inside an eyeglass case (I've drilled a hole into the end of the eyeglass case so the audio cord can pass through).

Such a deal!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was awarded Nobel Peace Prize this year!

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was awarded Nobel Prize this year!!!!

I was fortunate to record the President of the Republic of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's speech at the University of Tampa commencement convocation on May 9, 2009 at the St. Pete Times Forum.

The first woman president on the continent of Africa, President Sirleaf was elected in November 2005. In 2006, Forbes magazine named her the 51st most powerful woman in the world.

In her address, Sirleaf told the Tampa graduates that they should not get discouraged in the current economy if they can’t acquire their ideal job. She suggested that they possibly travel and work in another land to help out the less fortunate.

Sirleaf then segued into discussing her own life and career, including her campaign to become president of Liberia.

My photo is exhibited at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts!!!!

Special thanks to my buddy, Doyle Harrell who came with me to the exhibit and took some pictures. Special thanks to the model :) and Creative Loafing for creating this exhibition for photogs in Tampa Bay.

The Dangers of Nuclear Energy

What the media doesn't tell you about the . Listen to Helen # Caldicott's presentation recorded at USF's College of Public Health!

Monday, October 3, 2011

How to land a job? Research, prepare and be confident

According to USF's Career center, in today's competitive market, it is vital to meet employers' expectations when interviewing for positions both on and off campus.  To ensure that you are adequately prepared for your interview, adhere to the following minimal guidelines:

Before the Interview:

.       Research the company
        o    You can gather information about their products, services, culture, industry and
              market position from the company website
.       Dress for Success
        o      Business Professional Attire is expected - this includes a coordinated business suit
                for both men and women
.       Prepare a list of questions to ask the interviewer. This will convey your interest and
        eagerness for employment with the company
.       Bring extra copies of your resume to the interview
.       Review and practice answering sample interview questions - including both
        traditional, behavioral, and situational

 Students are also encouraged to participate in Career Express at the Career Center and speak with Counselor about Interviewing Tips. Career Express runs from Monday through Thursday from 9:00-12:00 and 1:00-4:00.

During the Interview:

.       Be on time. Arrive 10-15 minutes early and allow time for parking
.       Use a firm handshake and maintain good eye contact
.       Articulate why you are interested in the position and how your knowledge and skill sets
        make you the best candidate
.       Convey confidence and enthusiasm
.       Be honest
.       At the conclusion of the interview, inquire as to the best way to follow up

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Research!America Research Partners Forum-- October 27

A Research!America Research Partners Forum

Let Me Be Clear: Science Journalism
in the Age of the Genome and Twitter

Embassy Suites-Tampa USF, 3705 Spectrum Blvd., Tampa, FL

October 27, 2011

12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Florida is home to an increasing array of leading health and research institutions as well as some of the nation’s most respected media outlets. The state is thus in a unique position to shape the future of science journalism and health communications and their impact on public policy.

Research!America, with the University of South Florida and Pfizer, presents a Research Partners Forum: Let Me Be Clear: Science Journalism in the Age of the Genome and Twitter. Results from a new Florida poll will provide a springboard for an interactive conversation about media, health research, science and public understanding of these issues in a time of increasing complexity in all of these areas. Two high-level panel discussions, each followed by Q&A, will address these important issues. Leaders in science, health communications, journalism and social media will explore ways journalists and scientists can work together to communicate research news in today's fast-changing environment.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Jay Dean, PhD, professor of molecular pharmacology and physiology, USF Health
  • Elie Dolgin, PhD, news editor, Nature Medicine
  • Eric Eisenberg, PhD, dean, University of South Florida College of Arts and Sciences
  • Steven Klasko, MD, MBA, dean, University of South Florida College of Medicine
  • Sheril Kirshenbaum, science writer and research associate, University of Texas Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy
  • Karen Liller, PhD, dean, University of South Florida Graduate School; associate vice president for Research & Innovation, University of South Florida
  • Alice Park, senior reporter, TIME Magazine
  • Fred Pearce, PhD, director, University of South Florida School of Mass Communications
  • David Sampson, director, medical & scientific communications, American Cancer Society
  • Charlotte Sutton, health editor, St. Petersburg Times
  • Jack Watters, MD, vice president for External Medical Affairs, Pfizer Inc
  • Ralph Wilcox, PhD, provost and executive vice president, University of South Florida
  • Mary Woolley, president and CEO, Research!America

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A look at ethics in documentary filmmaking

Summer went by soooooooooo fast, this is not even funny!!!! My internship at USF Communications and Marketing Department comes to an end and I wanted to share one of my last articles I wrote last week. I enjoyed meeting very talented professors, who go above and beyond to be an example for students and USF! One of them is Dr. Butchart.....

Assistant Professor of Communication at USF Garnet Butchart gave a lecture on ethics and cinema at the JerusalemCentre for Ethics at Mishkenot Sha’ananim in Jerusalem in July.
Butchart’s lecture was part of a Seminar on Documentary Filmmaking Ethics of the 28th Annual Jerusalem International Film Festival for which he served as a juror for the Israeli Documentary Film Awards on July 7-16. 

Cinematographer Dan Geva invited Butchart to present his research on documentary filmmaking ethics, which had been published in the international journal, CommunicationTheory

According to Butchart, the two main ethical issues in documentary filmmaking are participant consent and the audience’s right to know and to hear.

“People have the right to control their own image, and to avoid being manipulated in the process of filmmaking. People have a right to information about issues that concern the public, and documentary cinema is a major vehicle for providing this. The idea is that it should do so in a way that is not misleading,” Butchart said.

He argued that typically, documentary filmmakers are held to commons sense ideas about moral duties and obligations. But this limits the filmmaking process. 

“This tends to put the documentary filmmaker into a box. I argue that because ethical issues are difficult to regulate through media policy, filmmakers are their own best judges of their ethical practices,” he said.
“My main argument is that ethics, in the context of documentary filmmaking, is usually confused with morals. Ethics and morals are not necessarily the same,” he said. “Morals are part of a set of known values and norms that structure a culture and that guide our actions. We often take these for granted. On the other hand, we can think of ethics as a practice. Ethics is devoted to what is not yet known or cannot be recognized from the prevailing norms and values we take for granted.”

In the context of documentary cinema, according to Butchart, ethics is not a moral problem, but rather, a semiotic problem. 

“What that means is that ethics is an issue of perception—of looking at people and of making images of them. It is not quite a matter of right and wrong,” Butchart said. “I argue that some of the ethical difficulties in documentary can be solved semiotically—that is, if filmmakers include the presence of the camera, as well as themselves, as part of the documentary. This helps to break the illusion of the movie.”

He offers two techniques: “doubling” and “redoubling” the gaze of documentary. 

The first technique is when filmmakers include moments when participants look directly into the camera lens, address the filmmaker directly, or acknowledge the presence of the camera in some way, he said.
“When participants look into the lens of the camera, this puts into question the role of the filmmaker, and that in itself is an ethical practice,” he said. 

The second technique is when the filmmaker reflects on the practice of making the documentary.
“When a filmmaker shows audiences the process through which a movie is made, this is also an ethical practice. It demonstrates that the filmmaker is self-reflexive about the process,” he said.

Butchart said that Israeli documentary filmmakers are more progressive in this regard.

“They often include in their movies images about the making of documentary. In so doing, documentary is disclosed as a process of interpretation rather than as factual film. This helps to address many of the ethical problems typically linked to participant consent and to the rights of audiences to be informed about issues of public concern,” he said.

Butchart said that his teaching, research and lectures are all connected through his critical approach to mass media and human communication. 

“I emphasize a critical approach to mass media and human communication. I encourage my students to think carefully about the way in which media images help shape how we think about ourselves and the world,” he said.

“The image making techniques I talked about in my lecture can help to cultivate among audiences a healthy skepticism about images in the media. They remind us that even the most objective forms of cinema, such as documentary, are products of interpretation and careful composition,” Butchart said.

See the light and colors

Yesterday I attended Tamira's silk painting class is from 10-4 at Cakewalk Co-op. It was a great opportunity to get to know artists or artist-wanna-bes!  All shots were shot using available light and/or with on-camera flash in a long and narrow room. Lighting was good and ceilings were high. Braces will be set up to stretch the silk.
Thank you, Tamira for the great photo opp.  Please, visit Tamira's Facebook page to find out more about her classes!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

USF student gives back to community

Joanna Koulianos says that her experiences at USF give her opportunities to serve her community in Tampa Bay and beyond. This summer she will stick around and feed the homeless, teach classes for students who have never been to school and she plans to start a community garden in her hometown Tarpon Springs.
Volunteering is a break from her thesis and work, says Koulianos, a graduate student in English literature who specializes in film, critical theory and modern American literature. When she is not working on her thesis, teaching composition or tutoring at the Writing Center, she is bettering the community. She has recently started a Food Not Bombs chapter in Tarpon Springs, a nonprofit that connects the homeless and the working poor with the community.

“It is a community event that happens every Tuesdays at Craig Park at 6 pm. We provide not only food but entertainment and space for people to come out, mingle and socialize with individuals outside their own classes and groups. A lot of the community members are very talented and don’t have an outlet to express themselves and relax. This week, we do a banner painting, too. It is a lot of fun to connect with other members of the community whom I would otherwise not meet,” she said.

She says that Food Not Bombs is more than just feeding the hungry; it is about stepping outside the comfort zone, getting to know the community and making friends. She also plans to start second non-profit, Tarpon Loves Animals and a community garden.

“We are working to create a business directory which will be available at the Chamber of Commerce that features vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants in town. I also hope to organize a companion animal festival which will focus on educating the public about proper pet care, encourage pet adoption, and hopefully have a free-spay and neuter van, or at least vets available for consultations, on hand for anyone who needs it!”

In July, she will teach classes in a new context at the St. Petersburg Free Skool. She says that her teaching experience in a structured environment will come in handy.

“I am very excited to teach people who have never been to school. I am very thankful for my teaching experiences at USF,” she said.

Koulianos plans to grow her community work as a communications intern at Farm Sanctuary in New York where she will work 40 hours a week for three months copy-editing and exploring her new hobbies in videography and photography. She says her experience at USF and writing samples made her stand out as an applicant.

“I will be working for an organization I admired for a long time. I believe that I got the internship based on the experiences I have had in the MA program where I had a lot of opportunities to teach. The tutoring at the Writing Center made me grow as a writer and as a person. I have a wider skill set to offer. I am very thankful for that.”

Bloggie versus Flip

I have always wanted to have a SMALL camera and voila, meet my new buddy, BLOGGIE. But it took me a while to find Bloggie because there are many small cameras that take video and fit in your pocket. One alternative was to buy a Flip but then I heard that Flip is pulling out... The Bloggie versus Flip debate is a hot one, but for me it was simple to make up my mind.
- Sony does not plan to stop making this camera
- slender
- offers high quality video (1080 p 30 pfs) and photo resolution (12 M)
- 8 GB memory

Check out a video I did using Bloggie! Unfortunately, I don't own a Flip so I could not compare the quality of the videos.

Here are some pics I took using Bloggie.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Social Media Buttons- post all or just a few on a website?

All or nothing- well, it depends how many of these social media platforms do you use, what is your goal and target audience...

I just happened to come across Selene Bowlby webdesigner who has some great ideas on web design, s media and more. Since I am in the process of redesigning my site, I can't thank her enough for the list of social media buttons on her site that give me an idea to use them in the navbar or even provide a "subscribe to" RSS feed option at the end of my content!

She even has a FAQ tab in the primary navbar! She posts great ideas on her 15 Key Elements All Top Web Sites Should Have article, check it out!

Here are my take aways from reading her articles:
-Consistency (in navigation)
-Primary navigation above the fold (logo, main sections)
-Include ALL SM icons (same size, same position, on all sites)- MySpace, FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, iTunes
-Include “search” box
-RSS feed or Newsletter option
-Add a Sitemap in footer (links to all sites)
-1 or 2 featured contents per page
-Have the website available for mobile devices
-"Speak live with…" option

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Social Media to Grow as an Entrepreneur

I must admit that I am a Twitter addict. I love social media, but I use these platforms for different purposes: I post pictures on Facebook, connect with photographers on Twitter, and I blog, blog, blog more than I ever did before. Needless to say that my social media activities are connected to my website to rank it higher on Google searches. Marketing strategies have changed for many businesses- traditional marketing is out, social marketing is in. This is good and bad because most business owners and freelancers must have a social media presence- they have to blog, interact,and network with clients, competitors, vendors and future clients.
There are two Tampa Bay photographers, Andy Diamond, who uses the RSS Grafitti app to spread the news on social media platforms and Carrie Wildes who religiously blogs about her work and more on her blog.
If you are techie, like Ryan Scherf, you can post cool social media buttons on your site! He has one of the best websites regarding simplicity and creativity! I will think of you when I design my site :)!

Read more about Carrie Wildes in my last posting on Social Media to Grow Your Business.

Monday, May 30, 2011

What to put on a main webpage?

I have been doing research on what categories to include on a hompage that I design in Dreamweaver. Needles to say, the answer is- IT DEPENDS. First of all, figure out what is the use of a homepage?
- to sell yourself/ employment purposes (the focus will be on you and your work)
- to build your freelance business
- to showcase your work
.... or because you are just bored, you want to learn web design, but you can only learn it if you try to design a site.

So, after much redesign and research, here are my categories: multimedia, photos, video, print, radio, teaching, research, blog, about, contact and related links (besides my logo in masthead and copyright in the footnote). These categories sounds exhaustive so I have two options:
- I can leave the categories as is or
- I can create a main category called multimedia work/portfolio (include the multimedia, photography, print, radio categories). This way there would be less categories on my site but if I state under my name that I am a multimedia journalist, this should be fine?
Which option do you think is the best in web design?

I've got mail?!?!?!

Emails, Facebook messages, Twitter updates come and go, but personal mails STAY. Communication patterns change, I hope this is due to the availability of technology only. I do appreciate this mail from my good photographer- friend, Mike MacKay who took the time to write me a personal note on a handcrafted postcard. I feel the sun is shining again!

It's been so long since I received a personal note on a card! Thank you, Mike for shaking up my communication patterns, my creativity and spirit!!! I learned a lot from you as photographer, mentor and friend!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Some Web Design Basics

This is my journey in the realm of web design: information overload but I hope to learn a lot and I hope to learn FAST from Debbie Wolfe, a web designer, instructor, and freelance journalist in Tampa Bay.
A couple of things Deb pointed out in her web design workshop:
- file management (understand where your file lives)
- use appropriate key words (because the search engines are like a spiderweb)
- use the 2 clicks rule to design your site
- place the most important items in the top 20% of your page
- most websites are shaped like an F
- use heatmaps or Google Analytics to measure your views
Her last advice- you are selling yourself, not where your stuff got published, so don't place logos from other media companies on your site!!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Portraits with Alexandra

I shot Alexandra last weekend Downtown St. Pete. She is a journalist and she also likes to be a model. Thanks, Alexandra for the opportunity. It was a pleahsure working with you! The weather was great and I even had nice clouds to photograph.

Check out Alexandra's album on Flickr.

Strobist Photoshoot at the Pier

This was fun!!!!! I did some strobist style portraits this weekend in St. Pete.
Thanks to the model, Candy Cooke.

Family Photoshoot with the MacDonalds in Treasure Island

My recent photoshoot with the MacDonalds went well. Laurie wanted family portraits, a portrait of Ian for the invitation for his communion and business portraits for their website. They own an insurance company in St. Petersburg.
Time went fast, photoshoot was done all at once at sunset in Treasure Island.
Thank you all for the participation, it was a lot of fun!!!!

Maternity Photo Shoot

A glimpse into maternity

Using Social Media to Grow Your Business

Use Social Media to Grow Your Business, says Carrie Wildes wedding photographer + social media diva. Carrie demonstrated how she uses social media as a marketing tool attract clients and market herself:
- she blogs about the events and people she photographs to generate buzz
- she posts "thank you" emails she receives from clients and vendors
- she pays attention to keywords (keywords depend on your business, of co
- she created a Google business profile (it's free)
- experiment with all social media platforms: Word Press, Twitter, Facebook, Squarespace, etc.
- she uses a blogsite as her website
- she uses hyperlinks and tags to rank her SEO
- she also uses her blogsite as her working photography archive- keywording makes even more sense now :)
- she creates photo galleries on Facebook, tags the subjects in the photo and through a link she redirects those interested to read more about the event and the subjects on her website!

But she agrees, using social media as a marketing tool takes a lot of time. It is well worth it for her and she schedules blogging and Facebooking into her work.
If you plan to follow her path, you should learn to manage your workflow and your time. She religiously blogs and monitors her Google ranking- you should do the same because it is fun and FREE!

I also suggest you follow other photographers to learn how they use social media for branding and creating a buzz!

Thank you Carrie Wildes for sharing the information and spreading your love for photography at the Menaul Gallery. I am looking forward to attending your next workshop on social media on June 6th at the Menaul Gallery in Clearwater! Special thanks to Jerri and Scott Menaul for hosting these workshops.

Full Moon Over the Pier

Armed with a DSLR camera, a tripod, a wide angle lens, and my Yongnuo wireless remote control I headed to the St. Petersburg Pier for an astronomical experiment. I was hoping to see the full moon rising above the pier. If you are a Google Earth users you should should keep in mind these GPS coordinates:
27.776756 N, -82.630451 W (It's just South of the Vinoy on Bayshore-East side of Straub Park)

Here are some of my shots of the Full Moon Rise Over the Pier.
I wish I had a long lens too to capture the moment!!!!

More Full Moon shots are posted on Flickr.

I wanted to get the starburst effect so I stayed with high f-stops (f13 or higher, I kept the ISO at 200 or 400). Other tutorials siggest these parameters to c the full moon with that orange glow near the horizon: ISO 200, f/8, 1/40-1/50s.
Here are more details on capturing the moon.

Exposure calculator

This great tutorial on night photography also covers the basic terms I used in this blog. Thanks,!

Another tutorial on photographing the moon.

Article about this topic on DP Review.

My previous posts on blue hour photography.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Brooker Creek Preserve

Shooting video was not an easy task as I have an inexpensive, tape based camera. I edited the video project using Final Cut Express and I managed to convert the file into a movie file that works on Youtube. Crunching the project THE RIGHT WAY is so important when you post your images on YouTube. If you don't keep the right parameters, your video would loose quality. This tutorial helped me crunch the video file to the right size!!!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

How to become a good photographer? Be inspired, learn from the best and shoot !!!!!

I was asked this question by many of my photojournalism students last semester at the School of Mass Communications at USF. I posted some ideas in an earlier post, but I decided to give this question a second thought. My short answer is- LOOK FOR INSPIRATION, LEARN and SHOOT!!!!!
My long answer is next.
• I believe that practice makes me a better photographer. I learn my own mistakes so, yes, shoot, shoot, shoot. I would suggest you take on small projects, like shooting a flower, etc.
• Shoot, shoot, shoot to learn your lens. I mean it. I have been shooting with my wide angle zoom Tamron lens for a year (yes, I use third party lens, I know Zack Arias says otherwise. The only caveat- he has money and I don't). I know this lens inside out :) My other favorite lens is the dirt cheap 50 mm Nikon lens (it is not zoom, but you can't have a sharp, cheap and zoom lens :) And, BTW, Zack, awesome website!!!!!
• “Photography is not a happy accident.” (Bambi Cantrell)- It’s not the gear, it is the photographer who creates the shot. So, yes, I am a budget photogr who believes that you can have good and CHEAP gear
• Learn, learn, learn…. Obviously, you have to know the difference between “an fstop and a bus stop,” as photographer Bambi Cantrell said in her workshop on creativelive. I often participate in workshops to learn and network with other photographers. I also suggest you follow other photographers, look at their pictures, read about their work. Knowing the basics about lighting, posing, and proper exposure will allow you to be creative and to start defining your own style, your own voice. You must define your own style if you would like to sell your work.
• But apart from knowing the technical aspects of photography, you have to learn to listen. What does the client need?
• Use the camera in manual mode, use your flashes in manual mode- this way you have control over your settings. I have never used the flash in iTTL mode, nor do I want to ever use it in that mode. I did however, shot in auto when I got my camera three years ago. If you learn to shoot in MANUAL mode, you can adjust your settings at all times. If you don’t learn to shoot in manual mode, you will be lost when you have to shoot sports in dark or you have to shoot pictures at noon when the light is strong. So start raising the bar on the quality of your photos!
• Post only your best photos to give people a reason to hire you (and yes, to improve your photography, you should take classes, workshops, get books, read blogs- there is ton of information out there. I take classes from local photographers, this is the best way for me to learn more about lighting).
• Learn how to accept critiques and how to build on them. There is no other way to improve unless you accept constructive critiques from your peers. I don’t get the feedback I need if my peers post comments like “Nice shot,” “Cool!,” and “I love it.” It’s great that my peers like my work, but if I can find out what is good in my picture and what is bad, I can grow as a photographer. Sometimes, you might have to pay to get a thorough review of your work from a photographer, but it is money well spent.
• Learn to live with the ups and downs of the market, learn to stand out, and use different techniques to attract clients. Some photographers advertise on Facebook, some advertise in a local paper, etc. Find out what works best for you and if you are in doubt, hire an expert to teach you or guide you. If you are on a shoestring budget, like myself, well, then we just have to learn on our own 
• Accept that sometimes you don’t feel like picking up the camera. That’s okay. Sometimes I don’t feel creative, sometimes I just want to use my cell phone and sometimes I just don’t want to shoot. But if I am hired to do a photoshoot, I always do my best because the client is on the first place.
• Learn everything about your audience/clients: age, gender, education, create a folder containing your clients’ name, birthday, family members, pets and send them an email/card for their wedding anniversary, birthday.

Feel free to share your ideas about this!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How to Increase your Sales with Add-ons

Add-on sales can make a huge difference in your profitability. How you sell add-ons and how you price them could be the most important factor in the success of your photography business. Listen to highly successful Tampa Bay photographer, Andi Diamond, speak on how she maximizes her photography sales with add-on sales of gallery-wrapped canvas.

Photographer’s Business Success Workshop

When: Wednesday, April 20th 4p-6p
Where: Menaul Art & Printing
1750 North Hercules, Clearwater
RSVP: 727-726-7411

If you have RSVP'd, then Thank You, we look forward to seeing you and here is a reminder. If you have not, then please do as seating is limited.

We are extremely proud to bring you this seminar series to help you to grow your photography business. Each month we will tackle another subject, bringing i experts and encouraging you to bring in your successes and challenges for this interactive forum.

Additionally, we have a monthly special that will help you create a lasting impression with your clients.

Haven't received your backstage access to Menaul Printing PRO yet?

Login at using the password fstop to gain access to industry insider articles on photography, marketing and sales.

How to Increase your Sales with Add-ons

Add-on sales can make a huge difference in your profitability. How you sell add-ons and how you price them could be the most important factor in the success of your photography business. Listen to highly successful Tampa Bay photographer, Andi Diamond, speak on how she maximizes her photography sales with add-on sales of gallery-wrapped canvas.

Photographer’s Business Success Workshop

When: Wednesday, April 20th 4p-6p
Where: Menaul Art & Printing
1750 North Hercules, Clearwater
RSVP: 727-726-7411

If you have RSVP'd, then Thank You, we look forward to seeing you and here is a reminder. If you have not, then please do as seating is limited.

We are extremely proud to bring you this seminar series to help you to grow your photography business. Each month we will tackle another subject, bringing experts and encouraging you to bring in your successes and challenges for this interactive forum.

Additionally, we have a monthly special that will help you create a lasting impression with your clients.

Haven't received your backstage access to Menaul Printing PRO yet?

Login at using the password fstop to gain access to industry insider articles on photography, marketing and sales.

The best shutter release trigger for the lowest price

If you are a photographer on a budget and you like night photography or HDR photography, take a look at this shutter release trigger by Yongnuo- the newer version YN-602 or the older one YN-126. Yongnuo is know for its budget flashes and triggers and so far, I have been pleased by the quality of their products. For $40 it is one of the best shutter release triggers you can purchase.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blue Hour

I came across this image a couple of days ago- Blue hour at the Pier in St. Petersburg. I had an earlier post about the blue hour, so check it out. A year ago I was trying to shoot more silhouettes, leading lines and the magical blue hour.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bandshoot- Fires of Gomorrah is a finalist at the CL photo contest!!!!

I took some photos of the metal band, Fires of Gomorrah in Tampa. Fires of Gomorrah is the fifth on the Tampa metal charts on Reverbnation!!!!Fires of Gomorrah have performed in local bars, one including the Pegasus Lounge in Tampa. The band will play at more events organized by Market by the 7th in Ybor.

I started to shoot Rachel (Rocky) Reyes because she looked like "the tough girl." I liked her expression, tattoos and her easy going style. Rachel was a bassist at Fires of Gomorrah and is currently the band's booking agent. Rocky is also the the bass player in a local all girls metal band- In Violent Sleep.
Thank you @Rocky and @Fires of Gomorrah for the amazing photoshoot and I hope we can do more bandshoots soon!!!! This band is a separate story and I hope a music blogger pays close attention to them.
Listen to their songs on Youtube.

My photo "Fires Of Gomorrah" was selected as one of the top ten in
the Creative Loafing Photo Contest (from 500 entries)!!!! The photo was part of the Sensory Overload event and exhibition on March 26 at the Glazer's Children Museum. The framed print (along with the 10 finalist photos and the readers' selected photo) will be exhibited again at the Florida Museum of
Photographic Arts (FMOPA)
-Show Us Your Neighborhood from September 8-November 6.
I posted some of my bandshots on Flickr too.

Sunrise at the Safety Harbor Pier

This image got a lot of comments on my Facebook! Some of my friends asked me for my workflow.... I did the usual work, I uploaded the images in LR, selected the ones I liked, I merged them in Photomatix and then edited them minimally in CS5 (using the shadow/highlights slider, I also upped the contrast). I then imported the image back in LR and upped the vibrance, sharpened and finally I used the noise reduction slider too. Frankly, the amazing clouds and the sun, the blue hour, unusual low water surface, and reflection of "broken" pier that make this image "a moment."
I just pressed the shutter.

Thanks for my FB followers who push me to do better photography!!! I appreciate you friendship and your comments! I am what I am because of you, all!!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

If you have no drug prescription coverage ...

I'm going to share a few links with you since you have no prescription coverage.
Partnership for Prescription Assistance (Free or Discounted Drug Program)
Supplementary Prescription & Health Insurance
Florida Discount Drugcard designed to lower Prescription Cost for Florida Residents

You can also contact the pharmaceutical companies directly for reduced cost medications. You'll need to know the name of the medication and current dosage.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

So you want to learn Photoshop....

I consider myself a lifelong learner when it comes to technology in general. Learning Photoshop was a nightmare for me but I am getting better and better in editing photos.
Since I learn best in interactive environment such as workshops, learning LR and CS5 is a bit expensive for me.
If you have a busy schedule, there are free and paid tutorials online, go have a look there for software training. Here are some of the best tutorials I have found online:
- CS5 tutorials on Youtube
- Photoshop User TV
-I highly recommend Chuck Vosburgh's tutorials on Youtube
He also offers workshops all over the world.

I belong to a couple of local photo clubs, you might want to check out if you have a photo club in your area. I am not a Photoshop expert and I always attend workshops and classes. I know they can get expensive but I learn best in class setting. There are tons of Photoshop tutorials and related blogs online.
The rest is- practice, practice, practice and share your knowledge and work with the online community using Flickr, Facebook or other platforms.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Learn web design for free!!!!

FREE Web Design- 13 Fridays

Time- Friday, April 8 · 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Location- Tampa- USF in the ZAP Lab in CIS building

Every Friday, members of Createch USF are teaching graphic design & web design. Come to this free seminar series to expand your creative skills! 2PM-4PM in the ZAP Lab in CIS building.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Multimedia Mindset

So what is multimedia journalism and why is multimedia journalism different from traditional journalism?
Visuals conquer the audience online, we all know that but the marriage of text, audio, still photography and video should equal to exceptional (quality) storytelling. A story can be told different ways and in different mediums. Not all stories fit the multimedia format, therefore selecting the story that fits this platform is a challenge (not all stories have visuals, storyline, compelling sound bites and nat sound). The best multimedia pieces tell a story in a matter of minutes, they are compelling and engage the audience. Multimedia journalism means for me to strive for the best in the visual and textual presentation of the story (quality in writing, audio, photo and video). I agree, this is sometimes hard to achieve because of deadlines and resources. My advice is to reserve your time and energy for THE BEST multimedia stories.
Demorris Lee reporter at the St. Petersburg Times says that "a multimedia journalist is constantly thinking about multiple platforms." He also says that multimedia journalism is a mindset. I so agree with him. I have ALL my equipment with me when I work on stories. I am using an H2 Zoom audio recorder, a shotgun and a regular microphone, tons of rechargeable batteries, a second audio recorder (just in case), my Nikon D300 camera and an old tape based video camera I can digitize on my laptop (you might want to buy the new Flip UltraHD video camera). I am on a budget so I have the most affordable gear that gives me the best quality.
I also constantly think about the visuals!
Take away points that may resonate with you:
- be always ready
- be at the right place at the right time and with the right gear!!!!
- use the skills you have and build on it- use it or loose it
- search for story ideas and YES, do research!!!
- share your knowledge and be ready to learn from critiques
- learn from the BEST. This means that you should pay for workshops and classes and stay on top of the latest technology. Mediastorm has excellent slice-of-life multimedia stories.
- collaborate, collaborate and collaborate- you can't do everything alone. Your peer might see things differently and thus you can produce richer content!
- trust your colleague- even though I am used to work on my stories alone, I can't do everything alone (I can't record an emotional message and shoot a closeup of an emotional subject at the same time. GRAB THE MOMENT- seconds later, the emotions might disappear)
- understand the workflow, consult with your editor BEFORE you leave
- consider deadline, budget, available technology and equipment
- sound is king
- just get out and DO IT
- tell everyday stories in different ways
- please do SHORT stories

Demorris talked about "multimedia journalism" at the Knight Digital Media Center workshops on May 17, 2010.

Demorris Lee: Multimedia Journalism: It's a Mindset from kdmcinfo on Vimeo.

The explore the entire Knight Digital Media Archive.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Super Moon!!!!!

On March 19th, as the moon was in its closest distance to the planet (221,792 Miles),I took these shots in Fort DeSoto East Beach. I wish I had a longer glass!
The album about Super Moon is here.

Heavy Oak, morning mist and sun rays

I happened to pass this cemetery one morning and I saw Heavy Oak, morning mist and sun rays. I had to stop to take this image. The cemetery is on 54th ave N and 19th Street N in St. Pete.

Photos The Original Lipizzan Stallions of Austria - Rehearsal Show -Myakka (Sarasota)

I shot some pictures of the Original Lipizzan Stallions of Austria at their Rehearsal Show in Myakka (Sarasota). I tried different camera angles, slow shutter (to blur the action), fast shutter (to stop the action). Here is one of the better shots:

The album of the Original Lipizzan Stallions is on Flickr, check it out!

Strobist portraits: De'mone Heller

I had the opportunity to shoot De'mone Heller who is an advertising student at USF and a member of the Faces Modeling Troupe. I don't usually shoot male models but I had a lot of fun shooting De'mone. I used one softbox and went for the dramatic light. Thanks, De'mone for the photoshoot!
More pics on Flickr!

FREE Video editing software and Visio style diagrams

A few interesting, simple tools from these sites

Morphing Editor, Screen capture utility, Video editing - free

Visio style diagrams made easy and fun

Beach portraits

I had a great photoshoot last night in Fort DeSoto. I was with a group of my friends, including Brenda Knoll and Mike Mackay to shoot biker Brian. Sun was way to bright and we had to overpower it with 2 alien bees and a reflector. Here is the setup, yes we bounced the light off of the reflector:

Here is another behind the scenes shot, Mike shooting the model:

And some of my images can be seen on Flickr.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

ITEACH Workshop

Here is an abstract of the presentation:

Presenter: Dr. Kathleen King
Date: Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Time: 1:00-2:00pm
Location: iteach Lounge, USF

What are easy strategies for re-purposing your instructional content into on-demand learning? How many types of podcasting genres are available for you to select from or combine? What are some different ways to create effective student podcasting assignments? Having launched 7 educational podcast series since 2005, Dr. Kathleen P. King is recognized as an award-winning author, researcher and teacher on the topic. She is a well-known keynoter because of her ability to demystify technical details, application and innovative instructional potential of digital media. In this session, Dr. King shares her model of podcasting for "every teacher." King and Gura's (2007) model is foundational to her approach as she illuminates many effective uses and strategies for using podcasting as learning on demand.

About The Speaker
Dr. Kathleen P. King is a professor of higher education in the ACHE Department, COE, USF Tampa. A popular conference and faculty development keynote speaker as well as editor for several series of academic books with Information Education Publishing, she has authored 19 books and earned over $ 17 million in external funding. Recent books by "Kathy" include Podcasting for Teachers (2nd ed) (2007 with Gura), Professor's Guide to Taming Digital Technology (2011 with Cox), and Handbook of the Evolving Research of Transformative Learning (2009).

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