Saturday, September 27, 2008

Abstract Photographs. Now with more feeling!

One of the current challenges on dpchallenge is "Abstract Emotion". It sounds simple enough however abstracts are hard to create effectively - at least ones that speak to the general public. However, with this topic in mind I played with creating some really funky abstracts and hoped for the emotional appeal.
These images were all created using the same shooting technique but used different subjects and different editing. The technique was basically zoom burst (zooming while shooting) and twisting the camera. I found the effect to be almost whimsical and airy and light in the first image and almost rather dark and ominous in the third one.
In the first shot I was shooting fall leaves with the technique. The third shot was of a flower bed. The second was also fall leaves but with more sky involved.
Personally I really like the pastel colors in the first one. It almost feels like a painting to me. The second and the third one especially, feel darker and as such aren't quite as enjoyable to view. (Kinda like looking at a train wreck. Not nice but you can't take your eyes away).

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Goodness gracious! I submitted a couple of shots to and they were accepted. I tried a couple of shots a few months ago and they were rejected. Not that they were terrible shots, they just had some problems that made them not useful for stock. (One had a trademark on the subject, the other I had some editing artifacts)

To view my iStock profile go here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Selling and Publishing your photos

The extent of my photography sales is pretty limited. I've donated a couple of pictures to the Progressive Alternative Society of Calgary (PASC) for their annual art auction. Certainly its satisfying and helps me put a value on the work that I do. However, it would also be nice to have an opportunity to sell my photos and keep the money.

A podcast on This Week in Photography spoke about the whole subject of selling and publishing your photos. ( A lot of good information and sadly some of it was somewhat disheartening.

The average photographer in the US makes $26K a year.

Professional photographers actually spend only about 15% of there time shooting.

The other 85% is spent "smiling and dialing" (i.e. selling and making contacts).

The expectation for professional photographers is that there work is great. In fact, the ability to sell your work is more important than your ability to shoot to it.

And the five steps to getting published? 1. Show the work. 2. Show the work. 3. Show the work. 4. Show the work. What’s #5? Yep. Show the work.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Singh-Ray Graduated Neutral Density Filters - How the heck do you use em?

The concept of using a graduated neutral density filter (i.e a grad filter) seems pretty straight forward or at least why you would use one. Say you have a beautiful landscape scene before you however the sky is quite bright relative to the foreground. If you expose for the sky, the foreground will be dark. If you expose for the foreground, the sky will be blown out. A grad filter allows you to darken the sky thereby allowing you to get the whole scene exposed well.
The problem, however, is that you don't just slap the filter on to the front of the camera and expect to get good results. Here is an article on how to properly use a grad filter (and why with more information than my tidbit contains).