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Deliberately Blurring Photos

As a photography writer I spend a fairly decent amount of time explaining all of the different ways people can use their equipment to avoid blurry pictures. But if there's one thing I've learned about photography it's that for every "rule" we should follow, there's an equally valid reason to break that very same rule. Take blurry pictures, for instance. While most of the time we want our pictures to be sharp, there are definitely a few occasions in which blurry photos actually work better. Three situations in particular, and thanks to a post on the Light Stalking blog, you can now see what they are and how to harness them. When you want to show motion, when you want to isolate a subject, or when you want to make an abstract image, read about how they work at the Light Stalking blog.  

http://www.lightstalking.com/3-situations-where-blurred-photos-just-work
DPMag
As a photography writer I spend a fairly decent amount of time explaining all of the different ways people can use their equipment to avoid blurry pictures. But if there's one thing I've learned about photography it's that for every "rule" we should follow, there's an equally valid reason to…

Stuff Photographers Say

As quickly as the "Stuff ____ say" meme became interesting, it became blasé. I'm officially over it. (For those blissfully unaware, there's an Internet meme that's reached maximum saturation, and it involves video clips of people in any group—a town, a profession, a stereotype—saying clichés that are particular to their unique town/profession/stereotype.) But I want to share one more example especially of interest to this audience. "Stuff Photographers Say" (where "stuff" is, of course, standing in for a much less genteel word) is a cute take on the things we all say—at least on occasion—for good or bad. You can probably use this video (linked to via Mark Silber's blog) to gauge just how much of a gearhead you are, especially. After this, i think I'm officially done with this "stuff." 

http://www.silberstudios.tv/blog/2012/02/sht-photographers-say/
DPMag
As quickly as the "Stuff ____ say" meme became interesting, it became blasé. I'm officially over it. (For those blissfully unaware, there's an Internet meme that's reached maximum saturation, and it involves video clips of people in any group—a town, a profession, a stereotype—saying clichés that are particular to their…

Become A More Deliberate Photographer

I shoot too fast. I'm no frenetic machine gunner, mind you, but quite often I don't take enough time to consciously pre-plan my shots. Ansel suggested that we visualize; this is no doubt great advice. Not only does it make us more deliberately aiming at a specific end result, but it also forces us to slow down, take our time, and make deliberate, conscious choices when making pictures. John Davenport recently wrote an interesting post on this very topic at the DPS blog. He's developed a surprisingly simple, and effective, technique for slowing down his pace so that he sets up shots more deliberately. He uses the video capability of the smart phone in his pocket—which many of us are also carrying—to not only explore a scene prior to shooting, but by narrating the video and explaining his setup he's also slowing down and thinking through his compositional and exposure choices as he explains them. Plus, as an added benefit, he's created an artifact that can help other photographers (should he decide to post it on his blog) and help himself in the future as he looks back at how and why he set up a shot the way he did. Read all about it at  http://www.digital-photography-school.com/how-i-stumbled-across-an-amazing-way-to-slow-down-my-shooting-process
DPMag
I shoot too fast. I'm no frenetic machine gunner, mind you, but quite often I don't take enough time to consciously pre-plan my shots. Ansel suggested that we visualize; this is no doubt great advice. Not only does it make us more deliberately aiming at a specific end result, but…

Better Living Through Radio

File this under "you learn something new every day." I've been working with Pocket Wizard radio transmitters for five years or so, and in that time I've also been unofficially evangelizing for them, as my results have been mostly worry free and consistently excellent. If you're going to work with strobes, don't even bother with the antiquated cable tether—step into the 21st century and use a radio trigger to make your strobing life simpler and easier. Then today I read this Strobist post on working with remotes and discover that I've completely overlooked some basic physics that affect—apparently quite dramatically—how successfully wireless remotes work. Turns out not only does the orientation of the transmitter and receiver make a huge impact, but so does the makeup of the area in which you're working. No matter whether you're using PocketWizards or any other brand of wireless radio remotes, take the time to read the owners manual and determine the peculiarities that will make a big difference in your success. And, of course, read the Strobist blog to find out more about David Hobby's experience.

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2012/02/core-knowledge-working-with-remotes.html
DPMag
File this under "you learn something new every day." I've been working with Pocket Wizard radio transmitters for five years or so, and in that time I've also been unofficially evangelizing for them, as my results have been mostly worry free and consistently excellent. If you're going to work with…

National Cherry Blossom Photo Contest

Believe it or not, spring is going to be sprung before we know it. And in Washington D.C. that means the official state flower, the beautiful cherry blossom, will be in bloom. From March 20th to April 27th is the National Cherry Blossom Festival, a big party on the mall in D.C. to which we're all invited. Photographers, especially, should consider visiting because those darn cherry blossoms are about as photogenic as any subject you can imagine. To that end, the Foto DC organization today kicks off its annual National Cherry Blossom Photo contest. In their words, "mark your calendars, watch the weather, grab your camera, wake up your imagination, and see the Blossoms in a bold new way." Enter the contest to ring in spring and you could be one of four photographers to win $500, or one of the top 100 to be exhibited during FotoWeek DC's November photography festival. For rules and regulations, and to submit entries beginning next week, visit cherryblossom.fotodc.org.
Believe it or not, spring is going to be sprung before we know it. And in Washington D.C. that means the official state flower, the beautiful cherry blossom, will be in bloom. From March 20th to April 27th is the National Cherry Blossom Festival, a big party on the mall…

Classic Contact Sheets

Do you remember contact sheets? They were a function of film photography: you'd shoot a roll of film and make a contact print to help you determine which selects to make "real" enlargements from. Well Thames and Hudson publishers has released a book in conjunction with the Magnum photo agency, filled with famous contact sheets of iconic photographs. "Magnum Contact Sheets" is of interest to any fan of fine photography, or maybe for a news buff interested in seeing a little more context surrounding the creation of some world-famous photographs. But it should be especially of interest to photographers because perhaps no other artifact offers the same glimpse into a master's working process than to peruse his contact sheets. What frames did Cartier-Bresson make immediately before and after an iconic shot? How did he arrive at "the" shot? Perusing these classic—as well as some contemporary—contact sheets is not only an enjoyable read but it's a concise photographic education as well. Read more about it and purchase it direct from the Magnum web site.

http://agency.magnumphotos.com/Magnum-Contact-Sheets
Do you remember contact sheets? They were a function of film photography: you'd shoot a roll of film and make a contact print to help you determine which selects to make "real" enlargements from. Well Thames and Hudson publishers has released a book in conjunction with the Magnum photo agency,…
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