Some thoughts for July

He Loves Me... by Kelly Sutton

He Loves Me... by Kelly Sutton

Thanks to Kelly Sutton for an incredibly moving image submitted for Hope.  She showed enormous courage and strength to submit the image of a cancer survivor.  The image above is her other Hope submission called "He Loves Me..."  While it was in the gallery, I'm not sure that everyone saw how strong it is.

At the June meeting we had a presentation session on Night Shooting.  How many members have invested 30 minutes to go try out the practices shown?  Please post your successes to the club Google Plus page.  

If you have not yet subscribed to the Google Plus page, all you need is a Google account (free) and to head over to the club's private page and ask to join.  Bryan and I try to respond and activate your request within 24 hours, Bryan is typically very fast on this.

We also had a presentation on 6 quick PS tips and some members found these quick tips very useful and have asked for more of this sort of thing.  I can say that you'll see more tips at the July meeting, a series on simple use of Blend Modes in Photoshop is already done.  I will also do a better job on scheduling so we can actually see the tips being done in real time.

If you aren't a member of Bryan's Daytripper Photo community, you might consider asking to join it.  Bryan has weekly challenges with strong response, much better than response to our own weekly challenge on G+ that is now idle due to seeming lack of interest.  Head over to the Daytripper Photo Community to request access.  Of course, Bryan also has his weekly web show with Gabriel Bousquet and Navy Nhum and lots of people tune in each week.  If you or a friend are getting started with digital photography, I heartily recommend Bryan's Day Trips as a great place to get the fundamentals in place, in a fun, relaxed and patient structure.

Also don't forget the Daytripper Photo Expo coming this September.  Bryan and friends have been putting a lot of work into making this a great learning event.  Contact Bryan directly or go to the Daytripper Photo website for more information.

July is an odd month.  Kids are out of school, families head out on vacation and generally the weather is hot and bright.  It should be a month for lots of photography with long daylight hours and plentiful stellar objects if you can get away from the light pollution.  It's the strongest month for photographs of the Milky Way. so if you head north to a cottage or camping, don't forget your camera, tripod and remotes.

I don't make mention of every post at The Photo Video Guy on this site or on the Google Plus page, but if you are looking for honest reviews and opinion pieces, you might care to head over there and have a look.  I'm very fortunate to be supported by many vendors but their support doesn't skew the review process.  Here are links to a few recent reviews and articles that members might find interesting.

Studying EXIF Might Not Be Helping You

Review of the Hahnel CAPTUR Trigger System

Working with Multiple Lightroom Catalogs

There's lots of material there, and as always, if there is a topic you want to learn more about, or a piece of gear you are curious about, you can always email me at to make a request.

This is also the big season for Photo Contests.  I will be the live judge for the Blue Mountain Fine Arts contest this September.  I've also posted about other contests that are presently open.  As always read the rules carefully and understand what rights you are surrendering  when you enter. Same deal for "opportunities" in magazines and calendars.  Shooting for "exposure" is a fools errand.  Sadly lots of people will do it anyway and the income potential for great photographers diminishes as a result.  All it really means is that someone else wants you to work hard to make great images with gear you've had to work to buy and pay you nothing for it.  Next time you go to a nice restaurant, ask them if they will give you a complete meal for nothing in exchange for "exposure".  Let us all know if that works so we can go there and demand the same before that restaurant goes bankrupt.

I'm also hearing from members who are securing for revenue work doing photography.  This makes me very happy because it means that those clients will be getting photographers with a commitment to doing a good job.   One thing I want to remind everyone.  If you will photograph ANYONE for the purposes of publishing, for sale or not, get a model release.  There are all manner of electronic model releases for smartphones.  Stay away, they have already been determined to be insufficient in US courts.  The American Society of Media Photographers has an excellent model release that you can save for printing on their site here.  You want a model release to protect yourself and your potential client, as well as the model.  Not having one can end up costing you lots of money.  Please note that this release is NOT SUITABLE for a person under 18 years of age, but there is Minor's Release on the page hyperlinked above.

As we develop as artists and potentially begin to work for a fee, protecting your work from theft is important.  Visible watermarks show intent but as we all know can be easily removed with Photoshop and many contests and all paying clients will not permit a visible watermark.  If you are working at this level, you should take a look into an invisible watermark service.  The one I use is called Digimarc Guardian.  It's a for fee subscription service and I've never embedded a Digimarc watermark and had it be visible.  I put a Digimarc Guardian watermark on EVERYTHING I publish and sell.  The good news about this system is that if your work is used on the web, Guardian and services such as Tineye will be able to find it and let you know.  Your copyright is yours from the moment you make the image, but no one is going out to enforce it if you don't.  Without a demonstrable proof of copyright, should you choose litigation or even a cease and desist letter, your case is wobbly.

On this subject, there continues to be a lot of confusion about size and resolution for web submissions in general.  Your goal should be to make the photo only large enough and with sufficient resolution to look great on the web, but not good enough for reproduction if snagged or right-click downloaded.  Experience, and copyright lawyers recommend no larger than 1280 pixels on the long side and continue to recommend 72dpi as the maximum resolution.  This looks great on the web.  There are folks who will argue that their screen resolution is greater than 72dpi and so more resolution is needed.  They may be right on the first point and the second point is subjectively arguable.  More important is to remember that EVERYTHING you post is being collected by web spiders from Google and others and will show up without your knowledge or prior approval in image libraries.  And woe to anyone who posts high resolution images of anything to any property owned by Facebook or Twitter.  Consider all those images lost.

Some folks ask me why I am so adamant about not working without fair and reasonable exchange of goods or services, and about not posting images suitable for theft.  I have a fundamental belief that all of our work has value, and especially when folks pay money to buy gear and be part of a club whose primary goal is skill building, you should never work for no return.

Bryan has already posted that he and I are going to shoot the Orangeville RAM Rodeo this Saturday.  We shot it last year and had a great time.  You can get pretty close to the action and the weather forecast looks good.  Come on out and join us, knowing this is a shooting event not an education event so while there is no additional cost to go other than admission, we will be like you, eyes to viewfinder looking for great images.  Based on last year's experience, a full frame or crop sensor with a 70-200 or similar will do the job.  I will throw a 1.4x teleconverter in my pocket, but won't bring the 400mm as I did last year.  Rodeo is fast moving and you need to allow some space for the critters and athletes to move.  Info on the rodeo is here.  Do throw a microfibre cloth in your bag, there's a "bit" of dust kicked up.  Lenspen will also be beneficial.  While I love fill flash, I will suggest not doing so as it may startle the already hyper critters.

In closing, just a final reminder that lighting impresario Joe McNally will be in Toronto on July 17th for a full day seminar.  No matter your skill level, you WILL LEARN from Joe.  Here's the registration link, and I strongly suggest taking transit to the event because driving in Toronto while usually bad is now the 7th Plane of Hell due to the politicians and gross stupidity surrounding the Pan-Am Games.  Many of us who are going will be taking the 0654 GO Train out of East Gwillumbury train station.  Return fare is less than what you would pay for parking alone so it's a good deal.

If I don't see you sooner, see you at the July meeting on the 28th.



Ross Chevalier

Technologist, photographer, videographer, general pest

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