Color Theory, The Ricoh GXR and Saving an Impossibly Colored Image

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During the Ricoh GXR review, I shot a photo at night of a couple of flowers in my front yard. The problem is that this was shot during nighttime with no extra light besides the illumination from the orange colored street lamps. The flowers in the photo are supposed to be white, the bricks tan, and the plants themselves a healthy shade of green.

After weeks of working in Lightroom 3 on and off, I have finally rescued the image by taking my time and reassessing the reasoning behind color theory. While it looks like and seems like an easy fix, it really isn’t. Here’s how you can rescue an impossibly white balanced image; after a couple of basics.

Editor’s Note: This is a long post. So stay with us and you’ll be very well rewarded with a treasure chest of knowledge.

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The Phoblographer’s Library

If you search Amazon for photography books, you’ll currently get 103,631 results. Some are gems and some aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. How do you know which ones are worth spending your money on? Here I’ll list some of the ones I believe are useful, and I welcome you to add the gems you’ve found in the comments below. Sharing the good ones is a simple way we can all help each other be better and more informed photographers.

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Tips on Shooting Landscapes from a Wedding Photographer

I have a confession to make: I believe that I can’t shoot a landscape to save my life. It’s just not my strength. I’m a weddings, event, engagement, portrait and street photographer. Plus, I live in NYC and we don’t have wonderful rolling hills the way other states do. However, on my recent trip to Toronto, Canada, I stepped outside of my hotel room at the magic hour of the day and snapped what I believed to be the best landscape images I’ve ever shot. The way I did it though was by imagining a bride and groom in the scene. So how can you combine the two art forms to create something beautiful?

Oh, before you go on ranting that these images are terrible, I’m not saying that they’re amazing. I’m saying they’re the best I’ve done so far using my particular method.

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Class is in Session: Introducing The Phoblographer Academy Huddle

Today, we are more than happy to announce the introduction of The Phoblographer Academy Huddle. We’ve had requests for more tips and techniques, and this will be part of our initiative to bring you better photography content. Each week, we will be listening to you and developing content around your needs and wants.

The Phoblographer Academy Huddle will work, you guessed it, via a giant Huddle on Google + Edit: we’re going to do a Hangout, which means video conferencing instead. So that means 10 people per class!!! Not on the hottest new Social Network? Shoot me an email (in the photo above) for an invite (YOU NEED A GMAIL ACCOUNT!!!!)

These will happen every Sunday night at 7PM EST (New York City time) and in order to reserve a spot, all you’ll need to do is just shoot me an email so that I can add you on Google Plus and then invite you when class will start.

Want to learn about lighting? How about using a reflector? What about the extra accessories that should be in your camera bag? Or how about posing? We’re listening! Just leave us a wall post on our Facebook and let us know what you want to learn about.

For the Pilot episode/class, we’re going to be giving you a quick intro to something that all of you have wanted us to talk more about: lighting.

We’re currently taking RSVPs so go ahead and send me and email.

Oh, by the way: it’s free!

Clarification: this is a Google Hangout. I’m calling it a Huddle because class and hanging out don’t exactly go well together ;). So that means you need a webcam and a microphone. Hangouts only currently allow 10 people at a time. All you’ll need to do after RSVPing is show up on Google Plus at the time, and I’ll invite you to the hangout. If you don’t show up, I will take the next person on reserve. I want to thank everyone for their interest in this. I’m blown away already and didn’t think people would be this interested.


Edit: please follow directions and send me an email. Comments on this posting with your email address is not only unsafe, but will not be responded to.

Traps that Many Aspiring Photographers Get Caught In

You’ve heard the bad excuses for not wanting to pay a photographer, but the sad thing is that many aspiring photographers still get caught in traps when they’re first starting out. When you get caught in said traps, it can be tough to get out of them. Unfortunately, they can sometimes lead you into bankruptcy, heavy debt, unemployment, or bad legal issues. As a guy that is a former professional, I’ve seen and experienced much of it.

These are the traps that many get caught in.

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Op/Ed: On sharing photos: Flickr, Pure Photo and 500px

When I got into photography, the first thing I learned was that it is nice to share my images. As photographers, there is one thing we like to do: have our images seen by audiences big or small and getting feedback. The internet offers various opportunities to share images. We have discussed sharing images on Flickr before, but things have evolved. Flickr is not the only image-sharing site on the web. Two sites that have recently come in to view for me are 500px and Pure Photo. I have accounts on both of these sites, and this is what I think.

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How to Shoot Street Photography with a DSLR

It’s no secret, I love small cameras for street photography. The Fuji X100 retaught me how to do it and the Olympus EP3 is perhaps a game changer in nailing the right shot. Before this, though, I used DSLRs: my Canon 7DDigital SLRs)and Canon 5D Mk IIDigital SLRs)to be exact. And when the smaller cameras had been sent back after the review was over, I needed something with better image quality. So I returned to my DSLR. But how exactly do you deal with something so large and so beastly? Here are a couple of tips.

Note: the majority of the images in this story were also shot with the Canon T3i which we found to be very good. Check out our full review and if you’re not sure if the camera is for you, take a look at this posting.

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Why You Shouldn’t Build Your Photography Site in Flash

Tons of photography sites are built in Flash. I would almost venture to say that most are.  Although building any site but most specifically a photography site this way makes little sense and less sense all the time, I see them every day. My only explanation beyond people not knowing is that it’s self propelled at this point – as in “everyone else is doing it” syndrome. Well here are a few reasons to consider other options when building your photography site.
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Field Instructional: Shooting in Extreme Locations Such as Haiti

Beach sunset in Haiti
Beach sunset in Haiti

Beach sunset in Haiti

There’s a special place in my heart for Haiti Cherie, a place where people know more about hope and pride than most people from so-called “developed” countries such as America will ever understand. Being that I just returned from my third trip there I thought maybe you’d be interested in just how one goes about getting striking photos in an extreme environment such as this. The short of it: almost everything that holds true in my normal work is the opposite of what I do when shooting in Haiti.

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Tweaking My Lomography La Sardina-A Photography Hacker’s Solution

Lomography recently announced the La Sardina camera, and upon going to their launch party, I bought one. It’s a gorgeous camera for the price—and that was very much so a problem to me. With that in mind, I decided to workaround some of the problems that the camera presents. Despite this, I am very well aware of the Lomography way: which is essentially to just shoot and be happy with your results. Years of being screamed at by a Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalism professor and experience in the field have taught me to make the best of a situation and to also get through problems that you may encounter. So here’s how I’m getting through mine with this beautifully flawed camera.

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Cross Processing an Image in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3

Cross Processing—it’s been all the rave for quite some time now and you’ve probably seen it all over the interwebs. Back in the film days, cross processing meant developing your film with the wrong chemicals in order to get some weird and kooky effects. In the digital age, it can be done with manipulation and understanding of color theory. Though I’m often one to go against trends myself, I’ve done this for wedding clients and they loved it. Since many readers of this site use Adobe Lightroom 3, I’m going to show you step by step and screenshot by screenshot just how to do this and without dropping hundreds of dollars on a Lomography camera and film. However, I’ll also tell you that if you haven’t tried the plastic cameras, you should do so at least once.

If you want to read more, you can read about processing the image in Photoshop Elements as well.

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Reader Question: How to Trigger a Flash Wirelessly on a Canon DSLR

We recently had a question posed to us on our Facebook wall asking us how to set your Canon 60D to trigger wireless flashes like a Canon 550 EX. To do this, we’re going to borrow a bit from our intro to Canon Wireless Flash posting. Since I don’t have a Canon 60D, I’m going to use my 7D and show you how to trigger a 430 EX II (the flash closest in functionality to the 550 EX) wirelessly using infrared control.

Hit the jump to check out the instructional video.

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Dealing with Camera Wrist/Shoulder/Back Pains

In photography, when holding DSLRs and tons of gear, for long periods, one can develop wrist and shoulder pain. These pains can affect your photography. There can be many reasons for this. A photographer can have previous injuries or be really fatigued from a long day of shooting. A person can even be developing Arthritis. Whatever the reason there are ways to deal with this, or even prevent it in some cases. Photographers must take care of themselves.

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On Sharing Photos on Flickr

Flickr is a great place to share your photography. We previously had a posting on how to get more page views on Flickr, but I wanted to go into the social media side of things. I am not a fan of Facebook so Flickr is my site of choice for sharing my photography. It’s very difficult for me to imagine not sharing my photography. There is a clear difference between photography for profit and photography for sharing. Continue reading…

How To Beat The Darkness in a Nightclub

The other night, my good buddy Mike Florio and I shot a concert (photos and video) for the band Mancie. It was a favor for my other friend, Andrea Fischman, who leads that band and is a fellow photographer. Andrea wanted me to do a couple of portraits of her, her friend and the band. This was at around 8pm at night, and it was super dark—perhaps one of the darkest venues I’ve shot in. However, I was able to beat the darkness with a single speedlite and by making the most of it by placing it in the right spots. Here’s how I did it and how you can figure out how to do this as well.

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