Late summer snippets

After six fascinating weeks in India I flew home and I plunged right into a workshop in street photography at ICP (International Center for Photography) in New York City. Then I returned to Providence, to complete the sale of my house, move out of that and into a new apartment. Next week I am off to the Maine Media Workshops to teach another workshop. So, I have been busy! I have also been gathering snippets to share as the summer nears its end.

First, I have been meaning for a while to share an idea for a simple photographic learning exercise that has become part of many of my workshops. It comes from a photographer/friend whose last name is Stephens and so I call it the Stephens drill. It is best done with one other photographer (or in a group.)

1—Individually, spend 30-45 minutes shooting one situation/subject that you like (at least 50 different ways.) To get ideas about the ways you can “work a situation,” see my podcast on that topic at: http://thewellspoint.com/2009/10/07/a-lesson-in-seeing-and-working-a-situation/

2 – With your editing partner (or in a group) do a 20-30 minute mini-critique of the work that has been made by each person (15 or 20 minutes with each photographer critiquing any work but their own.)

3 – Go back to the same subject and re-shoot, building on what you learned in the critique.

It is an amazingly simple exercise, that will help you become more proficient at making sure you have “the shot” and improve your ability to get the best photo as quickly as possible.

Photographers often ask me what they should charge for their prints. The only realistic answer is “whatever the market will pay.” When a professional photographer posts his print prices on-line, I want to share that information, so others can use it to figure out how to set their own prices. One example is: http://pobereskin.com/prints.html

An interesting new award is being offered via PhotoPhilanthrophy. As they say:

PhotoPhilanthrophy believes in the power of photography to inspire hope and understanding and to connect people around the world. All subjects photographed should be treated with respect, compassion and dignity…

Submitted photos must depict the work of a charitable organization (designated by 501c3 in the US, or international equivalent) and be presented as a photo essay. All photographs in the essay must have been taken within the last 3 years…

Read more about this new competition at: http://www.photophilanthropy.org/awards_guidelines.php

Almost 1500 people have read my latest blog entry, called Critiquing 101, which I posted on the B + H Photo blog, BHInsights. You can read that at: http://photography.bhinsights.com/content/critiquing-101.html

The Controlled Vocabulary web site did a survey recently regarding the preservation of photo metadata by social media websites. As you might guess the results of the survey is not all good news. Read more at: http://www.controlledvocabulary.com/socialmedia/

A great collection of resources on video production/post-production can be found at: http://worldwide-studios.com/Worldwide_Studios/Resources.html

Another blog with similarly great video resources (provide by Pro Video Coalition) can be found at: http://provideocoalition.com/

As a professional photographer I have long believed that one of the most annoying thing about the digital photography revolution has been the lack of standardization in terms of file formats, resolution, color profiles, etc. This is a real problem when it comes to what I send to the client, agency, or other end user. In the last couple years, some groups have been working hard to try to set up industry-wide standards. If you are doing photography commercially, or hope to do so in the future, you owe it to yourself to become familiar with the great information at:

UPDIG (Universal Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines) describes their efforts:

The UPDIG guidelines aim to clarify issues affecting accurate reproduction and management of digital images. These guidelines were created to establish photographic standards and practices for photographers, designers, printers, and image distributors. The guidelines cover Digital Asset Management, Color Profiling, Metadata, and Photography Workflow. The guidelines were prepared by the UPDIG Coalition, with the help of many digital imaging professionals, software vendors, and hardware manufacturers. The UPDIG Coalition is dedicated to promoting standards for photographic digital imaging.

Read more at http://www.updig.org/

and

dpBestflow,™ is a guide for every aspect of digital imaging technology, brought to you by ASMP, the leader in education for the professional photographer. They describes their efforts:

The purpose of dpBestflow™ is twofold:

To create guidelines for refined production workflows, archiving methods, and best practices for digital photography based on a variety of capture methods and intended image use. The guidelines will be developed on the basis of research, analysis of software products and other tools targeted at professional photographers.

To publish the dpBestflow™ as a website open to the public. The adoption of the dpBestflow™ guidelines will be promoted to the professional photography community and the public through programming at industry trade shows and a nationwide series of training events at ASMP chapters, trade shows, and educational institutions.

Read more at: http://www.dpbestflow.org/

I am quite aware that most of this information is not all that exciting to read. I also am aware that if I want to keep making photographs and earning a living as a professional, I need to be up to date on the latest changes in my industry, so sitting and readingis what I will soon be doing.

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