Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Faces of the 2009 Rally Acropolis@Greece

Very happy






Friday, October 23, 2009

What Every Aspiring Photographer Should Know

What Every Aspiring Photographer Should Know

These are my thoughts, nothing more and nothing less.

I get asked all the time, during workshops, in e-mails, in private messages, what words of wisdom I would give to a new and aspiring photographer. Here’s my answer.

- Style is a voice, not a prop or an action. If you can buy it, borrow it, download it, or steal it, it is not a style. Don’t look outward for your style; look inward.

- Know your stuff. Luck is a nice thing, but a terrifying thing to rely on. It’s like money; you only have it when you don’t need it.

- Never apologize for your own sense of beauty. Nobody can tell you what you should love. Do what you do brazenly and unapologetically. You cannot build your sense of aesthetics on a concensus.

- Say no. Say it often. It may be difficult, but you owe it to yourself and your clients. Turn down jobs that don’t fit you, say no to overbooking yourself. You are no good to anyone when you’re stressed and anxious.

- Learn to say “I’m a photographer” out loud with a straight face. If you can’t say it and believe it, you can’t expect anyone else to, either.

- You cannot specialize in everything.

- You don’t have to go into business just because people tell you you should! And you don’t have to be full time and making an executive income to be successful. If you decide you want to be in business, set your limits before you begin.

- Know your style before you hang out your shingle. If you don’t, your clients will dictate your style to you. That makes you nothing more than a picture taker. Changing your style later will force you to start all over again, and that’s tough.

- Accept critique, but don’t apply it blindly. Just because someone said it does not make it so. Critiques are opinions, nothing more. Consider the advice, consider the perspective of the advice giver, consider your style and what you want to convey in your work. Implement only what makes sense to implement. That doesn’t not make you ungrateful, it makes you independent.

- Leave room for yourself to grow and evolve. It may seem like a good idea to call your business “Precious Chubby Tootsies”….but what happens when you decide you love to photograph seniors? Or boudoir?

- Remember that if your work looks like everyone else’s, there’s no reason for a client to book you instead of someone else. Unless you’re cheaper. And nobody wants to be known as “the cheaper photographer”.

- Gimmicks and merchandise will come and go, but honest photography is never outdated.

- It’s easier to focus on buying that next piece of equipment than it is to accept that you should be able to create great work with what you’ve got. Buying stuff is a convenient and expensive distraction. You need a decent camera, a decent lens, and a light meter. Until you can use those tools consistently and masterfully, don’t spend another dime. Spend money on equipment ONLY when you’ve outgrown your current equipment and you’re being limited by it. There are no magic bullets.

- Learn that people photography is about people, not about photography. Great portraits are a side effect of a strong human connection.

- Never forget why you started taking pictures in the first place. Excellent technique is a great tool, but a terrible end product. The best thing your technique can do is not call attention to itself. Never let your technique upstage your subject.

- Never compare your journey with someone else’s. It’s a marathon with no finish line. Someone else may start out faster than you, may seem to progress more quickly than you, but every runner has his own pace. Your journey is your journey, not a competition. You will never “arrive”. No one ever does.

- Embrace frustration. It pushes you to learn and grow, broadens your horizons, and lights a fire under you when your work has gone cold. Nothing is more dangerous to an artist than complacency.

By PhotoDino. Found it here.

Rally Acropolis 2009@Greece

winning :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Autumn is coming

Adobe Lightroom 3 Beta

I am now waiting for Apple Aperture 3!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

a plant without leaves

Processed using a Lightroom preset.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Inside a Church at Mesta@Chios@Greece

A low light photo without flash.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Processed using a Lightroom preset.

Friday, October 16, 2009

10 Advices for Photographers from Martin Bailey

"15 – Would you like to give any final words of advice to photographers who want to improve their photography?

[Martin Bailey] Absolutely — here’re ten!

1. Get closer, it will improve 90% of your shots.
2. Use a tripod unless there’s a good reason not to.
3. Keep your eye on your bokeh. Just because it isn’t in focus it doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter.
4. Look for the right light and use it.
5. Travel. Very few people live in places where everything is on your doorstep.
6. Pixels do count. It’s how the details are recorded.
7. Get up early. It’s beautiful just before dawn.
8. Don’t be a fair weather shooter. Overcast skies are big diffusers. Rain saturates colours as well as yourself. Harsh conditions make dramatic images.
9. Print your work as often and as big if possible. It not only feels great to hold a quality print, but it shows up flaws in your images that aren’t always obvious on screen.
10. It’s easy to find reasons not to do something, or for why something didn’t go as well as you’d hoped. At the end of the day though, it’s all down to you. You make your own success."

Found it here.

10 Ways to Improve Your Photography Without Buying Gear

"1. Know what you want to photograph. Make a decision on what’s important to YOU – not to your editors, or your girlfriend, or your teacher. Decide what’s right for YOU and then stick to it.

2. Don’t give up! It’s not easy to set a goal and then stick to it. But it sure is rewarding. Half of photography is patience and perseverance. Gut it out. When it gets hard, dig in your heels and work harder. Stay an extra 10 minutes on each location. Spend an extra 15 minutes a day looking at published photos. Handle your camera. The more effort you apply, the better the result.

3. Just relax and be yourself. You don’t have to wear a beanie cap and talk like an artist just to impress people. Unless that’s part of your real personality, shelve it. Just be yourself. This ties strongly to my first suggestion. If you’re not sure who you are, remember, you are NOT your photography. You are the person BEHIND the image. Don’t be afraid to let that infect your work.

4. See in yourself the things you want others to see in you. Nuff said.

5. Develop your own interests and your own style. Don’t just copy someone else. Your work will never really improve unless you stop copying other people’s ideas and start developing your own. It’s okay – great even – to be inspired by other work. Just don’t copy it. Do something new.

6. Work hard. And then work harder. I have a favorite saying I heard back when I was in high school. “Everybody wants to be a rock star without having to learn the chords.” There’s no getting around the fact that getting good at photography involves dedication and hard work. Buying the best camera in the world won’t do a thing for you if you don’t get off the couch and go shooting.

7. Be consistent. If your work is all over the place, it’s a sure sign you haven’t settled who you are and what you want to do with your photography. Until you sort that out, nobody else will be able to either. Stick with it.

8. Be positive. With the emergence of online forums and the Internet photo blog, photography can become very negative. Trolls who can’t or won’t do what’s necessary to succeed really, really don’t want you to either. It would force them to come face-to-face with their failures. So ignore them. Stay upbeat. Stay positive. Stay focused on your goals not your detractors. Excise the people, places and things that are a negative influence on your life.

9. Be objective. Be open to constructive critiques of your work. Step back and get rid of your emotional attachment to your images. Analyze them as a stranger would. Check yourself – to see if you’re hitting the mark you set for yourself. Be willing to admit when you’re wrong and learn from it.

10. Care about your subjects. Tell their story as if you are going to be the last person to ever get that chance. Whether you photograph birds, people, mountains, sports, trains, insects, flowers or anything in between, remember, your images end up speaking for the subject. What are you saying? Is it careful and considerate? If you can focus on that you’ll get better."

Found it here. By the way, I think that is a great source of information.

Acropolis on a rainy day@Attica@Greece

Quote: "Carry a camera"

Classic Jay:

“Carry a camera.

It’s tough to take

pictures without one.”

From this Joe McNally's blog post.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Minor adjustments in Apple Aperture.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A wall

Photo made using an Adobe Lightroom preset.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

An ashtray from Chios@Greece


Quote about lenses

"The quality of your pictures will depend on the quality of the lens. So, to start with, invest in a lens rather than a camera body. In the 24x36 format; put your money into just one 28 or 35 mm lens from the professional range instead of 3 lenses of an amateur quality.
Don’t use a zoom when you’re learning to photograph. You need to train your photographer’s eye by working with your lens. A zoom will not teach you this as you never know what focal length you are on. A fixed lens allows you to see its focal length and trains your eye for framing your pictures. Banish any automatic lenses that do all the adjustments for you, they may give good end results but they don’t teach you anything. Don’t let your camera decide on your photos. Stay in command of your own creativity!"

by Olivier Follmi. Read the rest here.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Advices from David duChemin

Those are the best advices that I read the last few months:

1. First, you don’t need to get paid for your images in order to create great, world-changing stuff. It helps, but it’s not necessary. Thinking so creates a trap and makes your images more about money than about truth and beauty and witnessing to what is and what should be. Money can be a means to an end, but is not the end itself. If it is, you’re in the wrong line of work. Consider commercial photography.

2. Shoot what you truly love and do it so much you know you truly love it and could shoot it for the rest of your life. The more you shoot, the better you will be and people will come to you begging you to shoot for them. Again, they may not pay, but that’s not the point. The point is that these relationships give you opportunities to shoot off the tourist track and to see stories you wouldn’t otherwise.

3. Don’t assume that you’re talented just because your friends say so. Everyone has a boat-load of fans that will praise their mediocrity. Don’t seek fans, seek critics. Seek people who will tell you how to be stronger, not people who will stroke your ego. Of course it can take years to develop an eye, but align yourself with some talented people, not necessarily photographers, who will speak the truth in love and either help you get better or point you to another direction.

4. Find your niche. What are you most passionate about? Children? Orphans? Widows? Environmental issues? Human Rights? Race relations? A particular place or issue? The more specialized you are the more compelling and specific your images will be, and the more accutely you can tell the stories that most compell you.

5. Get a great looking website and fill it with great looking images. Don’t cheap out. Do it right. Avoid Flikr and other photosharing sites for your portfolio. Now make sure your website gets seen. The more active you are online the more chances people will find you.

6. Make a list of your top 10 or top 100 – the people you really want to work for. And, assuming you have work of the calibre they want, start doing your research – who does the hiring, do they accept unsolicited portolios, etc. (The Photographers Market Book is great for this) – and chase down your top 100. If you aren’t there yet find some groups to do pro-bono work for until your portfolio is where you want it to be. If pro-bono work is where your passion lies then don’t make the assumption that every NGO will want a piece of you just because you’re shooting without a fee. They get plenty of offers and many of them still pay well because it insures they get the best images they can. You’ll have to work just as hard to get meaningful pro-bono work, and so you should. If you get no takers then find a way to join your favourite NGO for a short term trip and shoot while you are there – create a self-assignment and create a piece of work that you can publish, show, use in your promotions, donate to the NGO, or just post somewhere to tell the story.

7. If travel is your thing – do a self-assignment. Set a destination, give yourself parameters, do the research, pack your gear and get going. Don’t wander aimlessly – make it a specific assignment – for example – Double Amputees in a soccer league in Sierra Leone. Or Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda or finding and shooting the Tuareg in the Sahara and coming out alive. Self asignments are an excellent way of training for the moment when an actual client comes knocking and you suddenly need to budget, itinerize, and come up wth shot lists etc.

8. Learn another language or two – very helpful. And then when no language skills you have are helpful learn to get by with smiles and hand-gestures and reliance on good old fashionned kindness of strangers. I have a friend who is a JAG attourney and on a recent trip to Africa he spoke to people in english like they’d been speaking it their whole lives – even when they didn’t know a word of it – and I am convinced he communicated volumes to them as he joked with them and showed them he cared.

9. Learn to travel well, to be prepared, to deal with contingencies.

10. Learn to be a people-person at all times – there is no room for arrogance and imported western senses of entitlement in the airport or on the field. Smiles and laughter and genuine kindness will get you further than shouting ever will.

11. Become a master at your craft. Shoot thousands and thousands of frames, seek criticism, attend workshops, read books. Find mentors. Study the work of people like James Nachtwey or Steve McCurry. I’m a huge fan of Olivier Follmi and Phil Borges. Read anything they’ve written. Watch War Photographer, the documentary about James Nachtwey. Listen to Nachtwey’s speech linked in the post following this one. Allow this work and these thoughts to inform your own unique style and passion.

12. Don’t wait for someone to hand you an opportunity – seek it. Knock on doors. Fund it yourself. Find a patron. Sell cookies until you can buy a ticket to ____________. But waiting for someone to hand you an assignment might be a wait for a train that never comes. You have to want it badly enough.

You can find the original location of this post here.


leaves at Parnitha@Attica@Greece

The image has been processed using Adobe Lightroom.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

VisionMongers: Making a Life and a Living in Photography

You can find more information about the book here. I pre-ordered it a month ago :)


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Quote: "Ten Things I Have Learned"

  1. You can only work for people that you like.
  2. If you have a choice never have a job: ‘You know, I do know how to prepare for old age’ he said. ‘Never have a job, because if you have a job someday someone will take it away from you and then you will be unprepared for your old age.’
  3. Some people are toxic avoid them.
  4. Professionalism is not enough or the good is the enemy of the great.
  5. Less is not necessarily more: However, I have an alternative to the proposition that I believe is more appropriate. ‘Just enough is more.’
  6. Style is not to be trusted.
  7. How you live changes your brain.
  8. Doubt is better than certainty.
  9. On Aging.
  10. Tell the truth.
Read the rest here.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Quote: "only you and your camera"

“There is only you and your camera.

The limitations in your photography
are in yourself,

for what we see is what we are.”

by Ernst Haas

My Canon Speedlite wishlist

  • A dome diffuser with every Speedlite. Nikon has it; I think that Canon should do it too!
  • A gel holder and gels with every Speedlite. Again, Nikon has it with its SB-900 flash.
  • Better zoom range. Nikon's SB-900 has a 12-200 zoom range in DX format.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Quote: "use a wide angle"

Show me someone who can use

a wide angle, and I will show you

a photojournalist.

found it here.

Quote: "playing by the rules"

"If you don't think
you can take a picture
of something
with a certain camera,

you are playing by the rules."

by chase jarvis

Lefkada Island@Greece

Streets of Oslo@Norway

Friday, October 2, 2009