Thursday, 31 of July of 2014

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Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up

Ah, it’s Friday again and that means it’s time for another one of our weekly wrap-ups where we recap the top stories from the photography industry and photography fans over the past week. This week has been a good one, especially for Nikon. Their newest camera, the Nikon Df, is getting some really good buzz out there on the Internet. There have also been a lot of breaking news stories to cover from the riots in Argentina to the invasion of Crimea and the end of Mardi Gras and Carnivale. Photographers have had plenty of things to capture this week — that’s for certain.

All of these stories and more were featured on our Twitter feed. However, if you’re not following us on Twitter then we’ll recap the top stories from this week for you below!


That’s all for this week, folks. Have a great weekend and see you again on Monday!

– da Bird


Things Not To Do As A Photographer

Things Not To Do As A Photographer

Photography is both a profession and a hobby for a lot of people. With the proliferation of built-in cameras in smartphones and tablets, it’s become inevitable that photography itself has exploded to become one of the most common activities in day-to-day life. Most people don’t think of themselves as photographers, though, when they whip out their smartphone and snap a photo. And, a lot of them don’t follow the time-honored etiquette that professional or enthusiasts adhere to without much though. So, today, we’ll discuss a few tics that newly-minted smartphone (or mobile) photographers have that drive people up the wall.

1. Don’t photograph strangers — If you’re in a fairly public area and the people are not your primary subject (such as photographing at a parade or just a candid “daily life” street photo) then most people won’t be bothered. However, if you happen to see someone wearing an outfit you like or doing something you think is interesting, it might annoy them to suddenly become the subject of your photo — especially if your photo is being taken with the intent to mock them over the Internet later (such as is done with the “People of WalMart” site).

2. Photographing kids at play can get you in trouble — If you’re passing through a park or an area frequented by children and stop to engage in photography, you may find yourself getting in hot water. So, be prepared to politely explain yourself to the parents and to show them the photos you’ve taken (and delete them, if requested). Exceptions are generally made to this rule for public events and places like monuments or streets where, again, the children aren’t the principle subject.

3. Photography isn’t a crime but… — While it is becoming more common for people to record arrests, accidents, and other activities where the police are involved, the police don’t always like it. It is perfectly legal to record them in public so long as you aren’t interfering with them doing their duties but they may still harass you and attempt to confiscate your equipment. So, if this happens, try to decide whether this is a battle you really want to fight.

4. Don’t be a gear snob — If you happen to see someone with a camera and you’re interested in discussing your mutual hobby, remember to be polite. Don’t diss their gear if it’s older or not the latest and greatest. Not everyone can afford the newest high-end DSLR or lenses.

5. Don’t be a jerk — If someone is showing you their photo collection that they’ve posted online, don’t immediately assume that they used Photoshop to make it look great. Editing is part of the photography process but even the most skillful use of Photoshop won’t replace sheer talent in composition.

6. Don’t block someone else’s shot — If you see someone recording or photographing something, don’t block them. And, while photobombing can be funny, try to exercise some common sense and don’t overdo it. One photobombed shot is enough. Ruining their entire gallery — especially for something like a wedding — is just mean.

7. Different photography fields are different; none is better than the other — Fine art photography has its place but being a fine art photographer or a post-modern or a hipster or whatever doesn’t make you better than another photographer who prefers different subjects.

8. Put the camera away sometimes — While it’s easy to always have a camera with you these days, pack it in sometimes. Yes, you can photograph every meal you eat, every street corner you walk past, every thing you see but that doesn’t mean you should. Put the camera away and enjoy where you are from time to time. Unless, of course, your job is to document everything for some kind of secret historical society. If that’s the case, then go right ahead. Just be prepared for the strange looks you’re going to get.

What are some other bad behaviors that novice or mobile photographers engage in that you’d like to see stopped? Let us know in the comments below!

– da Bird


Baby Photography

Baby Photography

Portrait photography of any kind requires a bit of patience and creativity. Not everyone is a model or a celebrity used to doing glamor shots and many of us (myself included) really don’t like having our photos taken. However, with teenagers and adults, the practice of portrait photography is a bit simpler since they can (and will) follow instructions fairly well (on average). However, for young children and babies, the photographer needs a little help in learning just who is really going to run the session.

The most obvious bits of advice from that article at Photography Talk are also the ones I’d like to expand on a bit. It can be a little difficult for adults to get down and act silly with kids that aren’t their own — especially in a more public setting — but it’s very important in helping a young child respond more positively to you. If you have a few toys they can play with — things like building blocks, LEGOs, dolls, puzzles, or other age-appropriate things — then let them play for a bit. That will let the child get used to being in this new place and will give him or her something to concentrate on instead of how nervous or anxious they are. Once the child has started to get comfortable, sit down near them and join in their play. Ask if you can help them build a tower or ask them what they’re building. Listen to them and respond appropriately. Once they’ve gotten used to you and are willing to talk to you without going through their parents (and resist the temptation to direct your comments to the parents or to let the parents answer in place of the child), then you can pull out the camera. Show it to the child and let them “play” with it a bit (don’t let them go hog wild but do let them push a few buttons and turn the knobs. If you can’t remember the settings you were going to use, then photographing kids may not be the biggest problem you have) and take a few of their own pictures.

Once they trust you and they understand what the camera is and why they need to look at it, the session will run much more smoothly. However, do understand that children do not have the stamina that adults possess so if they begin to get tired or bored, a meltdown may happen. Try to get the photos you need as quickly as you can so the child can go back to doing things that are important to him or her.

If you are photographing children too young to talk, then the more time spent playing with them and the more you let them poke and prod at your camera, the better things will go. Take a few “sample” photos with the baby watching you so that they can get used to hearing the shutter and any other noises the camera makes (such as the flash queuing up). The more accustomed to the camera they are, the less likely they are to become nervous.

– da Bird