Finding Macro-Closeup Subjects

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Are you running a bit short of macro/closeup ideas? We don’t have our fields of flowers nor the many butterflies and other insect subjects so readily found at other times of the year.

Not to worry, as there are still some interesting subject matter out there, and it’s also a perfect time to do some photography indoors.

First, outdoors look closely for man made items, especially around construction sites. Graffiti on walls and buildings, and cropped creatively can prove interesting, Use your processing software to further enhance to subject.

Do you have a shooting area in your home to shoot closeup subjects? Setting one up is easy. The needs are lighting (window, diffused flash, lamp light etc), some white reflectors, mirrors, background material (cloth, foam core etc), tripod and subjects. If you can’t find usable items around the home two great places are “Hobby Lobby” and “The Christmas Tree” shops. They always have a treasure trove of items worth photographing.Macro/closeup photography is all about how you see your subject and a degree of imagination. Post processing can change the image into art.

The Photographers Connection’s Macro-Closeup class April 23rd 2016 will be a great place to see and photograph a wide variety of interesting subjects and at the same time learn about how to select, compose and expose them correctly. More details on the Photographers Connection web site.

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This is a good season for macro-closeup photography.

Year In Review: 2015 Photography Workshops

As we prepared to plan our Photography Workshops for 2016, we spent a lot of time talking about 2015. We did a “year in review” to get a better understanding of what worked and what didn’t. We talked a lot about the photographers that we were fortunate to connect with.

Lets just say that 2015 was an amazing year for Photographers Connection! We hosted a bunch of workshops, and we got to work with over 50 photographers! But this year was so much more!

While we got to do a lot of teaching in 2015, we also made some great new friends. It has been an honor and a privilege to work along side so many talented and enthusiastic photographers.

In the upcoming year we are going to be offering a great collection of workshops – check out the workshop schedule for details! We will be rolling out an exciting new program that we are calling the “Photographers Spotlight”!

Many of our new photography friends have taken several workshops with us, and we have take so much pleasure in seeing the improvement in your work! The Photographers Spotlight will be a regular feature that highlights the work of one of our photographers!

In the meantime check out this video of our photographers and instructors in action during some of our past workshops!

Photography Workshops for 2016

On a recent winter morning the instructors at Photographers Connection got together to plan out our photography workshops for the upcoming year. Armed with coffee, calendars and YOUR input we put our heads together and found that you all had some kick ass ideas! Based on your requests, and your feedback on last years programs we put together a series of photography workshops designed to help YOU to be a better photographer!

So what are we going to do? Lots of hands on photography workshops that consist of excursions and lots of image reviews! Workshop sizes are going to be kept small. In most cases our class size is going to be limited to no more then 6 photographers. Limited class size for maximum value! Our staffing allows us to have at least 2 instructors per class so you will get plenty of one-on-one attention!

Photographers pose for a class portrait during one of our photography workshops to New York City
Photography Workshop Class Portrait

One of the things we discussed at length was the incredible growth that we are seeing in our photographers. Many of you have come back and taken multiple programs with us, and we have been truly honored to get to work with and teach so many talented photographers. Showcasing your achievements is something the Photographers Connections is going to be doing more of in the upcoming months, and we can’t wait to share. Stay tuned for some upcoming announcements on this front soon!

Photography Workshops for 2016

So which workshops did we decide on? Here is a brief list of the workshops/trips we decided on.

  • Gear is Good
  • New York City day trip
  • Boston day/night photography trip
  • Day trip to an auto junkyard
  • Macro/Close-up Photography
  • Camera Filters
  • Camera Fundamentals
  • Seascape Photography
  • Landscape, Flowers & Night Sky Photography at Buttonwood Farm
  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Studio Portraiture
  • Sports and Action
  • Photographing the Holidays at Lasalette

A Special Photography Workshop

In addition, we are very excited to announce something new! Not a workshop, but a long term mentoring program. The Photographers Connections’ very own Laura Paton is going to be leading a Documentary Photography program. This is not going to be a class, this is going to be a journey. Laura is going to take you beyond craft and take you deep into the art! We will be announcing more details on this exciting new program in the coming weeks!

As we nail down the details for each workshop we will be post an updated workshop schedule here on the website. If you want to make it super easy to stay up to date, sign up for our email list right at the bottom of the page. Announcements will be delivered right to your inbox! Simple, easy and we will NOT bury you with spam!

Individual Instruction

At the Photographers Connection we understand that working one-on-one with an instructor can be very beneficial. In addition to our photography workshops, our instructors all often individual instruction. With expertise in a wide variety of genres, our instructors can help you no matter what your current skill level is!

Thank You!

Most importantly, thank YOU! Thank you for all of your support and encouragement in 2015. Our workshops were an amazing success, and that could not have happened with out all of our amazing photographers! We look forward to 2016 and another exciting year of working with you, making new friends, and sharing our passion for the craft and art of photography!

Bob, Mike, Don and Laura

Image Review – January 13, 2016

Photographers’ Connection is holding our next image review on January 13 at 7pm at the Davisville Library in N. Kingstown. Bring 3 photographs to show, enjoy a few refreshments and network with other photographers. Find out about the exciting programs that Photographers’ Connection has planned for 2016.

RSVP to photographersconnectionri@gmail.com

 

Image Review - January 7, 2016
Image Review – January 13, 2016

The Long and Winding Road

 

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I followed a long and winding road to become a photographer. Along the way I have been inspired, discouraged, rejected and encouraged. I have obsessed over gear, pondered light and exposure and worried that I might be a fraud or just not talented enough.

10,000 hours? That is a starting point, not a destination. Try, fail, repeat. Stumble and fall and do it again. The photographer must be able to create a photograph that communicates more than empirical data. There are no short cuts in the development of the craft and the ability to communicate beautiful evidence. It is try and fail and try again. Üben, Üben, Üben – to do, practice – over and over.

Your equipment is good enough. Learn how to use it. Become a better photographer.

The real test of your craft and art occurs when you please a client…

Thanks for reading,

Bob

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Why Crop?

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While Robert Cappa might not agree – “If your pictures are not good enough, you are not close enough”,

there are a few good reasons why you should consider cropping your photographs:

Remove unwanted distractions

Resize for making prints

Improve composition

Most cameras make photographs in 2:3 format. While this translates well into a 4×6 or 9×12 prints it requires cropping if you plan on making a 8×10 (4×5 format) or a square (1:1)  print. If you are planning on filing a computer screen from edge to edge a 16:9 format might be effective.

One thing to keep in mind is that copping removes precious pixels and that leads to less data density (fewer pixels per inch). Why does that matter?

Extreme cropping might make it impossible to make a big print, not to mention the trail of dead pixels that you leave behind you.

Save a pixel, make big prints!

Thanks for reading,

Bob

 

Photographer Credit

 

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It is super that we have so many ways to share our photographs. In the old days, which preceded “back in the day”, we had to print them out on little pieces of photo paper and actually cary them and then hand them to some one to view. I know, crazy right?

Now we can post them, almost as soon as we capture a moment, on an ever expanding list of social sites. If you want your grandmother to see them – facebook. If you want your 30 something son or daughter to see them – Instagram. And if you want your cycling friends to see them – twitter. Of course, the astute know how to link these so that you too can have that latest pic of your cat or snap of your latest meal or javamochchino no fun latte (don’t ask me, the person in line ordered it) appear on all of these at the same time.

Then there is the innocent sounding inquiry about access to your photos for a possible publication with an implication of new clients.  Sure, you want access to my photos without restriction in exchange for, I am quoting this, “photographer cred”. Seriously? I have photographer cred and no, unless you are willing to put in writing the scope of use and specific “cred” that you will be providing there will be no limited license to use my copyrighted property.

Photographers own all of the rights to the photographs that they create. My clients receive an unrestricted personal use license – they may post and print to their hearts content as long as it is for their personal use. I retain all other copyright uses: portfolio, samples, self-promotions, photographic contests or art exhibitions and editorial use. Licensed use has a value. 

When I receive a promotional inquiry I am flattered and interested to learn how they will help me promote my commercial photography. “Advertising” and “exposure” to thousands of potential clients are vague terms at best. Photographer credit by name and a link to my web site is a specific. A profile would be appreciated as would payment for use since I am providing your visual content. Speaking of use, it has to be specific, including a limited time frame. Unlimited use is a business proposition that I am always willing to entertain, but it comes at a price. What I have just described is not being difficult. It is good business practice. The baker, butcher and candlestick maker did not go to the fair to give their wares away.

Hey! rub-a-dub, ho! rub-a-dub, three maids in a tub,
And who do you think were there?
The butcher, the baker, the candlestick-maker,
And all of them gone to the fair.

Yes, the times have changed, but that should not preclude the savvy photographer from making good business decisions.

Thanks for reading,

Bob

Be A Better Photographer

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The Photographers’ Connection literally grew out of the love of the photographic image and a lot of hard work. Mike Dooley and I had joined forces in 2014 to present a series of Boot Camps for photographers that wanted to make the kind of photograph that was worthy for the cover of National Geography. Mike and I met at a local Art Association meeting where he made a presentation about using filters for seascape images. His presentation was direct and to the point and I liked what I heard and how he said it. When I told him about the Boot Camp series I was planning he signed on as a instructor. We did not know it then, but the Photographers’ Connection started that evening. Following a successful series of Boot Camps, we expanded both our educational programs and added Don Rotteck as a third instructor. Don would later be followed by Laura Paton who I had met at Leapfest in 2014. Knowing that she was a talented photojournalist, I was eager for her collaboration in a series of photojournalism and documentary classes. Laura conducted two workshops in 2015 that were well attended – including a photowalk in New York City.

Besides having developed a good sense of craft, each of the Photographers’ Connection instructors embrace these principles:

Technology should not get in the way of photography

Each photographer has a vision – we are here to help them see it

Programs need to be affordable and deliver content that can be immediately put to use by our photographers

We build upon the familiar by expanding concepts, skills and techniques that help our photographers become better photographers

Great photographs start with a vision before you pick up your camera and end with a print that can be hung on a wall

Learning should be accompanied by good coffee and a great bagel

We all want to make a photograph worthy of the cover of National Geographic

These principles have helped us achieve success in our programs, but we have also witnessed an interesting social dynamic as a result of our classes – photographers networking, sharing ideas and building friendships during and after our classes. We could not be more delighted to see this happen and to play a small part in bringing like minded photographers together.

This web site is an outgrowth of our social media presence and desire to create a better resource for our photographers. We needed a home base to put everything in once place and make it easier for our photographers to know what we were planning. We also wanted to make it easier for them to contact us.  We will continue to post upcoming events on our facebook page (The Photographers’ Connection) and share information with all photographers who have registered for a program on our private facebook page, but this is our new home and we are going to be busy getting it sorted and furnished. In short order we plan not only to have a full calendar of programs available, but you will be able to register for classes on line. We have also committed to regular blog posts. Some of these objectives scare us, and they should, but collectively we are certainly more capable than we are individually.

The balance of 2015 has several programs remaining including a Portrait class that will be held in the LookBook Media Studios in October and a Lightroom class in November where you can learn both the powerful Library functions as well as how to use the Develop functions to make believable photographs. We are already discussing new programs for 2016 and would love to hear what you would like to learn.

I am looking forward to helping each of you become a better photographer.

Thanks for reading,

Bob

 

Making you a better photographer