Archives for Photo Education

Levels Of Print Competition

I’m a huge fan of print competition.  Since I joined Professional Photographers of America several years ago, nothing has helped my image-making more than entering competition.  If you haven’t entered, here is a quick overview of the different levels of competitions. Local Level Many large cities have their own PPA Affiliate guilds that meet monthly.  Many of these also have monthly print competitions.  This is where I got started and is a great place for any newbie to jump in.  Generally, the rules will be a little more loose and the entries will either be judged by the attendees or perhaps a few of the Master Photographers who are guild members.  Although the scoring probably won’t be all that accurate, it’s a  pretty good indicator of which images have impact and which ones don’t! State Level When you enter your state’s competition, it will generally be more structured- meaning more like PPA International judging.  The prints will be judged by a panel made up of PPA approved jurors, Master Photographers and convention speakers.  There are usually a bunch of awards given away at these conventions, which makes entering them quite popular. District Level The next step is to enter at
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Creativity: You Are What You Eat

If you are a photographer – or any other artist for that matter- creativity is the key to your success.  It is the engine that drives us to create beautiful pieces of art or startling images that make people look twice.  Unfortunately, many artists don’t dedicate enough effort into feeding their creativity.  To me, it’s kind of like nutrition – you are what you eat.  If you eat a bunch of junk, you won’t be nearly as healthy as someone who eats a nutritious, balanced diet. Several years ago, I read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron – one of the most celebrated books about growing as an artist.  It was truly an eye opening experience.  If you’ve ever had those days when the creativity just wasn’t flowing – this is the book for you.  Cameron talks about how we can train our minds to make the creative process second nature.   Part of this process is taking in a lot of artistic experiences. The more art you can consume, the more tools your creativity has to work with.  Maybe you can spend a few hours at a museum, really studying a few specific paintings or perhaps choose an artist and
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Alternative Education for Photographers

While the trendy looks of today - with no posing or lighting control- are currently in fashion, they cannot last. Its only a matter of time until everyone says, "Heck, I can do that myself." The only answer is to grow as an artist and create images that require a level of skill and expertise that the average person on the street doesn't have. A "creative eye" is no longer enough.
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New Way To Enhance Contrast

Last month, I came across a cool new tool for Photoshop called ALCE2.  I thought it might interest some of you so I did a quick video tutorial on it… (VIDEO) ALCE2 is a deceptively easy tool that enhances the contrast of an image to really give it some punch.  Unlike some filters that have hundreds of options and boxes to click – this one is simple:  just one slider.  You dial in the amount of effect you want and off it goes.  Best of all, it records the setting you used – right in the layer name – so you can actually recreate the look later.  This was a huge plus for me! If you would like to learn more about ALCE2, you can check out their homepage: ALCE2 Homepage Give it a try and let me know what you think!
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Killer Point & Shoot

The thing about cameras these days is that no matter how much you spend, you will likely be in the market for a new one in a couple of years.  If you are looking for a new point & shoot for the holidays, this just might be the ticket.  It looks like a nice compromise between size and performance.  Check out this review: SX30 REVIEW What do you think?  Any other suggestions for the Ultimate Point & Shoot?
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