PocketWizard Has Competition … Check Out These Cactus triggers

Cactus V6

PocketWizard made a lot of people happy when they came out with the MiniTT1′s and FlexTT5′s for Nikon and Canon (they allowed great wireless triggering and through-the-lens metering for small flash). They weren’t (and aren’t) cheap, but they work well, and we gain all the benefits and ease of TTL flash power. They were a breakthrough. But they cost some $229 each right now, and you need at least one transmitter device and one receiving device for each flash (hence, the cost goes pretty high pretty quickly). Never fear, however, the cost just came down. Waaaaaay down.

Yesterday I saw over on DP Review that Cactus has just announced a new set of radio triggers, triggers that look to me that they are designed expressly to complete with PocketWizard. And they are doing it for $55 a unit! Yeah, $55 instead of $229! You buy a transmitter for your camera (any hot-shoed camera, apparently); then you buy a receiver for your flash (any flash that matches your camera, apparently). Then you take a shot and Voila! … TTL flash for a total of $110! And what is even more cool is that you can mix-and-max as many flashes as you want, of whatever combination of brands that you want, and get some TTL and some manual (depending on the brands). Or all manual in tiny increments of light, even if the flash doesn’t ordinarily support that kind of measurement. Wow! again. And all for $55 each.

Cactus is not a new name in the wireless trigger game. They have a following, primarily because they simply worked at a low cost (relative to other systems, namely PocketWizard). Now they can play that game and add the feature that a lot of us use regularly – TTL. Check out this link to the original information I saw over on DP Review (so that you know I am not making this up). Then you can check out this link to Cactus, one that lists all the built-in profiles for various flash guns (it’s a pretty impressive list of well-known flashes). Cactus lists the V6 models as available at Adorama and at Midwest Photo Exchange in Columbus, Ohio (both very reputable dealers).

I think this is a pretty big deal, given the dual popularity of small flash guns and of TTL metering. This isn’t a promise of devices-in-the-pipeline or to be announced later. These are items available now; items that promise to give PocketWizard a real headache. If you have ever thought about buying any of the Mimi’s or the Flex5′s but held off because of price, think no more. Check out the Cactus deals and dig out those speedlights. You have very little to lose.

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Buy My Website … Only $1,532

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The internet is an incredible resource … for just about anything. There is a whole lot of needed and useful information out there. And there is even more not-quite-so needed and not-quite-so useful. But it has become our source of so very much information to so very many of us. And a place of entertainment for even more. And a generator of income for quite a few more. So, last night I sort of combined all three (television not only bores me most of the time, it scares me even more often). I have been posting on this website for some four years now (thanks to all you faithful readers!). And that content and name recognition adds up to value (who would have thunk it?). So here is your chance to buy an up-and-running website, a turn-key operation. I researched the value of my site and found it to be worth a whopping $1,532! Or best offer … whichever comes first.

There are sites that analyze other websites for value. I guess that goes along with finding our needed and useful information. And it always is fun to sneak a peak at what others earn … and now what other websites are worth (the entertainment part). And then there is the income generation – buy my site and I get rich (well, maybe not quite what many of you would consider rich). What a wonderful world we live in!

Is my website one worth more than yours? Or Scott Kelby’s? Or how about Coca Cola’s? Well, how about Google? Well, not maybe quite as much as Google (estimated value a cool $3 billion). How about the weather.com? (a very hot $35.4 million). Okay, photography sites, the ones we all check regularly: Scott Kelby an impressive $70,711 (man, he is kicking me all over the web). Bill Fortney could rake in a neat $3,733 (he is worth a lot more than that in my mind). Matt Kloskowski over on his landscape site is valued at $19,340 (way to go, Matt). Noted photographer and instructor Rick Sammon goes for about $16,428, fashion shooter Lindsay Adler commands some $10,144, and our good friends at DP Review are valued at $4,970,390. Wow! Oh, and that Coca Cola site? A mere $234,319 (I would have guessed more).

Okay, just a bit of fun for today. But it all is sort of interesting. If you have a site you particularly like or are interested in, you can check their worth and some associated rankings over at Site Price (click here for a link to them). And if you have your own site give it a try to see what you may be worth. It may surprise you. And us.

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2014 Grunwald Gallery Show: Still Have Time

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I posted recently about the Bloomington Photography Club’s 2014 annual juried show. If you found time to attend, especially the opening reception with its delicious refreshments, you know that it did not disappoint. If you have yet to see the exhibit over on the IU campus, let me urge you to do so. You will enjoy the show.

There is room in the gallery for somewhere around 90 images. The three judges only selected 80 for hanging this time around. That made for a few hurt feelings from club members who did not have photos selected for the exhibit. That certainly is understandable – you work so hard and try so hard to capture a photo that you are proud of (and emotionally invested in). Then someone doesn’t agree on that one particular day of the judging, and all that work and pride goes unappreciated by anyone but yourself. It hurts a bit (actually, sometimes a lot). And it is a club show, not a museum; why not include as many works by club members as possible?

Then there is the judges’ perspectives and their charge to find the best images turned in, those worthy of being exhibited. If they felt only 80 photos were of a quality high enough to meet the judges’ standards, don’t they have a responsibility to only go with that lower number? Should they fill the space or should they put together a show of only a certain quality (subjective as that always must be)? There is a discussion to be had here, with both points-of-view worthy of consideration.

I felt that the past two years had seen a slight diminution of quality in the annual show. Last year I commented in these pages that there were some snapshot-type images that weren’t of the same quality as the rest of the exhibit. That is not true this time around. There was a quality of subject and color and form and vision that held up throughout the entire collection. I am no art expert, but I spoke with David and Martha Moore of our noted local gallery, Pictura. It was their considered opinion that quality reigned this year. And esteemed local professional Kendall Reeves felt the overall quality of the show was better this year than last (and Kendall sees a lot of work throughout the year). Favorable comments were heard so often this year that I am confident in stating that this is an exhibit worth your time and effort to take it all in. The judges were spot on in the photos they did select.

The show will be up all week. Take some time … no, make some time to go see it. You’ll be glad you did.

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A July Visit To Story In Brown County: Photos

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Click on the old gas pump to see more photos from Story.

It was a glorious weekend here in Indiana, weather that just demanded being outside with a camera in hand. We still are tweaking our plans for our His Light workshop this October in nearby (and beautiful) Brown County, so we made another visit to Story (one of the locations definitely on our itinerary). Story changes a bit each time we visit; partly surrounded by Brown County State Park, it is greatly influenced by the seasons. Summer finds the grounds filled with flowers and colors and texture. We strolled the grounds at our leisure, enjoying the warmth and slow pace of the July day. And when you visit with a lightweight and fun-to-shoot Fuji X-T1, the day becomes a joy.

I added a few photos to the collection of Story images that are slowly building up. These show the summer colors of the grounds, the relaxed and casual feel of this landmark property. If you are joining us this October you won’t find these flowers, and the grounds will have changed just a bit. But Story still will be a great place to visit and a fun place to explore. Camera in hand.

Click on the photo at the top of this post to see more images, or you always can just click here.

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Bloomington Photo Club Opening Reception Tonight

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Big night for members of the Bloomington Photography Club … it’s the opening reception for their 2014 juried exhibit at the Grunwald Gallery on the IU campus (it’s in the Fine Arts Building). If you live anywhere in our area, come on out for complimentary refreshments and a great showing of some outstanding photos. The reception runs from 6-8 PM, and IU Parking Enforcement is not ticketing vehicles on the circle or parked in the Jordan Avenue parking garage. It’s always a good time, and this also is a nice way to show some support for local artists (including photographers from all our surrounding counties). There will be some 90+ images on display. Hope to see you there.

And … if you decide on an evening of art and photography, stop by the John Waldron Art Center in downtown Bloomington. Kendall Reeves and I have an ongoing exhibit of automobile-themed images on display. The show is getting good reviews; make some time to see it for yourself.

It promises to be a glorious summer weekend here in our part of the country. I hope it is the same for you. But, no matter what comes your way, take some time to get outdoors. Camera in hand.

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Nikon Capture NX-D: Very First Impressions

NX-D

The working portion of NX-D. It was pretty easy to figure out … so far.

If you don’t shoot Nikon at all and/or if you don’t have any Nikon raw files, then, as we used to say in the police department, “Move along, folks. Nothing for you to see here.” This is a bit about the raw file converter/processor that Nikon released yesterday, now named NX-D. There are some sites with information that I will direct you to; there is a download page (because you should at least have a copy for yourself); and I will give you my first impressions. But, first, let me just say, “Thank you, Nikon.”

I say, “Thank you” because the software is FREE. That’s right … FREE! And not a whole lot of camera companies are giving much away for free these days. In fact, mostly the opposite is true. Companies seem to be charging a premium for their products, especially given the ever-shrinking consumer market. So it is really nice to have a gift from Nikon. That is also in part why I urge you to download a copy for yourself. This is not a come-on, nor a trial offer. You download the software, and it is yours free-and-clear to keep and use as you see fit. Free of charge! Click here for Nikon’s download page and take advantage of this generous offer.

Then I want to direct you to DP Review from yesterday. I knew the release was coming, but I forgot the actual date. So I want to give them a shout out for reminding all of us. And for re-publishing the original press release from Nikon (it sort of gives you a glimpse into what they are thinking). Click here to visit them if you want to check out that press release and another connection to the Nikon download site.

And Nikon guru (and Indiana University alum) Thom Hogan has some very timely observations about NX-D. In synopsis, to quote Thom: “… the operant question now is whether or not you want to install Capture NX-D and use it for anything. My answer might surprise you: yes, you do.” Thom can be pretty hard on Nikon at times, and he always calls ‘em as he sees ‘em. So, when his overall recommendation is grab yourself a copy of NX-D there is little reason not to at least try it out. The link to his reasoning (and to his complaints) is to be had by clicking here. As he points out, the software may not be perfect. As he points out, the software still gives you raw conversions that no one has ever complained about. Check out his well-reasoned thoughts and observations. He knows more about this than I do.

Then there is me – the first-time Capture NX user. I didn’t use the old converter that replaced this one. I can’t compare this version and it’s features or ease-of-use to what you had before. So far, so good. I get the luxury of starting from scratch and not worry about old habits or old work flows; sort of a clean slate. I have been using Lightroom and Photoshop as raw converters for my Nikon files for a long time, however. I know the result from those profiles and from manipulating their sliders. And I have been satisfied. But I gotta tell you … I see a different look, not earthshaking, but different, in the results I got last night from NX-D. The results seemed cleaner to me, tighter some how. I didn’t have much trouble figuring out what all the sliders do or where different features are located. The Adobe products have more bells and whistles, but NX claims only to do that one job of converting raw files as far as I can tell. And it does that job pretty darn well. If you like Nikon jpegs, and if you have only used Photoshop or Lightroom in the past, I think you may be drawn to this new software for your initial processing of your raw files. Then you just go back to whatever other programs you might use to finish your images, just like usual.

Now, I only used the converter on a few images (I already had sat through an entire day on the computer with Joel Grimes, so I was ready to move about a bit). But I liked what I saw enough to give it a lot more chances. And did I mention that the program is FREE? If you shoot Nikon check out what they are offering us. And if you like it? Give them a shout and say, “Thanks.” They probably need the love. And we could use a few more complimentary items from a whole lot more people.

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Joel Grimes (A Photo Hero) Live Today And Tomorrow

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A portrait I did some time back of my friend Paul Post in the style of Joel Grimes.

Joel Grimes has a look to his images that has captivated me (and thousands upon thousands of others) for some time now. He is the creator of this style, and it is so captivating that it has been used as inspiration by those same many thousands. If you are not familiar with his work, click here now and prepare to be dazzled by what you see. He is a master at what he does.

I have sung the praises of Creative Live for some time now, also. They produce online workshops that range from a day to three or so. And the instructors they line up include some incredibly talented photographers (think Lindsay Adler and Sue Bryce for starters). If their schedule and yours line up you are free to attend the workshops (live) for free, simply by signing up for an equally free account. If the time frames don’t match so well you can purchase the workshop videos to watch and study and learn from at your leisure. My only knock so far has been that the prices have seemed a bit on the high side (at least for my training budget). But they periodically run specials, so if something catches your eye you can just wait and save a bit. If you never have checked out their site, take a moment to do so by clicking on this link. They really do offer some great instruction on a regular basis.

Yesterday was the kick-off over on Creative Live for a three-day workshop taught by none other than the aforementioned Joel Grimes. I cleared my calendar and sat in. And was I ever glad I did! The instruction featured tips and tricks and career insights and live shoots and a complete retouch/composite in the Joel Grimes style. Wow! is the best description I can come up with. And all this for free! The great news is that this workshop runs for two more days (July 15th and 16th from noon to seven PM EST). Today is more of the same from Joel – lecturing, shooting, retouching and compositing. You see it all in real time, watching him figure out real life situations, the same as you are forced to do on your shoots. He has an easygoing, informative style of teaching that makes the day go by quickly. And the amount of information he is able to pass on is more than impressive. It was a day well-spent for me (and I am sure lots and lots of others).

You know where I am going to be today and what I am going to be doing. Consider joining me by going to the Creative Live site and signing up for a free account. I guarantee you that the day will result in you becoming a better shooter, more sure of yourself and more skilled in Photoshop. Thank you, Creative Live!

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2014 Monroe County Fair Photography Rules

My good friend Curt White (and talented photographer Curt White, I must add) sent us an email outlining the regulations for entering your photos in the Monroe County Fair this year. I still have been unable to ferret out that information, but super-sleuth Curt has. Thank you, Curt!

I believe everything I posted yesterday is still current … except that photo entries will be accepted at the fairgrounds on Wednesday, July 23rd, between the hours of three and seven PM (I think I had those wrong). Entries must be picked up on Sunday, August 3rd, between the hours of one to three PM only. And for those who are considering framing options other than what we think of as traditional – you may mount your photos on foamboard or Gatorboard and have them professionally laminated for any of the classes other than the Color Salon category and the Black and White Salon category. Then use a frame around that if you want to try something a bit different (I spoke with Nola Donley, the Superintendent and she confirmed that last bit for me).

So there you have it, straight from Curt and Nola. Give some thought to entering this year. It’s fun; it’s friendly; and it’s definitely Indiana in the summer.

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Two Bloomington-Area Photo Exhibits … Plus It Is Fair Time In Indiana


Drop by the John Waldron Art Center this month for a show by Kendall Reeves and myself.

If you live anywhere in the Bloomington area there are two worthy photo exhibits for you to take in. One is ongoing as we speak, and the other has an opening reception this Friday. Both are worth your time, in my humble opinion. Plus, if you live anywhere in Monroe County you have another chance to show off your photos – this time at the Monroe County Fair.

This Friday, July 18 features the opening reception for the Bloomington Photography Club’s annual Grunwald Gallery show. This is the club’s premier photo exhibit, held in the Grunwald Gallery (formerly the School of Fine Arts Gallery) in the Fine Arts Building on the beautiful Indiana University campus. The reception will run from 6-8 PM and feature some 90 images from club members. The show is juried each year by a distinguished panel of three judges, all experienced in the art field. Competition to be in the show is stiff, and you are sure to be rewarded with some visual treats (and some culinary ones, as well. There will be refreshments provided by the club, and beverages will be for sale by the university). I spoke with noted professional photographer Kendall Reeves last week, and he commented on the photos he had seen (many of them will have been printed at his studio). His opinion was that this was the best set of images he has seen in several years. That compliment was echoed by club member Curt White who was at the judging and saw the not-as-yet-framed photos en mass. He was of the same opinion as Kendall – the competition this year was outstanding.

IU Parking Enforcement has advised the club that parking on the Fine Arts circle and in the Jordan Street parking garage will be free of charge after 6 PM. Club members put their best foot forward with this show, and you should place it on your calendar if at all possible. And if you can’t attend Friday? The exhibit will be up through July 28th for your convenience.

Currently on display at the downtown John Waldron Arts Center is a retrospective of images by Kendall and myself from Georgia’s now-famous Old Car City. We are featuring photos either not exhibited previously or re-printed in different formats. The opening reception was this past Friday, and the show received good reviews. There are three other exhibitors in the building, so come on out and spend some time taking in a variety of art. Our exhibit runs through July 26th, so you have plenty of time to drop by.

And it is Fair time once again in the Hoosier State. The Monroe County Fair will run from July 26-August 2nd. I believe that Open Class photography entries will have to be delivered to the fairgrounds on Wednesday afternoon, July 23rd between 3-6 PM. I write ‘believe’ because I have searched high and low for the 2014 Fair Handbook without success. I do know, however, that rules for photo entries have not changed from last year. If you need a reminder of those guidelines, you can click here for one of my older entries regarding the Fair. This is a fun, friendly way to show off your images to friends and family members. Why not go through your photos (those taken after last year’s Fair closing) and add to the excitement of an annual (and looked forward to) event?

Summer in Indiana can be hot and sticky. July certainly seems to be the month for that. But it also highlights much of our heritage and our enjoyment of the arts. Come on out and see what is going on here in our community this month. You’ll be glad you did.

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Bill Fortney’s His Light Workshops 2015 Schedule

His Light
Check out the 2015 schedule today.

I know most of you check in with my dear friend and mentor Bill Fortney on a very regular basis. For any of you that may not be, I strongly recommend that you do. Bill is not only an expert on almost all-things-photographic; he also is an inspiring man of faith. I promise you, promise without fear of contradiction, that you will enjoy and benefit from his writings throughout the year. And Bill and his partner Jim Begley also oversee His Light Workshops, special opportunities to learn and grow photographically while enjoying the friendship and fellowship of those who seek to honor their faith. Sue and I are veterans of many His Light workshops now, and we are happy to have the chance to preview Bill’s 2015 workshop schedule.

The top-flight instructors announce their schedules well before the new year rolls around. Workshops fill up fast; there only are a certain number of seats available. Bill’s workshops are no exception; I urge you to check out the offerings and begin making some plans for next year right now. The His Light schedule is well-rounded and complete. There are opportunities for every type of photographer, every kind of interest. You can see the offerings over on his site, or you can just click on this link to see the 2015 schedule.

Bill and Jim are talented photographers and outstanding men. Give the 2015 a thorough examination. I am willing to bet there is something there that will catch your eye, something that will hone your skills and improve your shooting. I have reserved some seats already. Don’t be one of those who waits too long and loses out.

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Speaking Of Wonderful Wives ….

Flower Sue

Able to leap small flowers with a single bound … my Super-Lady wife.

I was struck yesterday how fortunate Scott Kelby is to have a wonderful wife like Kalebra. He posted a short story about how she surprised him with a trip to New York for his recent birthday (complete with a long-admired guitar as a present). He has written many times before about how he relies on her and leans on her and respects her. I have a dear friend down in Tennessee in Liz Smith who has a relationship with Mrs. Kelby, a relationship that includes time spent together. Liz tells me Kalebra is as warm and kind and generous as Scott (high praise indeed). Scott’s story about his wife’s thoughtfulness and generosity was touching and welcome to read in this age of discord and disagreement. If you haven’t read the story, click here to do so. It is a nice tribute to his wife.

I have my own story about a wonderful and caring wife. We celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary this past Saturday, and I could think of no better time than to spend it with Sue. I haven’t been the perfect husband over these past 39 years, but she has been the perfect wife, companion and supporter for me. I would not have made it without her. And what I want to share with you is some of her character, some of the caring that she shows me and those around us. Last week also was Sue’s birthday, and it happened to fall on the day each week that we volunteer at our Community Kitchen (making meals for those in need). It takes up a good portion of the day, and it is not glamorous work. So I asked her what she would like to do that day to celebrate? She reminded me we had Community Kitchen, and I gallantly offered to give them our excuses for the day so she could do whatever she would like. We ended up at the Kitchen because she said meals still needed to be made, people were still going to be hungry. Volunteers are harder to come by during the summer (IU is not in session and vacations are in progress), and my lovely wife used her day to serve others.

Sue has shown so many others the kindness and respect and love that I have been so fortunate to receive over these many years from her. I won’t soon forget this last birthday of hers, spent working beside her in a hot kitchen on the south side of Bloomington. It made for a special day with a very special person. Thank you, Sue. For everything you are and everything you do.

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A July Visit To Nashville, Indiana: Some Photos

Nashville Sue

Click on the photo of my lovely wife to see more Nashville images.

I hope your Independence Day weekend was as pleasant and enjoyable as ours. The weather was spectacular; the company most perfect. In the past few days we celebrated Sue’s birthday, our country’s Independence Day, and our anniversary (our 39th). It was a week we looked forward to, and it did not disappoint. We have an anniversary tradition … for more than 25 years we have spent the day in nearby (and most picturesque) Nashville. We have lunch, wander about, and generally just enjoy being together. It has been a very good 39 years.

Saturday was a bustling day in Nashville. The weather was perfect for July in Indiana; Independence Day brought out a friendly and lively crowd of visitors. Carrying a camera was a must with many of the town’s flowers in bloom, and the Fuji X-T1 is made for a walk-about. I didn’t make the trip into a photo expedition; I just snapped a few shots here and there when my eye was caught by colors or form or texture. But that sort of shooting with the right companion and the right camera makes for a great day – and that is what our anniversary turned out to be.

I put up a few of the photos in a Nashville 4th gallery. Use this link to view them, or just click on the image at the top of the post. And if you get a chance to visit Nashville, don’t pass it up. It’s a welcoming place. It’s Indiana in the summer.

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Young Ladies And 500px: Beware!

Ladies who exhibit the utmost in modesty and decorum (part of my family).

500px posts a great many fine photos each day. There are some very talented photographers out there who are kind enough to share their work with us free of charge. It is easy to come away from a visit inspired and renewed creatively. But I see some patterns on the site that alarm me. Today’s post is a warning of things for the young ladies of this world to beware of.

Cameras are everywhere these days. When you get out of bed in the morning and are perhaps still in your revealing nightwear there might be a photographer hiding somewhere in your room. Look around carefully before you sit up on the bed and stretch and curl while in your intimate clothing. And look again before you go over to the window and look pensively outside while bending over to greet the day (something most of you apparently do as part of your morning routine). Someone out there is hiding and taking your picture while you do all these things so often; then they run out and post them on 500px. I thought you would want to know.

Realize that out on the prairie in the tall grasses the wind can blow pretty hard. You should know that it all too frequently will blow your blouse completely open, causing you to barely clutch it to your chest with one hand. I know you are trying to be modest, but the wind must be so strong that it keeps you from covering your bare chest completely. Next time wear something with a zipper and keep it zipped up. The wind will have a tougher time blowing your top open.

When you go swimming this summer in lightweight clothing, especially white clingy fabrics, the wet clothes will stick to your body when you stand up. You don’t know this because you are looking out into the distance, admiring the landscape. But any photographers who wander by will snap rather revealing photos of you and then post them over on 500px. And be careful even when just wading in shallow water. Apparently it is easy to fall and get wet all over in even ankle-deep surf. Then when you stand up again – there are those pesky photographers!

Be especially careful when heading out into the woods and forest this time of year to enjoy the summer weather. Time and time again you can snag your skirt on a branch and it will be pulled up to expose your undergarments. Branches can catch your top, also, and pull it down to expose most of your chest area. Even when you find a clearing in the woods there apparently can be one or two small branches that most of us cannot even see that will do this to your clothes. It would be safer to wear jeans with a sturdy belt. Tuck your pants into your high heel shoe tops to keep the ticks out. And do give some consideration to wearing a foundation garment under your top. If you do have an accident you still will be protected from the sun’s harmful rays.

Shorts are popular summertime wear, given all the hot weather we are having. But good advice is to measure twice – cut once. Too many of you apparently have not measured correctly the first time when making cut-off jeans; by the time you realize they are too short, part of your anatomy is exposed to those sneaky photographers. Then you try to cover those parts with one dainty hand, but it doesn’t work too well. It would be better to just buy a store-bought pair of Bermuda shorts and not have to cut yours off to begin with.

Oh, and when you buy shorts or jeans to cut off for shorts? Please … check the top button and the zipper! Lately manufacturers have been cutting costs by using inferior buttons that won’t stay buttoned … and cheap zippers that keep coming part-way down. So there you are, posing lady-like in the sun and before you know it your shorts are partly open and the photographer is pressing the shutter button. Check before you go out that your clothes still fasten properly; it will save you what surely must be an embarrassing situation.

Related to that: ask the helpful clerk at the store to check the straps on bras and undergarments when you buy them. When they stuff just any old garment in the bag and hustle you out of the store, those straps are bound to come off your shoulders and all the way down when you get outside and ready for a photo shoot. Then you have to reach around and hold up your bra or your garment with one hand, and what usually happens is that you can’t hold it all the way up for too long cause it’s too heavy and it starts to droop and come down ….. Well, you know what happens next when you are standing there sort of exposed. As sure as day turns to night along comes a photographer who sends all his photos to 500px. Voila!

And some advice that I’m sure you got from your mother … stand up straight! You are such a pretty girl when you watch your posture! When you get all hunched over and bending down will be the exact time someone with a camera will snap a picture. And of course that will just happen to be the day you wore that very low cut top that your mother never wanted you to buy in the first place and that your father just had a fit over. And that is probably the one with the top button that keeps coming undone … darn it! Stand up straight. Mother always knows best.

Oh, and something else so many of you apparently haven’t been told. If you don’t have any pants on, if you are just in your underwear? When you stand with your back to the man with the camera and look away from him, he still can take your picture. And it still will show that you don’t have any pants on. It’s sort of like when ostriches stick their heads in the sand and think no one can see them and that they are safe. We can still see them. And photographers can still capture you in your underwear. Before you go out walking like that be sure to look behind you, also.

And one last warning … photos posted on 500px (and everywhere else) last a long, long time. They tend not to go away. As in, like nev-er. Fashions change. Lifestyles change. People change. You probably will change. But those images? They stay the same.

I like 500px. There are some amazingly talented photographers posting there. I see some great stuff, day in and day out. But there are some patterns that we all should be aware of. And maybe give some thought to. Especially as we do so with camera in hand.

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Free Mpix Photos For One Year: If You Are A Winner

Mpix photos

Mpix is a reliable, quality, easy-to-use printing site that I have used extensively in the past. They are very well-known and quite highly thought of by thousands of photographers. And they are being quite generous of late, also … generous to the point of giving away free photos for an entire year to a few lucky shooters. That’s right – five lucky photographers will win up to 3,000 4×6 photos FREE of charge from Mpix as part of their ongoing giveaway. All you have to do is enter your email address using the link I am providing by July 17th. Then sit back and wait for the congratulatory email to arrive from the staff at Mpix. What could be easier?

The quality of prints I have received in the past was first-class. The service was fast. There are tons of options to choose from for whatever you want to do with your images, and the prices are most reasonable. I use Mpix; I recommend Mpix. And now I am tickled to forward the opportunity for you to be a winner on a large scale. C’mon … what do you have to lose? Join me in entering today.

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Sheer Meanness: Dark Side Of The Web And An Attack On Scott Kelby

Bill-tripod

Bill Fortney is one of the kindest, most generous, most thoughtful men I ever have had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with. He is a man of deep and abiding faith, a faith that he lives completely each day. So, it takes more than a bit of doing to arouse his anger to the extent that he speaks out publicly to rebuke another. One way to do it is to be intentionally mean, especially when it is directed toward one of Bill’s friends. And a recent commenter on one of Bill’s posts has managed to (meanly and without reason) to do just exactly that. Good for Bill for calling him out on his comments over on a public Facebook posting.

I’ll give you the background. Bill recently posted a quite informative article over on his website regarding some of the advantages of shooting with an ASP-C sensor (DX to most of us). It was complete with photos, and it was intended to inform and explain (what Bill is an expert at). In the comments to that post a person responded with a critical attack on Scott Kelby (and by implication on Bill’s relationship with Scott). Now, Scott never was mentioned by Bill in the article, and he had nothing to do with the information Bill was passing on. It is difficult to imagine anything other sheer meanness on the part of the commenter for the remarks he made. But you be the judge: Click here for the post, complete with comments.

Bill is so easy-going, so considerate that it takes a lot for him to respond with literally any kind of reproof to any of us. And Scott Kelby is generous, considerate and about as inoffensive as any photographer I have had the pleasure to meet and spend some time with. Why pick on him? Why drag him into the conversation? Why the derogatory comments and mean names? We’ve all seen this sort of thing waaaaay too many times in way too many places on the web for far too long. There is an anonymity to the web that unleashes the worst in some people; they build themselves up apparently by tearing down others (most times people they don’t even know anything about). It becomes a sport to be nasty or unkind. I see it in the comments attached to articles online in our local newspaper. There often is an absolute viciousness, a hatred that oozes from the comments of those who hide behind made-up names (those without fear of having to face those they are insulting). Many in our community have asked that the comments be eliminated, or at the very least that commenters must use their real names. But, the meanness continues ………

Bill was right and ever-so-justified to defend Scott. He would, in fact, have been justified in using even harsher language (but he is far too fine a man to do so). But the comments obviously have upset Bill, and with good reason. As much as anything I imagine that the meanness on the web, the unwarranted meanness we experience so often in this world, saddened Bill. Good people find it difficult to accept that the world has to be this way. It is maddeningly puzzling to see this type of behavior exhibited in so many forums so often. Especially to a man as gentle and kind and upright as Bill Fortney.

I don’t know that my comments could ever make any difference to those who take delight in this kind of behavior. But the personalities and kindnesses of men like Bill and Scott should serve to at least embarrass and shame those who attack them in this manner. Let’s all do our best to emulate Bill and Scott, and not those who choose the dark side of the web.

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