LensFlareLive: Online Talk Radio Offers Ongoing Education for Photographers

In the March issue of In Focus (Vol 5., No. 3), we profiled LexJet customer Dave Warner, the nature and landscape photographer who is blazing new trails in online media for photographers. Although Warner continues to capture new images and make prints that he sells in galleries and online, he now sees himself more as a podcaster who shoots photographs rather than a photographer who produces podcasts.

Last May, Dave founded LensFlare35.com to help amateur and professional photographers stay informed, network, and leverage tips and techniques. So far, he has posted hour-long interviews with more than 40 photographers and filmmakers from disciplines ranging from photojournalism and nature to wedding, portraits and sports. The site includes wide-ranging talks with long-term pros (such as former White House photographer David Hume Kennerly) as well as young photographers (such as 22-year-old Gabby Salazar) who are doing interesting things with cameras. 

Initially, Warner only interviewed Canon shooters and Canon Explorers of Light, because most of the digital-photography content on other sites seemed focused on Nikon users. But he has since branched out, asking each photographer he interviews who they would like to see interviewed next.

Because photography clients may soon expect a single professional to deliver both stills and video, Warner has started interviewing filmmakers so all imaging professionals can learn from each other and develop the broad spectrum of skills they will need in the future.  So far, Warner has done 16 ‘Quick Hit’ shows with filmmakers who use HD DSLRs.

LensFlareLive: Recently, Warner initiated a series of live panel discussions using the BlogTalk Radio platform.  Each show typically features a moderated panel discussion of two or three experts on a photography topic. Listeners are encouraged to submit questions by e-mail before the show and get actively involved in each discussion.

 “The live show format is pretty wild, because we take telephone, Twitter and chat questions throughout the show,” Warmer says.

Here are the LensFlareLive shows scheduled for April:

  • April 6: Nature, Landscape, Bird, Travel Photography (9 pm ET)
  • April 13: Wildlife Photography Discussions with the DPExperience Gang (8 pm ET)
  • April 20: Social Media, New Media, Marketing (7 pm ET)
  • April 27: HD DSLRs, Fusion, Convergence, Video and Stills (7 pm ET)

If you want to listen to previous shows on these topics, or if you can’t participate in one of the live shows in April, you can download the show from the archives on LensFlare35.com or from iTunes.

To read more about Dave Warner (and see some of the beautiful images he captures in The Adirondacks Park near his home), read the Artist’s Spotlight profile in Vol 3., No. 5 of LexJet’s In Focus or visit www.DaveWarnerStudio.com

Photo ©Dave Warner, www.DaveWarnerStudio.com

For Color Management Tips, Visit XritePhoto.com

The technical-support team at LexJet has helped thousands of photographers and digital-imaging professionals learn how to use monitor calibration, soft-proofing, and output profiles to get the desired results from their wide-format inkjet photo printers without wasting time, ink, and material making multiple test prints. And we can certainly help you too!

But if you’re brand new to the world of color-managed workflows for digital photography, you might want visit XRitePhoto.com.  

In this robust and interactive learning site specifically for photographers, you can find answers to almost any type of color-management question you might have. The site provides “Need to Know” documents, Tips and Tricks, How-To Videos, and Webinars that can help you get the best possible color quality from the time you take the shot until the time you print or display your images.  

For example, in a free, hour-long webinar entitled “Beyond Monitor Calibration,” you can see how easy it can be to have your printed images match your display every time.  In the “Tips and Tricks” section, you can find answers to frequently asked questions related to monitors, printers, scanners, cameras, and projectors. This section also talks about creating and using ICC profiles for each of these devices and discusses troubleshooting and diagnostics.

You can download a PDFversion of X-Rite’s Complete Guide to Color Management booklet or access “Need to Know” documents that explain how to optimize your monitor, Photoshop workflow, printers, and viewing conditions.

“We created XritePhoto.com as a true community resource where every photographer can access all things color,” states X-Rite’s Strategic Marketing Director Lynn Quinlisk. “Visitors can participate in our blog, test their color vision, sign up for a webinar, access our color experts, view educational videos, learn from our Coloratti pro community, or entering ongoing contests.”

LexJet is a reseller of many of the X-Rite color-measurement tools you will see featured on the XritePhoto site. So if you have specific questions you would like to discuss with a real live person, give us a call at 800-453-9538!  We are always happy to help you!

Learn to Integrate Video into Your Photography Business at WPPI

Whether you shoot weddings, portraits, sports, products, or landscapes, it’s becoming clear that the new, hybrid VDSLR cameras are going to profoundly affect what clients will expect when they hire a professional photographer. (Why hire two separate professionals to shoot stills and video, when one qualified professional can deliver both?)

 You can learn more about how to integrate HD video into your business during two platform classes at WPPI 2010, which runs from March 4 to 11 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV.

On Tuesday, March 9, LexJet is co-sponsoring a two-hour Platform Class entitled Digital Cinema. During this class, celebrity wedding and portrait photographers Charles and Jennifer Maring will explain why hybrid cameras that capture both photographic stills and HD video offer limitless potential for creative expression. The Marings will explain how to expand your horizons by creating products for delivery in print, books, the big screen, the Web, and mobile.  They will share insights into how new technologies are raising the bar, redefining what it means to be a visual artist, and creating opportunities that can affect your studio’s public relations and bottom line.

On Monday, March 8, Canon Explorer of Light Bruce Dorn will talk about The Moving Portrait: HD Video for Still Photographers. Dorn will talk about how portrait photographers can capture both still photographs and HD video in a single session, all while using a familiar camera system. He will share tips, tools, and techniques, for exploring this emerging trend and explain why still shooters shouldn’t be intimidated by this unfamiliar workflow. Dorn is a member of the Directors Guild of America and brings 25 years of Hollywood experience to the table.

These are just two of the more than 50 platform classes available to photographers who register for the full conference.

Business Institute: If you’re just starting out in the photography business, or need to get re-energized, consider attending the Business Institute. The program kicks off Friday evening, March 5 with an inspiring session by Sandy Puc and Mitche Graf on “Life Without Boundaries: The Rebirth of Passion.” The Institute runs from 8:00 am to 7 pm on Saturday, March 6, with four presentations by successful photographers and a panel discussion and Q&A session with all of the speakers. The four sessions on Saturday include:

  • Bankable Branding by Jennifer Gilman
  • The New Renaissance: Connect, Revise and Grow on the Web by Matt Hill
  • How to Master the Art of Selling Portrait and Wedding Photography by Michael Warshall
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Photographers by Michael Costa

The Business Institute is offered for a standalone price of $99 or can be purchased as an add-on to a full convention registration.

“For professional photographers looking to thrive in today’s competitive business environment, WPPI is the place for them to learn all they can to succeed,” said George Varanakis, WPPI’s Group Publisher and Executive Vice President. “Photographers who attend WPPI’s educational sessions and programs are sure to leave with an adrenaline rush that will help them put all the good ideas they learn at WPPI to use immediately in their own businesses.”

The trade show held in conjunction with WPPI will be open March 8, 9, and 10 and will feature hundreds of exhibitors and new products.

WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International) is an organization that serves the educational and business needs of wedding and portrait photographers. For full details about the WPPI Conference and Show visit: www.wppionline.com

Robert Rodriguez Jr. Offers In-Studio Class on Fine Photo Printing

There are a number of ways to learn how to create top-quality prints of your best photographs.

If you would like a full-day of instruction from a working professional, check out the Fine Art Digital Printing workshop that will be offered on Feb. 27 and March 13 by landscape photographer Robert Rodriguez, Jr. He is conducting the workshops in his state-of-the-art Beyond the Lens studio in Beacon, NY, which is in the heart of the scenic Hudson River Valley region.

Each participant will have the opportunity to develop and print their own images using a Mac computer, Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom software, fine-art papers, and Epson and Canon professional printers.  

Robert has been featured on this blog before, because his large canvas prints and photo murals are helping patrons of local businesses see the natural wonders of the area in a whole new way. He also sells large framed prints of his images at art fairs and to corporate collectors.

He regards printing as the ultimate expression of a photographer’s vision. Rodriguez defines photography as the language of light, color, shape, texture, and emotion, and he strives to help students at all of his workshops learn how to speak that language effectively.

“Any camera today can make perfect pictures,” says Rodriguez, “But only by seeing photographically can you convey an emotion, express your style, and create images that rise above the mere snapshot. If you are serious about your photographic potential, then our workshops are designed to provide the ideas, concepts, and personal attention that make any camera a tool of true creativity.”
During the all-day sessions, Rodriguez will explain how to:

  • create a color-managed working environment;
  • set up a workflow with Camera RAW, Photoshop, and Lightroom;
  •  make image correction and advanced adjustments in Photoshop;
  • use color profiles;
  • soft proof before you print;
  • choose the right paper for your image;
  • process the file for printing; and
  • mount and mat exhibition-quality prints.

To learn more about Robert Rodriguez, visit his website www.robertrodriguezjr.com and read his Beyond the Lens blog, which talks about some of the stories behind his images and his philosophy about photography and printing.

Robert Rodriguez Jr. uses the Canon iPF 8100 to print most of his work.

Nik Software Offers Daily Webinars

Many LexJet customers use one or more Nik Software products to quickly and creatively enhance the look and quality of their images before printing them. For example, Nik Sharpener Pro not only lets you optimize your detail sharpening for different types of output, but also includes a Soft Proof features that lets you accurately inspect the results on screen. This can save you the time and expense of making multiple test prints.

 If you aren’t yet familiar with Nik products, Nik Software is currently conducting a series of three educational webinars each day. Each webinar provides introductory information and tips for installing and using one or two of Nik’s products. The five products covered in the webinars are:

 Dfine® 2.0 for reducing unwanted imperfections (“noise”) while maintaining detail and sharpness;  

 Viveza® 2.0 for selective control over color and light in your photographs;  

 Color Efex Pro™ 3.0 for applying photographic filters that can enhance and transform images;

 Silver Efex Pro 3.0™ for creating professional-quality black-and-white images; and

 Sharpener Pro™ 3.0  for full control over the sharpening workflow, from RAW pre-sharpening and creative detail enhancements to superior output sharpening based on the output device.

 To register for these webinars, visit www.niksoftware.com/daily.

In addition to the daily product-related webinars, Nik is offering a series of webinars that show how to improve specific types of images, include portraits, wedding photographs, scenics and landscapes, and wildlife photos.

John Caponigro’s New DVD Explains Fine Art Digital Printing

By Eileen Fritsch

At PhotoPlus Expo last October, I sat in on an Epson-sponsored session in which John Paul Caponigro attempted to explain everything you need to know about inkjet printing in an intense, two-hour session. He covered an awful lot of valuable information, including the importance of printing your work and why digital printing is more than simply a replacement for historical processes.

So, I am pleased to learn that Caponigro has released a DVD entitled Fine Art Digital Printing in which he expands upon the topics he discussed in his session at PhotoPlus.

He emphasizes that in order to achieve the best possible print, you must understand all of the components involved in making a good fine art print, including the substrate, ink, printer, driver/RIP, profile, ink limit, print speed, viewing light, environment, and presentation. He discusses all these topics on the DVD, as well as the importance of scale, resolution, color management and proofing, output sharpening, and protective coatings.

Plus, he discusses potential problems that can affect the final look of your print, including bronzing, metamerism, gloss differential, and outgassing. Other topics covered include how to solve common challenges, and how to choose a printer.

I haven’t yet viewed this  DVD, but I was impressed with the thoroughness of Caponigro’s down-to-earth presentation at PhotoPlus Expo in which he previewed some of the DVD contents.   

Caponigro’s advice isn’t meant for photographers who want to learn how to efficiently print higher vollumes of photos for their wedding or portrait customers. Rather, it is focused primarily on printing finely detailed, long-lasting, exhibition-quality prints that lovers of fine photography will value.   

One thing I enjoyed about Caponigro’s style is that he presented the information in a way that can help you get the best possible prints from your current equipment, while also giving you a better appreciation of  what specific advantages new print technologies might offer as the equipment, inksets, and software continue to evolve.

The DVD can be ordered for $69.95 from Acme Educational, a site that promises “Industrial Strength Knowledge for the Creative Mind.”

John Paul Caponigro also offers small-group, hands-on digital-printing workshops in his studio in Maine as well as a collection of low-cost, dowloadable articles about specific aspects of printing including the aesthetics of printing, evaluating substrates, navigating the Epson Driver in Photoshop CS3, and a preflight checklist that can help you avoid common mistakes.