Newsletter January 2012

Walkabouts with ATP, new releases, Photoshop plug-ins and a lot more…

Newsletter January 2012

Newsletter January 2012: Hi and welcome to the first Newsletter of 2012 (The Olympic year for the UK : )

I just had to include one of this month's "Photo of The Week" from ATP Members as it kind of epitomizes the great weather we have been having in the UK so far this year.

We have had very mild weather with double-digit temperatures for much of January…mad! Edit 2018: I was sad to hear that John Arthey, the photographer that took the image on the left, died this year. RIP John! A lovely man...

Here is what we are talking about this month:

  1. 1
    Doom and Gloom? Blah!
  2. 2
    How to Photoshop out a background and drop in another photo
  3. 3
    Nikon D4 (You HAVE to watch this amazing video)
  4. 4
    Possible New Olympus OM series for the digital age?
  5. 5
    VAT on Photobooks
  6. 6
    Lightroom 4
  7. 7
    Photoshop Proofmaker
  8. 8
    Neat Video
  9. 9
    Walkabout in UK - Lake District
  10. 10
    Something Special
  11. 11
    Other News

I hope the year has started well for you despite all the doom and gloom in the media these days. To be honest, I have had the busiest and most productive month I can remember for a few years. I rarely watch the news and when I do, I try and ignore the doom merchants talking of "double-dip recessions" and "it's going to get worse before it gets better"

"I simply get on with running my business"

If the economy is tough and you are self employed, tighten your belt and work harder…diversify.

From the age of 16 and onwards I have always taken on second jobs when needed. Now that I am self employed, I learn new things and diversify my business to get extra work where I can. To be honest, the income from my stock photography over the years has truly helped see us through these hard times. That is including a move from Spain to the UK where I had to start over. Well worth the effort I put in back in 2005!

Being self employed is not a breeze but it does allow you to redirect and strengthen your efforts to secure more work. I have been working 7 days a week for months now:

  • Teaching myself new techniques
  • Joining all sorts of business groups
  • Getting myself out there
  • Meeting people in the hope of attracting more business

Showing yourself and your work at every opportunity is the only way to succeed. People will not book you based on a quick, circular email or by dropping by their businesses for a chat (although that is a great start). I have done free jobs for a few people lately and some of those have led onto bigger and better things. Call them loss leaders.


January 2012 has been manic with regards to photo and video work (and enquiries) which is why I am late with the newsletter. Also, after learning the ins and outs of building websites over the last 7 years, I have turned my hand to doing the odd paid internet work too.

All of this is on top of running All Things Photography and ATP Members. However, if you love what you do, hard work becomes a whole lot easier and more enjoyable. In a nutshell, in hard times you need to work harder and even smarter. The harder you work during a recession, the brighter the future is when we finally crawl out of this mess we are in.

It is important to keep learning new skills. For example, if you have an eye for photography, you probably have an eye for video. Stay ahead of the game, make yourself "employable" and let people know about it. I may have mentioned this before. One excellent way of getting yourself noticed in the heart of your local business community is to join your local BNI or Chamber of Commerce.

What better way to get to know all your local and possible future clients in one place?

Head down, work hard and keep on keeping on.

Don't Do This For a Living?

Now, if you are a hobbyist photographer, I apologise for stealing 5 minutes of your time with my ramblings above! This current economy coupled with the tragedy in Japan last year is a bit of a double edged sword for all of us photography lovers. Self-employed or not.

On one hand, prices have risen for some technologies such as external hard drives and camera gear due to slow production. This makes them more difficult to get hold of.

On the other hand, there are bargains and deals to be had galore in other areas at the moment. I get emails with offers on a daily basis from many photographic suppliers. Make hay whilst the rain pours (as opposed to sun shining) and grab a bargain or two while you can. You will be happy in that you have a new toy to play with. Plus you will have done your bit for pumping funds back into our struggling economy ; )

Right, that's enough of all that…next:

How to Photoshop a Background Out to White and Drop in a New Photo

On a number of occasions, I have been asked how you remove a background from an image and drop in a new one. Here is one way of achieving that and adding another image as a background.

Nikon D4

Wow Nikon, what a comeback at Canon after revealing their EOS 1Dx in October last year. This camera raises the bar yet again and makes you wonder where it will all end!

It has some stunning features and capabilities but rather than re-write them all here, check out our blog entry below. You will see an amazing, official Nikon film shot entirely on the D4 (beeeeautiful).

  • Also more details on the features of the D4 as well as a link to the press release: Nikon D4

Olympus OM-D?

Olympus have been spreading rumours in the lead up to a possible announcement at this year's Focus Exhibition. Rumours that talk of a new "OM" system waiting in the wings. Rumours were fuelled when an Olympus ad Featuring the words:

"Oh My Goodness…"

I would love to see a digital version of the old OM film cameras. They were huge in their day and highly desirable. Olympus OM-1, OM-2 and OM-10, lovely and built like tanks!

VAT on Photobooks

This month I had a call from a very excited Andrew Moorcroft at Asukabook UK and rightly so. In a new ruling, it was passed that there will be no more VAT to pay on Photobooks.

Lightroom 4

As ever, Adobe release a new update to their already excellent software. This time it's the turn of Lightroom. Along with photobook creation and extended video support, there is an array of new features of which you can see a short rundown below.

  • Also, there is a link to download the beta version for free until the end of March 2012: Lightroom 4

Photoshop Proofmaker

If you have been around ATP for a while, you may have seen my review of Mike D's Photoshop Autoloader. An amazing program that shaves hours off your workflow by auto loading images into Photoshop.

Now, Mike has produced another piece of astonishing software that saves even more time. It does this by creating professional looking proof images quickly and easily. If you ever find yourself having to make a batch of proofs for any client, you may want to check this out and see why it beats general actions hands down.

Neat Video

As you may have gathered, I have always been a fan of video. This dates right back to tinkering with Super 8 Cine Film as a kid. 30+ years on and I still enjoy video work but the same problems and challenges crop up with video as they do with photography.

One such challenge is our old friend "noise" or grainy images.

I need to shoot in a number of locations that are simply too dark even for excellent low light video cameras so I need a little help. From the makers of Neat Image (software to remove noise from digital images) comes Neat Video. This, funnily enough, does exactly what is says.

ATP Members Walkabout

As part of what is becoming a ritual once or twice a year, I am thinking of organising another free "walkabout" for ATP Members. It will be on April 21st/22nd. We are currently looking at somewhere up north this time. Maybe the Lake District (that keeps coming back to me as I haven't been there before ; )

If you are a member of ATP and would like to join in, please login and go to this thread (link removed as now complete) where we are discussing the next meet. If you are not a member of ATP but are living in the UK and would like to come along, please let me know. I may be inviting non members, for a small fee, to join in the fun.

This will be less than one of our normal courses (around £100 for 2 days, not including accommodation) but you would most certainly learn a lot over the weekend and you would receive free access to ATP Members if you wanted to join. Contact me separately if any non-members wish to join in. Of course, you could save yourself £60 and still come along by joining ATP for just $65 (£40).

USA Course and Walkabout?

I am toying with the idea of perhaps running a two day course in San Francisco or nearby in September. Followed by a one or two day walkabout for members of Of course, any non members that come along to the course would receive complimentary access to ATP Members as well as joining the walkabout.

I like the idea of visiting California. It is something I have always wanted to do and I have a couple of suppliers fairly nearby that I would like to visit afterwards. If anyone in the US is up for it, I was thinking maybe a 2 day course covering things such as:

  • Stock photography
  • Wedding photography
  • Lighting techniques
  • Business advice
  • Maybe some website/SEO/Marketing advice?

This would be followed by a one or two day walkabout where we could put some of this into practice.

As I said, this is an idea at the moment but something I would love to do. I have only ever seen Miami for a short while when we visited the Bahamas in 2001 and always planned to come back to the States to see more.

If you are interested and/or have any ideas/suggestions, please contact me as soon as you can.

Many thanks and I look forward to hopefully meeting some of you.

Something Special: Julia's House

Lastly, to finish off this newsletter, I just wanted to share something very special with you that I did very recently. This is in the hope of motivating you to do the same.

  • Rather than write it all here, I have put it in an article: Julia's House

Other News

iPad 3 Out Soon?

Rumours are rife that the iPad 3 is soon to be released. It could be known as the iPad 3s as Apple may want to keep the name "iPad 3" for when they release a truly groundbreaking version of the iPad.

Getty Images Sued for Copyright Infringement

Beware if you use antique furniture or special objects in your stock photography. The owners may get disgruntled at their goods being "devalued" in whatever way us stock photographers portray them.

  • You can read more at the British Journal of Photography: Getty Images Copyright Infringement (link dead)

Saving Images For Web Use

Lately I made a short video on one of the best ways to save images for web use.

With all that being said, I wish you all the very best and hope that you enjoyed this month's newsletter. Don't forget to add your comments and share this with your friends and if you are reading this and would like to join our newsletter list, you can do so using the box on the top left of this page.

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