Newsletter January 2013

Photographing the police, adding light in Photoshop, courses, news from the web…

Newsletter January 2013 - Photographing the Police

Newsletter January 2013: Hi all,

Well, we are already nearing the end of January and the days are getting lighter in the mornings here in the UK…hurray!

2013 for me, has seen quite an explosive start. My new personal website (still currently under construction) seems to be already bringing in quite a few wedding, commercial and teaching jobs as well as the odd portrait enquiry so that's all good. I've taken a gamble and gone for a more personal approach to the site…not sure if it will work long term "but nothing ventured, nothing gained" as they say!

I am also looking forward to a couple of exciting commercial jobs that I may have coming up that could lead to long term contracts for the foreseeable future. I also recently completed a project with a very intelligent and interesting chap I met through BNI (Business Networks International).

Dominic Brittain

He is a retired bomb disposal officer who was in charge of the entire bomb disposal team in Hong Kong for many years and now runs a farm in Dorset. The longer I worked with him, the more I found out about this amazing job and the fears, excitement and satisfaction it brings (not for me though)!

You can see the promo video we created below which includes Dominic in action with a few cool explosions (oh, and a lamb being born):

Most DSLR's these days have HD video and you may be missing a trick if you are not putting this to good use. If anyone in the UK is interested, I may well be running the occasional course on "an introduction to video" in 2013. Please get in touch to show any interest. I will keep you informed of these through the newsletter as and when they happen.

I also plan to add a few more video tips to All Things Photography in 2013. Plus a lot more photography tips, tutorials, reviews and editing techniques. It would be great if you could let me know the kinds of things you would like to see or that you are currently struggling with. Amateur or pro level.

This Month: Newsletter January 2013

  1. 1
    Jessops Go Into Administration
  2. 2
    Create Light in Photoshop (add light to dark windows)
  3. 3
    Go Pro Questions From a Reader
  4. 4
    New Course: Websites, Business and Marketing for Photographers (+ Weddings)
  5. 5
    Photographing the Police - Against the Law?
  6. 6
    Other Interesting News from Around the Web

1. Jessops Go Into Administration

Some sad news for the industry to start the new year as Jessops go into administration possibly putting 2,000 jobs at risk. Personally, I never used Jessops as their products weren't what I was after and their prices were way too high. However, it is still sad to see this happen.

We still have a nice little private camera store in Weymouth which is run by people that are genuinely interested in photography. They actually listen to you when you visit. They also stock (mostly) the latest gear as well as some super cool retro stuff from the 70's and 80's. I recently bought an old Vivitar lens from them purely for nostalgia.

I ended up spending almost an hour there during that last visit. THAT is what I want from a camera store.

2. Create Light in Photoshop

One of our members (Alan Platt) recently uploaded an image of a dark house on a moody day. Just for the hell of it, I added some warmth to the photo by creating light in the windows. I was trying to give the impression of life and activity in the building.

Newsletter January 2013 Adding Light in Photoshop

With his permission, I created a tutorial on how to do this in Photoshop. If you want to learn how to add light to an image in Photoshop, check it out below. Note: it was later pointed out that I completely forgot to add the light in the water reflection…doh!)

3. Go Pro Questions

As many of you that have been around long enough may know, I love to help people. That is the main reason ATP was created, to help people with their photography. Over the past 8 years I have received thousands of emails and I am proud to say I have answered 99% of them. Although, I must have missed the occasional email I am sure. Sorry if it was yours.

Sometimes the questions are quite extensive and can take a couple of hours to answer.

One such request came in a few days ago regarding the new Go Pro HD Hero 3 Black Edition. Therefore, in my usual style, I answered as best I could. With the guy's permission, I wanted to make the most of this in the hope it would help others so I added the conversation to the blog.

A quick addendum to this is the addition of extra power to the Go Pro's to overcome the short run times of the HD Hero 3's battery.

4. Websites, Business and Marketing for Photographers (+ Wedding Photography).

It seems more and more people are wanting to start their own photography business these days (full or part time). Good on them, I applaud anyone looking to break away from any jobs or positions that make them unhappy.

In line with this, I have been thinking of creating a training product for a new course. It will be based around building websites and blogs for photographers as well as in depth and important marketing techniques to get more work in.

Until that product is done, I will be teaching this course "offline" down here in sunny Weymouth. I have provisionally booked the guest house we normally use for courses for the weekends of 2nd/3rd March and Saturday 9th March.

2nd/3rd March - Wedding Photography and Websites - Places = 8

This will be a 1 or 2 day course depending on what you want to do.

  1. 1
    Day 1 will be all about shooting weddings. The same course we have always taught (details here) but at a lower price of £145 (normally £195). Accommodation is available if needed.
  2. 2
    Day 2 will only be available for those attending the wedding course and is optional if you want to stay on for an extra day.

Here you will learn about building a good looking, informative and effective website for your business. We go into all the necessary details on how to promote yourself, your business and how to get found. We also cover a lot of marketing techniques that not only help your website get found, but which also give your business more credibility, more presence and a lot more work (hopefully).

This would include:

  • Website, blog or both?
  • SEO (search engine optimisation) - A huge topic
  • HTML vs WordPress vs Template
  • Maintenance required to keep the site fresh
  • Search engines and what to look out for
  • Social Media
  • Marketing
  • Portfolios
  • Advertising
  • Up-sells
  • Promotions

...and a lot more besides.

The cost is a special offer of just £125 for the day so a total of just £270 for the two days training.

Note: All attendees of this course will receive a copy of the Wedding Photography Blueprint 2.0 DVD's worth £77

Saturday 9nd March - Websites and Marketing for Photographers – Places = 8

This one day course is the same as day two of the above but a solo course. I.e. you cannot just come to day 2 above so this is a standalone website and marketing course for people not wanting to learn about wedding photography.

Cost - £145 ;- Plus accommodation if needed.

Accommodation (b & b) for both courses is at the Beachcomber Guest House where the course is held. Price is £28 pppn

Is this something you would be interested in? Please leave your comments below or get in touch via email.

5. Photographing the Police

  • Have you ever been stopped by the police for photographing anything in public?
  • Have you been asked to refrain from photographing the police in the UK?
  • Did you know that it is totally legal to photograph the police in most circumstances?

I myself have been asked to stop taking photos at the scene of an accident. Feeling sure that I was quite within my rights to do so in a public place, I continued. Sure, after 9/11 in the US and 7/7 in London, England, we were told of new counter-terrorism laws with emphasis on photography.

However, I always thought to myself that if I was a terrorist looking to cause mayhem, the last thing I would do would be to look conspicuous with a huge DSLR and telephoto lens. I would like to think I was more intelligent than that. Please note, I am not a terrorist!

Anyway, after some research, I came across the metropolitan police website. On there, in black and white, they have a rundown of "The Metropolitan Police Service's approach towards photography in public places is a subject of regular debate".

I would suggest printing a copy of this off and keeping it in your camera bag should the need ever arise. Much better to carry this around than go through all the hassle of arguing on the street. You could even have this in your favourites or as a PDF on your Smartphone for easy access.

6. Other News from Around the Web

Wedding Photographer Sued for Missing the Kiss

A wedding photographer in Australia has been sued $6,700 for missing many of the key moments at a wedding including the kiss. This is a serious issue and one to take heed off if you are just starting out in weddings.

Of course, you could always get a copy of the our DVD's to ensure this never happens to you (plug, plug).

Rotolight LED Constant Light Studio lights

1000 watt output with 93% using less energy than a standard tungsten bulb and virtually no heat!

I have used LED constant lighting in the past for video and also the odd studio stills shot. It seems that now with these new, super powerful (and cool running) lights, constant lighting could be the way to go for studio photographers in the future.

Judge Rules News Agencies Cannot Use Twitter Photos Without Permission

It seems the internet is getting a bit more cut-throat these days. What with the social media sites all looking at new ways to monetise their traffic. Always remember, what appears to be free or what is offered for free by many of the massive social media websites will eventually sting you one way or another.

For example, Facebook in the early days provided a great business tool. More in the way it brought traffic to commercial websites and business pages. Then, more recently, Facebook curbed the amount of views a post gets on a business page to a fraction of the views it used to get. They now asks that you pay for advertising in order to reach your followers.

Instagram got into trouble when they tried to silently roll out new terms and conditions. Terms that allowed them to sell the rights of all images uploaded to their site to be used for stock! Amazing, and after a massive 50% reduction of users in a few short days, they backtracked!

Twitter also hit the news when news agencies around the world starting using private images for news stories as in the example below.

Getty Sell Out…Just Like Instagram?

Another disturbing story, this time from Getty, one of the world's leaders in providing stock imagery. It appears that they did a shady deal with Google Docs. A deal that meant Getty handed over usage rights for many of their library images to Google users to use freely when creating documents.

This was only discovered after some shrewd iStock contributors uncovered what is happening. It turns out that the Getty photographer only receives $12 as part of the deal for which they had no idea they had signed up for.

When is a Photo Not a Photo?

…when it's photo-realism art! I have always found this attention to detail absolutely amazing since one of our members had a friend of his do a drawing of my kids.

An incredible talent that I am quite envious of.

This month, there has been a lot of media attention on a young lad called Kelvin Okafor. Kevin is one of the most talented people I have seen. His work is being commissioned by some very big names and he commands in the region of £10,000 per portrait, some of which have even fooled experts into thinking they were photos.

Amazing man…

Early Go Pro Circa 1908

Just like on the good old 9'o clock news of old in the UK:

"…and finally…"

Go Pro cameras were actually invented over 100 years ago! Check out this amazing article about Dr Julius Neubronner and his "camera pigeons" from 1908! Pigeon Photography - Early Go Pro's

Well, that's me done for another month. I have, as always a ton of things to do including putting wedding albums together from last year, writing new content for ATP and I have just ordered a very exciting new piece of kit for 2013. Stay tuned for more news in future newsletters!

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