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Messages - Duck

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General Discussion / Re: Easy to use security cam question
« on: December 07, 2017, 08:13:53 PM »
Thanks for the info. I was talking with another photo friend of mine who mentioned her son uses a product called Canary that sounds exactly like what you mention (except it's a unit you purchase) but also has voice and alarm features. I'd never heard of it before but it sounds pretty much like all the features one would need for a surveillance system.

There are a few out there and I've tried a few with very reliable rates of disappointment except for one; Google Maps.

One app I tried lists historical locations with info on hours, what to see, etc. Another app, Scoutt was a big let down. I haven't tried ShutterSpots or MapAPic. I did try another service that I can't remember the name of that's how memorable it was. Photo Ephemeris is a good one for getting sun and moon fixes on a location.

To date, Google Maps works best for me. I can see images posted by community members to get an idea and I can use satellite view to check out the area. If I need more info I can do a narrow search on Flickr and that usually gets me a ton of images for the more popular locations.

Technical / Re: Godox
« on: December 06, 2017, 02:55:27 PM »
I picked up an Orlit RT 610 for mobility (battery operated) early this year and now I'm having second thoughts. I should have stuck it out and gone with the Godox system. It seems to be a lot more flexible with being able to combine both large and small units on the same trigger. I might reconsider and sell of the Orlit (and a few of my other studio lights) and pick up a couple AD600 and a couple AD200.

General Discussion / Easy to use security cam question
« on: December 06, 2017, 02:49:14 PM »
My studio is on the third floor, back corner area of a large multi-building ancient factory-turned-commercial space complex. I'm entering my third year here and have yet to encounter any issues with unwanted trespassers. Last week I caught two teenage girls wandering the building after hours and I have a suspicion they went into the space next door to me (his fault for leaving the door open and the place easily accessible, but that's another issue). This got me to thinking about installing one of those wi-fi enabled surveillance camera systems that alert me via cell phone and live streams when it detects movement.

Does anyone use (or personally know someone who has) such a system? If yes, what system do you have? I am interested in knowing if they connect directly to the wireless router or if it requires some kind of computer, dongle or other gizmo to be on and connected to the system. How have you found the quality and reliability of your system? What features do you like/hate and what features do you wish it had?

Thanks in advance for your input.

General Discussion / Re: Umbrella storage bag solution needed
« on: November 21, 2017, 06:08:46 PM »
After some consideration, and not finding anything commercially, I decided to take the advice of custom sewn bags. Thankfully I am handy that way. Here's a shot of the finished products (all piled up in a mess).

Image Showcase / Re: Backlit Willow shot
« on: November 06, 2017, 01:24:34 PM »
If it comes down to semantics, isn't the majority of what wedding and portrait photographers do both dated and overdone?

The standard shot list, from formals all the way to the cake ceremony, are all dated and definitely overdone. They've been that way for about a century now. The bride and groom together, the bride with her parents, the groom with his parents, bride and bride's maids, etc., etc., etc.

One can argue that the whole photojournalistic trend of capturing modern weddings is a result of trying to break away from the dated methods of wedding photography but even with that mentality a photographer can not break away from the dated because, in the end, they are tried and true techniques that still resound an emotional chord in the people requesting them.

In the tattoo industry there is an old saying, "there is nothing new in tattoos. It's just a rehash of what's been done before. It's just about how you present it now."

News / Re: Mr. Trump's new official portrait
« on: November 04, 2017, 02:16:15 PM »
... Trumps literally looks like they set up for  strobe and it didn't fire.

Almost looks like a photo of opportunity. The photographer saw Trump walking by and said, "Mr. President, can I get a photo of you?" Whereby Trumps stops, turns, smiles and goes off again.

I get the feeling no one wants to deal with the guy, even his own photographer.

General Discussion / Re: Umbrella storage bag solution needed
« on: October 31, 2017, 12:04:28 PM »
Yeh, Duck, I understand your comment.  My thinking is this: your existing tubes look like they will accommodate the cardboard tubes just fine if all you want to do is store the umbrella/tube combo inside.
Doesn't hurt to give it a try. I was just trying to picture it in my head how that would work without loosing too much of the space. Thanks

General Discussion / Re: Umbrella storage bag solution needed
« on: October 31, 2017, 12:02:01 PM »
Are you looking for a storage solution, or a transportation solution?

Thanks for responding Todd, I am looking for intermediate protection I guess you can call it. The tubes in the image are permanently attached and create a centralized storage location within the studio that offers a good amount of protection. However, as you can see in the image, I shove two, three or four umbrellas (depending on their size) into each tube. The cheap plastic sleeve the umbrellas came in offer an additional level of protection against dust and dirt, snagging when being pulled in and out of the storage tube, and keeps the umbrella rolled tight adding an additional layer of protection to the splines.

My two biggest umbrellas have really cheap plastic sleeves that are getting brittle and starting to crack and tear at the seams. The tips have poked through a long time ago and I have one smaller umbrellas that's missing a sleeve all together. So basically I'm just looking to replace those bags with something that will hold up better than cheap vinyl. I did a Google search but didn't come up with anything beyond the typical rain umbrella car seat storage or home umbrella stand solutions. I was hoping someone here may have insight to an alternative solution.

For off site work I have a couple travel bags I'll toss them in that keep them fairly safe but I appreciate the links.

Other / Re: Gotta Love College Football
« on: October 31, 2017, 01:39:32 AM »
I'm planning a trip to the US in 2019 to celebrate a birthday milestone, if I'm lucky I might even get to see a game! ;D
You'll have to share your itinerary so that maybe some of us can meet up, if possible.

General Discussion / Re: Umbrella storage bag solution needed
« on: October 31, 2017, 01:34:33 AM »
that's a pretty cool tip. I wouldn't have thought of using a cardboard tube for that purpose but it makes sense. However, I already store them in tubes so that would be a bit redundant plus they wouldn't be able to store well as tubes don't nest well within other tubes.

Another photographer suggested having someone sew nylon sleeves for them. They replicate the plastic sleeves they originally come in but are far more durable. I was hoping for a simpler solution but I just may not find it.

Thanks for the suggestion.

General Discussion / Umbrella storage bag solution needed
« on: October 29, 2017, 08:34:56 PM »
In my studio I have a rack where I store light stands and scissor stands and such. On the back side I installed some cut lengths of cheap drainage tubes to be able to store my umbrellas. It keeps them neat, safe and out of the way. Some tubes can hold multiple smaller umbrellas and to prevent damage I keep them in their original plastic sleeves they came with. My problem is that most of these plastic sleeves are falling apart. Tearing at the seams or poking out the end. I don't want to store them without sleeves as it's another level of protection and keeps the splines from warping and the cloth from getting snagged.

Does anyone have any suggestions or solutions for protecting their umbrellas? I went online and they do sell bags but most are vinyl car storage holders for regular rain umbrellas or overpriced travel totes that can handles multiple umbrellas and light stands and stuff.

Here is a photo of my current storage to give you an idea of where and how they are kept.

Many thanks in advance.

General Discussion / Re: Anyone subscribe to PDN magazine
« on: October 19, 2017, 02:39:21 PM »
If I could get a photography magazine subscription for $35/yr here for both print and digital, I'd jump at it.
Let us know what you think. :)
You are so right. I went and subscribed. I'll share my thoughts once I've delved a little into the publication.

General Discussion / Re: Anyone subscribe to PDN magazine
« on: October 18, 2017, 12:24:30 PM »
(I like to read my magazines in print). :D
This subscription is for a year of both a print and online magazine, a "Smart Strategies" guide and a studio & equipment guide.

The business guide may be of use but I'm not sure if magazine is worth it.

It's $35. I guess I can try it

General Discussion / Anyone subscribe to PDN magazine
« on: October 18, 2017, 02:39:17 AM »
I just received a subscription offer for PDN magazine in the mail. $35 for the year as an ASMP member. Anyone here subscribe to it? Is it worth reading? Comments appreciated.

Technical / Re: 360 product turntable
« on: October 14, 2017, 11:56:00 AM »
Plenty of hardware available...
I thought of these too, as I am fairly handy with woodworking tools, but it leads me back to my original problem of wobble and unevenness.
I saw one DIY where they used a car wheel bearing to make a heavy duty turntable and at that scale wobble and unevenness isn't as critical as it is working small.
There are a couple of $80-150 motorized turntables on Ebay but I question the quality at that price level. But then, I also question the quality of the more expensive brands as they may be overpriced for the same, or similar, quality.

Technical / Re: 360 product turntable
« on: October 13, 2017, 03:41:27 PM »
I believe in the K.I.S.S. principal but regular lazy susan style turntables are flimsy and uneven. The one I just replaced had a section that stuck and if you weren't careful getting past that part it could potentially knock the product off a touch. I replaced it with a sturdier one made of wood but it's smaller. I'm looking to get some acrylic sheets cut into a larger circle to place on top but that's a hassle centering it.

My want to upgrade is just to simplify the entire process with something reliable.

General Discussion / Re: Is it the subject, or is it the photographer?
« on: October 10, 2017, 12:46:46 PM »
I am, by far, not a master photographer. In my area, surprisingly as I am close to New York, there are very few professional photographers doing any kind of teaching to other photographers. At least none that I find published. There are, however, a ton of amateur photographers hungry for learning. I got into teaching through a series of accidental encounters.

First, I have a strong background in teaching (I almost became a teacher but changed vocation last minute to pursue art). Teaching is in my blood (mother, aunt, wife were all teachers). When I transitioned from film to digital in 2004 I realized I knew very little about digital imaging. Not that I was great with film. I suddenly found myself needing to re-educate myself and gain understanding of intermediate and advanced levels of photography. I joined several photography clubs and groups and kept my ears open for lessons. Unfortunately everyone around me was in a similar (or lesser lever) boat than I was. I picked up bits and pieces here and there but I took what I knew, applied it to the new technology and flubbed it the rest of the way. In the meantime, my natural desire to teach others what I learned came through in social events and I soon found myself being the go to guy for answering other people's questions. It was a bit frustrating because no one was answering my questions. I had to figure it out on my own in order to give educated responses at these events. It was also frustrating because I was getting little shooting time at what was considered a shooting event.

I don't know if it is laziness on the amateur photographer's part but probably not. It's probably that they weren't placing as much importance on furthering their education as I was. I devoured knowledge wherever I could (I have an impressive book collection now). After a while I outgrew what was being offered in my area. Like you, Todd, I was leaving more disappointed from lectures and workshops than it was worth the expenditure but the people approaching me with questions continued. Interestingly enough, I have now been 'teaching' since 2011 and I still see the same people asking the same questions they were four, five and six years ago and that is because they do not have the same desire to advance as I do.

Yes, there are plenty of people who shouldn't be teaching when held against a professional photographer's standards, and I probably fit that bill, but they aren't teaching to other professionals. They're teaching the weekend warriors and the soccer moms whose expectations are far lower, and their results will never be competition. When push comes to shove and a client needs that professional photo, eventually they will seek out a pro. Sometimes it just takes having to waste money going through the weekend warrior to do so.

As for teaching, I feel I could never teach a pro level class as I don't have the 'street cred' or 'time served' to do so. I can, however, teach beginner and intermediate photographers all day long because in that market, I do have the credibility and experience. I also do know that if I were to target professional photographers I would make sure my promotionals were top notch. I agree with Todd that Jen should have used a much better image for promoting that workshop. It's not as if she doesn't have better ones to pull from but who's to know what's in a person's head. As Nannette mentioned, she could be targeting the weekend warriors and the soccer moms.

Technical / Re: 360 product turntable
« on: October 09, 2017, 07:26:24 PM »
Well, I'm in a 3rd floor space, so truck size is out.  :D

I'm a cheap bastard so $30,000 is out  ;D

I did a little digging and there seems to be a startup working on some software that can do most of the features I was looking for. I'll have to see where that project stands.

In the meantime... turn, click, repeat.  ::)

General Discussion / Re: Is it the subject, or is it the photographer?
« on: October 07, 2017, 06:20:14 PM »
I don't know how I feel about the workshop thing. [...] I dunno if it's worth it.
I've noticed that many of the more popular YouTube 'teachers' gang their workflow. They will take video during a paying gig (and it's in their contract for releases), compile the footage into a variety of products for use as lessons, promote a blog post, publish on YouTube or use in their social outlets as marketing material. During down time they shoot 'B roll' footage, voice overs and such. It's all about leveraging the time and the resources.

Just a suggestion.

Technical / Re: 360 product turntable
« on: October 06, 2017, 11:21:18 AM »
Thanks. I had a flimsy plastic manual one and am 'upgrading' to a heavier duty manual one. It does the job and I am finding I am using it more and more. Not enough to drop 2K on a system yet, so I was looking or less expensive alternatives or alternate solutions.

My current system works. It's a little clumsy but it gets the job done. I only mentioned Ortery as it has all the features I am looking for.

Technical / 360 product turntable
« on: October 05, 2017, 02:16:40 PM »
I am looking to invest in an electric turntable for 360 product photography. I currently have a regular lazy susan type turntable. While it does the job I hate the turn, click, turn, click, aspect of it. My thought is to get an electric one that will trip the shutter for me at specific rotational intervals. Yes, I know that sounds lazy but I'm thinking more along the lines of speed and consistency.

I have been looking at the Ortery system. Anyone here have any experience, thoughts or suggestions?

General Discussion / Re: Is it the subject, or is it the photographer?
« on: October 05, 2017, 12:49:26 PM »
...says the guy who said that Mr. $175 Jack Stump was just as good as me. :) :) :) :) :)  Sorry, had to!
...and deservedly so. But I did retract my statement once I had all the facts, but I'll apologize again.  ;)

On a more serious note, there is a strong demand for knowledge and many pros augment their income this way. Why shouldn't you?
I have a friend who has a very unique way of teaching the HDR process that is unlike what 90% of how others teach it. He put up a complete course on Udemy and, while not a lot of income, it does bring in some cashflow. He did the work once, posted it and the company handles distribution and sales. He now kicks back and contemplates his next project.

General Discussion / Re: Is it the subject, or is it the photographer?
« on: October 05, 2017, 09:34:39 AM »
Yeah, I'm not qualified to offer much here either other than to say there will always be photographers of different skill levels. It's embarrassing to see that kind of work being peddled as a master photography class but it gives testament to our times. People are hungry for knowledge and people are scrupulous. The internet makes it easy to access the good with the bad. Sadly that author may not understand how bad he really is, but he also may have an altruistic desire to share what he knows.

On a similar note, maybe you should consider doing a video course yourself on the subject. It can become a nice sedimentary source of income. Maybe not a lot of money, but a little here and a little there always helps.

General Discussion / Re: Is it the subject, or is it the photographer?
« on: October 04, 2017, 05:52:55 PM »
I am not a people photographer but I follow Joe Edelman on YouTube. He is always expounding this exact lesson. When it comes to portraiture it can't be about the photographer, it must be about the subject.

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