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December 10, 2012

We will have two incredible back-to-back programs!  Justin and Mary Marantz AND Khara Plicanic of Kabloom Studios/Rock Your Workflow will be flying in to speak to the Maine Photographer Coalition! This is a double header event and as such the start time will be 6pm and the attendance fee is $18.  As always, doors open [...]

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We will have two incredible back-to-back programs!  Justin and Mary Marantz AND Khara Plicanic of Kabloom Studios/Rock Your Workflow will be flying in to speak to the Maine Photographer Coalition!
This is a double header event and as such the start time will be 6pm and the attendance fee is $18.  As always, doors open 30 minutes prior to the event at Stacey Kane’s studio at 134 Black Point Road in Scarborough, Maine.

Khara Plicanic: Setting Up a Wickedly Fast Workflow

How would you like to be 100% caught up on your production work, 24/7?  What if you could completely edit a wedding and design the album in 6-8 hours total- thrilling and wowing your clients like never before?

This class will show you how.  There’s no crazy hours and no burning the midnight oil.  Just the potent combination of efficiency and effectiveness, all with the client’s very best interest at heart.  (Though the class was created for wedding photographers, it can be easily adapted to portraits too!)

You’ll learn:

*The philosophies of a winning (fail-proof) package structure that makes everyone’s lives easier

*How to keep the proofing/album approval process moving so no one (you or the client) has the chance to drop the ball or cause delays

*The steps and tools that work together to make the process from download to album approval absolutely painless (and doable in 6-8 hours, total!)

This class is 100% fluff free with absolutely no filler.  If you’ve taken Khara’s classes before, you know she means business.  Whether you’re new to the professional photography industry or already have years of experience under your belt, do yourself a favor and join us for this special learning opportunity.  Your family (and your clients!) will thank you!

PSST!  This is *not* a software workshop!  A great workflow is about so much more than software!  In fact, a wickedly fast workflow starts well before you pick up your camera.  Feel free to adapt this plan to whatever software you prefer to use, just keep in mind that the tools and software we use are highly recommended- for a reason.

Khara’s Bio: Khara Plicanic is a wedding photographer based in Lincoln, Nebraska where she has honed her knack for knocking her clients’ socks off with great images and gorgeous albums- all in record time.  She has won several awards for not only her teaching style, but also her business practices.  She believes in good design, an obsessively efficient workflow, and all things covered in chocolate.  Connect with her at www.kabloomstudios.com or on twitter @kplicanic.

Justin and Mary Marantz: Creating Loyalty Beyond Reason

This past year, Justin & Mary have completed their second national speaking tour teaching their “Loyalty Beyond Reason” approach to photographers and small business owners all across the country.  Now they’re back with all new ideas on how to up the wow-factor in everything you do, from the very first meeting to the images you produce to long after the wedding.  This inspirational talk is packed full of ideas for making your clients and vendors love you and rave about you to everyone they know.  And this particular brand of loyalty translates into the kind of “super-referrals” that take all of the work out of future bookings.  It’s time to shift the dynamic and actually pick and choose the clients that you want to work with.  Whether you heard them on the road or this is your very first time seeing them, J&M will leave you amped up and wanting more.

Justin and Mary’s Bio: Justin & Mary are internationally traveled destination photographers who call New England home.  In the last year they shot close to 40 weddings, put on 13 of their “Walk Through a Wedding w/ J&M” workshops, were published in both Rangefinder and Professional Photographer magazine, did their 2nd WPPI Platform as well as the WPPI Road Trip, and took their “Spread the Love” Tour to 20 cities across the country….And they’re just getting warmed up! :)

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August 18, 2012

Making Money Through Stock Photography! First, we wanted to extend a sincere thank you to our presenters from last week– Rob Sylvan and Shannon Mahoney (representing Stock Food).   Be sure to check out Scott’s review of Rob’s book Taking Stock by clicking here. We know that there was a good deal of interest in the [...]

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filed under: Articles

Making Money Through Stock Photography!

First, we wanted to extend a sincere thank you to our presenters from last week– Rob Sylvan and Shannon Mahoney (representing Stock Food).   Be sure to check out Scott’s review of Rob’s book Taking Stock by clicking here.

We know that there was a good deal of interest in the revenue that could be generated through stock photography, so we have compiled a list of some of the larger Stock Agencies (in order of size):

iStock
ShutterStock
Fotolia
DreamsTime
123RF

We also recommend a blog called Micro Stock Exchange — the author has been showing readers his monthly earning statements since 2007, giving photographers a real life example of the income earning potential through stock photography.

A Stock Photographer Extraordinaire… How many of your photography friends have said “you can’t make any money in stock photography”?  Obviously they forgot to tell Rich Legg.

There is a fabulous interview that Rich gave over at StudioLighting.net- he is incredibly willing to share what he has learned and that “there is money in them thar stock photos”.

Rich also talks about how his relationship with iStock Photo started, what worked for him, what didn’t, and laid out for listeners everything they need to know if they too wanted to venture into the world of stock photography.

As Scott says, “I also learned that he is waaaaaay more organized than I am, anyone who keeps a spreadsheet of all his iStock images to track how many times they are downloaded and how much revenue each image generates makes me look like an unorganized buffoon.  Wait, I am an unorganized buffoon.”

And if you stop by his blog, Rich keeps on sharing. You can see what Rich is doing, how he is doing it, and why it is working.

For those of you who look down your nose at stock photography, you need to change the angle of your head, Rich is living the dream that every photographer has– he’s busy, he shoots a ton, he’s making money, and (most important) he seems to be having a whole lot of fun.  And isn’t that what it’s all about?

Microstock Photography Part II…

Another iStock photographer extraordinaire is Nicole Young.  Nicole is a photographer living in Monterey Bay, California and recently hit the “Diamond” level on iStock Photo (25,000 images!).  Be sure to check out Nicole’s work on her website,  her blog, and on iStock Photo, but before you do, take a few minutes to watch a video review with Nicole.

Microstock photography part III…

Here are a few more microstock resources that will help you learn more about and help guide you on the road to generating income with stock photography.

1. Rasmus Rasmussen has put together a 52 page pdf Microstock Photographers Guide that is a great read.

2. Mike over at TheStockBlog.net is shooting stock and is sharing his experiences with us.

3. Nil to Mil is Matt & Sarah Antonino, on their blog they are chronicling (and sharing) their microstock journey from nil to their first microstock million.

4. Microstock Diaries is a blog for people who sell photos online, particularly in the microstock market. One of the great things about this blog is that each month they show you their earnings report, what the sold, how much they made, and from which stock site the sales were generated.

5. Laurent Dambies at the Microstock Experiment is sharing his earning statements as well, along with the rest of his journey through the world of stock photography.

6. Here are three posts (and a video) from Yuri Arcurs: an overview of microstock agencies, what to shoot/what sells, and keywording.  Of course, this is a hot and expanding segment in the world of photography, so you can count on the fact that there will be a fourth!

The importance of image keywording:

First, let’s debunk the myth the you only have to worry about keywording if you are a stock photographer – NOT TRUE!

If you have a blog and/or website search engines will “spider” them on almost a daily basis and if your images don’t have titles, descriptions, and keywords you have just missed a golden opportunity to be listed in the millions of searches that are going to be conducted on any given day.

And to be clear, we are not talking about just the photographs you post.  You should be sure to tag EVERY image (borders, headers, backgrounds, etc.) that makes up your website as well.

Here are some articles that you should (seriously) consider reading:

1. Effective Photo Keywording Step by Step (Photopreneur)

2. Photo Keywording 3.0 (Photopreneur)

3. Keywording for Stock Photography (Story Hour Photography)

4. Keywording and Broccoli, Parts 1 & 2 (Keyword Compiler)

If you want to get an idea of what other folks are doing with regards to image tagging there is a cool tool from Yuri Arcurs (the undisputed king of microstock photography) that allows you to search shutterstock for images similar to yours and then see how that image was tagged by its owner.

We certainly are not suggesting you “steal” from others, but if you are new to the task of tagging and keywording images this could help you better understand how the process works.  It would be like taking your Nikon D3s apart to see how that fancy sensor works (wait….we aren’t recommending that, either)…  :)

And finally there is a free tool called iTag that will help you automate the process of embedding titles, descriptions and keywords into your images.


What is metadata?

Metadata is a pretty broad term when it comes to web design but for now we’re going to talk about how it applies to images and/or photographs that we post on websites or a blog.

It’s descriptive information (data) in an image file that will identify what it’s about, who took it, copyright & contact information, camera & exposure information, and descriptive information like keywords.

Why is metadata important? It makes the image readable by Google (and other search engines) which in turns makes the image searchable on the internet and will help improve search engine rankings.

As photographers this is extremely important as our sites are a more image intense environment, so image metadata really is mission critical information.

But image metadata only gets there because we put it there, which is the purpose of this post, to give you the information that will make the process easier.

A very useful free tool is ProStockMaster. ProStockMaster is designed to both simplify and optimize the metadata process for folks who sell stock photography and if it helps them to standout in the highly competitive field of stock photography it will certainly help us on our websites.

Another option for adding metadata to images is through Lightroom, and you can find a written tutorial here or if you prefer, a video tutorial here and here.

These aren’t the only two ways to ad metadata to your images, you can use other (free) programs like FastStone Image Viewer, IrfanView, or “pay” programs like ACDSee and Paintshop Pro (to name a few).

**FINALLY- Be sure to stay tuned to the blog and the newsletter for a description of our upcoming meeting in July as well as a list of other events that are coming up in New England!!


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August 13, 2012

Thank you to all 40 photographers who came out last night to hear Tim and Chris Riley give a presentation on Lightroom.  It was a night of laughter, learning, and GEAR- we had such a wonderful time!  Thank you to the sponsors of the evening (and please let them know that you fell in love [...]

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filed under: Articles

Thank you to all 40 photographers who came out last night to hear Tim and Chris Riley give a presentation on Lightroom.  It was a night of laughter, learning, and GEAR- we had such a wonderful time!  Thank you to the sponsors of the evening (and please let them know that you fell in love with their products at the Maine Photographer Coalition meeting):

RPG Keys – customizable keys and software to help you speed through your Lightroom editing.  (I have these and they are FABULOUS- truly.)

Kelly Moore Bags – Beautiful and functional camera bags for men and women- use the discount code mainekellymoore to receive 10% off your purchase for the next few weeks.

Epiphanie Bags -  Fabulous camera bags for women!

Shootsac – A great lens bag that can be customized to match your style!

Spider Holster – A fantastic belt system for carrying one or two cameras and keeping your neck and shoulders strap-free!

Black Rapid Straps – Amazing stay-put straps that allow you to comfortably carry one or two cameras.

If you want to go back and review some of the topics that Tim and Chris covered in their presentation, they have very kindly created a few videos to take you through everything again- you can see them on the RPG Key blog.  We know there were a lot of aha! moments last night, and we would like to give a big thank you to Tim and Chris for putting those videos together for us.  If you would like to sign up for a full-day Lightroom workshop, give us (or Tim and Chris!) a shout and we will put one together.

Also, we would like to announce that Maine Wedding Photographer Michelle Turner is a Thirst Relief Mentor for this year- if you would like a one-on-one session with her, please head over to the Thirst Relief website to bid on her.   The session can be conducted in Maine, at WPPI, or over the phone/skype.

We would also like to remind everyone of our next meeting- Joe Ciarcia of Gamut Prints will be talking about upselling and printing fine art prints for your clients.  More info will follow!

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March 26, 2012

The Topic: Taking Stock of What You Have What do you mean you aren’t coming to the meeting because you aren’t a “stock” photographer? If you are a wedding photographer, a portrait photographer, a commercial photographer, or even a landscape photographer, you are ALREADY a stock photographer and you have hundreds of stock images just [...]

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filed under: Articles

The Topic: Taking Stock of What You Have

What do you mean you aren’t coming to the meeting because you aren’t a “stock” photographer? If you are a wedding photographer, a portrait photographer, a commercial photographer, or even a landscape photographer, you are ALREADY a stock photographer and you have hundreds of stock images just waiting to become another revenue stream. Meet, mingle, and learn how to create images that can be used for stock at every event or session, and how to earn an income from images that you already have on your hard drive. It’s the equivalent of putting on an old pair of jeans and finding $50- who doesn’t like found money?

Speaker Info:

Rob Sylvan is a photographer, trainer, author, and web developer. Aside from also being a NAPP Help Desk Specialist, and instructor for the Perfect Picture School of Photography and the host of Peachpit’s Lightroom Resource Center, he is the Site Director and inspector for iStockphoto.

Rob writes the “Under the Loupe” column for Photoshop User Magazine and is the author of “Lightroom for Dummies”, and “Taking Stock”. Check out his Lightroom-focused blog at lightroomers.com.

An iStockphoto inspector since 2002, author Rob Sylvan has spent nearly a decade as part of the team that decides which photos get sold on one of the largest, most popular microstock sites in existence. He’s also made tens of thousands of dollars off of his own microstock photography. As a result, no one knows better than he does what it takes to get your photos accepted to stock sites—and what to do to make those photos sell. In Taking Stock, Rob shares his hard-earned insider knowledge on how to shoot, edit, and tag photos so you can earn while you learn, regardless of which microstock agency you’re using.

His site: http://lightroomers.com/

Our Other Special Guest

We will be joined by Stock Food Agency (http://usa.stockfood.com/hm_welcome.asp), an international stock agency with an office right down the road in Kennebunk. They will share what sells and why in this lucrative industry and offer tips to ensure your success.

Special Prizes and Giveaways

Of course (as always!) we have fabulous gifts and giveaways for all of our attendees.

The Details

*7:30 pm (doors open at 7pm)
*At Stacey Kane’s studio in Scarborough (on the Black Point Road)
*PLEASE RSVP so we know how many to expect. Simply reply to this email and you will be all set!

*$10 admin fee due at the door

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December 11, 2011

Many thanks to all of you who braved the ice storm to come to the meeting of the Photographer Coalition!  We had a fabulous turnout as photographers from all over Maine, New Hampshire, and even Massachusetts joined us for an evening discussing Fine Art Prints. Joe Ciarcia, the owner of Gamut Prints (www.gamutprints.com), spoke to [...]

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filed under: Articles

Many thanks to all of you who braved the ice storm to come to the meeting of the Photographer Coalition!  We had a fabulous turnout as photographers from all over Maine, New Hampshire, and even Massachusetts joined us for an evening discussing Fine Art Prints.

Joe Ciarcia, the owner of Gamut Prints (www.gamutprints.com), spoke to the group about purchasing and setting up a printer appropriate for the output of Fine Art Prints.  We also discussed outsourcing and upselling fine art prints for wedding, portrait, and commercial photography studios.  Eric Luden, the founder of Digital Silver Imaging (www.digitalsilverimaging.com), was also on hand to answer questions for the group.

A big thank you to our sponsors who donated such wonderful prizes- a 20×30 mounted print from Gamut Prints (www.gamutprints.com), a 13×19 print from Digital Silver Imaging (www.digitalsilverimaging.com), a 16×20 framed print from Simply Color Lab (www.simplycolorlab.com), and a set of Rock the Walls templates from Life Art Designs (www.lifeartathome.com)!  Congratulations to our winners!

We have some fantastic discount codes for our members and newsletter subscribers- even if you couldn’t make it to the meeting, hopefully you can take advantage of some of these fabulous discounts!  As always, please reference the Maine Photographer Coalition (or The Photographer Coalition) when ordering so that we can keep the sponsor love going strong!  :)

Digital Silver Imaging (http://www.digitalsilverimaging.com)

*Use the code MPC2011 and you will receive 25% off any ROES Direct2Print RC paper order or $25 off a fiber order over $50.  It will be valid through 4/30/2011, and the 25% off will also encompass any framing options you select through ROES.

*They have also extended their WPPI code to us- use WPPI2011 to receive free shipping on Nik Software.  The price on the black & white plug-in Silver Efex Pro is only $139 – this is the lowest price on the web!

Gamut Prints (http://www.gamutprints.com)

*Use the code mpcoalition to receive 20% off through ROES.

*Sample prints are 50% off or you can pay full price for the sample and receive a credit for that amount with your first order (making the sample free after your first order).

*Joe has extended his 5×7 sample print collection (this is a FABULOUS offer for all of you who are considering sending fine art samples out to current clients).    They are $45 for a package of 8 but if you use the sample discount code they end up at $22.50 plus shipping.

Simply Color Lab (http://www.simplycolorlab.com)

*Use the code 50MAINE for $50 off of a framed fine art print.

Life Art At Home (http://www.lifeartathome.com/)

*Use the discount code MichelleTurner for 20% off her Portrait Design Kits- these are fabulous templates for selling fine art prints, frames, and more!

We will be in touch in the next few weeks to talk about our next meeting in April!  Please be sure to sign up for the newsletter if you haven’t done so already!

~Michelle Turner, Stacey Kane, and Scott Eccleston

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August 18, 2011

Hopefully all of you are enjoying the brief warm spell! We wanted to send out a reminder about our next meeting. Our Topic: Printing and Selling Fine Art Prints *Upselling Fine Art Prints- how to add fine art prints to your current product line *Quick tips for marketing fine art prints to your current and [...]

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filed under: Articles

Hopefully all of you are enjoying the brief warm spell! We wanted to send out a reminder about our next meeting.

Our Topic: Printing and Selling Fine Art Prints

*Upselling Fine Art Prints- how to add fine art prints to your current product line

*Quick tips for marketing fine art prints to your current and past clients

*Best practices for printing/profiling your own fine art prints

*Paper comparisons- look at and touch paper samples from the leading paper companies and see one image printed on several different papers to appreciate the subtle differences

*The value of outsourcing- outsourcing vs. in-house printing

*Featured Speaker: Joe Ciarcia from Gamut Prints (www.gamutprints.com)

Giveaways!

Of course, we will have some great giveaways! We hope to see you all there on March 7- please RSVP if you are planning to attend. Please feel free to forward this to a fellow photographer- the more the merrier!

~Michelle Turner, Stacey Kane & Scott Eccleston

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January 24, 2011

We are so pleased that Tim and Chris Riley (of Riley Photographic and the owners of RPG Keys) will be speaking for us in Scarborough!  Tim and Chris will be talking about incorporating Lightroom into your workflow.  If you already use Lightroom, they will teach you some tips and tricks to speed up your process!  [...]

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We are so pleased that Tim and Chris Riley (of Riley Photographic and the owners of RPG Keys) will be speaking for us in Scarborough!  Tim and Chris will be talking about incorporating Lightroom into your workflow.  If you already use Lightroom, they will teach you some tips and tricks to speed up your process!  The cost for the workshop is $10.  An RSVP is mandatory- please call or email with questions!

We interviewed Tim and Chris, and I just love their banter!

How long have you been a photographer?

Tim:    I was born with these crazy skills!   Okay, maybe not but I feel like I have been doing this for a long time and yet each year I learn so many exciting new things.   I guess it all started for me as I watched my dad growing up, he loved to shoot and was quite good at it too.

But as the younger brother, I can say that Chris has been doing this longer….  He is older!

Chris:
Our Dad had a dark room in the basement as a kid and I have early memories of him brining prints out of the “cave”.  He always brought his kit with us and was forever creating images of us kids and my mom.  I remember always wanting and asking to use his precious AE-1 and lenses.  I finally got my own AE-1 at about 14 or 15.  I shot countless rolls of Tri-x and t-max with that camera and still wish I had it.  Sadly it died a salty death on the beaches of Rhode Island.
Before Tim and I started Riley Photographic we were both shooting independently, but I think it was made official about 10-12 years ago over a couple of beers when we were celebrating his birthday.   And yes Tim is right, I am older have been doing this longer, which is why we usually use my images for our promo material.  Haaahaaa….

How did you get started in the business?

Tim:   I shot my first wedding while I was a grad student in Engineering in Syracuse NY.   The hobby built into a passion and then into a business while I entered the world as an engineer.   3 years into engineering and I knew something had to give.     So I jumped ship and almost never look back.

Chris:  I have a degree in Economics and a Spanish minor.  In college my advisor told me to forget about pursuing the minor in photography as it would most likely never lead me to anything fruitful.  I took enough courses to get the minor, but it wasn’t possible to double-minor.  I followed his advice only to find that I hated the world of international finance and banking.   After that I spent a long time in the outdoor world as a guide and educator.  That gave me lots of opportunity to be in beautiful places with my camera.   I then found myself doing more portrait work and a handful of weddings.  Before I knew it, it had turned into something real.  Ever since then it’s been an crazy ride and a lot of fun.

What is your favorite product of 2010 (if you have one).

Tim:    Chris and I just un-earthed a new album product that we are ecstatic about.  We are awaiting our samples, but for me it would be (will be) super cool to offer amazing albums to our clients without having to kill our profit margins.

Chris:  As much as it kills me to agree with my brother, he is spot-on with his answer.  We’ve been forever searching for the right album company.  We’ve probably offered just about everything.  We even spent a year making all of our own books from scratch.  It was cool in many ways, but I would never recommend it.    I just got back from the 2011 launch party in Las Vegas for Epoca Albums.  The albums are gorgeous and the quality is impressive.  We got to spend time with the owners, their designers, and the rest of their team   It’s a family business and they are serious about what they do.  I left feeling even more excited about the product line and the way they support photographers.   Our album search is over for sure.

What is the one thing in your bag that you couldn’t live without?

Tim:   I am not much of a gear guy despite owning RPG KEYS with Chris.   (a tech toy for photographers)     To be honest, I feel like I could find a way to do my job using anyone’s camera bag.   It sounds snooty to say but its just not about the camera….. its all about who we are with our clients and how we make them feel.

But Chris loves his Camera toys.   I bet his list will be a mile long!

Chris: Haahaaa… yes he is right, I am a gear guy; I come by it honestly though from my years in the outdoor industry.  I love going to the trade shows and looking at all the new lenses, and toys for photographers.  Although my wish list is forever evolving, when it comes down to it I use a pretty basic set-up.   At the end of the day however if you took away my Canon 70-200 IS 2.8 lens I would be lost.   It is just a beautiful piece of equipment, incredibly well built and produces crystal clear images.   I bet a lot of Canon photographers would mimic that as their favorite piece of gear.

At the risk of being too verbose I will share one piece of gear that I recently got that is quickly becoming a must have in my wedding kit.  The SpiderPro camera holster is just fantastic.  I always shoot with two bodies and this has made my life way easier.   I’m also rarely sore at the end of the day anymore.  I put my body with the big lens on an R-strap, and the body with the wide-angle(or 50 mm) on the Spider.  It’s secure, its always where you want it  and it distributes the weight to your hips where you can more easily burden a load.

What was your most memorable wedding?

Tim:   My list could go on for miles but I will share a quick one.     Shooting a wedding with a bride and groom who elected to trash the dress the morning after their wedding.   They did so by jumping off a cliff into the water in their wedding garb.  (see photo)

As the bride entered the water she quickly learned that the dress was heavy and she was sinking.   I was literally disrobing to jump in to help when she kicked the dress off and let it sink out of sight.   The bride then exited the water to with only her birthday suite.    It was an interesting ride back to the in-laws with no clothing or towel.  I recall the groom being more upset than the bride, who was not the least bit phased by the situation.

Chris:  Oh good grief I’m not sure where to go with this one.  I can’t say that there is one wedding that I would consider my “most memorable” but I do have many moments that are forever etched in my brain.  I’ll share one.
A few years ago on a destination job I remember arranging a trash the dress shoot for the clients the day before the wedding.   We took them to a waterfall and shot for about 2 hours.  It was a stunning setting and we were all having a lot of fun.  The images I was seeing on my screen were getting me so excited and I got lost in the moment.  I was walking out on some rocks to get a shot looking up the falls.  Everything was hand-held and I had no tripod or monopod to steady myself as I walked.  I was essentially walking across a man-made dam that was built to create a pool.   Well, I took a step and lost my footing on some algae. I went down instantly and fell upstream into the pool.   Save the camera at all costs was the only thing running through my head.  I was shooting with my brand new MK III and the afore mentioned lens.  I couldn’t afford to not have those with me the next day for the wedding.   As a last ditch effort I thrust the camera into the air as I went down.  I came to rest on my back on the bottom of the pool.   My wife was with me on this shoot and she said that I was essentially a human periscope.   The camera was 12” above the surface of the water and stayed dry for all intensive purposes.  As I laid there on the bottom of the pool for what felt like an eternity I couldn’t believe my luck.  I was looking up at my camera above the surface of the water and I was essentially unhurt.  I carefully got up, assured the bewildered client that all was okay, smiled a cheshire-cat grin and dried myself off.   We kept shooting and made some really fun images that day.

Tell us something that you would like others to know about you.  (Doesn’t have to be photography related.)

Tim:    I like photography a lot, but I love business more.   I enjoy the pursuit of running a business and take great joy in the challenges of making each year better than the last.   When I leave work its all about my wife and baby girl and the play time we all get together.  Work is great but family rules.

Chris:  When I started shooting weddings it was really only going to be a means to an end.  Probably like a lot of people I wanted to do assignment work in far flung corners of the earth.  I love to travel so it seemed the obvious direction.  After a few years of shooting weddings I remember shooting a particularly moving ceremony and realizing how much I was loving what I was doing.   At that moment I was being reminded of my own life and feeling really lucky.  I’m a total sap – always have been.  Its way worse now that I have two boys.   At this point in my life I don’t ever see myself chasing assignments that take me away from my boys or my wife for long periods of time.  As Tim said – work is great but family rules the day.

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November 28, 2010

We recently caught up with Joe Ciarcia, photographer and owner of Gamut Prints, a lab for highly discerning professionals offering fine art prints.  Joe’s business demands an expert understanding of color management and familiarity with the best equipment out there to help his clients achieve the highest quality image. We asked Joe which monitors (in [...]

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filed under: Articles

We recently caught up with Joe Ciarcia, photographer and owner of Gamut Prints, a lab for highly discerning professionals offering fine art prints.  Joe’s business demands an expert understanding of color management and familiarity with the best equipment out there to help his clients achieve the highest quality image.

We asked Joe which monitors (in all budgets!) he recommends as well as which color calibration and profiling hardware he likes best.  Many thanks to Joe for his very detailed reply, which you can read below.  Enjoy!

~Michelle

Extreme budget

NEC EA231WMi – Suitable for sRGB working space only. 8 bit panel, no high resolution LUTs – $310

Budget

HP LP2475 – Suitable for Adobe RGB and sRGB working spaces. 8 bit H-IPS panel, no high resolution LUTs. Probably the best performer in that price range. – $540


Mid-Range

NEC PA231W – Suitable for working in sRGB. The PA231W has an 8 bit e-IPS panel with a 14 bit programmable 3D monitor LUT. It is available for $679 without the Spectraview calibration package (which includes the Spectraview software and a calibration puck) and $929 with the Spectraview package.

NEC PA241W and PA271W – I think these monitors currently offer the best bang for the buck. Both feature 10 bit P-IPS panels with a 14 bit programmable 3D monitor LUT. For a full time professional photographer that spends 40 hours a week looking at a screen, these are the models that I’m currently recommending. Both monitors are wide gamut displays but unlike their predecessors these monitors are able to do a much better job at emulating the sRGB color space due to their 3D LUT. They also have the unique ability via NEC’s free Multi-Profiler software, to create a soft proofing profile based upon a printer’s output profile. The PA241W starts at about $1000 without the Spectraview calibration package (and around $1170 with), and the PA271w goes for $1199 without the Spectraview II package and $1649 with.

There are more expensive monitors available such as the CG series from Eizo however they tend to be a lot more expensive than the NEC displays and it’s debatable as to whether or not the performance justifies the additional cost. I know a few color consultants who prefer the NECs.

What I do not recommend are any monitors that have a glossy surface as this compromises black levels. This includes all of the monitors that Apple currently produces. These screens are intended for consumer use and were not designed with professional applications in mind. In addition they use white LED backlights. I’ve found white LED backlights offer no advantage at all in terms of accuracy or image quality and most colorimeters seem to yield less consistent results when attempting to a profile a screen with LED backlighting (you need to move to a spectrophotometer which is a much more expensive proposition in order to get a more accurate result). Screens with red, green, and blue LED backlighting are a different story but these screens (such as the HP Dreamcolor) are over $2000.

Also remember that the calibration and profiling hardware and software are just as important as the monitor. Products to avoid are the Spyder, Spyder 2, original Eye One Display, and Pantone HUEY. One of the best pucks ever produced was the X-Rite DTP94 also known as the Monaco Optix. Unfortunately this colorimeter is really only suitable for sRGB Displays. If you’re buying a wide gamut display I recommend buying the optional puck that has been tuned to the display. These are typically the Eye One Display 2 with some custom firmware modifications. The Eye One Display 2 however wasn’t intended to work with wide gamut displays and may not yield the best results. If your display’s manufacturer doesn’t offer a custom tune calibration/profiling hardware/software package then I recommend either the Spyder 3 with Color Eyes Display Pro or BasICColor, or a ColorMunki with BasICColor.

One final thing and this is absolutely *critical* to getting a screen to print match. You absolutely *must* being viewing your print in a controlled environment and illuminating that print with a full spectrum bulb, either by SoLux or GTI. Natural light or any other source of light is simply not adequate due to either the inconsistent nature of the light source, the inability of the light source to produce a smooth illuminant across the spectrum, or both. Your screen must be profiled to the color temperature that is reflected off of a white piece of paper used to make the print and a soft proofing profile used to make the print must be used. Now, that is specifically for doing screen-to-print matches. This is not required if you’re just doing general RAW editing (calibration and profiling is still essential but it’s not critical to have the white point match any other specific white point).

For more information on calibration, head over to the following links:

http://www.gamutprints.com/calibration.php  – Basic calibration and profiling
http://www.gamutprints.com/softproofing.php – Basic soft proofing topics
http://www.gamutprints.com/softproofing2.php – Advanced soft proofing topics
http://www.gamutprints.com/monitorShadowTest.php – Basic monitor test for shadow detail
http://www.gamutprints.com/monitorHighlightTest.php – Basic monitor test for highlight detail


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November 28, 2010

Last Monday we gathered at Stacey Kane’s studio for an evening of color management discussion with Earl Christie.  The audience participation was great- Earl fielded individual issues and the whole group benefited from the incredible discussion.   Thanks to everyone who braved the icy conditions to make the meeting such a success.  I am emailing the [...]

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Last Monday we gathered at Stacey Kane’s studio for an evening of color management discussion with Earl Christie.  The audience participation was great- Earl fielded individual issues and the whole group benefited from the incredible discussion.   Thanks to everyone who braved the icy conditions to make the meeting such a success.  I am emailing the notes from the meeting to all of our attendees- if you have any questions be sure to post them here so that Earl can answer them!

For those of you that asked, the monitor that I purchased was the NEC Multisync 24″ Display- I purchased it here, and I can’t recommend it enough!  We have a post coming up on the best monitors for photographic work, so stay tuned to the blog!

A huge thanks to our participants- Russell Caron, Leigh Miller, Steve Taylor, Irvin Serrano, Brittany Bugaj, Tiffany White Pushard, Carl Walsh, Debbie Harmon, Bess Marine, Tim Riley, Chris Linscott, Chris Riley, Nadra Edgerley, Judy Beedle, Patricia Takacs, Joe McKenney, Amy Salerno, Sarah Moore, Audra Welton, Emily Delamater, Monica Moore, Sharyn Peavey, Andree Kehn, Carrie Pulsifer, Kim Chapman Dionne, Tiffany Converse, Danielle Peterson, Cyndi Smith, Earl Christie, Scott Eccleston, Stacey Kane, and Michelle Turner.

We also announced our next workshop on January 10, so mark your calendars!  More workshop details will follow- Tim and Chris Riley will be talking to us about a Lightroom workflow.  We will also have a bag and camera strap product review- stay tuned for more details!

~Michelle Turner

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November 22, 2010

We caught up with Earl Christie, our fabulous presenter for the Nov. 22 meeting, and he kindly answered our questions and shared some of his favorite images with the members of the MPC! MPC: How long have you been a photographer?  How did you get started? Earl Christie: Although my educational background is in film [...]

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filed under: Articles

We caught up with Earl Christie, our fabulous presenter for the Nov. 22 meeting, and he kindly answered our questions and shared some of his favorite images with the members of the MPC!

MPC: How long have you been a photographer?  How did you get started?

Earl Christie: Although my educational background is in film and video production, before I got into wedding photography I’d been working in high tech for a number of years. That experience taught me the power of working with a digital image (though in those days they were film scans.) I met a wedding photographer who’s work was brilliant and suddenly realized that people would pay for high quality, artistic photography at their wedding. I assisted and second shot in 2001 and started my own business in 2002.

MPC: What is your favorite product of 2010?

Earl Christie: My new favorite product is Nikon’s 85mm f/1.4G lens. I’ve been using the previous 85 1.4 for years and the new one has the same fantastic image quality, and focuses quickly and silently. It’s also more resistant to flare which is a great thing as I love back lit situations.

MPC: What is the one thing in your bag that you couldn’t live without?

Earl Christie: My Nikon D3 and D700 camera bodies. The image quality they produce and their ability to handle really low light situations has changed the way I shoot weddings.


MPC: What was your most memorable wedding?

Earl Christie: My most memorable wedding was the first wedding I shot. The bride’s mother was a friend of my mother and I shot it for free, but I approached it like any other wedding with an initial consultation and a full day of shooting everything from the bride’s preparations to the ceremony to the reception. I also did full post production on the images. This wedding is special to me for a couple of reasons. First, because the bride and her family took a chance on me. Let’s face it, even free wedding photography is a poor deal if the photos stink. The other reason the wedding is special to me is that by shooting it myself and making my client very happy, I proved to myself that I had the skills and resourcefulness it takes to handle the stress and unpredictability of a wedding day, and to come out with good photos.


MPC: Tell us something that you would like others to know about you.

Earl Christie: I sometimes cry at weddings. Thank goodness for autofocus!