This and That

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By Steve Russell

From time to time I like to write an article that covers multiple subjects, none of which would make a complete article alone. I haven’t done this in a while and thought now would be a good time.

This photo has nothing to do with the article, I just liked it when I saw it.

Photography Goals for 2012

The first quarter of 2012 is behind us, we’re a week into the second quarter and I thought it would be a good idea to look back and see what I’ve accomplished so far, photography wise. The real truth is not much because of everything, non-photography wise, that’s been going on. But I do have a measuring stick. In December I wrote an article about my ten photography goals for 2012. Yesterday I reread the article to see what, if anything, on that list I could check off. I realize this is a little risky but I don’t want to be like sports writers and announcers that make somewhat outlandish predictions before the season begins and then never talk about those predictions at the end of the season. I was a little surprised that of the 10 goals I had actually completed 2.5 of them.

Item number 1 was moving and establishing a photography business in Texas. We moved in February and beginning today we’re finally moving out of the rental and into our new home. This is the half complete one because I haven’t even started on the business yet.

Item number 2 was about updating and redesigning my portfolio. That one is completed. At least my portraiture portfolio is completed. I’ve since decided that I want to complete an outdoor photography portfolio as well. Still, I count this one as complete.

Number 5 was to re-connect with a camera club I belonged to in the 80′s. I’ve done that and have attended both monthly meetings since we arrived in Texas. Additionally, I’ve joined a local photography club that gives me the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with another group of photographers. This one is complete.

I think this is pretty good considering that items 4 and 8 are scheduled for October and item 3 is really a longer term goal than just one year.

Did you set photography goals for 2012? How are you progressing towards achieving the goals you set for yourself? I hope you’re way ahead of me.

Memory Photographs

It’s spring in Texas and the wildflowers are in bloom, especially the state flower, the bluebonnet. It’s a common sight to see people, their car parked on the side of the road, sitting in the bluebonnets while someone takes photos. Unfortunately, many of the photos aren’t going to be very good. I’ve seen so many people engaging in this activity in the middle of the day when the sun is brightest and directly overhead. So much harsh light flattens the texture of the photo; washes out the colors, especially the dark blue of the bluebonnets and causes the subjects to squint their eyes because the sun is so bright. I’ve really been tempted to pull off the road and tell them they weren’t going to be as happy with their photos as they had hoped. When you want to take outdoor photos of family and friends try to remember to use the light of the “golden hour” immediately after sunrise or an hour or two before sunset. Remember that photography is painting with light, not saturating with light.

Great New App

Tiffany and I mention Scott Kelby from time to time. Enough that some people probably think we get paid by him but we don’t. Scott just happens to be very passionate about teaching photography and is excellent at what he does. iTunes just released a Free iPad App with Lighting Recipes by Scott Kelby.

This is the comment about the free app on

The newly released Scott Kelby’s Lighting Recipes is a free iPad app that walks you through twenty shots in thirteen different lessons. With an approximately 45 minute runtime, each lesson has a gear guide, and lighting diagrams, as well as production shots, and the final image. And yes, there is Kelby’s commentary as well.

It’s free and is full of great information. If you have an iPad I recommend you give it a try.

Miscellaneous Product Announcements

Sigma has announced the new upgrade to their APO 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM lens.

Think Tank Photo is pre-announcing the release of four new products, “wallets” for carrying DSLR batteries, SD cards, and gels. Below are links to information and images for each. They are scheduled for release in May.

SD Pixel Pocket Rocket
Strobe Gel Wallet
DSLR Battery Holder 2
DSLR Battery Holder 4

You know how much I love Think Tank products and these look like really useful products that won’t break the bank.

Have fun and happy photographing.

Photo Credit:

Bulldog by mfhiatt

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