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NYIP offers three distance education multi-media courses for photographers looking to improve their skills while working from home at their own pace.

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Wednesday
Jun292011

Two Iconic Photo Ops 

Walter Karling

Walter Karling, NYIP Instructor - Photographers are fortunate to observe life closely and interpret what they see through their work. I like the fact that no day is the same as any other. I have different jobs at different times, all over the place. I may be shooting a board meeting, street fairs, the unveiling of portraiture in a chapel in a cemetery, or a salsa festival. The top photo is a digitally stitched-together panorama I recently shot of the Rio Grande River at the Big Bend National Park in Texas. Years ago, I made a panoramic view of the river with 4 x 6 prints made from negatives, scotch-taped together. 

My interest in photography started when I was young. In 1957, I went to the Astoria Boys Club on 21st Avenue in Queens after grammar school, and we'd develop photographs in a darkroom class. My first camera was a box camera, a Hawkeye. I remember taking pictures in Central Park in 1961, and I paid about $10 to have a roll of 220 film developed. My parents looked at the pictures and sternly asked me, "What are we spending money on this for?"

I was a New York Institute of Photography student in late 1969 to early 1970 when we were a residential school on East 33rd Street between 5th and Broadway; I took a course in "Commercial Photography," complete with studio lights and view cameras! I came on board as an NYIP instructor in 1978 (33 years ago) after seeing an ad in the New York Times, and I've been an instructor with the School ever since. 

I've been fortunate to photograph some wonderful events, but two come to mind that I'd describe as being iconic. They just had that "moment in history" feeling, but for an unusual reason: a serious event was undercut by something comedic. 

The Pope in Texas

In 1984, I was on a cross-country camping trip. I was down in Louisiana and listened to the news and heard that Pope John Paul II was in Florida and was going to be in San Antonio in a day or two, so I decided to head down to see him. I stood in front of the Alamo, and the Pope's motorcade passed by. The pope was in his popemobile along with a local cardinal, and the state troopers with the cowboy hats on lent a Texas twang to the scene. The cardinal pointed out the Alamo to the pope, then the pope quickly turned back and gave his blessing to the crowd. I got a nice shot of the pope and people's arms waving and praying in the foreground.

Walter Karling

When the motorcade passed and the crowd was ready to disperse, there, in full clerical dress and a huge hat was comedian Don Novello in his role as Saturday Night Live's Father Guido Sarducci. Everyone was ready to go home after their Pope sighting, but suddenly they realized Father Guido was standing there, and they started to take his picture. A very serious and inspiring event, and then someone made light of it and it captured its own attention.

Walter Karling

The Congressman Resigns

On Sunday, June 12, the week before Anthony Weiner resigned his office due to the mounting embarassment over his online extramarital exploits, I witnessed several protests in front of his office. I also saw a notice his office posted that he would be making a statement at a Brooklyn senior citizens center on June 16th. With the protests and increasing attention, his resignation was in the air, so I decided to attend. I specialize, among other things, in taking photos for community newspapers, so this was an ideal event to photograph.

Chang W. Lee / The New York Times

The 2pm-scheduled event didn't happen until twenty minutes later. I couldn't believe how packed the room was. There must have been 50 cameras, still and video, in the room. None of us spoke with one another, but we just stood around. Everyone knew he was going to resign, and then there was tension in the room as all waited. Everyone had their mics set up on the podium, we were poised to take pictures (I'm standing in the photo just above - the guy at the end of the red arrow), and suddenly Weiner walked in.

Blitz, blitz, blitz – strobes all went off at once!

Walter Karling

Walter KarlingWalter KarlingWalter Karling

Weiner was speaking at the same senior citizen’s center where he announced his New York City Council bid many years earlier, so he was coming full circle. His office brought seniors in to sit down in front of the representative, to be his official audience, but they were outnumbered by the press. His statement lasted only 4 minutes. Weiner said, "I hereby resign my position." The seniors said "NO, NO, NO!" But there was a heckler in the room, and his voice was so loud (calling him a pervert and other raunchy remarks) that everybody started to turn towards him. It turned out to be Benjy Bronk, a regular on the Howard Stern Show. So I snap away, first at Anthony Weiner - he's my bread-and-butter shot (close ups with a telephoto lens) - and then at Bronk and the crowd in the room (see Bronk in the black T-shirt gesturing with a legal pad in the first photo below, top left; and Bronk being interviewed outside in the second photo).

Walter Karling

Walter Karling

Anthony Weiner kept reading his statement, ignoring the heckling. People were apologizing to Weiner, some press tried to grab Bronk to get him to sit down . . . and then the comedic heckler winds up being his own news story down on the street in front of the center, with people interviewing him and me snapping his picture, reminding me of what happened in 1984 when a TV comic tried to upstage the pope.

 

 

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Monday
Jun272011

Fix Your Focus With Just a Click - Lytro Revealed

 

If you have yet to hear about Lytro, this interactive photo above is a must see!  Simply click the arrow in the bottom right corner of the image to get started.  As you click around the image, prepare to be amazed as your focus completely changes!

While it will not fix a blurry image that suffers from camera shake, it clearly is effective at changing the plane of focus.  We think it's rather amazing technology but it definitely has the potential to encourage sloppy technique.  As covered in our Complete Course in Professional Photography, it's always best to get the image right in the camera at the time of the exposure.  This eliminates needless hours spent behind a monitor attempting to fix the error.  Of course it's nice to know a tool exists that can change a throwaway image to a keeper. 

Here's an informative video detailing more of its capabilities.

 

 

What are your thoughts on this technology?

 

 

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Thursday
Jun232011

Photo Marketing 101: Social Media Promotions!

Marketers the world over are trying to find the best ways to use social media to promote business. As a photographer, the opportunity is there for you to use social media to create interest in your photography, and gain new clients and customers as a result.

Welcome to Part Five of my series on Marketing Yourself as a Photographer. In Part Five, we introduce social media as a tool that you need to be using in order to increase your online presence, and attract more people to your website. This week, we’ll take a more detailed look at social media, and offer up some ideas for ways you can use social media to drive sales.

There are several social media strategies that have become popular with marketers, and each one can be applied to your own photography business in a different way.

Contests and Giveaways

Many companies have used these types of promotions to draw interest, introduce something new, or increase the number of people that are following them online. You can use Twitter or Facebook to promote a contest where you offer up your services to one lucky person for free (or at a discount), which could lead to a growing number of interested prospects. Sure, you’ll have to give up a little to accomplish this, but it could lead to much more business down the line.

Example: If you’re a portrait photographer, have potential customers submit the worst portraits they’ve ever had taken and you’ll do a portrait of the person with the worst photos for free.

Special Events

Plan on being somewhere, or doing something, that might be of interest to the people that follow you online. Use Facebook and Twitter to invite people to join you or speak with you. Companies will do this to create interest among current customers who wish to learn more about a company they like, or to get answers from a company they’re not so happy with.

Example: Going to a photo trade show? Let your followers know you’ll be there if they want to stop by and say hi.

Discounts

Plenty of companies have tried to make offering exclusive discounts for social media users work. Some have succeeded, others have not been so fortunate. If you are comfortable offering discounts on your photographs or photography services, get creative. Offer 20% to the first person to answer a trivia question about your work correctly. Or offer 25% off to your 1,000th Facebook Fan. And promote that you’ll be doing this ahead of time as a way to draw interest and get more followers up front.

Question and Answer

Much like an advice column, you can ask for inquiries from your followers which you will answer in real time via Twitter or Facebook. This helps demonstrate your value in their eyes, by making you an expert on photography. Be clear about what you will and won’t answer for them, and be available to everyone who is interested. And again, promote it ahead of time to draw added attention.

No matter how you use social media, it’s important to remember why people are there: communication. Open dialogue will help you promote yourself by adding something of value to the social media realm. Share things of interest to you and people will respect you for it. And the more creative you can be with promotions, the better. Because what you really want is for your followers to share it with their followers, increasing the size of your audience and making new business that much more likely.

Next week we’ll discuss some other ways that you can share your work with the masses in order to get your name (or brand) recognized by more people.

Homework: This week’s assignment is more time consuming, but I hope you won’t let that get in the way of you taking part. Share an idea you had for using social media to promote your business with us in the comments below. If it’s something you’ve already tried, let us know how it went!

Tuesday
Jun212011

Honoring Our Fine Art Student Maurice Tabard

Maurice Tabard (born 1897, died 1984) traveled from his native France to the United States with his family in 1914. His father was employed in a silk mill, and Maurice studied silk design and painting. He soon became interested in photography and studied under Emil Brunel at the New York Institute of Photography in 1916.

His travels and a variety of jobs took him to Baltimore and Washington, DC where he did portraiture, including a portrait of President Coolidge's family.

In 1927, he returned to Paris with the intent of working in fashion photography, but meeting influential photographer Man Ray, he plunged head first into the Surrealist movement with friends painter Rene Magritte and writer Phillipe Soupault. His experiments with foreshortening, photomontages, multiple exposures, and other techniques led to many complex and highly collected works, surveyed in a video retrospective of his work (click here to view).

 

 

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Thursday
Jun162011

NYIP Student Successes

Many NYIP members have won prestigious awards in contests and photo fairs or have had their work exhibited in galleries. Other NYIP members are building careers shooting weddings, press events, corporate and commercial assignments, or have received professional recognition and publication of their photos. Here are some recent NYIP success stories:
 
 John Erdman, California
  
 Congratulations to John who had four photos accepted into competition at the San Diego County Fair. He won First Place in the Macro category and an Honorable Mention in the Theme category: Race to the Fair. John says it was the first time he entered a contest and he says that "NYIP was a contributing factor to my first-time-out success." We suspect he'll be winning more contests soon!
 
Tryna Gower, Canada

Since graduating from NYIP in 2006, Tryna opened Tryna Gower Photography in Dawson Creek, Canada. She now has 4 employees and specializes in corporate photography, portraiture and image consulting.In 2011 she won a Chamber Of Commerce Civic award for "Entrepreneur Of The Year," and in  2009 an BC Achievement Award for "Aboriginal Busines of the Year."  In 2008, Tryna was featured in a book called “New Pioneers” about 100 women in BC paving the way in business. You can learn more about Tryna's business by watching the short video on her Web site.
 
Charles Vaughn, New York
 
Charles won the Grand Prize for this photo in a contest from Life in the Finger Lakes Magazine.  The photo was published on the magazine's Web site. Congratulations!
Ronald Zincone, Rhode Island
 

It's been quite a while since we featured Ronald Zincone in a NYIP Student Profile. Since then he's expanded his business to include teaching photography and giving workshops in Southern New England. You can see what he is up to at his Web site. 

Reehan Hoossein, Oman

Nikon will be featuring one of Reehan's photos called "The Universal Energy" in an upcoming 2012 or 2013 calendar. Congratulations!

 

Do you have an NYIP Success Story to tell? Email us at editors@nyip.com and let us know! 

 

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Tune in on YouTube.  Visit the Official Site at NYIP.com.