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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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Thursday
Jun162011

Honoring Our Pulitzer Prize Winning Graduate

 

New York Institute of Photography graduate, Matthew Lewis Jr., was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1975 “for his photographs in color and black and white.” Lewis had begun working for the The Washington Post ten years earlier. And this Pulitzer was historical for two reasons: (1) It was the first Pulitzer Prize ever given to a portfolio of color pictures, and (2) Lewis was the first photographer at The Post to have ever been awarded a Pulitzer Prize.

Lewis, who also attended Howard University and the University of Pittsburgh, embodies the photographic principle of making the image express something within the photographer; Lewis covered—to a great extent—the Civil Rights movement and the work Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. While on assignment to photograph one of Dr. King’s appearances in a church, Lewis remembers getting “palpitations of the heart . . . and when he [Dr. King] raised his arm, and the light cascaded up his arm, right up to his fingertips, I went ‘click’ and I captured—on film—my personal feelings of Martin Luther King.”

These days, long after his retirement from The Washington Post, the Baltimore Afro-American Newspaper, the Thomasville Times, and Potomac, Lewis has started a non-profit venture to produce an educational documentary “that will trace 100 years of historical photographs.” His love affair with the camera is far from over.

To get in touch with the Matthew Lewis Legacy project - and the master photographer himself - write to PO Box 2158, Thomasville, NC 27361-2158; phone: 336.472.6100; email: mattlewislegacy@aol.com.


 

 

HOMEWORK: Leave a comment and tell us which photographer has most inspired your work.

 

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

 

Monday
Jun132011

How I Carry My Photo Gear

The ideal camera bag should fit comfortably while allowing you to carry your gear in an unobtrusive way. As such, you'll want to give careful thought as to what system will work best for your individual needs. Since I shoot a wide variety of subject matter, I required a versatile and rugged solution. I also wanted something with a waist strap to take some of the weight burden off my back. Before finding the right bag, my shoulders would ache after long hikes in the woods. 

Rather than leaving necessary gear at home to shed weight, I started to research photo backpacks. At that time, I decided on the Lowepro Mini Trekker AW which offers enough room to fit a camera body with attached 400mm lens, plus a 70-200mm, a 100mm Macro, a Flash, various filters, batteries, and accessories. It also includes a rain cover for surprise downpours, padded shoulder straps, and a supportive waist strap. Best of all, it qualifies as a carry-on for both domestic and international flights.  After eight years of heavy use, I'm still using the same bag!  Lowepro has since refreshed this line with the new and improved Pro Runner AW backpacks.

Along with the backpack, I use a large toploading holster. Since this sits on my hip it's perfect for quickly accessing my primary camera. The attached lens depends on what the most fleeting subject is. For example, if I'm in bear country, the 400mm is attached to the camera in the top loading holster. If an animal suddenly appears I can quickly access it without taking off my backpack and unzipping it as my subject disappears.

I reverse this setup when focusing on landscapes. In these situations I keep my wide angle lens ready while the telephoto is close by in the backpack. In short, the holster is what I work out of, while the backpack allows me to comfortably transport the essentials.

When flying, I never want to check my expensive photo gear for fear that it could be broken or stolen. This two bag system has made air travel much easier. The backpack is my one carry-on piece of luggage while the holster qualifies as a small personal bag. They both fit under the seat, or in the overhead compartments.  This system even worked on a small passenger plane in Costa Rica.

My tripod is the only piece of photo gear that gets checked. Since it can be used as a weapon most airlines have policies against bringing then on board as a carry-on. Of course it's an essential piece of gear that can't be left behind. Here's how I transport it:

First, I remove the ball head and pack that in my carry-on photo backpack. Without the ballhead the tripod is a few inches shorter and fits inside a duffle bag. I then pack all of my clothes around the tripod and wrap it with a few sweaters or pants. This extra padding will protect it from being destroyed when it's tossed on and off the luggage belt. Should this bag get lost or stolen, I'll still have all of my camera gear and the clothes on my back.

 

 

Join the conversation on Twitter.  Follow along with Facebook.

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

Thursday
Jun092011

Photo Marketing 101: Get Social!

Are you a photographer, or are you a marketer? If you’re familiar with my Photo Marketing 101 blog series, you’ll know that I want you to tell me that you’re both. In today’s world, everyone is a marketer. It’s up to you to market yourself, and the internet makes that easier to do than ever before.

In Part 3 of this series, we discussed different ways to ensure that your website gets the attention that it deserves. One tool that is perfect for driving traffic to your website, and reaching a wider audience online, is social media.

Social media has created a whole new side of the internet that marketers all over are struggling to understand.  Here is what we know:

  • Social media is exciting
  • Social media is open
  • Social media creates new opportunities for communication, networking, purchasing, sharing, and – of course – marketing

It’s time you get involved. If you already have active social media accounts, congratulations. But your job is not done, so stick with me.

First, it’s important that you have a strategy. How are you going to use social media to drive visitors to your website, interest in your services, and new business?

Linking is vital. Use lots of them.  Link to things you find interesting, link to other people in your area, and link to your own website as often as possible.  These links will bring new visitors to your site, and will tell search engines that there is interest in your website.

Don’t dominate the conversation, join it. Share things that you think people will enjoy. Answer questions, and create a dialogue with people you follow and people who follow you. The more active you are, and not just posting links to your site, the more respected you will be in the online community.

Facebook and Twitter are two places to start. They are the most popular social networks, and will open your brand up to the largest populations. But for photographers, there are other social media sites worth checking out. Flickr is the most popular photo sharing service outside of Facebook, and YouTube is a great place to hang out if you produce video slideshows of your work. Take some time to check out multiple networks, but don’t spread yourself too thin.  Pick 3 or 4 of them, and visit them often so as not to look stale.

It’s important to keep your message consistent across all platforms. As I mentioned in Part 1 of this series, you should think of yourself as a brand. Whatever that brand is should be clear in each one of your social media profiles.

And of course, just as you should link to your website from your social media accounts, you should include links on your website to your social media accounts. If a new visitor to your site likes what they see but don’t purchase right away, an easy option to follow you on twitter might lead to new business further down the line.

Next time we’re together, I will take a deeper dive into social media, and offer ideas on specific promotions you can try to create interest in your photography.

Homework: This week’s assignment is simple. If you’ve got a Twitter account, share your username below. If not, create one at http://www.twitter.com/ and share your username in the comments below.

I’ll start: @nyip & @zheller

Monday
Jun062011

Lit Portraits in Super Duper Bathrooms

Photo: Patrick Cavan Brown

It's not every day that a photographer is given the assignment to shoot lit portraits in a series of fantasy bathrooms, but that was just one interesting episode out of the life of Weaverville, NC photographer Patrick Cavan Brown.

This was a most unusual assignment, photographing in the themed rooms at Super Duper Publishing (click on the link to take video tours around their Greenville, SC headquarters, called the Super Duper Castle). Here's how the photographer describes his approach to the job.

Shooting in bathrooms presents certain logistical challenges . . . the first is size. These were not large bathrooms like you would find in a typical office building, but rather small ones like you would find in an apartment building. The second? Mirrors mirrors everywhere! Put the two together, small rooms with lots of mirrors, and you’ve got yourself a good old-fashioned fashion headache . . . but solving problems is what we do, and what sometimes makes it fun.

As logistical solutions, I used boom arms reaching through doorways, light stands tucked into corners and behind doors, and I even bounced lights off of mirrors to create kickers . . . all fun stuff.

The following video shows the sped-up action of one of his location shoots. Dare we say Mr. Brown was flush with success when he finished the assignment?

 

Join the conversation on Twitter.  Follow along with Facebook.

 

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

 

 

Thursday
Jun022011

Squrl Away Your Online Videos

When I come across a terrific video online, I usually want to share it with someone else, or watch later on a big screen.  Whether it’s an informative photography clip, a breathtaking short film, or an inspirational presentation, there is a wealth of great content on the web.  Problem is, you have to sift through a wasteland of un-curated material to find it.  Previously, this involved a rather sloppy system of random bookmarks and links I emailed to myself.  Today however, I’d like to report on a new solution for creating your own collection of online videos.  It’s called Squrl, and I’ve been testing it with great results over the past week.

 

 

Here’s how it works:

1)      Create a free account and add the “Squrl It” button to your browser’s toolbar.  When you find a video you like, just click this button to add videos to your queue.

2)      You can curate your videos into different sections similar to dedicated channels for various types of material.  I’ve created areas for photography, music, inspiration, and more.

3)      There is also a “Discover” tab to browse current material from various outlets like Hulu, Vimeo, and Youtube.  I find this a rather convenient feature since it eliminates the need to go to each site separately.

4)      There are many ways a user can play a video including desktop computers.  If you prefer to use an iPad or iPhone, there are also apps for that.  Airplay is also supported for those who use Apple TV.  As such, you can watch on your TV instead of a smaller device.

5)      The videos stay in your Queue unless you actually delete them. 

6)      If you choose to be social with your videos they do offer Facebook and Twitter integration.

 

 

Join the conversation on Twitter. Follow along with Facebook

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