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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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Monday
May022011

NYIP Contest Watch

NYIP's Contest Watch provides information on international, national and regional photo contests that you might want to enter. Here are the latest photography contests to check out:

Tamron MyPhotoExhibits Travel Contest

Don't fear, you don't actually have to have your photos hanging in a gallery or in a museum to enter this virtual photo exhibit. Just create your own 3D virtual exhibit at Tamron.MyPhotoExhibits.com with your best travel shots taken with a Tamron lens. The winning entry will be chosen based on overall image quality of the photos in the exhibit and will be published in American Photo magazine. The winner will also receive a Tamron 18-270mm VC PZD 15X all-in-one lens. The deadline to enter is May 30th.

2011 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

The National Geographic Traveler Magazine yearly photo contest is certainly one of the most popular competitions you can enter. Last year, they had almost 11,000 entries. That's because the prizes are almost as dramatic as the entries. This year , the First Place winner will go on a 14 day cruise for two to the British and Irish Isles aboard the National Geographic Explorer. The Second Place prize is a 9 night hotel stay at Trident Hotels in India, including stays in Agra, Delhi, Jaipur, and Udaipur and Third Place will get you a two-and-a-half-day photo workshop at Santa Fe Workshops. So, dig out those photos you took on vacation and enter them into any of the four categories - Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place and Spontaneous Moments - by July 11th.
 
If travel is not your thing, but flower photography is, then you'll want to think about entering this contest. There are specific requirements as to what you can enter, so you'll want to read the rules carefully and there's also an entry fee to submit your photos. Categories include The Beauty of Plants, Beautiful Gardens, Wildlife Havens, Breathing Spaces,Bountiful Earth, Trees Woods Forests,Fragile Landscapes,Greening the City, and 4 Seasons. If you become the International Photographer of the Year, you'll take home £5,000 plus a host of other prizes. There will be an exhibit for winning photos too. Enter by November 30th.
 
For tips on how to enter and win photo contests, check out NYIP.com's Contest Tip Collection.

 

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Friday
Apr292011

David Bailey Made the Sixties Swing

 
British photographer and cultural icon David Bailey took pictures of the rich and famous, the mod and trendy, the underworld, and a dizzying variety of fashion and portrait subjects throughout his long career. Married to models and movie stars, he's lived a fascinating life and shot culturally-defining photos of everyone from Michael Caine and the Beatles to Andy Warhol and Mick Jagger. He modestly claims, "I just do what I see. You can't photograph somebody's soul." But he also was quoted as saying, "It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter, because you can invent things. But in photography everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the ordinary.” This video interview of Bailey was made in 2010, part of his "Pure Sixties. Pure Bailey." retrospective gallery show for Bonhams, London.






 

Wednesday
Apr272011

Photo Marketing 101: The Photographer's Website

I’m back again, and glad to be here.  In the last edition of Photo Marketing 101, we discussed the concept of branding, and how it relates to any photographer.

I was excited to see that not only did the post get a lot of traffic, but you were all quick to share your thoughts in the comments.  That really helps create a dialogue around marketing for photographers, which I think is extremely important.

As artists, it can sometimes be difficult to think about your work from the “business” side of things.  But from the comments on the last post, I can tell that you’re all sufficiently interested in learning more and trying new things.

Lesson 2: Create a website

Creating a website can be as simple as you need it to be.  Today, there are hundreds of services out there to help you create a website on the cheap (and sometimes free).  A simple Google search for "photography website" shows 258,000,000 results.  Most of the results on the first page are options that you have for creating a website.

Of course, if you or someone you know is a strong programmer, creating your own website from scratch can offer more options.  But a simple template that requires little to no “coding” knowledge is a good thing for most people, and will certainly do the trick.

It may take some time and money to get started, but every effort in online branding and marketing is worthwhile. A website will allow you to build on the brand that you defined in the last post, and will create a virtual outlet for your growing business.  Even if you don’t know what to put on your website, start creating one.

There are a thousand reasons to hesitate, and put things off.  But I can tell you now that the sooner you put “increasing my online presence” at the top of your priority list, the sooner you will start seeing real results ($$$$).

In part 3 of our Photography Marketing blog series, we will focus on specifics of your website. Catch you all next time around…

Homework: Your assignment, while simple for some, may take some time.  Create a simple website and share the URL with us in the comments below.  If you already have a website, simply share it!

 

Monday
Apr252011

Just because everyone else is buying it, doesn't mean it's the right camera for you

A recent Bloomberg report indicated that Canon held 44.5 percent of the camera market, with Nikon increasing its share to 29.7 percent. I immediately questioned these findings as the majority of cameras I see in the field tend to be Nikon. Were my impressions a fluke, or perhaps a regional trend specific to the New York area? I decided to run my own poll to find out. The results streamed in from all over the globe:

As you can see, the results of my poll were remarkably similar to the initial report. Canon still held the lead, but by a slightly smaller percentage.

So what does this mean if anything?

First, I think it's important to point out that both brands are equally capable in the right hands. I've seen amazing photography created with everything from $20 plastic Holgas, to the most expensive Leica, and everything in between.

Ultimately, this type of healthy competition is in the best interest of the consumer as each company works to gain market share through price cuts and added features. The result is a wide array of professional quality DSLRs with reasonable sticker prices. As this trend continues, the line between the super high-end and prosumer bodies will become increasingly blurred.

Considering this ongoing tug-o-war, it can be difficult to pinpoint which camera is right for you. Besides Canon and Nikon, there are excellent Pentax models, Sony, Olympus, Fuji, and more. Before deciding on one, I recommend looking into their entire line of dedicated lenses and flashes. Remember, you're not just buying into a camera body, but rather an entire system of products. 

 

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Tuesday
Apr192011

NYI Student Success: John Daly

Every photographer’s path is different. For New York Institute of Photography grad John Daly, what began as a way to survive serving his homeland of Ireland turned to a money-making passion, and he now has a successful photography business far from the front lines, photographing wedding couples embarking on their futures.

photo: John Daly

At age 19, Daly joined the Irish Defense Forces, and by age 21 he was serving in the mountains of South Lebanon with a UN Peacekeeping Force. He was interested enough in photography that he’d brought along an old Olympus Pen half frame 35 mm, but once the photography bug really started to bite” Daly invested in a Nikon F301. From that moment on, he hasn’t put his camera down.

On returning to Ireland he transferred to the Air Corp to train as an military aerial photographer.

“It was during this period that I also undertook the course with NYIP. The NYIP course blended very well with the military photographic training, as the military course was very hands-on and with great technical insight. The same could be said of the NYIP course, in particular the in-depth information given at the time with regards to darkroom processes and  compositions of various chemical processes,” he said.

Daly’s next assignment was as an aerial photographer, and then he was appointed the Staff Photographer with the Defence Forces Press and Public Relations department.

“This job allowed a certain amount of autonomy and was responsible for giving me the opportunity to develop my skills in Press & PR --- I really enjoyed this appointment,” he said.

 photo: John Daly

“Part of this job involved documenting the work of Irish troops in Lebanon, Cyprus and Somalia at the time. I returned to Lebanon again but this time as the official battalion photographer and spend six months documenting the daily work of the UN troops, a sometimes volatile but great experience,” Daly said. “I ran a major exhibition on this work at the premier exhibition centre in Dublin, the 'Guinness Storehouse' and appeared on national TV to promote the exhibition.”

 

photo: John DalyDaly found that the NYI Course gave him the kind of comprehensive information he needed.

“I also loved the historical background given with some of the modules and the insight it gave me. It was these modules that got me thinking about photography in a social sense and that there is more to photography than just technicalities---the impact photography has on our day-to-day lives and on history.”

Now, Daly’s busy with his photography business at home; in 2007 he was awarded an Associateship in Wedding Photography from both the Irish Professional Photographers Association and the Master Photographers Association; this spring, he’ll be applying to the Federation of European Photographers (FEP) for his Qualified European Photographer (QEP) qualification, which is a Europe-wide professional qualification.

His success as a wedding photographer began while he was still serving in the military by shooting weddings in his spare time for friends. “With the help and support of some mentors in the IPPA & MPA my business became quite successful and I continued to develop my own style, and had great success in IPPA & MPA awards including winning IPPA Wedding Photographer of The Year on three occasions and the Overseas Classical Wedding Photographer with the MPA.”

In his wedding photography, Daly is able to create portraits of the wedding couple, the wedding party, and the guests that make the event come to life. And he does much of this work in black and white and sepia, which he finds is often requested by his clients.

 photo: John Daly

“Black and white is the classical reportage medium, and can focus the viewer on the important part of the image without distracting color elements. It is the classical element in wedding photography from the past, and young couples are used to seeing their parents' wedding albums in black and white and like this romantic connection to the past.

 photo: John Daly

With conversion techniques that make it easy to convert color to black and white, sometimes a photo calls to be converted. And yet, sometimes an image is obviously meant to be seen in color,  such as this image of couple sitting in front of the surf shack on their wedding day.” It is just too vibrant an image to use another way,” Daly said.

 

photo: John Daly