#928 Photo News from the Web

We are highlighting some photo fun that we find during the week on the internet. Here are some highlights from the past week:

Overload of Photo Links!
We stumbled upon alltop.com recently with links to many of the top photo news sites and other miscellany. Be warned! – there are tons of links that could suck you in and keep you from actually taking photos.

Photography Interview Site
There’s a new site on the web with photographer interviews by Michael Vuckovic. PhotoKibitz.com featured an interview with engaging photographer Ari Tapiero last week – worth a listen!

Humans of New York
There’s a very fun website gaining momentum. Humans of New York photographer Brandon Stanton started photographing people in NYC. He says:
HONY resulted from an idea that I had to construct a photographic census of New York City. I thought it would be really cool to create an exhaustive catalogue of the city’s inhabitants, so I set out to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers and plot their photos on a map. I worked for several months with this goal in mind. But somewhere along the way, HONY began to take on a much different character…

Doing Something Differently
Watch a video of an architectural photographer as he captures his work – differently. Back to traditional ways but on a digital platform, Nic does all his post processing “in the camera” while shooting – dodge, burn, etc. Thanks to reader Jonathan B. for the link!

I like it!

… All worth a visit.

#927 Exposed! Photo Newsletter – A Photographer’s Greatest Asset

Last week I had lunch with wedding photographer Andrew Van Beek. We talked about what makes a good photographer and what makes a really good photographer great. It’s simple really. And in this edition of Exposed! I share some thoughts.

We also offer some homework to help your photos grow and a $5 critique video session.

Read about a Photographer’s Greatest Asset.

Stock photography and time

Stock photography and time


#925 $5 Critique Sessions

Last month we published our monthly Exposed! photo newsletter and started offering a critique session for $5 based on the homework from the newsletter.

This week we send out the latest photo newsletter with another opportunity for learning through a critique video – we continue the introductory critique offer of $5.

Photo Critique Video
What does a critique video look like?

… Like the one below from our Online Program. Their challenge that month was to photograph CLOSER!! to their subject.

Stay tuned. Hone your skills.
This month’s newsletter is about pushing the envelope of your creativity.
And you get a critique for just 5 bucks as we launch the service.

 Watch the video critique on Youtube.

#924 Photo Studio Feature

We got a very nice review of our studio recently. Made me glow and, really, it shows what we’ve always known!

So today we’re featuring the studio and what’s going on in the space.

Ottawa photo studio

Ottawa photo studio - the bare studio with our dog!

The Review
Cindy Orti rented our photo studio for some shooting and loved it.
She says:
Most studios I’ve worked in have the look and feel of a studio, with heavy duty lighting everywhere, backdrops, etc. They aren’t necessarily a bright and welcoming space, which I deem very important when working with clients. It’s important for them to be comfortable and not intimidated by any space we work in. I think what I love most about your studio is how welcoming it is for clients.

photo studio rental Ottawa

© Cindy Orti shot at Ottawa Studio Works

Additionally, Ottawa Studio Works is the perfect size to accommodate a crew, a set, and client spectators without everyone feeling cramped. Plus the fact that the studio is also used as gallery space, I appreciate that my clients can look around at what is hung up on the wall as it keeps them entertained during wait times.

I also value that the art hung on the walls provides exposure to other Ottawa artists. It demonstrates that the studio is supportive of the Ottawa photo community and I believe that not just photographers, but clients value that as well.

ottawa photo studio

Ottawa photo studio - behind the scenes at a DIY portrait session.

We’re not a high volume rental studio. We work with clients that fit well with our studio. We provide the studio space and the following:
• 11×24 studio space
• back drop stands
• use of one backdrop
• stool, risers, chairs, tables
• prep room (approx 10×10)
• access to bathroom, kitchenette

Current rates for photo/video shoots:
Half day (max 4 hours – from arrival to departure) = $150 (please add taxes)
Full day (up to 8 hours) = $225
Two days (2x 8 hours) = $400
ottawa photo studio

Shooting in studio

What else is going on at the studio?
Photo workshops
Exhibitions/Events – We rent the space to artists looking to exhibit their work. Coming up we have plans for Elmwood School’s year end Art Exhibition (see last year’s show) and a Music Photography show is in the works.
Weekly Photo Round-up! – Every Friday we round-up the whos and whats of the Ottawa photo community and feature the fun on the OSW photo blog.

Have you ever wanted to shoot in a studio?! We can make it happen!

#923 Online Program Special Offer

Earlier this month we announced an offer for our Online Program:
30% off a six month membership.
That’s $125 instead of $180 .

The offer has only 10 days left and we’d like to welcome our new members.
This month members are exploring candid portraits without looking through the viewfinder:

Online photo course

This month's challenge - shooting candid portraits without using the viewfinder!

So why are people signing up? what’s so good about the program?
• A monthly photo challenge with a video lesson and notes
• Weekly email with tips, notes and links
• Interactive feedback through a private Facebook group
• Group critique session
… all from your own computer.

The biggest way to improve your photography is regular shooting, critique and a fun way to keep you clicking in a sustainable way.

Better Photos!
Want better photos? More fun?
Take advantage of this month’s offer – $125 for six months of photo fun. That’s 30% off.
10 days left.

#922 Manual Exposure Mode Madness

On Friday I taught another session of Photography for Communications Professionals – a course to help people get better workplace photos.

I met my client and she was nervous about shooting in manual exposure mode. This is normal!

People are often afraid to shoot ‘Manual’ – clinging to any of the auto settings – because learning to meter the light and set three variables – iso, aperture and shutter speed – can be a daunting task. And the consequences of a mistake in a high pressure event are too much!

The beauty of manual mode is that once you have set the exposure for a location the exposure usually remains the same and allows you to ignore the light level until it changes – see bull rushes, below.

Exposure - photo training

Exposure - photo class

In auto mode the camera resets the variables every time it encounters a different tonal element within the evenly lit scene (bright snow, dark trees with bullrushes) even though the correct exposure for the elements is the same exposure. (The two bull rush photos have same exposure but the different backgrounds would fool auto exposure mode!)

Exposure - photo training

Exposure - photo training

And, with practice, you can figure out the correct exposure for a scene in, oh, about 5-15 seconds…

With some training, reading, and/or practice you can get consistently better exposures easily in manual mode.

Remember my nervous student clinging to an auto mode?

By the end of the day she was nailing challenging exposures in tricky lighting scenarios using manual mode. She was smiling – some simple photo training went a long way!

exposure photo training

Photo training for communications departments - here students learn to take advantage of exposure possibilities to create better photos - dark background, well exposed foreground - to bring attention to the speaker (erm, me) in the test scenario photo!

A while back I posted a newsletter on exposure and manual mode. One of our students recently commented on the newsletter and the difference between shooting manual and auto:

Après une semaine à faire des photos d’hiver pendant la relâche scolaire, je peux définitivement dire que le mode manuel est 100% mieux. Malheureusement, les gros appareils sur les pistes de ski alpin, c’est peu recommandé…surtout avec mon niveau d’expérience dans ce sport!!!
Exposition manuelle 
Exposition appareil automatique


What do YOU use?!

#921 Photo/Arts Awards and Other News

We started this feature a few weeks back – some posts discovered from photo sources I like to check on the ‘net.

This week I found:
France Rivet’s Polar Horizons research (& photo project) of five Innuit featured in European zoos 132 years ago: In the footsteps of Abraham Ulrikab.” We’re especially proud – France Rivet is a graduate of our ProProgram!

Hasselblad photo award (worth $big) awarded to Catalan photographer Joan Fontcuberta for his “30-year achievement of constantly investigating and questioning the photographic medium” according to Photo District News.

• Canada Council for the Arts announces the Governor General’s Awards in Visual & Media Arts.

Congratulations all round!!

#920 Upcoming Photo Workshops and Classes

We have our spring line-up of photo courses and workshops lined up.

Coming soon we will be announcing some summer and fall photo fun and are looking for some input – what do YOU want to learn photographically?

Spring Classes
This spring is shaping up nicely. At time of writing there is one spot left in our classic Creative Fundamentals Photo Class – it’s been filling up regularly since 2001 because we’ve figured out ways to help people demystify the mysteries of the camera.

Our spring offerings with Louise Tanguay are filling nicely – last year her Macro course filled  early!!

Creative Fundamentals Photo Workshop - Ottawa

Creative Fundamentals Photo Workshop - Ottawa

Summer and Fall Classes
We will be announcing new workshops soon but how do these sound?:
• Weekend Algonquin Park Triple Barrel Adventure with Harry Nowell and naturalists and Bird Photographers Tony Beck and Nina Stavlund.
• On-Location Lighting with Blair GableLast year we had to offer a second session as people ‘demaned’ more!
• Urban Compositions Photo Safari exploring the unseen wonders of the cityscape.
• Summer Sports Photography challenging your cameras to catch the action.
• 2013 World Press Photo of the Year Festivities We’ve run events in past years – packed!
• Post Processing Seminars
• Night Light Photo Workshop
 A classic and popular session of magic lighting
• Fireworks Photo Safari Figure out the formulas for popping fun.

Blair Gable photo class

Blair Gable On Location Lighting Class 2012 - Ottawa

I am getting dizzy just thinking about what is coming up.
Stay tuned as announcements come…

And what photo workshop would YOU like to see us host?

#919 “Photography for Communications Professionals” Photo Course

Many years ago we got asked to run a photo course for people in communications departments.

It seems many communications departments:
• need regular photos.
• don’t always have a budget to hire a photographer.
• end up with poor photos from well-meaning but inexperienced staff.

Event Photography Ottawa

Photographing Events

This request turned into Photography for Communications Profressionals – a scheduled workshop in November and a Custom Course option for specific groups throughout the year, but especially in the spring!

Last week we ran a PCP course for a small group (and have another course lined up this week.) There were some nerves at the beginning but by the end of the day results and smiles glowed.

Thanks again for your patience during the course. I learned a lot and am excited to practice the techniques!” PCP Partcipant

We offer a theoretical component in the morning with practical exercises (see below) in the afternoon that simulate the challenges of workplace photography! We also cover ‘challenges’ faced by ‘comms’ departments – consent forms, copyright, usage rights, archiving, etc.

Photo class - communications

On our photo course © M Savka - Harry teaches participants a traditional portrait technique - blurring the background: "Ok, see how the background gets blurred, bringing attention to your main subject?!"

See details of the PCP course (2013 dates have yet to be set for November) or info about the Custom Course.