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  1. #501
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Red face Review of the work ...

    Well, push came to shove, tonight, in the "Business of Photography" class.

    As many of you know, I have been rather "general" in my approach to photography, basically working on getting it ALL imaged. Flowers, people, models, table top, equipment, aircraft, buildings... even celestial events. Unfortunately, the more serious side of the business class says ... BUZZ ... you cannot do that and be successful, no matter how technically correct your images are ... you will starve to death.

    Well, that's not good news, because I have never felt comfortable being tightly focused, so to speak. I am pretty sure none of us do (but, then again, some have found their niche). Personally, I am hard-pressed on deciding what type of photography I like the most, to be quite honest. I know I have not been too moved by photographing food, but that has a certain flavor of its own.

    My strongest efforts have been with:

    architecture

    female models

    and aircraft


    Well, that's diverse, eh? I suppose I could photograph airports with beautiful women in the control tower, and blend the three.

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    Anyway ... by the end of the course, the instructor wants a "portfolio" built up and dedicated to the specialty I select. It cannot be a mix ... but, specifically targeting one genre, to successfully complete the requirements of the class. Airshows are a little lean at the moment, this quarter. Driving around to find new architecture can be time consuming. I may lean more toward the fashion photography for the time being, as that is what I am concentrating on for my "catalog" in the Print Production class. I suppose you could call it the path of least resistance and the least economically challenged. The modeling fees have been truly reasonable ... TFP.

    I must admit, over the past year of going back to school for this pursuit, it has taken a significant financial bite out of my resources by doing these various projects and acquiring equipment to make it happen. I have not done cheap work ... but, I should say that my grades have benefited to that end, also.

    Tonight, I was also complimented on my 50-page book design and layout of "Touring the Great Bear Wilderness" @ Brookfield Zoo. This coming from a "pro" photographer, who has been at it for several decades. Again, that effort is not going to feed the world, either, but with some fine-tuning and a couple of image replacements, the publication has some potential as an offering in the exhibit's Gift Shop. That was never my intent, but the possibility is there and it would represent an undeniable business venture.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-20-2011 at 06:50 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  2. #502
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    I felt this one came out kind of nice while fighting some serious direct sunlight to get it.
    I agree, it's kinda nice and one of your better shots.
    Not perfect but which of us is.

  3. #503
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    Hey Frank,

    thanks for looking at the work and I appreciate the feedback. The main problem with working in blinding and direct sunlight is that it is EXTREMELY hard to see the image after you have taken it, on the LCD. That part is insane! I hate it.

    Cover it with your hand ... try hide the camera in shadow ... it sucks for exposure evaluation purposes. Cripes, I figure I'm lucky if I get a decent range on it. I may just bring a drape with me and wear it as a cape, next time, like they did using the land cameras. ......
    Thats one reason why the Fashion/Glamour photogs prefer the control of the studio. No doubt hooked up to a laptop for checking the lighting as they go.
    Also you cut down on the clutter and focus on the model. Just use the odd prop, like a Harley or something.

  4. #504
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    ...........Well, that's not good news, because I have never felt comfortable being tightly focused, so to speak. I am pretty sure none of us do (but, then again, some have found their niche). Personally, I am hard-pressed on deciding what type of photography I like the most, to be quite honest. I know I have not been too moved by photographing food, but that has a certain flavor of its own.

    My strongest efforts have been with:
    architecture
    female models
    and aircraft
    .........................
    I can see where the Tutor is coming from. You're expected to "specialise" these days, you can't be good at more than one thing at a time, can you? LOL
    Anyway, all you have to do is pick the best thing to fulfill the course. You can be good at something else at another time, hey!

  5. #505
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,424
    Grades in this course vs real world commercial photography are 2 very different animals. Id suggest if you want to make a business out of this you check out the competition first and figure out if you can compete on quality and or cost. If you sold a single one of those polar bear books at $100 id be shocked.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

  6. #506
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    602

    Niche

    To me, the most important thing is finding those areas of photography that you love doing and figure out the best way to make a career out of it. I actually met a guy this weekend that had worked for Amtrak for a number of years and then turned his love of photographing trains into a second career. He's been able to develop a reputation as a go to guy for train photographs and developed a stable of newspapers and magazines that turn to him when they need those types of images.

    Sure you could slog it out in the more prolific (and higher competition) areas like wedding photography, but if you don't like it, why do it.

    Don, I for one would say that you have a great nack for capturing airplanes. Why not aviation photography?
    Darin Wessel
    α 900
    Zooms: Tamron SP AF70-200mm f2.8 Di LD Macro; Sigma 28-90mm D macro, Konica-Minolta 18-70 f3.5-5.6
    Primes: Minolta 28mm f2.8; Sony 50mm f1.4
    Minolta RC-1000 remote commander

    Film:
    Calumet Cambo CC400 4x5 View Camera
    YashikaMat 6x6 TLR (other accessories)
    Minolta Maxxum 7000 w/ Minolta 35-80mm f/4-5.6 & Minolta 2800 flash
    Minolta Maxxum 5000i & Vivitar 728 AFM flash
    What's next???

  7. #507
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Apopka, FL
    Posts
    447
    I agree with DWessel, you definitely shoot aircraft very well. I wish there were some airshows around where i live. Ill have to google it lol

  8. #508
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Thumbs up Aircraft results ...

    Darin

    I do enjoy the aviation imaging, but the problem is that with all the fuel expense, aviation is taking a direct hit in the shorts. The airshows simply are not what they were only a couple years ago. As I mentioned earlier, the timing for this portfolio is just poor, at this time, too. If it were for the Fall Quarter, I might have a chance to crank out enough personal art to make it worthwhile. For now ... it is definitely going to be the fashion angle. I just need to get through the course, with a minimum of fuss.

    Of course, regarding aviation, one company did make an electric aircraft demonstrator, which EAA AirVenture show enjoyed back in 2008, it simply cannot complete with jet fighters and their inherent performance. If anything, it seemed to be more of family/commerce aircraft, for those who want to be "green" and still enjoy the idea of single engine aircraft flight. In other words: "boring!"

    Of course, you also have to have power wherever you land ... otherwise, I guess you permanently park the plane. Then again, I suppose the same argument might be made for "av-gas", but that is about as portable as it gets. I contend it is much harder to fly in sufficient quantities of "electric power", unless you have these expensive power cells just sitting around collecting dust. Not really the best use of your cash flow, in my estimation.

    I do not see conversion to electric or alternative fuels as a viable solution. Without a doubt, oil is still the cheapest way to "get 'er done." How many people are planning to keep an extra battery in their electric car? I suppose you could put a couple on a little trailer and pull it along with you, on those longer trips. You still have to keep those 'bad boys" charged up.

    I believe $5 gasoline will bring the USA to a screeching halt, in the next few months. The country is not designed, by its sheer size, to deal with this ridiculous and totally unnecessary hit to the economy. Unlike Europe, the size of each of our western states is more like that of entire Euro-countries or bigger. Driving around these larger states is not going to be cost-effective and the with the economy weakened by the mortgage-crisis and the recent stock market setbacks, there just nothing left to pay for this increase.

    I remember when gas was only $0.29/gallon, back in 1966. Cars were the size of small boats and got an impressive 9-10 miles per gallon. "Punch it" and you could squeal the tires and happily cut that right in half.

    Like I always say, "Who am I to deny the dinosaurs their destiny? They gave their respective lives so I can drive my Chevy Avalanche and RV all over hell and back. Now, not so much? The 75-gallon tank, at this very moment, costs $400 to fill. That's about a dollar a mile, when it is all leveled out. Guess we can leave all the driving to the kids wallets, now. Mine's getting pretty empty at that rate. Have you looked into yours, lately?

    The rate of consumption is a whole lot worse in a jet. Only the government can afford gas at these prices, because they can print as much money as they want to do it. Have you tried that?
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-20-2011 at 06:54 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  9. #509
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Shoot II for the catalog

    Wednesday resulted in some reasonable good return on my efforts ... and the model's.

    So, far, I have gotten about 15 solid shots I feel I can use in my 24-page catalog InDesign creation, but I still think this is a true waste of time, in that regard. I must admit ... getting to try out new lighting set-ups and other aspects of image manipulation is kind of fun, but pushing for the final product just ticks me off. I feel, ass I usually do, I'm in a race against an arbitrary deadline. I am pretty sure I could do a much better overall job on this project if I have the entire quarter to shoot and work on it, instead of five weeks. It just is very demanding ... and the model's time is worth something, too.

    Anyway, here are a few of yesterday's shots.

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    With variations on the theme, these again fit into my cleaner (Spartan) approach to photography, which my be the key to finding my niche. I notice a lot of the student tend to "grunge" up their shots and while that makes for various levels of candids, I just do not see it as what a prospective retailer would care to see in their product presentations. Whatever, it is just OMO.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-21-2011 at 04:01 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  10. #510
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    602
    The schedule sounds alot like what some of the art colleges in LA expect. The idea being to simulate industry production deadlines so you get used to it.
    Darin Wessel
    α 900
    Zooms: Tamron SP AF70-200mm f2.8 Di LD Macro; Sigma 28-90mm D macro, Konica-Minolta 18-70 f3.5-5.6
    Primes: Minolta 28mm f2.8; Sony 50mm f1.4
    Minolta RC-1000 remote commander

    Film:
    Calumet Cambo CC400 4x5 View Camera
    YashikaMat 6x6 TLR (other accessories)
    Minolta Maxxum 7000 w/ Minolta 35-80mm f/4-5.6 & Minolta 2800 flash
    Minolta Maxxum 5000i & Vivitar 728 AFM flash
    What's next???

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