BrickHouse Photo School

Tips, Tricks and Reviews for Photo Hobbyists

Posts Tagged ‘ideas

Great Ads Use Great Photography Part III

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I love advertising/commercial photography. It’s one of the most creative forms of photography there is and in today’s marketplace, advertising photographers have to be in fifth-gear all the time. While you may not be an ad shooter and may not even aspire to be, you can get some great ideas looking at the work. Here’s a look at some of my favorites.

virginradio1Product: Virgin Radio
Advertising Agency: zig
Photographer: Michael Graf
Tagline: Give your radio a reason to live

directv1Client: DirecTV Broadcast – This is for the first sport event DirecTV broadcast on HD, the Barcelona vs Real Madrid match in Ecuador.
Advertising Agency: La Facultad, Quito, Ecuador
Photographer: Ramiro Salazar

hondagoldwing1Product: Honda Goldwing
Advertising Agency: Reichl und Partner, Vienna, Austria
Photographer: Tim McPherson
Tagline: The new Goldwing. And what’s your favorite toy?

Picture Perfect!: National Park Foundation Announces 2008 Winners of the Share the Experience Photo Contest

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I will often publish media releases related to photography on this blog in order to help keep you informed. These media releases are created by the respective companies. I edit the releases for space as needed.

The National Park Foundation (NPF) recently announced the 2008 winners of the Share the Experience Photo Contest, the official photo contest of America’s national parks and federal lands, sponsored by NPF in partnership with Olympus and the federal land management agencies. The photo contest encourages Americans to explore and experience the best of our country and share the experience with all Americans when they enter their souvenir photos online.

“We’ve been hosting this contest for nearly a decade and it has become an important way that we connect Americans to their parks and federal lands,” said Vin Cipolla, Vice Chairman of the National Park Foundation. “We’re proud to be working with Olympus and all the federal agencies to inspire Americans to discover our nation’s most treasured places.”

The winners of the 2008 Share the Experience Photo Contest are:

Grand Prize Winning Photo: Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Photographer: Mark Cromwell, Enid, OK

Grand Prize image by Mark Cromwell of Enid, OK.

Grand Prize image by Mark Cromwell of Enid, OK.

Mark Cromwell (60) has spent much of his life exploring the backcountry of America’s protected lands. His winning photo was taken during a bird-watching trek with his wife. Of his photo, Mark said, “The day I took this shot we were up before dawn to catch the morning light. A few cranes settled in shallow water in front of me and it was serendipity!” As the Grand Prize winner, Mark’s photo will grace the cover of the 2010 America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass. He will also receive a trip to a National Park of his choice and an Olympus E-3 digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera kit.

Second Place Winning Photo: Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Photographer: Dan Sorenson, Glendale, AZ
Dan Sorensen (31) became passionate about photography at a young age with the support of his parents and a few disposable cameras. Of his winning photo Dan said, “A group of our friends rented a houseboat on Lake Powell. This photo was taken just as the sun was just about to dip behind the western walls of the canyon. My friends were frying up some striped bass around a campfire and breaking out acoustic guitars. Me, I was taking pictures.” As the second place winner, Dan will receive an Olympus E-520 DSLR kit.

Third Place Winning Photo: Rocky Mountain National Park
Photographer: Eric Feder, Aurora, CO
A retired school teacher, Eric Feder (42) and his wife have enjoyed traveling and taking pictures throughout the country. Of his winning photo of Rocky Mountain National Park, Eric said, “My photo is one of many I took as a bull elk was testing the waters. After the elk had drunk its fill, the magic was over, but the experience was ours to share.” As the third place winner, Eric will receive an Olympus SP-570 UZ.

Fourth Place Winning Photo: Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Photographer: Kuang-Yu Jen, San Francisco, CA
Kuang-Yu Jen (31) says her interest in photography stems from her appreciation of the natural world. Of her winning photo, Kuang-Yu said, “I had been trying to find some time to get away from the city to do some nature photography so I picked up my gear and headed across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Headlands. The sun, the clouds, and the light came together perfectly and allowed me to capture this spectacular moment.” As the fourth place winner, Kuang-Yu will receive an Olympus Stylus 1030 SW.

To view the 2008 winning photos and honorable mentions visit www.nationalparks.org/photocontest.

Sponsored by Olympus Imaging America Inc. and the National Park Foundation in partnership with the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service, the Share the Experience Photo Contest showcases the more than 500 million acres of Federal Lands and draws entries from all across the United States.

The 2009 Share the Experience Photo Contest will launch on May 4, 2009.

Great Ads Use Great Photography Part II

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I love advertising/commercial photography. It’s one of the most creative forms of photography there is and in today’s marketplace, advertising photographers have to be in fifth-gear all the time.

While you may not be an ad shooter and may not even aspire to be, you can get some great ideas looking at the work. Here’s a look at some of my favorites.


docwithoutborder
Client: Doctors Without Borders
Advertising Agency: Lowe Pirella Fronzoni, Milan, Italy
Photographer: Francesco Bozza
Published: November 2008
Tagline: We cannot wave the white flag. We need that, too.

stephensbrothers
Product: Stephens Brothers, London
Advertising Agency: ideas@work, Mumbai, India
Photographer: Tejal Patni
Tagline: Let’s just say, Prince William would approve … Impeccably English.

nikons60
Product: Nikon S60
Advertising Agency: Euro RSCG
Photographer: Jeremy Wong
Tagline: The Nikon S60. Detects up to 12 faces

Photo Critique 14: ‘Perfect Hideaway,’ by Adri O.

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I love critiquing photos. It’s the best way to learn and get new ideas for photo shoots. Today, we’re going to critique an image made by Adri, my friend in Venezuela.

"Perfect Hideaway," by Adri. O. of Venezuela

"Perfect Hideaway," by Adri. O. of Venezuela

General Overview:
Adri, I really enjoy this image. I can see this image being used for advertising. It has a nice, weathered look. I love the texture on the weathered beach chair and the way it compliments the texture of the rocks. I also like the use of color in this image. It’s a nice, soothing blue tone that helps tie in the beach chair, the ocean and the sky.
This is a nice image. Good job.

Improvements
Here are a few improvements I think will make the image better: First, I think the image would look better if the beach chair filled the entire bottom right corner of the image. I think this will help set the tone for the image a little better. I also think it would help tie in the blue in the chair, the blue in the sky and the blue in the sea a little more.

Cropping and some adjustments to the color saturation makes the image standout a little more. (Photo Credit: Adri O., with edit by Jeremy Schneider)

Cropping and some adjustments to the color saturation makes the image standout a little more. (Photo Credit: Adri O., with edit by Jeremy Schneider)

Secondly, I think the hotspot in the middle of the chair needs to be toned down just a little. Perhaps the use of a polarizing filter or a neutral density filter will help. If you don’t have a ND filter or a polarizer, then I would suggest a little editing in Photoshop help smooth out the blown highlights.

Finally, I think you should edit the photos so the colors pop a little more.

Adri, keep up the good work. Your portfolio is expanding.

Thanks for the submission, good luck and keep shooting!

If you would like to submit a photo for critique, e-mail us at submissions@brickhousephotoschool.com.

Written by jeremyparce

April 21, 2009 at 7:06 am

Jonathan Singer Photographs Flowers With a Heavenly Touch

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Jonathan Singer’s flower images have been called a marriage of art and science. Dr. Singer is a botanical photographic artist whose images of plant life is awe inspiring.

Jonathan Singer in front of his photograph of a Hippeastrum ‘Toscana,’ a new hybrid amaryllis. (Photo Credit: Howard Schatz via the artist’s Website)

Jonathan Singer in front of his photograph of a Hippeastrum ‘Toscana,’ a new hybrid amaryllis. (Photo Credit: Howard Schatz via the artist’s Website)

His credits include being named a consulting photographer to both the U.S. National Arboretum and the U.S. Botanical Gardens; a guest lecturer in photography at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts; and the first American photographer/artist to speak and have a handmade book accepted in the Swedish Royal Academy of Science.

Click here to view an interview with Singer offered by CBS News.

Written by jeremyparce

April 21, 2009 at 6:27 am

Enjoy the Everyday with Photography

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For all of you wandering about your home looking for photographic subjects take note: Trying photographing the everyday things in your life in a new way. Photographic subjects are everywhere. It just takes a little time and a lot of imagination to cull them out and make them shine.

Here are a few tips to help you out when there’s “nothing to shoot:”

  • Look to the Lawn: If you have a lawn, especially a landscaped one, then you may not have to go any further than your own property. Since spring has sprung in many places, now is a great opportunity to get outside and shoot. Flowers, insects, and decorative lawn ornaments make for nice subjects. Try different things, too. Trying getting close or shooting from different levels. Try arranging small compositions. Be creative!

    Try photographing flowers in black-and-white so you can focus on texture. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

    Try photographing flowers in black-and-white so you can focus on texture. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

  • Four-legged Friends: Pets always make good subjects. Sometimes they can be a little difficult but if you just sit down, eventually they will lose interest in you and your camera and go back to doing what they do best.

    Newton, my into everything Schnoodle, stops for a quick pose before destroying a tulip. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

    Newton, my into everything Schnoodle, stops for a quick pose before destroying a tulip. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

  • Clothing: Clothes? Sure. Why not? There are plenty of people who make a GOOD living photographing clothes and fashion so why not practice fashion photography yourself? If you have a willing model, it’s even better but you can still photograph clothing without a person. Try playing with lights and colors.

    Try photographing all types of clothes and accesories. Another tip: Hats make interesting subjects. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

    Try photographing all types of clothes and accesories. Another tip: Hats make interesting subjects. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

  • Musical Instruments: Have a piano or guitar around the house? If so, get creative and photograph someone playing. Better yet, make the instrument the subject and try to arrange it in creative ways.
  • Figurines: Still life images of figurines is especially interesting if you own a macro lens. Get close and make little portraits out of your little collectibles.

    Focus on the small things ... a figurine makes for an interesting photo. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

    Focus on the small things ... a figurine makes for an interesting photo. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

  • In the Kitchen: Look for items laying around in the kitchen. Try food photography or product photography. Try arranging little scenes and see what happens.

No matter what you may thing, there’s always an opportunity to hone your photographic skills and make images. It just takes a little creativity and some time. You never know … you might have some wall art just waiting.

Good luck and keep shooting!

Photo Critique 12: ‘Cousin,’ by Daniel M.

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I love critiquing photos. It’s the best way to learn and get new ideas for photo shoots. Today, we’re going to critique an image made by Daniel, my former student in Miami, Florida.

"Cousin," by Daniel M. of Miami, Florida

"Cousin," by Daniel M. of Miami, Florida

General Overview:
Danny, this is an overall nice image that has a postcard/advertising feel to it. You do a great job incorporating the subject and the background while at the same time keeping the subject apart from the background. I know it sounds strange that a subject can be both a PART of the background while SEPARATE from it, but it’s a technique used when you don’t want to lose the subject in the background but want the background to shine through as well.

This is a nice image. Good job.

Improvements
Here are a few improvements I think will make the image better: First, the people in the ocean need to be removed. Even though you’re using a shallow depth-of-field, I think they come out just a little too much and distract from the image.

The image with minor corrections. The person in the ocean is removed and the subject is more burned in. (Photo Credit: Daniel M. with edit by Jeremy W. Schneider)

The image with minor corrections. The person in the ocean is removed and the subject is more burned in. (Photo Credit: Daniel M. with edit by Jeremy W. Schneider)

Secondly, I think you need to burn in her face and body a little more. It’s just a little too underexposed.

Finally, I think you should remove a little bit of the stray hair. Some stray hairs makes the photo look whimsical. Too much and it’s distracting.

Danny, keep up the good work.

Thanks for the submission, good luck and keep shooting!

If you would like to submit a photo for critique, e-mail us at submissions@brickhousephotoschool.com.

Written by jeremyparce

April 17, 2009 at 7:35 am

Great Ads Use Great Photography

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I love advertising/commercial photography. It’s one of the most creative forms of photography there is and in today’s marketplace, advertising photographers have to be in fifth-gear all the time.

While you may not be an ad shooter and may not even aspire to be, you can get some great ideas looking at the work. Here’s a look at some of my favorites.

tylenolad
Product: Tylenol
Advertising Agency: Vale Euro RSCG, México DF, México
Photographer: Juan Salvarredy
Published: December 2008
Tagline: There are some questions that are such a headache.

dramaminead
Product: Dramamine
Advertising Agency: JWT, Venezuela
Photographer: Claudio Napolitano
Tagline: Go around the world without the world moving you around.

sonyad

Product: Sony Alpha900 DSLR
Advertising Agency: Sparkfury Creative Consultants, Singapore
Photographer: TEO Studio
Published: August 2008
Tagline: Capture the truth with a 24.6 megapixel Alpha900

Olympus Posts Finalist Images and Kicks Off Public Voting for ‘Photographer of Tomorrow’ Contest

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I will often publish media releases related to photography on this blog in order to help keep you informed. These media releases are created by the respective companies. I edit the releases for space as needed.

Olympus today unveiled the 20 finalist images for the second annual Photographers of Tomorrow contest, commencing the public vote portion – which is new this year! The contest is designed to inspire students enrolled in top photography programs across the country. This year’s theme is “YOUR WORLD: The Art of Technology Through Your Eyes” and all images were captured using E-System products. The 20 finalist images were chosen by award-winning Olympus Visionaries, professional photographers Larry C. Price, Maki Kawakita and Nick Kelsh.
dslr_photocontest_top
While many students participated in the contest, there can only be one (popular vote) winner. Through May 15, 2009 the public is encouraged to visit www.olympusamerica.com/yourworld to vote for the student who best captured the innovation or technology that had the greatest impact on his/her life.

“The Photographers of Tomorrow contest is a way for the next generation of pro photographers to showcase their work nationally, build their portfolios, and be recognized by their peers and critiqued by some of the world’s most accomplished photographers,” said John Knaur, senior marketing manager, Digital SLR, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “The online popular vote is a great way for fans to view unique photography and to support young, gifted photographers.”

In June, the winner of the public vote will be announced and will receive an Olympus E-520 kit. Additionally, one grand-prize winner chosen by our esteemed judges will receive a $5,000 scholarship and an Olympus E-3 camera, ED 12-60mm f2.8/4.0 SWD Zoom lens, ED 50-200mm f2.8/3.5 SWD Zoom lens and gadget bag. The Grand Prize winning student’s professor will also receive a matching Olympus E-3 outfit.

The Olympus E-System is designed with revolutionary features that expand the frontiers of digital photography. Based on the Four Thirds Standard, Olympus offers 100 percent digital lenses for edge-to-edge sharpness in a durable, yet portable design. Olympus pioneered Full-Time Live View, Dust Reduction and other technologies for DSLRs, leading where others have followed.

New E-System cameras provide easy-to-use Art Filters, Multiple Exposures and Multi-Aspect Shooting (built right into the camera) for capturing creative images on the go – without being tethered to a computer and editing software. Proof that Olympus technology combines innovative features with intuitive product design to enhance what you see and what you can do.

This year’s finalists include students from the Art Institute of Colorado, Hallmark Institute of Photography, Pellissippi State Technical Community College, Texas A&M University at Commerce and the University of Missouri. Complete rules and regulations are available at www.olympusamerica.com/yourworld.

About the Judges

  • Larry C. Price – A two time Pulitzer Prize Winning Photojournalist, Price has published photographs in Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, and National Geographic among others and has worked as an industry leading photojournalist and a photo editor at many of the country’s top newspapers and newswires.
  • Maki Kawakita – A rising star in the global photographic scene and known for her “Kabuki Pop” style, Kawakita divides her time between celebrity portraiture, commercial work and a personal series she calls “Makirama.” She has photographed numerous celebrities and pop and style icons including Beyoncé, Missy Elliott, Hillary Duff and many more. Kawakita’s Japanese, American and European influences shape her style and creativity, making her one of America’s most coveted fashion photographers.
  • Nick Kelsh – One of the world’s top photographers, shooting for many of the “Day in the Life” series of books, and a renowned family and commercial photographer, Kelsh has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and has written numerous best-selling books including Siblings with Anna Quindlen and How to Photograph Your Baby. Kelsh is best known for his radiant, engaging, black and white images of children and babies.

About the Olympus Visionary Program
Established by Olympus Imaging America Inc. in partnership with some of today’s most talented photographers, the Olympus Visionary program is dedicated to creating superb digital images with the help of Olympus’ digital cameras and lenses. Olympus Visionaries span all fields of photography and work in a diversity of styles and subject matter, but they are united in realizing their creative vision through digital photography. The Visionaries use Olympus digital cameras in their daily assignments and personal work; participate in speaking engagements and appearances; and provide Olympus with input into equipment development. The Visionaries include several Pulitzer Prize-winning and Magnum photographers, as well as internationally-renowned photographers who have photographed assignments around the world.

Sports Photography Isn’t Always About the Action

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Sports photography seems to be one of the more frequent topics I am asked about and for good reason. Many parents have children who participate in athletics and being active parents, they want to capture their child’s activities in photographs.

While lacking much action, this photo would be acceptable to hang on any wall or e-mail to relatives. Without the proper gear, sports photography - especially capturing action - is tough. So, work within the limits of your gear. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

While lacking much action, this photo would be acceptable to hang on any wall or e-mail to relatives. Without the proper gear, sports photography - especially capturing action - is tough. So, work within the limits of your gear. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

Unfortunately, these parents lack the photographic equipment (a basic sports photography setup for pros would set you back more than $10,000 not to mention the experience and training it takes to make good sports images) so these parent/photographers become discouraged because the images they have are not the Sports Illustrated-quality images they envisioned.

Sometimes the quiet moments of sports helps express emotion without the action. This photo was taken at a track & field event in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

Sometimes the quiet moments of sports helps express emotion without the action. This photo was taken at a track & field event in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

There are some options. First, I guess you could buy the equipment, enroll in some classes and start working hard to become good at sports photography. The second option is to hire a photographer to photograph your child’s sporting events – it’s not cheap, but you should get some high-quality results or, finally, you can do yourself but within the limits of your current gear.

If you lack a telephoto lens and a camera that will capture images at a high frames-per-second rate (above 5 fps would be best) there are still things you can do to help capture images worthy of hanging on the walls or e-mailing relatives.

Predicting Action
First, you can attempt to predict the action. If you know where the subject is going to be you can prefocus on that area and make an image when the player/subject enters the frame. It takes a lot of trial-and-error but it is possible. If you’re using a DSLR or an extremely high-end point-and-shoot camera, this may be a good technique to try.

Waiting for Breaks in the Action
You can make good images during breaks in the action. For instance, when the coach is talking to players, during a water break or when there’s a timeout. Let me advise this, however. If a player is injured, it’s common courtesy among photographers to put down the camera.

Good luck and keep shooting!