Nikon’s Huge Public Relations Error…

September 28, 2011

Nikon published a post on their Facebook Page stating:



“A Photographer is only as good as the equipment he uses.” 



Now, I understand the sentiment of this, but when you actually stop and read it, it can be taken as:

1) You can’t shoot good photos, unless you have [our] “good” gear.  

Or even more scandalous…

2) Your “good” photos, are a a result of our “good” gear 

… thus totally discounting your skill and hardwork in the process. 

This is more humorous to me than offensive.  But really… just a wonderful example of why it’s important to have the PR team run the post by someone before it goes live.

How much enjoyment do you think the folks over at Canon are getting out of this.  🙂





September 28, 2011

This afternoon, I was informed that the restrictions on NOT publishing any Screenshots from the new 500px BETA iPad app had been lifted.  As a result, I am pleased to finally be able to show the images below.  I’ve been asked to reinforce the fact that this is a work in progress, with changes being made daily.


If you haven’t read my two previous posts which describe the app in detail, please see:

BETA REVIEW: 500px iPad App (30 minute review) and BETA REVIEW: 500px iPad App (Part II)


  • The iPad Splash Screen – As I said before, they are holding a contest to find an image to be the permanent “front door” of the app.  I think this one’s pretty good… but hey… who knows.  You slide your finger across the bottom right corner to open the app.


  • The Main Screen of the app – This is in Portrait mode, my preferred orientation.   I have a thumbnail for a landscape view below.  You’ll notice the navigation menu on the left side of the screen with all of the options you need.  To the right of the menu, 12 crystal clear thumbnails.

Click image to see Landscape view:








Read the rest of this entry »


BETA REVIEW: 500px iPad App (Part II)

September 27, 2011

THIS IS A FOLLOW UP TO PART 1 (read first)

NOTE:  At the time of writing this, I was asked NOT to include Screenshots, thus there are not here.  But since then, they have lifted that restriction.  Please see THIS POST FOR SCREENSHOTS.

I received an UPDATE to the 500px BETA iPad app this afternoon and finally had a chance to sit down and play with it this evening. I wanted to just offer a couple quick updates, letting you know what’s happening with it.

Already I am growing more and more impressed with it as it seems they are taking to heart some of what I brought up in my first review. Now… I have it on good authority that these changes were already on the books to be implemented, but it is so much more pleasing for my ego to think I played some role in this.

Seriously though… Banged away on it for an hour tonight and I am noticing the following changes:

  • Fresh Gallery: Yes! The newest images. Offered from a menu on the left side along with all the other options.
  • More Export Options: For individual images, you can now ‘Open in Safari’ and ‘Export to Tumblr’

On a separate note… Something I neglected to mention in my original write up: I’d really like to see the ability to Filter by Category in all of the galleries. On the website, I am able to select (from a drop down) which type of images I want to see, i.e. Landscape, Fine Art, Macro, Portrait, etc. Maybe even a search by tag… But I don’t think i even need that much sort power, so I’ll just stick to the Filter by Category request.

Again… Still looking good. Load times and image quality still top notch. For the new Fresh functionality, increasing my rating to:

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Still waiting to see where we net out on some other points mentioned in the first post. Until next time…


Capturing Solitude: The Music of Shooting

September 26, 2011

It dawned on me that while I’m very open with the steps of my shooting, editing, socialization and marketing… I haven’t ever focused on what, to me, is one of the most important elements of making a good photograph:

What I’m listening to while I shoot and process.

Depending on the type of shoot and number of people involved, I will often have music going, either on speakers or in headphones.  And never will I process without music.  This is so vital in setting the tone and mood of the pieces I’m working on.  When I set out to shoot (I’m speaking here of more creative, personal jobs — not portrait sessions where the client dictates much of what we’re going for) I tend to already know what I’m feeling, what I’m looking for, and what I hope to capture.  Keeping a constant flow of music that fits with the mood goes a long way towards helping me find what I want.

I’ve posted a couple images from a solo shoot I went on a few days back — HERE and HERE.  I knew heading up that there was something I was needing to find… and not find.  There are days when I set out to shoot people, and life and action.  This was not one of those days.  This was a day of setting out to find nothing but a feeling of solitude.  It was late afternoon, and the sun was setting and I drove up into the mountains north of Los Angeles.  It was chilly, dropping into the mid 40’s and a steady rain was falling  (it was 95 degrees and sunny at my house when I left).  I took a 16 mile long and winding road up the side of a mountain in Los Padres National Forest and when I was nearly at the top, I found an unmarked dirt road.  I took it and went a mile in before realizing I had no idea where I was, or if I was going to be able to turn around or God forbid, back the whole way out.  So… I stopped and got out on foot.  I adjusted my lenses under a canopy of trees, taking a test shot here of my trusty Tundra.

I wandered up and down in the hills for an hour and a half until light started to become scarce.  The whole while I had music playing on a small speaker phone so I could also hear the sounds of the rain around me.  Just a great mood, relaxing yet rejuvenating.  I stumbled onto the Original Score from “The Assassination of Jesse James” some weeks before (by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis) and it was the perfect walking partner.

I then listened to it while I imported and processed the shots from the day.  As I look at the finished products, I feel the warmth and loneliness from the music.

Such an important part of the process.

Here’s one of my favorite tracks from the album:



IMAGES: Los Padres National Forest

September 26, 2011

As a follow up to my previous post, here are two more images from my drive into Los Padres National Forest this weekend.  Click to enlarge…


IMAGE: The Long Way Home

September 24, 2011

Taken today in Los Padres National Forest, Southern California.  I took a drive up there… out of LA for some head-clearing time.  It poured rain for a couple of hours, then abruptly stopped.  This was just before the sun dipped behind the mountains.  Click to enlarge…


BETA REVIEW: 500px iPad App (30 minute review)

September 23, 2011

I was fortunate enough to be one of the beta testers for the as-yet-to-be-released 500px iPad app, currently in beta form.  I am going to give you just my initial thoughts and then will likely do a follow up post once I have lived with it for a while longer.

NOTE:  At the time of writing this, I was asked NOT to include Screenshots, thus there are not here.  But since then, they have lifted that restriction.  Please see THIS POST FOR SCREENSHOTS.

500px is a fairly under-appreciated photo portfolio site on the internet… in my humble opinion.  There are dozens of great articles telling you about the site, what it offers and why it’s superior to most other portfolio offerings out there.   But I’ll give you my quick list, just to add some context to the iPad app.

500px has successfully prevented you from ever having to login and see a given user’s 423 vacation pictures of Disneyland.  This alone it what makes them a great home for photographers and photo-related artists.  They do this by either charging a very reasonable fee for unlimited uploads, which scares off the majority of dump-loaders (those who dump their whole memory card into the service)… or limiting the number of images that the free users may upload to 10 per week.  As a result… at least 75% of the images uploaded are worth a solid look.  It’s my absolute favorite way to find new and interesting artists… hands down.

They also have a very unique rating system that successfully gives EVERY member a shot at the spotlight on the “Popular” images page.  Over time (and by time… I mean… daily) ratings vastly change and you rarely see the same thing at the top of the Popular page.

In short… it’s not Flickr.


Okay… on to the reason you’re here.  I am going to cover mostly features and what I think (although I can never be sure) the product is going for.  Minor bugs or things that I’m positive will be worked out will be sent to the developers but don’t need to be covered ad nauseam here.

LAUNCH:  A splash page starts the software off.  500px is holding a contest to find an image to be the “cover image” for the app.  From here, you flip into the app itself.


Read the rest of this entry »