Join Me This Week for 3 Free Live Broadcasts

Posted December 12th, 2017 by   |  Photography, Workshops  |  Permalink

Hi everyone –

Just a quick heads-up that I have three live broadcasts this week and they are all free to watch! I always work to make my content meaningful and actionable, so make sure you tune in for some great tips.

Since these are all live, feel free to send in questions and comments during the broadcasts. I’ll do everything I can to answer your questions during each of the shows.

Free webinars

Broadcast 1

When – Wednesday, 12/13/17, 11:00 AM PST
Who – RockyNook
Topic – DIY Lighting Projects
Link – https://events.genndi.com/register/169105139238464306/1959d7313c
Note – This broadcast includes projects from our new book, The Enthusiast’s Guide to DIY Photography

Broadcast 2

When – Wednesday, 12/13/17, 1:00 PM PST
Who – Photobacks TV
Topic – How and Why to Create Your Own Presets in Lightroom
Link – https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2039351464791690498
Note – I’ve recently started working with Photobacks TV to provide photography education. This is our second live show and we have many more planned throughout next year.

Broadcast 3

When – Thursday, 12/14/17, 10:00 AM PST
Who – CreativeLive
Topic – Giving the Gift of Print
Link – https://www.facebook.com/creativelive/
Note – This Facebook Live event is a follow-up to our printing classes from PhotoWeek 2017. There were a lot of questions around printing issues that I couldn’t get to in the studio classes, so chime in during this week’s live event with your printing questions.





New Book – Nikon Autofocus System – 2nd Edition

Posted May 18th, 2017 by   |  Photography  |  Permalink

Nikon autofocus 2nd edition cover

RockyNook and I have been hard at work preparing the second edition of our top-selling Nikon Autofocus System book. This edition includes updates for the autofocus systems in the new Nikon D500 and Nikon D5 cameras. I’ve also added new imagery, fixed errors from the last book (thanks internet!) and updated quite a few sections. If you are a Nikon shooter wanting to get the most out of your autofocus system, then this book should be right up your alley.

The eBook is available now and the hard copy books will be available beginning June 19th, 2017.

Purchase Links:

eBook and Hard Copy –> RockyNook

eBook and Hard Copy –> Amazon.com

Author autographed copies –> VisAdventures.com

 

 





March 2016 Newsletter Posted

Posted March 2nd, 2016 by   |  Photography, Software  |  Permalink

GH Panos

Our March 2016 newsletter is posted here: https://visadventures.com/newsletters/2016-03-newsletter/

Articles this month include:

CreativeLive Partnership

New Instructor and Author – Rick Hulbert

New Workshops in The Wooldands, Texas

Stuff I Like This Month

Book Review: Picture Perfect Lighting

Book Review: Studio Anywhere

Digital Tidbits: A Custom Approach to Panoramas Using Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC

Business Updates

 

Check out all of our previous newsletters here: https://visadventures.com/newsletters/





The Nikon Autofocus System eBook is Live

Posted September 4th, 2015 by   |  Photography  |  Permalink

Nikon AF cover

Our newest book, The Nikon Autofocus System, is now available for sale as an eBook over at the RockyNook website. Use coupon code NIKONAF to get 40% off the eBook when ordered from the Rocky Nook website:

The Nikon Autofocus System

The hardcopy version will be ready for deliveries in November, 2015. You can pre-order your hardcopy at the RockyNook site or at Amazon.com.

Book Description

With today’s advanced camera technology, achieving focus on a photographic subject seems like it should be a straightforward task. But many photographers know that it can be deceptively difficult, especially when shooting moving subjects or in challenging situations. Now, there is a complete guide available for Nikon shooters that will help them get tack-sharp photos every time.

In The Nikon Autofocus System, photographer Mike Hagen, author of the bestselling The Nikon Creative Lighting System, takes his deep knowledge of Nikon technology and concentrates on its focus features. In this book, which covers all current Nikon DSLR models, Hagen fully explains how Nikon autofocus works, including detailed discussions of all the autofocus modules, drive systems, and camera buttons and menus. He also devotes an entire chapter to explore how focus works with Nikon’s lenses.

Armed with this general knowledge, Hagen then dives deep and offers camera setups, settings, and best practices for specific field techniques that address the photographic genres that are notoriously challenging for focus: action and sports (indoor and outdoor), wildlife (including birds in flight), and macro photography. He also covers genres such as portrait, landscape, underwater, low-light, and street photography. Hagen not only advises on the best ways to set up the camera and focus systems, he gives helpful tips and tricks throughout the book.

The Nikon Autofocus System also covers:

• Live view autofocus methods and settings
• Achieving great focus in video
• AF tracking
• AF shooting styles, such as back-button AF and shutter-release AF
• HDR, panoramas, and other techniques for shooting with a tripod
• An entire chapter on additional terms and techniques, such as hyperfocal distance, calibrating lenses, focus and flash photography, and more





The Headshot by Peter Hurley – Book Review

Posted September 4th, 2015 by   |  Photography  |  Permalink

The headshot

Peter Hurley is an icon in the portrait photography world and has made a name for himself by specializing in a specific type of portraiture called headshot photography. In his new book titled The Headshot, Peter explains his process for creating his own iconic and timeless headshot portrait.

His book is chock-full of beautiful photographs showing off his skills as a headshot photographer. The book is designed to outline the entire process from start to finish on how to set up studio lights to how to work with models to how to get the facial expressions that make the shot.

Headshot example

The Headshot is chock-full of great photography, showing exactly what Peter is after in his headshots. On these pages, Peter is describing how to deal with “gumminess.”

I think one of the best things about his book is his detailed description of how to talk to clients in a way that helps them produce the most compelling look. Peter talks a lot about how uncomfortable clients can be and how our demeanor as photographers impacts the flow of the photo session. After many years of experience, Peter has perfected the art of banter with the client so that they are able to put their best look forward.

Peter makes it clear that the key to getting great portraits is developing a strong rapport with your subject as fast as possible. To that end, he spends a large portion of the book describing different ways to keep the banter flowing during the photo shoot. Peter even includes an entire chapter at the end of the book titled Hurleyisms. This chapter full of different phrases you can use to elicit various expressions from your subject. He uses a ton of photographs demonstrating the different expressions people come up with after he makes a statement like, “Give me a look like you are impersonating a blowfish on crack.”

Hurleyisms

This chapter of the book is dedicated to Hurleyisms; phrases and words you can use to elicit different facial expressions from your subject.

Not that I necessarily want to copy other photographers but when another photographer has a solution that works then I might as well use it. I’m going to steal some of Peter’s best lines for my own work. Thanks Peter!

He covers a great deal about the elements of a good portrait and has multiple chapters on specific posing methods. For example, one chapter is focused on working with posture, another chapter on perfecting the smile, and another chapter on producing his famous squinch. Towards the end of the book, he dedicates a full chapter on how to put everything together in what Peter calls “The Hurley System”.

My favorite posing tip in the entire book is what Peter calls “holding the sub.” Holding the sub is a wonderful slimming method for women and yet it is super-simple to implement. You’ll have to read the book to find out what holding the sub means, but it is really a great idea and I’ll start using it immediately.

Peter talks a lot about a process he uses called Sherlock Holmesing. Basically every portrait customer is a problem that needs to be figured out. What makes this person tick? What’s the best side of the face? Where are their flaws and how do I hide them? How do I draw out their personality? He makes it clear that there is no single answer in setting up the perfect pose; rather every person’s face needs to be figured out independently.

Hurley studio

Peter spends one chapter describing the technical side, including lots of studio shots that show lighting setups.

The big part of his book is learning how to get the perfect expression and Peter lays it out fairly clearly by explaining that the perfect portrait results from a combination of confidence and approachability. He calls this the C&A approach – confidence and approachability. Every great portrait shows off the subject’s confidence, while also displaying their approachability.

Peter makes it clear that the photographer’s role is to own the subject’s expression for them. It’s not good enough to just create a technically sound photograph. You have to capture the C&A look, so you need to work hard to get exactly the right expression. He says that we are our subject’s mirror and we have to tell them exactly what their face is doing while continually tweaking their expression until we get it just right.

I have to admit that I am a technical guy and I really gravitate to diagrams, figures, and gear. You won’t find a lot of tech in this book because so much of great portraiture stems from the relationship you create with your client. Understanding how to deal with people is just as important, if not more important, than the gear you use in the studio. Peter advocates spending copious quantities of time getting the technical side correct so that it doesn’t get in your way during the shoot. Once that is done then the remaining part of your photography is finding that perfect expression.

Peter uses a lot of funky terms and one of them is SHA-BANG. He uses this word throughout the book to describe the scenario when everything comes together. For example, he’ll say, “… SHA-BANG the absolute crap out of the shoot.” or “Shabangin’ the shot makes you want to stare at that sucker.” His enthusiasm and passion for headshot photography is evident, and you won’t be bored reading his book.

Confidence and approachability

Here, Peter is describing how to create photos that combine C&A – confidence and approachability.

The Headshot is an excellent book for photographers who want to specialize in this specific genre of photography. The Headshot is laser focused on this one specific portrait technique and Peter Hurley is truly the master of this domain. If you’re looking for techniques on a multitude of studio photography methods or a book on a myriad of posing techniques, then this is definitely not the right book for you.

If you want to read the master’s thesis on headshot photography then look no further. The Headshot SHA-BANGS it out of park!

The Headshot, The Secrets to Creating Amazing Headshot Portraits is 223 pages and printed in full color. Buy your own copy in paperback or Kindle format here:

The Headshot on Amazon.com

Headshot book in studio

Buy this book and keep it in your studio to give you ideas and inspiration for your own headshot photos.





Review of Scott Kelby’s Lightroom CC Book for Digital Photographers

Posted June 30th, 2015 by   |  Photography, Software  |  Permalink

Lightroom CC for Digital Photographers cover

Like many of you, I’ve been using Adobe Lightroom for years. Since I also teach and write about Lightroom, I’m always excited to learn new hidden features of the program that I’ve never used.  In order to satisfy my desire to learn new things, I sat down last week to delve into Scott Kelby’s new Lightroom Book titled the Lightroom CC Book for Digital Photographers, published by New Riders – Voices That Matter.

Next Book in Series

This is the latest in Scott’s long-running series of Lightroom books that began with Lightroom 1 back in 2007. At 16 chapters and 559 pages, this book is hefty in its weight and its coverage of the topic. It isn’t the type of book you’ll sit down with for one evening. Rather, you’ll want to give yourself ample time to fully digest the plethora of tips, techniques, and methods that Kelby outlines in great detail.

Chapter 10

Book Layout and Design

Every topic in the book is laid out by an easy-to-follow system of steps. Step 1: do this. Step 2: do that. This approach to writing is very helpful for learning and puts all concepts into bite-sized chunks that are easily digestible. Each page is perfectly laid out with the main steps on one side of the page and the corresponding screen shots on the other side. This format makes it easy to read what you should be doing, while simultaneously seeing what you should be doing. This is a great way to learn Lightroom CC and follows the exact same approach I use when teaching the program.

Book layout

The book is laid out with the text description of the step on one side of the page and the corresponding screen-shot on the other side of the page. This makes learning the program much easier.

 

Each chapter ends with a page or two of Kelby’s famous Lightroom Killer Tips. These are quick tips that highlight some of the features of Lightroom in a rapid-fire way that gets right to the point. Be sure to read all of the Killer Tips for hidden gems that you might otherwise miss.

Lightroom Killer Tips

Each chapter of the book ends with a page or two of Kelby’s famous Lightroom Killer Tips.

 

One very nice touch is how the book is designed with the Lightroom module layout in the header. The purpose of the header is to show the reader what part of the program they are currently studying. This simple, but effective technique is extremely helpful to new users of the program who might otherwise be lost in the program. Scott’s design and layout team is very good and I give them major props for incorporating the module headers into the layout of the book.

Lightroom CC Modules

Notice how the Lightroom CC module layout is incorporated into the design of the book. This makes it easy to figure out where you are in the program.

 

Most Useful Chapters

No matter what level of Lightroom user you are, I guarantee you will learn something new in this book. However, I’d like to highlight a couple chapters of the book that I think will be especially useful for readers to fully understand the full capabilities of Lightroom CC/6.

Mobile

As you know, everything is migrating to mobile technology and Lightroom is no different. Lightroom CC has a fairly robust integration with mobile that allows you to incorporate your smart phone or tablet with the desktop application. Kelby’s section on the new Lightroom mobile app is well written and he clearly illustrates how to successfully use Lightroom with your tablet or phone.

Portrait Workflow

The chapter that I think will be most helpful for people is chapter 16 where Scott summarizes his workflow from start to finish. He uses a real-world example of a portrait session to show how to use the powerful features of Lightroom to maximize the efficiency of your photo session. This chapter is a nice way to end the book and synthesize everything Scott wrote about in the previous 15 chapters into one concisely written chapter.

 

Summary

The Adobe Lightroom CC Book for Digital Photographers is well written, easy to understand, and elegantly designed to help you learn Lightroom CC/6. This book rocks. Two thumbs up. Nice work Scott Kelby.

 

Chapter Titles

Chapter 1: Importing, Getting your photos into Lightroom

Chapter 2: Library, How to organize your photos

Chapter 3: Customizing, How to set things up your way

Chapter 4: Editing Essentials, How to develop your photos

Chapter 5: Local Adjustments, How to edit just part of your images

Chapter 6: Special Effects, Making stuff look … well… special

Chapter 7: Lightroom for Mobile, Using the mobile app

Chapter 8: Problem Photos, Fixing common problems

Chapter 9: Exporting Images, Saving JPEGs, TIFFs, and more

Chapter 10: Jumping to Photoshop, How and when to do it

Chapter 11: Book of Love, Creating photo books

Chapter 12: Slideshow, Creating presentations of your work

Chapter 13: The Big Print, Printing your photos

Chapter 14: The Layout, Creating cool layouts for web & print

Chapter 15: DSLR: The Movie, Working with video shot on your DLSR

Chapter 16: My Portrait Workflow, My step-by-step process from the shoot to the final print

Buy your own copy here:

Lightroom CC Book for Digital Photographers.





New Book – The Nikon Autofocus System

Posted April 3rd, 2015 by   |  Photography  |  Permalink

NikonAutofocus_Cover_small

Announcing my newest book: The Nikon Autofocus System – Mastering focus for sharp images every time.

Publisher RockyNook and I are in production right now and targeting a November 2015 release date. We’ll have pre-order links ready in the next few weeks. More information coming very soon!

RockyNook – The Nikon Autofocus System web page.

Book Description

With today’s advanced camera technology, achieving focus on a photographic subject seems like it should be a straightforward task. But many photographers know that it can be deceptively difficult, especially when shooting moving subjects or in challenging situations. Now, there is a complete guide available for Nikon shooters that will help them get tack-sharp photos every time.

In The Nikon Autofocus System, photographer Mike Hagen, author of the bestselling The Nikon Creative Lighting System, takes his deep knowledge of Nikon technology and concentrates on its focus features. In this book, which covers all current Nikon DSLR models, Hagen fully explains how Nikon autofocus works, including detailed discussions of all the autofocus modules, drive systems, and camera buttons and menus. He also devotes an entire chapter to explore how focus works with Nikon’s lenses.

Armed with this general knowledge, Hagen then dives deep and offers camera setups, settings, and best practices for specific field techniques that address the photographic genres that are notoriously challenging for focus: action and sports (indoor and outdoor), wildlife (including birds in flight), and macro photography. He also covers genres such as portrait, landscape, underwater, low-light, and street photography. Hagen not only advises on the best ways to set up the camera and focus systems, he gives helpful tips and tricks throughout the book.

The Nikon Autofocus System also covers:

• Live view autofocus methods and settings
• Achieving great focus in video
• AF tracking
• AF shooting styles, such as back-button AF and shutter-release AF
• HDR, panoramas, and other techniques for shooting with a tripod
• An entire chapter on additional terms and techniques, such as hyperfocal distance, calibrating lenses, focus and flash photography, and more





Announcement: The Nikon Creative Lighting System, 3rd Edition

Posted February 24th, 2015 by   |  Flash Photography  |  Permalink

Cover Design 2312 U1 Hagen Nikon CLS 3 new

Great news. I’m now able to officially announce the release of the 3rd edition of our best-selling book, The Nikon Creative Lighting System, 3rd Edition: Using the SB-500, SB-600, SB-700, SB-800, SB-900, SB-910, and R1C1 Flashes.

There are lots of updates in this 3rd edition. Here are just a few:
– New chapter for the SB-500 flash
– Updated content
– Instructions for new Nikon camera bodies such as the D750, D4s, D810, D610, D7100, D5300, D3300, and more.
– Updated photographs, figures, and tables
– New how-to examples

The 3rd edition is slated to ship May 30th, 2015 and we are taking pre-orders on Amazon at this link:

The Nikon Creative Lighting System, 3rd Edition

NCLS_3rd_Edition_Amazon_tilt





LIDLIPS by Syl Arena

Posted April 22nd, 2010 by   |  Photography, Uncategorized  |  Permalink
LIDLIPS - Lessons I Didn't Learn In Photo School

LIDLIPS - Lessons I Didn't Learn In Photo School

Syl Arena has published a great new book called LIDLIPS – Lessons I Didn’t Learn In Photo School. I just read through a pre-release copy and it is chock full of great wisdom for photographers. Each page in his book contains a single paragraph that reminds you about the most important aspects of photography.  His book isn’t necessarily about lenses, shutter speeds and apertures, rather, its about the art, philosophy, science, business and lifestyle of photography. Think of the pages as pithy paragraphs of photographic philosophy. The book is a great read and I encourage you to take a look!

Syl’s website here:

http://pixsylated.com/

Order the book here:

http://pixsylated.com/2009/10/lidlips-lessons-i-didnt-learn-photo-school-book-pre-order/





New Book (in German)

Posted December 30th, 2009 by   |  Photography  |  Permalink

hagen_091230_304

wildside1

A few months ago I wrote a chapter for a new photography book and I’ve just received the first copy today. The book is published in German and is called The Wild Side of Photography, Unconventional and Creative Techniques for the Courageous Photographer (Die wilde Seite der Fotografie, Mit unkonventionellen Techniken eigene fotografische Ideen verwirklichen) by Cyrill Harnischmacher. You can see more on the book here: http://www.dpunkt.de/buecher/3227.html. It will be published in English in April 2010 through Rocky Nook (http://www.rockynook.com/books/147.html).

The chapter I wrote was on how to create a Lensbaby look by using Vaseline and a UV/Skylight filter. There are a total of 22 chapters on topics as diverse as digital pinhole cameras, light painting, 3D stereo photography and kite aerial photography. I’ll let you know when it is available in English.

Keep shooting!

Book detail.

Book detail.

Book detail.

Book detail.





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