Webinar - How to photograph sports and action

Sports photography can be one of the more challenging genres to shoot. To be good, you need to master a specific skill set, understand your sport, and have the right tools.

Our sports and action webinar discussed how we might get that Sports Illustrated quality photo.

High Noon camera holster needs testers

High Noon, a new camera holster company, needs a few photographers to help them test their new product. They'll provide you a free sample in exchange for your honest feedback.

A couple months ago, High Noon offered me a free holster sample to review. I've finished my evaluation, so they've asked if I can help find them more testers. I think between my friends at Shutterbug Excursions and PhotoTour DC we should be able to find more volunteers. 

High Noon only needs a few more testers, so if you are interested, complete the short form below as soon as possible. Paul Chang of High Noon will respond to you directly if you can help.

Good luck!


Please refer to the table below.

Mid size for camera models

Canon:EOS 50D,60D,70D

EOS 6D, 7D 

Nikon:D7000, D7100

Sony:SLT A77, A99

Olympus:E30, E5

Panasonic:DMC-GH3, GH4


Large size for camera models

Canon:EOS D5 Series

Nikon:D600, 610

D700, D800, D810


Fill out my online form.

Recording: Finding photo ops without leaving your house

So you feel like taking pictures, but you don't feel like going anywhere? Maybe it's raining or the weather is bad. Maybe you just don't have the energy. Being housebound doesn't have to limit your creativity.

This month, we created the ultimate shot list for taking pictures from the comforts of home. Here's what we created.

Kitchen shot list

Recipes as you cook



Dishes in the cabinet

Coffee cups

Counter tops

Floor and tiles


Dirty dishes

Wine rack

Water in a glass

Gadgets - food mill

Cut fruit


Morning sun streaming in on a table

Potatoes and onions that started growing stems

Mold in the veggie drawer :-)

Family gathered around the table for a meal

Mixing bowls

Family heirlooms

Pampered Chef knives

Living Room shot list


Plants & flowers

Angles of walls

Ornaments or art

Unusual perspectives (lying on floor)

Patterns on things (curtains, chairs)





Holiday vignettes on a coffee table

Old school radiator


Carpet designs

Bedroom shot list

Perfume bottles


Favorite outfit on hanger




Lights and shadows from windows


Alarm clocks

Tassels on drapes

Window panes

Cracks in paint

Dresser drawer handles

Stuffed animals

Chandeliers or ceiling fans

Wicker hamper

Bathroom shot list

Tissue holders




Decorative soaps

Bubble baths


Hand wash racks

Shower heads

Candles around a bubble bath

Monogram towels

Rubber duckies

Cat at the edge of the tub

Medicine cabinet 

Stories and themes

What makes you feel most at home?

What brings you the most comfort?

Where is your favorite room and why?

What is your favorite activity when you come home?

What home improvement project are you most proud?

What is your next improvement project?

Show before and after of your favorite home improvement project.

What are favorite gifts from people?

What are your favorite t-shirts or medals?

What fun things do you collect?

Show a day in the life of your pet.

Here's your challenge

Pick from our list or create your own photo op. Shoot it and share it with us in the comments or in our Facebook group.

Why the selfie works...

Flickr CC photo by Mark Willard.

Take a lesson from the self portrait for your next travel photo

You can't go anywhere these days without seeing someone posing, arm extended, taking a selfie. First time at the Lincoln Memorial? Pose for a selfie.

Why does it work? A travel photography tip provides insights.

When someone looks into the camera, they become the subject, even if they are in front of an iconic scene like the Reflecting Pool or the Eiffel Tower. Once someone looks into the camera and makes eye contact with the viewer, we have an irresistible urge to look back. We ignore the Eiffel Tower and wonder, "who is that looking at me?"

The selfie is a common scene these days.

It becomes a problem when you send your family member or friend to go stand next to the building and back up far enough to have the entire building in the frame. Your subject looks minuscule, and your viewers now have to squint to see who is looking at them.

Enter the selfie. You are never more than arm's length from the camera. That means you are always close enough to fill the frame and be the unmistakable subject.

What if you are photographing someone else? Pretend you are still in selfie mode. Move them away from the Monument. Get as close to the person as if they were taking a selfie and fill the frame with their face. You'll get the same effect as the selfie — and the same impact.


Are these really the 50 best places in the world to photograph?

Popular Photography recently released their 50 best places in the world to photograph.

Get ready to update your bucket lists and fill your passports, Popular Photography released their 2014 Best Places to Photograph in the World. It is missing a few of my dream locations, but it looks like it includes some of your favorites.

Here's what you told me about 11 of the 50 locations:

  • Antelope Canyon, AZ -- Linda raved about getting great shots here. She recommends Adventurous Antelope Canyon Photo Tours as a "photographer's dream" for the ultimate photo ops.
  • Havana, Cuba -- Stephanie made me green with envy when she shared images from her recent trip to Cuba. I'm thinking this needs to go on my bucket list.
  • Central Park, NYC -- Steve took us on a one-day marathon Meetup a few years back. This is easy and accessible. We went up and back in a day.
  • Aurora Borealis, Fairbanks, AK -- Frank Audet taught us how to photograph the Aurora Borealis on his webinar. 
  • Tikal, Guatemala -- I'm guessing Keren is going to love this addition. She created quite the gallery of photos from her homeland.
  • Machu, Picchu -- This wasn't even on my radar until Emily visited and shared so many photos on her blog, Bella Remy Photography. I think we were supposed to write a book about it.
  • A Cowboys Game? -- I'm going to leave this one to you Redskins fans. We, in the Who Dat Nation, don't take too kindly to this one either.
  • Maasai, Mara, Kenya -- I coached Audrey before she headed to Kenya to photograph a real safari. I couldn't sell her on my tag-along photo tours. This is on my bucket list as well.
  • Grand Canyon, AZ -- I'm embarrassed to admit that I've never been to the Grand Canyon. So many of you return with great stories and photos. This is on my must-photo list.
  • Grand Bazaar, Instanbul Turkey -- Elvan joined us at a couple Meetups having just arrived from Turkey. I bet she'd have something to say about this entry.
  • Copacabana, Brazil -- We're hearing so much about Brazil with the World Cup Games underway. Name the beach after a Barry Manilow song, and we have all the reasons we need to visit.

See the full list of 50 locations here.

If you were creating this list of best places to photograph around the world, what would you want to add? Which of these locations have you visited? 

Tell me what should be here that isn't.
What is here that should be.

Share your views in the comments.

Don't shoot - without answering these two questions

Flickr photo by Helga Weber.

The most important part of your photography workflow happens before you even touch your camera.

Let’s imagine you arrive at one of your bucket list locations. This is a place you’ve dreamed of photographing your entire life, and now here you are...camera in hand.

How do you decide how to photograph it? Start with two simple questions.

What do you see?

Too often, we are in such a rush to begin shooting that we don’t take a moment to just look. Give yourself some time to take in the entirety of all the sites. Look at the big picture. Look at the stories unfolding. Look at the details. Look for the light. Look at the people.

Just look. What do you see?

This is a practice you can literally use anywhere, even without your camera. Are you just walking to lunch? Start looking at all the details around you. See how many interesting things you notice.

What do you want to create?

Before you lift your camera, think about what you’d like to create. The camera sees differently than we do, so you have to begin to think about how you will translate what you see into a photo. 

What will be your subject? How will you make it stand out? How do you want light to fall on it? What mood will you create? What story can you tell?

Your final image might be quite different than your first thought, but it’s good to start with at least one creative idea. You can experiment and iterate from there.

Once you have seen and decided what you want to create, you can introduce the camera. You will find that deciding on the right camera settings becomes a much easier task once you have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish.

You don’t have to wait for your bucket list vacation to try this approach, however. It works anywhere. Try it on your next photography Meetup or solo photo walk. 

Webinar - Licensing your photos

I snapped this photo of Pat O'Briens' shortly after Hurricane Katrina.

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, I got a call from a representative of Pat O'Briens asking to use one of my photos.

Anyone who has ever wandered down Bourbon Street knows that Pat O'Briens is an institution in New Orleans. It opened in the French Quarters in the 1930s and has become a landmark for locals and tourists alike.

I'd gone down to visit my family home and assess our own damage. While I was in town, I ventured down to the French Quarters to see how the rest of the city fared.

Pat O'Briens, like most Bourbon Street businesses, was anxious to reopen in the wake of the hurricane, so when they did, they hoisted a huge sign proclaiming it to the world.

I photographed a few of these signs, tourist style, because I thought they told an interesting story. In that moment of dumb luck, I captured one of the only photos of Pat O'Briens' welcome home sign. And now Pat O'Briens restaurant was on the phone. They found my photo on Flickr and wanted to know if they could purchase it.

This is flattering for someone who lived and worked in New Orleans, but I still didn't know enough to agree.


Join our webinar on licensing your photos

When someone calls and asks to use one of your photos, there are about 15 questions you should ask. Once you have the answers, your work isn't done. You have more research to do. Then, and only then, you can make an informed decision.

In our next Free Photo Webinar, we will discuss the questions you ask and the issues you should consider before you respond to any request to use or license your photo.


June 10, 2014

7 pm, est

Recording: Saving the world with your photography

Last night we discussed how we might use our photography to do good.

Sure you can build a business and make money with your talents, but what if you aren't exclusively motivated by money?

Our webinar looked at three examples of photographers who took their photography talents and merged with the causes they were passionate about. Here's a combination that might not save the entire world, but certainly save their corner.

Cristina Mittermeier saves her world through conservation photography

Cristina Mittermeier is a marine biologist who was dismayed when she saw the way animals were being captured around the world. She responded be creating a new genre  -- conservation photography and an organization, the International League of Conservation Photographers. Now the iLCP's network of photographers work to further environmental and conservation through ethical photography.

Cristina tells her story during a B&H Photo Video presentation in New York City. View it here.

Joanne Taylor saves her world by promoting pet adoptions

Joanne Taylor describes herself as "ridiculously rescue friendly" so it shouldn't come as a surprise that she spends "about a third of her time working with different rescues either photographing adoptables or in a number of other volunteer capacities."

Joanne lends her talents through the organization HeARTs speak, which promotes pet adoptions.

See Joanne's HeARTs speak work here.

Adam Levner saves his world by creating a new generation of photojournalists

Adam Levner was alarmed when he saw the difference between the education that wealthy students and those from low-income schools received. As a former 5th-grade teacher turned community organizer, he often struggled trying to convey the magnitude of the problems he witnessed.

Then he realized his camera was the tool he needed to make a difference. Even better, empowering the students to tell their own stories through pictures could be even more effective.

"I'm an amateur photographer and believe it is a very powerful tool for self expression and the arts," said Adam. "I also feel it is a way to engage students in a larger question about how they can change the world around them. Photography is one way to do that… to make sure their voices are heard."

Critical Exposure Year in Review - 2013

See Critical Exposure success stories at their annual gallery showing and reception

To learn more about what Critical Exposure students photographed and accomplished this year, visit their gallery showing and reception May 21, 2014 at the Pepco Edison Gallery - 702 8th St, NW. Washington, DC.


Are you using your photography to make a difference in your world? Are you considering it? Share your ideas and experiences in the comments.