times square

Today's Talented Guest Blogger: Kathie Austin

Kathie Austin is my guest blogger today.

Take it away, Kathie!
• • •

I had the pleasure of attending Rick Sammon's Times Square Photo Shoot with 60 other photographers! Wow! What an event!  

Imagine walking the surrounding areas of Times Square with a group of 60 fired-up photographers, cameras in hand, each of us searching for the 'shot.' Talking, sharing, learning, networking as we walk and snap. When we all wanted to photograph the same thing, it was challenging getting into the position I wanted to get the right angle because my nature is to be front and center, down low or up high to get that shot. I'll move garbage cans if I have to - and Rick and I did just that! Here are some of the images I'll cherish from the event.

This is my eight year-old assistant for the day. I quickly positioned her in the middle of the road at a red light, kindly asked some oncoming pedestrians to walk around us. Got down on the ground, counted to three, and she jumped at "three!"  Continuous shutter . . . got the shot!  You should know that this beautiful child shines from the inside out, a complete JOY!  Processed through OnOne Focal Point software to blur down some busy background. The sky behind the buildings was overexposed, so I dropped in a cloudy background I had from another image, just to soften the bright white. (Canon EOS 20D, Tamron 17-50 lens, f9.0, 1/100, ISO200).


Darn, the beauty of a 10mm lens! Rick Sammon's colleague who I just met at the event, Juan Pons, lent me his Canon 10-22 EF-S lens for this shot. I just go crazy for shots from a lens like that!  This man was unique, full of character, some funky music, just a little amp. Gotta love NYC!  Rick Sammon suggested we shoot him because of the cool-colored, blue background. Made for a very vibrant shot, full of personality and character. Processed through Topaz software to emphasize the distinguished facial wrinkles and create more vibrance in the colors.  (Canon EOS 20D, Canon 10-22 EF-S lens, f5.6, 1/40, ISO200, flash).

Again, my "Chicken Noodle" assistant at work. I was behind her, teaching her how to "tilt" the camera to add personality to a photo and suggested to her that she get herself into the photo via the mirror as a 'self portrait.'  

Am I a bad mama for having a child in the street with a camera in her face with oncoming traffic?  Hell, no!  The round image in the reflection is the original picture she took, but the background is sandwiched in via Photoshop, the image I took to show her how to do the 'tilt.'  Slight processing via Topaz, a little HDR added to the mirror reflection.  As Juan Pons said, "We start them young!" I'm hoping to inspire her entrepreneurial spirit! (Canon EOS 20D, Tamron 17-50 lens, f5.6, 1/100, ISO200).

Thanks, Rick, for an inspiring day! It was super! We're making memories, learning and growing!

 • • •

Thank you Kathie for a great post. 

Explore the light,

300+ Teriffic Images From Times Square Shoot Made Choosing Top Shot A Challenge

Top shot from Times Square Shoot. Photograph by Margie Strange.
Last Saturday, 60+ talented photographers met in Times Square for a fun-filled photo shoot. The event was sponsored by our friends at SmugMug, who designed a custom web site and gallery for uploading and viewing the participants' images. If you want to see some awesome shots, and if you need some city-shooting inspiration, go through the gallery - slowly.

Photo pros photo by David Ortiz.
Part of the project was to selected a favorite image. That daunting task was assigned to the pros who lead the group (left to right): me, Juan Pons and Jeremy Pollack.

After reviewing all the images, we selected the opening shot for this blog post as our group favorite – a cool shot by Margie Strange of a low rider.

Left: Monte Rudze. Right: Tony Marchesano.
Above: These two shots also caught our eye. One for creative lighting, one for creative composition and humor.

A big "thank you" goes to all our Times Square photographers. You did an amazing job of following the assignment: Tell the Whole Story.

Group photo by Jeremy Pollack
Margie: shoot me an email so we can work out the prize: A Free Year of SmugMug Pro and a Metal Print of your image. 

Photograph by Andy Williams.
Our next SmugMug/Sammon shoot will be at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco on October 17th at 5 PM. Juan Pons, Derrick Story and I will be there to help photographers turn snapshots into great shots. Stay tuned.

Hey, if you need some detailed how-to info on how to shoot in NYC, check out Jeremy's book (co-authored with Andy Williams):
Photographing New York City Digital Field Guide

Explore the light,

P.S. Get 20% off your first year of SmugMug Pro with code RICKSMUG20. Just click here to start a free trial and then click "I'm Sold" to sign up for the Pro account. Enter your coupon code at checkout.

Why use SmugMug? So you can shoot as much as much as you want and upload every photo into your galleries. SmugMug gives you unlimited uploading, a fully customizable website and tons of easy commerce options that help you market your brand and make more money. Shoot, proof and sell for just $20/month.

Share Your Times Square Photos on Sammon's SmugMug Site - And View the Gallery!

Thanks to all those who joined the fun at my Times Square photo shoot today!

Thank you Juan Pons from joining the fun and for recording a Q&A segment for our DPE podcast.

Thank you Jeremy Pollack for taking our group shot.

And thanks to all our friends at Smugmug for all their help!

Here is the link for uploading your pictures to the special SmugMug site. You don't have to have a SmugMug account to post your shots. Also, everyone can view the Gallery!

We'll take a look and pick the winners early next week.

Like the design of the SmugMug site? The folks at SmugMug can customize a site for you. Click here to start building your site. Save 20 percent the first year by using this code: RickSmug20.

If you want to spice up your photos - with cool colors and details - try the Spicify filter in Topaz Adjust. I used it on the shot above. You can save a bundle on Topaz plug-ins when you order a bundle. Click here for info.
Explore the light,

P.S. Below are two of my behind-the-scenes shots. We had a blast! More behind-the-scenes- and end-result shots on the SmugMug site.

SmugMug Teams with Sammon for Times Square Shoot

How cool is this! My pals at SmugMug and I have teamed for a fun-filled photo event in NYC.

Click here for the info.

Click here to see the SmugMug photo posting site for the event.

The best part: You are invited! It's free! It's a fun-for-all!

To sign up and to get on our email list for the event (for last minutes changes, etc.) contact Susan Sammon.

We're going to meet in Duffy Square in front of the Red Steps on Saturday, June 18th at 5 PM. Look for me!

First, we'll take a mega group photo. After the shot, we're going for a photo walk around Times Square.

Juan Pons, my co-host at the Digital Photo Experience podcast, will be on hand to help photographers make good pictures. Jeremy Pollock, who co-authored (with SmugMug's Andy Williams) Photographing New York City Digital Field Guide, will also be there to help.

It gets even cooler.

When you get back home, you get to upload your favorite photographs to a special site and gallery that SmugMug set up just for the event. 

Want more coolness? You can win some cool prizes and, if you are new to SmugMug, you can save 20 % off your first year of SmugMug Pro with this code: RICKSMUG20. Just click here to start a free trial – and then click "I'm Sold" to sign up for the Pro account. Enter your coupon code at checkout. 

We hope to see you at the event - rain or shine.

Explore the light,

P.S. If you need some pre-event shooting tips, please join me for my talk at Adorama on June 16th.