Friday's Fab Photographer - George Howard

Each Friday, I try to run a post here: Friday's Fab Photographer. This week's fab photographer is George Howard.

Take it away George.

Thanks Rick for the invitation to be featured in your blog. It is indeed an honor.

As an avid amateur photographer, my favorite type of photo session is one where I wander the streets, or the trails, looking for compelling images. A few years ago I was struggling to find such images in my local environs. Unless I was traveling to places new to me I could find little to inspire me enough to squeeze the shutter button. 

About the same time as I realized I had developed this photographer's block, I became dissatisfied with the layout of my website which grouped my images in such uninspired categories as landscapes, portraits and miscellaneous. It eventually occurred to me that I needed a theme, some underlying notion that ran through a series of photographs; something specific to seek during photo sessions that could be subsequently displayed in a cohesive group. 

Now when I wander out with my camera in hand I am mindful of the various series I have working. This approach keeps those areas I regularly traverse fresh as I look for the combination of the right light and one of those underlying notions. A beneficial side effect of this approach is that I tend to keep a camera with me more frequently since I hate to come across a perfect candidate for one of my series with no way to capture it. 

One final note, developing a strong series takes time. Several mediocre images even though tied together by a great notion remain mediocre to the casual viewer, so be patient in the building of your series

Rick previously featured two images from my Shadow Boxing series. Here are two more.

The next two are from my Window World Series.

You can view some of my series at – with more coming soon to SmugMug. I also have a Photo of the Week mailing list that presents one of my images each week along with some insight into why the image works. If you would like to be added to the mailing list, contact me through my site.

Thank you again Rick for sharing your space with me.  May your light always be right.

New View at New Croton Dam

My Croton Creative Workshops students spent yesterday morning taking pictures at the New Croton Dam.

Here's a cool, new view taken by workshop participant, John Davis.

For more of John's work, see his site.

More pix to come.

I run the Croton Creative Workshop twice a year. For info, contact me.

Explore the light,

P.S. Below is a shot I took on a previous Croton Creative Workshop. Croton is a great place to shoot!

Crop My Pictures and You're a Dead Man

"Crop My Pictures and You're a Dead Man."

That's what I used to tell my book publishers (when I used to write books rather than producing apps – where I have total control over cropping).

Of course, I told the publishers  in a much kinder and gentler manner. :-)

Basically, I suggested that the art directors not crop my pictures in any form or fashion - because a careful crop is important to the overall composition of the image.

The point of this post is to encourage you to carefully crop your images - as a careful crop can turn even a snapshot into a much more effective and dramatic photograph.

I took the pictures in this post on my Mt. Rainier workshop that I co-lead with Juan Pons last week.

I dramatically cropped my full-frame images into strongly vertical images. More than half the original images were cropped out. These are Canon 5D Mark II images.

I dramatically cropped my full-frame images into strongly horizontal images. More than two-thirds of the original images were cropped out. These are Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 7D images.

For all these images, I shot with the end result (a strong crop) in mind. So the tip here is crop as carefully as you can in camera, but always keep in mind how you will crop your image in Lightroom or Photoshop.

So crop to your heart's content.

If you want some personal advice on cropping, maybe a Tough Love portfolio review session may just what you need.

Explore the light,

In-studio creativeLive Students Selected

For those of you who are new to creativeLive, it's an on-line class that's free during the studio class. My class is October 21 - 23. From now until then, you can purchase the class (for at-your-leisure-anytime-watching) at a discount: $99.

Part of the deal is that cL asks photographers who want to be in the studio during the class to submit videos. The photographers who produce the most fun and most creative and most passionate videos get picked.

Below are the winning 6 videos for my class. Congratulations to all. I look forward to the photo fun - but keep in mind that I will put you to work . . . especially during the studio lighting demos.

The folks at creativeLive will contact you soon about the details. For now, shoot me an email so I can say hi!

For those who did not get picked, thank you so much for making the videos. Keep shooting and tune in during the weekend - and tweet to say hi!

The winning vidoes:

Yes! The focus of my class will be on still photography, but I also have a Business/Social Media session that I don't think you want to miss. I will cover Google+ and other social media outlets. Here's my Google+ page if you want to see what I'm up to.

As an added "thank you" to the in-studio students, I'll be brining a copy of my Creating HD Videos with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D DVD - which is also available as a download. Yes, my class is about still photography - but I encourage all still photographers to get into shooting HD videos, too.

Hey, if you like hands-on learning, check out all my live workshops.

Explore the light,

P.S. One of the winners, Chris, is a guitar player. Chris, I am trying to get two guitars for the Shoot Rick session at the end of the class! Creative lighting will be the goal.