Welcome to Michael’s Blog!

Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


 

03.19.19         michael's insights  

Has National Geographic Exploited the Unprotected? My Thoughts on the Afghan Girl Controversy




No one has asked me to make this video.

This video is not sponsored, nor is monetized.

I am making it because it is something I feel passionate about & all things expressed here are my own opinions. I feel tremendous empathy for children who suffer.

I am adding links to the resources to many of the points I have made, but these are not comprehensive, do your own research with an open mind and heart and come to your own conclusions. You are welcome to disagree and I can respect your opinions. If you feel passionate about it, make a video and publish it, even if you disagree!

TL/DW : Do not mess with children!

Especially if they do not have the protections we do! Even more so when they are marginalized, orphans, refugees or otherwise!

For over 100 years National Geographic has been the go to source for stories and images about the cultures of our world. We likely agree it has been spectacular in regards to providing the best images and stories to offer in this regard, and in the vast majority of cases, there are no issues. In the mid-80's it's circulation was about 12 million, and one of the biggest stages at the time for images.

Steve McCurry, one of the most famous and talented photojournalists of our time, took the portrait of "Afghan Girl", most of us have seen.

There's just one problem... she didn't want her picture taken and attempted to cover her face. Through a translator, McCurry asked her teacher to tell her to do so for the sake of the greater good, bringing awareness to their situation. She has gone on record saying she was angry at the time. A few posed shots were taken some with and at least one without the face covering, after which she ran off.

McCurry has stated he knew it was a special portrait, yet he didn't get her name. That image went through a team of editors who decided to put it on the cover.

The question I have....if they didn't have a name, how could they have legal permission? How could the image go through at least 3 different people, if they didn't? How many other times has this happened?

If no legal permission was given, was this young woman's right to privacy violated?

As a society, we need to get away from "poverty porn", or commercializing those in compromised living conditions or those suffering, especially if they do not want their image used on a big stage.

Tony's Videos:
1- https://youtu.be/RuFKpaV_jjo
2- https://youtu.be/1q_NAEaiC9M

Sources I quote in this video:

The Washington Post Chat Interview with McCurry: (Many important questions are answered here, including if he had permission or paid her):https://wapo.st/2HGYL6f

BBC Interview & Sharbat Gula's mixed feelings, how there were more negatives than good, yet she was also proud of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfY2zfv7_V0

Steve Speaks about Afghan Culture in regards to photographing females: https://youtu.be/Mal2e4TBpPQ?t=268

Petal Pixel's McCurry Photoshop Scandal:

https://petapixel.com/2016/05/06/botched-steve-mccurry-print-leads-photoshop-scandal/

https://petapixel.com/2016/06/07/eyes-afghan-girl-critical-take-steve-mccurry-scandal/

Steve Responds:https://bit.ly/2TOKoEo

Time Article About Steve No Longer Being a Photojournalist, & Editor Sarah Been going on record about being proud of the image, yet the importance of the distinction between Photojournalism vs Other genres: http://time.com/4351725/steve-mccurry-not-photojournalist/

Steve States He Got Permission, but that both parents were dead: https://bit.ly/2YaGNyL

Steve Talks about the importance of permission & respecting privacy: https://youtu.be/iZktvSKW3Mw?t=441

Bob Gilka Had The Final Say: https://wapo.st/2HucEpl

Auction Prices For McCurry's Work: https://bit.ly/2HG5KfT

Nat Geo Sells Auctions Image for $147,000: https://wapo.st/2HJlfn5

Nat Geo Admits to Racism: https://on.natgeo.com/2tCCJwd

Steve Speaks Out About her arrest & violation of human rights: https://bit.ly/2FjEwbV

FAIR USE STATEMENT
This video may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This material is being made available within this transformative or derivative work for the purpose of education, commentary and criticism is being distributed without profit and is believed to be “fair use” in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

03.08.19         photography  

Sony A6400 Crash Course Coming Soon! | Register Here to be Notified


Production on the Full Sony A6400 Crash Course Tutorial Training Video is underway. I have already posted the Camera Operation of this course for FREE on youtube which you can find here: Sony A6400 Training Video Many have asked why I give away so much free information, and the main reason is I want to demonstrate I can help you learn your camera fairly quickly, and if you enjoy it, you would want to continue to invest in your Sony A6400 education. Thats all there is to it! The course is expected to cost just $39.95!

Here is the Cover, more details below!
This Course comes with a 1-hr photography crash course that I normally charge $20 for. It will get you up to speed in no time on the photography basics, including shutter speed, aperture, ISO, Depth of Field (DOF) composition, digital files, lighting, compression, histograms and more!

The Sony A6400 Crash Course topics include:
- Landscape Shooting Techniques (Stills and Video) With the Sony A6400
- Interval Shooting
- Time Lapse Movie
- Using Filters
- Sports Shooting Techniques Settings & Techniques
- Basic Portrait Lighting
- Portait Techniques
- Which Flash System to Invest in to Save over $600
- Understanding Flash & Strobe with the Sony A6400
- Multiple Exposure Mode techniques
- Bracketing Techniques
- Shooting for Interiors
- Focus Stepping for Macro
- Over 1 hour of Video Shooting Techniques and Strategies
- Narrative Video Shooting Settings & Techniques (Filmmaking) With the Sony A6400
- Documentary Style Video Shooting Settings & Techniques With the Sony A6400
- Vlogging Video Style Shooting Settings & Techniques with the Sony A6400
- Audio Recommendations, Mics, Cleaning
- Video Shooting Tools and Must Haves
- Comprehensive Deep Menu System & Recommendations
- Canon RP Sensor Cleaning
...and Much Much More!

I also add lessons upon request, so these courses grow, and all additional updates come at no extra cost.

Keep in mind this all comes with a 100% money back guarantee!

So if you are interested in maximizing what you can do with your Sony A6400 and want to be notified as soon as the first version of the Sony A6400 Crash Course is ready, leave your name and email address in the comments below and we will reach out to you as soon as it is ready.

Thank you for your support! ~ Michael

Michael's Sony Lens Recommendations:

Sony E PZ 16-50mm f3.5 - 5.6

Sony E 55-210 f4.5-6.3

Sony FE 50mm f1.8

Sony E 50mm f1.8 OSS

Sony 28-70mm f3.5-5.6 OSS

Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 Di III RXD

Sony FE 16-35mm f2.8 GM

Sony FE 24-70mm f2.8 GM

Sony FE 70-200mm f2.8 GM

Sony FE 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 GM OSS

Green Extreme 2 Pack NP-FZ100 Battery and Compact Smart Charger Kit

SmallRig Cage for Sony A6400 2310

03.04.19         tutorial & training videos  

Canon RP Crash Course Coming Soon! | Register Here to be Notified


Production on the Full Canon RP Crash Course Tutorial Training Video is underway, and we are looking for a March 25th 2019 release (maybe a little sooner). I have already posted the Camera Operation of this course for FREE on youtube which you can find here: Canon RP Tutorial Training Video Many have asked why I give away so much free information, and the main reason is I want to demonstrate I can help you learn your camera fairly quickly, and if you enjoy it, you would want to continue to invest in your Canon RP education. Thats all there is to it!

Here is the Cover, more details below!
The Canon RP Crash Course is designed primarily for beginning and intermediate photographers who are just getting started with their new camera, and are struggling with the many & complex skill sets needed to really take advantage of the RP. One of the most common things I hear when I teach my students is "I had no idea I could do that!".

I've already started working hard on this, and here is a still from just part of the Sunset Shooting lesson (I will show you exactly how I took this on my Canon RP):
Cameras are very, very complex, but on top of that all, you still need to know about many other things, the photography basics, lighting, composition, digital files, planning & troubleshooting, customizations, menu systems, and then the different philosophies for all the types of real world shooting. It took me about 2 years of trial and error (we didnt even have youtube when I started back in 2003!) and this course is designed to cut that learning curve into a few hours. I promise it will be the best educational investment you can make for your new Canon RP.

This Course comes with a 1-hr photography crash course that I normally charge $20 for. It will get you up to speed in no time on the photography basics, including shutter speed, aperture, ISO, Depth of Field (DOF) composition, digital files, lighting, compression, histograms and more!

The Canon RP Crash Course topics include:
- Landscape Shooting Techniques (Stills and Video) With the Canon RP
- The Canon RP's HDR Still and Video Shooting Features, including:
- Interval Shooting
- Time Lapse Movie
- Using Filters
- Sports Shooting Techniques Settings & Techniques
- Basic Portrait Lighting
- Portait Techniques
- Which Flash System to Invest in to Save over $600
- Understanding Flash & Strobe with the Canon RP
- Multiple Exposure Mode techniques
- Bracketing Techniques
- Shooting for Interiors
- Focus Stepping for Macro
- Over 1 hour of Video Shooting Techniques and Strategies
- Narrative Video Shooting Settings & Techniques (Filmmaking) With the Canon RP
- Documentary Style Video Shooting Settings & Techniques With the Canon RP
- Vlogging Video Style Shooting Settings & Techniques with the Canon RP
- Audio Recommendations, Mics, Cleaning
- Video Shooting Tools and Must Haves
- Comprehensive Deep Menu System & Recommendations
- Canon RP Sensor Cleaning
...and Much Much More!

I also add lessons upon request, so these courses grow, and all additional updates come at no extra cost.

Keep in mind this all comes with a 100% money back guarantee!

So if you are interested in maximizing what you can do with your Canon RP and want to be notified as soon as the first version of the Canon RP Crash Course is ready, leave your name and email address in the comments below and we will reach out to you as soon as it is ready.

Thank you for your support! ~ Michael

02.25.19         video  

Incredible Value LED Video Light | GVM 480 LS



02.20.19         photography  

Complete Canon M50 Crash Course Tutorial Training Now Available!


The Canon M50 Crash Course Tutorial Training Video is now available!

Click the following link to purchase:
Canon M 50 Training Video Lessons

As many of you know, we recently published a tutorial on the operation of the Canon M50, which can be found here: Canon M50 Tutorial Overview on Youtube
Topics Covered on Michaels Canon M50 Crash Course (About 5 hours of additional lessons)

1. Pre-visualization
2. Photography Core w Digital File Basics
3. Composition Core
4. Introduction to Lighting Basics
5. Macro Shooting With the Canon M50
6. Sports Shooting with the Canon M50
7. Portraits with the Canon M50
8. Landscape Shooting with the Canon M50
9. Using On Board Flash
10. Using an External Speedlight
11. Video Shooting
12. Recommended Video Settings and Accessories
13. HDR, Filters, Effects
14. Sound Recording and Design
15. Planning and Troubleshooting
16. Complete Menu Overview
17. Canon M50 Sensor Cleaning

And much more!


02.18.19         photography  

The REAL Reason Fuji 200mm f2 is $6,000! | Hands on Review


This video was brought to you by by Paul and our good friends at www.lensprotogo.com! We would not be watching it without their generous support! Use "Maven10" anytime at checkout to save 10% off your order!

Rent the Fuji Film 200 f2 Here:
Rent the Fuji 200 F2 From Lens Pro To Go!

Hands down the best Fuji lens Ive used! Absolutely incredible, felt like magic but.....what does this really mean? Here are my thoughts!

If you enjoyed the way I presented this video, I might be able to help you learn your camera!

02.16.19         movie reviews  

Cold Pursuit


I was pleasantly surprised. If you like Liam Neeson films, you will enjoy it in theaters, otherwise it is a solid rental!

02.15.19         video  

Bit Depth & Chroma Subsampling Basics



02.15.19         movie reviews  

Alita Battle Angel


Pinocchio + Star Wars + The Wizard of Oz Only...it was AWESOME!
Probably the most emotionally engaging Sci Fi Movie since Avatar, ....and surprise, James Cameron helped write the screenplay.

The CGI was the best Ive ever seen, down to micro-expressions all with a great story and premise.
SEE IT!!

02.14.19         customer service  

Buyer Beware | GoDaddy's No Hosting Refund Scam


Just a heads up. I ran into some huge issues with Godaddy.com this last week, who I have been using for the last year without problems.

On Feb 1st, we ran into some kind of a server incompatibility with our store. Myself, and my programmers spent many hours with Godaddy Support, including escalated hosting support, none of who could resolve an issue we were seeing on their side. They insisted it was in the code of the website, and the incompatibility was locking customers from checking out on the store.

After about a week, I brought in a second specialist to confirm what the first was saying, it was on the server side. I spent about $2,500 between the two to try to figure out what was going on.

The fix? Move to another hosting company. As soon as we did this, it was resolved, literally that fast. Had the server not had any issues in the first place, I wouldn't have needed to spend $2500 on programmers. Bad enough right?

So this is the CRAZY part. I paid for 2 years in advance hosting with Go Daddy, or about $480 (this was in April of 2018), so I used about 10 months of the plan, or $200.

So you would think a $280 pro-rated refund would be in order right? Wrong!

GoDaddy’s company policy is to not give pro-rated refunds, even if they are unable to fulfill their service! Even if it is paid in advance! Meaning, that I would have had to have paid, no matter if their service was working or not! Even for 14 months of unused service!

This is literally insanity. You would think a manager could clear this up? Nope! I spoke with Supervisor Arbri Butiastia who confirmed it is Godaddy’s policy to not refund, even in cases such as mine, even if it was their fault! This is jaw droopingly dishonest in my opinion.

So in short, if you are thinking about using Go Daddy for hosting, there is no way I would ever recommend them to anyone. Their policy is set up to not give prorated refunds after a set number of days from the original purchase, even if you pay for years in advance. What this means is, once that initial payment / refund period expires, you are locked in no matter what they do!

Turns out, if you do just a few internet searches, you can see many others who have had similar problems.

I’m not sure how this is legal, but it sounds like a class action lawsuit is on the way.

Well, you got me for $280 Go Daddy, plus the additional $2500 I spent trying to figure out why your hosting stopped working! I hope it was worth it.

Have you had a problem with GoDaddy? If so leave your story in the comments below!

Feel free to share this far and wide on social media!

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