Win a free Michael Andrew Shoot / DVD- Where are you all from?

I was checking my stats tonight for the blog and I realized there are people from all over the world visiting! In the last week alone, Ive had visitors from Austrailia, Estonia, the Phillipines, the UK, Ireland, Iceland, Romania, Malaysia, Moldova, Estonia, Germany, Canada, Honduras, as well as most the states in the US. The funny thing is, I know I have a lot more visitors than what my stat page is showing, for example, I know both my parents check, but I have no visits from where they live….so……

I thought I would throw this out there:

If you post your name, email address (to contact you), and where you are visiting from, you will be entered to win one of the first finished copies of my new photography DVD. It includes the best advice I can possibly give to beginning photographers, and I go into detail how I think when I approach images. While the DVD is specifically for the Canon 40 D, it covers so many topics….ANY beginning or intermediate photographer using ANY camera will benefit from it. I will draw names and send the winner a copy at no charge to them.

If you live in Alabama, you will be entered to win a free 1 hour photography shoot, by yours truly, thats…me. (A $250 value) Even if you are a recent client and you are good on the photos, you may give it to someone you feel would benefit from it.

I will draw winners one week from today, Feb 7th 2008 and announce the winners on the 8th.

Dont be shy, please say hi!


Mentoring Lunch with Michael –

This next Monday from 2:30-3:30 there will be a mentoring / networking lunch with me, Michael Andrew, at Logan’s Roadhouse in Tuscaloosa. I get a lot of requests from beginning photographers for input on how they can improve their photographs and business models, and these lunches provide an opportunity for you to pick my brain. Attendees split the cost of my meal, and in return, I will answer any questions you have related to the wedding photography business in Alabama. (I dont need anyone to buy my meal, it’s just a traditional courtesy in exchange for my time.)

I have done these before and they are fantastic opportunities for you to meet other photographers in the area and develop your network. You will be surprised how many photographers are game for this.

The more the merrier, I also request that you please do not bring any albums for me to look at, but it is ok to bring your camera if you have any questions about them. Please RSVP: [email protected] so I can get a count on everyone who plans on attending, as well as a way to contact you in the event the time or location should change.

Talk with you soon!

Bush Bloopers

I watched the State of the Union address tonight. I found it fascinating how the Democratic Party wouldn’t stand at certain periods, and on a few occasions Nancy Pelosi was looking around because she didnt know whether to stand or not.

I am truly grateful for President Bush. He isnt perfect, but I do believe him to be a good man. He has made many tough decisions and has protected our country.

Love him or hate him….this will make you laugh. I was in tears!

What are Extension Tubes?

All lenses have a minimum focusing distance. When shooting Macro (or very close up photography) it requires that we get really, really, close to the subject. The problem is, in order to get close enough for a good shot, we are TOO close (outside the minimum focusing range) and therefore, cannot get a good tight focus.

There are many lenses designed specifically for Macro photography, like the Canon MP-65 ($800) which I tested (not practical unless you have something called a focusing rack and TONS of light). The Canon 100mm 2.8 is a good macro lens, but it is also pricey at about $450.

Extension tubes were the best solution I found for beginning photographers who dont want to spend a ton of money on a good macro lens, but still want to experiment. Extension tubes add space between the lens and the camera body and allow for shorter focusing distances. A set of three Kenko (Canon Compatible) are about $170, and will work on any EOS mount. A few rules to remember with Macro photography:

1. You will need a TON of light if you want a depth of field thicker than a tenth of a millimeter. Remember, the closer you are to your subject, the shallower the depth of field. The result is that you will have to shoot at say f22 if you want to get a deeper depth of field. If you are going for thicker depths of field…..
2. You will need a tripod because the in order to compensate for the small aperture, you will need a slow shutter speed.
3. You will need a lens release cable, infared transmitter or use the timer (the camera can shake if you push the shutter release with your hand).

There are some “macro” type lens filters. They are expensive, give about the same results as the tube extensions, and can only be used on specific size lenses.

If you are beginning Macro photography, try the extension tubes first. This will give you a good taste of what its all about before you invest in an expensive lens. Besides, they may do the trick you need anyway.
Kenko Extension Tubes

My answer to the Case of the Careless Accident-er…

I will give you my short answer first: (for those of you that missed the original question, it was asked on Jan 11-2008)

The Case of the Careless Accidenter is interesting because the reader assumes the question is from the perspective of the person being hurt, when it can be asked about both involved.

We must do everything in our power to conduct ourselves in such a way that nothing we ever did or said would harm the innocent and in the event we fail to do this, we must be willing to correct our mistakes.

Long Answer-

The Criteria for measuring a case of “careless accidenting”:

1. Extent of damage done
2. Intention
3. Ability to self correct

This question has been debated for 1000s of years, it is even covered in the old testament, when cattle owners were held responsible for their oxen should they damage people/property. How often do couples accidentally say something they don’t mean and hurt the person they love? On the other hand children often do not understand consequences for misbehavior and they really cant be held accountable, so it’s not always so black and white.

The truth of the matter is, there is consequence for damage/injury to others, wether it was intended or not. We should remember that even words can hurt people, even if we didnt mean to hurt them. I know some will blame the person being hurt for “taking it the wrong way” but I really think that if our words hurt innocent people (meaning they didn’t deserve it), even when not intended- we have a responsibility to bear.

I guess the whole reason I was thinking about this is the fact that I have cut people out of my life when I felt they were mistreating our relationship. Its happened more than once. Im not proud of it because its an awfully mean thing to do, on the other hand….I really felt there was no other choice, especially after trying to explain to them how they were hurting our relationship.

I know some of these people read this blog. Hopefully you can see where I am coming from.