nilmdts fundraiser

Got a burning business question?

Need help with Photoshop or an art project?

Just want to run some photo ideas by me?

It’s time to help support NILMDTS and yourself at the same time. There’s an online fundraising auction and there’s a bunch of photography stuff up for grabs including 2 different 2 hour coaching sessions with me. You can use the sessions to ask about business advice, get some one on one coaching in Photoshop or any other photography related session. These sessions are 1hour long but you get two of them. Normally $125 per hour but bidding starts at $100 for the package. If you wanted to try me out at a discount there’s a great chance for you. Click here to get to the photography items up for auction.

NILMDTS donation

Here’s a screen grab from the auction. I’m donating my time. You’ll get a deal. NILMDTS gets the money. Win, Win, Win!

Yours in Creative Photography,        Bob

photofest in sedona

Lots happening photographically in education this week in Sedona. It’s the Sedona Arts Center PhotoFest.

Two free education days surrounded by workshops and seminars by some wonderful photographers. I’m presenting a Keynote along with a two day workshop on my Photo-Synthesis techniques to create painterly type images from your photographs. It’s not too late to sign up…

sedona photofest

Sedona Arts Center Photofest – including yours truly

lumix changing potography logo

Program Sponsored in part by LUMIX


Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

new wacom tablet

Since I am traveling so much and I got tired of switching out my Wacom tablet between my desktop and my laptop I needed to get a second tablet. So I ordered one from Amazon and it arrived today.

One word.


This tablet is small and portable for travel and staying hooked up to my laptop. But here’s a bonus. The model I bought is like having a giant touch pad to boot. It has the gestures available for scrolling, resizing, zoom ,swipe images and such. It’s the Intuos Pen and Touch Small Tablet and only having it hooked up only for a few minutes and I love it! It has the 1024 pressure sensitivity.

wacom tablet photo

Wacom Intuos Touch Tablet

If you use Photoshop a tablet is very important. Making selections with a track pad or a mouse can take you a lot more time and is not near as accurate as using a pen tool. The difference is akin to drawing with a rock or a pen and makes a huge difference. For under a hundred bucks I think this one is a great value. You can spend a bit less or a bunch more with the Bamboo or any of the other Wacom Products. I would only recommend spending more money if you would like a larger size or you are a graphic artist that needs the higher pressure sensitivity because you actually draw or use the airbrush…

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

sunday photo/art quote 4/26

Today turned into a lazy Sunday with a little turn-over for a nap before getting out of bed. Then it was off to get some breakfast and the restaurant was a bit crowded with a waiting line. Fortunately, the grocery was next door making it convenient to gather the fixin’s for Eggs Florentine and Champagne Mimosas to have brunch at home prepared by my wonderful wife Holly. That was followed by a couple movies on Netflix and the purchase of the New Your Times Sunday newspaper which I will retire too for the rest of this day after I finish this post.

lubbock quote on rest

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes in the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” John Lubbock

John was not an artist per but a very intelligent naturalist, banker, statesman and member of the British Parliament. He let no grass grow under his feet but knew enough when it was time to relax and recharge. As photographers and business people we can tend to let the business take complete control and forget to chill every now and then. Believe me when you take some time for yourself you come back rejuvenated and refreshed. Guess what? You also come back more creative.

Take some time.

Sit back.


Come back refreshed.

I believe it’s time for me and the New York Times now, and then maybe a nap…. Bonus quote below.

“Rest when you’re weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work.” Ralph Marston

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

location shoot with fillex brick p-100

I was called on to capture some in-situ art pieces. The mandate was to show the pottery as art but also in place as decor. Of course budget was a concern as is often the case in shoots like this. So in finding the quickest, easiest way to capture the scenes I came up with mounting the Lumix GH4 with the 12-35mm f2.8 Vario lens on a tripod and using the Fiilex P-100 AKA ‘The Brick’ to light small portions of the scene and blend them together in post to gently highlight the pieces without overwhelming the scene…

room image with pottery

Four exposures blended together to help light  the subjects (pottery) keeping the ambiance of the scene.

pottery photograph

Just a kiss of light brightens up the subject nicely…

The really nice part of the Brick is the ability to change the intensity of the light and the color temperature to add just a kiss of light where you need it. Here’s the description of the light from the Fiilex web site….

“The highly compact Fiilex P-100 is the most versatile solution for someone who is constantly on the move and lighting in unconventional locations. Fully dimmable and color-tunable to match daylight or tungsten, this brilliant LED features a spot-to-flood lens and runs off an integrated Li-ion battery. Easily modifiable, “The Brick” puts out 100W of high CRI (>90) light that can serve as either key or fill and will translate all your colors precisely. Revolutionize the way you light with the P100′s flat form factor – place it on almost any surface, mount it on your camera, use it in a three-point set, or simply hold it in your hand. With no bulbs to break and no cords to plug in, go anywhere knowing that you’ll be able to light your shots quickly and beautifully.”

fiilex p-100 LED light
P-100 LED Light from Fiilex. A little smaller than a standard building brick.

I’m enjoying the possibilities while working with LED light and seeing the results of color temperature changes immediately. Often when working on location mixed color from windows, incandescent and florescent lighting can be a problem to match without overpowering the scene.

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

fine art america web site

If you are a photographer trying to sell your artwork and use Fine Art America to sell or want to sell your artwork I’ve got some information that will be extremely helpful for you if you aren’t already aware…

Fine Art America has a wonderful system that allows you to display your images in galleries, as individual pieces and even more important show what your images would look like in various treatments like framed, framed and matted, on canvas, as gallery wrap, acrylics, cards etc. You can keyword your entries and of course they have the shopping cart and fulfillment of your orders. If you were to try and build this kind of web site for yourself as a stand alone I would think it would be around $10,000 if not more. A bit out of reach for the average artist photographer. The problem is you are lumped in with over 100,000 artists selling their work. If you drive traffic to this site you are also competing with all these other artists whose pricing may be quite a bit less than yours…


My personal page on Fine Art America. Note the branding is for Bob Coates Photography not FAA.

You can have all the features available at Fine Art America in your own PERSONAL web space. Why is this important? If you drive traffic to your personal FAA web page ONLY YOUR IMAGES are available. For example, when you do a search for black and white images or use the navigation search bars on the side on my FAA site see the different results below.


Search window for Black and White images Note branding & all images are from Bob Coates Photography


Result from search on main FAA web site page. Note branding and results are from everyone on FAA.

As you can see Fine Art American now has the ability to allow you to have your own personal web space so when you drive traffic to the site it is to see your, and only your images. This takes away a problem I had with Fine Art America in the past. Here is the Admin page and the place to set up your own web site within FAA. You will still be seen on the main side with searches but people who come to this particular address where you have driven traffic will be your alone.

admin page in FAA

Look for the ‘Your Own Website’ option in your FAA Admin page.

Here is the text from Your Own Website.

This is your very own website.   Take a look!   It’s an extremely powerful promotional tool for your artwork.   You’ve got all of the features of Fine Art America packed into your very own, fully-customizable website.   You can login to your website here using your Fine Art America username and password.

Happy promoting and selling!

Yours in Creative Photography,        Bob


sedona photofest


Two free days of photo education.

Keynote speakers.

Multiple photography Workshops.

And, the red rocks of Sedona.

It’s the Sedona PhotoFest May 2nd-5th hosted by the Sedona Arts Center… and I’ll be a part of the education.

First up I’ll be one of the Keynote Speakers thanks to Panasonic and the Lumix line of camera gear on Sunday May third. I’ll be sharing information on one of my favorite subjects, Photo-Synthesis, which is using multiple images to create a more artistic or painterly type final image using multiple texture layers in Adobe Photoshop.


moth fine art


Also on the calendar for giving presentations and workshops – Joyce Tenneson, Seth Casteel and Brad Buckman, Kelli Klymenko, Tracey Frugoli, Scott Stuhlberg. Sedona PhotoFest includes technical and artistic insights across a wide spectrum of interests including Portrait Photography, Underwater Dogs, iPhoneography, Fashion Photography and more!

The free days will be followed by my two day in-depth Photo-Synthesis workshop on May fourth and fifth where we’ll be hands-on taking photos including textures and then heading into the world of computers putting the images to use under my guidance. I’ve found this to be a great way to really start to make the Photo-Synthesis process your own. Two full days of photography and Photoshop instruction for only $250. I recommend that you are fairly proficient with your camera and have a decent grasp of Adobe’s Photoshop.

“Hi Bob,
I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your seminar this last weekend. 

I thought you were a great presenter; humorous without being too flamboyant; knowledgeable; energetic; articulate with a fluid speaking style; and well prepared in your presentation.  I was very impressed – which is usually hard to do. Bill came along with me, showing only a little interest, but was so excited after the first day, decided to sit in on the second day.  The fact that you were able to keep him interested speaks volumes too.  

Another thing that really impressed me was your ability to work with all the various levels of PS experience and juggle all the people in the group.  I think everyone felt like they got something out of the workshop and everyone who needed it got some personal attention.”  Sandy Miller Cookeville, TN

Interview with Frederick Van Johnson from TWiP (This Week in Photo) from the PPA
(Professional Photographers of America) International convention this past January talkin’ about photo art.
“Hello Bob,
Thanks for the resources! They will be useful.

I attended the Saturday workshop in Chattanooga. I enjoyed your slide show so much! And, I appreciated your sense of humor. Things weren’t going exactly as you would have liked during the morning session. The program just wouldn’t allow you to “step/repeat.’ You didn’t let it get you ‘rattled.’ You kept smiling! And, you know, that very thing HAS happened to all of us!

BUT…..most of all, I was delighted to know there are Professional Photographers out ‘there’ who shoot with a Panasonic Lumix Camera! Who knew?
My colleagues in our camera club are primarily (make that exclusively) Nikon and/or Canon shooters! I own a Lumix G-3. I am still at the “Rookie Level.” But, I do love this camera! Take care, and thanks again,”   Barb Conard

See you in Sedona!

Yours in Creative Photography,        Bob

lumix changing potography logo

Program Sponsored by LUMIX

esteban image makes the cover

I felt that this was a strong image when I first envisioned it in my head. (see post here) When I sent it in to Sound Bites Grill owner Michele she immediately said, “Hey they should use that as a CD cover!” Meaning Esteban of course. She sent it out with a press piece for the entertainment newspaper here in the Verde Valley, KUDOS. They must have liked the image too as it graces the cover of the paper. Cool! Thought I’d share with you.

Esteban on cover of kudos entertainment newspaper

Guitarist Esteban on the cover of KUDOS promoting his appearances at Sound Bites Grill in Sedona.

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob

PS – Here’s a link to the article


green light band at sound bites

The band Green Light played at Sound Bites Grill Friday a week ago and I’ve been a little behind on the post production because of travel. Here’s the art for the SBG Wall of Fame.


Here’s Green Light! All photos are captured during the live performance. Then each musician is isolated from their photo using masks and combined using Adobe Photoshop layers into another document. Lighting and shadow effects are used to add depth and dimension. Finally multiple textures are added in Layers with different blend modes to create the artistic rendition of the group.


The photos were captured with the Lumix GH4 with the 35-100mm f2.8 Vario lens. This camera has enough Dynamic Range to cover the LED stage lighting with a little post processing knocking down the highlights and opening up the shadows just a bit using Adobe Camera Raw.

Yours in Creative Photography,     Bob

sunday photo/art quote 4/19

I’m not sure if I’ve addressed this quote before or not… But if I did it bears another look. Often new photographers are told to look for the light. May I suggest you look for the shadows instead? Shadows create form, depth and dimension. John Loengard, born in New York City in 1934 and Harvard class of 1956, was a staff photographer on LIFE magazine from 1961 to 1972, as well as LIFE’s picture editor from 1973 to 1987 and picture editor of People Magazine at its launch in 1974, is the author of eight books. John puts it another way…

photo art quote from john leongard

“If you want something to look interesting don’t light all of it.” John Loengard

So I suggest looking into the shadows. See how a little light or a lack of light can help define and shape your subject.

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob