You probably know I am a Platypod Ambassador. But in addition I am a Platypod fan. I originally bought one of the first Platypod Ultras. Used it a few times then forgot about it. I broke it back out, started looking for way in which to use it and found a lot.
Since the release and design of the Ultra Platypod has gone through some great improvements and lots of useful gear has been designed around it for for studio and location work. If you haven’t seen and worked with the Platypod products here’s a one minute video to help introduce you to all the ways Platypod can help your photography.
This is a powerful LED light that’s solid for studio work and light enough to take on location. I appreciate the Color Rendering Index is a high 96 for clean color with no shifts. It produces lots of light 230 watts. It’s easier to show you how this light works than to write about it, so I invite you to check it out. See what I like, a lot, and a small issue or two to watch for…
If you have any comments or questions about this review let me know. BTW, I was able to keep this LED Light at no charge.
December finds my water drop image on the cover of Professional Photographer Magazine. I consider it quite an honor considering from all the images from which PPA can choose.
December 2021 PPA Magazine cover by Bob Coates
How PPA Chooses
Images for the cover of Professional Photographer Magazine are chosen from the Imaging Excellence Collection (formerly the Loan Collection), which have been chosen by jurors of PPA’s International Photographic Competition, with the occasional exception of images from the World Photographic Cup or from an Imaging USA speaker.
“Bob Coates’ ‘Orange Burst’ made an exceptional cover choice for its rich, vibrant color and the unique balance in its composition from the moment of capture,” says Joan Sherwood, senior editor of Professional Photographer. “It’s extraordinary how something as simple as water drops in a bowl can reveal such dynamic beauty.”
Jane Gaboury, Director of Publications added, “We love this image of Bob’s for our December cover. It not only demonstrates mastery of many photographic techniques, but it’s artistically accomplished as well. It’s a terrific example of what PPA’s Imaging Excellence Collection represents—the best of the best in professional photography today.”
The cover was accompanied by the How-to and creation of the image in a full page article. Professional Photographer is the trade magazine for Professional Photographers of America with over 30,000 members.
January 2001 PPA Magazine cover by Bob Coates
This is the second time I’ve had an image chosen for the cover. The last one was in January of 2001.
I just hope I’m around in twenty years for the next one!!
Flowers and greenery sneak through the dry desert in front of Shiprock in New Mexico.
As an Ambassador for Platypod tripods I thought you might be interested in the Black Friday deals they’ve just launched. You can find savings on five different gear bundles.You can save from $25 to $126 depending upon which bundle you choose. Plus, free shipping on orders over 100 bucks. Look here for all the deals.
Platypod can help you get low in the field or tighten up your studio shooting space. Here’s an image I made with the camera on a very low angle to feature the flower against Shiprock in New Mexico.
It’s interesting the turn my career has taken over the years. Commercial photographer, wedding photographer, portrait photographer, educator and writer. I’ve worked through many genres of photography and now concentrate on creating art, commercial imaging and education/writing.
Current writing ASP and The Photographer Magazines
Article in the Fall Issue of ASP Magazine
Here is are a couple magazine articles I’ve penned and had published recently. One is for American Society of Photographers (ASP). It was a follow-up to my photographing the Milky way article. This was on processing to take the images to the next level. Look for the Summer issue for planning and shooting. Fall issue was on post-production of Milky Way images. The camera, lens and long exposure collect way more information than your eye can see. Post processing reveals all the color and grandeur of the Milky Way.
Article in the latest issue of The Photographer Magazine
The other magazine article that just dropped was for ‘The Photographer’ magazine. It shares ideas on capturing water droplets in and artistic and colorful fashion. The Art of Photographing Water Droplets can be accessed and read here.
Photofocus is an online magazine for which I write at least three articles a month, often more, for the last three years. This is in addition to writing for Successful-Photographer. Here are a couple links to the last articles I posted.
Weirdly enough all of my photography career has been some combination of photography, education including hands on and presentation to photography groups and writing about it. If you need a speaker, writer, photographer or Lens Based Artist, let me know!
American Society of Photographers (ASP) has announced their second annual image competition. Images of Distinction (IOD) was wildly successful in it’s inaugural year. Using the same criteria for judging, and Professional Photographers of America jurors the event is a great way to get feedback on your photographic imagery. Check out the rules at PrintCompetition.com And get start getting your images ready.
ASP Images of Distinction February 25-26, 2022
IOD uses scores on the first day of judging. The following day there is image commentary for all makers who wish to receive feedback on their work. This is an invaluable part of the learning process to get your images ready for Professional Photographers of America’s (PPA) International Photographic Competition (IPC). Kristy Steeves shares her thoughts on how the process helped her achieve Diamond status in the Artist category and Platinum in the Open categories at PPA’s IPC.
I interview Kristy about last years ASP – IOD success and why you’ll benefit from entering.
Platypod is down to just a couple of dozen Litra Torch 2.0s in their Litra Clearance Sale. Great savings if you’re looking for some terrific gear and lighting, especially for close-up and macro – it’s worth checking out.
Here’s how I set mine up for some up, close and personal images of this studio floral.
And, here’s the Behind the Scenes.
The goose-necks screw right into the Platypod and make it easy to position your lights.
These lights are also great as quick a hand-hold fill when on location. They take up minimal space in your camera bag. They also have a magnet on the bottom. Get ’em before their gone. Free shipping on orders of a hundred bucks or more. Only while supplies last. https://www.platypod.com/collections/tripods-1
International Photographic Competition (IPC) starts on Sunday.
If you have an interest in photography and would like to see some incredible work this is the place for you. Starting Sunday September 12 at 9AM EST through Wednesday you’ll have the opportunity to see the scoring along with comments when the judges challenge the results.
The header image above was titled ‘Taking Flight’ and was awarded LOAN Collection status two years ago.
Professional Photographers of America (PPA)
IPC is presented by PPA. It’s the chance for makers to have their work reviewed by trained judges. The resulting scores are part of the PPA Master of Photography Degree system. The degrees are designed to recognize above average work by above average photographers. This is also part of the initial selection process for Team USA in the Photographic World Cup as images are selected from the Image Excellence Award winners for the International Competition.
‘Orange Outburst’ is a water droplet photo made it into the PPA LOAN Collection last year. The LOAN Collection name will be changed to Image Excellence Award this year.
PPA image makers work all year to prepare their work for this event.
You can watch
While the competition is geared toward professional photographers and PPA members you are welcome to pull up a chair and join in the learning. You can stream IPC live from Sept 12–15. Judging starts each day at 9am ET. if you are not a PPA member? Create a free account to watch live. http://stream.theipc.org
Macro Photography: The Universe at Our Feet by Don Komarechka
Gotta tell ya, if you are wanting to start macro photography, or want to improve the macro work you are now creating, get this book. I’ve been a fan of Komarechka’s work ever since I saw his first snowflakes photos. He’s a master at his craft with a healthy curiosity that has him pushing the limits of the medium.
I’ll be chatting with Chris Wooley about tips and tricks for taking care of, and supporting, your camera and computer gear. This will be a webinar packed with information. I’ll also be sharing a resources file with links to the material covered including some discounts I have worked out. Link below to sign up at no charge. See you there!
Occasionally I'll send out a digest version of the blog posts on Successful-Photographer. I'm not a fan of Spam and I'm sure you are not. Your Email address is safe with me. Bob
For infrared conversion of my cameras I use LifePixel. Infrared allows you to put an older camera to use and opens up a new time time of day for productive image creation.
Learn Photoshop in a fun environment. Aaron Nace applies the right amount of fun with easy to understand and follow tutorials. Actions and brushes are included with lessons!
Luminar 4 and LuminarAI software from Skylum are creative tools. In addition to being a stand-alone program, I often use it as a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop. Full of creative possibilities! Find all of the Skylum products by clicking on this link.
By using the COUPON CODE COATES you'll save 10 bucks or get the best deal going on Luminar. Click on the logo for more info.
Luminar 4 and LuminarAI
Best embroidery ever. Give Queensboro a try, get a $20 instant credit to get started by clicking on the logo! They specialize in great quality custom logo apparel and promotional products with the best customer service.
Lightning, waterdroplets, sound, time-lapse, HDR sequences, smiles and much more control for your camera!
Cameras Get Smarter -
A High Speed Smart Camera Remote