Artist for 32nd annual festival of the cranes

Getting ready to head to New Mexico next week for the Festival of the Cranes held in Socorro and Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Preserve. (11/20-11/23) As the cover artist my crane art image will grace the cover of the brochure. In addition, it will be available for sale on T-shirts and coffee mugs. Sales of those items help support the friends of the Bosque and support the festival.

I’ll be on site with wildlife and avian art for sale, including prints of the cover art.

festival of the cranes art

Cover for the Festival of the Cranes

As always I’d be happy to chat with you about techniques, photography, and/or commissions. You can see more of my work by checking out my art site. coatesart.net

Yours in Creative photography,     Bob

ppa ipc image prep

For those that compete (or want to compete) at the International Photographic Competition (IPC) through the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) an important part of the process is presenting your image properly. There are twelve elements on which the images are judged. One of them is image presentation.

Think of it like this. Have you ever had an image that you thought was quite good? Then framed it and it looked even better? That is what you should try to make your image do when putting together your submissions.

Here is a video to give you one way to put together a presentation for a black and white image. This example is showing a double keystroke. The final image could be done with a single keystroke as well. As an artist it is your choice for the color (or tone) of your keystroke as well as the width. Coming soon, I’ll share some ideas on working with color images.

If you have any questions on PPA image competition, don’t hesitate to ask. I wish you the best in your competition journey.

Yours in Creative Photography,        Bob

PS – The subject is Craig Christopherson a wood and metal sculptor. See some of Craig’s work here on Instagram. Image was made with the Lumix G9 and 42.5mm f1.2 Leica lens. You can see how I went from the original capture to the final post processed image in my blog on post processing with Adobe Photoshop and Skylum Luminar 4 software.

LED lite review

I had the opportunity to get my hands on an LED light from FALCONEYES. It’s the F7 Pocketlite. You can see my thoughts below but the short answer is I like it. 97 Color Rendering Index and a good size and power as a fill or main light in a pinch.

I’ve often heard the expression the best images are made with the camera that you have with you. This light is small enough to have with you all the time.

Here is my Falconeyes F7 Amazon link if you want to get more info.

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob

vision of vets

Vision of Vets – A Photographer’s Project

I’d like to tell you a story about a colleague of mine. He’s a kind man. A giving man. A selfless man. And, a veteran himself.

bruce roscoe portrait

Bruce Roscoe, Vision of Vets Founder. Portrait courtesy Studio 3 Images

In 2014 my friend Bruce Roscoe (of Aiyana Studio) had a vision. It came on a flight back from Rhode Island after photographing his best friend of 58 years. Doctors had told Bruce’s friend, Joe Rowe, he had only six months to live due to complications brought on by exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. Bruce offered to professionally photograph Joe so his family and friends would have something to remember him by when he was gone.

The Concept

Bruce’s idea was to create a nonprofit organization whose mission was to memorialize the stories of U.S combat veterans and share that history with the family and the world. He envisioned adding a method for bringing photographs of combat veterans to life with the use of Live Portrait technology. Families could now view these after their loved ones had passed.

Bruce gained support for his idea in the local community of Prescott, Arizona. This was no surprise because Prescott and the surrounding towns host the largest number of veterans per capita in Arizona. With a wonderful Veterans Administration (VA) hospital and the large veteran population, he started gathering veteran stories with the help of experts. The helpers are now the Vision of Vets board of directors.

Following three years of continual work, in June 2017, the IRS recognized Vision of Vets as an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and Bruce’s vision became a reality.

vision of vets portraits

Vision of Vets Portraits by Bruce Roscoe

The Vision of Vets team are committed to not only capturing the stories from our country’s living veterans, but also telling the stories of war heroes from the French & Indian War and forward. Vision of Vets hires professional re-enactors to bring the stories of heroism and sacrifice back to life with the use of modern technology.

The Gift

Each veteran in this project receives at no cost, a professional 16×20 framed portrait, prints in different sizes, a DVD of their interview, and an essay summarizing the interview.

You Can Help

You can be part of this story too! Help preserve history and add to the education tools in schools have to teach and remind students that ‘Freedom isn’t Free.’ Click here to learn more or Donate to Vision of Vets.

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

PS – Below you can get an idea of how the Vision of Vets Live Portraits work.

ppa image competition district

Coming Soon PPA’s IPC District Competitionppa image competition logo

IPC. Stands for International Photographic Competition from Professional Photographers of America. (PPA) If you are a PPA member it’s time to finish creating those images and get them printed and/or uploaded.

I am a huge fan of PPA’s Imaging Competition. I believe that it had a strong indfluence on me becoming the image maker I am today. My growth as a photographer and artist was accelerated and continues to keep my skills moving forward. I highly encourage you to get in. Remember that you are not getting into image competition to compete with others. It is to compete with yourself.

I’ll be helping to judge the District Competitions at PPA Headquarters in Atlanta from the 5th through 7th of June. Judging will start on the 2nd of June and you can tune in to hear it live. This link will be valid once IPC starts. http://stream.theipc.org You do not need to be a PPA member to watch and learn. If you a PPA member and are in the Atlanta area come on by to see the competition live. This is the warm ups to the IPC in August. IMages that do well in Districts automatically earn a Merit at IPC.

Here are some links to some of my past IPC results.

PPA Artist entries 2018

PPA Open entries 2018

Kinda cool that PPA choose one of my images in the PPA Loan Collection to help promote the 12 elements!

Learn about the twelve elements of a Merit image

You have a little over a month from today to complete your registration. Here are the details…

DEADLINES AND FEES

  • $129.00 for PPA members registered by 5:00pm EST May 8, 2019. (non‐members: $65 additional)
  • Please note, any PPA member that entered a district competition will pay a reduced case fee for IPC of $50.00 for PPA members registered by 5:00pm EST, July 18, 2019
  • $164.00 for PPA members registering May 8, 2019 after 5:00pm through May 22, 2019 at 5:00 pm EST No registrations accepted after May 22, 2019 at 5:00 pm EST
  • $39.00 per case for image critiques. Please allow 4 weeks following the completion of the competition. Critiques will be posted in your “My PPA” account
  • Physical print entry cases must be received by May 29, 2019

    Best of luck to you in your quest to become a better photographer and image creator!

    Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob

tuesday painterly artist kelly schneider part two

Tuesday Painterly Artist – Kelly Schneider

PPA – Photographic Craftsman & Certified Professional Photographer

The work in these Painterly Posts are usually a bit more on the obvious painting side using the digital tools we have. Today’s artist is one I’ve been following for a while and while it is not specifically a painting style the work in my opinion transcends photography into a realm of it’s own. I’ll leave you to decide… Let me know what you think of Kelly’s work.

© Kelly Schneider Art image© Kelly Schneider

Easier or harder to become a pro these days?

“I think it is easier, assuming you commit and invest in yourself to do it,” stated Kelly. Today, you can take a pretty awesome shot and even do what used to be very intense post processing on a smart phone. Kids 10 years old are producing some pretty decent images and sharing them to the world in minutues. That’s something that could have taken hours or days just 20 years ago. The challenge to me is again, how do you produce “SALIENT” images that others are not able to do or cant do alone with a smart phone. I think it is easier to become one of the millions of professionals photographers out there… but harder to separate yourself and become more relevant. Thus, to produce work that is in demand and that people find of real value,” concluded Schneider.

© Kelly Schneider image© Kelly Schneider

Why teach others?

“I am a natural teacher. I love getting in front of others and having a positive impact on their views or knowledge on something and even more so when their eyes open and start to learn a new skill. It is a passion. If you have heard of the Keirsey-Bates temperament test, I am an ENFJ and that puts me in the Teacher idealist. (ref. https://keirsey.com/temperament/idealist-teacher/) Basically, I truly enjoy watching clients smile and even tear up when they see their final images. I also get emotional when I see smiles on a student’s face when they become AWARE that they get it… they see it… and they can do it.”

Where do you see professional photography in 10 years?

“To be frank, I think the future has two fundamental paths… and I think both will be exists. Not so good path: Photographers who are not keeping up with technology and establishing a “constantly learning” modality in their work will become part of the vast ocean of others out there struggling to find themselves in a way that gets clients to find them… in that photographer’s “purgatory” where they are good, but not SALIENT or relative enough.”

© Kelly Schneider art portrait© Kelly Schneider

Good path: Those who have persevered. Those willing to take the leap, to accept and embrace innovation, and not just thinking that because they WERE great, they will always be great. They will survive and continue to provide a service and product that there will always be clients willing to pay for. There are multiple integrated elements in becoming and staying a relevant “SALIENT” professional photographer. From your personality in dealing with and interacting with others, to your day to day running of your business. This includes your vision and standards you set and adhere to. Only one of them is in taking the image.”

What do you enjoy most as a professional photographer?

“When I was 18 and serving in the US Navy, the process of Capturing Life’s Journey and sharing it with others…”

KS Fine Arts Web Page https://www.ksfinearts.com

Kelly’s Bio

kelly schneider portraitBorn and raised in Coronado California he joined the US Navy in 1980 and served for 29 years. During his US Navy travels including 137 countries, he began “capturing” life around him. In 2010, Kelly began his pursuit of professional portraiture, growing and developing his skills in creating “salient” portraits focused on weddings portraiture and boudoir.

Over time, Schneider has become passionate about teaching others. He earned a Master’s degree in Human Systems Integration from the Navy Post Graduate School in Monterey California. He completed the Executive leadership course at both UC Berkeley and Duke University and is a MDPPA Board of Directors member for 2019.

Kelly and his wife Kalina (also a gifted photographer and active PPA member/Maryland PPA member) have been hosting workshops both in the US and in Europe. Kelly Schneider Fine kalina schneider portraitArts ksfinearts.com focuses on Boudoir and Fine Art portraiture and workshops.

Schneider is writing his first book “The Salient Portrait – the science behind it and how to achieve it” and it is a core element of all his workshops and training events. He earned the Best Portrait of the Year award in 2017 for MDPPA and Best Portrait Photographer for the State of Maryland for 2017 and 2018 and Wedding Photographer of the year for 2018 as well as earning two Fujifilm Masterpiece Awards in 2019.

Kelly is married Mrs. Kalina Schneider from Katowice Poland. Kalina and Kelly currently call Accokeek, MD home with their two kids – a beagle and a terrier!

 

tuesday painterly artist kelly schneider

Tuesday Painterly Artist – Kelly Schneider

PPA – Photographic Craftsman & Certified Professional Photographer

The work in these Painterly Posts are usually a bit more on the obvious painting side using the digital tools we have. Today’s artist is one I’ve been following for a while and while it is not specifically a painting style the work in my opinion transcends photography into a realm of it’s own. I’ll leave you to decide… Let me know what you think of Kelly’s work.

image © Kelly Schneider

Elegant Shades of Red © Kelly Schneider

Kelly’s Start

Kelly got his start while traveling in the US Navy starting a business called Captured Journeys Photography. He shares, “Initially, I knew so little about photography and anyone doing it that I was not influenced except that I wanted to get great images!  After a few years, I realized that if I was ever going to really grow my game and produce good work, I needed to invest in my craft and my skills. That is when I started looking at true professionals who were masters. I realized I knew next to nothing!” Schneider notes an early influence for stepping up his game was Trey Ratcliff of Stuck in Customs fame.

A True Professional

When asked what makes a true professional photographer Kelly said, “I think being a true professional has little to do with how many hours or if it is a full-time thing. A true professional is someone who has dedicated and committed themselves with all facets of a skill or craft and invested in both time and resources to grow and develop their knowledge, skill, and ability to be recognized for their work. Being a true professional and doing it full time is another layer. It is just a measurement of how much time you are doing it, not how much of a master you are while doing it.”

© Kelly Schneider

KS Fine Arts Portrait

Changes in Photography

Changes in professional photography are coming fast and furious and while Kelly recognizes the single most impact in photography comes from those photographers who can leverage the changes.  “The single most impacting element in learning photography (outside of the core ability to “SEE” light and render wonderful and powerful images, is the capacity to learn and use more complex and advanced technology in your photography.” According to Kelly. “Those who have a natural and gift for awesome photography will find themselves fading into the “non relevant” layers of photographers if they don’t embrace and learn how to bring new and exciting technology into their game. From the expanded things a photographer can do with such little effort with lighting and tech, is making it harder and harder to separate yourself from the over 44 million practicing photographers in the USA.

image © Kelly Schneider

Elegant Stylized Portrait © Kelly Schneider

To be Continued

I’ll continue this post with Kelly next week when we find out why Kelly teaches other photographers his techniques and where he sees photography going in the next ten years…

KS Fine Arts Web Page https://www.ksfinearts.com

Kelly’s Bio

kelly schneider portraitBorn and raised in Coronado California he joined the US Navy in 1980 and served for 29 years. During his US Navy travels including 137 countries, he began “capturing” life around him. In 2010, Kelly began his pursuit of professional portraiture, growing and developing his skills in creating “salient” portraits focused on weddings portraiture and boudoir.

Over time, Schneider has become passionate about teaching others. He earned a Master’s degree in Human Systems Integration from the Navy Post Graduate School in Monterey California. He completed the Executive leadership course at both UC Berkeley and Duke University and is a MDPPA Board of Directors member for 2019.

Kelly and his wife Kalina (also a gifted photographer and active PPA member/Maryland PPA member) have been hosting workshops both in the US and in Europe. Kelly Schneider Fine kalina schneider portraitArts ksfinearts.com focuses on Boudoir and Fine Art portraiture and workshops.

Schneider is writing his first book “The Salient Portrait – the science behind it and how to achieve it” and it is a core element of all his workshops and training events. He earned the Best Portrait of the Year award in 2017 for MDPPA and Best Portrait Photographer for the State of Maryland for 2017 and 2018 and Wedding Photographer of the year for 2018 as well as earning two Fujifilm Masterpiece Awards in 2019.

Kelly is married Mrs. Kalina Schneider from Katowice Poland. Kalina and Kelly currently call Accokeek, MD home with their two kids – a beagle and a terrier!

 

 

book review – duChemin

Within the Frame – David duChemin

I’m a fan

I am a big fan of books. Well, not all books, but good ones. The book I wish to share with you is definitely better than good. I’ve been following David duChemin for quite some time. I enjoy his writing style and sense of humor. He has a way of sharing some big ideas in an understandable way without being ‘preachy.’

As you may have already guessed, I am particularly a fan of David and his writing. His latest book is Within the Frame – The Journey of Photographic Vision. It is a 10th anniversary edition and I’m glad he brought it back. This is a book that can be a help in getting your creative butt in gear whether you are a newbie photographer or a seasoned veteran such as myself. (I suppose you can read that as old, but I digress)

book cover duChmenin

Within the Frame – The Journey of Photographic Vision David duChemin

Creativity and Vision

David talks about vision and creativity in most of his writing. I enjoy his introspection and dedication to the photography world and the creative vibe therein. He shares ideas on how to accomplish some inner thinking in bite sized pieces that can be practiced and digested in as small or large a helping as one would like.

An Example

Here’s one paragraph from the book that appears on page 79 in the chapter titled The Artist and the Geek.

“The first thing to realize is that the creative process is not so simple that it can be reduced to a formula-go here, wait for muse, shoot brilliant image. It is not a reactive process dependent on a magic fairy appearing and beating you with an inspiration stick. Creativity is something you can actively work at, and the more closely you know your own process, the more reliably the muse appears. Having said that, I think we all know that some days just do not got he way we want, and we often chalk that up to being uninspired, or bored, or lazy. Probably the latter two.” – David duChemin

Conclusion

The paragraph above has so much about which to think, you can imagine how much you will get from the rest of the book! duChemin’s book is a winner on so many levels. I think it is the kind of book that will earn a long stay in your regular reading table. And, will also have a place of honor in your permanent photography book collection for review on a regular basis.

Yours in Creative Photography,     Bob

PS – Get the book. you’ll be glad you did. Within the Frame – The Journey of Photographic Vision

 

lumix pro services

Lumix Professional Services

Panasonic is working toward serving the professional photography market in an exceptional way. As you probably know they have come out with two full frame mirrorless cameras (shipping in April) adding to their micro 4/3rds line. If you pre-order a full frame camera from Hunt’s Photo Video before April 4th you’ll get an extra battery and battery grip at no extra charge. (tell ’em I sent you if you would be so kind)

Just received my Lumix Pro Services welcome packet. It includes all the deals, contact information and membership card. They started this program last year and I used it for the first time myself just this week.

Service was as advertised. I received a Fed-Ex label for overnight shipping. Contact immediately when they received the camera and verified the problem. (the rubber from the SD card door was coming up) They again contacted me right away to let me know it was a warranty repair. The door was replaced and the camera was returned via Fed-Ex overnight.

Wahoo!

lumix pro-servicesLumix Pro Services Welcome Packet * Note does not come with GH5 camera!

Here’s most of the skinny on what’s included:

• 2 day turn-around on repairs

• Free next day shipping both ways

• Twenty percent discount on Out-of-Warranty Repairs

• Online order tracking

• Loaner gear

• Free clean and check for two bodies and lenses per year

• As a bonus in the welcome packet, here’s my favorite, a Lumix pro camera strap. One of the reasons the camera strap is my favorite is because Panasonic has partnered with Peak Design. Peak Design makes straps that have a quick release that is extremely handy. I’ll do another post on my Peak Design straps as I could be considered a fan-boy for their product. The post will show you why

There’s more but I’ll let you go dig that out from the Lumix Pro Services site.

Yours in Creative Photography,        Bob

PS – Remember to pre-order to get the extra battery and battery grip from Hunt’s Photo Video before April fourth

elite photographer

Elite Photographer Designation

I have been fortunate to receive the Professional Photographers Association Elite Photographer again for 2019. I also received a 25 – Plus bar signifying an additional 25 Merits earned.

So what are these ‘merits’?

They’re essentially a way for a photographer to learn and grow professionally while becoming more active in the industry. You can earn different kinds of merits, all of which are guaranteed to make you a more well-rounded professional photographer! merits are earned through image competition, teaching and service to the industry

elite photographer ppaElite Certificate and 25 – Plus Merit bar

There’s a reason this is such a prestigious level of PPA membership. It requires a lot of hard work and professional accomplishments. It cannot be requested or bought. One automatically qualifies for Elite status when all of the requirements are met by December 31st of each year:

  • Certified Professional Photographer
  • Master of Photography or Master Artist degree
  • Scored four for four on images from a single case from the most recent IPC (bronze, silver, gold, platinum, or diamond)
  • Earned two non-photographic merits that year
  • And be a PPA member in good standing

    Proud to be a PPA member. If you have any questions about the benefits and reasons to be a member get in touch.

    Yours in Creative Photography,     Bob