Blogs I Read

Here is a list of photography blogs that I read on a regular basis.  Maybe not daily, but they are all linked to my  Reader so that I can easily read every post that they make.  Some post more frequently than others, and some post more on the art, business, technique or state of photography.

 
Blog Name Subject Matter Work Safe
Andy Beel Black & White Photography Yes
Art In Nature Beautiful Nature Photography Yes
Awake the Light Nature Photography with an Artistic Flair Yes
Beautiful Landscape Fine Art Photography, Business Yes
DIY Photography Do-It-Yourself photography accessories Yes
Fotoblur The Best of Fotoblur.com No
Inside Glamour The Business of Photography Yes
Joe McNally’s Blog Joe’s Life and Times Yes
Joshua Taylor Photography Gardens and Landscapes Yes
The Joy of Photography Matthew Jordan Smith’s Life Yes
Lighting Essential for Photographers Photography as a Business, Home of Project 52, a 52 Week Online Photography Business Course Yes
Photography Improvement Photography Technique Yes
Pretty Girl Shooter Glamour Photography No
The Slanted Lens Jay P. Morgan’s Blog on Lighting. Videos are VERY ad heavy Yes
Smoking Strobes Portraiture and Lighting No
Speedliting Syl Arena’s Blog on Canon Speedliting Yes
Strobist David Hobby’s Blog on Off-Camera Flash Yes
Zen Through The Lens Tuan Pham’s blog on Zen Insights and How They Relate to Photography Yes

 

Some of these, like Andy Beel, Joshua Taylor and Ed Knepley I read primarily because they are friends or acquaintances whose work I like and I read their blogs to keep up with them.  I also read a lot about lighting and portraiture, some of which includes nudes, like Pretty Girl Shooter and Smoking Strobes.  Read at your own risk.

Tim Grey

Tim Grey is responsible for accelerating my grasp of Photoshop.  He does a good job of identifying common issues that people have with photo processing in Adobe’s applications and writing well thought out answers to address the problems.  His Digital Darkroom Quarterly (now called Pixology) and his Ask Tim Grey newsletter provide easy to understand answers to questions you might not have even thought to ask.

Tim is an expert in Photoshop and Lightroom, with extremely good access to Adobe for questions that involve “why does this Photoshop filter work this way?”  He is also a published author, with several books on color management and digital darkroom workflow, including both Photoshop and Lightroom workflows.

Zack Arias

Zack is famous for his OneLight portraits.  I read about Zack in someone’s blog a long time ago and followed his blog for quite a while.

In this video from Creative Live, Zack discusses the relationship between flash power and aperture.

Zack and Creative Live have produced a series of videos that can be purchased based on his 3 day workshop.  Almost like being there, but you get the added flexibility to repeat any portion of the workshop that you didn’t quite catch, or that you are having difficulty grasping.

Alain Briot

Mesa-View-1000

Alain Briot runs Beautiful-Landscape, a site that promotes photography as fine art.  Alain writes on many topics, including running a photography business and the fallacy that many starting photographers deal with, believing that if they work for less, they will sell more.

I stumbled upon Alain’s writing when I was reading a posting on Luminous-Landscape, a website where there are numerous excellent articles on photography, product reviews, tutorials, essays, etc.  I still subscribe to Alain’s blog, but frankly I don’t spend a tremendous amount of time reading it any longer.

Alain and his wife Natalie run workshops through Beautiful-Landscape, mostly in desert southwest.

Mary Lindhjem and Mollie Isaacs

AwakeTheLight

I met Mary and Mollie through Joe Miller and NVPS (my camera club) shortly after Mary and Mollie began working together and created Awake the Light, where they both teach and mentor photographers.  I have been to several of their presentations and they are always informative and fun.  Their take on photography, that it should be fun, comes out in their presentations and in their work.

Joe McNally

the_moment_it_clickshotshoes_diaryJoe McNally has been an idol of mine since I started learning how to light photographs.  His books, like “The Moment it Clicks,” “The Hotshoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes,” and his blog were early resources that I used to learn lighting.  Later I had the opportunity to see Joe and David Hobby on the Flash Bus Tour, when I purchased Joe’s The Language of Light DVD set.

While I tend more toward the manual “Strobist” approach, I have been trying to get enough Canon branded flashes to do some of the high-speed sync that Joe has demonstrated.

Import – Export Photoshop Actions

mgs_10Photoshop actions are a very powerful tool for automating repetitive tasks in Photoshop and they are simple to import and export.  For instance the technique that I learned from Dan Margulis to apply a L*a*b color boost to a photograph.  It is simple, produces beautiful color without a luminance shift, and is a standard adjustment that is blended by layer opacity.  So all of the work except for the final opacity adjustment is the same every time you used the technique.

An action can be used to duplicate the image, convert the image to the L*a*b color space, increase the slope of the A and B channels, copy the image, paste it as a new layer in the original image and adjust the opacity of that layer to ~50%.  With the action, all of these steps are condensed down to a 2 button clicks, one to select the action and one to run the action.

Tools

I have created a number of actions to make tedious processes less cumbersome, they can be found in the right panel under Actions.  Some of these tools work better under previous versions of Photoshop, for instance I have run into occasional issues with the Multiple Exposure actions under CS5 that I cannot explain because I cannot consistently reproduce them.  My best advice is, if it doesn’t run the first time properly, try reopening the images and running action again.

Installing Actions

I also wrote up a quick PDF on how to import or export actions in Photoshop, but there are also numerous tutorials on the web.  Do a search for “Import Photoshop Action” and there will be plenty of videos and tutorials from which to choose.