If you can’t get out of the house– Read a Book!

We all need a creative spark now and then, something to get the juices flowing and help us muster the energy to get out of bed at 4:30am for that shoot. Sometimes, I hit a creative rut, and when I do, it seems like there is always an excuse not to shoot.  Bad light. Too many clouds. No interesting subjects. Or maybe the recession has you down and you can’t take that two-week safari to Africa this year.  Well, a good book can cure that and I’m currently reading two that are chock-full of awesome shooting ideas. We all have room for creative improvement, and there’s nothing better than honing our skills or piquing our creativity by reading a good book.

My first read this summer has been Joe McNally’s The Hot Shoe Diaries.  All I can say about this book is “wow”.  If you are remotely interested in shooting events, weddings, or portraits, this book is an absolute must-read.  Throughout this book, you’ll follow world-renowned photographer Joe McNally as he illuminates his subjects and his readers with small flash technology (ie, Speedlights).  As the old saying goes, if you can’t bring your party to the light, bring the light to the party.  After I read this book, I had to fight the strong temptation to go out and purchase 47 SB-900 speedlights.
Next on my list is Tony Sweet’s Fine Art Digital Nature Photography. You know all those cool filter packs, like Nik Color Efex Pro?  I sometimes wonder just what do to do with all those interesting filter effects.  Well, Tony knows exactly what to do.  In this book, Tony will show you numerous techniques using Photoshop and many other techniques that can be done in-camera (like multiple exposures).  If you need to fire up that creative spark, this is one of those books that can get you out of your rut and back in a groove.  I highly recommend it!
So even if you can’t get out and shoot this summer, get educated!

Save 15% off all Nik Software Products!

Effective immediately, friends of Luminescence of Nature Photography can save 15% off all Nik Software products in the Nik USA online store by entering coupon code JODELL at checkout. Here’s your chance to save some serious cash on serious software.  Once you have your software, don’t forget to check out The Photographer’s Guide to Silver Efex Pro or The Photographer’s Guide to Capture NX2.

Doin’ it in the dark (aka, shooting cocktail hour)

Odell_20090808_5485.JPGI had the pleasure of going back home to Florida for one of those “you are getting old” rituals– my 20th high school reunion.  Unlike last time, when I brought my point and shoot film camera, this time I was ready, armed with a Nikon D3, 24-70mm lens, and SB-900.  I figured I’d do what I had always done at official high school events– shoot photos!  But I wanted to make sure that these photos would have a better quality than the standard snapshots we get with the point and click cameras that I knew everyone else would be using.

Find out more after the jump…

Continue reading Doin’ it in the dark (aka, shooting cocktail hour)

Kudos for the Silver Efex Pro “Guide”

I’ve gotten some really nice feedback from some customers who recently purchased my PDF book, The Photographer’s Guide to Silver Efex Pro.

Here’s an excerpt of one message I got the other day:

“Thank you for this wonderful book. I’m only on page 48, but what I’ve learned is considerable, even though I’ve used SEP for some time now.  You do very good work!” 

I also got notified today of the following review over at Peter West’s blog:

“Wonderful manual. I got your NX and NX2 manuals as well”

Thanks to everyone for all the positive comments!

A thousand points of light? No, that’s just my built-in projector!

Chalk this one up to the unexpected.  Nikon today announced an update to the Coolpix line, offering three new models.  I don’t usually get excited by any of the Nikon Coolpix announcements, because they still miss the mark when it comes to offering something that a pro photographer might consider when traveling on vacation.  But Nikon does seem to be getting creative with their gimmicks, features.

The Coolpix S1000pj is the first digital camera to offer a built in projector.  Yep, you heard me right– even I had to read that one twice and make sure it wasn’t lack of caffeine driving me to see funny things in the press release.  A projector.  In a camera.  Packing a not so mighty 10 lumens, you won’t be using this to light up an auditorium for your next photo exposition.  But it is interesting!
The Coolpix S1000pj also includes “hybrid VR”– a combination of lens and sensor shift to maximize image stabilization, a 28-140mm equivalent lens, and packs 12 megapixels.
So, if you are a multimedia freak and enjoy slide shows on the go, here’s your Coolpix!