Milestone – Car photos accepted for two month exhibit at local coffeehouse

So I mentioned back in August that I had become a member of the Ann Arbor Women Artists, who organize many of the art exhibits in coffeehouses around town. I was thrilled to learn in March they accepted 11 photos from the Car Details series to be displayed at Sweetwaters Cafe on Liberty in Ann Arbor for two months in March/April 2017. After all those years of admiring artists’ work at the local coffeehouses I’m so excited that I will have my own exhibit!  It took me a while to have the confidence in my work to a) ask to become a member, and b) Apply for consideration for an exhibit, but I’m so glad that I kept at it…

From Picture Correct – How to become a professional photographer

Picture Correct has a great infographic on how to become a professional photographer, with steps to take and resources for each step.  I’m glad to see I can actually consider myself a professional photographer after looking at it!

The major sections they address, with many details within, are:

  • Decide what kind of photographer you want to become
  • Improve your skills and portfolio
  • Build and refine your portfolio
  • Getting a photography job
  • Becoming a small business owner

The infographic was provided by wedding photographer Robert Sail, at  http://www.robertsail.co.uk/

From Picture Correct – 28 Genius Photoshop Tricks

From Picture Correct, a bunch (28!) of really great photoshop tricks. I knew a few but I know I’m going to want to remember these:

  1. Quickly whiten teeth
  2. Merge all layers to new layer
  3. The rotate view tool
  4. Change layer opacity hotkey
  5. Choose layers trick
  6. Move layers trick
  7. Change unit of measure
  8. Undo more steps
  9. Apply pattern along path
  10. Apply layer mask trick
  11. Instantly find center of photoshop document
  12. Quickly change colors
  13. How to paint a selection
  14. Beautiful black and white photos with channel mixer
  15. Quickly fill text and color/shape layers
  16. Scale layer styles with layer
  17. Precise painting with the brush tool
  18. Duplicate anything you want
  19. Before/after preview in layers panel
  20. Straightening the PSD
  21. Bird’s eye view
  22. Clip image to type layer
  23. Instagram “fade” effect
  24. Hacking your selection placement
  25. Quick retro color style
  26. Extract assets
  27. Multiple drop shadows and strokes
  28. Interface color easter egg

You can see it in video form at  http://www.picturecorrect.com/tips/28-genius-photoshop-tricks/ .  You can also read about them at http://tutvid.com/photoshop/tips-and-tricks-photoshop-cc/

Note they’re from 2015, so some things might be different in a more recent version. I often just like to know that something is possible at all, I can always look up how to do it in a more recent version but if you don’t even know it’s possible…

Shooting Stock Photos – Detroit solo photo day

A couple week-ends ago I found myself with some free time on a nice sunny day, so I went into Detroit to take photographs, my small way to help out by providing positive images of Detroit for stock photo needs – I had a blast! Spent over an hour at Eastern Market, caught some new shots at the museum area, finally got a photo of the Motown museum, and even hit the Heidelberg project.  Wonderful to get away and get some shots!

Things that went well:

  • Did some advance planning re. locations so I focused on ones that were kinda close to each other and I could have a general order I wanted to go in.
  • Got lucky in having an Eastern Market truck parked in just the perfect position to capture it.

DSC_4058.jpg

  • Asked permission of vendors at Eastern Market, and hung out, taking the time for scenes to present themselves. Some said no, no worries, I respected that, but most of them were quite willing to let me take photographs.

DSC_4076.jpg

  • Put the next location on my GPS, but also was flexible if I saw something else I wanted to take a photo of on the way, like the museums area, had not planned on going back there but when I realized I was nearby I stopped in – Drives the GPS crazy when I go beyond the desired route, but that’s part of the fun. After I’m done it gets me back on track to my next stop.

DSC_4148.jpg

  • Always nice to have someone who wants to pose just for the fun of it, I always go along, why not?

DSC_4150.jpg

  • Trying new angles in old places, like the thinker in this Detroit Institute of Arts photo:

DSC_4159.jpg

  • Took photos of many people at the Motown museum in addition to getting my own shots.

DSC_4182.jpg

  • At Heidelberg project again waited for the scene to present itself, e.g. people walking past the house vs. the house by itself. Took a while to wait for people to walk past it, but much better photo:

DSC_4215.jpg

DSC_4222.jpg

Now to clean them up and submit them to Shutterstock, and then the other websites.  To see all the Detroit photos that are on my Shutterstock portfolio, click here.

Best wishes on your photography adventures,

Susan

Monthly reflections – January 2016

Other than the news of photos accepted to Blueprint, not much to report for January. I’ve made some time for photography, most of it photographing some logos between running errands and also submitting photos to other stock websites, trying to catch up there… I’ve been so successful with Shutterstock that it feels like a lot of work submitting to the other sites, though iStockphoto is respectable, and how do I expect to make money off the others if I stop submitting photos?  Good question, that’s why I’m doing it now.

So, speaking of Shutterstock – no new photos, so the chronological view is the same as December:

Shutterstock December new

As for the popular view, Planned Parenthood continues to be in the news, Tesla moves up, the new Veterans Hospital photo makes an appearance at the top, and the Detroit photos from the December trip are doing well. Even one of the photos from the peace protest made it near the top, great! Logos still the big winners:

Shutterstock January 2016 popular.jpg

Working for better work-life balance at my day job to allow more time for stock photography, making some progress…

Best wishes in your photography adventures,

Susan

 

Milestone – Photos accepted by Blueprint 2016

Got some great news recently – The four photos I submitted to Blueprint, my college’s literary magazine, were accepted!  They were:

Alone – From the Skogafoss waterfall in Iceland

Skogafoss waterfall

Big blue – taken at the Glacier Lagoon in Iceland:

Big Blue 300 dpi 3000 px.jpg

White on black – Ice on the sand near the Glacier Lagoon:

White on black 300 dpi 3000 px.jpg

Stand out – It spoke to me of being proud to be yourself, from a garden in Holland, MI:

Stand out 300 dpi 3000 px.jpg

 

They’ll be part of an exhibit on campus, so excited!

Susan

Update – “Alone” received an Honorable Mention at the gallery exhibit :)

Susan at BluePrint release event

 

Monthly reflections – December 2015

Over the holidays I finally found/made the time to process photos from this summer and fall and submit them to Shutterstock, so I’m up to 1435 photos. I even took some time during a visit to Detroit to sneak in some photos as well…  So the new photos at Shutterstock included those Detroit photos, many many logos, some photos from around town, some from the trip through Flint, MI:

Shutterstock December new

As for most popular photos, the logos as always have it beat, nice to see the puffin photo still hanging in there.  Hoping to get a Tesla supercharger zone with an actual car being charged, one of these days…

Shutterstock December popular

Good time to reflect on stock photo taking this year:

  • It was time for a final goodbye to those photos where I accidentally had the size set to small, which won’t work for my most profitable stock sites.  I realized that that was one reason I was putting off processing them, it was going to be too depressing to face all those “lost” photos…  Moving on…
  • A number of the logo photos I took while with family and friends were done too hurriedly and the composition or focus was off. Have to decide to either take the time to do it right, which would get in others’ way, or just let it go and not bother with such photos when I’m on vacation.
  • Some of the logo photos I took when I had tons of time and was  dedicated to stock photos were also out of focus – for the picky 100% focus demands of Shutterstock, I mean, the normal person would not notice.  I have to swallow my pride and use the monopod when I am in professional mode, no use taking stock photos that are not going to make it.

Feels great to be caught up on submitting photos to Shutterstock, now have to get those photos submitted to the other stock sites and of course… take more photos!

Best wishes on your photography adventures in 2016,

Susan

Shooting stock photos – Outside a UM football game

I didn’t write a blog entry at the time because I hadn’t submitted photos yet, but I had a really fun time in early Fall taking photos of fans outside the University of Michigan football stadium.  Here are a few:

UM football 1

UM football 2

UM football 3

 

Things that went well:

  • Found a great spot in the path of people walking to the stadium, behind a divider that split the crowd so they had to walk past me, and I could stand behind the divider and prop my arms on it, making for steadier photos.
  • Fans were posing for me as soon as they saw my camera, didn’t have to ask anyone to pose or anything, everyone was friendly, enjoying a great day. The advantages of the social media age…
  • I ran into a number of people I know, so I was able to take their photo and send it to them – I don’t submit photos of people I know to stock sites, don’t want to blur that line…

To keep in mind next time:

  • Submit the photos ASAP, shouldn’t have waited this long…
  • Watch for distractions such as porta-potty in background of some photos, distracting…

Fun crowd, fun time! You can see these and other photos I’ve taken outside the stadium here.

From Digital Photography School – Best of 2015 Beginners Photography Tips

From Digital Photography a great compilation of their best guides to photography, including:

 

Lots of great ideas!

 

Monthly reflections – November 2015

Into December already, school  semester flying by and no time to do much with stock photography, but plan to over break.  Not that I didn’t take any photos, lots of departmental events to take photos for, and students seem to appreciate having photos they can post.

Waiting to hear if my Iceland photos made the College literary magazine, I guess I’m not the only one way too busy… You can see old editions of Blueprint magazine here.

Attended a holiday artisan market and was delighted to see one of our doctoral students selling his photos. He and others seem to have many matted but unframed photos, that seems the best balance of investment vs. sales, will have to keep that in mind if I decide to go the craft fair way. Have always hesitated – how do you decide how many of each photo to take, what size to use?  One seller has notecards with her photos on it, that seemed like a reasonable alternative to try… Maybe some day…

The good thing about stock photography is that even if you have a busy month and don’t post anything the money still comes in, yey…

Shutterstock November popular

Logos still popular, and you see some of the England photos making an appearance as well, which was nice to see…

Best wishes in your photography adventures over the holidays,

Susan

 

Monthly reflections – October 2015

October had lots of excitement, including the publication of the travel stock photos article in Digital Photography School, now with over 900 shares!  Also had the two photos I submitted accepted at the Ann Arbor Women Artists Fall 2015 Juried Show at our local district library.  I was told at the opening reception that there were 175 submissions and 75 accepted, so I’m pretty pleased getting accepted the first time.

I submitted some of the photos from the one day of large enough England photos so the Shutterstock site is up to 1366 images, some progress:

Shutterstock October new

Logos still the overwhelming winners in popularity, though you can see some of the Holland, MI shots among the top, and the flu shot and time change reminders made an appearance:

Shutterstock October popular

As for what is coming up, yesterday I submitted some of the Iceland photos to our College’s literary magazine, so fingers crossed on that one!

Best wishes on your photography adventures,

Susan

Milestone – Five thousand hits!

Thanks in large part to the visitors who stopped by after reading my stock travel photo article in Digital Photography School, SusanMontgomeryPhotos.com reached 5,000 hits! I started the blog in June 2014, hit 1,000 hits in August 2014, then things slowed down as I was not able to do as much due to the demands of my day job, but trying to make up for that more recently, so glad to see it’s paying off!

I am pleased that the articles I have written to encourage others to try stock photography and pursue their own photo adventures are getting some extra visibility.  Tonight (Friday 23rd, it’s a late night…) was also the day of the reception for the Ann Arbor Women Artists’ juried art show two of my photos got accepted for, so overall a great day from a photo perspective…

Thank YOU very much for reading, and please let me know if you have any questions, suggestions, thoughts, ideas…

Best wishes in your photography adventures,

Susan

From Light Stalking – 14 Practical Reasons Your Photos Are Not Quite As Good As You Want Them To Be

Ritesh Saini has a great article in Light Stalking titled 14 Practical Reasons Your Photos Are Not Quite As Good As You Want Them To Be

  1. You don’t pay attention to the composition
  2. You don’t know the basics of exposure
  3. You don’t experiment with the perspective
  4. You don’t understand how lighting affects a photograph
  5. You don’t post-process your photos
  6. You haven’t taken up a photography project
  7. You don’t have a well-defined subject in  your photo
  8. You are not studying other photographers’ works
  9. You are totally ignoring the background
  10. You don’t know your camera well enough
  11. You don’t visualize what you’re going to shoot
  12. Your photograph doesn’t convey a story or message
  13. You don’t get your photos critiqued
  14. You don’t practice enough

Get more details and see some of Ritesh’s great photos here.

From Picture Correct – 10 Wildlife Photography Tips for Fall

Picture Correct has 10 Wildlife Photography Tips for Fall , including:

  1. Catch the early morning and late afternoon light
  2. Drop to eye level
  3. Watch your background
  4. Never follow an animal
  5. To get closer, look distracted
  6. Outsmart the wind
  7. Shoot on continuous mode
  8. Make your buffer last longer
  9. Use AF point for composition
  10. Use the center AF point for anything that’s tough to focus on

Check out the article for example photos and a very useful video that describes each of these in more detail.

Milestone – Article based on stock travel photography in Iceland to be published in Digital Photography School!

So back in June I went to Iceland, had a wonderful time… I participated in the GREEN Energy Program then spent a few extra days driving around and taking photos of anything I wanted to, glorious time.  I didn’t write my usual tips article based on my experience for this blog because I proposed an article about stock travel photography to Digital Photography School‘s Tips and Tutorials section and it was accepted! I just learned that it will be published on the 20th of October. I’ll update this entry with a link to DPS when it comes out.  Update October 19th – you can find the article here.

So I saved the tips and my best photos for the DPS article, but here are a few other photos to give you a sense of what a lovely country Iceland is. Many of these photos were taken while on guided tours with Ardar, aka Addi, the best guide ever at South Iceland Adventures.

Got to see lots of waterfalls, such as Seljalandsfoss:

Hvolsvollur, ICELAND - JUN 15: Seljalandsfoss waterfall, shown here on June 15, 2015, was one of the stopping points in The Amazing Race 6 competition in 2014.

Hiked Sólheimajökull glacier:

SOLHEIMAJOKULSVEGUR, ICELAND - JUN 15: Sólheimajökull glacier, shown here on June 15, 2015, has retreated about a kilometer in the past decade.

Had a great time going on a puffin viewing hike at the Ingolfshofdi nature reserve: 

Atlantic puffin looking right, with straw in his beak, gray background

Got up close with an Icelandic horse:

Iceland 8 horse blond head

Had a great time at the Glacier Lagoon:

Iceland glacier lagoon


Beautiful country, lovely people…  You can also see some of my Iceland photos at my Shutterstock site.

October 24 update – Change featured image to a screenshot of the icon for the article at DPS. So cool to see it published and to have some readers stop by the blog and learn from past blog articles!

Milestone – Accepted to AAWA Fall 2015 Juried show!

You might recall I recently became a member of the Ann Arbor Women Artists. So I applied for their Fall 2015 juried show, and two of my photos got accepted!  I had had them framed before for another event, and here they get another chance get out of the house and strut their stuff, maybe this time they’ll find a new home…

LAKE TITICACA, PERU - AUGUST 3: Uros Indian woman looking out from a watchtower on a reed island in Lake Titicaca August 3, 2013.
Indian woman looking out from a watchtower on a reed island in Lake Titicaca

Wandering path through lush scenery
Wandering path through lush scenery in Lachay, Peru

I drop off the photos Monday the 19th, show is for a month at the Ann Arbor District Library, with Opening Reception Oct 23, 6:30-8pm, at 7 pm. The show itself runs for a month.

Monthly reflections – September 2015

In September my teaching job needed most of my time, but I managed to take some photos around town. In the most exciting news, my proposal to write an article about stock travel photography tips for Digital Photography School was accepted! I submitted and waiting to hear back from them, can’t wait to see it in my feedly newsfeed, that’ll be unreal…  Thanks to my photography and arty friends Mary, Shonda and Wayne for their editing suggestions.

As for the monthly Shutterstock website update, at 1339 just 1 higher than last month, still plenty of photos to process from the summer, but just can’t seem to find the time…  Shutterstock September 2015 new

The penguin with the fish made it into the popular ones, and beyond that logos continue to be my biggest sellers, along with Detroit and Holland Tulip Festival shots:

Shutterstock September 2015 popular

Now recovering from a hoodly cold that has flattened many of my students, eager to process more photos in October and maybe apply to some photo exhibits around town with some of the photos that are already framed…

Best wishes on your photography adventures,

Susan

Photography equipment – Op/tech Utility Strap – Sling

I realized I wrote this up in the August end of month update, but I also wanted to give it its own entry so it’ll be easier for others to find it. If you end up getting a neck-ache from your camera strap after a long day of photography, I strongly encourage you to invest in a camera strap/sling. I’ve been debating it for a year or so and finally did it, and only thing I can say is I wish I’d done it sooner…

I bought an Op/Tech Utility Strap – Sling camera strap, on the advice of the folks at Central Camera in Chicago.  Here’s a photo from the Op/Tech website so you can see what I mean:

camera sling

It’s great to have the camera on the side as you walk around, and then you can move it up when you need it, glides smoothly. I used it on my recent stock photo day and didn’t feel anything on my neck after a long day – Highly recommend it!

Best wishes on YOUR photography adventures,

Susan

Monthly reflections – August 2015

Wow, that’s summer gone.  I do plan to write up the trip to Iceland from back in June, but waiting to see if there might be interest in that piece at a professional photography website and it can’t be published elsewhere first, so cross your fingers on that one.

August included some good times taking photos in England and a pleasant solo photo day driving Up North.

I’m really happy that on a recent visit to Chicago (not many stock photos so no write up about it) we stopped by the Central Camera, right downtown on Wabash avenue. They have been open since 1899 and with the wonderful service they offer I’m not surprised.  Among other things I finally bought a Op/Tech Utility Strap – Sling camera strap, absolutely LOVE it.  Takes all the weight off your neck, such a relief! If you have been considering this step I would strongly encourage you to do it, you’ll be so glad you did…

Now to the monthly Shutterstock website update, here are the most recent ones, not much uploaded, so only up to 1338, not the end of summer goal of 1,500, oh well, we move on… Still, very proud of the ones that have made it in so far, feel they represent nicely the beauty that is Iceland…

Shutterstock August 2015 new

As for popular, Planned Parenthood still in the news, Chrysler Jeep’s plant showing up a bit, and you can see flu shot season is upon us, that sticky note is making a comeback, Holland and Detroit also feature a bit:

Shutterstock August 2015 popular

On to the Fall and the start of the school year, hope to make/find the time to upload more… In the meantime, best wishes on YOUR photography adventures,

Susan

Shooting stock photos – solo photo day driving up north

Recently had a fun time driving up north to Mackinaw city. Long story but it was just a quick overnight trip, and leaving super early to spend an afternoon on Mackinac Island on my own didn’t appeal, so I figured I’d just take my time, start the drive mid-morning, and since I was on my own just take my time taking photos of whatever appealed.

For those of you not familiar with Michigan, that’s pretty much a straight shot up the middle of the “mitten” that is Michigan, going through Flint:

to Mackinaw

I wasn’t really sure what I would take photos of, but that was part of the excitement, see how the day developed. I started out spending a chunk of time just half an hour north or Ann Arbor at an outside mall taking logo photos of stores, a thing I do…  Then when I got to Flint, MI I realized I hadn’t been there in many many years, so I swung by and took some photos there:

Flint vehicle city

I did a quick search on “Things to do in Flint” and had it show me the map of the locations and just drove around, all the time in the world, lovely…  Of course had to also stop at the home of Halo Burgers:

Halo Burger

I took more shots at the University of Michigan Flint, and the Institute of Arts, and other museums.   After a couple hours I got going and soon enough saw the sign for the Civilian Conservation Corps museum. I have seen that sign many times and have thought of stopping, but I usually felt in a rush to get to Mackinaw City, so let it pass. Today was the day!  Very interesting history reading about the Michigan men who were employed in large part to grow pine trees to be used in reforestation projects throughout the state. This was the main building:

CCC museum

Glad I stopped by… Ended the day at a little cottage right on lake Huron, lovely view:

beach chairs copy

So, reflection. Overall a relaxing day, great to make the time for these unplanned unstructured photo trips…  What I did right:

  • Take the time to just see what the day brought, being open to the experience. The four hour trip ended up taking me over seven hours…
  • Did a quick “things to do in Flint” check to catch the major sites.
  • Take comfortable shoes, I did a lot more walking than I expected.

I’ll update this when I have cleaned up the photos and submitted them to Shutterstock, been trying to fit lots on my plate in August, and the school year is around the corner… Figured best to write this up even if they are not posted to Shutterstock yet…

Best wishes on your photography adventures,

Susan