Help us Pay It Forward!
Pay It Forward is our monthly FREE session & print giveaway for those who need a little pick me up due to harsh times, a lost loved one or just someone who is deserving or in need.
To nominate someone write a brief description in the comment section of this blog why they could use a blessing or go to our Facebook and message us your nomination. We want to be bombarded with nominations.
Thank you for Paying It Forward with us.
I am NIKON! The ever present satire filled debate of which brand, Nikon or Canon, is best will bring comedy and discussions over spirits for ages to come to all photographers who use these two moguls. Ergonomics, lenses, technical specs, weight, customer service are to name a few of the hundreds of shouted out across a field or long discussions that have passed by me in the photography adventures. But which is really best? Is there an honest answer to that question? I vote no! (even though a vehemently debate Nikon is the way to go)
Nikon feels better in my hands, seems more robust and well built along the entire spectrum of cameras and lenses offered, has well placed ergonomics for manual changes, and nearly all of the old film lenses still fit on the new bodies. That is why I chose Nikon. Am I correct? For me, yes! But for others, no! It’s an apples to oranges debate. Both are great fruits but both have their strengths and weaknesses. The same goes for Nikon and Canon. They both have strengths and weaknesses.
Recently I developed a passion for more of a behind-the-scenes knowledge of the print, marketing, software, and equipment companies that we use on a daily basis. Just knowing how to profit from companies that I have fallen in love with is not enough. I want more. More knowledge. More details. More insight into what makes them tick.
I am NIKON! We are their client and my natural desire to know more about my camera and lenses lead to this video by Nikkor lenses (Nikon lenses). A great story of quality and precision. But I want more! I want to visit Japan and this factory. I want to feel the lenses before they are placed in the bodies. I want to smell the silica being melted. I want to be there and be a part of it.
Do you feel the same?
I’m behind like crazy on this blog project. So I need to write less and let the images speak for themselves.
Max Vadukul www.maxvadukul.com is a portrait maker. He is an emotion genius. I love how he uses a simple scene and concentrates on emotion and catching the expression. I need more of that in my photos.
Check out Max’s work below and more if it on phlearn.com
I have to use Ryan as one of the 30 photographers that inspire me because his name is awesome. Wouldn’t you agree?
Apart from the awesome name this other Ryan, Ryan Brenizer ryanbrenizer.com takes amazing wedding images. As a “friend’s only” wedding photographer I occasionally view wedding images for ideas when a friend’s wedding arises and Ryan is truly amazing in how he captures the seen and unseen on the special day with amazing emotional and visual appeal. But his images inspire well beyond a wedding.
Unknown to his creative workflow process throughout the day I am taking a guess he imagines the long day as numerous mini portrait opportunities that blend together to make an amazing experience for every viewer.
He captures colors, silhouettes, the emotions, the looks and the experience the day holds to perfection. If I get married he is definitely on my list of photographers I will try to convince my wife to invest a 2nd mortgage to hire.
Check out Ryan’s work below and more at phlearn.com
As I look at Florian Schneider’s florianschneiderphoto.com images I don’t connect to everyone of them. I think that makes him that good of an artist. His images speak of a story and conceptual while leaving the viewer guessing what is the true meaning behind each story.
His heavy but consistent use of blending, HDR, multiple images and saturated highlights & shadows makes for a style all his own that adds another layer of mastery or mystery, which ever adverb you prefer (are those adverbs? I was never good at grammar).
Personally, I see some of his images in a better underexposed light, literally, or muted colors to simulate the mood captures. However, all art is up for interpretation and Florian is truly an artist. He doesn’t apologize about his work and how much Ps goes into it because it’s his art. Love him for that!
Check out some of his work below and more at phlearn.com
If you have ever looked at a magazine or been in a friend’s house you have likely seen an Ansel Adams www.anseladams.com . He is the most famous photographer, to my knowledge, in the entire world! Well, my world is NC so at least among my acquaintances in NC.
Ansel was an environmentalist and nature lover covering most of the US’s vast foliage, sedimentary structures and everything in between. He is particularly known for his black and white masterpieces that look natural and SOOC (straight out of the camera) but the opposite is oh so true.
Ansel spent hours, maybe even a day or two, dodging and burning partial images onto paper to make his masterpieces truly magnificent. The balance of darkroom vs. in camera exposure vs. old school HDR vs. lighting is a mystery worth discovering for this new photographer. To know how the masters of the old became infamous is a part of image history every visual creative needs to know. I’ll get on this tomorrow.
In the meantime take a look at Ansel’s work below and more of it at phlearn.com. And pay respect to the master of film that died in ’84. They don’t get much better than him!
Dan Busta (danbusta.com)! Can I have a photog crush on a guy? Well I do. He has so much variety in his work and he displays a multimedia presentation in photographer form.
Dan tells a story while taking a portrait in a futuristic world yet capturing the personality of the subject all while making a light symphony. I love it! I love it!
I think he knows when to be simple and when to be extreme. That shows he has a true artists eye for the detail when needed and the simple as well.
Bahamas! Water! Colors! Art! Photography! Models! Put them all together and you get the daily medium and canvas Elena Kalis http://www.elenakalisphoto.com/portfolio/ works with in her beautiful underwater photography.
Underwater photography has en element of wonder, sensual nature and pure calming moments. Elena has a soft soul and it shows in her images. Imagine a painter effortlessly putting every color, shadow, line and stroke onto a blank canvas. Now image that painter with a camera as the brush and every color be water, bubbles, dresses, sun streaks and more. Elena is an artist of Nautilus proportions.
Check out her work below and more at phlearn.com
When you take the real and make it look surreal with nothing but light you are considered a master. Tim Simmons ( timsimmons.co.uk ) is a master of landscape lighting!
His images speak wonder and futurism while instantly bringing you back to “no, that is real, just changed in slight perspective to keep me amazed”
Looking at Tim’s images you can’t help but gaze into each image and become lost in color, simplicity, and pure joy. You smile after each image knowing you are looking at a true artist’s masterpieces. I literally feel calmer after looking at his gallery of work. Don’t you! That feeling is what makes him a true inspiration.
Check out some of Tim’s work below and more at phlearn.com
Gary has a style that fuses sport and art. I love it! Often separated and far apart those two realms of life need to fuse more often.
The beauty and detail he put into his cleat image is impeccable. His boxing image has the makings of a hollywood masterpiece with every expression, angle of body and color perfectly thought out. Truly superb! And the Andy Roddick side by side shows both sides of Andy that the public views, fun and down to business. A perfect representation of Andy!
Gary gives the viewer thought provoking images that bring you into his creative mind, making you simultaneously guess his story of the image & what will happen next. Gary likely doesn’t even know he is bringing that much into the viewer’s mind. Obviously he is and that makes him truly inspirational.
See Gary’s images below and more at phlearn.com
Steve McCurry ( stevemccurry.com ) is a documentary photographer and has been working for the past 30 years. Many photographers travel the world to capture the beauty of the Alps, the lakes in Guatemala, the castles in Scotland, and every other beautiful creation God or man has created. Steve travels the world capturing the beauty of misery. The real life obstacles, stories, heart aches, and more that are associated with 3rd world countries, war, conflict and everything in between. Of course that is not all he shoots but I find the most beauty in his images in the pain he captures.
I have spent countless hours staring at the front of the National Geographic of the now famous Afghan girl’s eyes. That one image can write a novel of best seller written all over it. And then the indian boy covered in red! What story and intrigue that brings the viewer.
Mesmerized. Astonished. Captivated. Awe. His images bring so much emotion, story and heart that they just scream “take me there”
See Steve’s image below and more at phlearn.com
Joe McNally (portfolio.joemcnally.com ). The living, humble God-father of photography. I can’t say much about Joe that hasn’t been said in National Geographic, Time, and a whole slew of magazines, publications, TV specials and more. Joe has been everywhere. Has won everything and still loves every minute of his job. How can you not be ecstatic when you travel to the ends of the earth to capture an image that will be seen by every photographer in the world and nearly every home in the world.
Joe is simply a master of light, expression, moment and the photographer/subject connections. He loves to teach, loves to inspire, laugh, make fun of you when you are asking for it, and be a diligent businessman when needed. I picked up Joe’s book “The Hot Shoe Diaries” as soon as it came out. This book alone elevated off camera flash to a whole new level in my repertoire.
Check out his work at Phlearn.com
A Michigan native! I love Eric Ogden already!
The thing that stands out about his work is his use of light. You can see the light in many of his pieces and it’s brilliant. It seems to be an additional prop or intentional feature among subjects that grabs your eye, draws it and then brings it back to the main feature. The flare, the spotlight, perfect vignetting, the reflection, shape light and so much more. I find the best photographers to be masters of light and he exudes a master level with some flare.
Eric’s cliental are amazing among anyone’s standards and I am truly jealous. And that is why he is inspiring and I am writing about how good he is.
Check out his work below and more at phlearn.com
I want to meet John or have him teach the class “How to connect with a client.” Every image of his seems to bring out the personality of the subject.
I am learning my style of portraits as natural with conceptual undertones and John is nearly identical in style. John kills my technical and artistic vision but that is the vision for this blog series. To be inspired and motivated to push my art to the next level on a daily basis.
John’s work can be seen below or at phlearn.com
As I dive into the creative professional workflow I am intrigued on an exponential level with the photographers who inspired and pioneered for us digital togs. I find those who had to wind the tools and dip their displays amazing visionaries.
Herbert List is one I have found to me an amazing master of light. Up to today’s standards he would likely be an average professional photographers. But given the equipment and limits he had to make his images he is truly amazing in vision and creating simple and elegant artistic images.
You can see his work below and more at phlearn.com
A portrait of Herbert
Yes, Day 5 was actually 2 days ago. Been busy!!! So today I am posting 3 time. Yeah
Chase Jarvis (chasejarvis.com) Social media brain child!
Chase Jarvis is likely the most influential photographer of the 21st century. As the digital realm of photography storm has swept up numerous photographers, companies and ingenuity from their couches Chase has been on the cusp of what is new, hip, trending, viral and so much more.
For me, he has been the most influential social media guy to date. Period!
Photography clients to include Toyota, Nike, REI and so many more
Awards up the ying yang
App designer, author
Music video director
augh…. how about I just post some of my favorite videos that originally inspired me. After I viewed his plethora of videos I developed an “artist crush” on Chase that continues to grow.
Benevolent Mischief http://youtu.be/rMbBKukJzBk
New Zealand Landscapes http://youtu.be/tO4q0GK4ZHg
Photo Walk http://youtu.be/atiag-YLk94
Kung Fu http://youtu.be/YHLI4n28Obs
Jeremy Cowart is an artistic hero. A warrior poet! He speaks through his work. I was introduced to his work through another one of my favorite inspirational artist’s Youtube interviews, Chase Jarvis, who will later be extensively honored in this 30 day project.
A triple threat in the artistic world: mad camera & light skills, amazing photoshop genius and acerebellum gifted from the Gods, well yahweh to be specific. He is a dynamic, impact-ful Christian artist that never flaunts or imposes his faith on any of his celebrity subjects, often bridges the secular and Christian world with true art and gives back to the poor and needy every second he can.
A few years back he started www.help-portrait.com, an movement of photographers, make up artists, hair stylists and more collaborating to give the needy and less fortunate a day of image, blessings, food and love. This movement has spread to nearly every continent and has blessed thousands that otherwise could not afford a professional image. He is a true warrior for the needy.
His warrior poet status continues to flare in excitement and wonder to newly found professionals like myself when you look at his humanitarian and teaching prowess as well. Check out his website, www.jeremycowart.com, for his incredible heart and desire to give back.
Viewing his work nearly 20 times has never left me bored or thinking there is someone better. His art engulfs your senses and exponentially increases your desire to produce work one ounce as good as his.
The following images and more can be viewed on www.phlearn.com the website that sparked my inspiration for this blog project.
If you are stuck to your computer surfing sites of incredible time suck (I am guilty), only in the digital world updating while on the porcelain throne, and texting while driving then the name Annie Liebovitz may never make you think twice. Why? She doesn’t have a website. Vanity Fair had to show her work to others because she’s too busy creating. (www.vanityfair.com/contributors/annie-leibovitz ) As a photographer the single name Annie should be engrained in your head as a master. Annie is a single name in photography! Enough said.
To me, her work is deserved on day 1 of my 30 days of inspiration for too many reasons. It’s transparent and mysterious simultaneously. It’s vibrant and melancholy without an ounce of effort. It’s in all genres but in a genre of her own. Some are so beautiful yet depressing. Others are patchwork of a genius visioned on a 1 dimensional canvas. I sit here trying to come up with adjectives, nouns, verbs, etc. to describe her work but I can’t. It’s literally genius! Since my limited vocabulary and subpar writing skills can not do her work justice here are a few examples of her art to speak for her
(all below works & more are visible on http://www.phlearn.com)
An image of Annie
This blog post is in response to a post( http://jeremycowart.com/2012/06/best-photographers-ever/ )by Jeremy Cowart, one of my leading inspirations to creative light, exploration into the creative realm and photography. Click on it and if you feel like reading a blog post from a brand new full time professional instead of these geniuses then keep on reading.
WOW! www.phlearn.com The art, vision, creative genius, technique and raw freedom is BUNK! (I don’t know if that is a word but it just fits)
Immediately the pen started running out of ink of all the photographers I wanted to explore and hate for their talent and success in color, contrast, PS skills, and so much more. FULL TIME PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER? They are full time photographers! I am a wanna be. My work seems EONS away from any one of theirs.
Just before I started to delete all my photos, put my gear up for sale on ebay, and apply for teaching jobs in the fall I was reminded of a statement I often state when the brave souls in my church photography small group listen to what this peon photographer has to say in my classes I instruct
“Every photographer had to start somewhere. Don’t give up!”
I took my own advice today and didn’t give up! Chalk one up for the small victories of the mind.
At the very moment I stated I wouldn’t give up the logical brain kicked off and the creative part flipped bright and 5700K. Now that I have an unbelievable new avenue to some of the most incredible shutter clicking genius in the world why not research one a day. Chalk another one up for the creative victory of the mind!
30 Inspiring Photographes in 30 days. Starting tomorrow, I have a 30 day goal of blogging one photographer’s work from phlearn.com a day to spark the creative inside me.
Be on the lookout for a 30 day blog series highlighting some of the best in the world. Even though Aaron already did this on phlearn.com I know posting each interpretation on why I like them so much will create neural pathways (the science background is kicking in) that will be vital in my own work.
I have been enamored with this short film “The Butterfly Circus”. A motivational speaker by the name of Nic Vujicic is the star and needs to be. You’ll see why when you view the short. It stopped me to tears the first time viewing and still does. I think it’s my selfish world of pride I try to front that is torn down to a point of humility and grace each time I watch it. Never think you have life rough because there is always someone else with rougher edges and situations than you. Count your blessings as the famous line states.
One of my favorite movie scenes of the last 5 years is in “Evan Almighty” and it flows beautifully with this short. In Evan Almighty, God (Morgan Freeman) is speaking to Evan Baxter’s (Steve Carrell) wife as he fronts a server in the restaurant she is dining. She is distraught at her husband’s new faith and job choice. God sees her in a tough situation and reminds her of her prayer asking for a closer family.
God (Freeman) states “It sounds like an opportunity.” He goes on to explain “If someone prays for patience do you think God gives them patience or do you think God gives them the opportunity to be patient? If he prays for courage does God give him courage or the opportunity to be courageous?” And now he knows this next one will hit her because he’s god and knows her prayers. “ If someone prays for a family to be closer do you think God gives them warm fuzzy feelings or does He give them opportunities to love each other?” She almost melts into her fish basket.
That scene did more for me than many hours reading His new testament teachings. I don’t know why but the different perspective just resonated deep within. Actually, I do. It shows His love for us and His desire to show that love through relationship. And that is what “The Butterfly Circus” portrays. A relational love story of a leader’s choice to love, not judge, and see the opportunity in everyone, no matter what situation.
A brief intro to the film: In the time of the Great Depression, a showman (Eduardo Verastegui) leads his renowned Butterfly Circus through America lifting the spirits of audiences along the way. During their tour they discover Will (Nick Vujicic), a man without limbs at a carnival sideshow. After an intriguing encounter with the showman Will becomes driven to hope against everything he has ever believed.
ImagingUSA was amazing. Lights. Camera. Action. Literally! A convention is overwhelming no matter what subject matter and this was no exception. 10,000 photographers attended and a guess of 150 vendors. Knowing where to turn and who to talk to next to view the product offered or subject matter was a constant whirlwind of elephant sized good stress. I LOVED IT!! Spongebob had a competitor for the ability to soak up this weekend. Flabbergasted is an understatement of the knowledge and skills picked up in the short 3 days I was able to attend.
Each day started with 2 sessions of speakers sharing their portrait, wedding, business or unique expertise to 1,500 eager photogs armed with iPad, iPhones, laptops and notepads. Artsy armor clad patrons changed to window shopping chics flocking at all the gear most dream to own before the last picture of each is taken in the casket. Armored fingers and pens went back to work for 2 more session in the early evening.
Jennifer Hudson – Creativity to spare
Beth Forester – Marketing guru
Dale Benfield – Prodigy
Allison Rodgers – Superwoman
Julieanne Kost – Photoshop queen
Implementation of learned knowledge is instantly applied hence, this blog.