Here’s One Photography Idea That Sells in Today’s Markets

It’s well known in the business of photography, that photographs of news worthy subjects sell and sometimes very well. I’ve written about this before and the need for outdoor photographers to create images the markets will want.

Paparazzi’s for example, have been known to make a fortune capturing images of celebrities in ‘news making’ situations. With some foresight and good ideas, so can nature photographers.

Outdoor photographers shoot just about every subject that has to do with the outdoors, nature, and how humans interact with the outdoors, but often they lack that news making ingredient. Those images often languish waiting for a buyer, if there ever is one. So what should you shoot? Here are some ideas.

READ MORE +Here’s One Photography Idea That Sells in Today’s Markets

Favorite Places: Techatticup Nevada Ghost Town

Eldorado Canyon has a long history. From early Spanish explorers to the Native Americans, the canyon was home to the native people and those seeking their fortunes. The Spanish found silver but never did find the gold deposits they were seeking. Today Techatticup is a popular tourist site and a great place for those seeking old and historic subjects to photograph.

Prospectors found their way to Eldorado Canyon by way of the Colorado River and by the 1860s it was home to prospectors and Civil War deserters, who found the canyon a great place to hide out. Interestingly the canyon had a population of nearly 300 people the future city of Las Vegas only had 40 inhabitants.

It was a ruthless and lawless land with fights over gold, women, claim jumping, and countless incidents of vigilante justice. There was no sheriff in the area with the  closest living 200 miles away by horseback. Eldorado Canyon was one of the earliest and richest mining districts in Nevada. The mine was started around 1858 and lasted until 1945 when it was abandoned. During this time the mines produced about $5 million dollars worth of ore. (Below are images from my visit this year)

READ MORE +Favorite Places: Techatticup Nevada Ghost Town

The Fine Art of Editing Your Images

Nature photographers shoot a lot of images and at some point they have to wade through all of them and determine which are best for the markets. With digital photography it’s so easy to shoot massive amounts of images because the equipment is fast and there is relatively no cost.

In the days of shooting with a 4×5 view cameras, setting up and composing a scene took substantial effort. Film was expensive so there was much more of a tendency to work longer on composition, wait for perfect light, and to make sure the image worked. This slow process was in many ways editing in the field. You worked longer on each image, took a fewer of them, and had a higher rate of ‘keepers.’

With digital it is easy to blast away and many of us do it. The scenery perfect or the light is fading fast, so moving around with the camera to grab a lot of images is a natural response. Get it before the lights gone! The result is a lot of digital captures that have to be edited; at least when it comes to deciding what goes on your website for sale.

READ MORE +The Fine Art of Editing Your Images

When Spectrums Collide: Selective Processing With Infra Red

by Lee Mandrell  

A Simple Infrared Selective Color Project

As they so often are, it was another perfect day in the Smoky Mountains. I’m an avid color landscape shooter, but I am always on the lookout for infrared shots as well as anything I think might separate my shots from the norm. I happened upon this scene at the end of ‘The Roaring Fork Motor Trail’, just at the edge of Gatlinburg, TN. My wife and I asked the shop owner if we could shoot the old dodge truck that resides on the property. She informed us that we could take pictures, but we had to stay on the outside of the fence, and also to let her know if we felt we got anything worthwhile. To me this meant shooting what has been shot thousands of times before me.

READ MORE +When Spectrums Collide: Selective Processing With Infra Red

5 Techniques for Gritty Grungy Outdoor Portraits Pt. 4

In this series of gritty grungy techniques I have shared several that I though created a good gritty look. All have been different approaches and provided different results from HDR to just doing it in Camera RAW.

This technique is the first that uses a software plug-in and I think I like it the best as far as the gritty grungy result. The plugin I used was Topaz Adjust and here are how I set the sliders.

First, here is the original RAW file and you can see the the face is dark under the hat brim.

READ MORE +5 Techniques for Gritty Grungy Outdoor Portraits Pt. 4

5 Techniques for Gritty Grungy Outdoor Portraits Pt. 1

The gritty, grungy look for people is a popular look these days and if you Googled those in search terms you would find a wide variety of approaches from other photographers.

If you shoot outdoor adventure type images you might want to add an edgy style to your images.  There are many ways to create a grungy and gritty look and I have played with 5 different approaches and they all create a slightly different visual look to images of people outdoors.

This is the first in a series of 5 posts that illustrate the different approaches and each approach differs in complexity from very easy to very involved. This first approach uses primarily the High Pass filter in Photoshop with a sepia effect.

The other approaches coming in the next 4 tutorials include: Camera Raw, HDR, Desaturation, and Topaz Adjust software.

READ MORE +5 Techniques for Gritty Grungy Outdoor Portraits Pt. 1

How To Convert Old Images into Current and Compelling Concept Photos

Much has changed in nature, stock, and professional photography in general over the last decade and many working photographers are dealing with those changes daily.

When I look at today’s markets for nature photography I see many huge market changes and still see some markets that remain the same. Calendars for example still need beautiful landscape imagery as well as specialty subjects to fill their calendars like: Cats, Dogs, Love, and other themed calendar titles.

Advertising has changed and how advertisers license images has changed as well with Microstock models and the decline in print and the growth in online advertising.

How photographers deal with these changes and find areas of the market where they can shine will vary from one to the other. With the increasing cost of travel and tight markets for nature images, planning month long road trips across the USA gets a lot more scrutiny than in years past.

READ MORE +How To Convert Old Images into Current and Compelling Concept Photos

For Love of B&W: 5 Examples of Nature Images

I have always enjoyed black and white photography. There are many masters of the medium who have created phenomenal photography from Ansel Adams to John Sexton and Bruce Barnbaum. And there are many more than I could name here or even know of.

When I attended Brooks Institute in the 1970’s, we spent the first year doing nothing but B&W and I often joked that I bathed in B&W chemicals and slept on the drying racks.

I guess it was no joke when later I found I was allergic to something in the B&W chemicals and that ended my days in the darkroom.

My appreciation for B&W never ended but I never really created B&W fine art nature photography until I began dabbling with Photoshop B&W Adjustment Layers. Still I was not that enamored.

Last month Topaz announced B&W Effects and I am hooked finding myself digging up RAW file in Lightroom to process in B&W and here are 5 recent examples.

The other reason for this post besides showing some of my work is to invite you, our readers to submit your ideas for our ProFolio feature showing portfolios of B&W imagery. If you have some phenomenal B&W imagery let us know where we can view it and consider featuring you.

READ MORE +For Love of B&W: 5 Examples of Nature Images

How to Get Grungy in Adobe Camera RAW

Last year I photographed a mountain man rendezvous capturing a nice collection of folks dressed like mountain men with their pioneer era dress and semi-accurate historic encampments. It is a great event to shoot some fun characters and makes for good files to experiment on technique.

I thought a little Grungy look similar to over-processed HDR might be kind of fun so I set out to apply a technique I have used from time to time.

What’s cool is you do not need Photomatix or any other HDR software to apply this technique. It can all be done in Adobe Camera RAW.

So I opened my RAW file in ACR and start by applying the Contrast Slider and Clarity slider all the way to the right-100%.

READ MORE +How to Get Grungy in Adobe Camera RAW