Thursday, 31 January 2013

Protecting your data with Windows 8 Storage Spaces

Are you a Windows user? Have you upgraded to Windows 8 yet? Do you really backup your photos (and other files) the way you know you should? If you don't please check out the video we just put together - "Protecting your data with Windows 8 Storage Spaces" - It sure beats loosing all your photos one day!

We made it non-geek friendly, we promise.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

a Photography Accessory Every Photographer Should Own

For under $20 a remote shutter release lets you take the picture without touching the camera. This reduces motion blur caused by camera shake. Since the cord is a couple of feet long, it can make taking self portraits a little easier too. If you spend some time on Amazon you may even find a wireless remote shutter release that gives you even greater flexibility in the same price range. The camera’s self-timer is a less flexible but free option.
You can find a remote shutter release from third party manufacturer's or from your camera manufacturer.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Nikon Releases AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR Super-telephoto and AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Wide-angle NIKKOR lenses‏

Mississauga, ON, January 28, 2013 – Today, Nikon Canada introduced the AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR super-telephoto lens and AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED ultra-wide-angle zoom lens, designed to assist FX-format photographers in capturing their subjects with clarity and precision. Specifically engineered for sports, wildlife and photojournalists, the 800mm f/5.6 offers the longest focal length of any NIKKOR autofocus (AF) lens, affording photographers an opportunity to get closer to their subject with extreme telephoto capability.  The compact and lightweight 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 is an ultra-wide-angle lens option with a 1.9x zoom range and ideal focal length for landscape photography and other wide-angle applications.

AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR Super-telephoto

“The addition of the AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR super-telephoto lens and AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED wide-angle zoom lens to the FX-format NIKKOR lens lineup is proof of Nikon’s commitment to the optical excellence and versatility that professional and enthusiast photographers have come to expect from Nikon,” said Gregory Flasch, National Advertising and Communications Manager at Nikon Canada. “Whether shooting on the sidelines under stadium lights or composing a landscape in the early morning sun, the newest additions to the NIKKOR line of lenses provide the ability to shoot stunning still images or HD video with amazing sharpness and clarity.”

The Elusive and Iconic Image is Never out of Reach The new AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR super-telephoto lens provides professional photographers the opportunity to get close to a subject using the longest fixed focal length lens in the NIKKOR family. Designed for the needs of sports, wildlife and news photographers, the 800mm features a maximum aperture of f/5.6 and gives FX-format photographers the chance to capture intense detail and textures that fill the frame from a distance. Included with the new lens is the matched AF-S Teleconverter TC800-1.25E ED, which has been developed exclusively for the 800mm f/5.6 lens. This is the first Nikon teleconverter to employ an ED glass element, and extends the maximum focal length 1.25x to 1000mm (1500mm when used with a DX-format camera) and maximum aperture to f/7.1 while maintaining full AF performance on D4, D800 and D600 FX-format HD-SLR cameras.

Originally trialed and tested under the demanding conditions of the 2012 Summer Games, the AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR maintains the handling, optical performance, vivid colour reproduction and exceptional clarity that professional photographers rely on. This is the first Nikon lens constructed with two fluorite glass elements, combined with two ED glass elements and a Nano Crystal Coat, to help ensure outstanding performance with minimal chromatic aberration and flaring — all within a durable lens body. The addition of fluorite elements allows for consistently excellent optical characteristics while keeping the lens balanced and lightweight. The lens comprises 20 elements in 13 groups, and is one of few Nikon lenses to utilize an electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism that enables seamless mechanical control and enhanced stability in auto exposure control during continuous shooting. Vibration Reduction (VR) image stabilization is also implemented, with the equivalent of approximately four stops faster1 shutter speed correction.

AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED

An Ultra Wide-Angle Wonder for FX-Format Photographers Nikon’s newest ultra-wide-angle NIKKOR offering, the AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED, offers a new, lightweight wide-angle option for FX-format HD-SLR shooters. Featuring a focal length of 18-35mm (1.9x zoom equivalent), this FX-format lens is ideal for large group shots, architecture and photographing or shooting HD video in tight interiors. Performance is optimized for ultra-high-pixel-count HD-SLR cameras including the Nikon D800 and D600, while providing close focus up to 28cm.

The AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED packs NIKKOR quality and performance within an extremely compact and lightweight 385g (13.6 oz) body, making it easy to carry while on location or on-the-go. Constructed with 12 elements in eight groups, Nikon’s newest wide-angle lens features a seven-blade diaphragm that allows for beautiful and precise image blur, ED glass to help ensure outstanding performance with minimal chromatic aberration, and Nikon’s Super Integrated Coating (SIC) to reduce ghosting even in backlit situations. Two focus modes are available including M/A (AF with manual override) and M (Manual) in addition to a Silent Wave Motor (SWM) that enables
quiet AF operation.

Price and Availability
The AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR, supplied with the AF-S Teleconverter TC800-1.25E ED, is scheduled to be available at Authorized Nikon Canada Dealers in April 2013 at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $18,499.95.

The AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED is scheduled to be available at Authorized Nikon Canada Dealers in March 2013 at an MSRP of $799.95.

Exclusive Canadian Warranty
Nikon Canada offers a five-year warranty for all NIKKOR lenses purchased from an Authorized Nikon Canada Dealer. Consumer’s investment is protected by Nikon Canada’s warranties with in-Canada service.

About the NIKKOR brand
With a comprehensive assortment of FX and DX-format lenses and focal lengths, from the ultra-wide 10-24mm to the new super telephoto 800mm VR, Nikon photographers have come to rely upon the NIKKOR core technologies that contribute to their optical superiority. NIKKOR is the brand name for Nikon’s photographic lenses, which are precision crafted to the most exacting standards in Nikon’s own glassworks. In 1933, Nikon marketed its first camera lens under the NIKKOR brand name, the "Aero-NIKKOR” for aerial photography applications. Since then, NIKKOR has been used as a brand name for Nikon’s lenses that symbolizes durability, high image quality and optical excellence. In 2012, production of NIKKOR lenses surpassed 75 million, creating a new milestone in Nikon’s heritage of superior optics.

About Nikon
Nikon, At the Heart of the ImageTM, is the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology and is globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic equipment. Nikon Canada distributes consumer and professional digital SLR and HD-SLR cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and System Accessories; Nikon COOLPIX® compact digital cameras; 35mm film SLR cameras; Nikon software products and Nikon sports and recreational optics as well as the Nikon 1 advanced cameras with interchangeable lens system. At the heart of every Nikon camera is Nikon's exclusive EXPEED, EXPEED 2 or EXPEED 3 advanced digital image processing system technologies. All Nikon Canada products are sold through a network of Authorized Nikon Canada Dealers. For more information on Nikon Canada and its products and services or to find an
Authorized Nikon Canada Dealer, visit

Nikon Canada Announces Four COOLPIX Cameras with High-power Zoom Lens‏

Nikon P-520

Built With Incredible Zoom Ranges, Nikon’s P520, S9400 and L820 COOLPIX Cameras Make It Easy to Capture Action at a Distance Combining Connectivity with High Quality NIKKOR Lenses, Nikon’s New COOLPIX Cameras are Designed for Every Shooting Occasion

Mississauga, ON, January 28, 2013 – Today, Nikon Canada introduced three COOLPIX digital cameras with high-power zoom lenses, enabling consumers to capture beautiful images and videos at a wide range of distances. The COOLPIX P520 sports a 42x zoom lens and the versatility
needed for advanced performance, while the 18x zoom COOLPIX S9400 combines impressive range with an ultra-slim, pocketable package. The COOLPIX P520 also features Wi-Fi® connectivity1 that allows users to send images and videos from their camera directly to a compatible smart device through the free Wireless Mobile Adapter Utility application1, ideal for sharing content with others as well as for posting to social networking sites. The compact COOLPIX L820 offers a 30x zoom and an ergonomic design, making it simple and fun to comfortably capture images and videos at various distances. Ideal for anyone from the weekend jetsetter to the everyday memory maker, the zoom lenses and user-friendly features of the latest COOLPIX cameras make them the ideal companion for any occasion.

“Nikon’s long-zoom COOLPIX cameras provide users with the ability to capture a diverse range of subjects and scenes at various distances,” said Gregory Flasch, National Advertising and Communications Manager at Nikon Canada. “Designed for the frequent traveller, the instant sharer and the family memory keeper, these cameras offer trusted Nikon technology, high image quality, Full HD video and a variety of other features to meet their needs.”

COOLPIX P520: The Advanced Performance Ultra Zoom Camera
For users who seek the versatility to capture beautiful and sharp images up close or at a distance, the P520 boasts a 42x optical zoom-NIKKOR glass lens with an impressive zoom range from a wide 24mm to a whopping 1000mm (35mm equivalent). Lens-shift Vibration Reduction (VR) technology and the new Active Mode assist in capturing blur-free images and videos, while full manual controls give users the power to realize their creative potential. The P520 also features an 18.1-megapixel
backside-illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor and high ISO sensitivity to ensure quality images even in low-light conditions. 

Additionally, the COOLPIX P520 allows users to not only shoot images from a distance, but also at unique angles by leveraging the versatile 3.2-inch Vari-Angle LCD monitor. Full HD (1080p) video recording with stereo sound is possible with a simple touch of the dedicated movie record button. This ultra-zoom camera also includes built-in GPS capabilities, allowing photographers to log their journeys with an easy-to-use display.

To share images and videos instantly with family and friends, the P520 is compatible with the optional WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter2. When paired with the free downloadable Wireless Mobile Adapter Utility application1,  it allows users to transfer their images and videos to compatible smart devices and tablets for easy sharing and viewing with others.

COOLPIX L820: A Comfortable Long Zoom Camera Fit to Preserve Precious Family Memories
Designed to capture stunning images at various distances, the compact L820 sports a high-power 30x zoom, a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, and Vibration Reduction (VR) technology to compensate for and minimize image blur. With its super wide-angle lens, covering from wide-angle 22.5mm to super-telephoto 675mm, users have the versatility to capture crisp, vivid images, whether up-close or at a distance. The camera’s 3-inch monitor, ergonomic design and dedicated video button make it easy and fun for users to shoot comfortably. For convenience, the L820 uses widely available AA-size alkaline batteries. Built with a simple and intuitive interface, users can easily access a wide range of features, including Easy Auto Mode and Smart Portrait System, which enable them to enhance their photos with options like Red Eye Fix and Face-Priority AF. Other special effects include Glamour Retouch, Filter Effects and Skin Softening for optimal portrait enhancements.

COOLPIX S9400: Ultra-Slim Zoom Offers Versatile Performance in a Portable Package
The slim S9400 sports an 18x optical zoom (25-450mm) and is the perfect companion for anyone who wants to capture and share high-quality images and HD videos with a sleek and stylish package. Small enough to keep close in a shirt pocket or purse, the S9400 features an 18.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, ideal for capturing low-light images with clarity and sharpness. It also sports a legendary NIKKOR lens with VR technology to minimize the effects of blur and camera shake. For those who want to capture their journey through video, this camera also offers Full HD (1080p) movie recording with stereo sound. Its bright 3-inch OLED monitor assists users to clearly compose and view their recorded movies or captured images, even in bright conditions. The S9400 also offers various shooting effects to enhance image production, including Glamour Retouch, Skin Softening and Quick Effects.

The COOLPIX S9500 features a 22x optical zoom (25-550mm) and offers all of the features of the S9400 with an additional built-in GPS function that can log their travels and share where they have been. The camera offers built-in Wi-Fi®1 support so images and videos can be shared while
on the go by transferring them to a compatible smart device equipped with the free Wireless Mobile Adapter Utility application1. It also enables users to remotely control the camera from a smartphone or tablet. The S9500 will be available in limited distribution.

Price and availability:
The COOLPIX P520 is scheduled to be available at Authorized Nikon Canada Dealers in February 2013 for a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $449.95. It is available in black, red and dark silver.

The COOLIPX L820 is scheduled to be available at Authorized Nikon Canada Dealers in February 2013 for an MSRP of $279.95. It is available in black and red.

The COOLPIX S9400 is scheduled to be available at Authorized Nikon Canada Dealers in February 2013 for an MSRP of $299.95. It is available in black and white. 

The COOLPIX S9500 is scheduled to be available in limited distribution at Authorized Nikon Canada Dealers for an MSRP of $349.95. It is available in black and red.

In order to give consumers a more effective way to understand the benefits of each COOLPIX camera, and to help users determine the best camera to fit their lifestyle, Nikon has segmented the COOLPIX series into five categories: Advanced Performance, Fun & Innovative, Ultra-Slim
Zoom, Comfort Long Zoom and Budget Friendly. For more information about these and other COOLPIX cameras, please visit .

Shoot slowly, zoom quickly

If you're shooting a static display, add some interest by turning the zoom control while shooting with a fairly slow shutter speed (you can only do this with a manual zoom, as a powered lens will be locked off when shooting). This works particularly well when shooting cars and other forms of transport as it gives them a sense of motion.

This photo was taken standing in the middle of the road. I had the camera on a tripod and it was just after sunrise... the shutter speed was a few seconds and i rolled the zoom on the lens during the length of time the shutter was open... the end result... manufactured motion.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Why did the Photographer Take That Photo - This week's photographer, Alex Morley

This week Alex Morley shows us a fantastic image of Grand Teton National Park... I have seen some awesome images come out of this location, but this one is jaw dropping... and proof that you need to get up early and wait for the best time to get your image... take it away Alex....

Image by Alex Morley

This image is last fall in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. I got up at 3:00 am to get the twilight I wanted for this with no moon in the sky. I scouted the sight the day before, so I would know right where to go in the night. There are now grizzly bears in Wyoming, so I was trying to make noise like you should in bear country. I was all alone and it was dark and freezing! Suddenly I heard a lot of crashing in the woods with branches breaking, just across the water! It was frightening and I was thinking, “it’s a bear and I am way too close”! But then after several minutes, to my relief, a bull elk started bugling—much safer than a bear. Whew...
For astral images like this, you need to go out on a moonless night. Try to be away from city ”light pollution” as much as possible. You will need a tripod for long exposures. It is best to use a lens with as wide an aperture as possible; mine was f2.8. An f1.8 or f1.4 is even better. Start at ISO 1600. Use the lowest f-stop on your lens, and begin with a 15 second exposure. You then adjust your settings from there. For this image I ended up at ISO 3200, f 2.8, 25 seconds; Nikon D3s, Nikkor 14-24mm lens at 20mm, manual focused on infinity. Auto focus may not work if there is not enough light. If you go more than 30 seconds you will start to see the stars streaking. And don’t forget to bring your flashlight. I like to use a climber’s headlamp to keep my hands free.

It's worth staying up late or getting up early to get images like this. And it's a lot of fun experimenting. Most newer cameras are capable of pushing ISO up to at least 1600 with good results. Next time you are away from the city try this!

Alex Morley

Sunday, 27 January 2013

A new venue to learn more photography skills...

"The Lounge" was started to give all levels of photographers the opportunity to take a more in-depth look into different genre's of photography with other like minded people that share the passion of photography. We do this in a relaxed group setting twice a month from September to April.
We also will have other events like sponsored photo outings as we get them created... these photowalks will be topic specific and will be lead by PRO photographers that specialize in specific photography styles.
Why would you want to become a member of "The Lounge"? Where else can you meet people who enjoy creating photographs just like you, experienced and amateur photographers sharing their shooting methods, discussing possible travel locations, talk apertures, f-stops and Photoshop, the opportunity to look at and try the latest photogrpahic gear, get wholesale pricing on photographic workshops ... plus PRO's giving you their inside tips - and all in one place?
People often ask us if we are a "photo club"... my answer is, "No, a photo club is probably run by amateur photographers that are enthusiastic about photography just like you. 'The Lounge' is owned by a professional photographer that has had the pleasure of mentoring under some of the worlds most successful photographers. As a result of that real world experience I have taken that learning and have now passed it on to our instructors. All our instructors can now take pride at being better teachers having learned the teaching skills that are imperative to making our instruction a successul learning environment. We believe we offer more insightful presentations and valuable information that you will not receive elsewhere."
Our members also receive access to the latest photography gear through our sponsorships and relationships. This gear is brought to our meetings for you to look at and see first hand on how it operates in the real world... from professional studio lighting set ups, to the latest super telephoto lens and new products that hit the shelves. At the Lounge you will have opportunities to see this gear, opportunities that you will not get at your local photography club.
The Photographer's Lounge also has far reaching relationships with professional photographers from Canada, America and Europe. When possible, we bring you these photographers that work with the Photographer's Lounge when they visit Ontario. As a benefit of membership we offer our members the opportunity to talk one-on-one with these world class PRO's without an extra fee as you would have to pay elsewhere.
We also introduce you to the latest photographic news and information as it is announced... no need to scour the web anymore, we sent it right to your inbox as we get the press releases. We cover topics from photography gear, composition, editing tips, photographic destinations, printing and the latest news from the industry. Members can also access this .online in our "Members Learning Center". Here they can look at their leisure for tips, tutorials, shooting locations, video tutorials and different gear suggested for each type of photography genre.
As a member of "The Lounge" you also will receive the opportunity to attend our workshops with our International Teachers at a more attractive price than you would have to pay if you were not a member.
Member's also receive discounts on products. Our partners and sponsors have authorized us to extend to you affiliate discounts on their various products. Your membership investment could easily be erased with the deep discounts you will receive on software and photographic gear through "The Lounge".

These benefits begin from the moment you register and are active till the end of our meeting season in which you registered. For example, any member registering in February of 2013 will have an active membership until April 30, 2014. You will be required to renew your membership after April 30, 2014 in order to activate your membership for the following year.

To see how we structure our meetings please see the "Meeting Page"

To see our calendar please have a look here.

To register and become a member please visit our "Membership Page"

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Boudoir Photography Tutorial

So, you want to try boudoir photography?

You have probably looked on sites like and have seen all those images are on every page! All those beautiful women in very seductive poses... how hard could it be right? Well... take it from me, its not as easy as it looks... but with some help and lots of practice... the images can be very rewarding.
If you made the decision to try Boudoir Photography you have probably searched images to your heart’s content and started thinking about the setup and who you can get to model for you. You then put your feelers out for people interested in modeling and you may even have gone to Model Mayhem to register and search. If you have, you probably reached out to a few, if you haven't, you should take a look. But if you found a model… great… but where are you going to shoot it?

Studio time can run hundreds of dollars per hour, add up the model costs to get that professional model and you are facing upwards of $200 per hour just to get the model and studio space.  Not to mention $500 for a decent speed light set up, $400+ for the flash gear and another $200 in back drops… and that’s just the bare minimum. Take a look at the price of a strobe set-up. There are options, and I will get into that in future blogs. has some very economical solutions that you should be aware of.

What about props, wardrobe, make-up and hair stylists? Before you know it you are looking at $1000 to $1500 before you clicked the shutter once.

But let’s say you invested the time and money and you get to the studio, the model is there, your ready… Your repore with the model and knowledge of angles, lead lines, balance and how the human skin reflects light become a real issue you never thought you were going to have a problem with…  you could take hundreds of photos and only come away with a few images that you consider keepers.

So how do you make these ladies feel so good? How do you handle lighting? In this tutorial we will tackle those subjects.

Boudoir is not just about getting full body shots of your client in her sexy lingerie; it’s all about the subtle sensuality that your photos can exude! Its not about sex, it’s about the setting, the emotion a photo evokes adn the connection you create between the subject and the people looking at your images. It’s also about what the photo does not show that separates a good boudoir photo from porn.

Natural light or proper lighting is going to be your very best friend! Natural light and proper lights are not harsh on uneven skin or cellulite and it makes your post processing a whole lot easier. Use natural light or a dedicated realistic, soft, light source as your optimal source of light… flash gear is more for light fill, special effects and eliminating shadows and for creating a bright atmosphere. I rarely use speedlites in boudoir to light a model. I use constant lighting, natural lighting or strobes... But we will save that for another tutorial.

Your subject… if you have employed a professional model your shoot will be that much easier. If you are using an amateur, she, or he, may need to be prompted and may have some body insecurities that will create a situation that is not optimal for getting your best photographs.  My advice is to hire a professional lingerie model that is used to being in front of the camera in beautiful attire and half naked.

The mood of the studio… this is often over looked. How you set the mood for the studio is important. Music, privacy, environment all play a part in a successful shoot.

Privacy is important so that the model knows there will not be strangers walking in and out of the studio. They need to know that they can get comfortable and not have distractions.

The environment should be light and airy, make them feel welcome and comfortable. As for the temperature… remember, they will be wearing next to little clothing… warm the room up so they are comfortable.

And play some music… and no, not “Marvin Gaye, Lets get it on” or some “boom-chick-a-wow wow” tune. Play upbeat modern music of todays hits… get them singing and relaxing to music that they know.

Setting the tone for the shoot determines the quality of your images…

The following are some examples of poses that you can try at home in real situations, using props that anyone can get their hands on… Here you will see how to take photos of your spouse for posterity and private collections… or how to take photos for clients to ensure the photos are the most flattering.

Just by having the model get on the hardwood floor you can catch reflections and add some more interest in the photo.

Black and white is a classic look. For this photo, the simple props added an element that tells a story.

Eye contact... the eyes are the window to the soul... find a model with expressive eyes...
I hope you all give boudoir photography a shot, it is a lot of fun and rewarding when you get that one perfect shot. 

If you do want to save some money and come out and shoot professional models in a studio space with professional photographers like Jay Terry helping you get the best shots; check out our workshops in 2013. We will be holding 4 boudoir workshops in 2013… a valentine’s workshop, a summer workshop, a Halloween costume edition and a Christmas edition.

Check out these workshops at the Photographer’s Lounge here....

Check out your instructor, Jay Terry's work here


Friday, 25 January 2013

Weekend Photography Ideas - single focal length challenge

This is a fun thing to try during those cold winter days when you do not want to head outside...
You either choose a single prime lens or a single focal length at one end of a zoom on your lens. You will only shoot at that focal length for a whole weekend (choose one you don’t naturally shoot in a lot).
This exercise will teach you a lot about that focal length and will really force you to think about the composition of your shots.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

FREE Accounting Package for Photographers

Wave is a company owned by a friend of mine, Kirk Simpson. It can become a valuable resource for your business and is an online accounting software system that will run your entire business online... and the best part... its Free...

Wave's accounting tools are 100% free, secure, and accountant-approved. Real accounting, unlimited invoicing and more...

Who is Wave?

They  make...awesome, cloud-based, integrated software and tools for small businesses. So far, that includes Invoicing, Accounting, Payroll, Payments and more, plus Personal Finance Software, too.

The company been recognized with various
industry awards, and have secured nearly $20 million in investment from some of the smartest investors in Toronto, Boston and Silicon Valley.

The software is made for... people running businesses with 9 employees or less. Which is to say, when we zero in on what to include in our features, it's freelancers, contractors, entrepreneurs, and owners of companies with 9 employees or less that we keep in mind. (Happily, bigger companies love Wave, too.)

The software came as a result of knowing... most "small business software" isn't built for actually small businesses. It's really meant for medium-sized businesses with dozens and sometimes hundreds of employees. (Just look at how complicated and expensive they are...!) But there's a world of difference between the needs of a 5-person company and a 55-person company. So they build Wave for businesses with 9 employees or less, including all those one-person shops out there. And that makes for a much better fit between our products and your needs.

Wave exists to liberate you and your small business with smart, integrated small business software that saves you time and money, helping you run your business better and freeing you to do... whatever it is you'd rather be doing.

Check out Wave here...

Accounting Tips For Photographers

Accounting Tips for Photographers
If you are like me, the small details like accounting and bookkeeping could be the death of me… I am not a numbers guy… and if I do not set a few hours a week aside to go through bookings, accounting etc, I will quickly lose track… so I make the time, even if there is redundancy, to go through my records and my bank statements to check, double check and triple check what’s going on in my business.

Accurate Books and Records

Account Tip #1 for Photographers  – Keep accurate books and records

As a small business owner it’s very important that you keep accurate books and records in order to:

Assess the profitability of your business

Evaluate the financial health of your business

Cut costs by identifying excess spending

Have peace of mind when audited by the Canada Revenue Agency or the IRS

Apply for a long by presenting accurate financial statements to your bank

Review Financial Reports

Accounting Tip #2 for Photographers  – Review financial Reports Regularly

A proper accounting system should provide you with accurate, monthly financial reports such as:

Income statements

Balance sheets

Gross margins by product

Inventory listing

Cash flow statements


Financial statements by company division / department

With monthly cash flow statements you can identify the sources and uses of cash, which enables you to better manage company resources.

With monthly budgets for your small business, you can better plan for the coming months, and effectively manage cash inflows and cash outflows.

With departmental financial statements you can assess the profitability and financial health of each department.

If your current accounting system cannot produce appropriate financial reports, then you should seek the advice of an accountant.

Purchase an effective accounting software package

Accounting Tip #3 for a Photographer – Buy the right accounting software

Your small business requires an effective accounting software package to produce reliable financial reports.

I recommend accounting programs such as QuickBooks Pro or Simply Accounting, both of which are great for small businesses

In addition to the right accounting program, your small business requires an excellent bookkeeper. If you have a good accounting software package, but you lack a capable bookkeeper, then the information produced by the accounting system will not be reliable or useful.

Financial Controls

Accounting Tip #4 for Photographers – Implement strong financial controls

Effective financial controls are a must for a small business. A lack of financial controls can lead to unreliable business intelligence, poor financial information and fraud.

Examples of financial controls are:

Keep receipts for expenses. Without receipts you have no proof of purchases made.

Maintain a separate credit card for business purchases only. The last thing that you want is a grocery bills or movie tickets appearing on your credit card. Imagine if a tax auditor saw that.

Have a separate business account for your deposits and your business expenses. There should not be any personal expenses whatsoever in your business account.

Keep a daily sales log and a deposit book so that you can track sales deposits. This will reduce the chance of employee theft.

Dual signatures should be required on company cheques. If only one person has signing authority, then that person has the ability to commit fraud by writing cheques for invalid expenses.

Review and approval all employee expense reports before they are paid, which will keep spending under control.

Regularly backup your electronic financial data so you don’t permanently lose it

Consult with your accountant on how to improve your small business’ financial controls.

Watch for my post this afternoon... there is a company that has a complete accounting package online... and the best part... its free.
If you would like to get a better handle on your photography business we offer a mentor program to help photographers manage the business side of their business. Please have a look at that program here...


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

a Photography Accessory Every Photographer Should Own

Gary Fong Universal Lightsphere Cloud diffuser
Flash diffusers are an inexpensive method of turning on-camera flash into a much higher and softer quality of light. While there are many types of diffusers, our two favorites are dome diffusers or white card diffusers. If you have to choose one, choose the dome type diffuser over the white card diffuser. However, both have their uses. In indoor situations, we typically will get better results from dome diffusers, while in outdoor situations we stick to white card diffusers because we can direct more light exactly where we need it.

Keep in mind that when it comes to diffusers, there really is little tangible difference in the results between different brand name and non-brand name accessories. We find that a brand name light diffuser generally gives us essentially the exact same look as an Amazon or eBay knock-off. So, if you are looking to save a little cash, search eBay for the generic versions.

When purchasing a dome diffuser, I would however recommend that you get a translucent dome as opposed to a white dome. Translucent domes will allow more light out of the diffuser than white versions.

You can pick up a flash diffuser at any camera store near you.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Photography Learning Opportunities for Photographers in Ontario

Photography Workshops in Ontario 

The Photographer's Lounge of Waterloo Region has announced their workshop schedule for 2013. We are offering over 40 workshops in Ontario this year and will cover everything from composition, to lighting, to landscape and nature photographic learning opportunities.

please see below for all the options that are available for you to take advantage of:

Kawartha Workshops - our weekend getaway workshops in in the Kawartha region of Ontario. we run four of these workshops each year and spend the weekend visiting waterfalls, following waterfowl and enjoying sun rises and sun sets together.

Composition Workshops - want to learn photo composition techniques. we run these workshops once a month for photographers that want to learn how to better compose images.

Beginner Lighting Workshops - these workshops are designed to teach the photographer basic lighting techniques so you can take great family photos.

Advanced Lighting Workshops - in our studio you will learn advanced lighting techniques using speedlites and studio lights with professional models as our subjects.

Niagara Falls Workshops - join us for our four trips to Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-lake.

Junk Yard Workshops - we will visit a 50 acre junk yard five times in 2013 so photographers can enjoy this location in all seasons.

If you would like to register for any of these Ontario workshops, or our International workshops, please contact Kevin Pepper at 
Or, you can register and pay for our workshops online.
I hope to see you out at one of our many local photography workshops in 2013.

Step back in time and visit two of Mongolia's Monestaries

Erdene Zuu Monastery

photo from Mongolia Tourism

The Erdene Zuu Monastery is probably the most ancient surviving Buddhist monastery in Mongolia. It is located in the heart of Mongolia in the Ovorkhangai Provence, approximately 2 km north-east from the centre of Kharkorin and adjacent to the ancient city of Karakorum. It is also part of the World Heritage Site entitled Orkhun Valley Culturla Landscape.

Construction of the Erdene Zuu monastery was started in 1585 by Abtai Sain Khan, upon the (second) introduction of Tibetan Buddhism into Mongolia. Stones from the ruins of Karakorum were used in construction. It is surrounded by a wall featuring 100 stupas.  The number 108, being a sacred number in Buddhism, and the number of beads in a Buddhist rosary, was probably envisioned, but never achieved. The monastery temples' wall were painted, and the Chinese-style roof was covered with green tiles.

The monastery was damaged during the warfare with Dzungars in 1688, when local people dismantled the wooden fortifications of the abandoned monastery. Monastery was rebuilt in the 18th century and by 1872 had a full 62 temples and up to 1000 monks inside. Bunia, disciple of this monastery, attempted human flight with a device similar to a parachute in 1745 in this monastery.

In 1939 the Communist leader Khorloogiin Choibalsan had the monastery ruined, as part of a purge that obliterated hundreds of monasteries in Mongolia and killed over ten thousand monks. Three small temples and the external wall with the stupas remained; the temples became museums in 1947. They say that this part of the monastery was spared destruction on account of Joseph Stalin's pressure. One researcher claims that Stalin's pressure was connected to the short visit of US vice president Henry A. Wallace's delegation to Mongolia in 1944.

Erdene Zuu was allowed to exist as a museum only; the only functioning monastery in Mongolia was Gandantegchinlen Khiid Monastery in the capital, Ulaanbaatar. However, after the fall of Communism in Mongolia in 1990, the monastery was turned over to the lamas and Erdene Zuu again became a place of worship. Today Erdene Zuu remains an active Buddhist monastery as well as a museum that is open to tourists.

Tuvkhun Monastery

photo from Mongolia tourism
The monastery was built in 1654 by Saint Zanabazar who was a great sculptor and one of the biggest representative of Buddhism in Mongolia. The creation work temple dedicated to religious study and art works became the foundation of today's Tuvkhun Monastery. It is located on a rocky mountain hill surrounded by forests elevated in 2300 meters above sea level. In 1651, the first religious statesman Zanabazar built a small stony building.

In 1648, about the time he had found what now Shankh monastery on the Shariin gol, Zanabazar noticed an unusual armchair-shaped peak among the ridges west of the Orkhon River. He soon concluded that the mountain, known as Shireet Ulaan Uul, was an auspicious spot. Upon his return in 1651 from his first trip to Tibet he had a small walled stone meditation hut built here. 1653, he visited Erdenezuu, founded by his great grandfather, and appeared before a convocation of kalkh nobility. While there he prevailed upon his followers to build temple and retreat at Shireet Ulaan Uul in his own personal use. Later it became worship where many of his famous artworks were created; including five transcendent Buddha's now located in the Zanabazar Fine Art Museum and Choijim Lama Musuem. Zanabazar also reportedly designed his Soyombo Alphabet while his residing here. During Zanabazar's lifetime retreat was called Bayasgalant Aglag Oron (Happy Secluded Place).

After his death it became Tuvkhun Monastery, the name which it is known today. The small temple was heavily damaged by communists during the upheavals of the late 1930s. During the summer of 1997 extensive ceremonies were performed here and new statue of deity Gombo Makhagal (Mahakala) was placed in top of refurbished and consecrated. Several monks live at the monastery full time.

The peak of where Tuvkhun is located resembles an easy chair with arm rest on either side. In the seat of the chair, several hundred meter above the base of peak to the temples. According to legend, only Zanabazar was allowed to right up to the temples. Others had to dismount at the base at base of the peak and walk up. Near the top of staircase, to the right of temples, are two wells about fifteen feet from each other. One has fresh water in it, while the other has slightly brackish water.

No one has been able to explain why one is brackish and one not, or for that matter, how there can be wells at all here in there solid rock very close to summit of mountain where ordinarily there would not be any underground water sources. From the temples trial to the left, when facing the mountain, leads to two meditation caves. Near the cave is "Zanabazar's throne", a stone seat where, according to monks in residence, Zanabazar would seat each morning at dawn. On a sloping shelf of stone below the caves, pressed into native rock, are the imprints of several feet. Local monks say one is the bare foot of Zanabazar as a small boy, while another is of his foot as grown man, shod in Mongolian style boots. There also an imprint of what is said to be his horse's hoof. To the right of temple a path leads upward to summit of the rock. One branch of the path leads to the so called mother womb, a narrow passageway which pilgrims crawl through to be symbolically reborn, cleansed of their sins. An extension of the path continues to peak, where the sizable flat area created with the help of stone retaining walls is surrounded with the large ovoo.

Join us as we visit these two wonderful locations on our trip to Mongolia on the summer of 2013. Please read information on this trip here

Photography Tip for shooting night scenes without a tripod

Packing a tripod when you head off on holiday is a great way to extend the shooting day, allowing you to take some stunning night-time shots with streaking lights and illuminated landmarks. If you're pushed for space, though, check out this trick. Balance your camera somewhere sturdy and safe, disable the flash and set a slow shutter speed or two seconds or more.

Now set your self timer, fire the shutter release and let go of your camera so that you won't cause it to wobble. By the time the self timer countdown expires, any residual movement caused by your hand letting go should have evened out, so your camera will sit still and steady throughout the exposure for a crisp, sharp result.

Monday, 21 January 2013

What Goes Thru a Photographers Mind - Today's Photographer is Peter K. Burian

Friends in Saris by Peter K. Burian
This weeks photographer is a very talented Canadian Photographer, Peter K. Burian. I have been admiring Peter's work for a few years and I am glad he agreed to share his photos with you... Take it away Peter...

During a two week tour of Southern India while testing some new DSLR cameras, I made thousands of images for my stock portfolio. Although my wife Bev was travelling with me, I doubt that I included her in more than a half dozen photos. But in this case, she was an essential component, since this image was intended specifically to illustrate a magazine article  Here's How to Get Great People Pictures While Travelling. While the final copy did not include this photo, I believe that it's ideal for illustrating important concepts.  

In his book, Spirit of Place - The Art of the Travelling Photographer, pro photographer Bob Krist provides an interesting perspective. “If your friends are all architects and landscapers, they’ll love your building and scenic photos. Otherwise, people want to see pictures of people,” he insists.

Of course, most everyone finds it awkward to approach strangers. That can lead to a temptation to sneak a grab shot with a telephoto zoom lens. This tactic is usually considered rude; and it will not produce the best possible photos. Become involved with the people you meet however, and the resulting pictures will become more intimate. That intimacy is easier said than done, but it is possible if there's an outgoing person in your group.

While walking in a village near the Periyar National Park in Kerala state,  we noticed these ladies waiting for a bus. I definitely wanted to get some photos of them, so Bev agreed to approach them. In this rural area, there was a language barrier, but as Bob Krist has also written, a mother will always understand when you say, "What a beautiful child you have", in any language.
More importantly, here is my favourite quote about taking people pictures anywhere in the world, by Rick Sammon  who wrote about dual vision that's worth taking to heart. “Whenever you take a picture, you're also taking a picture of your relationship with the subject,” Sammon insists. “How you feel and act – the image that you project – will make them feel and act and respond in a certain way. These projected and received feelings are the key to good travel pictures of people.”

Tech Specs: Pentax K20D, Aperture Priority, Center Weighted metering; f/11 at 1/60 sec.

Canadian photographer Peter K. Burian is a Contributing Editor with several publications (Photo Life, Here's How, Marketnews and Australian Photography) as well as a stock shooter whose work is represented by Corbis, The Stock Connection, and Alamy.

Check out his photos, including a selection from his tour of India, at   .

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Some of the most "Controversial Photos" in recent history

R. Umar Abbasi’s shot of Ki Suk Han, as he was about to be struck and killed by an oncoming train, is arguably one of the most controversial photographs in recent memory. The subsequent “DOOMED” cover shot in the New York Post in early December was taken by the photographer who says he was really trying to warn the train conductor with the flash of his camera. Was R. Umar Abbasi just being single out because his image was published?… maybe, maybe not… But what of the others who swarmed around the body for their own cell phone pic that didn't get published? Is there a clear ethical line when it comes to photojournalism and what is the responsibility of a publisher?


A controversy erupted when the TIME issue on “attachment parenting” featured the 26-year-old Jamie Lynne Grumet and her three-year-old son breastfeeding on the cover. The debate was whether it was tasteful, or even criminal.  My opinion aside… but shouldn’t people have gotten focused more on the actual topic of attachment parenting rather than so hung up on the image itself and its tangent censorship dilemma?

On July 22, 1975, photograph Stanley J. Forman working for the Boston Herald American newspaper when a police scanner picked up an emergency: "Fire on Marlborough Street!"

After he climbed on a fire truck, Forman shot the picture of a young woman, Diana Bryant, and a very young girl, Tiare Jones when they fell helplessly. The photo coverage from the tragic event garnered Stanley Forman a Pulitzer Prize. But more important, his work paved the way for Boston and other states to mandate tougher fire safety codes.

Meanwhile, that photo by Stanley Forman, doing the job that he did very well in the 70s (and still does today with a television camera) stirred somewhat of an outrage. He said there was not a single thing he could have done to save them.

Something like this happens in a split second and only those that have been witness to tragedy can understand how quickly things can go wrong. Those who second guess a situation like this are watching WAY too much television and are living a fantasy life. It's not the messenger's fault the woman died. The fact is that Stanley Forman's photographs of this incident probably single handedly changed many fire codes in Boston saving numerous lives.

Mr. Forman did not intend to take this picture. He was taking photographs of what he thought was going to be firemen saving the woman and her Godchild. Suddenly, the situation worsened and the fire escape fell. Plunging the two to the ground.

Mr. Forman was not on the ground and could not have leaned over far enough or fast enough to save either of them. He just happened to be taking pictures and caught the fall.

While this is the most iconic of the bunch, this is only one of a series of shots that Forman took - IIRC it is about 8th or a series of 10 pictures starting with the fireman trying to reach them and ending with the pair striking the ground.


South African photojournalist, Kevin Carter was blasted in 1993 for not helping the starving toddler he photographed being eyed by a vulture in Sudan.

The photo went viral and comments flew, condemning Carter… the result, Carter committed suicide in 1994, shortly after receiving a Pulitzer Prize for the photo.

Can you think of other controversial photos taken in recent memory?