TWiP #196 – Inspiration

How do you get and stay inspired? The oldest surviving Nikon digital camera goes up on the auction block. Lens Baby announces the Composer Pro, and a recent incident in Libya raises concerns over the safety of female photo journalists going into war zones.

Hosts: Frederick Van Johnson, Ron Brinkmann, Sara France, Bruce Clarke


Before diving into the news this week, Frederick, Sara, Ron, and Bruce share their thoughts and advice on how they get and stay inspired when it comes to photography. For Sara, she is always looking for different things to shoot each time she goes out and tries to mix things up as often as she can. She pulls from everything she has experienced in life. She will also pull from her clients for inspiration and use things like the venue and decor to tell a unique story. On other shoots she will pull her inspiration from things like movies and music videos.

Bruce thinks that it's really important to get to know your clients and their personalities if you are doing something like wedding photography. Sometimes photographers may have an artistic idea that they want to try with a client but if it conflicts with their personalities, they might not enjoy the final result so he loves to get to know his clients and draws inspiration from the things that they enjoy are into and tries to incorporate those things into his shoots.

Ron likes to dive in and just discover things when he travels but he also likes to pre-plan and have some idea of the things he wants to photograph when he's visiting a certain location. In a lot of ways it similar to what a wedding photographer has to do in terms of getting to know your subject whether it be a person or an animal for example. Good photography is about understanding what it takes to be in a good physical and mental position to get the great shot.


Oldest Known Nikon Camera Going to Auction
Nikon, which originally started as a lens company in 1917, didn't make it's first camera until 1948. The oldest surviving Nikon 1 will be auctioned off and is expected to fetch somewhere around $230,000. The panel discusses the oldest cameras they have in their collection as well as various options for what you can do with your old camera equipment.

Concerns Raised Over Safety of Female War Photographers after Incident in Libiya
After the release of four New York Times photographers in Libiya – the question was raised whether women should be sent into warzones due to the increased danger they face. Photographer Lynsey Addario gives her side of the story. Frederick, Ron, Sara, and Bruce all feel that it's important for both men and women to be covering these events as they each bring a different perspective to the story and can potentially gain access to different locations due to their gender.

Lens Baby Announces the Composer Pro
A new model of the Lens Baby Composer has been announced by the company. The Composer Pro upgrades the Composer's swivel ball and focus mechanism to provide professional performance. A metal ball makes tilting with the Composer Pro significantly smoother, while the dampened focusing collar allows for more precise focus control. Be sure to check out the website of the Lensbaby inventor: Craig Strong to see some of the work he's up to.


Question #1 – Over/Under Exposure
Listener Mike S writes: Back in the “old days” when I shot film, we had a sort of rule-of-thumb, that if we weren't sure of the exposure, it was better to over expose than to under expose. “When in doubt, over-expose” I'm wondering if that might still apply to digital.  Even with the ability to see results quickly, sometimes that isn't quick enough.  Some photos can't be re-shot.  If I'm shooting action, for example, there's only a fraction of a second to get the shot.  It seems that Photoshop can do some good things to fix bad exposures, but it would be good to know which works better.

Sara: You are better off under exposing as you can often recover detail in the shadows easier than you can if you blow out the hi-lites. You will get noise but there are some great tools out there to deal with noise.

Question #2Long Term Storage of Photographs
JoakimT asks: If I want to store my pictures for ages what should I choose? I have now two Hard Disc Drives where I store my images. Are these the safest ones to use or are flash drives better and more reliable?

Ron: It's best to have a variety of backups including backups online. Ron uses Backblaze for his online backup and then continually upgrades his hard drives. It's also important to keep moving your backups with the times as newer technologies come along or you may not be able to restore your backup if that particular technology is no longer supported.


Sara – ShootQ and Pictage Integration or

Bruce – HDR Effex Pro from Nik Software or Tamron MyPhoto Exhibits for the iPhone

Ron – PhotoMeta – an iPad application to extract Meta Data

Frederick – Lens Baby Composer Pro


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Frederick Van or


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Pre-Production and Show notes by Bruce Clarke or

Producer: Suzanne Llewellyn

Bandwidth provided by Cachefly

Intro Music by Scott Cannizzaro


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