Imaging USA

Posted in PPA with tags , , on January 15, 2014 by drhphotography


Coming back from my second Imaging USA. A number of folks have seen some of my posts are are excited about attending in 2015. I thought I’d provide my thoughts and advice on making the most of your time.

Imaging is an amazing event attended by thousands of photographers from across the world. The event officially opens on a Sunday and runs through Tuesday. (February 1-3, 2015) There are however a number of pre-convention classes that occur on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday before the event. In my opinion this is the real value of the event. Yes they cost more but you’re already there. The class sizes are 15-40ish people vs. up to 500 or more. You have significantly more opportunity to ask questions. Also, many of the classes are hands on (bring your camera…).

If you’re fairly new or struggling to get started, I strongly recommend one of the business basics 2 day classes. It was an eye opening class for me. (My head almost exploded…). Everything from branding, legal, accounting, pricing, etc. is covered.

I chatted with a member of the PPA board while in Phoenix. He said they are planning on offering day long Photoshop and Lightroom classes. Details still need to be worked out.

When the convention opens on Sunday, there are numerous classes/demos to attend. They are typically around 1 1/2 hours each. The first usually starts at 8 and they run through 11:30 when the trade show opens (more on that later). After the trade show closes at 5, the sessions start back up and run into the evening. Whether a sports, wedding, baby, portrait or landscape photographer you’ll find something that interests you.

They have a number of parties and get togethers that will fill your nights if you desire.

The trade show is photo-geek heaven. It’s a great opportunity to see the latest offerings from the major companies. You can also talk directly to a vendor if you’ve been having trouble with one of their products.

If you attend, bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes. You’ll be doing a bit of walking. A backpack or rolling bag is useful. As to gear, most of the pre-convention hands on classes will have you using your camera. No need to bring lighting or other gear. Be sure to bring something for note taking. I suggest a hard cover notebook since only the pre-convention classes have a table to write on.

So do you need to join PPA? No but I suggest you consider it. If you’re not a member, they usually waive the convention fees if you join. PPA also has many benefits. You’ve probably heard about the $15,000 in free gear insurance. They also offer free (emphasis on free) access to a CPA for advice. They will help research answers for most any question. (One person said the CPA actually remoted into their quickbooks to help set it up.). PPA also has lawyers to help with legal issues such as lawsuits or cease and desist letters.

PPA membership gives access to their website which is a wealth of information and additional training. In addition you get their publication which is the best photography magazine I’ve seen.

If you have any questions about imaging or PPA, don’t hesitate to ask. I hope to see all of you in Nashville.

Need to shoot film in order to learn photography. Really?

Posted in Uncategorized on December 27, 2013 by drhphotography

Every so often I come across a blog or FB post that speaks in very absolute terms that you MUST shoot film in order to truly learn photography.  How can you possibly learn if you cheat by having the digital display on the back of your camera?  They forget that everyone learns in different ways.

My 25 + year old Ricoh XR-S 35mm film camera sits on my desk as a paper weight.  It is a reminder of the amount of film I shot and never truly learned photography until I picked up digital.

Ricoh Yep…that’s dust.

I was never one to write down the data on every shot so that I could learn what I did wrong 2 weeks later when the prints came back in the mail.  The prints would arrive on my door step and I’d think, “Huh, wonder what I did wrong here?”  And then every once in a while, the blind squirrel would find a nut in the woods…

Then along came digital with its instant feedback.  When I moved to digital, the learning took off.  I could take a shot and instantly see the mistake, make adjustments and the light would go on.  I began to truly learn photography.

Flash forward a few years.  I have a strong understanding of photography now thanks to digital.  I recently picked up an old Yashica-D TLR medium format camera.  It’s fully manual with no light meter.  I am now shooting a little film both in studio and out.  It will never replace my digital but I like the look of the shots.

Now I’m not saying you won’t learn unless you shoot digital.  For some, shooting film may be the best way for to learn.  My point is it didn’t work for me and my learning style.

Without the learning on digital, the Yashica would end up joining the Ricoh as a paper weight.

52 Portrait Project Number 52 – That’s Number 52…as in, done, over…

Posted in 52 Portraits Project on September 3, 2013 by drhphotography

Number 52
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Well that’s that.  52 portraits.  I learned quite a bit during this process.  Thanks to everyone that voluntarily (and involuntarily participated…)  😉

The best part of this project for me has been the stories behind the photos.  Each one has a special one to tell.  From my first shot with my (not so) cooperative mother to the birth of my granddaughter.  It has been a very special year.

In closing, here is the final shot.  Yep me (well at least my feet) in my editing area.  Please don’t mind the mess.  And turn out the light when you leave.  (I also know how many beers are in the fridge…)

52 Portrait Project Number 50 – Generations

Posted in 52 Portraits Project on August 19, 2013 by drhphotography

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Here is week number 50.  Quite simple.  Lily and her Great-Grandma Mary Hathaway.

52 Portrait Project Number 49 – Live well. Love much. Laugh often.

Posted in 52 Portraits Project on August 5, 2013 by drhphotography

Live well. Love much. Laugh often.
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Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Hathaway.  It is their turn now.

52 Portrait Project Number 48 – Chatting with Grandma

Posted in 52 Portraits Project on August 5, 2013 by drhphotography

Chatting with Grandma
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She’s doing the talking on this one.  I have nothing else to say.  🙂

52 Portrait Project Number 47 – “In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.”…again

Posted in 52 Portraits Project on July 22, 2013 by drhphotography

“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.”…again
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Yep.  Second time I’ve used that quote.  (Thanks Phil Collins)  I find I do learn quite a bit just by teaching someone.  It is a thrill to watch the learning happen.

Today, I had the pleasure to try to share some knowledge with another photographer.  Lily came excited and anxious to learn.  It was great seeing the work she was able to capture.  It was great having Amanda as the model for the session.

And by the way Phil Collins, you are on my bucket list of people I’d like to have a portrait session with.  Call me.  😀

52 Portrait Project Number 46 – 1002

Posted in 52 Portraits Project on July 15, 2013 by drhphotography

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I was very honored to get to work with the band Onset Oblivion for the art work of their new release 1002.  This was taken at their CD release party.

The photo is gritty and unique like their music.  Four amazing musicians and down to earth people.  If you get a chance to listen to them, you will not be disappointed.

You can find their music on iTunes here:

52 Portraits Number 45 – Stop and smell the rhubarb (and at least listen to the music…)

Posted in 52 Portraits Project on July 8, 2013 by drhphotography

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We spent this past weekend in Madison.  While we were there, we went to the farmer’s market at the capitol.  It was impressive.  It covers all four sides of the square and was extremely packed.

While we were walking, I heard in the distance the sound of the pipes.  I am always drawn to them.  Just love the music.  Maybe it’s the Scottish in me.

We worked our way towards the sound.  Here was the piper complete with the outfit playing the wonderful melody for the crowds.  I was somewhat disturbed by the number of people in the area who seemed to be ignoring the music.  They were so intent with carrying on their conversations of successfully acquiring the last bit of rhubarb or that last bouquet of flowers that they were totally missing the magic of the pipes.

(As I was preparing this week’s post, it dawned on my that I totally forgot last week.  Could it have been the fact we were babysitting our precious granddaughter?  I think so.)

52 Portrait Project Number 44 – Meeting Albert

Posted in 52 Portraits Project on June 23, 2013 by drhphotography

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This is from my recent trip to Chicago.  For a number of years, I’ve been going to Chicago several times a year for work and pleasure.  Like a permanent fixture, a man sits near the hotel where I usually stay.  With his gravelly voice he will wish you a good morning, afternoon, etc.

Having typically ignored him each time I had passed, I decided to stop and say hello.  He introduced himself as Albert.  A lifetime resident of Chicago he claimed to be a Packers fan.  (Something makes me suspect he was telling me what he thought I wanted to hear…)  He was proud of being from Chicago and the fact he had been at that spot everyday for years.  His infectious laugh left me smiling.  After a short chat and no less than 6 fist bumps, I parted ways with Albert.  I’m sure he’ll be there on my next visit.