Best-of-Show win at Riverside Mariachi Festival art contest

I was pleasantly surprised over the weekend when I found out I had won "Best in the Show" and "Best Photo"

I was pleasantly surprised over the weekend when I found out I had won “Best in the Show” and “Best Photo”

No sooner had I suggested in my previous post that everyone should use contests as a way to motivate themselves.

To get out and shoot and not worry about winning.

Then I went out and actually won one contest this weekend.

My photo won “Best Photo” in the photography category and I also won “Best Overall in the Show.” Continue reading

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Photo gear I shouldn’t have bought Part 2

For many of us without self-control access to a credit card and an internet connection can be similar to being an unsupervised kid inside a candy store.

I was reminded of this very recently when I started noticing my online searches for a particular piece of photo gear.

That piece of gear started following me around in the form of an ad.

When I jumped between Facebook, Amazon and Ebay, I was being stalked.

However, I embraced it because the constant reminder actually helps when I need to compile a list of items I find useful in my photography, ones I would want to recommend to students. Continue reading

Silhouette of yours truly by Jose Sandoval, one of my students from one of  our many field trips

5 tips to jumpstart your creativity

Having have a camera with you at all times, is the best way to improve your photography.

Even if you’re not using the camera, just playing around with settings and taking a picture can be very illuminating.

DSLRs today are so complicated I still find features I have not used so anytime I find myself waiting around, I often dig out the owners manual to see what a button does.

Those technical writers of camera manufacturers don’t always explain the ins-and-outs of their hardware very well unfortunately.

So it can take even season users a while to truly get how a feature works.

Sorry smartphone users, my biggest beef with them is there is no reliable way to control the depth-of-field so until such time they give you aperture control, I can’t consider using it beyond documentation purposes.

If all the time you have to devote to photography is your weekends , then try the following: Continue reading

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Photo tips from a creative Southern California photographer