Important Nikon D7100 Giveaway Update

It looks like many of the participants of our Nikon D7100 giveaway are not following the instructions correctly. A number of participants are clicking the “I’m a Fan!” button in the giveaway without first “Liking” our Facebook page. Please keep in mind that you must be a fan of our site and B&H on Facebook in order to qualify for this giveaway. If you have already done all three steps to enter the giveaway, please go back to the D7100 giveaway page, then click the “edit” page where it says “Easy entry for all photographylifeblog fans” and click the small “Like” button.

Edit Button

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Nikon D7100 Giveaway

NOTE: The giveaway has now been closed. Thank you for participating! The winner will be announced shortly.

Yes, we are doing it again! In partnership with B&H, we are giving away a brand spanking new Nikon D7100 (camera body only) to one lucky reader of Photography Life! The giveaway is open to everyone and we will ship the camera worldwide to the winner (some restrictions apply, see below). We are very excited about this giveaway and we want to let you know that we will have even more rewarding giveaways and contests in the near future! The current D7100 giveaway is done to promote our Facebook pages and to increase the number of Facebook followers.

Nikon D7100 Giveaway

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Look Through Your Window

I’ve always admired landscapes and portraits taken by much more talented photographers than myself. Looking at their work – take landscapes photographed by Nasim – I see a world completely different to my own. I see colorful forests and tall mountains inviting me, tempting me. It’s as if they’re saying – come. We look gorgeous from every angle. Come. We are the very bones of Earth. We have valleys and rivers, there are canyons and caves, meadows and snowy peaks to be found. Whatever the time of day, whatever the season or weather, we look gorgeous from every angle. Much unlike the nature around my home, you know. All I’d need to do is choose the one angle I like most. How wonderful would that be.

I had the honor once of traveling with a British professor on train. He saw me photograph passengers aboard and we engaged in a conversation. Halfway through it, he pulled out his beaten laptop and showed me lots of images from his travels all around the globe. He was no photographer, but the places he’s been to were so mesmerizing, I felt a sudden rush of sadness. Why is Lithuania so boring? I’ve seen portraits of exotic people. I’ve had friends travel and come back with breathtaking images from Thailand, Malaysia and Africa, and they always brought something back with them that made me envy their chance. Portraits of people so different from those around me – deep, true. Living. I’ve seen foggy eyes of old wise men, I’ve seen carefree laughter of youngsters out in the streets of Delhi. I’ve seen French lovers in embrace. Why are French so different from the rest of us? Why a simple market suddenly becomes so interesting, if it’s in Japan or Vietnam? Why are taxis so iconic in New York City and London underground trains so full of street photography opportunities? The answer would seem very simple, of course. It’s because they’re better places than where I am. It’s because they’re more interesting people than those around me. There are no exotic people in here, no foggy-eyed wise men, no French flamboyance and certainly, certainly no beautiful, breathtaking, colossal mountains to behold.

Wrong. So very, very wrong of me to ever say such a thing.

Look Through Your Window

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Anatomy Of A Winning Ad – “So God Made A Farmer…”

These words summarized what was arguably the best commercial of the 47th Super Bowl between the Ravens and 49ers. I was not surprised that this Dodge Ram Truck commercial rose to the top of the pack, since I have been a long-time fan of the man whose touching words graced the 2 minute ad – Paul Harvey. The most intriguing aspect of this ad was that it was as low-tech as it gets. No fancy computer graphics. No matinee idols. No pop culture icons. No questionable language. No massive creative ad budget. It was merely the legendary voice of Paul Harvey, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 90, reciting a 35 year old text… and a series of touching photographs. Let’s take a look at the elements of this great ad and understand why it proved to be so appealing to so many – even lifelong inhabitants of big cities whose only experience with farms has been watching them on TV.

Photo From Dodge Ram Commercial
Image Credit – Chrysler Dodge

The Power To Move People – The Messenger

Based on my recent article regarding Looklet’s LookCreator software replacing photographers and models in the clothing catalog arena, some of you may have thought that I was ceding the world of photography to high end computer graphics. Nothing could be further from the truth. I still believe that a photograph can have profound impacts and change people’s minds and hearts, and in some cases, their wallets as well.

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Unwanted: Photographers And Models?

Imagine that instead of setting up for weeks’ worth of fashion photography, complete with models, hundreds of outfits, hair stylists, and makeup artists, you create a virtual catalogue based on computer generated models, photos of body parts, and photographs of clothing items and accessories that customers can interact with. No glamorous models. No famous photographers. No make-up artists. No hair stylists. No expensive studios. Sound surreal? It is already a reality – a virtual one – but a reality nonetheless. Looklet is a company that has developed and delivered the technology that makes this scenario possible.


Technology – A Walk Back In Time

Ever since my days of working in an engineering software company, I have been keenly interested in seeing how fast CAD and imaging innovations would develop and how far they would progress. First came 2D wireframe modeling, which rapidly progressed to 3D surface and solid models. Eventually, integrated CAD modeling software enabled mechanical engineers to provide detailed “walk throughs” of ships, buildings, and car designs. The process of “rendering” further enabled engineers to create much more realistic looks for their designs. The associated rendering software, which blended realistic surfaces, textures, shading, and light reflections on the engineering models, required very expensive computer software and servers – often costing upwards of $150,000 or more. The rendering process could easily take a few days before the software completed its magic. And while impressive in their day, the resultant animated “walk throughs” of the objects could be rather slow and amateurish compared to the simplest of today’s video games.

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Photography Life is Hiring!

NOTE: Due to an overwhelming number of responses, we are no longer accepting applications.

Photography Life

We are looking for creative writers to contribute content to our blog and help expand our reach in 2013 and beyond. If you like what we do and you would like to be a part of our growing website, please contact us as soon as possible. The opportunity is for 100% remote work, so you can do everything from home at your own pace and schedule. This is a part time, pay per article opportunity, with a potential to become a full time position in the future. Please see the below requirements before contacting us.

There is no need to send your resume/CV, as long as you meet the below requirements:

  1. Must be at least 18 years old
  2. Must be fluent in English and have solid writing skills
  3. Must have good general knowledge of photography and be current with the latest trends in the industry
  4. Part-time professional photographers and advanced amateurs preferred
  5. United States and State of Colorado Residents preferred, but not required

We are also looking for a person who can write gear reviews (in addition to content writers, as outlined above), specifically on cameras and lenses. This particular opportunity requires US residence (lower 48 states), since the person will be receiving gear for testing from our partners.

If you are interested, please use the form in the “contact us” page with the subject line “Photography Life Job Opening”. Please include a short bio of yourself, the position you are interested in, a link to your online portfolio (important, since your pictures tell a lot about you) and whatever else you feel like sharing with us. Also, if you have previously applied to work with us before, you can reapply this time again.

All I Want For Christmas Is… A Working Computer!

Some intermittent PC problems, followed by a serious crash and some toasted devices, and work associated with reconfiguring a new PC have consumed more of my time lately than I care to admit. All the while, a pile of photography gear has been staring at me daily, crying out to be reviewed. Computers, in their various forms, have become rather ubiquitous. Most of us tend to take them for granted, at least when they are working properly. One cellphone provider recently advertised that upgrading our smartphones wasn’t just about improving technology, but rather an improvement to our very lives. That’s a bit of a stretch, but it is fair to say that some of us indeed identify too much with our technological toys!

“A Little Neglect May Breed Great Mischief”
“For want of a nail, the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe, the horse was lost.
For want of a horse, the rider was lost.
For want of a rider, the battle was lost.
For want of a battle, the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.”

- Ben Franklin
Poor Richard’s Almanac

When things go awry, however, we are reminded just how important technology can be to both our professional and personal pursuits. The following post details my recent experience and some insights that may help you prepare for the worst.

Christmas Tree

Attempting To Resurrect The Dead

Having had every model of PC since the original IBM PC produced in 1981, including a few I custom-built, and a number of Macintoshes along the way, I am pretty comfortable dealing with all manner of both software and hardware issues. I have successfully brought a few PCs back from the proverbial “dead.” As such, I have a healthy sense of paranoia regarding PC technology and realize that if anything can go wrong, eventually it will!

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Current and Upcoming Holiday Deals

Starting from this week, many US retailers will be having special holiday sales for cameras, lenses, lighting equipment, various accessories and other photo gear. Instead of spamming our readers with constant deal alerts, I decided to create a single page where we will be hosting the best deals that are available as of now. The page is called “Current Deals” and it is accessible from the top navigation of this site, right next to “Contact Us”. So far I posted some great deals on the Nikon D600, third party lenses from Sigma and Tamron, Memory card deals and more.

I will be updating the page as new deals come in, although we will probably do a separate post on Black Friday deals when they become available. Check back more often this week, since you might miss some crazy deals that will only last several hours, until stock is all gone. This is that time of the year when it happens. If you miss the deals, next Monday is “Cyber Monday” and some additional deals might be available. I have gotten a number of inquiries from our readers, asking me whether the killer Photoshop deal Adobe had this summer is going to come back or not. To be honest, I do not think we will see another deal like that, but check back daily and hopefully there will be some good incentives from Adobe again.

Nikon D600 Deal

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Email Subscriptions and RSS – Please Read!

Looks like Google will soon discontinue its Feedburner service, which we have been using for several years now to deliver email messages to those who subscribed to our blog. Since we want to phase away from Feedburner before it officially shuts down (there is no ETA from Google as of today), we want to make sure that all email and RSS subscribers are transitioned over smoothly back to us. As of now, there are two methods to subscribe to our website, as pointed out in our “Subscription” page:

  1. Via Email – you can subscribe to our site to receive email messages every time fresh content is posted via the widget on the right hand side of the page, which says “Subscribe via Email”. The window looks like this:
    Subscribe via Email

    Simply put your email address in the field, then click “Subscribe”. You will then receive an email that will request you to confirm your subscription. You can change the delivery time and frequency of emails at the same time.

  2. Via RSS – if you have an RSS reader that you are using to receive updates from our site, then please remove the old feed and add the new one at the following URL:

We will not disconnect Feedburner for a while, so if you do not want to receive two email messages, then it would be best to unsubscribe from the Feedburner email list. In order to unsubscribe, just locate the last email from us, then scroll all the way to the bottom of the email and find the link that says “To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now”. Just click the link and follow the process. We have close to 4,000 email subscribers on Feedburner, so I hope this transition will work out for most of our readers.

Please let us know if you have any questions and we apologize for the inconvenience!

Any Camera Will Do

It doesn’t happen often, this. Water was everywhere, dripping, flowing, consuming anyone who dared take even the smallest step under that pitch-black sky. Not many did, too. Stores were crowded not with mothers holding their vegetables and sweets for unsuspecting children. Not with children and their ice cream, chips or, sadly, energy drinks. No, they were crowded with those who weren’t ready for the rain. And you should always be ready for rain in Lithuania in Autumn. I guess we’re not as pessimistic a nation as we think we are.

And then, surprisingly, there was silence. For a moment, the rain stopped, and with it everyone else did. A brief moment that was. Now, mothers were running, children were running, and everything came back to chaotic life. It was more peaceful with the rain.

It doesn’t happen often, this. Clouds split and, before they could cover all the blue again, sun shone through. It was both dark and immensely bright all at the same time. I could barely see where I was going, could barely hear people rushing by urgently, hands covering their eyes. Everyone was rushing, no one saw where. Natural order of things, I thought, and looked for a camera I didn’t have with me. Or didn’t I?

Any Camera Will Do

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