How to submit your photos for a Case Study

Update: Due to an overwhelming amount of submissions, we are no longer accepting case studies at this time.

To make it easier for our readers to submit their images for a Case Study, I created a dedicated form which allows uploading images. The form is located on the top of this page and can be accessed through the case study link. I have been getting a lot of good feedback regarding the case studies I have posted so far and it seems like our readers find them beneficial, not only in terms of learning the gear side, but also the post-processing side.

As I have pointed out before, photography is not just about what gear you use and how you use it, but also about how you present it to your viewer. You have probably heard some people say that altering images in post-processing is “cheating” and that everything should be done right from the camera. I do agree about the camera part – you should always strive to do it right in camera. However, I certainly do not agree with calling post-processing work “cheating”. If you look at some of the masters of photography, you will see that a big portion of their photography workflow is dedicated to work with images in Lightroom/Aperture and Photoshop. Even those who shoot film, spend a considerable amount of time working in darkroom, after which they spend additional time making final changes in software. Ansel Adams, one of the most famous photographers of all time, used to spend countless hours working on his photographs in labs. He was a true darkroom magician and I am sure that he would have loved the ability to digitally manipulate images, if he was still alive. So don’t be scared to manipulate your images in any way you want. Learn how to perform the essentials first, such as aligning images, cropping them and adjusting exposure with white balance. Then after that, learn how to work with colors and how to add various effects such as vignetting to your photographs. Experiment and play with different settings. As far as post-processing software, don’t start out with Photoshop, because you might get lost and get frustrated with it. Photoshop is not a simple tool to learn. Instead, start out with either Lightroom or Aperture and spend a considerable amount of time in getting to know it inside out. Once you get a good grasp on Lightroom or Aperture, then get a copy of Photoshop and start exploring it.

Let’s get back to the Case Study Form. If you are having some challenges with your camera gear, photography or techniques and need some tips on how to improve your skills, please fill out the case study form. I can’t promise that I will post every single one I receive, but I will do my best to respond to each one via email at the minimum – it all depends on how many requests I get.

Have a good weekend! I will be working on posting the Nikon D7000 review this weekend.

Happy Birthday to My Most Amazing Husband!

My dear Nasim, I’ve been through many difficulties in my life and was at my wits’ end when I met you. From that point on I knew I found my soul, my strength and my true love. You have uplifted me to new emotional heights, given me hope and have been supporting me, my dreams for the past 5 years. Together with you we are raising two most amazing children God could give us. Thank you for being so giving, a very loving husband and a perfect father to Omar and Ozzy. I go to bed every night and wake up every morning thanking God for having you as my husband, my soul mate and my best friend. We love you very much and wish you to be healthy and happy. Like you say: Once healthy and happy, we can achieve other things by our own will.

Lola

Omar

Although your sons never have a perfect hair day, they are precious in every way :D

Ozzy

Love forever,

Lola, Omar and Ozzy.

Happy New Year and we are back!

Lola and I decided to take a short break between the holidays to rejuvenate and come back with full energy! We really needed it and the fact that my dear cousin along with his lovely wife joined us for a few days gave us every reason to relax and have fun with the family. Now we are back in full swing, with the energy levels enough to take over the world! LOL! :)

I have over 400 comments to respond to (a week of no activity has painful consequences) and I decided that it is a good time to change my comment responding rules. Going forward, I won’t respond to comments that thank me for the post – a big Thank You to everyone who leaves such comments beforehand. I simply don’t have time to respond to every single comment and since it takes me more time to respond to comments than write articles, I think this change will only be beneficial to our readers. Other comments I don’t know what to do with at this point, are people asking for advice on what type of equipment to purchase. While I will certainly do my best in responding with my recommendations, I sincerely ask our readers to check out my other articles, along with my responses to others first. For the most frequently asked questions, I will continue writing more “FAQ” articles, which can be found in our “Photography Tips for Beginners” page. And one more thing, before asking which brand of DSLR to buy, please read my Nikon vs Canon vs Sony article to see what I think of brands. If the above change works out well, I will certainly be able to answer your comments faster and use my time more efficiently to write new great articles and post more exciting videos!

The last thing I wanted to quickly mention, is that we will be continuing our Flash Photography Tips for indoors and outdoors flash photography. Many of our readers found our tips useful for photographing their families during the holidays and I am getting a lot of good feedback on the articles, along with plenty of requests to post more tips on flash photography. We will certainly do that, so more articles and videos on flash photography will be posted this month and going forward.

Happy New Year!!!

I Will Build Your Photography Blog Giveaway Winner

Random Number And the winner of the “I Will Build Your Photography Blog Giveaway” is comment #24 by Jered Gruber! I am very excited to have the opportunity to build a blog for an aspiring photographer/journalist, who apparently writes for magazines and websites.

If you remember, the purpose of this giveaway is not only to help one person, but to try to help every photographer that wants to have a blog. During this process, I will be taking snapshots of every step, so that I could then lay it out for everyone else to do it on their own.

Here is Jered’s comment:

Hi –

I’ve been a long time reader and greatly enjoy your photographic and writing work. I would very much like the chance to get your help on a photography blog.

I’m currently living in and traveling around Europe with my wife. We saved up as much money we could around our wedding, got plane tickets, and made the jump. We bought a car, and now we’ve taken to a nomadic lifestyle of sorts, staying with friends here and there, trying to pursue our goals and see what happens. I’m a cycling journalist, I write a lot for different magazines and websites, but my main goal is to push my photography forward, not just in cycling, but hopefully in other genres as well.

I’ve posted thousands of pictures to my Flickr page, and I do have my own website, but I’m not sure how to make the juncture between the two. I would greatly love to combine the two, as I’m beginning to see that it would be a much better solution.

Anyhow, thanks for your generous offer. I think we’re all very grateful for your help.

JERED

Congratulations Jered! I will send you an email, so please respond as soon as possible so that we can get started.

And to those who did not win – please do not get disappointed! Hopefully my guide will be detailed enough for you to be able to do it yourself and I will do my best to help along the way.

Giveaway: I Will Build Your Photography Blog

Yes, you’ve read it right – I’m planning to give away my time to build your photography blog. If you are just starting in photography (perhaps starting your own photography business) and do not have an existing blog to showcase your pictures, you would be a perfect candidate for this giveaway. Why am I doing this? First, I want to help one of our readers to get a web presence and start publishing their work. Second, I want to help ALL of our readers to get a web presence and publish their work. Wait a second, how am I going to do that? Well, here is the plan and how it will work:

  1. I need the lucky winner to be an example or a showcase, so to speak.
  2. I will build a blog for the winner using a hosted service through a hosting company like GoDaddy or 1and1 (or whoever the winner chooses).
  3. The blog will be built using WordPress – the engine that runs most of the blogs on the Internet today.
  4. I will install a theme selected by the winner and will do all of the necessary configuration for the blog to work properly.
  5. I will build a very basic structure of the website to get started.
  6. I will also install most of the plugins I personally use and recommend.
  7. I will configure the blog to be SEO-friendly and will submit the blog URL to the three major search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing).
  8. While setting it up, I will take screenshots and write down each step of what I did (obviously, all private information will be hidden).
  9. I will then create a very long do-it-yourself, step-by-step article and publish it on this blog, along with a link to the created blog.
  10. I will provide a 1-2 hour training session to the winner for him/her to be able to independently post text and images.

[Read more...]

Two Good News are Best News!

win_large Judging from my face in the below image, you can probably tell that I am very excited about the latest news that have been announced a couple of days ago. With all of your kind help and support, we have just won Denver’s 7 A-list contest!

Lola and Ozzy

We are thrilled to be named the #1 Best Photographer in the Denver area. From the bottom of our hearts, Nasim and I thank everyone who got involved in helping us achieve this goal. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We knew that your votes got us to #3 spot about two weeks ago, but we had no idea that we would be #1!

[Read more...]

Nikon 50mm f/1.4G Giveaway Winner

Lola and I are very excited to announce the winner of the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G giveaway that we posted a month ago. We had about 350 comments, which kept on pouring in all the way until the last day of the giveaway. In order to make the giveaway fair, I removed duplicate posts and posts by people who were responding to other comments, which dropped the total comment count to 314.

In order to pick the winner, I had to enable comment numbering, which puts a sequential number in front of every comment. I then used a number randomizer to pick a number between 1 and 314.

So, who is the lucky winner today? The number is 109, which makes Giani Jindal the winner of the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G lens! Congratulations Giani, I will write a comment on the original giveaway entry, so please get back to me ASAP with your address.

Nikon 50mm f/1.4G Giveaway

Now if you have not had a chance to read the comments, I highly suggest to check them out! Some of them were very interesting to read and some just made me laugh! Check out this poem written by Mark de Vrij:

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Computer Problems

I apologize for not being able to post for a while, but our main PC that has all the images is down at the moment and I am still waiting for replacement parts to arrive to get us going again. For some strange reason, the amount of RAM was showing up as 6 GB instead of 12 GB on the PC I recently built, occasionally increasing and decreasing in size. It was certainly bad RAM and I had to send it back to the manufacturer for replacement. As soon as the memory arrives, I will start posting more – I have lots of great new articles coming up and pictures to share. August has been a very busy month for both Lola and I, so we are doing our best to keep everything organized. I keep wishing that there were more than 24 hours in a day!

I am also anxiously waiting for B&H to ship the new lenses and the Nikon D3100 to me for testing.

Omar and Ozzy

Omar and Ozzy, captured with Nikon 35mm f/1.8G

The Nikon 35mm f/1.8G is a beautiful lens – even my two sons like it :) More to come!

Giveaway: Nikon 50mm f/1.4G Lens

We are very excited about this giveaway, because it is for our favorite lens that Lola and I use the most. The Nikon 50mm f/1.4G AF-S lens is a true marvel, an inspiration for many Nikon photographers. We are giving away this bokeh gem to our readers and we want you to be a part of this great opportunity and participate. Here it is, brand new, just taken out of the box:

Nikon 50mm f/1.4G Giveaway

We would love to reward you and thank you for your participation and ongoing support – you inspire us to create beautiful images and motivate us to continue writing articles on photography, something we love doing when we have time!

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New Blog Design

It has been a while since we posted on the blog, and as you can see, we have been quite busy :) Lots of new changes, brand new design and a new section from Lola exclusively for Weddings. We are excited about these new changes and although it adds a little more structure to our website, it will be easier for us to manage the content this way and we won’t annoy our visitors by posting non-photography related stuff that might not be of interest to them. If you are coming to our blog for photography tips, we will still keep posting them on the main page, so no changes there.

We have not fully finished migrating the site over, so there might be a few bugs here and there. I will be fixing those within the next couple of days. Please be patient with us during this process.

How do you like our new site design?

  • I like it (91%, 96 Votes)
  • I don't like it (25%, 26 Votes)
  • I don't care (0%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 106

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Please let us know what you think of the new look, we truly value your feedback! Please leave your feedback in the comments section below.

Canyonlands Wallpaper

Canyonlands National Park 1920×1200 Widescreen Wallpaper

P.S. We will soon be giving out a lens in a new giveaway!
P.P.S. As an added bonus, I’m posting a wallpaper from Canyonlands National Park for large widescreen monitors. Enjoy! :)