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PPA Today

By Aleighia Rouse

 

Poof! April has come and gone, but the photography industry is making new changes every day. At PPA, we want to make sure that you are staying abreast to all things photography that happened this week. Here are our top 10 blog posts of the week!

 

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'Shark Tank' Star Robert Herjavec's Top 5 Small-Business Marketing Tips

MARKETING HELP: Looking to start or even expand your business but need some tips on where to start? Look no further than Robert Herjavec, he started his business from the ground up, in this article learn how he did it and how you can do the same through simple marketing changes and additives.

 

The Complete Guide to Color Management: Color Made Easy

POST PRODUCTION: We all know how boring color management can be, well it just got a lot more exciting thanks to PPA photographer Jeff Rojas.  Check this article and learn how to manage color and take a crash course in color displays, analyzing your environment, and much more.

 

Posing Secrets of the Red Carpet
BEAUTY PORTRAITS:  How do celebrities look so fabulous in every red carpet photo that you see? Well check out this article to find out how, PPA photographer Megan DiPiero discusses anything from body positions to actual shot compositions.

 

A How- To Guide On Photographing Strangers 

BREAKING THE SHELL: It can be an awkward thing walking up to strangers, especially because you never know what to expect. But taking pictures of strangers is a great way to exercise your skills and practice, even as a professional. In this article Jeff Rojas sits down with Miguel Quiles to discuss some tips on how to approach strangers to take their photo.

 

Improve your Landscape Photography with this Step-By-Step Seascape Guide

REFERENCES: This is for all our landscape photographers out there. We know your job isn't just taking pictures of random objects and infrastructures; it is much bigger than that. It's nice to have some people that understand that struggle. This article gives a play-by-play of all aspects of landscape photography, from settings to technique.

 

Three Unique Ideas for Improved Compositions
ADVANCED PORTRAIT POSITION: Everyday a new feature or technological advance is added to the pot of the photography industry. In this article, PhotographyTalk goes beyond the normal suggestions of "rule of thirds" or "include foreground interest" when it comes to shot composition. Delve into some lesser-known compositional tips so you know how to create a stunning image.

 

How Do You Balance Family Time While Establishing Your Business

BUSINESS & LIFESTYLE: Balancing home life and work life can be a very difficult, especially when you are a photographer and a business owner all at once. In this Fstopper article they discuss finding a median between work and home life and how to do it successfully.

 

How to Harness the Power of the Midday Sun for Your Photos

STAY INFROMED: The dreaded midday sun is not only the hottest part of the day but can create a harsh light for your images. In this article learn how to turn that harsh light into a benefit for your session, though a close aperture, dynamic settings and using your shadows to your advantage.

 

Photog Kicked Off Plane for Trying to Be a Responsible Drown Owner

DRONES: Recently, a photographer was kicked off a plan, not for carrying dangerous materials or taking pictures when he wasn't allowed but for being a "responsible drone owner." Learn how to avoid situations similar to this one and get tips that'll help you avoid going through something.

 

Maintaining Creativity with Personal Projects

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX: Learn a few tips from pro Skip Cohen's interview with Vincent Laforet on how creativity can advance your career, business and personal projects. In this podcast he discusses how to hustle, personal projects and mindset, overcoming challenges, and feeling discovery.

 

There you have it, our weekly blog post roundup! What photography blogs or podcasts do YOU follow? Post your favorite on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommittee @PPA.com.


 

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Aleighia Rouse is a graduating senior at Spelman College and one of PPA's Marketing and Communications intern. She aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around. Aleighia is known by her happy personality and bubbly voice, and with over 6 years of film and photography experience, she can relate to and understand most of the issues faced by PPA photographers.

 

 

By Sarah Ackerman

Regulations surrounding drone operations are on the verge of major changes as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to make the integration of drones or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) top priority. PPA is here to help you understand the changes. 

We've published two resources at PPA.com/Drones to help you navigate the legal mumbo jumbo surrounding the world of professional photography and drone usage. 

This article walks you through current regulations and what to expect once more changes from the FAA come to fruition. Think you're operating legally? Give it a read and make sure. The last things you want are fines or make it more difficult to become certified because you weren't aware of the rules and regulations. 

Choose your own adventure! Answer questions and follow the path to your answer of "Can I legally fly my drone?" Remember that changes are on the way! Just because you may not be able to legally operate a drone now, doesn't mean that will always be the case. New regulations are expected within the next couple of months!

PPA's goal is to keep you legal and informed as these rules change. We're back in Washington, D.C. this week working with legislators on drones and copyright issues. Stay up-to-date at PPA.com/Advocacy and Be More Protected. 

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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 



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By Sarah Ackerman

As you expand your photography business, you don't know what you don't know. Asking questions on theLoop to expand your knowledge is a great place to start to learn about any area of photography! With 29,000+ PPA members behind you, there's bound to be someone who has been in your shoes and can offer a word of support or advice. 

This month, we're highlighting the thread concerning skyline images, specifically how to reduce the noise in them. Check out what your fellow Loopers had to say and the beautiful images their advice helped create (complete with before and after shots): 

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Jonathan Andreas: Hello! I currently travel for work and aside from my day job I make it a point to get out and shoot skylines when I am in bigger cities. Most of the time I shoot around dusk and during the night. Typically I am shooting with a ISO of 100 and as slow of a shutter as I can with a f/22 (canon 5d mark III, 24-70 f/2.8) I just started using live view and manually focusing as well- I am just looking for some tips for how to reduce my noise during the low light shots as well as some post production tips. Thanks! -Jon 

Thomas Viceconte: Are you using long exposure noise reduction in-camera? Is there a specific reason you're using f/22 for all the images? How are you processing the files in post?

Jonathan Andreas: Thanks for responding Thomas, I did not know there was an option for noise reduction in camera. I will apply that and check it out the results. I have been shooting f/22 just so I could use a long exposer. Are there negatives to using f/22? 

Eugene Lugo: Shooting at F22 will cost you some sharpness due to diffraction. I would suggest using a neutral density filter and a larger aperture if you can do that and still have enough depth of field.

Jonathan Andreas: Got it, I didn't know that. I'll try the larger aperture and look into the filter. I have been using iPhoto to process my images. Once I get home in May, I will be able to use CS6 to process my images.

Leroy Moore: Jonathan, in-camera noise reduction takes two photos. It takes your photo, then closes the shutter and takes another.  So, if you are shooting a 3 minute shot, you lose another 3 minutes while the camera takes a dark frame.  It then subtracts the noise produced in the dark frame from your original image.  It's slower and sometimes works well, depending...  You set this up in your camera's menu system.

Suggestions:  DXO Viewpoint 2 is not very expensive and can be used to correct the optical distortion you are getting. 

Fair noise reduction software includes Lightroom and some techniques with Photoshop.  Topaz labs makes a great and inexpensive de-noising software called DeNoise.

But if you want to sell large copies of these great photos, your best noise reduction that can be had is by DXO Optics Pro labs.  It also converts raw files and is a stand-alone program.  The Prime de-noising algorithms of this software are currently the best available at removing noise, but leaving detail.  I am not sure, but I think buying the bigger program may come with the Viewpoint software included.

Have fun shooting...

Jonathan Andreas: Leroy, I appreciate the feedback, I'll take a look at the programs. For future photographs do you think the neutral density filter is the way to go? Thanks!

Kevin OConnell: I shoot mostly all long exposure and paint with light. I would suggest you try shooting different f-stops as well. See how more brilliant the light is at say f13. You will see a difference in the two scapes. Also find the sweet spot of your lens for optimum detail. Very easy to do with tutorials on youtube. You probably already know to shoot during the Blue hour for the best looking skyline shots, if not try that as well. 

Tim Gray: Another thing to consider is the higher aperture numbers create the nice star-burst flare effects from direct lights (ex: the streetlights on the bridge). The trade-off is that your lens provides sharper focus and less edge distortions at the middle f-stops (f/8 - f/13).

As for the noise reduction, are you shooting RAW or JPEG? If you are shooting in RAW, then noise reduction is not applied in camera. I have not done comparisons shooting RAW with long exposure NR setting but my guess is that would only be applied for JPEG. Has anyone else tested this for RAW images?

Thomas Viceconte: You're welcome, Jonathan. In addition to all the excellent recommendations from others, you can try applying the digital lens optimizer (DLO) in Canon's Digital Photo Professional (DPP) software that comes with your camera. You can download the software from the Canon web site. DLO reduces lens aberrations and diffraction. It would be interesting to see what it does with the images that you posted. If I apply DLO to an image in DPP, I set the sharpness/unsharp mask to 0 before using DLO and make no other adjustments in DPP. I then export the file as a 16 bit TIFF and process the file in Lightroom/Photoshop. It's not needed for every image, but if you're using the extremes of a lens, it might help improve the image quality. I used this process on the attached image that I took handheld at ISO 1600. It's not perfect, but if you look in the dark areas of the image I think the noise is minimal.

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Jonathan Andreas: I attached the before and after canon photo professional, just from tweaking it really quick it is a huge difference! 

What would you add to this conversation? Chime in on theLoop or ask your own question! If you're thinking it, chances are so are your peers! Not a PPA  member, join today at ppa.com/join and access the thriving community of theLoop.



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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 



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by Lindsey ForsonThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Capitol_Copyright_Blog.jpg

Your PPA team is on Capitol Hill this week, advocating for stronger copyright protections to benefit artists like YOU! After yesterday's celebration of Intellectual Property Day, we continued with more meetings with senators in a position to help with our mission to empower small business photographers.  

This morning PPA's CEO, Membership Director, and Government Affairs Manager met with David Rybicki, Counsel for Senator Perdue (R-GA). Since the State of Georgia is home to PPA headquarters, we had an added connection with this office. We introduced PPA's priorities and discussed our small claims proposal in depth. David seemed intrigued by the proposal and is eager to consult with Senator Perdue on it. Senator Perdue has a business background and is strong on IP protection issues, so we suspect that this will be a great office to continue working with.

Next, we met with Garrett Levin with the office of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Senator Leahy is the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He also has many artistic pursuits himself (including photography!) and is a very strong copyright advocate. This office will be an integral part of any success of small claims legislation on the senate side. Garrett, who had studied our proposal prior to the meeting and was prepared with very specific questions for us, provided great insight into how we might best set up potential legislation for success. He has worked on these issues for a long time and the knowledge he shared was very helpful. We also discussed registration issues in depth. Garrett is very interested in creating solutions to the problems surrounding the deposit requirement that is a part of the copyright registration process. We will be meeting with his office again in the very near future.

These meetings are a big deal as they really help to advance photographers' copyright enforcement and copyright protection in general. PPA puts the time and effort year-round into pushing these issues because they impact the livelihood of our profession. This is why it is so encouraging to see these pieces of the puzzle come together, pushing us steps closer to our goal.

Stay up-to-date here on PPA's blog and on PPA.com/Advocacy for everything you need to know about PPA's work on Capitol Hill. It will help you be more protected and be more prepared.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Lindsey_9955e_bw_cr.jpgLindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!


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By Sarah Ackerman

Second quarter is off to a roaring start! Are you still on track with your business and creative goals for the year? Take a moment to check in on theLoop for some education and inspiration from your fellow photographers!

Drones are all the rage, but did you know if you're using it for more than just hobbyist use, it's probably illegal? Take a moment and catch up with the current FAA recommendations and PPA's take on them.

Are you in the market of senior photography? What are your favorite and most profitable products? Whether you have years of experience or you're just looking to expand into this market, this is a great read!

If you're a photographer on the go, portable backdrops give you a great way to take your studio on the move! But with so many options, where should you invest your money? See what your fellow Loopers had to say!

As a new business owner, there are a lot of questions that pop up and getting advice from experts is always great. But do you need to consult a lawyer and pay pricey fees before you get started? Weigh in to help this new business owner out!

First, no need to apologize for asking questions on theLoop! That's what it's there for! In this thread, help your fellow photographer on common questions on flash. 

Location photography means needing to have the majority of your resources at your fingertips. What hardware and software do you consider must-haves in this situation? Weigh in on this thread!

Most photographers are comfortable printing their work to a reasonable size, but billboards? That's a new animal! Help this photographer with what size image she'll need to make it happen!

Calling all search engine optimization (SEO) pros! If you redo your website, does it undo all of your past SEO? Demystify the world of Google and other search engines in this active thread!

When photographing outdoors, you're battling a pretty powerful light source with the sun. What are some great lights to combat the sun? 

Remember to check out theLoop, a safe and protected online community where PPA members can discuss a range of photography topics. Not a PPA member? Join here!

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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 



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by Lindsey Forson
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4/26/16, 5pm:
Today was packed with meetings that shed more light on the work being done to strengthen copyright protection in the U.S. First, the Government Affairs team had a pair of introductory meetings on the issue of copyright small claims. We met with Skiffington Holderness from the office of Senator James Risch (R-ID) to introduce the idea of copyright small claims. Senator Risch is on the small business committee and we would love to see them hold a hearing on the issue. Skiffington was very receptive to our cause and said he would love to dig into it deeper and meet with us again to discuss. We look forward to that and hope to work with this office to shed light on the need for small claims.

We also met with Matt Sangren, the Chief IP Counsel to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to discuss all of our priority issues. Senator Hatch is a long time copyright advocate, and we are very appreciative of that. We hope to work with this office on copyright small claims and other issues important to small-business creators. We provided Matt with our small claims white paper. He is excited to look further into the issue and work with us. IMG_3260.JPG

The back half of our day included an excellent meeting with Jonathan Nabavi, Counsel to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA). He was very interested in the idea of small claims and asked a lot of questions about how to make the potential small claims process work best for small creators. We also discussed our concerns with the "one-size-fits-all" copyright registration process that makes it very burdensome for professional photographers who produce the highest volume of creations among the copyright holder community. These issues include the requirement to sort images according to publication status and date and to deposit each individual photograph. Senator Grassley will be a very important component to achieving our goal since he is the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. We are excited to see what will come of getting his office engaged on the issue.

Your PPA team is now headed to the World Intellectual Property Day reception! We'll be mixing and mingling on Capitol Hill with the other IP stakeholders and supportive members of Congress.

We have more great meetings lined up for tomorrow! Stay glued to PPA Today or PPA.com/Advocacy for all the updates!

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Lindsey_9955e_bw_cr.jpgLindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!


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by Lindsey Forsoncapitol.jpg

Today is World Intellectual Property (IP) Day, and PPA's Government Affairs team is spending it fighting for your rights on Capitol Hill! Celebrated internationally on April 26, World IP Day marks the date in 1970 when the World Intellectual Property Organization Convention became active. It's observed today as a way of promoting a general understanding of intellectual property and its importance. This year, PPA will be in attendance at several World IP Day events in DC to network with other copyright stakeholders and discuss shared goals.

These events are just one small part of PPA's April advocacy visit to Capitol Hill. We also have several very important lobbying meetings to promote potential copyright small claims legislation and other key priorities. Our appointments include meetings with the offices of the Chairman Senator Hatch and the Ranking Member Senator Leahy of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Recently, PPA's copyright advocacy efforts have been mostly focused on the U.S. House of Representatives. This is due to the fact that the House Judiciary Committee has performed a comprehensive review of copyright law over the past couple of years. As our top priority issue gains increased support on the House side, PPA is now connecting with key offices in the Senate Judiciary Committee to introduce and promote the idea of copyright small claims. No matter who ultimately introduces a small claims bill, the legislation will have the best opportunity for success if it already has wide support throughout Congress when introduced.

You can rest assured that along with promoting small claims legislation, PPA is speaking up on all of the copyright issues affecting professional photographers. Recently, we submitted comments to the US Copyright Office concerning issues with both the copyright registration process and the DMCA notice and takedown process. We will continue to discuss these topics and others with key law-makers and agency heads.

Be more educated and get your Copyright Resources now at PPA.com/Copyright. And stay tuned to PPA.com/Advocacy this week for updates from Capitol Hill!

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Lindsey_9955e_bw_cr.jpgLindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!

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by James Yates

Want to enter into a serious photographic competition? Been thinking about entering again or wanting to take the first-time dive? PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC) begins accepting entries May 23. It's time to start preparing your images. It's through competition and critiques of your work by professional photographers that you can truly grow and evolve as an artist.

Entering the IPC is one of the best ways to improve your craft, especially if you choose to have your images critiqued by one of PPA's Jurors! You can have your images evaluated and scored based on the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. You'll receive a recording of an IPC Judge giving you dedicated feedback and explaining to you how the elements are present and impact YOUR image. By competing and getting your images critiqued, you'll learn what you do well as a photographer, as well as identify the areas in which you may need improvement. It's an amazing learning experience!

We know the process can seem intimidating for first-timers, so here's an actual critique from last year's International Photographic Competition. This image called "Cloud Surfing" was created by Heather Cook, M.Photog., and is being critiqued by PPA juror Rod Brown, M.Photog.Cr.

Take a look and see how entering a photographic competition can improve your own work as a photographer through constructive feedback like you'll hear in this critique.



We hope this critique can help you get a better understanding of what the IPC judges are looking for when scoring your images. Start preparing your images for the International Photographic Competition! Submissions are open May 23-June 22, 2016. Late registration extends until July 7, with an additional fee. The IPC judging dates are July 31-August 4, 2016 and you can stream it live at Stream.theIPC.org. Be sure to request a critique so you can receive some personalized feedback on your works of art and Be More Prepared.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for James.JPGJames Yates is an Atlanta-based writer/actor and the Communications Specialist at Professional Photographers of America (PPA). A graduate of Georgia State University, James has worked in the non-profit sector his whole life and is proud to be able to help artists achieve their goals. In his spare time he can be found walking his dogs on the Beltline or partaking in the nightly theater and comedy scene in the ATL.


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By Lindsey ForsonThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for copyrighticon.png

As part of April's increased copyright awareness efforts, PPA's government affairs team created two new copyright webinars. The webinars are available through PPAedu and were created to help you increase your copyright knowledge and protection efforts.

Copyright Basics: What Every Professional Photographer Needs to Know provides a brief overview of photographic copyright. Though this is not an incredibly exciting topic, copyright is something that you, as a professional photographer, should have at least basic understanding of. By tuning in, you will learn the basics of federal copyright law and how it affects your business. The webinar also provides an overview of how to protect your copyright and how to recognize and deal with copyright infringements. Finally, you will learn how to access and take advantage of PPA's copyright resources. You may have tuned into this webinar in the past, but now there's an updated version on PPAedu.

Ten Tips for Protecting Your Copyright presents the nuts and bolts of image protection. As a professional photographer, you want to protect your photographs from copyright infringements but may not be sure of what steps you can take. From educating your clients to registering your work, this webinar gives you the tools you need to make sure your photos are as safe as possible.

These webinars do not present legal advice but are full of useful educational information. Don't miss out - take advantage of this opportunity to fine-tune your copyright knowledge! Check out PPA's helpful Copyright Tool and Kit at PPA.com/Copyright. And stay up-to-date with all of PPA's Copyright advocacy efforts at PPA.com/Advocacy.


Thumbnail image for Lindsey_9955e_bw_cr.jpgLindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!
By James YatesThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Weekly_Top_Ten_Drumroll.jpg

April is winding down but spring is still in full-bloom, whether it's rainy, sunny, or still snowing outside. Take your allergy meds, curl up on the couch and stay informed with our top blog post shares this week.
    
Exposed: The Risks of Photographing on Railroad Tracks
Be Safe: From TheLawTog, Operation Lifesaver is providing shocking data and links to articles on the dangers of shooting on railroad tracks. Not only is it illegal, but deadly! Keep your clients safe with this informative read.

Three Important Ways to Edit Color in Lightroom
Lightroom Tutorial: Want to learn how to edit color in Lightroom? This article has nice insights from SLR Lounge on just the subject!

April 23 is World Copyright Day! Celebrate with PPA
Celebration: The construct that protects your business has a day all to itself and it's Saturday, April 23! Celebrate with this quick read on how PPA is protecting photographers' rights on Capitol Hill and beyond!

This Automated Method for Colorizing Black and White Photos is Very Impressive
Cool Technique: Popular Photography provides a tutorial on how to colorize black and white photos using automated processes with surprisingly natural results.

Reducing Our Emotional Attachment to Images Part 2
Sharpen Your Eye: Taking a critical view of your work can range from difficult to impossible at times. Apogee Photo continues its series on emotionally detaching yourself from your images to become a better editor.

What if Instagram Pictures were on Film?
Speculation Calculations: Think photography is expensive? Atlas Obscura asks us to imagine if Instagram were on film. The math might be a little crazy, but it's interesting to see we'd be spending $15.63 billion per year!

How to Cut Anything Out in Photoshop
Snip-Snip: If you've ever been faced with what seems like an impossible task of cutting something out of your images, this video is for you! Photoshop Road Map offers a video tutorial on how to cut anything (and we mean anything) out in Photoshop.

The Double Exposures of Brandon Kidwell
Must-See Images: This is a great read for some weekend inspiration! The Phoblographer profiles some very cool double exposure portraits by Brandon Kidwell.

Create a Storybook Image
Spotlight On: PhotoFocus presents the images of Australian photographer Kira Likhterova in this step-by-step on her process in capturing beauty. 

Am I Making Art?
Art for Art's Sake: Do you struggle calling yourself an "artist"? PhotoFocus offers inspiration for those photographers that struggle with labeling their works as art.

There you have it, our weekly blog post roundup! What photography blogs or podcasts do YOU follow? Post your favorite on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommittee @ PPA.com.

Thumbnail image for James.JPGJames Yates is an Atlanta-based writer/actor and the Communications Specialist at Professional Photographers of America (PPA). A graduate of Georgia State University, James has worked in the non-profit sector his whole life and is proud to be able to help artists achieve their goals. In his spare time he can be found walking his dogs on the Beltline or partaking in the nightly theater and comedy scene in the ATL.

 


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