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5businesstips, business, goals,

5 Tips to Get Your Photo Business in Check

By | Business | 2 Comments

I’m excited for 2018! It’s time to refresh our website and take a look at what we want for you as you read our deep dive articles or when you check out the latest Macro Chat Live show.

For me, my favorite part of this site is to help you learn and push your photography creations.  So when you ask me questions and I can help that’s the icing on the cake or the cake in the icing ( i prefer the cake over icing 😉

 

With all that said I wanted to share with you 5 Tips to Get Your Photo Business in Check!

Ashley and I are working on our yearly calendar now.  The challenge for you is to really take time and ask yourself:  ‘What would I really want to learn this year?’  Where do you want your photographs to be in within the year…a magazine? on a someone’s wall? on a piece of product?

Start writing your goals (take your favorite pen and paper) and once completed put the paper near you so you don’t lose your train of thought.  Don’t slip away from your goals…work hard to focus on them.

 

This month we are working in more detail on answering these questions in our membership site.  It’s an exciting time to plan.  As always, if you have any questions please ask below.

If you would like challenges to help with creative blocks, then sign up for our emails and of course, I’ll make videos or write the answers here.

Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2018! May all your work be hung with delight.

 

I know that the 5 Tips to Get Your Photo Business in Check will help you focus.  It helps me and Ashley every year to plan a successful business.

Cheers,

Janice Sullivan

Happy Holidays …. a Time for Giving

By | Inspiration | No Comments

Happy Holidays – Giving is in the Air

Ashley and I hope you are having an amazing holiday season!It’s a busy time for us…. cooking, getting presents, wrapping them and meeting up with family and friends.  I’m working on my Christmas cards now.  🙂

Because it’s the time for giving, we wanted to share 3 amazing websites with you all. On all three of these websites either Ashley or myself have purchased amazing products from them and we love them!

These are all talented people in our new membership group.  You have to see their work…they will inspire you!

Little Girls Pearls
Her high-end jewelry will give any child or baby that special feeling when they wear it. We have her necklaces and my granddaughter will have a beautiful pearl bracelet for her first birthday in April.

Little Girls Pearls

Little Girls Pearls

Kim Nordby Photography
Ashley loved her Nightscapes so much that she bought an iPhone case.  She has many images that will put a smile on your face.  I love her horses 🙂

Kim Norby Photography

Kim Norby Photography

Jeri Mearns Design
I have several goodies from Jeri, but my fav is the Cocktail coasters below.  They are gorgeous! She is a true artist and is always pushing her work to new levels.

Jeri Mearns Photography

Jeri Mearns Photography

Give Yourself a Gift

Or how about a photographer in your life?  This is our business and we love what we do so, of course, I have to share it with you.

 

Sullivan J Photography, Membership Program, photography membership,

SJP Membership AFS’ers

We are now offering a one-year subscription to our membership…woot!   You get 2 months free for $290 when you pay for the year, or you can join the fun for only $29 a month.

Ashley and I have really worked hard to make the membership personal for you.  Here are some of the main highlights of the group to elevate your photography.

LIVE CALLS

This is the heart of the membership!  We will meet up to talk about Q & A’s, your monthly challenges, and much more.  If you’re up for it, come on in and jump on the live call with me!

MONTHLY CHALLENGES

Monthly challenges will push you out of your comfort zone and help you learn new ways to express yourself with YOUR photography using various techniques with post-production and playing with your camera.

FREE GOODIES

Yep, if you see a course or download, or whatever… you won’t pay, it’s included in your membership! But if you would rather just have our products, you can purchase without a membership plan.

YOU ARE OUR #1 PRIORITY

Ashley and I are crazy busy but you know what?  When you’re part of Adventurers of the f-Stop, you’re most important in our world.  You will have our full attention!   We’ll be there for you!  Seriously… you’re #1!

My gift this year is having amazing members and their testimonials..xoxo  

 

 

Keep those questions coming and I’ll keep the deep dive videos rolling.  I truly with all of my heart hope you have a healthy and happy holiday season!

Looking forward to seeing you again in 2018.  I’m taking time right now to be with my family and friends.  I’ll hang out more on Social Media to see what you all are up to.

Cheers to your family from ours,

Janice Sullivan

Thanksgiving, 2017, Thanking you,

Thank You!

By | News | No Comments

Happy Thanksgiving & THANK YOU!

 

Today is Thanksgiving, and it’s a time for us Americans to give thanks for all that we have and who we have to thank for it.

I want to thank you for stopping here and reading my blog.  I totally appreciate you!

I made the video below to share my 2017 top thank you’s to those who have impacted my life this year.

Here are all of the links that I said I would give to you.

Hope you take time to check out each link…they all have made an impact on my life and they may for you too.

Sunday Society

Looking to connect with other girl bosses building their signature empires? Want a mentor who’s been where you are and is ready to hold your hand through the muck?

The End of Boring

A Masterclass on how to make a living by being yourself.

B School

B-School is an 8-week online learning program for big-hearted creatives who want to start and grow a meaningful profitable business online.

The Untethered Soul

the journey beyond yourself

How to Shoot Videos that Doesn’t Suck

Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro

The Explorographer

Shaping our world, one project at a time.

Macro Photography Live Show

Chatting live about photographing up close.

SJP’s Membership AFS’ers

Macro & Landscape membership to elevate your photography and business.

 

A HUGE thanks to all of you who have commented on my posts.  I read every single one of them and make sure that I reply.  You are awesome!

 

Cheers,

Janice Sullivan

 

 

photography software, plugins

What Software Should You Use Oh My!

By | Post Processing | No Comments

What Photo Software to use…so many to choose from?!

John asked a great question on what I felt was the best photo software programs out there to choose from.

There are amazing companies that know we want our work to pop and make a statement.  The video below explains everything…

Yes, it can be frustrating when you see so many great deals and then you see the beautiful work they show us so we think if I buy this photo software and plug-ins…my work will look like this too!

It’s good to push your creations and yes, buy software that will help you…but, be mindful of what you really need.

photography software, what software to buy,

So many software programs to purchase? Yikes!

 

Have any questions software and plug-ins?  I’m a junky so I’ll probably have an answer for you, hahaha!  Just ask below 🙂

 

Janice

AFS’er Membership – Hurry for one Month FREE – $40 Gift Cert Contest

By | Business, Contests, Education | 13 Comments

Adventurers of the f-Stop Membership is here! At the bottom enter our contest 🙂

 

I really enjoy making Deep Dive videos for you and I truly love answering questions from photographers.

For those of you who are just stopping in…I’m a teacher of photography.  I have a degree in art with an emphasis/concentration on photography.

Now, I know that having a degree doesn’t make me a good photographer, but what it does mean is that I am educated.  I’m not trying to say I’m smarter than anyone else that doesn’t have a degree, but I do believe that you must always continue to educate yourself.

A bit of history about myself:

What I used to do was make video tutorials to remind myself of what I learned and liked when it came to post-processing and/or photographing.

A company called Curious.com asked if I would like to be a teacher on their site and I thought, ‘what the hell’, let’s see how this will work.

 

You probably know that I had a great time, but when it came to my photography work, I became bored.  Yes, I was working with Art buyers and interior designers, but it wasn’t enough.

I didn’t want to go back to college, so I kept searching for new tools to learn to push the creative side.   When I found out about a program called The Arcanum, I signed up and waited to see if I would be picked up.  Yes, I was and totally grateful to be part of the passion that the group had.  When I was asked to be a master photographer, I was so honored because I knew first hand how amazing it is to be with a group of photographers that love the craft as much as I do.

Photo by Wasim Muklashy

Now my life has begun a new journey.  I’m still working with photographers in The Arcanum, but now I can work with more in my own membership site!  Ashley, my daughter, is the co-owner of SJP.  Both of us discussed this in more detail and with the help of my own mentors, SJP Membership AFS’ers was born.

AFS’ers

I know how it feels to be stagnant.  It’s a horrible feeling.  Everyone is saying you should always have a niche… I get that too, but I just wanted to play and learn…I wanted to create something different.  Is that you?…probably, because most of us feel that way.

I understand what is needed to really push yourself and to enjoy creating new work to share with the world.  It’s an amazing feeling to express what you love in your work and I want that for you!

I truly believe that a picture is worth a thousand words and a thousand words makes a difference.

With this membership, I want to help you express yourself with your work by pushing you, just a tad, out of your comfort zone.

So this is just a taste of what Ashley and I have planned for you.  We just added it to the membership site.

 

 

You're the best! Janice, your work is so inspiring! In the time I’ve been working with you I’ve learned more than I ever imagined - about photography, but also about the fun of exploring and the joy of sharing. You have literally changed my life with your talent & generosity.

Jeri MearnsArtist, Photographer

The thing about Janice Sullivan is that her excitement about photography is contagious. She is as excited about teaching and growing photographers as she is about creating amazing images. In the time that I have spent with Janice in the Arcanum, she has helped me approach and understand difficult techniques and has given me tips that have greatly improved my macro photographs.

Jamuna Barry

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I need your help spreading the news, so I’m offering a $40 gift certificate contest to share this post.  The more you share the more entries you receive.  This is what you need to do:

  1. Share this post on any of your social media platforms and tag me in it!
  2. The more you share on different social media platforms and different dates, the more entries you get!
  3. Please comment below where you shared so we can verify.  We will be using the comment section to pull the names for our random drawing.

This contest closes Monday, November 6th 11am PST, so hurry!

 

I’m excited to see who will win 🙂

Again…share this blog post and let us know you did in the comment section to win a $40 Amazon card.  Good Luck to you all!

And for those of you who want to join SJP’s Membership AFS’ers click here.  🙂

 

And the winner is……

 

Congratulations Julie!!

 

Thanks everyone for helping us share our news!   Cheers!

raw vs jpeg

RAW or JPEG – What’s the difference?

By | Camera | No Comments

Should you use RAW or JPEG files while photographing? That’s the great question I had from Elise on my Macro Photography Live Show.  It’s such a great question that I had to do a deep dive on it!

So let’s talk about the difference between RAW & JPEG and then you can decide which file you should use while photographing.

Here is the download I was talking about in the video…grab it free!  I had fun making the PDF for you!

Click to Download

 

Raw & Jpeg

This may be the final image…for now 😉

 

Now that you know what the difference is…will you photograph in RAW or JPEG and why?

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

membership SJP

In the Fall of 2017 we begin the fun! Adventurers of the F-Stop Membership will begin!

 

My membership site is almost done!  Woot Woot!  If you would like to receive free treats, hurry because once we open up the membership site, you’ll lose some awesome freebies!  Sign up here! 

 

Have a great day!

Janice Sullivan

 

10 tips for creatives,

10 Tips for Creatives – Photographers

By | Tips & Lessons | 2 Comments

We all go through those horrible creative slumps.  I’ve had a couple of people ask me how I get rid of those damn creative blocks, so I figured I’d give my tips to help you.

It’s a frustrating time for us creative people and I hope that if you have a creative block, you remember this post.  The video below is a bit longer than most of mine, but I feel it will really help you so I don’t want to break it up.  You can go to the end if you just want to hear the 10 tips and below I have them in bullet points. With that said, I think the video is really good because I go into a lot of detail.

Your 10 tips:

    • 1.  Grab ideas
    • 2.  Do some research – grab your research PDF for free here.
    • 3.  Monthly challenge
    • 4.  Understand composition & break it
    • 5.  Join a membership group
    • 6.  Try new lenses
    • 7.  When creativity hits you, write it down on a notepad or your phone
    • 8.  Most of your work won’t be seen.
    • 9.  Don’t be a compareslogger”
    • 10. Take a break

Doing a search on the internet to grab some post-processing ideas gave me the idea of processing this from art I’ve seen.

creative tips chinese art

Inspired by Chinese Art

 

Found this place from a fellow photographer friend.

Photograph of Watson Lake near Prescott, Arizona after sunset. Water reflection of rocks and sky.

 

 

I really hope these help you as much as they help me.  It’s a great feeling when the creative wheels are spinning.

When you have those creative slumps what do you do to get out of them?  Let us know below.

 

 

Cheers,

Janice Sullivan

Rock’in Social Media – 10 Fast Steps using Lightroom’s email.

By | Lightroom | No Comments

Rock’in Social Media with Adobe Lightroom’s Email!

We just started to get into Instagram, so I was looking for a variety of ways to figure out how to share my images to Ashley’s phone that I have processed from my camera.  When right in front of me (because I’m on Lightroom all the time), Lightroom was saying, “Hey, I’m here  – use me!”

I did a deep dive on how important it is to really focus on at least one Social Media site to help you connect with others to build relationships.  If you’re using Adobe Lightroom, you really need to dive into the email part of this software.

It’s so easy and fast that how can you not use it?  Many of us use our phones to work nowadays and Lightroom knows it.  Send your images from one email to another, grab it from your phone and bam…Instagram here you come.

Let’s share the fun and how easy it is to set it up.

Ok…if you just don’t have time for the video, here are the steps.  Make it easy so you use it.

  1.  Set up a Gmail account.  It’s the easiest to work with.
  2.  Pick an image & take it to your development module, right-click on it.
  3.  Click on ’email photo’
  4.  Click on the small drop-down arrow in the ‘from’ area of the pane.
  5.  Click on ‘go to email account manager’
  6.  Click ‘Add’ your email info and verify
  7.  At the bottom pane, you’ll see (Preset)- click it to ‘create a new preset’ when done click export.  In the video, I share my Instagram settings.
  8.  In the ‘To’ location add the email address that you use on your phone.  Add additional info if needed.
  9.  Press send…whooo hooo, you’re almost done.
  10.  Check your email on your phone and ‘Reply’ to email to access the image.  The image will be at the bottom, tap on that to access.

Now you’re ready to download the image to your phone and/or send to your favorite social site.

lightroom email, social media

Image from my iPhone.

 

Always remember to tell your story…a thousand words DO make a difference! So send your images to your phone and share them on your favorite social site!

 

Do you use Lightroom?

 

If so, are you using the full potential of the program?  I’d love for you to share your feedback with us!

Oh yeah!  Our membership is almost done and ready to go up for presales!  So crazy excited to share it with you, but for now join our Membership Updates and receive FREE treats and discounts!

Hope to see you there!  🙂

Cheers,

Janice Sullivan

6 vlog ideas, vlog,

6 Vlog Ideas It’s good for Business

By | Business, Travel | No Comments

6 Vlog Ideas, Yes It’s good for Business

What is a Vlog?

From the dictionary:,

vlog
vläɡ/
noun

Why…you may ask, is it good for business?  If you want to sell your work or make photography a business, it’s time to share a bit about you.  Clients want to know YOU.  Now, you don’t need to show yourself if you don’t want to be in front of the camera at first. 😉  So let’s get you started…

6 Ideas to get you rolling on Vlogging:

  • Getting ready to work with a client?  Share a bit of what you do.
  • Vacation videos are perfect.  You’re in a great mood to enjoy life.  A perfect way to get to know you and what you love.
  • Share your studio or share your road trip while you’re on the way to a photo shoot. They can see your prep and I’m sure you’ll be excited to talk about what you plan to work on.
  • Having a show or putting up your images in your local coffee shop?  It’s fun to see your work on display and to share it with us in a short Vlog would be so much fun to watch.
  • Add bonuses to some of your Vlogs.  Your bonus is a beautiful photograph that you’ve been working on. If you add these to the end and keep them up, your viewers will be excited to see your work.

Below is my latest Vlog.  Yep, it’s fun to share a bit more about me and yes…it’s good business.  If you don’t like me or what I do, that’s ok.  At least you’ll know from the start that I’m not a good fit for you.

But those of you who like my Vlogs know that we will rock together while I push you to get up close and personal with your camera.

My favorite image of the day!  😉

Butterfly on Vlog

Butterfly

 Have a Vlog already?  I’d love to check it out.

Feel free to share your link below.

Cheers,

Janice

White Balance your Camera – Let’s fix those Reds

By | Macro & Close-up, Tips & Lessons | No Comments

Problems with Your Colors – White Balance your Camera

If you’re a Macro and Close up photographer and love photographing rich colors,  you’ve probably have had some problems getting those dark or bright reds, yellows,  and other beautiful rich colors come out in your camera.

You upload a batch of beautiful work to your computer and wonder what in the world happened to the details of your subject.  I’ve had it happen to me and I know many others have had that problem too.  Actually, I got this question from Michael Pye.  He photographs Orchids and can’t get the dark reds to be accurate in camera.  So let’s talk about this in more detail to help you get the correct color in camera.

Now if you’re out photographing and have forgotten a white card, then go to the K (next to Custom White Balance)  you’ll see it in the video, and change your Kelvin.  Also if you still feel that the colors are just a bit too rich after you custom your camera’s white balance, then take the exposure down one stop and all should be good.

 Have questions?   Ask below…. I’d love to chat with you.

Speaking of chatting…did you know that I have a live show every other week on Youtube and Facebook to talk to you Macro and Close-up Photographers?  I would love to see you there!  Here’s a bit more info for you if you’re interested.

Have a great day!

Cheers,

Janice

understand your histogram

Understand your Camera’s Histogram

By | Exposure | 2 Comments

Your Camera’s Histogram is Important

I’m going to talk to you in my language…this is not technical at all, BUT it will help you understand your histogram in your camera.

I’m just not a technical person, but I do want you to know that I do have the technical knowledge…. I just don’t like to teach that way unless a student asks me for it.

If you’re looking for technical information, then just leave a comment and I will do my best to make a video for you and others that would like this kind of information.

So let’s get to it…

Our cameras record light coming into the sensor.  There are only three light colors that make all the colors we see in our images.   Red, Green, and Blue make the magic that we see. When we look at our histogram, we can see the amount of that particular color (it will rise up on the graft) and we can see how dark and/or light each of these colors are. The darkest part of your picture will be to the left of the graft and the brightest part will be to the right of the graft. I explain this and more of the fun in the video below.

The histogram is an amazing guide for you to use while you’re shooting.  Look at your histogram and make your adjustments in the camera.   You’ll be much happier when you upload your photographs into the computer.   Here is a small tip… if you’re photographing in RAW format, you’ll be able to push your colors brighter or darker just a bit in post processing.

understand your histogram

Understand your histogram to help with bright colors.

I said in the video that to correct over saturated colors you’ll need to work on a custom white balance. Look out for that video soon 😉

 Do you use the histogram? If you do…how does it help you with your photography?  If you don’t, let me know why and I’ll try to help you understand it more.

 

With the histogram, you can really fine tune your colors and exposure.  I did a deep dive on exposure…you can read about exposure more here.

 

sjp membership

SJP’s Membership email updates.

 

Something really cool is coming this Fall!  Yep, I’m working on my new membership site!

This will be a place to learn and receive new products I have lined up for free!    I’m going to have live calls that you can join in if you’d like and much more for only $29 a month!   To get updates on how it’s going and some freebie treats every other week…sign up here!

I’m so crazy excited that Coco and I are dancing all over the house!  😉

Have a great day!  Cheers!

 

Janice Sullivan

Do You Need Expensive Photo Equipment to Be a Professional?

By | Equipment & Tools | 2 Comments

Does Your Photo Equipment Need to be Expensive?

 

Is this you?

You see top notch photographers using amazing equipment and see a WOW factor in their work.  You say to yourself, “If I had their equipment, my work could be just as amazing as theirs”.

It’s easy to get sucked into the “I NEED THAT PIECE OF EQUIPMENT”.  I’ve been there!

I didn’t realize how much equipment I had until Mark from Shotkit contacted me and asked if I’d share my equipment on his website.  I set up most….yes, most of my equipment to take a picture of my goodies for his site and I was like whaaaat! I really have all of this equipment and tools. Damn, I’m a junkie!

You and I are not alone…Mark has a huge following because of the amazing photographers on this site sharing their work and the equipment they use.   We are curious.

My fun equipment but remember you don’t need this to be a professional

 

With all that said and my confession of my fetish for equipment…I want you to know that you DON’T need expensive equipment to be a professional, but you DO need equipment that works for what you are doing in your photography life…let me share a bit more in my video.

 

 

Why would you want to move forward with your equipment?

As you grow in your photography life,  you will get to a point where you want to move forward, BUT remember you can sell your work even if you’re not using the latest and greatest camera, lenses, lights, etc….

When you’re ready to move a step forward,  RENT before you purchase.  I used Borrowed Lenses.  It’s a great company and I highly recommend them.

Question….

Are you at a time in your photography path where you want to step up to a higher quality piece of equipment?  I’d love to know what’s the next purchase on your bucket list of tools.

 

:0)

fix dark backgrounds

Reduce Dark Background From Flash

By | Exposure, Macro & Close-up | 2 Comments

Reducing Your Dark Background From Your Flash

On my first live chat show, one of the critique submissions from William was perfect for a deep dive video. He had a beautiful bug image that was shot with a flash. The background was underexposed because when you get up close with your flash, the light will drop fast so the background will go really dark to black. I told him that I would like to do a deep dive video to show him how I fix flash problems.

There are other ways to help you fix this problem…I know it’s frustrating when you really want to have the background exposed properly. The best way to fix this problem is on the camera while you’re photographing. So let’s get to it…

Adjust your camera settings to Manual Mode.  Do your best to get the best f-stop, shutter-speed and ISO to have the subject and background exposed properly. If you’re shooting bugs or need to stop motion because of wind and other movements happening while you’re photographing, a flash will be needed.  With the manual settings you’ve done previously, do a test shot on ETTL ( Evaluate Through The Lens). This is basically your flash put on manual mode.  Next…put your flash on Manual and play with your ratios.

If this fails, it’s time to be creative. You can bring in a matte picture you’ve shot previously and put it behind your subject or photograph backgrounds that can be added in post production. Look around the subject’s location and see if you like anything and then shoot away. In post you’ll merge them together. I show how to do this in Photoshop during the live show.  Check it out here, it’s about 33 minutes into the show.

I used my Macro Ring Light in the behind-the-scenes. I really like the soft feel I get with this flash. But like I always say…light is light. You don’t need this lens to make a great Macro shot. You just need to understand your equipment and it’s limitations.

fix dark backgrounds

How to fix dark backgrounds from your flash

 

How do you work your flash situation when you have these problems? I’d love to know 🙂

 

Cheers to beautiful backgrounds!

Janice Sullivan

Power Pack Lighting – Setup

By | Equipment & Tools, Lighting | No Comments

Power Pack Lighting – Setup Speedotron

I had a great question from one of our YouTubers about my Power Pack from Speedotron.  Even if you don’t have a Speedotron, it’s still good to watch this video because you may be thinking about purchasing a pack. It’s an investment that you really need to consider. You may be wondering if it’s worth the money and if you really need this type of lighting for macro and closeup work?

I share how to set up a power pack and some of the fun tools you can use to push your photography creations to help you answer these questions.

I do want to remind you that purchasing an expensive light package won’t make the images better just because it’s expensive. You need to learn about all of your equipment and keep pushing the limits of it. I mention Ratios…  If you would like more details on ratios click here or ask and maybe I’ll make a video for you.  😉

Play….play….play….

Below are the links to the fun equipment and tools for the lighting setup that I shared with you.

Speedotron Black Line 

Speedotron Black Line 202VF

Speedotron Universal Snoot

Rosco Color Effects Filter Kit

Speedotron 7″ Honeycomb Grid Set

6 Right Angle Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip

My Pocket Wizard is older (they don’t make them anymore) this is the new one.  I love my wizard and highly recommend them.

I didn’t want to overwhelm you, but there’s a bunch more fun tools that you can add to this power pack. Start with the basics and once you get that down, add another fun piece to your pack. I know you can get frustrated when learning new tools. I do, but ask questions and keep trying, and all of a sudden everything will click.

Here was my fun for the day…

 

power pack for photographers, sppedotron, studio lighting,

Shot with one Mono Light, Speedotron Power Pack, gels and reflector.

 

Do you use packs like Speedotron or Flash or Natural light, and how do you use the light to be creative?   

 

Cheers to Light!

Janice Sullivan

outdoor flower photography, how to photograph flowers, flower photography,

How to Photograph Flowers Outdoors

By | Macro & Close-up, Tips & Lessons | No Comments

Photograph Flowers Outdoors

 

Yep, it’s true. I think flowers are the most photographed subject (besides people shots) out there.

SO WHAT?  I love to photograph flowers and if you like to photograph them too, then do it!

flower photography, outdoor flower photography,

Tips Photographing Flowers Outdoors 1/180 @f3.5 ISO 100 with a 100mm Macro Lens

 

Today’s video shares a bit of behind-the-scenes of some flower shooting outdoors.

 

 

It’s such a pleasure to photograph these beautiful subjects and I hope I’ve inspired you to get outside and photograph flowers.

To process all of the images in the video, I used On1 and Luminar.  I’ve always loved On1Raw and just started to play with Luminar. It’s a lot of fun.  🙂

Here is the eyepiece I was talking about in the video. It’s a great product to use when you need to get down low and photograph your subjects.  I love my Angle Finder! I plan to talk more about this tool in my live show, “Macro Chat Live.” I’d love to see you there.  It’s fun to talk macro and to meet others who enjoy macro and close-up photographing too.

It’s a new show, so I’m building it as I go. During every show we chat live about equipment/tools for us macro lovers. I have live critiques and some guests participating in the future.  For more info you can read up on it here.

This is the reflector I used in the video. It’s under $10!  So worth every penny and it will really help you when you need that extra light or if you need to block light.

Below is the flower book I talked about in the video. It’s more about focusing on what excited me within the particular flowers. It should get you thinking every time you see a flower… you’ll say,  “Damn, I wish I had my camera.”  🙂

 

Awesome Deal!

 $4.99 eBook

iTunes -iBook purchase click here.

To purchase printed book click here. 

 

~

 

The question of the day….

 

What problems do you have when you photograph flowers and what is your favorite flower to photograph?

Don’t be shy… chat away.

 

Janice Sullivan
Find me on Google+

How to Use Social Media for Photographers

How to Use Social Media for Photographers

By | Business, Exposure | No Comments

How to Use Social Media for Photographers

One of my photographer friends was a bit frustrated with Facebook and how fine art photographers just don’t get the likes and shares as much as a person who photographs people and sunsets.   It’s true, I know it can be frustrating.  You work so hard on an image and you just don’t feel it’s given the justice it deserves.

I want to talk to you today about where you should hang out on Social Media and how to use it as a photographer.

Two Reasons you SHOULD use Social Media

 

To get the most out of social media as a photographer, you should use it for two reasons:

1. To connect with other artists to inspire you and get the creative juices flowing.

2.  To connect with potential buyers and market your work.

Did you notice I said, “To connect” in both reasons?    It IS a social platform.  It’s important for you to connect with the people who you enjoy and because time is so precious, focus on one place and dominate it.

Yes, you’ll see the big photographers on many other social places at one time, but most of them have help publishing their work out to these sites.   Social Media can be a rabbit hole and the deeper you get into it the more you’ll be lost in that hole.  So stay focused and go for it all the way.

Some help to get you started. 

For business, do a search on Google to give you ideas on where your clients may be.  Here are some to look for:

Interior Designers

Art Buyers/Directors

Photo Agents

Magazine Photography Editors

Gallery Curators

If you would like to search more for people who need your work, check out  https://www.behance.net/  They have a job tab and you can search to see who is looking for your work. It will help you see who would like to connect with you socially.

Of course, if any of you have more suggestions let us know in the comment section.

 

Where to hang out?

You’re saying ok…now that I’ve done my research where should I hang out?  Great question!  From all of the years I’ve been out there here is what I’ve seen…

These social media sites cater to certain media, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be good for you.  The key is to really use one and use it full force.

Yes, LinkedIn was good for me, but it may not be for you.  If you join LinkedIn, join groups and be active.

Facebook –  What’s popular are people shots and beautiful landscapes.  You can get to your target market for business, but sorry to say you will need to pay to connect with them.

Google+ – Landscapes are huge on Google+, but there are a variety of groups to connect with for inspiration.  Unless you’re selling to photographers, it’s difficult to use this social site for business.  But with that said, being active here is one of the best ways to be found in a Google search…. just make sure you use important hashtags.

Twitter –  It’s a fast social site and you really have to stay on it, but you can connect with photographers and your buyers. Use your images on tweets and push everyone to your website if you’re in it for business.

Instagram – A great place to find inspiration.  Hashtags are important!  Check out this site for your profile link: https://linktr.ee/  It’s perfect for the business side of your Instagram.

Pinterest – Another great place for inspiration.  If you use for business, you’ll need to post a lot to be seen.

500px – This is a ranking site and there are many out there. If you don’t connect here you won’t go anywhere.  Landscapes are huge on 500.  I wouldn’t use this for business because I’m not a huge landscape photographer and if you send your clients there they will see the top images…your competition.  No way in hell would I ever point to a site like this for potential clients, just saying.

ello – Inspiration Social Site for Artist

Deep Dive Question

Your question for the day…. What social media platform are you using and is it working for you?  If it’s not working…let us know where you are and what you shoot so we can help you focus.

If you take time to really connect with people for inspiration and/or business, just remember it will pay off when you focus on one site and dominate it!

Sign up for my email to get your challenges every other week.  I bet you can guess what this week’s challenge will be.  😉  I also add a bit more goodies for our readers…hope to see you there.

My tweet for the day 🙂

Tweet: How you succeed in being noticed is to be social on social media. https://ctt.ec/vd1O6+

Cheers,

Janice Sullivan

Understand Exposure to be a power shooter.

Stop Being a Snap Shooter and Really Focus on Exposure

By | Exposure, Tips & Lessons | No Comments

I know that exposure isn’t the sexiest thing to talk about…we just want to make awesome pictures and really hope that we grabbed the perfect shot the first time. But unfortunately that rarely happens 🙁   So I’m here today to discuss this dreaded word: EXPOSURE. If you LOVE exposure, kudos to you and I’m slapping a high five at you right now! If not, let’s help you understand what happens with your camera when it makes the exposure and how you can work it!

Let’s dive in a bit deeper than the 3 parts that make an exposure that I talked about a couple of weeks ago.

Once you really understand exposure, you’ll have so much power while using your camera, and if you’re a power freak like me, you’ll be in photography heaven while you photograph. No Snap Shooting for YOU!

 

 

I talked about the steps to start your learning fun with exposure. For now just play and don’t stress out. You’ll get it!

Here is another visual to help you see the difference of how bright the sky is compared to the grass and trees in the field. I manual shot the best image paying attention to what I could bring out when I processed this in ON1.

The grass looks great, but I couldn’t get the clouds to pop.

 

 Focus on Exposure

1/125 @ f6.7 ISO 200 Manual Mode Over Exposed

 

Now the sky looks amazing, but everything else looks like crap!

 

 Focus on Exposure

1,3000 @ f6.7 ISO 200 Manual Mode

 

So this was the shot I had to work with. I had just enough information to pull out what I wanted to make my river of grass shot. 🙂

 

Exposure to get the shot. Had to use manual mode.

1/350 @ f6.7 ISO 200 Manual Mode

 

It was tough, but I worked the image and got what I wanted in one shot! Whew! Fun…fun!

 

Stop being the Snap Shooter and really Focus on Exposure

Correct Exposure to get the shot.

 

This is another way to get up close and personal with your camera, so when you start to photograph and just look at your scene, you’ll start to know what’s going to happen before you even push that shutter button. I’d like you to be different than the snap shooters, and the way you really begin to create your OWN work is to understand that there may be problems with your exposure and to know what to do when those problems arise.

Normally I ask you questions, but I thought today it would be better for YOU to ask me questions. If you want more techie answers, I’ll answer them here in the comment section.  Feel free to ask anything about exposure, I really do want to help if you’re just not understanding why the pictures are not turning out the way you want them to!

 

Cheers,

Janice

 

Live Macro Critique Submission

Macro Photography LIVE Show is here!

By | Education, Macro & Close-up | No Comments

It was a fabulous show ! Appreciated your critique very much, great advice given. I have to say that you took the mystery out of histograms for me. I learned more in the few minutes last night than the entire 3 years I have been trying to get my head round this topic on line !!!! Kudos

Elise Cotter

Every other Thursday at 6pm PST  I’ll be on LIVE to chat about Macro & Close-up Photography!  Please use the forms below if you would like an of image critiqued on the show or have a question for me.

It’ll be fun!  GO FOR IT!!

Join our Secret Social Facebook group to enter your images & questions…plus I’ll add more goodies there to help you with Macro Photography.

If you don’t like Facebook:

Have a question for me please ask away here.

Image critique on the show submit here.  Please complete all of the information asked.  

I changed the time from 1p PST to 6p PST. Please let me know if you like or dislike the change below in the comment section. Thanks! Time Breakdown:

11:45– Goals for 2018

12:00– Photographer Interviews

15:37– Our Sponsor

17:06– Micro 2017 Winners

21:57– Alan’s critique

39:08– Equipment

39:47– Novoflex focusing rack

43:15– Water drops- Bottle examples

51:16– Enter contrast Jpeg to RAW Nikon

Micro Photography 2017 https://goo.gl/9s2dsi

Novoflex Focusing Rack http://amzn.to/2FehzWX

Novoflex MiniConnect Cross Focusing Rack (CASTEL-CROSS-MC) http://amzn.to/2mb2Fb4

jpeg2RAW http://www.jpeg2raw.com/

12:26– How to submit images for critique & ask questions

15:32– Equipment

27:43– Our live chat facebook group

29:07 Critique- Rice weevil- Microphotography

 

Join me and chat about Macro and Close-up Photography! Macro LIve Chat show will be live every other Thursday at 6p PST.

4:01– How to submit images for critique or ask questions for the show

7:00– Sponsor video

12:48– Critique of Kim- Fine Art Flower

20:48– Critique of Kim

31:27– Answer questions “Indoor flower technique for backlighting”

36:11– Video on how Janice backlights her flowers

40:07– Equipment

Gels: https://goo.gl/FHiAwv

Tent: https://goo.gl/46NyAB

White Balance from your Camera: https://youtu.be/5j1znmBJy7M

Join me and chat about Macro and Close-up Photography! Macro Live Chat show will be live every other Thursday at 1p PST.

13:08 – Critique

29:27 – Membership announcement

38:19 – Shotkit

43:23 – Equipment- Tripods and Heads

Join me and chat about Macro and Close-up Photography! Macro Live Chat show will be live every other Thursday at 1p PST.

10:00 – join our Macro Live Chat Facebook group to submit your images.

12:00 – Shoutout to Voyage LA for featuring SJP

16:12 – Gilberts critique

26:58-Nelson critique

40:36– Equipment See you there! Janice Sullivan

Today we talk about RAW & JPEGS, various software to use and their sales, Macro lens for your phone and critiqued a beautiful flower image by Kim Norby.

If you would like to skip to certain sections, here is a time breakdown below:

19:19 – Info on Lightroom

25:59 Janice talks about Aurora HDR https://goo.gl/jaV6VM

29:00 – Topaz Clarity https://goo.gl/guQD3u and Topaz Studio https://goo.gl/fJeV6D

33:00 – The Creators – Ran by The Explorographer https://www.patreon.com/thecreatours

38:11- Start of Critique

54:45 – Start on Equipment – iPhone X & Macro Lens for your phone.

Today we talked about Water Drop photography and Macro Fine Art Photography. If you would like to watch the video by sections I have put the time points below, there will also be links next to the items that we have more information about or a video:

18:23 is our video on how to create water droplets- Macro water drop kit-
https://www.cognisys-inc.com/store/stopshot-wdk.html

23:22 Section on lighting

26:06 Second critique on Jamuna Berry on her Orchid Flood image- Free trial for Flood 2 – http://www.flamingpear.com/flood-2.html

Flood 2 YouTube video on how to use it. – https://youtu.be/kMYO1vJs8Z4

33:28 Section on equipment. Janice talks about being able to rent lenses and items to try out first so you don’t spend a lot of money if you don’t like it.

42:46 Macro lenses-
https://www.adorama.com/searchsite/default.aspx?searchinfo=nikon+macro+lens

To have your image critiqued on Macro Chat Live you can submit in our Facebook group or if you don’t like Facebook use the link below.

Borrowed Lenses

https://goo.gl/NJuXQF

Today we talked about Aurora HDR 2018
https://goo.gl/hRSRUF

Blog info on Aurora
https://goo.gl/HBxL85

We had some amazing Macro Images by Becky and Christopher for the critique and I shared info on the dreaded corner and other fun tips.

Some lighting setup from Christopher King and I shared Gels, another fun way to light your subjects.

Rosco Color Effects Filter Kit, 12 x 12″ Sheets

https://goo.gl/KrKKQo

Macro Photography Live Chat #4 was planned to have my first guest Macro Photographer but I couldn’t get Skype’s audio to work.  🙁  Once I figure this out we will begin interviews!  Woot!

What we talked about on the show:

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Auto Focus Lens – U.S.A.

Borrowed Lens

There are 2 critiques. I show you how to mask in Photoshop to change up your background.

A bit about what we chatted about:

Reflector – Found this on Adorama $4bucks!

Adorama 12″ Circular Collapsible Disc Reflector, Gold / White

I talk about the reflector more on Elise’s critique.

What we chatted on the show:

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Auto Focus Lens – U.S.A.

Borrowed Lens

There are 2 critiques. I show you how to mask in Photoshop to change up your background.

😀 1st official live stream…well, kind of official 🙂 I’m still testing this out.

So I thought I was live but I wasn’t it was unlisted Duh! Opps! I WAS the ONE viewer!!!!! hahaha I have to laugh at myself!

I’m keeping this because I talk about a cool Macro Toy. I’ll try to get it right in a couple of weeks!

Any tips would be sooooo appreciated. 🙂

I talk a bit about:

Sullivan J Photography

Novoflex EOS Reversing Lens Mount, to Reverse Mount EOS Lenses on an EOS Body

Borrowed Lenses

 

I give you my tips on how I judge contest.

Tips on how to Win a Photo Contest

By | Contests | No Comments

Do you submit your photography into contests?

I had a great question asking me how I judge contests and I really thought about this question and wanted to help you think about what to submit before you actually push the submit button.

Do you feel that it’s a waste of your time and that you’ll never win? That’s how I felt when I first started to put my work out there.

BUT, you know what! I stepped out of the box and went for it!

I put this image into Outdoor Photographer’s monthly contest and didn’t win BUT the Editor saw my work and paid me to be on the cover! Woot!

Photo Contest that made the Cover of Outdoor Photographer.

Tips on how to Win a Photo Contest when you don’t win!

 

To win is awesome, yes! It’s definitely a bragging right that is well deserved. You work hard on your images so of course a good win or two helps boost your ego. It’s ok…be happy! But if you don’t win, you could feel depressed and wonder if your work is even good.

I’m here to say please, please don’t feel bad if you don’t win. It still gets your work out to professionals and others who LOVE what you do! I’m here to help you really think about what you’re submitting before you push that submit button. Like I said before, I was one of the photographers who said, “I’ll never win!” and would look at all of the photos submitted by others and get frustrated with my own work!

But…another but! When you add your work to contests, it changes the way you look at your work. You really think about the subject and say to yourself, “Am I telling a story powerful enough to catch the judges’ eyes?” You never know…just because you didn’t win doesn’t mean you didn’t win!

This is why I want you to keep trying. Get your work out there! So submit your work to photo contests and win!  It may take awhile but don’t give up!

Now that I’m a judge I’ll give you four of my tips to help you get there!

In the video below I, talk about some questions to ask yourself before you push the submit button:

  • Does it go with the theme?
  • Does it have impact?
  • Is it creative?
  • Is it technically perfect?

 

 

To get you started, here are some awesome sites to submit your work:

https://www.viewbug.com
https://www.outdoorphotographer.com/photo-contests/
https://www.naturesbestphotography.com/competition_overview.php

 

Do you not put your image into contests because you talk yourself out of it? I’d love to know…I bet there are a lot of you out there. Or are you the one who goes for it? If you are, what do you say to yourself to get the job done?

Thanks so much for reading…remember, you can do it and a thousand words do make a difference!

Please share with your friends to help them take the plunge and put their work out there.

 

Cheers,
Janice Sullivan

what is the f-stop, shutter speed & Iso for photography

The Secret of Successful Photography using the F-Stop – Shutter Speed and ISO

By | Macro & Close-up, Tips & Lessons | No Comments

Understanding the f-Stop, Shutter Speed and ISO

One of the problems I see the most when people ask, “why isn’t my photograph looking the way I want it to look after I take the picture?” is that they let the camera do all the setting for them. What they don’t understand is that the camera can’t handle the extreme lighting conditions like our eyes do.

The secret of successful photography is when you play with the f-stop, shutter speed and ISO, but you must understand the basics before you can really push these three main components. These three components determine your exposure. I’ll be talking about exposure in more detail later, but I want you to really understand what the f-stop, shutter speed and ISO will do for you macro photographers.

Yes this is for the beginner photographer, but I always say you never know when you may learn something new if you already know the f-stop, shutter speed and ISO, so keep reading…

I’ve combined all of the elements in one blog post so you can grab this information while you’re photographing.  This way you have everything in one shot while you photograph, no pun intended…hahaha I couldn’t help myself! So let’s get started…


Most important for Macro Photographers is the f-stop.

When we get up close we lose what’s in focus. Your f-stop number will determine what’s in focus so you really must master the f-stop which is the number you’re using to open and close the aperture. The aperture is like the irises in your eyes. Just remember that the higher the number the more in focus your shot will be, but know that f-22 lets less light into your camera and in turn you’ll need a longer shutter speed to let the light into your camera. For example, say I’m photographing a beautiful flower outside and I want to use f-22 with my natural light conditions. I’ll need to have my settings at f-22 – shutter speed 1/125 sec – iso 100 BUT if I change my f-stop number to a 2.8 that means I opened my aperture larger so it will let more light into the camera and to get the same good exposure I’ll  have to set my shutter speed to  1/4000 (really fast open and close of shutter)  ISO 100 or the picture will be blown out (white).  The f2.8 – 1/4000 – ISO 100 will be less in focus than the f-22 – 1/125 – ISO 100 but they WILL both have the same exposure (not too dark and not too light in the picture) depending on your conditions.   If you’re outside look for a shady place to photograph. NO harsh light or shadows for now.

 


Shutter Speed

The next most important tool to get that shot you want is to learn the shutter speed. This is how fast the shutter opens to let light into the camera. You set the f-stop (the number of the opening of the aperture)  look into your camera and look at your meter. Move your shutter speed number up or down until you have it in the middle of your meter. I talk to you in more detail in my video on what the shutter will do for those close up shots you’re working on.  But know that if you want a bug say flying to the flower you’ll need a faster shutter speed to capture the be and if your shutter is slow you’ll need a tripod or bump up the ISO.


ISO

The ISO is the next part of taking your picture to make a good exposure.  Start on a low number like 100.  If you don’t have enough light coming into the camera with the f-stop and shutter speed you want it’s now time to push up the ISO.  Google your camera to get an idea of how much you can push up your camera’s ISO.  Here is a great site to plug in your Camera: https://www.dxomark.com/  If you go too high you’ll get grainy and ugly shots so you need to pay attention on how much you can push your ISO.

Definition: 0:43
Looking at the camera 1:05
The 3rd element to Exposure 2:17
Macro with a Tripod – slow shutter: 3:33
Photographing bugs or subjects needing a faster speed: 4:48
Overview and my question 6:22

 


I realize that this can be a challenge to understand each of these settings on your camera but you REALLY will understand what you can do while you’re photographing if you get these 3 tools down.  Work on manual mode and play with the f-stop – shutter speed and ISO.  Once you get the basics down then you’ll push them to create your own stories with your images.  Trust me! It’s hard I know!  But if you really want to push your creative spin in your work this is where you start.  This is, “The Secret of Successful Photography.”

Of course if you have any questions please ask below in the comment section and if you feel this was informative and helpful please share with your friends.

I do have a question for you! What’s your thought process as you photograph? Have you ever thought about the f-stop, shutter speed or ISO.  I would love to know what are your struggles with these 3 elements to photographing.

Cheers to the f-stop, shutter speed and ISO! Knowing its secrets will make your work successful because YOU will make your work…the camera won’t.

Janice Sullivan

© 2017 Sullivan J Photography, LLC. All Rights Reserved