We're excited to have Lori Tanimura as our featured Student of the Month photographer for September in our gallery. Our opening reception is this coming Tuesday, September 1.  Lori's photographs convey the peaceful side of animals and the lighting on them reveals the beauty and texture of their coat.  Be sure to come in and see the soulful image of her dog Raleigh as a puppy that she describes below.

This month Kathleen Bullard talked to Lori Tanimura about her experience as a photographer.

If you could sum up this work in one word what would it be?

"Blessings." The theme of the photos is "Rescue Me," but each picture represents a special blessing in my life. After being diagnosed with a severe case of systemic lupus erythematosus, my list of activities were curtailed for many years. Who knew that someday I would find my wings and be able to take such photos as these? Each one seems like a major stepping stone to freedom: a freedom beyond expectation or even beyond my imagination.


Which photograph has meant the most to you?

The photograph of Raleigh as a puppy in 1999 won third place in a local photo contest. It was the first time a picture of mine had even been recognized with merit by others outside my circle of family and friends. But even more importantly Raleigh was the love of my life. He passed away last year, the day after Valentine's Day.

Where have you found inspiration photographically?

Worldwide.

Who do you feel like you were making this work for?

Myself - primarily for the memories.

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Was there anything about yourself or something else that you discovered making these pictures?

 I discovered that my favorite activity is relaxing with my dogs in an air-conditioned room, looking at photos, and reminiscing about the adventures.

Was there a class, instructor, pro talk or trip that really helped you connect with photography?

For my first trip to the Galapagos in February of 2012, my camera was a Nikon D90 shooting in the fully automatic mode. In May of the same year, after taking Photo Boot Camp with Mark Comon, a whole new world opened up.

Is there a piece of equipment that you really love?

The 80-300mm zoom lens is what I used to capture moments with animals at a distance.

What thread do you feel ties these pictures together besides you taking them?

The thread that ties these photos together is mainly my interest in animals, both domestic and wild. Observing behavior or interacting with them brings a fascination that feeds my soul.

What is your advice to someone starting in photography?

I highly recommend taking Photo Boot Camp with Mark. Be sure to do the photographic assignments, which are to take pictures including certain parameters learned that particular week.

SealDo you have any projects you're planning to do next?

I am working on a photo book of my most recent trip back to the Galapagos in 2015. I also plan to make greeting cards out of my photos.

What's your favorite color?

Tanzanite blue

 See her work at our First Tuesday art opening Tuesday, September 1st from 5:30-7:00 pm.
Learn More: HERE.

canon 24-70

Review by PAUL'S PHOTO camera expert Kenneth:

It is always exciting when we see new hardware with superb capabilities.

The new Canon 24-70 4.0 L-IS is an amazing lens. The L-glass offers fantastic picture quality.  The fixed-aperture F4.0 is fast enough for most occasions and Image Stabilization makes it easy to shoot slower  shutter speeds.

My favorite feature by far is the built-in macro mode.  The close-up capability is insane!  For most travel, landscape and family photos you can get so close to objects you won’t need a real macro lens.

The Canon 24-70mm 4.0-L-IS easily changes to MACRO mode with a quick flip of the switch. Pictures render so sharp with the background nicely blurred! Silent, smooth and not so heavy, it has a lot going for it, and is a great new lens for the Canon photographer.

canon 24-70

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Photographer Profiles is a regular series on our blog in which we highlight photographers whose works we admire. We will feature photographers from all over the world -- award winners, authors, artists, teachers, and more. 

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Photographer Profile: Lynne Eodice

Lynne is a photographer, author, and former editor hailing from southern California. She is the former features editor for Peterson's PHOTOgraphic and has contributed her photos to a variety of publications: DoubleExposure.com, Rangefinder, California Tour & Travel, and Family Photo magazines, and to takegreatpictures.com.

She was very kind to take a moment and answer a few questions for us so that we can learn about her process and use her experiences as inspiration for our own photos! Lynne will be teaching two classes at PAUL'S in October: Architectural Photography on Tuesday, October 2, from 7-9pm, and Road Trip America on Saturday, October 19 from 10am-12pm.

1. How did you first get started in photography? 

My husband gave me my first SLR camera for one of our anniversaries back in the '80s. (His actual motivation was to use it, because he thought that I never would.) Later that year, we went on a road trip and I fell in love with travel photography. I've been hooked ever since!

2. What is your favorite subject to photograph?

I have several favorite subjects -- landscapes, architecture, and animals.

lynne eodice

3. Who are a couple of your favorite photographers (past or present)?

I admire a great many photographers, but my current favorites are Joyce Tenneson for her intriguing portrayals of women and William Neill for his beautiful landscape work.

4. Canon or Nikon?

I shoot with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

5.  What are three pieces of equipment you are never without (aside from your camera, of course)?

My Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom, a 20mm f/2.8 prime, and Tiffen Skylight (protective) filters.

lynne eodice

6. What is the best advice about pursuing photography you've ever received?

The best advice I've been given about pursuing a career in photography was to also sharpen my writing skills. Writing and photography has led to editorial jobs with several magazines, as well as free-lance assignments where text and photography were important.

7. What is the most exciting project you've ever gotten to work on?

One project that stands out is when I hiked and photographed "The Wave" at Coyote Buttes North in Utah. I was an editor for Petersen's PHOTOgraphic at the time, and had a how-to story published in the magazine on "Photographing Canyon Splendors."

lynne eodice

To learn more from Lynne, check out her workshops coming up at the Creative Photo Academy this October. You can also visit her website and view more of her photos by clicking here.

Lightroom: The Photographer’s Tool
Mark Comon & Michael Pliskin

Editing your photos in the digital age is a necessity.  Photographers have many choices in editing software, from Lightroom to Photoshop to Photoshop Elements, and even more! It's hard to keep all of these programs straight and figure out which one is the best for your particular style of photography.

Lightroom is an extremely popular choice among many established photographers. The interface is quite intuitive, yet it offers the power to accomplish so many things with your photos in just one program: you can store, sort, edit, add captions and watermarks, and share your photos online or prepare to share them in print.

Lightroom is broken down into a few basic modules, or sections. Library Module is ideal for importing, filing and sorting your photos.  You can create a database of your photos.  The Develop Module is all about “darkroom” work.  Cropping, exposure and color corrections, plus selectively lightening & darkening your photos to make them perfect.  The Map, Book, Slideshow, Print and Web modules are all about sharing your photos… whether in print or on the web.

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Lightroom Tips for Beginners & Advanced Photographers from Michael Pliskin

For Beginners: Since I started using Adobe Lightroom for my Digital RAW photo workflow, I rarely need to use Photoshop for most of my work.  Lightroom creates a searchable, visual library-database of my photos and allows me to easily process and enhance the raw images with the Develop module.

I can then make prints, proof sheets, package prints (like the old school photos with a large image and a bunch of wallet size ones), greeting cards, photo books, web galleries and slideshows directly from within Lightroom. I can export jpgs to Facebook, Flickr or other online social media with ease and relative simplicity.

For more advanced photographers: Did you know that you can easily and automatically create a sharpening mask in the Lightroom Develop Module's Detail panel to limit sharpening to only the edges of the objects in your photo?  By doing this, you will also not  be sharpening unwanted noise and grain.

1. In the Navigator window in the upper left of the screen, select the 1:1 view mode to enlarge your image to fill size.

2. Hold down the Option or Alt key while moving the Masking slider in the Detail panel. You will see the smooth or solid color areas of the image turn black, while the detailed areas and edges of details remain white.

3. Stop moving the slider when all the solid color or non-detailed areas of the image are black. (Usually when the sliders is somewhere between 40 and 60.)  The sharpening will then be applied to only the areas in white on the mask.  (The basic rule of Masks is "Black hides; White reveals")

Get started with Lightroom on September 8, 15, or 29 in one of our in-depth workshops with Michael Pliskin. For more details and to register, click here.

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Black and white photography is, in a word, elegant. It's a particularly nostalgic form of photography, reminding us of a time when black and white was the only option for photos, before digital cameras, HDR, photo-editing software, and iPhones were around. Here instructor Mark Crase explains why we still choose to create photos in black and white instead of (or in addition to) color, how certain photographers have inspired him personally, and what exactly photographers today should keep in mind when they decide to venture into the world of black and white.

1. Why choose to make a photo in black & white as opposed to color?

Black & white reduces the image into its essence: subject, composition and light.  There is no color to dazzle or distract from those basic elements.  It forces the photographer to clearly identify the subject, see and understand the light, and create strong compositions.  Ironically, for that reason, creating black & white images can also be quite liberating.  When the colors in an image are off, they can become a distraction.  When working with black, white and all of the shades of gray in between, the photographer/artist has more freedom to create the image they want, and not be limited by needing to match what looks "natural."

Oh, and it's just fun to look at the world in a different way!

black and white photography

2. Which black & white photographers have had the biggest impact on your work personally?

Since color was not a practical option for photographers until the mid-1930's, and color printing was not widely affordable until the 1980's, black & white was the de facto standard, and a massive body of work was created.  Because of this, many black & white photographers were positioned to influenced those of us that have followed.  For example, masters such as Henri Cartier Bresson, and Ansel Adams are universally acknowledged as important.  However, two have resonated with me on a more personal level...

*   Dorothea Lange.  Her work photographing the victims of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression was compelling both artistically and as social commentary.  Just as important to me, was her acknowledgement that such photography was somewhat unnatural, put her in difficult, uncomfortable situations, and had to be worked at.  Additionally, she recognized that "the camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."  Both of these sentiments have been true in my experience, and she has inspired me to work harder to get past the same challenges.

*   Julius Shulman.  I enjoy photographing architecture, and Julius Shulman was a master of it.  He shot in both black & white and color, but he created a number of iconic B&W images of Mid-century modern architecture right here in Southern California.  He was also still shooting well into his 90's (he died in 2009 at the age of 98).  How can one not be impressed by that?!

black and white photography

3. What is one tip for photographers trying to achieve expert black & white photos?

You will be shooting in color, and converting to black and white later on your computer so...

Slow down, and think about the image you want to create.

*   Consider your subject.  How is it lit?

*  See the light.  What direction is it coming from?  Are the transitions between light and shadow harsh or soft?

*  Compose with a purpose.  Where is the subject?  Where are the shadows and highlights?  Where do you want to show detail?  Where will shadows and highlights without detail be acceptable?

*  Then expose with care so you capture the image you have in your mind's eye!

 

Mark Crase will be teaching an Intermediate Black & White series beginning Saturday, September 7 and continuing one Saturday per month until December. Details and registration information can be found by clicking here.

 

firmware updates paul's photo

Firmware updates are important!

Firmware is the “computer program” that runs your digital device.  Your digital photo equipment (cameras, lenses, flashes, scanners and printers) can be updated and their “working performance” improved with a firmware update.  Every day engineers from the manufacturers are correcting faults, improving performance and adding features to today’s digital equipment.  Today you can update and improve the features and performance through firmware updates.

Frustrated with slow start-up and iffy focus on your camera?  Try a firmware update to improve the workings of your camera.  To be eligible you must own an authorized version of the equipment and it must be registered with the manufacturer.  If you haven’t registered, do it today!

How do you know if you need an update?

In the setup menu of your camera find the info icon and check the firmware version.  Note the version of the firmware which is currently installed in your equipment.  Next we’ll compare your camera’s firmware version versus the latest update available from the manufacturer by visiting your manufacturer’s website.   Check the current firmware at the service and support or download page.

How do you update?

If you need to update it’s quite simple.  In most cases all you do is download the update to your computer.  Insert your camera’s memory card (formatted in the camera before-hand) into your card reader.  Drag the program from your hard drive or desktop to the memory card.  Insert the memory card into the camera (power off).  Turn the camera on and follow the icons… new firmware detected (OK) install (yes)… that’s it!

We currently recommend that you check your firmware monthly for the latest updates and revisions.  It takes 30 minutes to update… you’ll love the difference!  If you can’t do it PAUL'S PHOTO  is always happy to update your firmware for you … it costs $50 and takes a few hours!

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Wouldn't it be lovely if there was a button you could press to go back in time and fix any mistakes you'd made at some point in your life? Until that time comes, we can practice with the Undo History palette in Photoshop Elements 11. Here instructor Michael Boeger explains how to make the most of this function when you think you may have edited the photo a little too much.

Use the Photoshop Elements Undo History Palette to Revert to a Previous State in Your Image
By Michael Boeger

photoshop elements paul's photo

The Undo History palette can be a lifesaver if you realize you made some changes to your current image that you want to get rid of. Of course, if it was just the last change you made, you can press Control+Z (Mac: Command+Z) to undo it.

But if it's a few changes back you would have to start all over again -- unless you were familiar with the Undo History palette. You access the palette when in Full Edit by going under the Window menu and checking Undo History.

Each time you perform an operation that actually changes the pixels of your photo it gets added to the bottom of the Undo History palette. So your most recent change is at the bottom and your oldest change is at the top. Photoshop Elements won't add things like changing tools or changing zoom which don't affect the pixels.

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To go to a previous state, just start pushing up the slider located on the left of the palette until you get to where you want to revert to. You can also just click on the state you want to go to. When you go to a previous state all the states below it will be grayed-out. You can return to any of those states by clicking on it or by using the slider. Once you perform a new operation you lose the option to return to a grayed-out state and you will begin from the currently selected state.

Notice at the very top of the palette is a thumbnail of your image as it appeared when you first opened it, with its name next to it. By clicking on the thumbnail and then on the bottom state you can see the before and after of your image. If you click on the thumbnail and then perform an operation without returning to a previous state it will be like starting all over because your previous actions will be lost.

Become familiar with this feature as I guarantee you will use it often. It's a great tool to help go back in time and correct any mistake you may have made.

Have fun!

**Looking for more help with photo editing? Michael will be teaching a Photoshop Elements 11 workshop series here at PAUL'S on Monday evenings from 7-9pm starting August 19. Click here for more information.

"Different levels of photography require different levels of understanding and skill. A 'press the button, let George do the rest' photographer needs little or no technical knowledge of photography. A zone system photographer takes more responsibility. He visualizes before he presses the button, and afterwards calibrates for predictable print values."
Minor White

One of the first things you learn as a photographer is the importance of visualizing the photograph before you take it. Ansel Adams developed a system to nurture this process and encourage photographers to consider the relationship between the picture they want to take and the one that will actually result from their work. This "Zone System" has become a crucial tool for film photographers, particularly for anyone interested in black and white photography.

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The decline of film cameras hasn't made the Zone System completely irrelevant, however. Lee Varis -- photographer, author, and digital imaging artist --  has adapted the Zone System for the digital age, allowing modern photographers to incorporate the classic values of Ansel Adams into their work today. Lee will be coming to PAUL'S the weekend of August 17 & 18 to host a workshop for photographers interested in adding the New Digital Zone System to their skill set.

Read on for a brief interview with Lee, illustrated by some of the work he has created using his updated version of the Zone System.

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1.  What is the Digital Zone System and why is it beneficial for emerging professional photographers?

The Digital Zone System is an update on the famous Zone System of Ansel Adams for the digital age. The principals of the original system of tone control still apply, but digital capture technology has made it easy and more powerful. The photographer can now exert much more precise control over exposure and post processing  to render images with much more impact. Take your images to the next level and really separate your work from every yahoo with the DSLR.

2.  How has the digital version of this system impacted your work personally?

I learned the old school method of the Zone System & as an early adopter of digital capture I wanted to apply the concepts to the new technology. This has given me a much deeper understanding of image capture and results in higher quality images, at least in a technical sense.

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 3.  Can you give one piece of advice for photographers who are thinking about studying the Digital Zone System?

It's all about testing your image capture system so you know every nuance of how it works - test, & re-test to be sure!

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**Click here for more information about Lee's upcoming workshop.

We've been busy over here at Paul's! Here's a look at what's been going on around the store these past few weeks:

hybrid hangout
Suzette Allen, Will Crockett, Rob Domaschuk

Hybrid Hangout Weekend

We hosted our first ever Hybrid Hangout Weekend this past week at Paul's: a set of seminars, photo shoots, and product displays meant to help spread our excitement for Hybrid photography to our customers.

We had reps from all of the mirrorless camera and lens systems: Panasonic, Olympus, Fuji, Sony, and Zeiss.  The reps took time from their busy schedules to answer customer questions about the growing market segment of the smaller, lighter, and very capable mirrorless cameras.

Three of the pioneering instructors of mirrorless systems, Will Crockett, Suzette Allen, and Rob Domaschuk were speaking about how the mirror less systems are perfect for the hybrid production of merging stills, video and audio into a finished product. If you missed  Suzette's lecture you can catch her again here at PAUL'S PHOTO this coming fall!

hybrid hangout
Hybrid seminar in the Creative Photo Academy classroom

New Products: Panasonic and Fuji

Panasonic and Fuji camera systems are part of a newer growing market of mirrorless camera systems. The cameras are smaller and lighter than their DSLR counterparts, but they don't sacrifice performance for size. PAUL'S PHOTO  is once again a Panasonic dealer and we are now stocking the legendary GH camera system now in its 3rd generation with the GH3. The GH3 has excellent still capabilities but its the video performance that has set a new standard in the DSLR/mirrorless market.

Another mirrorless system we carry at PAUL'S is Fuji's excellent X-series of cameras.  From the fully featured pro level X-pro 1 to the newest smallest XM-1 there is an X camera for just about any budget. Fuji's X-Trans sensor is a proprietary sensor with unbelievable low light capabilities that have to be seen to be believed. Very few cameras today can deliver the image quality these cameras offer.

We are also stocking the ever adorable Fuji instax cameras, which are perfect for anyone looking to relive the nostalgia of polaroid cameras (and they make great gifts, especially for kids and teens!)

fuji camera
Fuji to the rescue

To stay updated on all of our store news, you can subscribe to our monthly newsletter here.

By Duane Cassone, instructor for our upcoming Star Trails photography trip

star trails

What’s so special about night photography?  I’m drawn to night photography for several reasons, but mostly because I love long exposure times. Long exposures offer us a chance to bring a "special effects" feel to our photos. The camera records and absorbs light over time, something our eyes and brain together aren't programmed to do, and voila! Streaking clouds, misty oceans, taillight trails on the freeway, and, of course, dazzling star trails!

I’d like to point out two important technical aspects of night photography that intrigue me. First, it’s dark, so you really have to learn where all your buttons and features are – much by tactile feel and memory. Working with your camera gear in the dark provides a unique opportunity to spend quality time getting to know it more intimately.

star trails

The second aspect of night photography is understanding the behavior of ISO and the CCD sensor. From manufacturer to model, every camera’s sensor is different and will deliver diverse images from one to the next, especially when taxed with long exposure techniques. I like to say that the photographer has to “get to know the personality of their sensor”. What I’m saying is, with each camera I work with, I realize that exposure times and ISO combinations are different from one to the other. Getting to know the personality of the sensor simply means getting to know what combinations of ISO and exposure times work best with that particular camera in a particular scenario. Night photography is really the art balancing of noise, grain, exposure time, and ISO with the artistic side of composition, light, and scenario. You have to play with it.

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Have fun! Don’t get caught up with exact measurements. Play with ISO, exposure times, light painting and don’t get caught up in the details. Often, when shooting with multiple seconds of exposure time I’m counting out the seconds of exposure out loud. Remember, it’s not always an exact science with night photography long exposures and there’s no harm in close. Close counts in horseshoes, with hand grenades, and also with long exposures.

**For more information about our upcoming workshop, Star Trails: Nocturnal Creativity with Bristlecone Pines, click here.