How to: Become an awesome photographer
One big secret, and I reveal it here
I was sitting at a cafe recently with my friend Lisa, and she posed a big question: “How can I improve my photography? What do I need to do?”
A few days later, I showed a collection of my pal Scott Kelby’s awesome photographs of Tuscany to my wife, and Ruth responded to his masterpieces with another question. “What do I have to do to get photos like that?”
Well, there’s study, composition, exposure, and a host of other things, subjects both Scott and I will be discussing next week at the upcoming Travel Photography conference, but there’s one important tip that trumps them all.
Cue the chorus:
Wake up early.
Get out of bed.
Start shooting before sunrise.
As I show in my latest video above, it’s not rocket science. The earth displays its best colors before and during sunrise, and during and post sunsets.
“In the afternoon, do anything else,” Scott says on this week’s edition of the iPhone Photo Show podcast: I edit my photos, I like to sleep, shop, anything during the day except for some shooting.”
Because the best light has come and gone.
At the travel photography conference, I’ll be joined my great masters like Serge Ramelli, Deb Sandidge, Rick Sammon, Erik Kuna, Dave Williams and Kelby, speaking on a host of subjects. Scott will offer his 10 favorite travel locations in the world, Williams will opine on the “Eiffel Tower Effect”—how to photograph the same thing 20 different ways, Sammon has road trip tips and Kuna deals with the number one issue affecting travel photographers: bad weather. How to overcome it?
Please join us. Here’s a link to get $100 off to attend.
Tech news roundup
Apple introduced new iPads this week, with the entry-level model costing $120 more than last time. You get a slightly bigger screen (10.9 inches vs. 10.2) a faster processing chip, the removal of the headphone jack and USB-C charging instead of Lightning. My take: buy the $329 version, still available, before they sell out. These upgrades don’t warrant the steeper price.
Goodbye Twitter. Elon Musk’s proposed $44 billion takeover of Twitter is set to close soon, but I don’t see how the company as we know it survives. He has suggested letting 75% of the staff go, which means all those people who monitor the hate and scum that is now moderated on Twitter won’t be there to yank the crap. I wonder if Twitter will even be around a year from now.
Netflix: The ad-supported tier for folks who want to save on their monthly subscriptions kicks off 11/3, at $6.99 monthly. Regular rates start at $9.99 monthly, so that’s not much of a savings to have to endure the pain of commercials, which, as anyone who subscribes to Hulu or watches Pluto, FreeVee or other ad-supported channels knows, can be grating. They always seem to come in the wrong spots.
Google Pixel 7 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: Many reviews of Google’s new phone came out this week, and I found many of them extremely frustrating. The headline for CNET reviewer Andrew Lanxon’s piece asks the musical question: “which phone camera is better.” I read it all the way through, but the lad wouldn’t cop to a decision. Instead, he wimped out. “Which is "best" will come down to what you want most from your phone camera,” he wrote.
Come on! Either make a decision, or don’t write the article. I tweeted my take, and he replied: “"Better" is subjective. I give both sides of which might be better depending on what you're looking for from your phone camera. Not everyone is coming at it from the same perspective.”
What do you think folks? Make a decision or leave it to the reader to decide?
This newsletter is sponsored by Mylio Photos, the app that looks to take control of your photo collection by making images spread across phones, tablets and computers always available to you, wherever you are, on whatever device you’re using. In other words, take out your phone on a shoot, come home, and they’re there waiting for you on your iPad and laptop. Cool, right?
Mylio is like Apple’s iCloud, but without storage limits. It also has editing tools, so it’s like a connected Adobe Lightroom, except, again, no storage limits. And you don’t need to be on an iPhone to use it. Mylio has a free 30-day trial available at http://www.mylio.com
I leave you with this glorious morning scene on the sands of Manhattan Beach, circa 4th Street, at 6:50 a.m. on Thursday, when it really paid off to be out there early.
Set your alarm!
That little rainbow I caught on 28th Street in Hermosa Beach a few weeks ago happened at almost the exact same time: 6:49 a.m.
Thanks as always for reading, watching and listening. I have a big question to ask you in tomorrow’s edition (nothing to do with spending money, just your opinion) so until then…