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Online theft: The Negative Effect

The rise of images across the Internet has opened up new questions in the ever-going issues of copyright, in reference to the still world of images.  With over 13 billion WordPress pages viewed each month, the question is something that all photographers should view as a major concern.  This is not taking into account all the other daily content that hits the web ever single day.  With all of this, how can you control your images?

You can expect that a simple copyright placed on your photograph might be a way to slow down the theft of quality images, but then it takes away from your amazing image.  I think one of the best ways is to just search for your images online after they have been compromised.  It’s become pretty easy to search 5 billion images on the Internet.  It’s up to you how you want to move forward after that, legal or just ask that they be removed.  It’s your time and money, so I would think about the process before moving forward.

If you want to check your images to see if your images are being used someplace else on the web, then check out these sites.   Google Images will search the web for your images in a couple of different ways.  I like the easy use of drag and drop that Tineye uses.  It is an image search service that will check your images like a fingerprint.

Good luck and Keep Clicking!

Kent Smith Photo and Video

Danger ©Kent Smith Photo and Video

Are we inches away?

Reach for it!

Are you just inches away?    ©Kent Smith Photography

The world of photography is changing every second.  I went to the local book store, which by the way there only a few out there,  to pick up a book that I was looking for, and decided to make the run at the magazine stand.  I picked up a few of the how to make better pictures magazines to see what was new in them.   I was totally surprised since I have not looked at them in over four years.   The first thing that I noticed was that they are all about Photoshop now. 

Has the photography world just forgotten about how to make a great image in the camera?  Is it all about just getting something in the camera and then fixing it afterwards?  I know for a fact that this would not work for me on many ways.  One, a lot of my clients want the images within seconds of you taking them.  Some images are posted instantly to websites without no color correction, no cropping, and no removal of spots or anything else, so I ask myself why are they not teaching the fundamentals in these magazines.

The next time you get a chance to look at the world of magazines, check for yourself how things are changing.   Keep clicking away until then!

One adjustment makes all the difference!

It’s very often that as photographers, we forget to make adjustments since we move so fast and our time is limited when you have a professional star in front of you even if it’s a rock star, NFL star, or a movie star.  Most shoots with famous people can usually last between one minute up to on average 20 minutes since their time is so limited.  So with all the pressure of the world on your backs, you only get a few moments to make one look with usually a list of looks that your art director, boss, creative team, or magazine editor is looking at for the ad or story.

The same is the case when it comes to sports media days.  You have a full list of items to carry out, so it is really hard to come up with something creative in your short about of time.  In the case with this years, Charlotte Bobcats Media Day,  we had about 15 minutes with each player rolling through, plus a little time to make some group shots.  We had 18 different players rolling through with a shot list of images needed for all the different outlets including the head shots.  In some years, we have done extra set ups, but we had too many shots this year to try to pull it off without adding extra photographers.

To help with adding a more dramatic look and still take all the images on a white seamless, we decided to have a different setup on the same background to help with this look.  This is where the Pocket Wizards Multi Max Transceivers really came into effect.  I just programmed one side of the lights to work in one formula, and then I could make quick adjustments to the lights according to the location of the athlete, plus add some other stuff about lighting without having to move more than two feet away from the subject.  Time is your most important asset at these types of shoots, so adding this to the mix really gives you a great extra look.

Here is one of the images from the shoot.

Make sure to check out the website for the Charlotte Bobcats for more images.

Visit Kent Smith Photography for more information.

Jefferson Count Down

Al Jefferson adds some mystery to his big 6 foot 10 self.

Hitting your spot in Photography

With the invention of digital into photography, the photography world has become a new place of tricks and inventions.  As the technology changes, the one thing that I will say will stay the same is the eye of the taker.  Sure, we can get the latest and greatest cameras made by our favorite camera makers such as Canon, Nikon, or even Mamiya, but they will only be as good as the person taking the image.  The one thing that is going to change is all the software that makes them become something else.   Each week there is another software app for your phone that will make your boring picture look great.  So what is shall become great?  Is it going to be the next image that is totally created in the camera or will it be the next digital image that has some Photoshop adjustment added to it?  I say that both will be around for a long time, but the true image in the camera will have to fight hard with the computer generated image to be technically better in all areas to compete.

Sky Diver

Sky diver falls to the ground before the start of the Carolina Panthers game against the Buffalo Bills.

On Golden Pond

Every once in a while, I will actually get the camera out to look for fun things.  It’s super exciting when you are lucky enough to find cool things that make you look at the object twice.  Making art out of the most normal things is a lot of fun, plus most people don’t even see them when you are standing next to it.  Go make an image today!

Are we looking up or are we looking down?

Are we looking up or are we looking down?

Looking at the world from a different side of the World

It can be really interesting to do the same thing over and over again, but it is always more rewarding when we take a different look on the same thing. I have tried to see each and every shot as something new.  It’s good to look at what all the others are doing and then to do something completely opposite.  Here is one example of such a shot from the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks game this weekend.

Looking at the world from the other side is sometimes fun.

Looking at the world from the other side is sometimes fun.

Top 100 Photography Tips: Understand your Camera


One of the things all true professional photographers should understand is they are only as good as how well they know their camera. That might be a simple statement, but it’s really what makes a professional able to concentrate on their subject and take their photography to the next level.

This is the best way to understand your camera.

Read the manual! This is one of the first things I was ever told about photography and it’s stuck with me over the years. I am not saying that you need to use every one of the special functions on your new camera. It’s just a great idea to have a understanding of what your camera will do when you are out on that all important shoot. It’s what you can do with it afterwards that will set you apart from your friends.

Keep shooting!

Make sure to visit Kent Smith Photography
Kent Smith Photography


Chris Berman shows that he is a funny guy on set!

Looking inside the Creative Mind

The Creative Monkey

A monkey will use his time wisely to be creative.
©Kent Smith Photography

Being creative is something we all have inside us. I believe we are born with that creativity, but it continues to grow within us throughout the years in our work and passion for expanding our thoughts. So, is it true some people are more creative than others? Maybe. Or it may just be some are better at tapping into that part of their brain allowing themselves to flourish. Or maybe there is a formula to all of it…
Could this formula be linked to the Golden Ratio? Is it some understanding from another time or place that has made a mark on our human thinking? I’d like to think that it’s a combination of many different things including the things we see every single day, Life itself could be one of the most influential factors. Something so simple, but yet so complex has most of us spending a lifetime trying to figure it out. Could it be the influx of images that we see everyday and our own personal translation of those images that drives the mind to think outside of the box? Creative thoughts are made from a combination of other thoughts that have then been translated to another form, such as art or words. So how do we understand the thinking that goes into to this process?
We have 86,400 seconds in a day to process thoughts. From those thoughts, the creative mind captures one or two good ones that have a chance to make a lasting impression. I liken this to being a photographer. When I have to edit down an entire photo shoot to just a few images. We should do the same with our creative thoughts. We should pick our best from all our creative blurbs and turn full attention on just a couple of the best to create a masterpiece.
Unfortunately for the creative minds time is our biggest enemy. The best ideas often come from hours and even days or years of making everything just so. For me there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish all the things I would like the world to see. But I take each day at a time and produce the best work I possibly can with the hours I am allowed.
I would love to hear your thoughts on how you get through the creative process. I think we can all learn from each other. Let’s face it, we all want to be better humans and not just another monkey hanging around.
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Master of your Fate

Mike Minter for Visit Charlotte

“I am the Master of my fate.  I am the master of my soul.” – Nelson Mandela

Mike Minter for Visit Charlotte

MIke Minter for a Visit Charlotte Advertising a few years ago. It shows the power of digital.

Powerful words are never overlooked.  As an creator of images both still and moving, we must always be looking for heart felt words to inspire our work.  I have decided to make some major changes in my fate over the years.

One that stands out in particular to me is my move from traditional film cameras to the new technology of digital.  It’s hard to believe that it was so many years ago when I was shooting stuff for Topps Trading Cards.  They decided to make a set of select cards that would be shot and produced in the same day. This probably doesn’t sound like anything new now, but at the time this was big news for the entire industry.  There was actually a CNN crew there recording this attempt to do something that no one else had ever done.  Much to my delight we accomplished it, mostly because we had some amazing people working on the project; all of whom believed it could be done.  Everything took just three hours.  The cards where shot and the images were brought in to the computer.  They were then dropped into the layout and then they were off to the press to be printed with a lovely glossy coat.  Three hours later the cards came rolling back to the site where each one of NFL draft picks sat down and signed their cards.

The reason why I tell this story is because I believe you must make your own fate.  It was the fate of the client that believed enough in me and my team to take a risk and put all their cards on the table to make this happen.  This all came to life because  I decided a few years before to make the jump to the digital world.  I invested in a digital camera that would allow me to the make the jump into this new wonderland.  It was a decision I will always look back on because it was such a big one and it had such a huge impact on my career and where I am today.  I often ask myself where would I be now if I hadn’t made the switch; the answer is more than likely out of business.  To think, jumping off the cliff would lead me to find the gold at the bottom of the ocean. It was my fate.

So keeping up with the changes in technology are only a part of the many things that you must do to keep up with your fate.  Next up, how do you look inside yourself?

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Feeling Nostalgic for Your Old Polaroid? Get Their New Lenses!

From the article by Shane McGlaun:

“Polaroid has been in the photograph business for as long as I can remember. The first camera I can remember having around as a kid was one of the old instant cameras from Polaroid. The company has unveiled a new line of accessory lenses that will work for DSLRs, camcorders, and cameras. It’s not exactly clear from the details released so far what specific cameras these lenses will fit.

Polaroid has unveiled the Studio Series 58mm 2.2x Telephoto and 0.43x Wide Angle Lens Travel Kit that sells for $49.99. The lenses mount onto the existing lens on your camera and converts it over or more zoom. The Polaroid Studio Series 0.3x HD Ultra fisheye lens adapter is also offered in 37mm and 52/58mm versions. They will fit on any camcorder or DSLR lens and offers 180-degree field of view. The lens is priced at $269.99.

The most interesting of the lenses is the 900mm Mirror Lens for outdoor and sports shooting. It uses reflection optics and lenticualr light refraction such as a telescope uses. The lens is priced at $299.99. These lenses are very cheap and should be appealing to photographers wanting more lens options at a lower price than buying a new camera or DSLR lens.”

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