The Digital Photo Guy

Another Success Story

by on Apr.10, 2011, under Monday Morning Tips

I Feel Good!

Copyright Jim TiddI “met” Jim on a forum about six months ago when he posted a question about a Canon 5D Mk II, hoping that would help him make better bird photos. In my reply, I laid out the reasons why, in that price range, a Canon 7D was a better choice. He took my advice and bought a 7D as well as a Canon 300/2.8, a US$4000 lens. At that point, I knew he was either very serious about his bird photography or a recent lottery winner.

Recently, Jim sent me some of his latest bird photos and I was amazed. This photo above was one of my favorites. The detail in the feathers is excellent and capturing the osprey’s eye was outstanding. This photo was made after I pointed out that he needed to add +EC because most birds are much darker than the background sky. Doing so moved his histogram to the right and greatly reduced the noise he was seeing in the shadows.

The thing I admire about Jim is that he takes advice and figures out the details for himself. He’s not a “high maintenance” student. Below are three more from the same series. It’s students like Jim who make me smile and enjoy what I do. You can see more of Jim’s work at his Flickr site.

Copyright Jim Tidd   Copyright Jim Tidd   Copyright Jim Tidd

Changes Are in the Air

Calla LilyI’ve been teaching digital photography for 13 years. I’ve seen amazing changes during that short time. Yet, one thing has remained constant: people’s perceptions about photography. Applying Lee’s Rule of Threes, I can divide the digital photography market into three large segments: Snapshooters, Geeks and Artists. Snapshooters are record keepers. They compile a record of daily events. All they want is enough detail to tell Aunt Ruthie apart from Uncle Ernie. My classes and workshops are not for this segment.

Geeks, on the other hand, are only interested in the technology. They’re pixel peepers who examine digital photos at the pixel level, never caring about the whole photo, obsessed with squeezing out the clearest, sharpest, absolutely color correct test images. They swarm over forums, arguing the most insignificant details. They’ve never made a good photo but they tell others how to do it. My classes and workshops aren’t for geeks, either.

My target market is photographers interested in the art of photography. That’s not to say I only want to work with the next Ansel Adams or Henri Cartier-Bresson. I want to work with and surround myself with people who enjoy and appreciate the art of photography. Even if it’s just a photograph of their cat or dog or goldfish, my target market wants to make the best photo they can. Photos that evoke emotion. Photos like the Calla Lily (left) I made this morning.

Targeting a Market

In the near future, my business model will change. I haven’t yet worked out the details but one major change is that I will no longer spend hours maintaining this website. All new webinars and photoshoots will be posted on my new Meetup Group, Photography Webinars and Photoshoots. I hope this new site will be the catalyst for members to present webinars for each other.

Stay tuned. The times, they are a-changin!

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2 Comments for this entry

  • jim Tidd

    Thanks for your comments on my photos. Learning photography comes with a big learning curve and you have helped me a great deal. Turning up the EC for birds especially BIF has really added detail to my photos and all but eliminated what I will describe as noise in the darkest part of the photo. What really surprised me was how much I need to move EC for real dark coloured birds. My fear of over expoure is no longer hampering my photos.

    • Lee

      Thanks for the “Atta-boy”, Jim. You’re real smart for a Canuck! 😉 Seriously, I’m impressed with your improvements from just six months ago. You’re among the few who had outgrown their original dSLR and benefited by investing in better, more expensive gear. We’ll have to plan that trip to Newfoundland to photograph puffins.



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