Sunday, December 18, 2011

Latest sale on Zazzle!

Bunny Blogs! | T-shirt shirt
Bunny Blogs! | T-shirt by cherrybun
Make custom tee shirts at zazzle.com

This is the latest T-Shirt designed by my daughter to sell on Zazzle. They are proving very popular, her range of T-Shirts featuring this little bunny! Why not check out her other stuff. Use this link: cherrybun

Latest sale on Zazzle

I'm watching you - Postcard postcard
I'm watching you - Postcard by celtxian
Join Zazzle.com's artist affiliate program

Sales of my images continue at a steady rate on Zazzle.com. Latest one is a card of a lizard, taken at a butterfly farm (of all places) some years ago. I particularly liked the stoical expression of the lizard at the time. Why not check out some of my other images on Zazzle as you can buy a whole variety of products (not just cards and posters).

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Ladybug| Keychain from Zazzle.com. Latest sale!

Ladybug| Keychain from Zazzle.com

Canon Cinema EOS

Canon EOS DSLR cameras are known for their quality and features. Canon have now added a Cinema EOS to their range of digital cameras. This time though there is a difference; these are specifically designed for the movie maker.

"The Canon EOS C300 and C300 PL interchangeable-lens Digital Cinema Cameras are landmark additions as the first ever models in Canon’s Cinema EOS System for professional filmmakers and cinematographers"



 So, for those photographers and cinematographers thinking of buying the likes of the Canon EOS 5D, what do the C300 and C300PL have to offer that would swing the decision?

Well, lets look at the specification of the new Cinema EOS C300:
  • Sensor: Super35mm type CMOS
  • Total pixels per sensor: 9.84 megapixels
  • Horizontal Resolution: Up to 1000 TV lines or more (1920 x 1080i mode), depends on lens used
  • Lens Mount: Canon EF Mount
  • Focal length: Equivalent to 1.53x the focal length of EF lenses;
    As indicated for EF-S lenses and Canon cine lenses
  • ND filter: 3 glass filters in camera body: 2 stops; 4 stops; 6 stops. Operate via body or wireless control
  • Video storage media: Type 1 Compact Flash memory cards (2 card slots)
  • Type: UDMA4, 30MB/s or faster (40MB/s or faster for Fast/Slow recording)
  • Recording time: 64GB CF card: Up to 160mins (1080/50i @ 50 Mbps)
  • Recording file format: Material eXchange Format (MXF); OP-1a pattern
  • Recording format: MPEG-2 Long GOP
    50Mbps CBR (4:2:2) MPEG-2 422@PHL;
    35Mbps VBR (4:2:0) MPEG-2 MP@HL;
    25Mbps CBR (4:2:0) MPEG-2 MP@H14
  • Recording frame rate: 50Mbps: 1920 x 1080/59.94i, 50i, 29.97p, 25p, 24.00p, 23.98p;
    1280 x 720/59.94p, 50p, 29.97p, 25p, 24.00p, 23.98p.
    35Mbps: 1920 x 1080/59.94i, 50i, 29.97p, 25p, 23.98p;
    1280 x 720/59.94p, 50p, 29.97p, 25p, 23.98p.
    25Mbps: 1440 x 1080/59.94i, 50i, 29.97p, 25p, 23.98p.
  • Slow/Fast motion: YES
    720p: 1-60fps in 1fps steps
    1080p: 1-30fps in 1fps steps
    (available options may differ according to recording mode selected)
  • Interval Record: YES. 1, 2, 3, 6, 9 or 12 frames, 25 time intervals
    (available options may differ according to recording mode selected)
  • Frame Record: YES. 1, 2, 3, 6, 9 or 12 frames
    (available options may differ according to recording mode selected)
  • Pre Record (cache record): YES (3 seconds)
  • Relay Recording: YES
  • Double Slot (simultaneous) Recording: YES
  • Scan Reverse: YES. Up/down, left/right, up/down/left/right image inversion
  • Exposure metering: Manual exposure determined by shutter setting, iris setting, ISO/gain setting and ND filter setting
  • ISO Sensitivity: ¹ 320 and 20000 are not 1-stop increments but represent highest and lowest supported ISO values.
    ² [850] = Lowest ISO sensitivty achieving 800% dynamic range with Canon Log function
 From just these features it can be seen that the C300 offers a plethora of options for the user and the system certainly fits the 'professional' description.
 
The fact that the system can utilise existing Canon EF lenses makes it a great option for the photographer who already has an existing Canon EOS system and wishes to move into movie making. However, at an expected retail price of £15,000 for the body alone, its not a cheap option. Considering though what you get for your money many will see it as value for money, compared to what you would have to pay for a more traditional camcorder with the same capabilities.

Due in early 2012, it is expected that the new Cinema EOS system will prove very popular. For examples of what its capable of, visit http://cinemaeos.usa.canon.com/ where you can watch a short film made by Sam Nicholson.



Sunday, October 09, 2011

JVC launch new hybrid camera

JVC have launched a new Style Hybrid Camera in the USA
Here is how JVC introduce the GC-PX10 on their site:


"GC-PX10 is not a video camera that also records stills, nor is it a digital still camera that also records videos. It is a true hybrid that has been redesigned to provide satisfaction no matter what you choose to record, and offers unique advantages as an all-in-one camera. GC-PX10 allows you to capture scenes and discover what’s really there — through high-resolution digital stills at 60 frames per second, or progressive Full HD videos from which you can grab the best frame as a digital still, or with 300 fps high-speed recording to slow the action down and see what you’ve been missing. Grab the GC-PX10, and get ready to capture every split second, and seize every moment."


Features:
• 10x optical zoom (magnifies up to 19x* without any picture degradation thanks to Dynamic Zoom technology)
• Optical Image Stabilisation with Advanced Image Stabiliser
• Tiltable 3.0" Touch Panel LCD 1/2.3" 12 Megapixel Back-illuminated CMOS sensor
• K2 Technology for High Quality Audio
• Large 32GB Internal Memory and SD Card Slot
• Easy Mode Dial and Manual Adjustment Dial
• Intelligent AUTO (Brightness, sharpness, chroma and gamma values, and more, are all continuously optimised)
• Wi-Fi Ready with Eye-Fi Card Compatibility
• LoiLoScope FX Software Included

• High-Speed Stills: 60fps Continuous Still Recording, Up to 130 Shots
• Real 12M Digital Stills with High-Sensitivity ISO6400
• High-Speed Video: 300fps Recording for Super Slow Motion Playback
• High-Precision Progressive Video: 36Mbps Full HD 1080/60p Recording
• Time-Lapse REC - Another Creative Video Fun

The device certainly looks like it has everything to be a very popular purchase and shows a different approach to the recent trend of stills cameras adding HD Video features. I can see this appealing to those who are more comfortable with a camcorder than they are with a DSLR, which can be quite intimidating to anyone who doesn't see themselves as a serious photographer.


Certainly, the fact that it can shoot stills at 60fps for up to 130 shots makes it ahead of the game at the moment and no DSLR currently available can match this feature. Well done JVC for pushing the envelope out further. It will be interesting to see how the likes of Canon, Nikon and Sony react to this. My guess is that it will be Panasonic or Samsung that will come out first with a stills camera that can compete with this feature. For now, lets hope that JVC decide to bring the GC-PX10 to the UK soon (hopefully with a more attractive name!). If it was priced closer to £500 than £580 (current $ to £ conversion), they would have a winner. It would certainly make some folk (me included) think twice before buying a DSLR.

Price in the USA is $ 899.95. No details of if and when it will be available here in the UK. read more detailed specifications and watch some of the demo videos at the JVC USA site.


Update: They have a cool Launch Site at http://camera.jvc.com/

Saturday, October 01, 2011

WooCommerce released and causes uproar!

Woo Themes have released WooCommerce.



WooCommerce from WooThemes on Vimeo.

Woo Themes are known for the high quality of their Wordpress themes and there were many folk looking forward to their release of WooCommerce. However, because of the pricing policy they (initially) announced there was a great deal of upset expressed in their forum and blog comments.

You can download WooCommerce plugin and a free theme if you are interested in testing the new framework. Bear in mind that you will have pay for any of the Extensions for the framework, unless you subscribe to their membership club. A lot of the furore arose because of the additional cost of the new themes and extensions. However, to their credit, they have changed some of the terms and conditions. Its worth reading the comments to get a better understanding of the issues but if you decide that you want to buy into this framework I suggest doing so soon as prices will go up next year.

In the meantime, after some initial problems (due to the GD library settings on my server - now resolved) I am testing the new framework out. You can visit my demo store or, if you are looking for the best wifi booster on the market, visit the life store here (coded in RapidWeaver and using RapidCart shopping trolley plugin).

Dynamic Views in Blogger

The introduction of Dynamic Views in Blogger takes things to a whole new level. The option for the viewer to change the presentation of the blog dynamically is something that really works well. It also helps the viewer the get a better overall view of images and posts.

Here are screenshots of each of the themes:
Mosaic View:


 Magazine View:


 Flipcard View:


Classic view:


Snapshot View:


Sidebar View:


 Timeslide View:


 What do you think? Bear in mind that using Dynamic Views means no gadgets as you lose the normal sidebar.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Photographers turning to iPad to publish their work

The BJP has an interesting article on how photographers are increasingly turning to the iPad to bring their work to a wider audience. In particular, documentary photographers have struggled getting their work out there and they are the ones leading the charge into this new digital landscape.

Amongst those featured in the article are Kadir van Lohuizen, who is interested in migration and has travelled widely documenting the issues surrounding migration from South America to Gaza.

Certainly, the iPad lends itself well to self-publishing and the growth in publishers using it as a platform is evidence of that. Traditionally, documentary photographers would rely on editorial work for their 'bread and butter' and hope to get a book publishing deal and exhibitions to expand their audience and bring in some much-needed income. No-one really gets rich from documentary photography and it can be positively dangerous, even lethal.

With the economic woes that the publishing world is experiencing at the moment, its not been easy for even respected documentary photographers to get funding. If anything can help, its surely the iPad. Read the full article here: www.bjp-online.com

Friday, September 23, 2011

Nikon 1 VI Revealed

The Nikon V1 is Nikon's take on the compact camera with interchangeable lenses. It looks fantastic but the price is not cheap. As you can see form the video above, the V1 comes with some interesting features that are sure to attract many buyers. The main features are:

  • High-resolution, high-contrast electronic viewfinder ...more
  • Full HD MOVIE 1080/60i ...more
  • Smart Photo Selector mode ensures you'll never miss those decisive moments ...more
  • An optional mount adapter allows Nikon 1 cameras to be used with F mount NIKKOR lenses ...more
  • Slow Motion Movie 400fps(640x240)/1,200fps(320x120) ...more
  • Available in very iconic color represents design philosophy, solid black and white.
  • The top face has a total of only three buttons, while the rear face features a simple mode dial ...more
  • LCD monitor with crystal clear resolution. 3-inch LCD monitor with protection glass and a wide viewing angle.(approx. 920k-dot) ...more
  • Short motion Creator, Easy-to-use movie editing software ...more
Warehouseexpress.com are already listing prices for the various models:
  • 1 V1 Digital Camera + 10-30mm for £829 (inc. VAT)  
  • 1 V1 Digital Camera + 10mm for £879 (inc. VAT)  
  • 1 V1 Digital Camera + 10-30mm & 30-110mm for £979 (inc. VAT)  
All in all, its a very attractive combination of features combined with the size and compactness that makes the Nikon 1 an interesting development in the world of photography. Certainly, if you are in the market for a quality compact camera system with the reassurance of the Nikon brand then be sure to check it out once it is in the stores.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Depth of Field Obsolete?

By the end of 2011 we could see the end of any need to think about depth of field when taking a photograph, in fact of even having to worry about focusing! Incredible as this may seem, it could well be a reality in the next few months.

A company has developed what its calling a 'Light Field Camera' that allows you to refocus your image after you have taken it. Now, throughout the history of photography one basic concept has remained unchanged, despite huge technological leaps forward (from plate photography to film and then to digital) - that of depth of field. Due to the physical constraints of lens technology, its been possible to only focus on part of a scene. The upside to this has been creativity, with the use of depth of field allowing the photographer to draw the viewer's eye into an image and blur other distracting elements. Also, with the use of small apertures we have been able to have greater depth of field for landscapes and the like.

However, most of us have take that 'once in a lifetime' image only to find out later that we got the focus wrong and the image is ruined. Now, that may well be a thing fo the past, with the ability to refocus the image long after we took it. So, what is this 'Light Field Camera' and how does it all work. Is it just a myth and will we really see what may turn out to be the most innovative change ever in photography?

The company behind all this is Lytro and you can read all about the technology on their website. I recommend visiting it because you can see for yourself the benefits of the technology by playing around with several images and adjusting the focus. They describe their technology as 'capturing life in living pictures' and they are not far wrong .

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Sony new camera specs revealed

Sony has four new cameras in the pipeline and their specifications have leaked onto the web. The four cameras are:
  1. APS-C A77 (24.3MP CMOS DSLR)
  2. APS-C A65 (Same MP but lacking moisture and dust-proofing of the A77)
  3. NEX-5N (16.1MP sensor, same as NEX-3)
  4. NEX-7 (24.3MP sensor as in A77 and A65)
Its expected that Sony will make an official announcement later this month. However, the revelations include some interesting details that will interest many photographers, especially those whoa re in the market for an upgrade and not tied to any of Sony's competitors.

The A77, for instance, is rumoured to offer 12 fps and a 1/8000 sec shutter speed. It will also come with a 3 million dot OLED viewfinder, have built-in GPS and multi-frame noise reduction.

The A65 will have a similar spec but without the dust and moisture-proofing of the A77. It will have the same 24.3MP Exmoor HD CMOS sensor and 19 point AF system, but only 3 cross-type sensors compared to the A77's 11. Both cameras will come with a tilting LCD.

As for the NEX-7, it will also come with a 3 million dot OLED viewfinder, as well as the 24.3MP CMOS sensor. The NEX-5 retains the 16.1MP sensor of the NEX-3. Both, however, will have a 10 fps AF and a 1920 x 1080 60p/60/25p AVCHD video recording capability.

No confirmation yet of price. Details via http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Google+coud be the next big thing in social networking

Google has been here before (remember Open Social, Google Wave and Buzz?). Its hoping that fourth time around will be a success. You have got to hand it to Google, they don't give up easily!



So, what is all the fuss about? Well, if early indications from those fortunate enough to be included in the beta programme are to be believed, there is an awful lot going for Google's latest attempt at social networking. The main ingredients to Google+ are Circles, Hangouts and Sparks. Looking briefly at each in turn:

  • Circles - This is where you share different things with different people, whilst sharing only those things with those people you want to share them. With Circles, Google is trying to simplify the whole process of grouping your circle of contacts into distinct groups – just as you would in real life.
  • Hangouts - This is a way of connecting with friends whilst you are out and about on the web - you just let folks know where you are and see who drops by for a chat.
  • Sparks - This is Google's way of searching for videos and articles that it thinks you'll like, so that when you're free there's always something to watch, read and share. 
Of course, everyone loves to share photos these days so you will be able to instantly upload images to your account using Instant Upload. In addition, there is also group chat, known as Huddle in Google+.

So, now we have some idea of what Google+ offers, what is the word on the virtual street? Well, remarkably positive it seems. Jason Hiner on TechRepublic reckons that it is about to change the web as we know it - quite a bold statement but then Google did change the world of search on the web and with Android is jointly responsible for revolutionising the smartphone business, so maybe he is right on this one.

Interestingly, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and chief executive of Facebook is on Google+ and currently, according to  has the most fans already on Google+! 

Let's hope that Google opens it up to more of us mere mortals sooner rather than later so we can all join in.
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Thursday, June 09, 2011

The new α 35: Sony announce another DSLR.


Sony has announced the A35 Interchangeable lens digital camera, the latest addition to its range of Translucent Mirror (SLT) DSLRs.

Main Features:
Camera body only: 16.2 megapixels, Live View, Full HD AVCHD video, 5.5fps, 7.5cm LCD, 3D Sweep Panorama
  • Shoot at up to 5.5fps, or 7fps in Tele-zoom mode
  • Full HD video with quick, accurate autofocus
  • Light, compact and easy to use
More detailed specification:

Camera:
  • Total sensor Pixels (megapixels)  - Approx. 16.5 Effective Pixels (megapixels) 
  • Automatic White Balance - YES
  • White balance: preset selection 
  • Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash
  • White balance: custom setting - YES
  • White balance: types of color temperature - 2500 - 9900 k with 19-step Magenta / Green compensation
  • White balance bracketing - 3 frames, Selectable 2 steps
  • ISO Sensitivity Setting - ISO100 - 12800 equivalent
  • Light metering type - 1200-zone evaluative metering
  • Light metering cell - Exmor™ CMOS Sensor 
  • Exposure compensation - YES (+/-2.0 EV, 1/3 EV step)
Price TBC.
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sigma announces SD1 Digital SLR Camera pricing

2510071402Image by panaromico via FlickrI'm not sure why but my dream camera has always been a top-end Sigma DSLR. I have mostly own Canon SLRs (only the film variety), along with he odd bridge camera (Fuji 602z currently), medium format (Mamiya C220 - truly a 'work of art') and others. I was also rather fond of my Contax 139. Released in 1979, and including a number of (for its day) state of the art features. 


It had quartz-timed shutter speeds, TTL flash, TTL exposure control and exposure compensation. It was quite advanced for its time. Two standard lenses were available with the 139 Quartz, both Carl Zeiss Planar models - a 50mm f/1.7 model and a 50mm f/1.4 model. I owned the f/1.7 and it was a real beauty.


So, back to Sigma. The SD1 flagship model is due this June and Sigma has just announced its price: a suggested retail price of £6,199.99 including VAT (£5,166.66 excluding VAT). It will be available in the UK in June.




Main Features:

Offering the quality of a medium format with the convenience of an SLR:
  1. 46 megapixel 24×16mm APS-C sensor
  2. Lightweight yet solid magnesium alloy body
  3. Weather-resistant O-ring sealing connections
  4. Dual ‘TRUE II' image processing engines
  5. 11 Point Twin Cross AF Sensor
An example of the quality of the images the SD1 is capable of can be seen below. For more info and a detailed specification check out the brochure.



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Friday, May 13, 2011

Panasonic Reveals G3




Panasonic has launched its Lumix G3, claiming it to be the world's smallest and lightest interchangeable lens system camera with a build-in electronic viewfinder, weighing in at just 336g!

Currently the Panasonic site is down, probably due to the launch of the G3. However, here is what we know so far:

  • 16.3-megapixel Live MOS sensor
  • sensitivity range of ISO160 to ISO6400
  • AF mode with 23 focus areas
  • full-HD at a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels
  • available in June at a retail price of £550 (body only) and £629 with a 14-42mm lens.
Read more for now on the British Journal of Photography site.
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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Great sites for the photographer

 15-34-15-symp-sangImage via WikipediaIf you are serious about your photography then you need to be regularly checking out what's happening in the world of photography, interacting with other photographers and generally always seeking to learn new skills and techniques. There are several ways you can do this but a virtually free way of doing this is to join online communities and regularly 'subscribe' to several websites.


Some of my personal favourites are:


DSLR focused sites:

User galleries and communities:
  • www.redbubble.com - you can start your own group(s), have your own gallery and sell products with your own images.
  • www.zazzle.com - not just photography but you can make money from selling products using your images 
  • www.photo.net - galleries, forum and learning resources
  • www.dphotojournal.com - members' galleries, forum, tips and reviews
Tutorials and online learning resources:
These are just a selection of the many sites out there. Of course, the major manufacturers also have learning resources on their sites so they are definitely worth checking out. You will no doubt come across other sites and if you think they are worth sharing then please do so via the comments for this post.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Nikon confirm new 50mm f/1.8 prime lens


Nikon has confirmed that a new 50mm f/1.8 prime lens is to be released,  boasting a newly developed optical system. They claim it will deliver "stunning image quality and offers users an easy and affordable way to discover the difference fast aperture can make."

Zurab Kiknadze, Product Manager Lenses, Accessories & Software, Nikon Europe says:
“This 50mm is an ideal second lens. It’s a great chance for curious D-SLR enthusiasts to venture out beyond a kit lens and explore the creative possibilities that fast aperture can offer, like pleasantly blurred backgrounds in portraiture and comfortable low-light shooting.”
The lens has an all-new optical design which according to Nikon:
"comprises seven elements in six groups, including one aspherical element for superb image quality. The dedicated Silent Wave Motor (SWM) ensures discreet but accurate autofocus. Compatible with Nikon FX-format D-SLRs, it offers a 75mm (equivalent) focal length when used with Nikon DX-format D-SLRs."
The lens has a retail price of £200 (€232). It is available now for £167.99 from OneStopDigital.
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Video example of odosketch in use

Here is a short video of a featured sketch. I hadn't realised that when you viewed the sketch it also played back all the steps you took in making the sketch. Pretty cool!

video

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Check out this great online sketching site. Odosketch is a neat online sketching site where you can sketch away to your heart's content without needing paper or watercolours!
You get to use various colours from a palette at the bottom of the screen, can erase or trash your creation. Once you are happy with your sketch you can save it for others to view. There are plenty of examples created by other users, the bets of which are featured on the site. Below are some examples:


Why not check out the site and have a go yourself! Visit http://sketch.odopod.com/

Friday, April 22, 2011

Detailed Map on situation in Libya

Check out this very informative map about the current situation in Libya. The original can be found on Twitpic.

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Ace photographers killed in Libya

British documentary image maker Tim Hetherington and US photographer Chris Hondros were killed in Misrata, Libya, whilst reporting on the conflict there. Apparently, they were killed in a mortar blast on Wedsnesday. Two other photographers, Michael Brown of Corbis and Panos Pictures Guy Martin were reportedly also injured in the same attack.

UNSPECIFIED - UNDATED: Getty Images photograph...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeTim Hetherington is perhaps best known for his film 'Restrepo' about US Marines serving in Afghanistan. If you have watched this film you will know it is a pretty raw and visceral film that lays bare the reality of war from the perspective of the ordinary soldier. At the time of his death, Tim was on assignment for Panos Pictures (hence the involvement of Guy Martin) and Chris Hondros was working for Getty Images.

The bodies of the two men were shipped to Benghazi  by boat today. Tributes have already been posted around the web. Read the BBC tribute on the BBC News site. There is also an excellent tribute with more background information on Tim on the Guardian site. You can read the tribute to Chris Hondros to Chris Hondros on the New York Times site.

Both men were highly respected for their work and as individuals. For anyone interested in documentary image making its a great loss and underlines the risks that reporters and image-makers take to bring us insights into conflict and its impact on ordinary men and women. Its often thought that such men are somehow 'hooked on' war and yet both men were known for their compassion and concern for those caught up in conflict, particularly those often referred to 'innocents'.

Fellow photographer, Tyler Hicks (recently held captive himself in Libya last month) says of his friend:

 “He’s a sensitive photographer,” Mr. Hicks said. “He never was in it for himself or for the vanity of what the job brings with it. He really believes in his work.”
Tim Hetherington is best thought of as an image maker, rather than as a photographer. He never saw himself as a 'great photographer' but believed that we are in a 'post-photographic' age. he once said:

"If you are interested in photography, then you are interested in something — in terms of mass communication — that is past. I am interested in reaching as many people as possible."
I highly recommend you check out their work. You cannot fail to be moved by the power of the imagery they created and the stories they sought to tell. Their dedication is, in the end, what cost them their lives. We owe it to them to pay attention to their message. Nor, must we forget all those who are suffering right now, least of all the civilians caught up in the conflict in Misrata and elsewhere.
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Why you should submit your photos to EyeEm

If you are in any way a serious photographer you will, at some time or other, have asked yourself "how can I make my photography pay?&q...