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Slow Learners Rule!

Posted by Greg Blue on Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

The modern learning environment seems to be based on bite sized nuggets to be consumed as quickly as possible. We live in a world where we are bombarded by imagery – this now includes academia as well – we see more and more quick fix videos to give us instant information. This is especially true of online learning, and that absolutely includes my website and so I am offering some opinions to counter the damage I am doing! (more…)


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The Joy of Photographing Glass

Posted by Greg Blue on Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

How do you photograph glass? Here are some tips. Glass – especially art-glass, is one of my favourite subjects to shoot. It can present an enormous challenge to a photographer, but that challenge almost always comes with unique opportunities as well. The image above is a prime example – this glass ray gun was created by master glass blower Jeff Burnette of Joe Blow Glass. I’ve had the pleasure of shooting a couple of his pieces, and each one is an utterly unique challenge. (more…)


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How to create form with light

Posted by Greg Blue on Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

At the very core of lighting theory are the three lighting tones that help us create the illusion of 3 dimensions on a 2-dimensional medium: the Diffused Highlight, the Specular Highlight and the Shadow.

There are a number of ways to show the illusion of depth in an image, such as perspective. Converging lines are powerful tools for artists to use, but what happens when you are shooting an organic subject such as a person. Perspective does play a role in a portrait – a person’s ears will appear smaller in relation to their nose, because they are further away. But we are so attuned to that relationship that it’s pretty much invisible to us. (more…)


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It is easier to add light than to take light away

Posted by Greg Blue on Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

Here’s a little tidbit (but an important one) in lighting. It is usually far easier to add light in an area of an image that needs light, than it is to take light away from an image area that has too much of it. You might be asking – “Why would you even give any thought to this?” Because keeping this tidbit in mind will make your life easier as you set up your lighting, or choose the location that you shoot in. Below are some examples:

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Using light to sculpt your model

Posted by Greg Blue on Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

There are a lot of tutorials out there showing different ways of using burning and dodging or layer blend modes in Photoshop to sculpt and shape your model. It’s pretty impressive and these are techniques that you should absolutely know. But there is also the temptation to overdo it with Photoshop – which many beginner photographers fall prey to! Shaping a subject with light however, means you can be as dramatic as you like without creating an image that looks flagrantly “Photoshopped.”

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Working with a Producer

Posted by Greg Blue on Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

Many new photographers do not consider working with a producer because a) they feel such specialists are only for large budget jobs; or b) they do not actually know what a producer is. Fact is producers can be even more valuable to new photographers than they are to established photographers.

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Problem liquor photographer

Posted by Greg Blue on Monday, November 30th, 2015

As soon as I saw the bottle of Buffalo Trace, I knew I was going to shoot it. I called my sponsor and told him to get over here right away. He was relieved to see I hadn’t shot it at that point, so we popped open the standby bottle, poured a couple of shots, toasted each other, and proceeded to plan on how to light the thing.

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Constructive Plagiarism?

Posted by Greg Blue on Monday, November 16th, 2015

This post looks at copying other photographer’s images for the purpose of learning a technique, or refining your understanding of lighting. There’s been an interesting debate on the topic at the school where I teach – some instructors feel that it is a really valuable exercise, while others feel that it is a dangerous approach as it can easily be abused. I’m of the opinion that it is a really helpful technique for learning, but I absolutely understand the concerns of those apposed to the approach.

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There’s no junkie like gear junkies

Posted by Greg Blue on Monday, October 19th, 2015

Ok, I’m here to warn you about the dangers of becoming obsessed by owning the latest and greatest in photo gear. The only problem is that a lot of this new fangled gear is just too cool for words and I don’t blame you in the least for drooling over it! Every time I get on my podium and state that, “Back in my day, when we were hungry, we ate our film!” somebody waves their latest gadget in front of me and I think “Well shit – I have to have that.”

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Why I still love view cameras

Posted by Greg Blue on Monday, October 12th, 2015

My 8X10 large format camera now sits on its Gizzo tripod in a corner of my living room more as a cherished monument to the past than a brilliantly versatile photographic tool. I’ve had that camera since the 1980s and have shot many of my most important images on it, so at least it’s had a good life. Like most photographers, I’d say 98% of my work is now shot digitally (and I love digital photography), but I still do pull out my large format cameras and shoot film on very important shots.

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