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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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Storyboarding a Portfolio

Posted by Greg Blue on Monday, November 9th, 2015

Portfolio development is a major topic of course, so I will be doing a series of full free tutorials on the subject, but here is a condensed version until that time. Also, my opinion about portfolio development is just one amongst many different photographers, agents and clients. If you are new to this, you should seek out opinions from as many industry leaders as possible so that you can decide which ones will work best for you.

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Anne Geddes inspired image

Posted by Greg Blue on Monday, November 2nd, 2015

This image was actually shot entirely in-camera on an 8X10 view camera – no Photoshop involved. The shot was originally created for stock when my agency made a request for images representing “evolution.” This one got rejected for looking too demonic. I argued that evolution isn’t always pretty. They didn’t buy it.

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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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Metering Vs. Chimping

Posted by Greg Blue on Monday, September 28th, 2015

I first saw the term “chimping” while browsing through the Strobist blog (a very good blog on studio lighting that I recommend checking out – it’s at www.strobist.com). At first I was baffled and then worried that I was unaware of some critical lighting procedure called chimping. I asked a photojournalist friend of mine, Christopher Morris, he just laughed and explained it’s a term sometimes used by sports photographers who are often in a position where they cannot control the lighting and environment. So they keep adjusting their cameras until they find the sweet spot – the term “chimping” describes their expressions as they get progressively more excited by the results. For a day or two, chimping became my favourite term ever – that said, I will never chimp in front of another person (or on my own for that matter).

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Try a free members tutorial!

Posted by Greg Blue on Monday, September 14th, 2015

The Image Tutorials are for the “members only” section of Bluesky. These tutorials break down exactly how an image was created from concept development, to lighting & production and finally to post-production. Where the Lighting Theory section looks at the physics of lighting in a holistic manner, and the lighting techniques section takes a broad look at lighting, the Image Tutorials are an inch wide and a mile deep. These tutorials look at both lighting theory and lighting techniques from an entirely applied perspective – for photographers, each image is a whole new ballgame! You can view the tutorial here.

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The Dangers of friendly feedback!

Posted by Greg Blue on Monday, August 31st, 2015

One of the biggest problems on social media sites for photographers is excessive praise for images that simply do not warrant it. We all want to be supportive, especially to new artists (unless you happen to be a troll) – and emerging artists absolutely deserve our support and encouragement! But not receiving honest, courteous and constructive feedback (both positive and negative) can cause new photographers to lose objective sight of their own work.

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Welcome to Bluesky

Posted by Greg Blue on Monday, August 24th, 2015

Welcome to the first blog post for “Bluesky” a new website dedicated to the study of photographic lighting, production, and business issues! My name is Greg Blue and I am a 30+ year veteran commercial photographer whose career has spanned from fashion photography to product, food & conceptual still life, to advertising photography (which includes pretty much every imaginable type of photography presented in a narrow and manipulative context ;). I am also a 20-year veteran teacher of photography and program director at the Langara College CS Photography Program – one of the most respected colleges for training commercial photographers in Canada.

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