About Me

My photo
Monroe, Ohio, United States
Began my photography career as most people do...the highschool yearbook. Upon graduation I attended the US Naval Photography School in Pensacola Fla. After getting a qualification in basic photography and then later attending their Portrait School,was assigned to a military operation. Experiences included USO photography for Bob Hope, Brooke Shields, Kathy Lee Crosby and Wayne Newton.Have also had the opportunity for travel assignments to places such as Beruit, Israel, Africa, Australia, Brazil, Italy, Spain and England. Upon exiting the Navy in 1984,opened up a Tanning Salon and Health Club in Oxford,Ohio and began photographing weddings, all as a vehicle to fund my way through college. I enjoy travel, sports photography, special event and Cincinnati Reds photography. I am frequently contracted as a sports photographer by parents, sports teams, and organizations,throughout the Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio areas, to provide the highest quality sports photography, both on an individual and team basis.

January 31, 2011

Play Within Your Game

Stephen Strasburg of The Washington Nationals vs. The Cincinnati Reds by Cincinnati Photographer Vince Rush

Playing within your game could also be interpreted as staying within your niche. When I was playing men's softball and traveling with a team every weekend, I never tried to be more than I was.

Out of 12 guys on the regular roster, I was probably the 8th or 9th, maybe 10th or 11th (depending on who you asked), best on the team. I was not a home run hitter and I didn't have a cannon for an arm.

What I was however was a .650 right handed hitter that made my living by hitting the ball to right center and painting the right field line, I was fast and I wouldn't embarrass myself in the field. I was also willing to be the ultimate support player for the team by playing some catcher and riding the pine without throwing a fit or pouting.
All of those qualities had earned me a spot on an A level team that played about 200 games a year, so when I got to that team, I never tried to be anything other than that.What's that detective Harry Callahan said, "A man's got to know his limitations"?..Well I knew mine.

to the contrary, occasionally we would see some talented, young, up and coming ball player and invite him to play a tournament with the team. Inevitably, that player would, more times than not, forget what his game was and why we wanted him in the first place, and try to play outside of his game by swinging for the fences and attempting to do things he was not equipped for. The end result was, that he would be with us for a brief time and then we'd never call him again.

In photography, if you want to succeed and make a decent side income or one day a living, you've got to know your niche and play within you game.

My niche is sports photography. I can shoot wedding photography, portrait photography and industrial or landscapes, but I know that in CINCINNATI or DAYTON, OHIO, when it comes to that type of photography, I'm very good at it. In fact I feel I'm the very best at it. I'm also good at marketing and promoting what I do as well as  learning more every day.

I have many friends in photography who are skilled at various disciplines and do quite well in say PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY, SENIOR PORTRAITS, WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY and then I have friend's that are highly skilled at PHOTOSHOP and various forms of post photo processing. They tend to make a nice living at it.

In fact, I know a guy in West Chester by the name of Russ McLaughlin, who is one of the very best family and portrait photographers in the world. The guy has become extremely prosperous at taking family and senior portraits. He demands the highest price and always gets it.

As a photographer, you have to know you game and stay within that game to succeed. When you have mastered that discipline and own that niche, then broaden your horizons and master another one.

To be financially successful in photography it is my opinion that you can not afford to be a "jack of all trades and a master of none". When I started Cincinnati Sports Photography I was on a mission to establish myself as one of the premiere sports photographers in Ohio. I knew that other work would come from establishing my reputation in that field.

Most people that try to scratch out an income as photographers, are never quite sure what kind of photographer they want to be.

In one of my next posts, I'll talk about branding and being selective on what pictures you choose to post on your online portfolio. Every picture you post in a gallery or on a web site is part of your resume and also represents the quality of your work and your attention to detail.

I believe that I get the jobs I do, from exotic sports car photos to senior and family portraits because of my sports photography.

Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://cincinnatisportsphotography.com/

January 29, 2011

Photographic Mistakes — 10 Most Common Mistakes In Photography

 Lake Norman, North Carolina by Cincinnati Photographer Vincent Rush of Ohio Sports Photography

1) Not Knowing The Camera In And Out

The excitement of owning the camera makes you overconfident. Time to step back. Its time to know your camera — read the user manual, familiarize yourself with the dials, controls & modes of the camera and get ready for the test shots. After doing well at warm-up, now you are in a good position to explore the possibilities and the opportunities for photographs that makes sense. Photography is not just releasing the shutter; it is far more than that. It follows the entire procedure (as any other form of art).
  • Visualize: Carefully observe and spot an interesting subject or scene to shoot.
  • The Strategy: Adjust the camera settings for achieving the desired effect like attaining DOF or freezing the motion or capturing the motion & movement.
  • The Effort: Hold the camera firmly and press the shutter release.
  • The essence of the photography lies in framing the imaginations to your expectations which requires you to be thorough with the camera features, settings and limitations (as to what you can do with the camera you own). If the camera you own does not provide the aperture priority mode, photographing the depth of field is out of question.

    2) Overlooking The Camera Settings
    This mistake counts from my personal experience. As soon as I spot a beautiful scene / subject, I just pick my camera, zoom-into the scene and click. And in one instance, after looking at the result on the LCD, I realized something had gone wrong. The camera was set up for bracketing instead of the normal exposure. Having learned from my own mistakes, here is a quick piece of advice. Always check out the camera settings prior to going out for a shoot. Even though mistakes result in great results (sometimes), but overlooking the camera settings often result in missing the perfect shot and attributed as carelessness.

    3) Not Having The Camera Handy
    You have the best camera, perhaps a Nikon D7000 or Canon EOS 5D Mark II or a Sony Cybershot and the time you spot an interesting subject, perhaps a playful kid or a pet pass by, how would you feel when you miss that perfect shot. It hurts to miss the shot more than not finding an interesting subject when ready with the camera in hand. So, the best thing to do is to realize the importance of timing in photography and keep your camera handy for shooting surprise shots nature has planned for you. No I’m not asking you to keep the camera handy in the kitchen. But you get the point

    4) Overlooking A Strong Point Of Interest 
  • Having the camera in hand doesn’t mean that you are free to shoot. If you are there to make a mark with your photographs and want to create a masterpiece, look around to spot something that interests you, attracts you & lures you and then freeze that moment to make an outstanding photograph. If there is a particular person in the crowd or a specific flower in the garden which took you by a surprise, then separate that object from the rest of the clutter to put forth your point of view (and your way of expressing things visually).

    5) Including Conflicting Subjects
    When photographing, it is really difficult to draw a line as to what should be included and what be excluded of the frame. Be very thorough and particular about the composition of the frame. The composition techniques teach a lot about how & where to place the subject, how including lines, patterns, textures, perspective add in making a good photograph. But one thing which I have learned by observing the photographs is that you should never portray the competing subjects onto the same frame. It would be something like offering apples and oranges; and the interest of the viewer remains divided of the ambiguity.

    6) Using Flash Inefficiently 
  • The best camera mode for shooting is the auto-mode. Let the camera decide when to use the flash and when to slow down the shutter speed to compensate for low-light. That was my approach when I started off with my camera until I realized that flash fired by the camera in the auto-mode spoils the entire frame. I also believed the the flash was only to compensate for low-ambient light. This was my second mistake. The fact is that the in-built camera flash is a good source of light not only for low-ambient light, but also when shooting against other sources of light. The trick lies in using the flash efficiently. Experiment with bouncing the flash off the wall or try using it as the complimentary source of light or learn to use rear sync flash mode; all these activities will contribute in realizing the importance of flash in photography. Learn to use flash effectively.

    7) Misinterpretation Of Lights
  • Light is the second most important element in photography (next to right time). It can either make the photograph or break the photograph. Lights play an important role not only in illuminating the subject, it affects the overall presentation of the photograph. For some subjects / scenes the direct sunlight acts as the perfect source of illumination (for textures), while sometimes angular light helps in portraying the depth in the scene. Consider to soften & diffuse the light when photographing the portraits. Learning to interpret the lights and its properties comes in handy for making the most from the available lights. 
  • 8) “Photo-shopping”: The Digital Attitude
  • With digital camera in the hand comes the digital attitude. The attitude of correcting the images during post processing. At the beginning you may just love to release the shutter without actually taking care of the basic elements of a good photograph. Photography is not the art of correcting the things off-camera. Photography is not about “photoshopping”. While post-processing is required for making some crucial adjustments, you can never get the natural colors, lights and expression with any amount of editing. It is a huge waste of time if you rely on photo-editors to get great colors and proper exposure
  • 9) Always Shooting At Same Level
  • Always shooting at the same angle and same level makes the photographs portray the subject as it normally appears to the human eye. It lacks expression and fails to convey the dynamics of the subject or the scene. Whereas photographing at various levels help in portraying strength, superiority, authority or negligibility of the subject. For example looking at the photograph of a building shot from the ground level makes you feel the enormity of the huge structure and portraying the same structure from a higher vantage point enable you to express inferiority of the structure. Put an extra thought into building a perspective.
  • 10) No Concern For Zooming-In
  • The professional photographers use the camera zoom to get tight crops and to fill the frame with only the desired elements in the scene. Zooming in the subject and scene clearly helps in expressing the interest and delivering a strong focus on the subject or the scene. It adds a new meaning to the perspective. Zooming out to include unwanted objects results in clutter and induces distracting elements thereby killing the interest in a photograph.

Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com

January 25, 2011

In Youth Sports Photography; It’s Pros Vs. Parents

In Youth Sports Photography, It’s Pros Vs. Parents

A link to an article that I was interviewed for by PDN (Photo District News)

Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com

January 23, 2011

What They Don't Teach you in Photography School

Cincinnati Reds Photo by Cincinnati Sports Photography and Ohio Sports Photographer Vincent Rush

What they DON"T teach you in photography school is how to become a successful photographer. Technique is only a small percentage of what it takes to succeed today. A book I read a few years ago and about 12 times since, "The Magic of Thinking Big" said that "Success is 2% mechanics and 98% attitude.

As an Ohio sports photographer who has been having good success in the Cincinnati Photographers market, I get asked quite a bit by the guys at the local camera store where I do business, "How do you keep getting so many cool jobs?"

First of all, let me say, that with the exception of sports photography, that I know that there are better photographers than me.There are better much, much better Photoshop specialists than me and there are also those who have more expensive gear, fancy studios, slick websites and even those that belong to "professional membership, dues paying clubs"

However, with all of that said, there are not a lot of photographers getting paid or at least paid what they're worth.

Part of that is naturally due to the supply and demand of today.

Demand is down because of the economy.

Supply is off the charts because everyone that has a digital camera now is a "photographer". You also have the large number of people that give away everything and collectively drive the market down.

I know of one such company that will shoot an entire year of high school football action and sell a DVD of a gazillion images, 20% of which are quality action shots and 80% garbage pics lumped in together, for $40.00. In a desire to be "liked" in their community they not only devalue the quality of service of a professional photographer, but in the long run, devalue themselves.

In today's world, marketing and networking is everything. A young photographer has to know how to self promote, network and make connections, along with providing outstanding customer service that goes above and beyond a 10% discount.

I recommend every photographer pick up a copy of Jeffery Gitomer's book, "Customer Satisfaction is WORTHLESS, Customer Loyalty is Priceless.

It seems to me that the one thing that many aspiring young photographers lack is self promoting skills, people skills, self image and confidence and the ability to create a brand.

Another pet peeve of mine is appearance. If you're on the sidelines and you look like a bum or if you show up to a consultation looking like a slob, you don't inspire confidence. You should treat every interaction like a professional job interview, because as a photographer, every job is an audition...for your next one.

Most of the photographers (Not all of course) in Cincinnati, that I meet, are either social wall flowers, arrogant and lacking people skills and have no real world business sales experience.

When young or struggling photographers ask me for advice, I recommend books such as , "How to Win Friends and Influence People", "Think and Grow Rich", any Jeffery Gitomer book and a series of other sales experts.

At the end of the day, no matter how good you are with PS5 or HDR techniques, it all comes down to personal marketing and personal branding.

When I began shooting sports photography a few years ago, I'll admit, I gave away a lot of 4 x 6 glossy action photos, to get my name out and introduce my brand to people.

The second year, I set up a site through SmugMug and started selling the pictures at the minimum prices to continue to establish my brand.

The 3rd year, I doubled the price of everything and the 4th year I doubled again.

Now that my brand and style are established, and making decent money and getting a lot of calls for family photos, senior portraits and team photos.

I have also read a half a dozen books on social media marketing, SEO, Search Engine Optimization and hundreds of books on sales and business leadership skills.

It's not enough to have a nice camera a couple of lenses and friends and family telling you that you are great. You have to earn the respect of your profession with diligence, ethics and talent along with dynamic people skills.

On a closing note for all young photographers coming out of school and hitting the streets; Your generation, while the most technically connected generation in history, is the most socially disconnected generation in history as well. If you want to succeed in any business, there is a wide open market for the young professionals that master the art of interpersonal interaction. You know, weird stuff, like eye contact, hand shakes, verbal communication and the art of making people feel better after they leave you than they did before they got with you.

The average social weakling believes that they will be able to Twitter, Facebook, Text and email their way to success. That mentality is creating a void in our society, that if you learn how to differentiate yourselves in this new so called "connected" world you will raise your value in it as well...and that when you start getting PAID!

In sports photography, people pay me what they pay me, because I can do what other cant, in a way that other don't. And for now that remains my secret.

Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography, Monroe Ohio.

Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com

Balance Beam

A casual portrait by a member of the Top Flight Gymnastics Team in Northern Kentucky

Photo by Cincinnati Photographer Vincent Rush
Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com

January 21, 2011

How to Photograph Winter Landscapes by Moose Peterson

West Yellowstone by Cincinnati Photographer Vincent Rush

When Moose Peterson starts talking about photographing winter landscapes, you tend to pay attention. In fact, if you're like us, you take notes. As a renowned nature and wildlife photographer, Moose brings experience and expertise to the subject. He also brings an appreciation of the beauty of the winter world and a realization of its challenges.

Because we were taking notes, we can share his tips with you.

White Out
What was once the bane of winter photos is now past tense. You guessed it: blue or gray snow. Here's what used to happen: the camera's meter would read the vast white world as a vast overexposure, and to compensate the camera's autoexposure system would set faster shutter speeds or smaller apertures; either would effectively cut down the amount of light reaching the film or the sensor. Simply, the meter didn't know that all that white was what you really wanted. Moose remembers those days, and how he'd use +1/3 or +2/3 or more exposure compensation to let in more light and bring white back to white.

These days it's pretty much a non-issue. "With any Nikon D-SLR, I go with Matrix metering and aperture-priority exposure and that's it," Moose says. "I don't dial in any exposure compensation." And if some of the snow gets blown out—that is, overexposed—it's no problem. "White snow doesn't need to have a whole lot of detail for your mind to know its snow. In the majority of photos you'll take, you don't need to see the individual crystals of the snow."

In addition, it's also likely that the shadow areas of the scene will be filled in by all the light bouncing off the snow. "You won't have a lot of shadow area to deal with," Moose says, "and neither will your meter. The exposure range is mostly in the highlight area."

Things might be different when the sun's not out. "On an overcast or cloudy day, you might get a blue cast to the snow. I don't mind that so much at all—it helps suggest just how cold the scene is. What's the color of cold, after all? Blue."

But if you want the snow to whiten up, an exposure compensation of +1/3 or +2/3 should do the trick. Take a photo, check the LCD, adjust as needed.

Also, keep in mind that when you're shooting in snow, chances are you're not just photographing the snow. There's a person, a tree, an animal, a house...maybe a snowman. "And, once again, the snow in the scene acts like a giant fill card and bounces light around," Moose says, "and bounced light will be softer and more flattering for your picture."

The winter landscape doesn't have to be all white to tell its seasonal story. For example, check out the sixth photo, taken on the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park. "What are you doing in a photograph?" Moose asks, and then he answers: "You're telling a story. Well, in the Madison River photo I put the autofocus sensor on the trees in the sun, which insured that they'd be sharp, of course, but which also biased the exposure toward the sun, so the shadows on the left went to black. I framed the shot for that effect, for that contrast. The story I'm telling is that there's a transition taking place: spring is coming."

Winter will almost always provide its share of color—you just have to seek it out. Sometimes chasing the light will do the trick. (And when you catch the light, check its direction. "Look for sidelighting," Moose says. "It'll give you more definition in your subject because the shadows are revealing texture and detail.")

"What you're doing is fine tuning the photo," Moose says. "In effect, you're warming up or cooling down the winter landscape." How much fine tuning will suit the scene you're shooting? That's up to your taste and judgment; take a picture at any setting and check the results.

Moose also remind us that the colder the air, the better the color. "Cold air is clearer," he says, "and there are often ice crystals in the air that cause light to diffract; you get really brilliant, pretty-picture colors. So you want to be photographing at sunrise and sunset—the coldest parts of the day."

Moose calls the tenth photo, taken in the Bridger Mountains of Montana, "one of the top five sunrises of my life." To get it, he had to be there at 4:45 in the morning—in the dark, in the cold and in the storm. "Some of the best photo opportunities happen when winter storms begin and end," he explains. "That's when the drama comes—when the light is trying to burst through. I took this photo as the storm was clearing out." So check weather reports or the weather app on your smart phone.

Comfort Zone
"Snow photography is only fun if you're comfortable," Moose says. "The right boots are essential. Look for high-tech snow boots that are rated to keep you warm down to zero. Next, gloves and hat. I'm a glove fanatic, I admit it. I never go to an outdoor shop without looking at the gloves. For basic snow shooting, when you'll be out for fun for a couple of hours, I recommend gloves that are made for cross-country skiing; they're ideal—very flexible, with good insulation. For hardcore, out-all-day shooting, my choice is ice climbing gloves. They have extra insulation on the top of the glove that keeps your hands warm. Hats? A personal thing—you'll know what works best for you.

Gear Protection
"It's not like the old days when you had to weatherproof your gear," Moose says. "I've taken all the Nikon digital cameras, from COOLPIX to D3X, out in minus 20-degree weather and never had a problem.
"What you should think about, though, is taking your gear from a warm place—a building or a car—out into the cold. Don't breathe on any glass; if you avoid moisture in the beginning, you won't have moisture problems.

"My gear is in the camera bag when I'm not shooting. When I come back at night to my home or to a hotel, the gear's going to be cold, and if I just take it out of the bag I'll get the condensation cycle started, which is exactly what I don't want. So I take the camera gear out, put it on the counter or the bed, pop out the memory cards from the cameras and put a clean white towel over everything and let it all sit there until it comes to room temperature. All the condensation forms on the towel and is absorbed. You don't have to do this in a hurry, there's no rush—but do it. When it's all at room temperature, stow it back in the bag and you're ready for the next day or the next time.

"And if I'm in and out of a vehicle all day when I'm working, I keep a white towel on the gear when it's out of the bag."

Walk Right In (Not!)
"Think of where you're walking," Moose says, "and when you're walking there. You don't want to walk through a scene looking for subjects or vantage points and then realize that the nice virgin field of snow is now covered with your footprints. Think ahead."

Any Way the Wind Blows
 "I always look for places where the wind is blowing. When there's steam or snow or ice crystals in the air, the picture tells the viewer, 'It's cold!' Again, what's the story? What's the message?"

In a word: winter. And though Moose travels to some exotic places—and even conducts a winter workshop in Yellowstone—he also tells winter's story from close-to-home locations. He took the seventh photo practically from his backyard and the second and third images about a block away.
So if you're lucky enough to live in a place where snow visits you, or if you're going to be a visitor to a snowy region of the country, keep your camera close at hand.

Lessons from Behind the Lens of a Legendary Wildlife Photographer, at his website, www.moosepeterson.com.

Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com

January 20, 2011

Tips For Macro Photography – The Extreme Close-Up by Christopher B. Derrick

      The Amway / LTD Diamond Ring. 
Awarded by LTD (Leadership Team Development) to all newly qualified Diamond level Independent Business Owners. Produced by the same company that produces many professional and college sports championship rings, each ring is valued between $18-22,000.00.

Posted by Amway / LTD Emerald level IBO and photographer, Vincent Rush

Marco photography has always fascinated me because practitioners of the art/craft continually amaze me with the small details of our gigantic world.  Much like a Seinfeld bit, Macro photography typically consists of finding an everyday object and photographing it at such close proximity that the perhaps mundane — now taken out of context — is startling and interest-piquing.  Marco photography can be extra enjoyable and elucidating, as you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the myriad of minute details your camera records.  Icicles hanging on a tree branch or side of house can become surreal when viewed through macro photography.

Avoid Camera Shake
When you shoot Macro, your Depth of Field is extremely shallow, so critical focus is paramount to get a more than good shot.  And what’s the main culprit for soft focus in macro photography?  You guessed it, camera shake.  To avoid camera shake you’ll need to shoot at a higher shutter speed, use a tripod and/or a cable release.  Also, never, never, never use the Auto Focus setting when doing Macro photography, because the computer can easily be tricked (not that it matters if you have a huge memory card, but why waste the time?).  By manually focusing your lens, you have precision control of what tiny – but now huge – details will be the center of attention.

With macro photography, you can (and should) take your time to get the composition precisely perfect (or perfect for what you envision), so don’t hesitate to move up, down and all around the subject of your gaze.  Unless you’re shooting a bumblebee or a humming bird, you have no time constraint, so using bracketing to get the best exposure to match the flawless composition.  Bracketing, if you didn’t know, is taking at least three of the exact same photographer at different exposures (over, neutral and under) to get color accuracy & vibrancy, shadow & highlight detail and depth of field that you can compare and make the most dynamic selection.

Here are some quick things to remember, sort of a checklist, for macro photography:
1. Simplify your image as much as possible.
2. Fill as much of the frame as possible with your subject.
3. Over-compensate for sharp focus.
4. Experiment with various angles to find the most aesthetically pleasing.
5. Be very aware of the background (which will be out of focus) and eliminate anything that will be distracting. 
Macro photographs show you details of the world that are more often than not overlooked, because even the simplest subject can seem more than important and poignant when its surface details are being examined at such a high magnification.  Remember, by looking closer – borrowing a phrase from American Beauty — you’ll see that you have a whole new array of subjects to photograph

Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com

January 19, 2011

20 Free And Useful Tools For Photographers

20 Free And Useful Tools For Photographers is written by AdvancedPhotography.Net photography tips.

Photography is not only about taking the photographs. It is about making the photographs. While the purists believe in making good photographs with their cameras, the professional photographers are experts at photo editors, manipulating & retouching tools and follow marketing strategies to make the most from photography. Here’s a collection of free and useful tools for photographers, ranging from simple photo editors, organizers and showcase galleries to advanced marketing tools.

Photo Editing Tools

§ GIMP: GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is open source and free image editor released under GPL license. It enables you to retouch the photographs and provide features for eliminating or correcting len’s barrel distortion and vignetting effects. It supports all the platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux) and file formats ranging from commonly used file-formats (JPEG, PNG, TIFF, PSD) to special use formats like .ico used for creating icons.
Picnik: Picnik is an online photo-editor powered by Google. Picnik has a collaboration and integration with Picasa, Flickr, Facebook and Photobucket; so that you can directly pick the photos from these websites and simply start giving the finishing touch to your photographs. Picnik offers simple and easy way to make the photographs presentable by providing features for adding special effects, using advanced controls and fixing the photos with just one-click.

§ Pixlr: Pixlr is one of the most popular and advanced online photo editor. It offers various services for varying level of photographers. While beginners can opt Pixlr Express to make perfect pictures in a single click, the professional photographers can fine-tune the photographs by taking the control of Pixlr Editor like a pro.
§ Splash Up: Splash Up is an online photo-editing cum photo-managing tool. It enables you to edit multiple images at a time. It has all the bells & whistles of the professional photo-editor and simplifies photo-editing for a beginner, both at the same time. Its compatibility with majority of browsers and integration with social-sharing sites, make it one of the most outstanding online tool for photographers.
§ Pixelmator: Pixelmator is a photo-editing download utility for Mac users. It fulfills all the requirements of a basic photo-editor and provides some creative tools to further enhance the photographs. Its set of creative tools provide a collection of brushes, powerful color correcting tools, gradient tools, etc. It supports over 100 file types and allows you to easily import & export the files. Also, its integration with Aperture and social media sites make this tool suitable for online sharing as well.
Flickr: Flickr is the best solution for uploading, organizing, sharing and editing the images online. Flickr provides the platform for showcasing the works of amateur and professional photographers. Flickr organizes the images into various photostreams and group pools. Flickr also provides the copyright solution to the photographers by providing them the feature of licensing their photographs either under Creative Commons License (with various clause and specifications) or as copyright material.

§ Picasa: Picasa is Google’s initiative to provide a basic photo sharing tool with ease of creating web albums and sharing them over the internet. Picasa also features a very basic and hassles free photo-editor but instantly make subtle changes to the photographs. It also provides the facility of creating photo collage and photo movie. Picasa can be effectively used by the photographers to organize the photos and share the required albums with their clients.
§ Photoshop.com: Photoshop.com is an online product from Adobe. Photoshop.com is a multi-purpose tool; it enables you to easily edit the images with the help of highly efficient online tools (Photoshop Express Editor & Photoshop Express Style Match) and provides an organizer for keeping all your photos at a safe place for online sharing.
§ SmugMug: SmugMug is a multi-purpose photo sharing tool. It allows you to take benefit of online storage, social sharing and ordering the prints. Apart from these services, SmugMug provides you the platform for selling the images.
§ Shutterfly: Shutterfly is one of the renowned name for online photo storage. While it provides other services which are offered as premium services, its online storage and sharing services are free of cost.

Free Image Hosting

§ Photobucket: Photobucket is an image hosting and sharing site designed for photographers to simplify the process of organizing and keeping the images safe & readily available online. It is multi-feature site. Apart from the basic feature of hosting the photos, it also makes sharing easier. It enables you to share the photographs over social networking sites and enables the photographers to benefit from social media marketing. It also provides a feature-rich editor, slideshow application and flexibility of access through mobile apps.
§ ImageShack: ImageShack is a media hosting site which offers multiple tools for hosting the images. Sign up for free and start uploading the images from anywhere; from the browser (through Image Shack toolbar and sidebar) and from mobile phone (through various apps for iPhone, Android and Blackberry). It supports all the platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux) and also provides a Bulk Uploader for uploading multiple images.
§ TinyPic: TinyPic is yet another option for image hosting websites. It is Photobucket’s initiative to provide a registration-free uploading service. TinyPic enables you to easily upload, link, and share your images and videos on MySpace, eBay, Orkut Scrapbooks, blogs, and message boards.

Free Photo Marketing Tools

PicsEngine: An artist gets recognition by showcasing his piece of arts. Online marketing is one such tool which enables the professional photographers to showcase their work to the clients and general audience. PicsEngine is one of the best ways of doing this. It enables you to showcase the photo galleries; which acts as the photographer’s portfolio. You can either create an account with Picsengine to create fully-host galleries without installing anything or you can download its flash version to create self-hosted photo galleries.

§ iStockPhoto: iStockPhoto makes it easy for photographers to sell their photographs to advertisers, web designers, entrepreneurs and bloggers. It is an online exhibition cum sale platform; where the photographers offer their best works (the photographs) for sale at proces which anyone can afford. Getting started with iStockPhoto is fairly simple and three steps away; register for free, become a contributor and provide 3 sample photographs. If your photographs are approved by the moderators, you can upload multiple photographs and offer them for sale.
§ Wix.com: Wix gets you involved in becoming a website creator along with the photographer. Wix is a free website editor which allows you to create your own photography portfolio website free of cost. You need to simply choose a template for creating a website, click edit to drag & drop the items and get started by uploading your photographs for managing online portfolio for yourself.

Miscellaneous Free And Online Tools

§ Watermark.ws: Watermarking is one of the best (and cost-free) solution for establishing copyright for your photographs when published over internet. Watermark.ws is an online tool for watermarking the photographs to thus prevent misuse of the photographs. Just upload the images you want to watermark, customize the watermark style (by specifying the type, color and position) and batch process the images to get instant results. It supports various file formats (jpg, png, tiff, gif, bmp) used for web and devices and poses no limits on number of uploads.
§ Watermark Tool:The other option for protecting your images through watermarking is to use the Watermark Tool. This tool enables you to personalize the images by watermarking the images with selected text, color and position. It allows you to upload upto 10 images at a time, file size not exceeding 200 KB per image.
§ ImageMagick: ImageMagick is basically an image editor designed to work on multiple platforms. It is a software suite to create, edit, compose, or convert bitmap images. ImageMagick is free, open source and command line (supporting a variety of file types) utility for editing the images.

Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com

January 17, 2011

10 Inspirational Photography Quotes

Photography is a creative art, which nourishes with each photograph that you click. While some photographers understand photography as a medium of communication, presentation of reality, others describe the photography in terms of expression. Here are 10 photography quotes from some of the renowned photographers, all establishing the fact that photography is all about creativity and imagination.

1. Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution.— Ansel Adams

2. I see something special and show it to the camera. The moment is held until someone sees it. Then it is theirs.— Sam Abell

3. Light glorifies everything. It transforms and ennobles the most commonplace and ordinary subjects. The object is nothing, light is everything.— Leonard Missone

4. If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you’re not out there, you’ll only hear about it.
— Jay Maisel

5. Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.— Yousuf Karsh

6. Every other artist begins with a blank canvas, a piece of paper… the photographer begins with the finished product.— Edward Steichen

7. Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.— Ansel Adams

8. Which of the photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.— Imogen Cunningham

9. The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.— Dorothea Lange

10. A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.— Ansel Adams

10 Inspirational Photography Quotes is written by AdvancedPhotography.Net photography tips

Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com

January 16, 2011

Joey Votto signs a three year Deal with the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds Joey Votto by Vincent Rush and Cincinnati Sports Photography

Mark Sheldon, MLB.COM

This just in -- the Reds and Joey Votto have agreed to terms Sunday on a three-year, $38 million contract with 1B Joey Votto, baseball sources told MLB.com. This is pending a physical, which is scheduled for Monday.

Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com

January 15, 2011

11 Tips on How To Get Razor-Sharp Photographs

Sharpness in the photographs tends to elude even the most seasoned photographers. That’s because sharpness is a perception; and that it is affected by many factors adds to the confusion. Also, note that sharpness and focus are different entities — an image can be in focus yet not sharp. Sharpness is controlled by many factors and at many stages of the photography work-flow. Basically it’s a product of the following:

Equipment, Settings, Technique, Post-Production

Thus here are some tips for getting sharp images.

Quality Of Lens: The quality of the lens can be the most defining factor for sharpness. Though in this age almost all DSLR lenses have excellent optics, some of the lenses manufactured by third-parties may not be have such good optical characteristics. The lens characteristics can introduce color fringing, linear distortion, coma, spherical aberration, falloff, and an endless list of scary photo-jargon. Also prime (fixed focal length) lenses tend to be better than general purpose zoom lenses which pose engineering challenges for the manufacturers.

Camera Quality: Cameras of the same grade don’t have a huge difference in image quality. But when you consider the differences between a compact, prosumer, DSLR and a full-format, the sharpness “and” the image-quality with be considerably different.

Poor Filters: Filters often tend to be the bottleneck as far as optics are concerned. A cheap filter fitted over costly optics can be as destructive as a cheap camera, a cheap lens or a combination of both. Invest in high quality filters.

Clean Optics: And while we are talking about lenses and filters, make sure that you have a handy kit to clean the front most glass/filter as and when you require. Here’s a short tutorial on lens cleaning tips and tools.

Small Aperture: The sharpness characteristics of every lens varies by the aperture and generally deprecates at both extremes. While you can do some experiments and tests to figure the sharpness at both ends, generally every good lens has acceptable sharpness through out it’s aperture. Very small apertures, introduce chromatic aberration which kills the sharpness in the picture.

Proper Focus: If the scene itself is not in focus, it will result in a blurry image no matter how good the optics are. So make sure that the scene is focus when you shoot. Also moving subjects can trick the camera to focus on unwanted points in the frame. So make sure you have continuous auto-focus turned on for moving subjects.

ISO: Shooting on high ISOs can introduce color noise in the result which even through post-processing doesn’t allow the recovery of sharpness. Details in a scene are resolved through the optics and the sensor but are lost due to the noise introduced by high ISO levels.

Camera Shake: Camera shake introduces motion blur even on properly focused subjects. And it tends to get worse as the focal length increases — the zoom levels amplify the camera shake too. A good vibration reduction (image stabilization) can take care of this in general conditions.

Mirror Lockup: Mirror Lockup feature lifts up the mirror (present in front of the camera sensor) a fraction of a second before the exposure is to be made. This eliminates motion blur occurring due to the shake caused by the mirror movement.

Tripod: When on shaky grounds, place the camera on a tripod. This comes in very handy for shots that require slow shutter-speed. Tripod is the most effective equipment to reduce motion-blur.

Remote Trigger: Alternatively, in the absence of a tripod place the camera on a stable surface and use a timer or remote trigger to take the shot.

Shutter Speed: A high shutter speed freezes motion. Also shooting at high shutter-speed takes care of the camera shake. So employ this technique to cover up for motion artifacts.

Capture Sharpness (in camera): The period when the camera makes and exposure and collects the image data to the sensor and saves it on to the memory is roughly referred to as the capture phase. Almost all digital cameras are bugged by Bayer Interpolation which kills sharpness. Shooting film is one workaround; some DSLRs featuring Fevon sensors don’t rely on Bayer Interpolation to resolve the image. During the capture phase, the image is captured in three distinct color components viz. red, green and blue. The Bayer filter (the one built into the digital cameras) does this by collecting these three color components at three different physical points whereas the Faevon sensor does this by collecting these color components in three different step albeit from the same physical point.To cut the long story short, shooting RAW avoids interpolation until the image is opened using the RAW software. This allows finer control over sharpness (and maybe improved algorithms depending on the software version). When shooting JPG, this is done in camera, and thus if your sharpness setting is low, details lost can never be recovered but only simulated.

Post Processing: Now that all has been accounted for, and you zoom the image to 100% only to find it still unsharp, don’t lose heart. All images require some final touches including some sharpness adjustments. Also referred to as output sharpening, this relies on applying some finishing touches to boost or enhance the sharpness effect. All those sharp images you see in the magazines and adverts elsewhere are post-processes almost always. So, launch your image-editor and fine-tune the sharpness to your liking, keeping in mind to avoid over-sharpening.

Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com

January 14, 2011

Forget Resolution and ISO

Resolution and ISO are silly numbers used to try to sell you more expensive cameras.

Resolution, expressed in megapixels, is no longer relevant. Forget it when comparing cameras. I've made great 12 x 18" (30x45cm) prints from a 3MP camera and 40x60" (100x 150cm) prints from a 6MP camera. 6 Megapixels is all anyone needs for anything, and every camera here has two or three times that.
Resolution is nothing more than a sales pitch to get you to pay more.

Now that every camera has double-digit megapixels, camera makers invented another meaningless number they can use to extract more cash from the innocent, called ISO.
ISO is a rough measure of sensitivity to low light. It only matters if you shoot in the dark, and then shoot without flash. As soon as your flash pops up, the higher ISOs aren't used anyway. Even if you learn how to use the higher ISO settings of your camera (few people do), there isn't much difference between cameras of the same type and era, regardless of cost. All the higher ISO settings do is make the picture look grainier, and the cameras that sport the highest ISO settings look horrible at those settings!

This said, DSLRs are a zillion times better in the dark than point-and shoots, and the newest point-and-shoots like the Canon S95 are superb for use at night without flash as well.

Don't buy a camera because a salesman tries to smoke you with gibberish like megapixels or ISOs. They have nothing more to do with a camera's quality than the number of spot-welds used to assemble your car
These things are easy to measure, which is irrelevant because the factors that really matter don't have numbers attached to them.

Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com

January 13, 2011

Tips for shooting action shots with a digital camera

Pudge Rodriguez in 2009, with the New York Yankees by Vinent Rush

Do you find it a problem to shoot great sports action shots? Whether you are shooting pictures of a soccer match, Major League Baseball, or a fast moving car, you may find it a great challenge to produce nice sports pictures of these subjects. In fact, the first thing you’ll realize is that "Point and Shoot" digital Cameras are bad for action shots. That is why first time users, new to digital photography often gripe about how lousy their action shots turn out.

This article will give you some tips for Sports Photography and shooting action shots with a digital camera. Apply these tips and I’m sure you have a better chance of getting a nice action shot.

1. Shutter Lag

One of the major reasons why a "Point and Shoot" digital camera cannot shoot nice action photography is due to shutter lag. On many digital cameras, when you press the shutter button, it may take an entire second before the photo is taken. A traditional, analogue 35mm camera can take the picture within 50 milliseconds. There is a world of difference between 1 second and 50 milliseconds.

What this means is that you need to compensate for shutter lag when shooting action shots. Give extra time when framing your shot, so that when you depress the shutter button, the photo will get taken at precisely the right time. Another option, of course, if to get a higher end camera which offers less shutter lag like a DLSR, Nikon D7000 or better.

2. Take Control Shots

Another factor influencing action photography is the shutter speed of your camera. If your camera allows a very fast shutter speed (say up to 1/8000 of a second), you can easily capture fast motion. If it only supports a slower shutter speed (say 1/640 of a second), then you won’t be able to capture such fast motion. One way to capture motion with a slow shutter speed is to use the panning technique. When you next shoot a fast action shot, try following through with the subject. Track the subject, shoot the picture, then continue moving the camera. If you practise long enough, you’ll be able to get a sharp subject with a blurred background – which is a nice effect. Try to keep depth of field in mind as well. The higher the shutter speed, the shallower the depth. When I am shooting sports photography, I like to try to keep my depth of field at 4.5-5.6. This gives me much sharper images. I rarely shoot higher than 1/1600th of a second.

3. Camera Write Times

The write time of the camera is also important when shooting action shots. Some cameras will chug away to store a picture in memory each time you press the shutter button. This, of course, is terrible for capturing action. One way around this is to ensure that your camera supports continuous shots. This way, the camera takes a fixed number of shots, before writing them all to memory at once.

We all know action photography is exciting and very interesting if the pictures are taken well. However, action shots pose a great challenge, especially to novice photographers. Do keep the above tips in mind the next time you take such shots, and I’m sure your results will be better.

Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com

January 12, 2011

Travel Photography — Are You Really Making The Most Out Of It?

Polaris Snowmobile Action Photography in West Yellowstone by Vincent Rush

Taking pictures while you travel can be a memorable experience. As time goes by, the memories of the trip fade but the pictures keep few memories alive forever. You can make these memorable moments better if you prepare well in advance for one important part of your trip: that is photography. What do you need to keep in mind?

Getting the right photography gear

Camera: A photographer on the go needs to be very careful about his/ her gear. Make sure you carry digital SLRs and Digital cameras. Avoid film cameras as many of my friends got their films spoiled during screening at the airport. If you are carrying a DSLR camera, make sure you also carry a compact digital camera with you. You will realize during the trip that you can’t take your bulky DLSR everywhere. Compact Digital camera comes in handy in such places and keeps those wonderful moments alive in your memories.

Lens: Make sure you carry a less bulky, normal use lens (like 18-55mm) for the normal trip. You may also like to carry one zoom lens (like 100-400mm) if in case you need it. I would recommend you carry something like a sigma 18-200mm lens or a 24-105L lens which will give you a good range in a single lens and will reduce the need of carrying two lenses which increases your baggage.

Batteries: This is one key element which can ruin your travel photography. Make sure you have fully charged batteries. Also, keep backup batteries for all the equipment you are carrying. You may also want to carry proper charging equipments to charge the batteries whenever you need.

Tripod: You may want to carry a good quality tripod, may be not very bulky but sturdy enough to hold your camera against wind. Don’t forget you have invested good amount of money in your camera. Tripod also comes in handy if you want to use the self-timer for a memorable group picture.

Weather: You must have checked the weather reports of the place you are going to. Did you actually think how weather can actually pose a problem in your photography? Make sure you carry water proof casing and the right bags for the equipments to keep them safe from any such situations.

Photographing people and places

When you travel you often meet people form different cultures and speaking different languages. It’s always a good experience and you would definitely want to capture such moments to remember for a long time. There are a few things you need to remember while capturing people and their personal places. Let’s have a look:

Security: With the news reports of tourists being attacked and other such stuff, make sure you do not carry expensive equipments in isolated places. You may not want someone to take your priced camera and lens from you. Also, take care of the local security norms. Do not carry or use equipments where photography is prohibited.

Cultural Issues: Check out the local customs. There are places where photographing other people can be a real problem especially women. In certain parts of the world taking pictures of women can land you in great trouble.

Capture environment: This is the interesting and the positive part. When traveling make sure you take landscape picture, long shots, aerial shots and with great DOF. Why? Well, capturing one person or small area will not give you the right feel of the environment you are experiencing. You can always debate on this. But such pictures will always remind you of the feel you had in such places and what you experienced.

Capturing people: Capture people in action when they are not aware of your presence. Is it contradicting from my previous point? Well, if you have checked the local customs you will know how much risk you can take. But make sure you walk up to the person and explain why you took that picture without their notice because you wanted it to come natural.

Document your trip

Make sure you keep a note of the all the places you visited and what picture was taken in what circumstances. You’ll want to thank me later.

So, pack your bags and get going… Do put down your experiences to share when you come back…

Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com

January 9, 2011

9 Tips — How To Shoot Against The Sun

Camden, Ohio Back Roads by Vincent Rush

Shooting into the light has always been a challenging task. Whenever we capture any subject against the light.It shows up dark (high contrast) and when we shoot portraits, it gives the squint factor. There are 9 tips to alleviate some of the issues while shooting into the light.

Safety comes first: Practice caution when shooting into the sun since the sun can burn your camera sensor and/or cause eye-damage if allowed through the lens for long durations (more than a few seconds).

Use a small aperture: A small aperture reduce the size of light source and helps avoid blowing the highlights. A small aperture gives you the starlight effect which shows up beautifully against the subject.

Use Sun Flares: While sun flares are avoided most of the times, creative use of sun flares can render a dreamy look to the entire scene especially the portraits.

Strong artificial light: A smaller aperture necessitates the use of extra lights. This helps compensate for the low light, to control the shadows and also to reduce the contrast in the entire scene.

Shoot in the magic light: It is always recommended to shoot in the soft, angular light of the sunrise or sunset rather than the harsh, bright light of the afternoon sun. Also shooting during the main part of the day can pose limitations to the composition and perspective since the sun is high up in the sky. Magic light (when sunrise /sunset) is one of the best time to shoot against the sun.

Use of GND filter: Use a GND (Graduated Neutral Density) filter which allows you to tone down brighter areas of the composition and help balance the overall light in the scene.

Use of Light Meter: The old adage “prevention is better than cure” fits this scenario. You can’t compensate or correct bad light during post-processing. So measure and correct the light during the shoot.

Use of Reflector: Use a reflector to avoid underexposing the main subject and reflect some light on the face of the subject to control the shadows.

Post-processing: Last but not the least, feel free to toy around with the image during the post-production to fine-tune the desired effect. With the new image editors the possibilities are countless.

Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com

January 5, 2011

SEO Tips for Photographers

A Rod goes deep against Detroit by Cincinnati Sports Photographer Vincent Rush

Looking to boost your Google juice? Today’s guest blogger is Bill Nixon, the founder and principle of Smart Cabbage SEO for Photographers, a search engine optimization firm specializing in helping small businesses get ranked in the organic search results of Google, Yahoo and Bing. He gives all aspiring photographers an in-depth look at how to get your site noticed so clients can find you.

How to make the biggest impact on your website’s search engine rankings

You wake up on a Tuesday morning and open your email. The typical stuff is there. One company is having a sale, your airline miles statement has arrived and there’s that newsletter that you never read.

Oh but what’s this? There are two other emails that are unread. Last night while you slept, two potential clients contacted you through your website contact form. Two people searched for a photographer in your city, found your site, liked what they saw and contacted you. Does this happen to you yet? If not, read on….

Did you know that in every mid-sized to large city in the US, there are thousands of monthly searches for photographers? Put yourself in the searcher’s shoes. If you were looking for a photographer in your area, you would probably search for something like “Atlanta Photographers,” for example.

Using the Google Keyword Tool, we can figure out that there are almost 10,000 people each month that search for the term “Atlanta Photographers.” How many of those 10,000 people saw your website in the number one, two or three position? If you aren’t ranked in the top three then the answer is none of them.
We know from our research that if 10,000 people search for something, 5,000 will click on the website in position number one, 3,000 will click on the site in position number two, and 2,000 will click on the site in position number three. We also know that we will average somewhere between .05% – 1% rate of response. Thus, if we are in position number one for that search term, then we will receive about 25-50 monthly contact forms because of our ranking.
Without getting into closing ratios, let’s just say that it helps a lot to have 25-50 people contacting you each and every month asking for your services.
Two factors of SEO – On-site SEO & Off-site SEO

Search Engine Optimization is broken into two categories: on-site SEO and off-site SEO. On-site SEO is what you do on your website to optimize the chances that you get indexed by the search engines. Here is a quick run-down of the things you can do on SmugMug to increase your on-site SEO.

•Homepage meta description and meta keywords – Find these in your Control Panel’s Settings tab on the Search Engine line. This will show up in various ways in your search engine listings.

•Name/Keyword your galleries – If you want to increase your rankings for “Cincinnati Photographers” or Dayton Photographers" for example, you would need to put that exact keyword phrase in your title, description and keyword boxes on SmugMug.
•Caption your images – Each image has the ability to add a caption. This caption, combined with the keywords, title and description above will be picked up by Google in their search engines.

•Add Google Analytics – You can’t know how your SEO efforts are doing unless you are able to track your results. Google Analytics allows you to track your results. You can add your Analytics ID in the “Settings” section on your SmugMug control panel. You can find more information in the SmugMug help files here.

Off-site factors make more impact than on-site factors

Off-site factors of SEO make a way bigger impact on your rankings than any of your on-site work. Both are important, but a full 95% of your ranking increases will be because of off-site factors.

What are off-site factors?

Without getting too deep in the history of search engine rankings and how they have evolved over the past ten years, off-site factors gained their strength due to the high amounts of Search Engine SPAM that occurred to try and game the system.
Unscrupulous website owners would stuff keywords into their sites, make keywords the same color as the background of their site or make them in a 1pt. font size to try to hide them from humans and meet the search engines’ algorithm.
The search engines got wise to their tricks and figured out a way to get accurate and relevant results with off-site factors.
What are “off-site” factors?

Off-site factors are quite simply the links that point back to your website from other websites, the theme relevancy and the quality of those links. Now, don’t stop reading here and go out searching for a link building company. You may find one, but you will never be successful without the right linking campaign.

Links can be broken up into five different categories: voting, reciprocal, blog, content, authority. These may not be “official” categories but they are the categories we use when we are creating linking campaigns for our clients.
Each has its place in an SEO campaign, but some inbound links are much more effective than others in boosting your rankings.
Here is a breakdown of the different types of links that can point to your site.

•Voting Links: These are links from directories or other sites that carry a very low Google Page Rank. If a page contains more than 25-30 outbound links, that page will have very, very little effect on your search engine rankings. (if any) However, they are important in creating a theme-base for your site.

•Reciprocal Links: This is when you place a link from your site to another site in exchange for a link from their site to yours. These links also have very little effect on your search engine rankings, but are similar to “voting links” above in that they can create theme relevancy for your website.

•Blog Links: Blog links come from leaving relevant comments on others’ blogs. The link can be attached to your name as the blog commenter or in the footer of your comment as an html link. In either case, I am not advocating going out and spamming blogs in the hope that you will get links back to your site, but I am saying that if you have something relevant and important as a response, then you can certainly build links back to your site in this way.

•Content Links: Content links happen when other website owners write about you and link to your site. These are the most natural of the link building efforts and certainly have the largest potential to increase your search engine rankings. These also pose one of the biggest challenges to photographers as they don’t know how to get others to write about them. The best way to get content links is to get published on the myriad of blogs on the web that write specifically about photographers and events. Seeking to get published for your work is the single best way to obtain content links. If you are a wedding photographer, for example, a simple search for “wedding blogs” on Google will reveal hundreds of sites where you could submit your work for consideration. (It will also reveal one of our clients in the top five of Google for the search “wedding blogs”)

•Authority Links: In a way, these are “high-powered” content links. Authority links typically come from the highest ranking sites in your category, sites that end in “edu” and high-powered non-profit sites. Getting links from these sites will have the biggest impact on your rankings possible they are also the hardest to obtain.

A quick way to get a ranking boost

Here is a quick way to get a ranking boost on the search engines. Do a search for the keyword phrase(s) that most line up with the ranking campaign you are trying to win for. For example, if you are a photographer in Dayton Ohio, then you might want to win for these three terms:

•Dayton photographers

•Dayton wedding photographer

•photographer in Dayton

Perform a search for each of these terms and create a spreadsheet of the top 10 results from each search. This will bring up 30 different sites.

Visit each of those sites and see if it would be possible to get a link from each one. If they are directory sites, see what it takes to get listed. If they are individually owned photography sites, then see if you can make relevant blog comments on a post or two (no SPAM!)

If you can get links from these sites, then your rankings will increase. As always, I recommend knowing were you rank PRIOR to engaging in this type of campaign so that you can track your progress.

Re-Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com

January 2, 2011

Master The Art Of Action Photography In 8 Easy Steps

Photo shot in West Yellowstone Montana by Sports Action Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio

Carry the right equipment: If you can, carry a wide range zoom lens which will help you in framing your subject.

Use the correct Settings: Set the camera to programmed mode or shutter priority mode. In order to freeze action you will want to be able to choose the shutter speed. 1/250 sec is a good estimate to start with.

Use the right Techniques: There’s more than just freezing the subject. Panning is a wonderful technique which exhibits your expertise as a professional photographer.

Anticipate: Be prepared and anticipate the moment. The more you shoot, the better you’ll get at it. Some of the most spectacular moments are captured only because the photographer used the shutter at the right moment.

Shooting mode: The camera by default shoots one frame every press of the shutter. You may want to set it to shoot in the continuous mode so that it keeps clicking while you keep the shutter release pressed. This way you’ll be able to take more the one shot for the action you want to capture. In the end you’ll always be able to pick the better of those.

Image Format: Shoot in fine JPEG. RAW format creates huge files. This means your card will fill sooner than you expect in the continuous mode. Secondly it also tends to slow down the frame rate because he camera buffer is still occupied before the camera can take the next shot.

Focus Mode: Set the camera to use continuous focus. You may have to dig into the menus to get to this setting. Normally the camera focuses only once when you press the shutter release button halfway. When you use continuous focus and hold down the shutter release button halfway and follow that running guy, the camera will continuously keep the moving subject in focus. Comes in very handy if the subject is changing the distance from the camera (like running towards or away from you).

Action in the Night: Lighting conditions are challenging in the night. Use the high ISO setting. Firing the flash will make sure that the subject is lit only for a fraction of a second even though the shutter speed may be low. This will eventually freeze the subject to a considerable extent since the subject was lit only for a brief moment.

Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com