2013 Blog In Review By Wordpress Crew

I opened my inbox to find that the good folks at Wordpress had made a cool graphic report on stats about my blog for 2013.  Awe, how sweet of them, right?  A brief summary is I got 8,500 unique visits this year, mostly American, British, and Canadian visitors that mostly read articles about Instagram, Featured Photographers Series, and Technical Posts. If you want to check it out for yourself, it's linked below.

Keep It Snappy-


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

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Click here to see the complete report.

The Social-Matic : New Polaroid Digital Camera That Prints From the Camera

Yes folks, not only is it a 14 mp camera, it has wi-fi/bluetooth to upload to social networks (mostly Instagram since the camera is a ripoff design of their logo).  As you would expect from a polaroid camera, your images can also be printed 2x3 inch images using zink technology (zero ink - zink - get it). This is done using embedded crystals in the paper that can be heated by the camera to produce the RGB color space and ultimately all of our wonderful food snaps and selfies.  I can't wait to get my hands on one . . . I'm practicing on my iPhone until then. Official Website: http://www.social-matic.com

03_Socialmatic_041 03_Socialmatic_051 instagram-socialmatic-camera-3


All images from: Instagrammers.com

Dom from Macmixing.com did this awesome video interview at CES 2014:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNdZwpt2sK0&w=560&h=315]


Here is Polaroids concept video to get people excited.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kB02RAM6po&w=420&h=315]


I think it fails because its like it is trying to introduce a new Mac Pro, rather than a the cute little camera that they are trying to sell, what do you think?

Here is said video of the Mac Pro:


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQl2FjaKCAQ&w=560&h=315]


SNAP! Did I call it or what.  If you are not at work, or there are no people around to annoy, you should play both videos at the same time . . . it will make you laugh or at least smile.

Keep It Fun People-



Fotovisura Grant 2014 Opportunity

fotovisura-grant-logo-2014 Yesterday - FotoVisura reached out to me to help spread the word about their 2014 Grant Submissions for all of you talented and ambitious photographers out there.  Here is the info:

FotoVisura - An International Self-Publishing Community and Resource for Art and Documentary Photography - is pleased to announce our 2014 Grant for Outstanding Personal Photography Project. Divided into two categories (Grant & Student Grant), this opportunity is designed to highlight and support personal photography projects and encourage the production and development of photography outside of the commercial realm. The Grant is a key element in our mission to develop publishing tools and creative growth for photographers as well as create a public archive for editors, curators, and lovers of photography alike.


Last years winners:

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Good Luck to all of you that submit. - C

My SPE Teaching Experience

A few weekends ago, I had the honor of being invited to teach a photographic workshop at the SPE West at Humboldt State University.  I had a lot of fun teaching digital negative to silver gelatin to a group of enthusiastic fellow teachers and a few art students.  It was a lot to cover in a short amount of time, but I was reminded of why I like teaching, that genuine excitement of learning about photography that can be sparked in both young and old eyes.  It was well worth the 600+ miles of driving done in a 48hr period.  A big thank you to SPE for having me! SPE_post

Sally Mann: Thoughts on Instagram

Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 7.41.21 PMScreen Shot 2013-08-13 at 7.41.42 PM American Photo did an interview in October of 2012 with Sally Mann.  What is she up to through thoughts on the state of modern photography including Instagram.  Interesting if you like her. Above are some of her tintype self portraits.  If you are inspired by her work, I am teaching a tintype in camera workshop this starting this Saturday at Rayko Photo Center, SF.


Keep'n it Classy,


Cheap Ways of Getting Good Sound From Your DSLR Video

Recently, I have been working on a lot of video projects and sound tends to be a huge issue.  ROAR, RUMBLE, and HISS all culprits in that arena! I have been trying a bunch of different microphones, multi captures, and software editing.  This is probably one of many installments to come of working with audio with your DSLR footage. With this post, lets keep it cheap cause all of you should be spending money on lenses instead of microphones.

The NPPA has some great cheap solutions that professional and upcoming journalists use.  Read and watch their video by clicking the banner below.



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The Photo Video Show also has this awesome video tutorial on just using iphone headphones to capture sound which I tried and works amazingly well!  Click the banner below for that.

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Yes, you do need Final Cut Pro X to edit and Sync your Audio, but if you are making videos, you should be using FCPX or Adobe Premier Pro anywayayayaya - ye!

Have fun! - Carlos




Class Completed: Digital Negative to Silver Gelatin

Just finished teaching a group of enthusiastic students how to take their digital images and print them as traditional darkroom silver gelatin prints.  It was a lot of fun! It will be offered again at Rayko Photo Center, San Francisco.  Look out for it!  On a related note, I am now working on a compensation curve that will allow crazy people like me to print Mural Size silver gelatin prints from low res digital capture or really dense negs. Currently trouble shooting it with Luis Mendoza (his image below). Oh possibilities.



You down with QPT, yeah you know me!

Ok, some of you out there don't know what a QPT is.  A QPT is a new series of postings that will give you Quick Photoshop Tips.  Get it.  So lets get rolling. 1. For beginners who cant read the small font that photoshop presents us with (tiny tiny panels), you can make the font size bigger.  This is also a major comfort necessity if you are on a laptop.

Go to General > Preferences >  Interface, and the bottom you have the choice of Small (default), Medium, and Big.  When you make the change, you have to restart photoshop to see it in action.

Here is what they look like small to big:


Clearly, everyone should just choose big!  I know, where is the wow factor in this tip. But you know what they say, "it's the little things in life."

- C -

Student + Instructor Show at Rayko Photo Center

Student Instructor ShowAs many of you know, I am a photography/print making instructor at Rayko Photo Center, San Francisco.  I am pleased to announce that Rayko is currently having a Student/Teacher show which highlights work made by each party.  My piece is titled Obstacles and it is a 4"x5" Tintype.  I'm more proud of what my students made . . . Kaden K. has a few tintypes, John F. has a wonderful digital print, Dave S. has a Platinum Palladium Print, as well as many more.  Please stop by and see the great work! Happy Viewing - C -

NOTE: Rayko is currently closed until January 2, but the show will be up until the 11th.

I'm searching for new glasses and found this funny video.

Screen Shot 2012-12-13 at 12.55.24 PM



The photographer in the video is a real photographer named Noah Kalina, and reached internet fame a few years ago for the video below.



His photography website here if your curious: http://www.noahkalina.com

Here are some of my favorites:

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I like this too:

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Next time you consider new glasses, consider Warby Parker.


Photographers Quotes: Man Ray

I haven't done this in a while and it is actually one of the most read postings series I have.  So back to it. Today, I'm celebrating one of my favorite artist. Man Ray. My Favorite Quotes by Man Ray:

A creator needs only one enthusiast to justify him. 

All critics should be assassinated.

To create is divine, to reproduce is human. 

His Memorable Self Portrait has all his trademarks, sinister, surreal, and the bare body, with a touch of the absurd:


Description of the Man From Wikipedia: "Ray's work was not appreciated during his lifetime, with the exception of his fashion and portrait photography"

Man Ray (born Emmanuel Radnitzky, August 27, 1890 – November 18, 1976) was an American modernist artist who spent most of his career in ParisFrance. He was a significant contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal. He produced major works in a variety of media but considered himself a painter above all. He was best known in the art world for hisavant-garde photography, and he was a renowned fashion and portrait photographer. Ray is also noted for his work with photograms, which he called "rayographs" in reference to himself.[1]

Ray's work was not appreciated during his lifetime, with the exception of his fashion and portrait photography; especially in his nativeUnited States. Nevertheless, his reputation has grown steadily in the decades since.

I love, love, love all his work, but here are my current favorites (yes #2 is a photographic portrait of Dali):

1989.55.12 001



Last Words:

One of the satisfactions of a genius is his will-power and obstinacy - Man Ray

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Want more visit: http://www.manraytrust.com

Year in Photos: Music Edition - Courtesy of Pitchfork!

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.30.36 PM Everyone knows I am an avid music fan, and pitchfork.com is one of the best music resource websites when it comes to new yet accessible music that is more interesting than what iTunes recommends.  They just put up their year in photos of the hottest bands of the year.  Below are my favorite bands from the crop, but you should check out the other bands and images as well to see what makes for great concert photos.


Glass Candy

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Must have iPhone Photography App: KitCam

kitcam I'm starting a new series of posts that highlight and/or review iphone photography apps.  To start this party right, lets talk about a brand new app called KitCam ($1.99). Yes, it gives you plenty of awesome retro photo effects, color skews, light leaks, and frame choices, and as impressive as those things might be, there are lots of other reasons for getting this app.

Top 3 things I love that aren't obvious:

1. Seamless integration with PhotoForge2 ($3.99) which is one of the best photo editing apps (think of it as photoshop on your phone.)

2. Live editing of Exposure and White Balance! - Yes, as you see your image on the screen, if it is too bright or dark, you can change the exposure using a slider before you take the image.  The same goes with the white balance, adjust while in the midst of shooting.

3. All effects, retro, blurs, etc. and all editing changes before exposure can be live previewed and shot when doing video also.

Additional amazing features:

Advanced Meta Data, Easy Sharing Options, and Non Destructive Editing:



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The above statement is actually fantastically done in KitCam.  For example, if you apply retro effects to the image before taking the photo, then decide you don't want it, you can remove it afterwards, and better yet, switch it up to a different effect as well.

For further reasons to buy the app, visit the companies website: http://kitcamapp.com


1. Buying for retro effects costs more money.

2. Cannot load an image from a previously taken photo into CamKit, but the developer says it is coming.

If you have any questions about the app, feel free to ask in the comments section.


Black Friday Almost Over!

Thank god Black Friday is almost over.  I'm pretty sure it is called that because some crazy satan worshiping goth person invented this shopping experience from hell.  Anyway, I'm sure your all shopped out, but just in case you wanted one last great deal, Adobe has discounted Lightroom 4.  Yep, if you have been waiting to get it, today is the best time as it is 50% off from 149.00 to 79.00 (which is the price I think it should forever stay).  You can get it at Amazon, adobe.com, and any big box retailer.

here is the direct link: Lightroom on Amazon.com 

Real Life Photo Quotes

Describing my real life conversations within the photo community. Woman:  Excuse me, do you work here (photo center)?

Me: Yep, how can I help you?

Woman: Yeah, I was printing in the darkroom and I left behind my Incense and sunglasses in there yesterday.

Me: Hmmm, lets check.  (walking) Your sunglasses are here, but no incense.

Woman: Oh yeah, I just remembered that I used it all . . .

Me: (head scratch) well at least we found your sunglasses.

Woman: Yeah, I can't print (in the darkroom) without them.

Me: (still confused)

More Cowbell = Better Photos

Borrowlenses.com, a Rayko Photo Center partner, is a great service that offers high end equipment at reasonable rental prices.  I use them quite a bit, and always recommend them to my students.  Here are two things you didn't know: 1. More Cowbell is the secret to better photos, and yes can rent it from them:


2. If you type:  rayko  into the promo code area, you get 5% off your rental.

Have Fun Out There

- C -