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September 21, 2017
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Photo – Yellow Flowers

Flowers are blooming, and leaves are starting to change color.

More of my photos at www.JeffColburn.com

Have Fun,
Jeff

Yellow Flower - Plant0438

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September 20, 2017
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Business Tip – Photography Contest

Don’t have photos to promote your business? Let others supply them through a photography contest. Make it clear that the photographers keep the copyright, and that the photos will only be used to promote the contest. Even with these limitations, you can promote the contest for several months, and may even find some images you want to purchase for advertising.

You can see my photos at www.JeffColburn.com

Have Fun,
Jeff

Business Tip - Photography Contests

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September 13, 2017
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Fall Colors 2017

I can’t believe that Fall is just a week away. I can see a small Cottonwood tree from my office, and one third of the leaves are bright yellow. In all fairness, this little tree is strange. It changes color before the other Cottonwoods, and sprouts new leaves before they do too. But there’s nothing wrong with being unique.

Aspens on the Kachina Trail kachinatrail-0098

Aspens on the Kachina Trail kachinatrail-0098

Soon, the reds, yellows, oranges and other colors will be popping up everywhere, so grab your camera and take some great photographs of Mother Nature’s big show.

To help you get the most out of your shooting, I’ve updated my annual list of links about Fall colors and where to find them. Since I live in Arizona, I’ve put together a special section for my state.

As you go to these sites, you will often find many links to other sites. You could easily spend an entire day following link after link, or just go to the main pages I have listed here.

I hope you get some fantastic photographs this year. Feel free to leave a comment with a link to your images of changing colors. I’m sure everyone would love to see them.

Have Fun,
Jeff

Changing colors

Oak leaf in Williams, Arizona

Arizona

Finding Fall Color in Arizona – An About.com site with lots of links to information about changing colors in Arizona.

Fall Colors on the Coconino – This Coconino National Forest site explains why leaves change colors, what trees produce what colors, and hikes to see this wonder of nature.

Fall Colors – Current Forest Information – You can find up-to-date changing color information here.

The Rest Of The Country

Natural History Coverage – California – Lots of links for California’s changing colors.

Natural History Wanderings – Colorado – Plenty of links for Colorado.

Fall Colors – The Great Smokey Mountains – A National Park Service site with detailed information about leaves changing color in the Great Smokey Mountains, as well as hikes and drives to take.

Fall Color Report – Minnesota – Detailed information on where the leaves are changing color in Minnesota.

Fall Color Report – Wisconsin – Detailed information on color changes, and when the colors will peak.

The Foliage Network – This is a list of scenic drives all over the country.

Current Fall Foliage – The Weather Channel has a map of the U.S. showing where the leaves are changing colors by region.

Natural History Wandering – National – A list of links to National, State and Regional tracking sites.

Leef Peepers – Links and phone numbers for fall foliage information for New England, Midwest, Rockies, West and South.

Natural History Wanderings – A long list of links from across the country that track changing colors.

State by State Guide to Fall Foliage – An About.com site with information on changing colors in many states.

Travel Notes – A list of links from various states.

Natural History Wanderings – Webcams and Articles – Webcams, so you can see what’s really happening out there.

Fall Color Webcams – Webcams across the country.

There’s a National Fall Color Hotline too, 1-800-354-4595. Call this number and choose the area of the country you’re interested in and get information on leaf color, scenic drives, peak times for the colors and other fall activities.

Changing Colors

Aspens near Flagstaff, Arizona

Canada

Natural History Wanderings – A list of several sites that track changing colors in Canada.

 

Articles

How To Take Photographs On A Windy Day – This is one of my articles, and it will help you get great photos of Fall colors even if there’s a little breeze, or howling wind, when you arrive at your shooting destination.

Natural History Wanderings – Articles – This page has links to articles that will help you take great photos of the Fall colors.

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September 6, 2017
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Business Tip – Magalog

Magalogs are part magazine and part catalog, and offer a great way to promote a product or service. They’re filled with lots of pictures and articles, so you can really go in-depth and educate your clients about what you offer.

More info on my Article page at www.JeffColburn.com

Have Fun,
Jeff

Business Tip-Magalog

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August 30, 2017
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Business Tip – Minibuk

As I said recently, books are a great marketing tool. But what if you don’t have enough material to fill a book? Simple, write a Minibuk. These are 3.5″ x 5″ books that are between 8 and 88 pages in length. Who couldn’t write an 8 page book?

More tips on my Article page at www.JeffColburn.com

Have Fun,
Jeff

Business Tip-Minibuk

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August 23, 2017
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Comments Off on Business Tip – Magazines

Business Tip – Magazines

Writing and illustrating a magazine article, or just illustrating one, is a great way to have a lot of people see your work. And being associated with the magazine adds legitimacy to you and your business. You may even get paid for the article.

More info on my Article page at www.JeffColburn.com

Have Fun,
Jeff

Business Tip-Magazines

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August 16, 2017
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Business Tip – Books

A book is a good way to promote your business. It will make your company look like an expert in your field. You or an employee could write it, or hire a writer to do it. It doesn’t have to be big, just good and informative. And remember to include a lot of photographs.

More tips at www.JeffColburn.com

Have Fun,
Jeff

Business Tip - Books

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August 9, 2017
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Comments Off on Business Tip – Press Releases

Business Tip – Press Releases

Press releases are a fantastic way to promote your business. Because of them I’ve had magazine and newspaper articles written about me, had a newspaper send a photographer to take my photo to use in an article showing my Fine Art Photographs and had listings in blogs and social networks.

More info on my Articles page at www.JeffColburn.com

Have Fun,
Jeff

business tip - press releases

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August 2, 2017
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Comments Off on Your Imagination Is The Key To Your Success As A Photographer

Your Imagination Is The Key To Your Success As A Photographer

You think the secret to a successful photography business is having great photographs, right? It is, sort of.

You go to the Grand Canyon, see the perfect shot and click away. Now you have that great photo that everyone will love. Actually, you and the thirty people standing behind you who took the same photo have that great shot.

That really happened to me. At one of the viewing areas at the Grand Canyon I worked my way around to the side in a tiny, out of the way spot. Behind me was a rock slope. I took my time and composed the shot just like I wanted. When I was done, I looked at my wife, and she pointed behind me. On that rock slope was a line of 7 people. They were all patiently waiting for me to finish so that, one at a time, they could take the exact same photo. My joy at finding this out of the way vantage point evaporated instantly.

Blazing Tree

Blazing Tree

 

You can see this same thing at art shows. Have you ever gone to an art show where several photographers have tents set up? And as you walk around you see the same photographs at each tent. The same location, shot from the same place, at the same time of day. You literally can’t tell which photographer took which photograph.

Add into the mix all the photos taken with phones, and the chance of a unique nature photo vanishes. Even if you find a unique place to photograph, when people see it in a magazine or online, they all flock to that location to take their own photograph of the same place.

I read about one photographer who had images of the Subway at Zion National Park published. The first few times he went to that spot, he was alone. But over the next year, pictures of the Subway started showing up in several places. He returned to the location to find lines of people waiting to take the same photo as his original one. The only way he could be there alone, and get a unique photo, was to hike for hours in the winter, through knee deep snow.

Anticipating Journey's End

Anticipating Journey’s End

Photographs of nature, buildings, portraits and almost everything else are easily copied by others. So what’s a photographer to do? Simple, use the one unique tool you have that no other person has, your imagination.

The only thing that separates you from all the other photographers out there is your unique style of creativity.

Your imagination can create unique images, like:

All of these photographers create a look or style that makes their work instantly recognizable, and incredibly interesting. And if anyone does try to copy them, people will know who created this style first. And nobody likes a copycat.

When I create a new limited edition print, I first come up with an idea. Then I think about it for weeks, or months. During that time, I come up with things to add or tweak that will make the photograph unique and complete. I don’t want to create an image, and when I’m done say, “I should have done this or added that.”

The Monolith at the Grand Canyon

The Monolith at the Grand Canyon

While I’m thinking about the image, I also gather any props, graphic brushes or other pieces I’ll need to turn the image that’s in my head into reality. Ninety percent of the time, the image turns out just like I wanted, and I love it. The other ten percent of the time it just doesn’t work. It may look exactly like I want it to, but I’m just not happy with it. And that is fine. You can learn a lot from failure and art is, after all, an experiment. If something doesn’t turn out like you expected, let it go and move on to your next project.

What I usually do when I come up with an idea is:

  • Think of ways to make it more unique.
  • Find little things I can add that will really make it complete.
  • Push the image to the edge, and beyond, to make it even more special than anything I originally thought of.

You can exercise and develop your imagination in several ways. Wherever you are right now, find something that is at arm’s length. It could be a walnut, paperclip, water bottle, pencil, floor lamp or anything else, big or small. Looking at this item, think about using it as the main subject of a photograph:

  • How would you light it?
  • What props and background would work with this? Would you use something to complement it or be in contrast with it?
  • Thinking of all the images you’ve seen of this item, how could you make it look different?
  • What emotion do you want the viewer to experience? How will you force this reaction into the photo?

Don’t always go with your first idea. Think about it. How can you make it even more special?

Doorway To Enlightenment

Doorway To Enlightenment

Put your mark on your work and be different than everyone else.

Taking pictures is easy, everyone does it. Creating photographs is a whole different matter. Create photographs, and let the world see your uniqueness and creativity.

Have Fun,
Jeff

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July 26, 2017
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Comments Off on Business Tip – Newsletter

Business Tip – Newsletter

Newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with your clients. But keep them short, people are busy. You can have a short paragraph for each topic with a link to your site for the full article. This will also get them on your site. Depending on your business and clients, send them out weekly, monthly or quarterly. Don’t flood your client’s New Mail folder or they will unsubscribe.

More info on my Articles page at www.JeffColburn.com

Have Fun,
Jeff

Business Tip - Newsletter

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