Posts Tagged ‘(c) Photographers who want Tips’

About the Reviews

I am doing these reviews to be of an added benefit to the many photographers that are following me on Google+ and as well as to the regular readers of this blog.

I am writing my posts not simply to the maker of the image but in a fully educational format with tips and concepts that will apply to all.

If there is sufficient response to this set of reviews I will open up another submission phase and do another set of reviews.

I assume there will be as this time I have 17 items submitted on Google+ and many of them seemed very interested, excited and sincere.

They did it by including the phrase Real Reviews Welcomed +Scott jarvie

My reviews are long and in depth looks into the pictures… I don’t simply say you should have done this or that… but I also say having taken the picture as you did you could make the following changes.

Yes I did two extra reviews that I promised… and I’m probably hurting on time because of that. Next time I might do less. But I do want more submitted… because it’s fun.
I didn’t look at any of the reviews that other people might have wrote on the pictures prior to me… except in the sunset picture.


I spent a long time writing these dang reviews… and life needs to continue now… so if you have a problem with grammar or spelling, don’t read my review. Seriously… don’t. You don’t deserve my insights if you’re just gonna get distracted by my faults. I really do need to move along. If someone privately wants to rewrite and send me the rendition, while 100% maintaining my personality in the writing… go ahead I’ll fix it up.

Image #1

By Janqi Oo – From kampar,malaysia


“Shot this during a cub prix in my hometown.”

My Review

Well first off it’s awesome that you have the red biker in the front; certainly the most photogenic of the bunch. Had it been switched up I think the red biker might have been a distraction in the background.

I also love the colors and textures found throughout the picture, specially the textures.

Wasted space on the left. While I can appreciate not cropping into the honda logo on the left it doesn’t help the image, so as long as you’re not shooting for Honda I’d come in. If you were reshooting I would have not given him so much space on the left but since it’s said and done what you can do now is crop… maybe move it over to right after that honda sign.

Also another cropping problem is that the bike did not receive a proper border underneath. You need at least a tad bit more space under that wheel.

A small item to consider that can be easily be cleared up is the white painting in the bottom right. Yes there’s lots of painting on the ground in the picture, but this one is the most in focus, furthest forward and the brightest meaning it will be the most likely to garner attention. It is very easy to clone/heal that out; even in lightroom.

And one last thing about the picture. As much as I like the image… it just isn’t terribly exciting sad to say. Catching them on a turn when they’re laying low to the ground or doing something awesome would have spiced it up.

But as it stands with the background and the moment you’ve been given it did well.

Image #2

By Ugo Cei from Pavia, Italy

This Picture

“On my way home from a business trip, I decide to take a detour along the coast. It’s the end of May and I know the sun will stay up till late in the evening.
After a few kilometers of twisting, narrow roads, I arrive in Vernazza, where I easily find a parking spot (had it been July or August, this would have been impossible).
I cross the small town and head up on the steep rocky trail that leads to Monterosso. When I reach the highest point on the trail from which the town below is still visible, I am completely covered in sweat. I find a space to place my tripod, secure my camera to it, with polarizing filter, and catch the last rays of the sun hitting the town as it sets behind the mountain at my back.
Later, I precariously climb down the slope until I come to another point I had previously spotted. There, I wait for the sky and the sea to turn a deep cobalt blue and the town to light up for the night. I take a few more shots, climb down the last steps in almost total darkness and head back to my car.

Nikon D90, Nikkor AF-S 18-105mm @18mm, f/5.6, 2.0s, 200 ISO.”

A quick word

I was excited to review this one because I am a self professed Italio-phile (meaning I love all things Italian) I really want to go back to Cinque Terra … I haven’t been there since 2004 when I wasn’t so awesome at photography.

The subject sits there, specially in travel photography, we see and we take… we don’t pose the buildings. What do we have the most control of in a picture? We can change our exposures, but even still the light is given from above. We do get to choose our framing.

When I look at images from photographers I gravitate first to what framing did they select, what borders around the main subject did they give. Did they seem to get it by mistake or get it from a solid eye for what they’re doing.

My Review

I love the colors, I love the time of night it was taken. He mentions it was twilight.

He must have had a tripod to shoot at 2seconds length or propped it up against something.

The dark blues and the streetlights are awesome.

I love the perspective he chose… from above.

If I were to take the picture as it is and work on it I’d say at least put those leading lines in the corners.

You already have one coming from a corner in the bottom left but how about cropping it in a bit on the bottom right and heck you’re already soooo close in the top left might as well just move it down a little bit.

For me the weak part of this image is the sky… compared to the dark blues below the sky just can’t compete… it seems to detract from the main scene ever so slightly.

I hesitate to just say crop it all out because then we’ll loose that leading line that of the hill coming right from that corner. I hesitate… but I’d do it.

Show this city with it’s only backdrop being the water. However there is another problem The top of that building in the distance is just a bit too close to the horizon line… if only it were to have just a tad more space.

A Solution for everything: If we revisited the past… we would have shot from a higher angle. It solves so many things. You don’t get the sky in there and there’s also more room above the top building and you can still get all 3 of those things in the corners as effect leading lines from the corners. AND you avoid those bushes from interfering as much.

Yes the bushes are in the way, I don’t mind them being in the picture … but they are covering boats and part of the most dynamic portion of of the scene.

Other things to have tried were longer shutter speeds for a smoother water… but the problem is the boats would move and not be as sharp. Also it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if a circular polorizer was used… to get a glimpse a bit further into the water. Not saying I’m for sure it would have been better… just saying I would like to see what would have happened.

In the end obviously an awesome picture… and I can’t wait to make my way back there. We’ll hang out there right Ugo?

Image #3


During the 10 day bootcamp for photography I took the interns on assignment.

We went to meet with my clients at abravanel hall where we’d be shooting 2 days the next week for headshots for the symphony.
We needed to find a great location for the pictures… and I like showing how to use different locations to their full potential.

So we brought along 2 models and here is one of them.

(Above) The use of the brick wall in the background with special care of how to make sure the railing doesn’t become a distraction. One from down low another having her go a story above us.

(above) This is the backdrop that we went with for the headshots of the symphony members. The gold walls in abravanel hall.

We also did some pictures outside for a bit.

We enlisted the help of Morgan for a location search workshop. Inside and out of Abravanel Hall.

We practiced finding and using a small area for taking pictures. Being able to talk about why some spots were better than others.

(Below) this was also part of a walk through for pictures I would take the next week for the Utah Symphony. We showed them the options they had for locations.



I’m in this mode of giving so far this year.

I’ve been giving away that which I have lots of … Pictures. So I’ve been turning it into a game on my facebook fan page. Mainly a lot of guessing games.

Here’s a big one and it’s a prize that doesn’t go to just one person. But to the first 15-20 ppl that make it happen.

Blogger Mom

I know sometimes you people laugh when they’re applying the title of soccer mom or now days blogger mom. I’m not a mom, I’ve never even been married and my own mom doesn’t even have a blog (she does have facebook)

I believe strongly in:

  • family
  • memories
  • art
  • photography
  • developing relationships



You’ll have to excuse the many people in my profession that sometimes give you a bad rap or just don’t understand.

You want the best pictures that portray the best memories that which you can put on your wall and be proud of and stir up the best emotions.

There’s many reasons you get your cameras out yourselves, and I support them.

There’s many reasons you buy a nice camera like mine, and I support them.

Because you do, you find yourselves taking pictures for other people, and I understand how and why.

Now I know what my work with photography, specially in the area of Family Lifestyle and portraits is able to do.

But I know that I can’t be there all the time with every amazing thing that happens in the family.

But you will be there!

So document it… and then try to get always better at that documenting.


I’ve taught lots of photographers wanting to get better at photography and probably a majority of them wanting to turn it into a career.

This next class I want to be for you guys… the ones documenting the lives of your own families.

Photography is very very expensive and so can good classes be pretty expensive.

But this should be free.

The Class

I am going to be gone much of the last part of the month and again in February. So I should do this soon.

Jan 13th – 7:00 (because your spouse should be home by then and we can do a 90 minute class and get you home so you are in bed early enough to get up when they get up)

SUBJECT: All the basics you need to know about taking a good picture, for instance what a good picture should look like.

What to bring: Something to take notes on. Whatever camera big or small.

Posts should be written by lets say Monday Night (Think FHE, heck have your kid write it, if they’re old enough, or youtube them)

This is your first lesson in photography: BE CREATIVE – Think outside the norm

If you follow the options below you are invited. Bring some treats or even real food. It’s gonna be relaxed.

Lehi Utah – Hit me up on FB for the address.

To qualify?

Be a parent who loves taking pictures of your children

Step One:

Write a blog post talking about why photography is important to your family. (If you don’t have a blog I can post a write up for you on mine or you can do it as a FB note)

Subjects to consider for writing.

An important moment in your own life related to photography.

Why photography is an important aspect in the raising of your own children.

Philosophize about the connections of memories and pictures.

What you think these pictures will mean to your kids when they’re older.

Why do you take pictures?

Why do you have pictures taken of your families?

Why do you have family pictures on your wall?


Link back to this post so that others can read about it and have the chance. If it becomes popular I might do it again.


Post a link to your write up in the comment section of this post so I can give you credit for the free class


Of the Many Thoughts

Though I have many many more reasons why I think photography is important, but I’ll hold off on most of them and allow you to be creative and write your own ideas.

However I will say my memory is such that I don’t remember 99% of my childhood. I don’t remember any of the early years until almost 8. And what few memories I have are usually because there is a picture associated with it… so you can understand how it fits me.

What you’re doing in raising your children is so very important, I love seeing great pictures that document the personalities and the memories.
I love taking those pictures though I understand for many families taking their own pictures is the only economic route they know.

If there were 5 of me (without 5 of me to support) I’d be over there in a jiff to take pictures for everyone :)



Background for the Spot

Any given day of the week go to Las Vegas and to this sign which is located on the southern end of the “Las Vegas Strip” and you’ll see hundreds of people show up all through the night (long past midnight) … I’m willing to bet that many days that number goes into the thousands as it’s often large groups.

The parking lot is often full and only southbound traffic can enter into the parking lot. There’s a lot of turn around as people come pretty much for one reason… PICTURES they get their pictures and then jet for their night on the town. Besides there’s always a line behind them so they don’t want to overstay their welcome.

Really how often do you want to be outside for extended periods of time in Las Vegas but late at night. Besides it’s when the sign is lit up and you get to see lights that Las Vegas is known for.

How it went down

I say this all to set up the scene, we arrive late at night after a long long wedding day, they had just made the grand exit from the wedding and we planned to meet in 40 minutes at the sign to take a few more pictures with a distinct Las Vegas feel as she grew up in Vegas we could say it was of the non touristic variety right?

They started with a bunch of energy but it was their wedding day and their energy had primarily all but been spent, so after the sign we went to one other location which was just fine by us all.

I want to talk about the lessons to explore from the moments at the sign.

The sign is a popular place, we already discussed this… i know from seeing everyone stop by, but honestly I’ve actually never seen a wedding picture in front of the sign, so luckily I just got to create whatever I wanted to and it would be unique for me (and probably them)

Everyone stands in the same location when they come up to the sign… so that was the first thing I did… I moved off to the side.

At the end of the post stay tuned because that’s where I do the 13 points recap

2 reasons for standing off to the side (or in a totally different spot)

  • I didn’t want to be limited to the usual time that everyone got with the sign, in fact I encoraged other people to continue business as usual. I wasn’t rushed, the other people weren’t rushed, everyone wins.
  • I also go another distinct angle that I really liked… I also prefer to be back farther away than the typical spot everyone was at… so that the people were slightly larger and more important in the picture and so the sign isn’t too overwhelming in many of the pictures.
  • Oh let’s add a third… where I stood I didn’t have to worry about people in my pictures, we took over our location pretty well, but that was ok because everyone had their spot, we were left to do our thing for the most part… besides let’s be honest… a bride in vegas isn’t necessarily the craziest thing they’ll see that night.


(Above) I’m willing to bet there’s a person right behind them… but no big deal, you can’t see them. That’s my point… the world doesn’t end when someone walks into the background of your pictures. Actually it might force you to try an angle that you wouldn’t have otherwise done.

I’ll throw out a few more observations and lessons along with a few more pictures. Really there’s a ton of lessons to be learned for this short period at the sign but this is what you get for now.




I was recently informed of a write up on a blog – the individual who informed me was offended by some rudeness of it all.
Both Sides

Being a photographer I bet some might not expect me to take the side of someone who is ridiculing photographers. Well in the end I’m not… well I guess i am taking both sides, and hoping to improve on the conversation and hope to make both sides see eye to eye. So if the topic of Temples, LDS standards and Photography intreste you I invite you to read on with an open mind. And perhaps add to and lift our conversation. If not wait for another post tomorrow.

It is very LDS centered in writing so not all may get it. This was never intended to be gotten by all my readership. (I’ll catch you next time)


I don’t have everyone’s email and I’m not friends with everyone on facebook.
So i thought I’d put an update up on the blog and hope y’all see it.

Also so perhaps others can read and learn from how I did things. (Good and bad)




I got to my location at the SW corner of the BYU stadium for the stadium of fire at 8pm and waited 1hr until people started lighting of personal fireworks

The first actual firework went off at 10:18

I’ll be there again this year barring any unforeseen circumstances.


Use bulb mode and usually shoot 2-5 seconds. Shoot manual and have aperture usually f/9-13

Shoot low ISO

And the obvious… have a tripod.

A remote trigger is awesome, one that does bulb mode is superb.
But if not then use a timer and set it to like 2 seconds… a little more annoying :)

almost forgot: a lens that does internal focusing or at least locks or doesn’t creep when shooting a long shot.
Because you will be pointing up.

I usually shoot with a telephoto and focus on shapes.
Mainly because of the location I’m at.
But others tend to do cool foregrounds or backdrops.

The smoke from the fireworks can be your friend but in some cases it might be bad

Oh have a good tripod that won’t creep on you during the 2-5 second shot.

Have lots of battery because long exposure drains batteries.

This is a recap from the pictures I shot last year.

One of the cool things about fireworks is that there is no editing needing to be done on them.
Well except darkening blacks can help in some cases specially with smokey pics







I recently did a workshop at PhotoCamp Utah
We discussed in a short 45 minutes how to increase the effeciency at which we edit.

In preperation for the class I asked 4 other photographers at all ranges of ability to submit their WORKFLOW

Each Day – See and compare

I the next few days I will post each of these workflows.
You will be able to see the differences and similarities.

Submit your own

If you’d like to contribute please write up your workflow and we’ll add it.

We will start with my present workflow.

Scott Jarvie



OK so coming off of a blog post in which I kinda poked at the studio crowd a little.
(All in good fun right?)

Now my thoughts on Model or Senior portrait only photographers.

Last time I think I used the word “Cheating” for studio types 😉
I think i’ll use it again… haha
But this time it’s the cheating that I really really like.
It’s all said in good fun… or is it 😉 Mwahaha

 009_7S27843 003_7S27629

More people More harder
I think we can all admit that the more people you add to a photoshoot typically the harder it gets.
So that being said… shooting one individual is the easiest number.

When they’re the Model types it gets even easier.
I suppose it becomes more about your skills in setting up shots and being creative, than it is about how to interact with the people. (Obviously those elements are still there to a degree)


Case in point: Angela

I did her wedding last year in California.
You may remember her beach bridals

She’s getting into photography so we did a little trip looking for places, training on photography and taking pictures. Full Gallery



Another case
Even more fulfilling was taking pictures for Nichole.
She wasn’t very into it and you’d think she’d be since she’s an actress.
Heck she has the lead role in a play right now.
But she was a bit shy and didn’t quite know what to do.
I kinda had to coerce her into even doing the shoot.
Very different from Angela… and yet the pictures of Nichole were great. They captured her very well.
Who she was and so forth. I’m very happy with it. Full Gallery

Thanks for the fun days to both of you! Enjoy your pictures and show them off!



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The point?
So the point of this all is to say:
Dang!!! Individual portrait sessions are so much easier, specially when they are the fun types, the outgoing and the posers…
I’m not hating on Portrait only photographers… I would do it ALL the time if there were a better market for it all.

Supply and Demand
And there probably is a decent market. But see the thing is every person photography wants to do it, but not everyone wants to do weddings.
The need for individual shoots isn’t very high and the price is pretty low.
It’s understandable… it’s supply and demand.
Meaning not as much demand and yet the supply is huge.
Sure we can focus on it until our quality leads to higher prices.
But i guess I just am too lazy… either that or I do love weddings. The concept and the challenge.

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There are difficulties
There are some things that make individual portraits hard.
For instance if they aren’t good at posing they have no one there to interact with to make them more comfortable. So it’s more sink or swim. Hit or miss.
I can usually tell a couple to interact with eachother… when it’s one person… I can’t do that can I?


Not everyone should nor can do poses like these

In the end

I’m more or less saying I would LOVE to do more of these types of shoots.
So come on down good looking people wanting pictures.
Where are you at? Don’t you just want some fun pictures to put on your blog or facebook?
Get some good pictures for those dating sites… invest in your future, invest in yourself. haha 😉

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First time out to Speed Week out on the Salt Flats.

Not only was this the first time to Speed Week: Known to some as the last true amateur racing competition.

But it was also my first time to the Salt Flats in the 7 years I’ve lived in Utah.
I’ve passed by them on I-80 more than a dozen times… but I’ve never stopped.

It was a fun and interesting experience.
It really is a cultural experience to be around so many speed loving car centered men.
But I did see A girl there and she was even cute.

I went not only to see what it was like but to hang out with a couple of Utah Photographers that were also going for the first time.

My Tips:

Everyone says where sun block (everywhere) – I would agree but I didn’t and was fine. But I was only there 3 hours and that was 6:30am – 9:30am

Get there before 7am. That’s when sunrise is best. 6:30-7:30. Plus they don’t seem to start taking money until 7am. And they also let you go almost anywhere before 7am.

Try out some stuff along the pits and towards the end but the action is happening at the start, so that’s probably where you’ll spend the majority of your time.

There’s a lot of clutter, but the scenery is surreal so if you find an excluded car/bike you’ll be happy.

Talk to people becuase they’re more than willing. (They’re there a week waiting around for a race here and there. it seems to be a place where they come and hang out with like minded people)

And now for the pictures:



I’m in search of the best lightroom article that has never been written.
(As far as I can tell)

Here’s a series of twitter messages I sent out this morning.
I figured it might be important enough to put on the blog since more people view it on a daily basis.

Somewhere out in the tubes there’s an article/blog called: “10 things to do to speed up lightroom” I just can’t find it! Please write one!

In that blog tell me what the fastest computer would be and what tips you suggest about how to run the computer etc…

If I do too many pictures in one catalog am I overburdening things and slowing lightroom down? What’s the magic number?

In fact almost everyone writes about the 10 new features they love in LR2
I would but hundreds of people already did it.
And the article is always called “10 features I love in the new Lightroom 2”

Thomas hawk wrote about the new LR2 features
It’s probably my preferred so far. But seeing how they were all the same I stopped looking at them.

In that Thomas Hawk article Sephen Shankland makes a comment that makes it seem like he knows a bit about speed issues in lightroom. Turns out he has a blog over at CNET

  • This article needs to be by someone who really really knows what they’re talking about.
  • Not written by someone who is simply a user. (Heck I’ve edited tens of thousands of pictures and i’ve noticed trends but I’m certainly not the person to write this because I would only have theories and not solid facts)
  • Base their 10 points on facts and not speculation
  • Give us the perfect setup
    (I have a quad core and that sped up things immensely! But I want more)
  • Going from picture to picture is where the most annoying lag is.
  • In my case I don’t care about the exporting/crunching of images i’m talking about the navigation more so… moving from grid to develope and from picture to picture or applying the edits.

Some lightroom developer needs to do this (maybe they have)

Or someone that likes doing detailed research

I wouldn’t mind Scott Kelby writing this up because he certainly chats with the adobe people a lot and isn’t afraid to ask the questions. Plus everyone seems to read his blog so he can at least pose the question.


Thanks to Calanan for finding an article that gives 5 apparent ways to speed things up.
Heere’s the twitter message he sent

calanan @jarvie How about 5?

5 tips are great but I want more.
An article not just for the common lightroom user. I want something geared toward huge catalogs and not just focused on speeding up lightroom on an old crappy computer but on an already upgraded computer.

Something that goes more into depth.

I could probably spit out 5 tips to make lightroom faster based on experience.
But i want some really solid stuff going above mere observations and guesses.

Saying get a faster computer and get more ram is cheap because that speeds up every computer. Say that and then explain how it benefits and perhaps give an example.

Am I being too demanding? Lots of people out there blogging and looking for things to write about… just trying to help make the best lightroom article ever.

dwterry dwterry @jarvie I have Lightroom store my data in XMP files with the images. That way my edits and my images get backed up simultaneously.

dwterry @jarvie The other advantage is that frees me to blow away my LR catalog any time I want. Which is about every few thousand files or so.

jarvie jarvie @dwterry XMP files? that sounds so messy. but i’m willing to listen. Will that make them import into any lightroom with settings in-tact?

Plus i thought one of the points of lightroom was to be more than a place to edit… DAM
DAM – a way to Manage our Digital Assets

If I really had a choice and it worked I would love to have ALL my pictures in the same library… so that might be going the wrong way.

zelph @jarvie I have 17,000+ on my home computer’s lightroom catalog and only about 1,000 on my laptop… I see no noticeable difference

This isn’t what I’ve heard elsewhere, but I’m not sure he’s wrong. I don’t really know if my catalog with 5000 runs faster than those with 40,000 plus.
Now we just need a thousand more people to say what they think and we’ll get down to the bottom of this 😉

Posted by scott at March 27, 2008

Category: (d) News

Tags: , , ,

So what should I do?
I’ve done about 40 shoots since I’ve posted these last pictures. Most of them were during my annual Charity Shoot.

I can’t possibly do a post for each shoot, Besides I’m supposed to be editing about 5 photo shoot right now.

Any suggestions on what I should do so that people can still be seeing some of the new work?