Best Of

1. GEAR Vs. VISION. I love David Du Chemin, both his work and his inspiring words. He just posted a long anticipated post on his use of Sigma lenses this year. Sigma is known for being a more “affordable” lens–which is part of the shock that David took the year to use their lenses when they aren’t necessarily viewed as the best in the field. I really loved his honesty. And his sample images really do go to show what the touch of a masters hand can do to the perceived value of equipment.

2. WHAT CAMERA SHOULD I BUY? I get asked this question a few times a week. I’m glad that people like Scott are more into all the tech research than I am. This is a great breakdown list of some things to consider. Unfortunately my own beloved Nikon D700 didn’t make the list (I think its getting ousted by a new release that is pending) but my heart is still more than pleased with its great performance for the past three years. I’ll also give a quick plug for the Nikon D7000 which I purchased earlier this year and think its amazing. Its image quality is nearly indiscernible from the D700 and only half the price. The D700 still wins on high ISO noise control. But its a real close one.

3. HOW CRITIQUING OTHER PEOPLE’S PHOTOS CAN IMPROVE YOUR OWN. I could echo every single word. I spend 3 plus hours a week critiquing students homework, and it has been an amazing learning and growing experience for developing my own eye. I still take images that would not pass my own critique and I still even post some 🙂 But coming to understand what it is that actually makes a photo strong is one of the best tools for improvement. Want a great primer on how to improve your composition? Check out David Du Chemin’s $5 ebooks Inspired Eye vol 1-3 and Drawing the Eye. I’m also eagerly anticipating his release of his next book Photographically Speaking: A Deeper Look at Creating Stronger Images (Voices That Matter)
–a book that rests on the thought that knowing how to talk about your photos (the critique) will increase the quality of the photos. I’ve got it on pre-order and am counting the days till I can get my hot little hands on it.

4. HOW TO PROTECT YOUR CAMERA IN EXTREME CONDITIONS. Excellent tips. I have my own set of shower caps in my camera bag for those moments it starts to rain. Works like a charm 🙂

5.INSPIRATION VS. IMITATION. Great post on one of the common encounters of all artists. I love the words of Picasso, “Good artists copy, great artists steal”. My Originality is Overated post delves into my own discoveries on this issue, but all in all its about improving upon ideas and making them your own. In memory of one of the best innovators of this mantra, heres a 40 second clip of the revered Steve Jobs and his own thoughts on the matter:

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