Beware: 500px Now Sells Your Photos on Fotolia Without Credit

I discovered this week that my 500px Marketplace photo is being sold elsewhere, and I haven’t gotten a dime of sales (yet). If you sell photos through 500px, this is something you should be aware of. Have you ever uploaded a high-resolution photo to 500px Marketplace to sell? I did, and now I have very mixed feelings about it. I have a habit of searching for my photos in Google’s Image Search from time to time. A few days ago, I searched for a photo I shot of my beloved cat.
My photo of my cat on 500px.
To my
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When an NFL Superstar Photographs Your Family Portrait

I’m not usually one to talk about celebrities that I keep in touch with from photo shoots. Some of this comes out of professional courtesy, and another part of it is that I’m a bit of a private person. However, a current project and fun day in the studio has made for some new images and behind the scenes video that I think you will all enjoy. Here’s a look at the shenanigans that take place when I share the studio with my photographer friend (who plays football), Larry Fitzgerald.
The first thing that needs to be known is that
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That Time I Paid $6,544 for 256MB of RAM to Run Photoshop…

Back in January 1995, I upgraded my Mac 8110 desktop to 256 megabytes of RAM for $6,544. Why? Because Photoshop needed a minimum of 5 times the RAM to work with a 8.5×11 RGB 8-bit color page, and that was 24 megabytes. The Chip Merchant was the least expensive source for RAM at that time. I purchased eight 32-megabyte chips at $818.00 each, or $6544.00 total — about $10,646 in today’s money after adjusting for inflation. Insured shipping was $42.85. Several years later, when it was time to upgrade my desktop, there was no way I
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Why I Only Use One Lens

After many years of experience using different lenses, I now have resorted to only using a single prime lens. I started with a 50mm, then added an 85mm, 35mm, 100mm, and 28mm to my collection, and I’ve played around with zooms. But now I exclusively use a 50mm lens. No more zooms and no more choices. But why would I volunteer to limit myself?

Why would I limit myself from the start?

Why would I choose to only use one lens for all my work? There are a few things that might be freeing to you if you decide to
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What It’s REALLY Like Taking Pictures at Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon had been on the top of my “must-photograph” list ever since I saw the first picture of a sunbeam penetrating the curvy, orange walls of the Arizona natural wonder. This unique beauty captivates most photographers in love of landscape photography. Many, many articles have been written about both the Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon, and while I knew that I had to have an SLR camera, that I had to have a tripod, that I should not change lenses… I still found the experience as fascinating as I found it odd. For the purpose of this
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10 Things You Should Never Do as a Photographer

In this article, I discuss some of the different things that I’ve personally decided are bad ideas as an artist. Let’s dive in.

1. Steal Other Photographers’ Work

To some of you, this might seem obvious; however, when you’re starting out you might hear the advice “fake it till’ you make it,” or see another photographer who uses photos that aren’t their own to make money. This is a bad idea on multiple levels and isn’t just a problem with amateurs. Award-winning photographer Souvid Datta just recently got caught doctoring and appropriating photos. We’ll get to the doctoring part in
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‘Photographers’, Don’t Pee In My Pool

Imagine, if you will, that the photography industry is a very large swimming pool. Not one of those backyard models, but rather an Olympic sized pool. And this very large pool is filled with photographers. However, we will call them swimmers, as that’s how analogies work. You are at the pool with everyone else and the pool is quite crowded. I mean, who doesn’t love a pool? The shallow end is shoulder to shoulder with swimmers. As you walk by, you can’t help but think it looks like a giant can of sardines, all packed in there. You think this
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What I Learned Switching from Mirrorless to a Rangefinder

Going from a state-of-the-art mirrorless system to a range finder system will be considered a backward move by many. On paper, you’re giving up a lot in return for little upside. In reality, though, the story is a lot more complicated. You can read my thoughts on my recent switch to a Leica system here. To be fair, I haven’t switched systems in the traditional sense, since I still own all of my mirrorless equipment—there’s still a time and place where that just makes sense. Having an arsenal of many options ensures you’ll always have the right tool for the
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Capturing the Incredibly Rare Moonlit Firefall at Yosemite

This is the famous and elusive Horsetail “Firefall” in Yosemite National Park, but unlike every other image you may have seen—taken near sunset around February—the fire effect in this image is caused by moonlight. That’s the only possible way one could see the firefall and stars at the same time.

How does the firefall effect happen in the first place?

Before we dive into the moonlit firefall, let me quickly explain how the more popular firefall event works—that is, the one driven by direct sunlight during sunset. Basically, it’s a rare event that happens only on specific dates at sunset,
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49 Film Photography Blogs Worth Following

I’ve collected and shot film cameras for 40 years, but only started blogging about it in the last decade or so. I went looking for other blogging camera collectors and film photographers, hoping to find community among others of like mind. I found several and have been amply rewarded by sharing in their adventures. In this time of film’s resurgence, perhaps you might enjoy following some of the same film photo bloggers I do. So here’s my master list. And let’s make this an exchange. If you know of some film-photography or camera-collecting blogs I don’t list, please link to
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10 Lessons Learned from Botched Motorcycle Photo Shoots

When it comes to motorcycles, I’m the grown-ass man equivalent of the 8-year old girl with the pony sweater that every single person knew in grade school. I’m obsessed: they’re what got me into photography; motorcycle photography brings the funnest edits; and bikes are a huge part of my life. I’ve shot a lot of them in my short stint at photography, and I’ve learned a lot of “Do Not’s” in my time. The following is a list to remind myself, and hopefully help others to keep mindful of some things that may make or break your next vehicle shoot.
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Eric Kim Proves the Value (and Fallacy) of SEO for Photographers

In nearly every industry, the Web has enabled a cadre of Internet-famous individuals, who on the merits of their marketing prowess have gained massive followings without necessarily acquiring the skills that has traditionally defined an “expert.” At the surface, the phenomena seems entirely meritocratic—use hard work to circumvent the traditional gatekeepers, thereby building an audience that one can then monetize. But the insidious by-product is a “fake news” quality to the content. Should we believe and/or value the information? One of the more polarizing figures in the photo industry is street photographer and workshop instructor Eric Kim, whose website
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The Ten Commandments of Retouching

There are some things in life that are universal rules we should all follow—things like not cheating on your wife, not killing anyone, and not stealing. Easy enough, right? And if life has Ten Commandments that are just obvious things not to do, retouching should have them as well. Here’s are my 10 Commandments of Retouching.

I. Thou Shalt Not Blur Thy Skin

You lose a lot of detail when you blur skin. It may not be noticeable on a phone screen as much, but when these photos are printed or even viewed on a monitor, you can actually see
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In Defense of the Zoom Lens

The question of zoom lenses versus prime lenses is an endless debate in photography, and one that has never really been definitively resolved. Essentially, the whole thing boils down to what’s more important: image quality, or versatility. Recently, image quality has been trending as the most popular aspect of photography. With Sigma releasing their phenomenally sharp Art series of lenses, and camera companies producing 36, 42, and even 50 megapixel camera bodies, there’s never been more options for getting spectacularly detailed photos. Of course, if you have such a high resolution body, you want to make the most of it.
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F**k Photojournalism: It’s Time for the Industry to Change Before It Dies

If you were to ask me whether or not I was surprised that there is another scandal in the photojournalism community, I would reply with a resounding and exasperated, “Hell no.” It seems that we can’t go a year without a new photo manipulation scandal. The Souvid Datta scandal is no different. If you did not know Datta got caught manipulating his photos from his series “In the Shadows of Kolkata,” where he added stolen imagery from the work of Mary Ellen Mark. This is admittedly one of the more astoundingly stupid ways to get caught, considering
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Consistent Players: My Portrait of Tim Tebow

There are certain people that seem to play a consistent role in your life. I’m not talking about friends or family — being part of your life is in their job description. I mean people that seem to always be around. People you know in passing. A name that keeps popping up. A face you recognize from days gone. For me, that person is — oddly enough — Tim Tebow. I first heard the name Timmy Tebow my junior year at Nease High School in St. Augustine, Florida. Our football team was consistently mediocre until that year when a state
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How I Earn $200,000+a Year from Photography

It’s kind of a crazy thing: I believe you can stay true to your roots, values, and ethics, and also get rich. In this post, I’ll share some of the secrets of how I earn over $200,000 a year as a “photographer.”

1. To become rich, charge more money

I earn the bulk of my income through teaching workshops. The secret is to charge more money for workshops. I think workshops are great for photographers because nowadays people want to spend money on experiences and people want to learn. A lot of photographers like to complain that the Internet
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Should Photography Be Relaxing?

What’s the difference between a hobby, and a job? Ignoring money, of course, I’d say that a hobby’s primary purpose is entertainment and relaxation, whereas a job’s primary purpose is to produce value. And yet, defying common sense, photographers seem to have this reversed. In many cases, amateur photographers are not in the hobby for enjoyment, but rather as a means to an end. So focused on improving their photography and getting perfect shots, they complete forget to sit back and savor the moment they’re trying to capture in the first place. And then when their photo inevitably fails to
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Quality Over Quantity: Two Months with the Leica M 240

Ever since I jumped into photography several years ago, I’ve always had a fascination with Leica. I used to think their cameras were overpriced and absurd—they were heavy and lacked many of the latest features I was accustomed to being on the latest DSLRs. As I became more comfortable with my cameras, and as I began understanding my shooting style, I naturally started transitioning from DSLRs to mirrorless, and finally to a rangefinder system. With this self-realization and longer tenure with the craft, I started to appreciate Leica for what the brand and philosophy stands for, and for the value
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Are You Really a Natural Light Wedding Photographer… or Just Lazy?

Are you passionate about wedding photography? I’m passionate about wedding photography too, and am striving to improve at my craft. I’m sure that every day in your business involves hustle. Hustle to get noticed. Hustle to get the lead. Hustle to book the wedding. A new wedding photographer seems to pop up every day, and that’s one new kid on the block who’s vying for a piece of the wedding cake. A couple of years ago I wrote a book called More Brides to help fellow wedding photographers increase their wedding bookings. I wrote about all the marketing and sales
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