John Watson is the original founder of Photodoto. If you're interested in what John has been up to, you can browse his personal blog.

Survey results: Selling photos…

Interesting results to the survey. For one, 62% of survey responders indicated that they are selling their photos online. I wasn’t expecting it to be that high. Only 38% indicated that they are not currently selling their photos. That tells me we’ve got lots of pros and/or enthusiasts trying to make some side money on their hobby. Sound right to you?

Pie chart: How do you sell your photos online?

The main point of the survey was to find out how you all are selling your photos online. The biggest group (18%) sell their photos on their own websites. I do this myself. You get to keep all of the profit but it’s the most work of all of the options. That’s the main reason I’ve been thinking of joining the second largest group (11%): ImageKind users.

ImageKind lets you keep most of your profit over their base prices. Of course, they squirrel away some profit for themselves in the base price itself and they take 5% of any amount that is 100% or more above the base price (that’s a complicated sentence—they explain it better in their FAQ).

Continue reading Survey results: Selling photos…

How do you sell your photos online?

Update: Sorry, the poll wasn’t working over the weekend. Problem is solved now (I think). Please give it another go. Thanks!

If you sell your photos online I’d love it if you added how you do it to our quick survey below (you may need to click through to see the poll). Do you use a service or do it yourself? Which service do you use? Leave some details—a mini-review, concerns, or praise for your service—in the comment area if you like.

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Taryn Simon photographs secret sites

Taryn Simon exhibits her startling take on photography—to reveal worlds and people we would never see otherwise. She shares two projects: one documents otherworldly locations typically kept secret from the public, the other involves haunting portraits of men convicted for crimes they did not commit.

Taryn Simon photographs secret sites

Continue reading Taryn Simon photographs secret sites

Review: The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers

The DAM Book by Peter Krogh is my digital asset management bible. It is a definitive source of information about everything you need to know to get your photos organized, archived, and protected.

This book is a lot of things but let me start by telling you what it is not. It won’t teach you how to post-process your photos in Lightroom. It doesn’t include any Photoshop tutorials. It doesn’t include a camera buying guide or any gear reviews.

It will help anyone who is serious about organizing their photos get them organized.

Digital Asset Management (DAM) as Krogh defines it is: “a term that refers to your entire digital photography ecosystem and how you work with it. It comprises the choices you make about every component of your digital photography practice.” Your digital photography ecosystem is:

  • Images
  • Software
  • File formats
  • Organization
  • File storage architecture
  • Storage Media
  • Backups
  • Workflow
  • Migration

DAM has many goals including finding images when you need them,

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Review: Crumpler 8 Million Dollar Home

Crumpler 8 million dollar home Crumpler was kind of enough to send me a review copy of their “8 Million Dollar Home” bag. The 8 Million Dollar Home will run you about $170. That’s a bit pricey for my taste but you definitely get a lot of bag for your buck.

It’s a big bag. When Crumpler contacted me I had no idea what to expect. “Sure, send me the bag,” I said, and then forgot all about it. It’s just a bag, right? This isn’t just a bag. It’s like a 3-story Barbie dream house + jacuzzi for camera gear. My first impression when it arrived was that it was enormous. My current bag is a Tamrac Pro 5. The design is about the same, zipper front, velcro + zipper closures, front pocket, lid pocket, movable dividers, etc. But the Crumpler seems about 50% bigger all around. The Crumpler’s extra space is luxurious in comparison.

It’s actually not all that enormous but it’s bigger than I would like. Of course, I don’t even bring my current bag with me anywhere anymore if I can help it. I prefer to travel light.

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Black and White Conversion: Channel Mixer Recipes

Black and white conversion is a mysterious process. There are many ways to do it and none is objectively any better than any other for every photo. So, these are guidelines, really, in the spirit of a recipe. But unlike following a recipe for baking a cake, we are not all trying to create the same photo. Keep in mind that every photo is different and will require slightly different values for any image editing technique.

Here’s a photo I took on a hike recently with my kids:

Meadow path

To compare with the channel mixer conversions below, first I’ll show the results from a simple average color desaturation. This is a simple conversion, it’s fast, and it’s very easy to do. In Photoshop it’s Image | Adjustments | Desaturate. In GIMP it’s Color | Desaturate.


Many people, myself included, feel that this method often results in lifeless photos. If you’re going to convert this way, you’ll be doing yourself a favor if you also boost the contrast after the fact:


I think the simplicity of just desaturating a photo and boosting the contrast has a lot of appeal.

Continue reading Black and White Conversion: Channel Mixer Recipes launches

From the press release:

More than 7 million photos from the Life and Getty Images photo collections are now available to consumers in the largest online photography site. The curated site features both rarely seen and iconic photos from the 1850s through today. More than 3,000 new photos from Getty Images award-winning photographers will be added to the site daily. Users will be able to rate, email, share, purchase, license photos and explore their world through the world’s greatest images in this user-friendly web site.

Other features include:

  • Photo Galleries: News, Celebrity, Sports, Travel, and Animals with the most relevant and timely photos featured daily
  • Gallery of the day’s top photos
  • Editor’s picks of photo galleries in categories relating to current events and other themes
  • Celebrity-curated galleries featuring their favorite photos by subject or topic

Continue reading launches

Bored with photo magazines

I just received an email from Amazon with an offer of 83% savings on photography magazine subscriptions (use that link if you’re interested and Photodoto will get a small commission). With magazines and newspapers closing their doors left and right this year, who knows if you’ll actually get all 12 issues.

But it reminded me that it’s been a long time since I’ve bought a photography magazine.

I still browse the racks at the book store but I’m less and less likely to actually pick one up. 5 hot portrait tips! Shoot better photos instantly! 8 new cameras reviewed! Upgrade! Upgrade! Upgrade! They all seem the same.

I was pretty happy with my D70 for years. And, while the articles can sometimes be helpful, I don’t think there’s any such thing as a “recipe” that will give you a good photo every time, as the magazines will lead you to believe.

Do you read or subscribe to any photography magazines? Any recommendations out there for someone who is tired of hot tips and shopping guides?

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Anatomy of a photo: Balvenie Scotch

Several unconnected events converged to make this photo (below). First, I received a review copy of The Nikon Creative Lighting System by Mike Hagen (from rockynook and NikoniansPress publishing). A review is on the way. Second, and more importantly, I received as a gift a bottle of Balvenie Doublewood 12 year old single malt scotch.

Read on to get details of the lighting setup and what I think works and could be improved in this photo.

Balvenie Doublewood 12 Year Old

The setup

This scene was lit with two off-camera flashes. The first reflected from an umbrella directly to camera left set at -1.3 EV. The second directly behind the bottle, aimed at about a 45 degree up angle and towards the camera at 0 EV (TTL mode, normal sync). This flash was zoomed to 50mm. Both flashes were triggered wirelessly from the D90 built-in commander which did not contribute to the exposure. 98mm, 1/60s, f/5.6.

Flash setup

The good

Let’s talk about what I like in this photo and what I don’t like.

Continue reading Anatomy of a photo: Balvenie Scotch