This blog is my attempt to keep track of some of the things I learn along the way, with my Canon 7D, G12 and accessories. All images copyright Brad Calkins, not to be used without permission (or purchase). I do not attempt to monetize my blog, other than to promote my stock photo portfolio on Dreamstime.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fujifilm X100

Now this looks like a sweet camera!

Fujifilm x100

Monday, September 13, 2010

Having fun with it

It turns out that 28mm is a focal length that I love using!  I was worried that the shorter focal length would be unflattering for portraits and that I'd need to be so close that I influenced the picture.  Turns out that I was close enough to influence before I had the 28mm, and when I'm a little ways back and not directing the photo it allows for some interesting environment to creep into the frame.  For shots of kids, the little bit of distortion doesn't really harm anything - but I'll stick to something like a 50mm or 85mm if I'm doing formal shots...

I took it on a hike the other day and aside from putting on a zoom to get a few shots at 200mm I never really wanted anything else.  Sure having fun with it :)  The f/2 aperture really made a difference too - nice and bright to look through and in the woods I'm still getting 1/60s or 1/100s where my zoom would dump me down to 1/15 or 1/30s.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Year over year microstock progress

© Photographer: Bradcalkins | Agency:

There are lots of ways of measuring progress in the Stock Photography business, but my favorite is to look at my year over year increase in sales.  As one continues to upload you hope (expect!) that your sales will grow too.  I like to take the comparison a step further and divide by the increase in online photos.  If the result is above 100% then you are increaseing revenue faster than you are increasin your portfolio.  Comparing to the previous year's month in this way helps avoid some of the month to month jitter - if July sales are always lower for me I shouldn't get excited about a better August.  Looking at my portfolio this way I am very pleased!  Below is a graph starting about a year in (hard to do year over year in the first year!) - it shows that every month I've increased revenue per photo online faster than I've been uploading, very encouraging!  Surely a large part of this is the fact that DT files sell for more as they rise through the levels, but whatever the reason its working for me...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hubble, it isn't

OK, this isn't the best piece of astrophotography to hit the blogosphere but I was surprised how many stars one could see in a patch of sky from the city.  My new lens, close to wide open, did a fair job of catching some stars.  Looking forward to some shots next time I'm in the country with something to put in the foreground other than some telephone wires: