BTL: Rick Santorum Daytona 500 Pit Road

In Photographyby Jerad HillLeave a Comment

I had the opportunity to shoot photos at the Daytona 500 this year and it was an amazing experience. This was my first NASCAR race and first pro sports event I had the chance to photograph where I had actual credentials to do so. The group I was with was a non-profit that was doing some work with Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum. Hours before he arrived at the track, I was told that his staff photographer was unable to make it and that I was going to become his photographer for the day. Part of my job was to continue covering the event for the non-profit I was working for while now at the same time capturing photos of Rick Santorum interacting with people. The access we had was unbelievable. Before the race, we were walking down pit road at Daytona Motor Speedway. Rick was out front along with members of the non-profit and a couple of high ranking Air Force officers. I ran ahead and grabbed a photo of Rick who seemed to be amazed himself at what he was experiencing. After posting this photo to Twitter, Rick Santorum’s staff asked for permission to use this photo on their website and to be able to post it to Rick’s social media accounts. This gained me a lot of retweets and some followers. Rick Santorum himself even followed me on Twitter. When you are photographing events like this, where lighting changes quickly depending on the direction you are pointing your camera, it is important to have …

Ditch Auto Hits 41,000 Students!

In Photographyby Jerad HillLeave a Comment

What an amazing milestone. When I first launched the Ditch Auto – Start Shooting in Manual course on Udemy.com, I figured that friends and perhaps past clients of mine who wanted to learn more about photography would take the course. I could not have imagined that over 41,000 people from all over the world would end up taking the course. What is next for Ditch Auto? In the coming weeks we will be launching a podcast and start posting tutorials to this website. I want Ditch Auto to be more than just an introductory course. The feedback many of those who took the course have provided let me know that there is a need for more information. Though there is plenty of good information already on the internet on photography, it’s always good to have different perspectives on things. I am a hands on learner and teacher, it seems that people are drawn to that teaching style. Through this website, the podcast, my Youtube channel and future courses, I hope to continue to help people Ditch Auto and get the most out of their cameras. Here are some of the things people are saying about Ditch Auto: Went from having no understanding of how to shoot in manual to gaining a good understanding of cause and effect relationships with that will allow me to take better photos. ~Nathan I really enjoyed watching and taking part in this course Jerad Hill is a great teacher and he’ll show you part of his knowledge in a easy way. …

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Adobe Lightroom Error – There Was An Error Working With The Photo

In Photographyby Jerad Hill7 Comments

Today I received an error in Lightroom that read, “There Was An Error Working With The Photo.” That was all it told me. Upon inspection, it seemed to only affect that group of photos. A quick search in Google offered me a couple of fixes that I tried with no luck. I knew that the photos were ok because I was able to open them in Adobe Photoshop without a problem. The solutions online, which did not work, suggested that I trash Lightroom preview files and even Lightroom Preferences files. When this didn’t work, I tried something much more simple and less evasive, I moved the files. The files I was having issues with were stored on a local NAS (Network Attached Storage) server I have on site. It’s a Synology DS1813+, amazing piece of equipment and well worth the money it cost to set up. I currently have it configured with 24TB of storage. Once I have delivered image files to my client, I move them to the NAS to free up available memory on my iMac or MacBook Pro. Moving the files off of the NAS did one simple thing, it forced Lightroom to look for those files and resync them. Since I knew the files were working fine on their own, I moved the folder of images to my desktop. Once I knew the files were copied over, I deleted the copy off of the NAS. Once they were deleted, Lightroom noticed they were no longer available so each image had the little …

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Ditch Auto: Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop Workflow

In Photographyby Jerad HillLeave a Comment

I am happy to announce my next workflow course which will help you regain the life your photo was destined to have. We don’t always have perfect lighting conditions. Sometimes we have to stretch our cameras to the limit to get the shot. That can leave the photo feeling a bit flat. That was the case with this photo. The photo you see is right out of my camera. I didn’t have a flash on my camera at the time and the lighting was very low due to the sun being almost completely gone. What do you do when you are shooting at 1/125 sec; f/2.8; ISO 4000? Most cameras can’t even get to ISO 4000 and if you went there, the image would be grainy. You would most likely throw away the photo and try again when you have better light. With the right techniques, you can bring back life into that same photo and produce a nice end result such as you see in the photo below. Here is what you can expect to learn from this course: Importing of images into Adobe Lightroom Image Adjustment Settings in Lightroom Repair of Underexposed and Noisy Images How to bring back detail in the image Opening a photo in Photoshop from Lightroom Editing and Cleanup in Photoshop Sky Replacement Returning to Lightroom to Color Correct Watermarking Image Export I look forward to sharing with you in this course, to take the course, click here.

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How to Make an Animated GIF in Lightroom and Photoshop CS6

In Photographyby Jerad Hill6 Comments

The other day, I had the need to generate my own Animated GIF. It had been years since I had made one and my workflow has changed a lot since then. Though there are applications out there you can buy that make it easy to create animated GIFs, I did not want to go purchase software to do something I could already do in applications I already had. Since the process for creating animated GIFs had changed since the last time I made one, I had to relearn how to do it so I thought, why not make a video. Lightroom is where I spend most of my time on images, but it does not have the capability to output animations like Photoshop does. Photoshop used to have an Animations window that you would use to create your GIFs but since introducing video functionality the Animations window has been replaced with the Timeline editor. This actually gives us more control over our animated GIF, which I outline in the video below. Have fun creating animated gifs in Lightroom and Photoshop. Think of the fun you could have with your clients creating a fun animated GIF of them.

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Ditch Auto – Learn To Shoot In Manual

In Photographyby Jerad HillLeave a Comment

Why Take This Course? You have a DSLR Camera or a fancy Point-and-shoot, but have not been using it to it’s full potential. You know that the scary “manual mode” holds a whole new level of customization which would result in better quality photos but have resisted. Terms like Shutter Speed and Aperture sound confusing and you don’t know where to start. If that sounds familiar, I want to assure you that by the end of my FREE course you will understand what those settings do and be on your way to controlling your camera rather than your camera controlling you. You made an investment in a decent camera and it’s time to start using it’s features. In this course you will learn the basics of DSLR Photography and how to shoot in manual mode. My goal is to give you the tools so you can train your brain to think like a Photographer. You will also know how to control your camera instead of leaving it up to Auto Mode to try and to it’s best. Take the course for free on Udemy: https://www.udemy.com/ditch-auto-start-shooting-in-manual/ How Long Is This Course? So far, the course is just over 4 hours in length. You can watch it in chunks or all at once. It is best to watch it with camera in hand so you can pause and follow along with your camera. All DSLR Cameras are different so your settings may look different than mine. What Should I Expect? You should expect to be able to shoot …

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How To Nail Focus On Your DSLR Every Time

In Photographyby Jerad Hill35 Comments

Focus is an issue no matter how good your camera is. There is no perfect camera that will nail focus each time in every situation. Even the top dollar DSLR cameras have issues with sudden movement and low light situations. The more movement and the lower the light, the harder time it will have. Occasionally it is even hard to pull focus in perfect lighting situations. Over the years there are a few things I have learned to do that assure I get perfect focus “almost” every time. I may attempt to record a video explaining this process. The more I write, the harder I realize this is to explain without being to physically show you everything I am talking about. Before I dive into my setup on my Canon 5D Mark III I want to mention that I have had this setup on my previous camera which was the Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 60D, Canon 40D and my very first DSLR camera, the Canon 20D. For those of you who use Nikon, I know there is a setup to achieve this as well. There are a few tools you can use to make it easier to keep focus. The main tool is a tripod. If your subjects are not moving targets, a tripod is a good idea. If your camera is more of an entry level camera or a bit older of a model, I would suggest a tripod. Newer cameras are pretty amazing at detecting movement. Using a remote trigger can also help …

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How I Deal With Low Light Wedding Reception Situations

In Photographyby Jerad Hill11 Comments

Years ago when I first started in wedding photography I quickly realized that nobody was looking out for my best interest during wedding receptions. The lighting was always dimly lit, most likely to set the mood, though I’m sure the mood would be the same with a bit more light. I got tired of chasing down coordinators, if there was even one to ask, to have the lights turned up just a pinch. I have always tried to be prepared for situations so I can react accordingly rather than be stressed when a situation does not work out my way. Though I have been using the technique I explain below for years now, only recently has it became much easier for me to manage. I will start the setup I have been using for the last 4 years. This setup, from a recent wedding, is fired by Pocketwizards. On my camera, I have a Pocketwizard MiniTT1. This trigger allows me to still mount a flash on top of my camera so I can have direct light from any angle. In the photo above you can see that I mounted my flash using a Manfrotto 175F-1 Spring Clamp. A Pocketwizard PlusII is mounted to the clamp as well which fires the Canon 580EXII Speedlight. The Speedlight Flash is pointing up into the white tent. The light will hit the tent and reflect back down toward the ground. Because the tent is shaped as it is, the light is spread out making a nice fill light. If I …

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How to Create a Photo Slideshow in Final Cut Pro X

In Photographyby Jerad Hill8 Comments

Final Cut Pro X may seem a little intimidating, especially if you have little or no video editing experience. Final Cut Pro X has an iMovie feel, which once you spend some time in it, you will find it is quite easy to pick up. I decided to put together a tutorial on how to create a photo slideshow or montage in Final Cut Pro X after many people asked how I created the photo montage for Ty & Ashleigh’s Wedding. I created the slideshow on the same day that Final Cut Pro X was released. Final Cut Pro X Photo Slideshow Tutorial Here is the Photo Montage for Ty & Ashleigh’s Wedding