Ironically as it’s nearly 90º here in Southern California and my Mom, who has been visiting us for the past two weeks, prepares to head back to Wisconsin, I am catching up on some family portraits and moment photographs from our visit to Wisconsin in Feburary.
Our kids have been pestering us to go back and visit the family during the winter (obviously the were born IN California where winter is rather…quaint (at least to Southern Californians)).
Winter cooperated and gave us a small blanket of snow and very chilly weather during our trip to Wisconsin.
The main reason we went though was to meet our new niece and cousin Ayla, who was born in December. Her entire family and extended family members are extra special to us. My sister Mary’s daughter Stef was our flower girl when Nicki and I got married. In 2011, Kate was one of Stef’s flower girls at her wedding. To see Kate then holding Ayla made the circle particularly poignant and made me realize, as well, how quickly time flies.
In this series of photographs, I wanted to show some portraits I made of Stef and Jeremy at their home, as well as moment photographs from the trip (including Ayla’s Baptism affirmation ceremony at the family’s church).
It was a wonderful trip even with the cold, and reminded me that making great photographs of family is one of the best things I can do with my talents and creates some of the most treasured gifts (especially as time goes on. Photographs only grown in value as time goes by).
All photographs made with Sony mirrorless cameras : a7II and a variety of lenses including a 35mm f2.8 FE Zeiss, 24-70 f4 FE Zeiss, 55 f1.8 FE Zeiss, and the 85mm f1.8 EF on a Metabones adaptor for Sony. #sonyalpha #a7ii #zeiss55 #ocphotographer #familyphotographs
Our friends at Think Tank Photo, who are celebrating their 10 Year Anniversary, just announced a special offer. Whenever you order one of their Urban Disguise Shoulder bags between now and May 15th you will receive a Shoulder Harness V2.0 backpack harness by mail for free. This harness is pretty amazing for it easily converts your shoulder bag into a backpack. It’s great for freeing up your hands to sprint through airports for flights, for example. To partake of this special offer, simply order the Urban Disguise bag of your choice and download and submit the online form. Think Tank will ship your new harness right out. And, don’t forget that by using my special URL you will receive a free gift from Think Tank with your order as well as free shipping.
How to Use Wi-FI on your Sony Mirrorless camera in conjunction with the Sony PlayMemories app, PicTapGo and Instagramon the iPhone by Paul F. Gero | paulfgero.com Member, Sony Artisans of Imagery Program
One of the great things about Sony mirrorless cameras like the a7II, the a7, the a6000, and the a7s is that they are small, light and professional cameras.
And, one of the great bonus features to these cameras is that they are Wi-Fi enabled and thus I can use my little Sony mirrorless cameras to send photographs from my camera, to my iPhone 6+ and then up to the web, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the sweet iPhone app called “PicTapGo” by gettotallyrad.com.
I’ve been on Instagram for a few years but it’s only been recently that I have made consistent contributions to this growing social media platform
In the accompanying tutorial, I want to share with you exactly how I do that.
This has become my preferred method to upload to social networks over the past six weeks since getting this dialed in. I can count on one hand the number of images that I have worked on the big computer for upload in that time.
This technology would have been such a benefit to former news photographers like me who back in the day shot on film, often processed in a hotel and then made a print or later, scan negatives to get the images into print.
It was a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. The technology we have now is such a tremendous time saver by contrast.
It makes me truly appreciate the gift that Wi-Fi on the Sony cameras is.
The apps used are:
Sony PlayMemories app for iPhone — you can find that here:
First things first: Make Sure Your Camera is Set up for the Play Memories App by going here:
Once you are here, you will be good to go to use PlayMemories to send photographs to your iPhone. (The Smart Remote Embedded is another very cool app and I can cover that in a future tutorial).
Step by Step Tutorial:
1. Make sure that Airplane Mode is OFF in your camera
2. Select the play key to edit the photographs
3. Press the Fn button to access the wireless transfer feature of the camera. The highlighted line allows you to transfer one image.
4. Press the Fn button to access the wireless transfer feature of the camera. Using the rear dial scroll to access Multiple Images if you would like to transfer more than one photograph.
5. A window shows the password for your wireless connection (you will have to enter this in the settings when first using the app on your phone).
6. Using the scroll wheel, move through the photographs, depressing the center button of the wheel to mark your selects (checkmark in box, at left).
7. Press the Menu button, scroll the wheel to the enter command, then press the center of the button to begin the download process.
8. Go to your Settings Menu on your iPhone
9. Look for the Sony camera on your wi-fi network (circled). Activate it by pressing the name.
10. Once the Camera network is checked you are connected to the camera.
11. Select the Sony PlayMemories App on your iPhone and launch it:
12. With the camera and phone properly linked, the PlayMemories will immediately begin to copy the photographs you have tagged (if multiples) or any individual photographs you wanted to send to the phone. If it does not connect, go back to Settings and switch the Wi-Fi settings off and on and repeat steps above to connect.
13. Now the photograph is copied to your camera roll and you can send it from the phone, or, as I like to do, I will enhance the photograph before posting using the PicTapGo app. I launch that from the main screen of my iPhone.
14. Select your Photograph from the Pic screen of PicTapGo (circled in red) and bring into the app for processing.
15. In the Tap section, you can determine the look and feel using filters that are pre-loaded AND ones that you can create and save, making it speedy to reproduce a look that you like. The interface gives you a real time view of what the changes will look like. You can also access the crop tool (in the Tap menu on the top menu bar)
16. I converted the image to B & W in the app. The slider underneath the photograph allows you to determine how much of the action/filters’ effect you see in the image.
17. Under the Go part of the app, I see an array of ways to share the photograph. I will often use the Instagram – Full style setting which shows the image in full aspect ratio rather than square.
18. Launch Instagram from the PicTapGo app.
19, The image is now brought into Instagram, and you can edit further, if you wish, or prepare to post it by hitting the Next button in upper right corner.
20. Caption & add hashtags to your photograph before posting.
21. Ready to upload, I also send to FB and Twitter in addition to Instagram. Press Share at the bottom to post at Instagram.
22. Success!! Your photograph is now online at Instagram for the world to see!!
I hope you find this tutorial helpful to you!
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It’s Here! Our 7th Kids of OC Book now available for order!
It’s “in the books” as they say!
Our 7th Kids of Orange County Charity Book Project is designed and now ready for purchase!
The photograph above represents the front and back covers of this years’s book and we’re incredibly excited to share it with you!
Order Before March 25, 2015 and save $25 on your book!
Call Nicki at the studio to place your order and you’ll save $25 off the regular price of $175 (plus tax). This “early bird” special is good from now until 5 pm on March 25, 2015 and the cost will be $150 (plus 8% sales tax).
This year’s book is 8 x 10 size with a gorgeous wrap-around photo cover and 132 thick, matted pages. It will be a fantastic addition to your personal library.
View the Book Now Online!
Want to see every photograph in this years’ book?
Head to this link to view a slideshow of the book!
We simply could not do this project without you! Thank you for helping us raise over $60,000 for CHOC through the 100% donation of the session fee of $100/family!
Spring is Here and so are the beautiful spring flowers…
…and they won’t last long!
We’re scheduling mini-sessions to be photographed with the beautiful spring flowers (at two nearby locations — we will email you the spots once we schedule your session — one in SJC and the other in Ladera Ranch).
These sessions are great for a family portrait (up to six people in your immediate family may be in the session) and will include individual portraits of the kids too!
(They’re not meant for senior portrait sessions, fashion sessions, business headshots or extended family sessions)
These sessions are scheduled in 20 minute blocks and are first come first serve!
Your session includes:
• 20 minute location portrait session with either wild flowers or spring flowers.
• online ordering your photographs.
• includes 3 of your favorites in high resolution format emailed to you.
• additional digital files may be ordered.
Sessions start on: Thursday 3/19/2015 from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM (Wildflowers)
Tuesday 3/24/2015 from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM (Spring Flowers)
Wednesday 3/25/2015 from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM (Wildflowers)
Contact Nicki at the studio 949.388.5588 to schedule your session.
Sony is having several raffle drawings with great prizes over the three days of this year’s WPPI Trade Show on March 2-4, 2015.
You will be able to get a raffle ticket at the end of every speaker in the Sony Booth (#701 — see map below). So the more talks you attend, the more chances you’ll have to win and you must be present to win your prize.
One Sony ActionCam AS100 EACH DAY raffled at 1pm
End of Monday – One Sony RX100III
End of Tuesday – One Sony A6000 with the 16-50mm lens
End of Wednesday – One Sony A7 kit with the 16-50mm lens
I posted this on a Facebook forum that I frequent and wanted to share it with my blog readers:
I hope you don’t mind a follow up on Judy’s post about leaving Canon. Sorry it’s kind of long.
I was a Canon shooter for a long time (since 1986) and loved the gear too.
I just got to the point though where I was needing to retool and that meant new bodies and new v2 lenses. I didn’t want to do it from the expense side of things as well as I dreaded having to carry them — especially for an 8-10 hours wedding.
Nearly 3 years ago I started hearing about mirrorless and I was surprised — I had totally pooh-poohed them thinking they weren’t serious.
Then they were rather new but since starting that journey I’ve been blown away by how quickly and how responsive the development has been with them.
I tried Samsung, Lumix, Olympus, Sony and Fuji and it wasn’t til a friend said: “Just try the a6000”, that I was a convert.
Within minutes of picking up that camera along with the 70-200 f4 lens (both rented from Lensrentals.com) I knew this was a special little camera.
Testing it, I knew that it could track focus — and track it a lot better than me and even better than the DSLRs I was using at the time (5d and 5d2s). Plus it was 11 fps and I had forgotten how much of a difference that can make especially.
I decided to switch to the Sony system and have expanded it to using the A7 and A7II (a BIG improvement from the first A7).
Last summer I wanted to take on a project that would put me and them to the test.
Also, I had wanted to document a season with a high school football since first reading the book “Friday Night Lights” in 1990. Seeing the movie and the show that followed with the same name kept reminding me to do it.
The coach of the local Tesoro HS football team is also the Dad of one of my daughter’s soccer friends and we talked about the project.
The goal was to: produce a coffee table quality book covering the entire season, and create a video to go with it. Not a lot to ask from these little cameras but I figured I might as well try.
If nothing, I would get better at working the cameras and learning the secrets you only get from hours of use. It was well worth it.
TBH I was totally scared s-less about doing the video. I had done a little but this was going to be a lot more than I had been doing before (which were mostly controlled interviews and snippets of our life — nothing this involved). Plus with audio, lighting and, oh yeah, shooting stills, it was a bit disconcerting.
But boy am I glad I did do this project. For one, I found out that these little cameras can and do keep up with the big boys — even shooting sports and the proof is in the pudding. Sure I didn’t have a 300 f2.8 or a 400 2.8 but adapted to the situation and the 70-200 f4 worked well and was used for action primarily on the a6000. The A7 was my “Hail Mary” camera — the camera dangling on the side for that “in your lap” play along the sideline.
I’ve always loved shooting sports, ever since I was in high school, but this was probably the most fun and in the end I totally fell in love with video.
It’s daunting but not like it once was. And, after spending a lot of hours in Premiere editing the piece I’m about to show, I began to get a real confidence about it. Just like it was when we learned Photoshop for our stills and Lightroom for the RAWS, it took a bit of time to get comfortable. But having that familiarity with the Adobe family seemed to help and I was finding myself actually looking forward to the process. Go figure.
I also think, to tie this back in with weddings, is that if these cameras can shoot action on dimly lit Friday Night Lights football fields, it can handle just about anything. Even a wedding.
It renewed my eagerness to get back into weddings because now I can do it for less, with gear that weighs a TON less and also allows me some advantages in terms of wi-fi from the event and even video if I so choose.
Thanks for reading this far and please enjoy the book and the video: