A place for me to share my recent work, random musings on photography and reflect on my thoughts, experiences, ideas and revelations.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Lightroom Workshop This Saturday - October 3, 2009

I am teaching a Lightroom workshop this coming Saturday, October 3 at the Charlotte REI store. The class will begin at noon and end approximately 4:30PM. I will be covering all aspects of Lightroom, from basics to more advance topics.

See the attached flyer for details.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I Am a Photographer

I am a photographer. I used to be a banker, a pretty good one too, until I fell victim to our planet’s financial collapse and was forced into a premature and hopefully temporary retirement. I’m probably a pretty good photographer too, but the measurement of ‘good’ is hard to define in either world. I made good money as a banker. I make no money as a photographer. I loved banking. I love making photographs.

During my recent hiatus from banking, it might have been easy to sit around and complain about all the things I’ve lost, the real retirement that was almost within my grasp, the financial goals that are now a few years farther away. Instead, I’ve turned my energies to filling my time with learning, educating myself about the history of art and photography, developing new skills and methods for making photographs. I’m as happy now as I have ever been, so even though I am not seeing a success than can be measured in dollars, I am the wealthiest now that I could ever have imagined. I’m glad I started into photography when I did, as although I have the time today it would be difficult to justify the cost of the equipment I own, even though by some standards it is obsolete. I am thankful that I have had something so stimulating and rewarding to keep me from going stir-crazy.

The toughest thing about the last few months is not knowing. I’ve sent out dozens of resumes, and have even had quite a few interviews. They’ve all went well, but there are so many people looking for work that the competition is fierce, and there are lots of people looking for work with the exact skillset that hiring managers are looking for. And while having 30+ years makes me valuable, it also makes me – at least in the eyes of hiring managers – expensive. Never mind that my current income is now zero! I’m really a heck of a deal to someone looking for someone who knows banking, but no luck so far.

A couple of weeks ago Kathy & I spent a weekend with Andy & Karen Fisher, who own a B&B in Belhaven, North Carolina. We’ve gotten to be friends with Andy & Karen over the course of several visits, and we have had the opportunity to go with them on their boat and have had dinner with them and some of their friends. This last visit Andy introduced me a couple of times as “Tom is a professional photographer.” The first time I thought, “well, not exactly.” But after the second time I though “dammit, he’s right, I am a professional photographer.” That made a real impact on me, and for the first time made me start thinking of myself as a photographer instead of a banker. Now I just need to figure out how to expand on that and make something of myself.

Image is from Far Creek in Engelhard, North Carolina.

Friday, September 11, 2009

SoFoBoMo eBook!

I've been playing around with online print-on-demand services in anticipation of publishing my 2010 calendar. Since I no longer have arm-twisting access to a large portion of my customer base (co-workers from whom I purchased Boy Scout popcorn and Girl Scout cookies) I want to go with a company that has the ability to do online sales. So far the front runner has to be Lulu, partly because I have experience using them from when I published my SoFoBoMo book, and mostly because their price and quality seem to be a good balance.

I was playing around with their site today and was interested in the idea of publishing eBooks. I'm currently working on updating a digital workflow presentation and am im the process of writing a tutorial on registering copyrights, both of which I would like to publish as eBooks. To see how the process works I decided to turn my SoFoBoMo book into an eBook, which I then published and am offering for sale at $10. Not a bad deal if you ask me, except for the fact that it is available for free at the SoFoBoMo website. I'd be interested in feedback from anyone who gives it a try.

Calendars will be ready for purchase (hopefully) around October 1.