Introducing the Show Me Podcast


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Sharon Farmer was the first female and African American Director of Photography at the White House (Clinton Administration)
I am thrilled to publish the first four episodes of the Show Me Podcast (https://showmepodcast.com). These first four podcasts represent the beginning of a new show that will discuss a famous photograph(s) or photographer and why the images work (or not). Show Me episodes feature a respected photographer or industry expert who can deliver a great conversation about the well-known images, and of course, their own work. The first four shows and more details follow.

Show Me Episode 1.1: Sharon Farmer on Photographing Presidents

The very first Episode of the Show Me Podcast features former director of White House Photography and photojournalism pioneer Sharon Farmer. Sharon joins Geoff Livingston for a fascinating discussion about photographing United States Presidents. Sharon Farmer led the Clinton White House with its photography and was Continue reading "Introducing the Show Me Podcast"

How AI May Impact PR Pros


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Guest Post by Geoff Livingston Are you confused or concerned about the coming AI revolution?  If so, you’re not the only one. Between media overhype coming out of the tech industry and the job-replacing society-ending fear drummed up by the mainstream press, one must feel caught. Should you be thrilled by the coming improvements or terrified that an AI-fueled robot may take your job. Or worse, that AI will end civilization? After working on Welcome to the Machine: A Primer on AI for Marketers (coming later this year), for almost a year now, I can offer you some quick insights that may help. Here are four questions my peers often ask and some insights. Will people (e.g. will I) lose my job to AI? If you are a PR professional, it’s unlikely. AI is not inherently creative, nor is it good at crafting messages. It can help hone
Geoff Livingston
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Call for Models – Dupont Underground Model Workshop


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Dupont Underground is one of the coolest places in Washington, DC. It’s a natural place to go and photograph. The only thing that can make the combination of rails, graffiti, and art better from a photography standpoint is a great subject.
Starr at Dupont Underground
That’s why when I created a Dupont Underground workshop event for the Click DC photography festival this June, I knew we needed models. The following post is a call for models to participate.
Nicole “Cherry Bordeaux” at Dupont Underground
We expect to have several models on site. Our call for models is for all models, we want a diverse group of subjects, young and old, male and female. Models will receive $100 pay for two hours on site, and of course will receive exposure to dozens of photographers, and receive promotion and portfolio shots. To apply, please fill out this form (also embedded below). My
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Featuring Photography as a Primary Content Element


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Content marketing today requires great visual media. That’s why most marketing efforts I work on feature photography as a primary component. Taken in Havana, Cuba.
When launching a digital content marketing project, I often feature photography as a primary storytelling tactic. Optimal content in a smartphone world requires visual media. It’s the old adage, “Show me, don’t tell me.” Marketing copy bores people. Smart brands delight their customers with more than just a need/solution pitch so that customers notice them. Yet, the Internet is filled with boring text-based marketing drivel:
  • Social media streams fill up with links to boring brand-centric blogs
  • Websites offer laden lame product-centric white papers that no one really reads
  • Promotion and spam boxes annoy with super lame emails, short or long
Beyond boring, many brands simply litter their long text-heavy material onto screens across America. Sometimes, good quality information gets lost along the way.
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Isolation Project – 10 New Images


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The Punisher
My friend Richard Binhammer published a new series of my isolation street photographs with Binhammer Photographs. These are arguably my best 10 isolation shots taken in the past year. In early 2018 I was fortunate enough to have ten of my street photographs featured in ExposedDC’s Crystal City Exhibit. These ten photos were hung on the wall as a photowalk through the city’s underground tunnels. The theme for the ten photos was isolation. That original series defined one of my approaches to street photography, creating a new modernist sense of isolation:
The current sense of alienation finds us alone in a crowd, both in the city and with social media. Our sense of self is exacerbated, a brilliant signal in a vast barren field of noise…  When we are in the world, surrounded by crowds (and that person taking an over-contrived selfie to add to the digital noise) we feel
Pulse [Exposed DC Award Winner 2018]
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Real People Affected by the Shutdown


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Federal food line at the #chefsforfeds pop-up World Center Kitchen.
Last week Kirth Bobb and I published our Shutdown Stories Project.  The project was well received by local and national media, with coverage provided by WUSA-9, Nikon Rumors, PetaPixel and Exposed DC. As the Shutdown continues, we’re continuing to look at continuing our photographic documentation of the ongoing crisis. Our concern for our family, neighbors, and community members directly impacted by the crisis only continues.

Some of My Favorite Portraits So Far

The Shutdown Stories Project is a photographic essay telling stories of individuals affected by the federal shutdown. Here are some of my favorite articles so far.
Shutdown Story – Lona Saccomando 
Lona Saccomando serves the country at the Department of Homeland Security. Her family is down to one income and is depleting their savings. Luckily, they have enough for now. Lona sees a silver lining in
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The Shutdown Stories Project


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The federal shutdown affects the entire region Washington, DC region, hurting our neighbors, friends, and families. Without our federal workforce, local services suffer, national air travel becomes difficult, and our Smithsonian museums and national parks close. Federal workers have become unwilling pawns. Perhaps most dehumanizing the media and certain politicians relegate these great individuals as a blind number, “800,000 federal workers.” Teaming together, DC photographer Kirth Bobb and me are taking studio portraits of affected federal employees, whether they are furloughed or worse being made to work without pay. We want to tell their story! Federal workers are real people trying to make ends meet and serve our country. These studio portraits will surpass the standard evenly exposed shot featured on the average corporate website, and help show the world who these amazing people are. Photos will be shot at the Creative Hands Studio in Washington, DC, which is
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Basic Landscape Lightroom Tutorial


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In advance of my February 11 Lightroom workshop, I wanted to share some basic Lightroom videos that show how I approach my post-processing of landscapes. This pond sunset was taken in Phoenix, AZ late last December. Though the sun was behind a mountain, the clouds were still showing some lovely color, though you could not tell that from the camera’s original interpretation of the picture. This video shows my workflow that produced the above image. If you want to download the original RAW file, you can find it here.

The above Lightroom Landscape Tutorial made with Adobe Lightroom Classic addresses these topics: Color correction
White balance
Color profiles
Histograms
Cropping
Whites
Blacks
Spot removal
Highlights
Shadows
Sharpening
Saturation And much more. Take your landscape photos to the next level with my basic Lightroom Landscape Tutorial. Don’t miss my February 11 Lightroom workshop in Arlington, VA. The post Basic Landscape Continue reading "Basic Landscape Lightroom Tutorial"

Focusing on the Your Shot Community in 2019


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Rain and Shine – A determined photographer shows in the rain or the blazing sun or both (in a rain shower). This is former White House photographer Lawrence Jackson in my one image published by National Geographic.
The Internet offers photographers many options, perhaps too many options, to share their works. With so many choices, I participate in the networks I focus on networks that deliver value, whether from a marketing or a creative development perspective. I find myself posting more frequently in National Geographic’s Your Shot Community, and plan to continue there through 2019. A photographer community like 500px, YouPic, Flickr and Photofie, Your Shot offers some unique value. Because Your Shot is curated by four National Geographic editors, there’s a stronger focus on editorial storytelling in the community. Editors literally scan every photograph posted on the network each day and favorite the ones they like.
Favorited photos are
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A Holiday Buying Guide for that Special Photographer


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With the holidays right around the corner, many loved ones want to know what their photographers want for Christmas, Hanukkah, or another holiday they might celebrate. I have my desires but decided to ask my colleagues in the DC Focused Facebook community what they want for the holidays this year. Find below a list of potential gifts for shutterbugs, from the most cost-effective to the priciest. I sprinkled in a couple of suggestions, too. Links and prices are from B & H Photo unless the item can only be found on another store. These are not affiliate links. It’s just my favorite photography equipment store. I also use Adorama and Amazon.

Affordable Photography Presents

Everyone’s a Photographer Until… – $18.99 for this super funny T-Shirt. Suggested by Jason Schlosberg. Aputure AL-M9 Amaran Pocket-Sized Daylight-Balanced LED Light An affordable $45. “This is incredibly handy for an on-camera video interview light or just as
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Soleil as Cleopatra, Child Goddess


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These four portraits of my daughter Soleil, feature her dressed up as Cleopatra, Egyptian Goddess. Soleil asked me to take the photos of her last winter, so we went and purchased two costumes, and booked some studio time at Union 206 Studio. Jessie Campbell did the makeup. Unfortunately, I had some significant life events that interrupted the effort. Seven months later the composites are done, just in time for Soleil’s birthday next week.

Egyptian Concept and Influence

The project was deeply influenced by Josh Rossi‘s Wonder Woman effort, where he spent $1500 to turn his daughter into the Amazonian superhero. This effort cost approximately $600, more of a bootstrap effort, in comparison. Soleil’s Egyptian concept allowed us to put together two costumes piecemeal via various manufacturers on Amazon and Etsy.  We bought tunics, Halloween costumes, wigs, and costume jewelry.  It was just Jessie, Soleil and I in the studio,
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What Kind of Camera Should You Get?


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Shot with a mirrorless x100F. Friends often ask me what kind of camera they should get. Usually, it’s because someone wants a new travel camera, their first real camera, or they want a device capable of more functionality than their smartphone. It’s a bit of a difficult question, as the camera industry is in transition with mirrorless cameras almost outselling DSLRs now. But there are some easy qualifiers. Someone’s first camera or a new travel camera should offer a couple of things: 1) The ability to shoot manual: Knowing how to shoot manual is the singular skilled shared amongst serious pro and enthusiast art photographers. Though camera software systems continue to improve with technologies like eye recognition, autofocus interprets a shot in just one way. That limits your artistic flexibility to create depth of field, long exposures, creamy bokeh, etc. If your interest in photography expands, you will want to learn how to shoot
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Why I Took a Flyer on the Z6


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The Nikon Z6 Last week, I went out on a limb and pre-ordered the 24 megapixel Nikon Z6, which should ship on November 30. It is a bit of a flyer, but assuming my instincts are correct, the camera will replace my second body, my D750. Currently, I have two cameras, one a D810 and the other a D750. They are my first and second bodies respectively. I use the D810 almost exclusively for jobs, and the D750 serves as a second backup body in case of failure, and a personal project camera, too. I intend to upgrade both cameras over the next year and a half, and I definitely wanted to move towards mirrorless. The camera has much to love, including most of the features that Sony and Fuji have pioneered in the space. Most notably, Nikon has an incredible new mount that lets in more light than any other Full
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Photo of the Week from Geoff Livingston


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The above photograph was taken on the Indian River Jetty in Dewey Beach this past week. It is literally my first photo of the week. Every week I will send interested parties with my highest ranked photo posted on the 500px community. The emailed image will include a link to a downloadable version of the picture on Flickr. Photo of the week recipients can download the photo and use it however they like via a non-commercial creative commons license. If you would like to receive the photo of the week, click on the image below to signup. Photo of the Week Signup The post Photo of the Week from Geoff Livingston appeared first on Geoff Livingston.

Photographing the Washington Monuments with Angela Pan


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Last week I interviewed Angela Pan in advance of our Photograph the Washington Monuments at Night photo workshop on July 18 (held in conjunction with Focus on the Story). For those of you who don’t know her, Angela is the author of Snap DC: Your Guide to Taking Extraordinary Photos of the National Mall and Beyond… You can watch our interview with some of Angela’s fantastic photography above. Or you can read the entire interview transcript below (with a pic or three). And do consider attending our Night Monuments photography workshop on July 18, 7:30 until 10:30 p.m. It’s going to be fantastic. Angela Pan Geoff: We’re doing this workshop together, it’s about the national monuments. And you just put out a book on it, which I’ve got, it’s outstanding. Tell us about your book [Snap DC]. Angela Pan: Thank you. It took about nine months to create, and it’s
The Washington Monument by Angela Pan
The Tidal Basin by Angela Pan
The U.S. Capitol Building by Angela Pan
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The Creative Curve, A Photographer’s Perspective


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A Street Portrait taken in DC I recently read Allen Gannett’s new book, The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea, at the Right Time. The book offers a compelling view on what makes for a repeatable creative success. Per my Amazon review, The Creative Curve caused me to think, and become unstuck in some ways. Before I get into a quick take on the four main principles of the book, it should be noted that some photographers may balk at Allen’s prescription. As the old adage goes, what’s popular is not good. If you have this ethos about popular trends in photography (for example, Instagram marketing), then parts of you will writhe when you read Allen’s book. However; if you want your work to be seen, purchased, etc., then I suggest browsing his four characteristics of creative success closely. I know my best successes occurred when I was unconsciously adhering to at
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5 Photographers on the DC Streets


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Girls Can Do Anything by Anissa Rahman

Last month, I hosted five amateur to semi-pro photographers on a street photography workshop. The route was pretty awesome moving from Adams Morgan through Shaw and into City Centre.

Anissa Doing Her Thing by Joe Newman

Our goal was to capture a taste of the real DC while learning how to photograph several street scenarios. Along the way we were joined by Focus on the Story Photo Conference (June 7-10) Host Joe Newman who provided some additional tips, and model Rezia Brazia, who provided street portrait opportunities.

Smile in the Rain by Sidney Hargro

The route was broken into three main photo walks. Our workshop photographers and there Instagram profiles were Anna Franqui, Anissa Rahman, Carter D’Wyz, Richard Binhammer, and Sidney Hargro. Here are some of my personal favorites from the many good shots they took!

1) Adams
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5 Street Photography Tips (and Articles)


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Red - Taken at the National Gallery of Art Street photography offers a refreshing authentic glimpse into the human spirit in a time of over-contrived selfies. Newcomers to street photography often feel a sense of trepidation about taking shots of other people in public. To help I have assembled five tips, each taken from a larger roundup article on street photography tips. Enjoy, and if you have any tips to add, please do so in the comments!
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1) You Can Ask for Permission

Robert Moore When I take street shots, I feel excited. You never know who you will meet along the way. Taking portraits of other people can be frightening, though. Some are afraid of intruding on people’s privacy. Say you see a remarkable person, and you want to take their photograph. Go ahead and ask them. That’s how I got this street portrait of Robert Moore, an entrepreneur in DC. This Digital Photography School article
Foggy Morning
The Streets of Havana
United/Divided 2 Winner
Little Cubs Fan
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Why I Believe in the Local Motion Project


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A modern dance class at Local Motion Project This Wednesday is Alexandria City’s giving day for local nonprofits, Spring2Action. I am supporting my daughter Soleil’s dance studio Local Motion Project with a fundraiser and complimentary photography. Why do I believe in this cause? Another Modern Dance Class at Local Motion Project Many children find their creative spirit and a sense of self confidence by participating in Local Motion Project classes. I have witnessed it with Soleil over a period of three years, and I have seen it with other’s children. As a parent I find this outcome to be indispensable.
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Soleil’s Story

Children at a Local Motion Project Class. Soleil (the girl with the red scarf) has always loved music and dance. For the past three years she has learned to express her creative spirit through ballet, modern, and tap dance classes. Today, she will literally float around the house in joy. Local Motion Project gave her that gift. Soleil practicing her hop. This year she learned not to quit. She
Soleil and Westin
Soleil Flying Mono
Soleil Learns How to Ride a Bike
There Is Fun to Be Had at Local Motion Class
Tap Class
Spring to Action Day Is Here for Local Motion Project
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10 DC Scenes to Photograph Besides the National Mall


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One of My Favorite DC Scenes in Georgetown Why put together a list of DC scenes to photograph besides the National Mall? There is so much more to see and photograph in the DC area beyond these tourist favorites. The region is ripe with incredible architecture, cool neighborhoods, and even amazing natural vistas. Sure, every local and traveling photographer cannot resist the call of the national mall, including me. After all, it is cherry blossom season. And can you blame us?
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That said, once you get a taste for metro DC, you come to appreciate the incredible character the region has to offer beyond monuments and federal buildings. With that in mind, let’s show you a little of what the city has to offer. Whether you favor street, nature, or travel photography, there is something in here for you.

1) The National Cathedral

The National Cathedral is one of the best places in DC to photograph. Both inside and out, this cathedral offers a taste
The interior of the National Cathedral.
The C&O Canal in Georgetown.
The Exorcist Stairs
Blagden Ally
Girl in Shaw
The Waterfall in Great Falls, Virginia.
Hiking through Great Falls
The Wilson Bridge
Cobblestone paved Princess Street in Alexandria, VA.
Pedestrian Bridge in the Navy Yard
Pedestrian Bridge in the Navy Yard
Glen Echo Park
Shonali in Glen Echo
The Azalea Garden at National Arboretum
An Epic Love Story
U Street is always bumping at night.
There are many murals in the U Street corridor.
Anthem is in the middle of The Wharf.
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