Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

Cost of Doing Business - an NPPA publication

The following is what I have been studying tonight. It is a "Cost of Doing Business" calculator by Greg Smith of the NPPA. The way I see it, you cannot loose by joining professional organizations such as this. These are his figures, but I used them for myself because I may be moving to a city with expenses comparable to his in the near future.

Annual Expenses

Office or Studio (more info)

Advertising & Promotion (more info)

Phone (Cell, Office & Fax) (more info)

Subscriptions & dues (more info)

Photo Equipment (more info)

Business Insurance (more info)

Repairs (more info)

Health Insurance (more info)

Computers (Hardware & Software) (more info)

Legal & Accounting Services (more info)

Internet (Broadband, Web site & email) (more info)

Taxes & Licenses (Business, Property & Self-employment) (more info)

Vehicle Expenses (Lease, Insurance & Maintenance) (more info)

Office Assistance (Payroll) (more info)

Office Supplies (more info)

Utilities (more info)

Photography Supplies (more info)

Retirement Fund (more info)

Postage & Shipping (more info)

Travel (more info)

Professional Development (more info)

Entertainment (meals with clients) (more info)

Desired annual salary (more info)

Total days per year you expect to bill for shooting (more info)

Non-Assignment Income

Stock, print, and reprint sales (more info)


Total annual expenses (including desired salary)
Weekly Cost of Doing Business
Your Overhead Cost for a Day of Shooting (more info)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Controlling Depth of Field

Depth of field study.

By Keith Birmingham

One of the basic subjects that I struggled with as a “beginner” in photography was controlling my “depth of field“, and thus controlling the sharpness of my photographs. It is one of those rules that can easily boggle my mind trying to keep it straight. When I first purchased my camera I carried it around with everything set for “automatic” exposure. That way I would not have to worry with so many of the questions that zoomed through my mind if I had to worry about getting the correct exposure. However, I soon realized that I was getting “a” correct exposure, but not “the” correct exposure. I was getting what I wanted in some parts of my photographs, but not with the entire images. For instance, in scenes that covered a large area there were objects closer to me, or further from me, that were out of focus even though my main subject was in focus. Research taught me that controlling my “depth of field” was very important in getting the visual results I wanted.  What  is in focus in a photograph is very important to creating the mood, or meaning of a photograph.

What I realized was: when you change your aperture setting you change the “depth of field”. That is, you change the area of the photograph which appears to be in focus in a photograph.

Here is how to get the results you want:
    1.) Large aperture = smaller f/numbers = produces limited depth of
        Larger hole = f/32 = limits depth of field.
    2.) Small aperture = large f/numbers = increase depth of field.
        Small hole = f/2.0 = decreased depth of field.
    3.) Use a smaller aperture number to decrease depth of field.
    4.) Using a smaller aperture number makes the aperture opening
    larger and requires that you use a faster shutter speed to get a correct     exposure.
    5.) Use a larger aperture number to increase depth of field.
    6.) Using a larger aperture number makes the aperture opening
    Smaller and requires a slower shutter speed to get a correct exposure.

Here is how I now remember the rules:
    1.) Large hole = less depth of field.
    2.) Small hole = more depth of field.
To make it even easier for me I only try to remember one rule: The other rule works if you just get one right: ).
Trucking Career: It ain't all fun and games.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Taking Care of Business:

Taking Care of Business

The follow story was written a few years ago. I have always considered it a simple outline, a very short draft for a book idea. Now that I am off of the road, and no longer putting in 14-18 hours for 8 days a week on a truck, maybe I will get a chance to write this book.

Taking Care of Business 

The difference between being a looser or a winner is attitude.

by Keith Birmingham

It was recess. Two nine year old boys, Norman and Timmy, were on the school playground playing with their toy trucks. When Billy the Bully walked up to them they both stood up with trucks in hand. Billy the Bully started calling them names, threatening to whip them, and demanding that the boys give him their trucks.

Norman refused, but Timmy became very frightened. Timmy threw his truck to the ground, turned around and ran back to the schoolhouse screaming for help. Billy the Bully leaned backward and roared in laughter so that all the other kids on the playground would see that he had scared Timid Timmy.

Now, watching Timid Timmy run away disgusted Norman. But, hearing Billy the Bully’s laughter infuriated him. While Billy the Bully roared with laughter Norman reached down and grabbed a handful of sand. When Billy the Bully stopped laughing and turned his attention to Norman he received a face full of sand. Billy the Bully raised his hands to shield his face. Norman used this opportunity to kick Billy the Bully between the legs. Of course, Billy the Bully now bent over in pain. And, when he did, Norman used his truck on Billy the Bully’s noggin, laying him out cold on the ground. Now, Stormin’ Norman picked up both of his trucks, and calmly moved to another part of the playground to continue his games.

But, the story doesn’t end there. That was over thirty years ago. These boys grew up. Billy the Bully continued to play with trucks. He grew up and became a trucker for awhile. But, he grew tired of all the hard work, and being gone from home all of the time. So, Billy the Bully got an office job in a major trucking firm. Now, people had to do what he said or he could fire them.

Timid Timmy also continued to play with trucks. He also grew up and became a trucker. Things looked good for awhile, but Timid Timmy continued to whine instead of taking care of his business. And, because he spent more time whining than he did taking care of business Timid Timmy’s business failed. But, the “softhearted” Billy the Bully was there to smile wickedly and give Timid Timmy a job working under him.

But then, one day at a company meeting Billy the Bully was promoted to Corporate Operations Manager. His first order of business was to promote Timid Timmy to Terminal Manager in the worst terminal he could find. And, as usual, Timid Timmy accepted the promotion, and immediately began to whine and complain about his working conditions.

Now, Stormin’ Norman also continued to play with trucks. And, he also grew up to become a truck driver, an owner/operator, and eventually started his own trucking company providing more and more people with good paying jobs. He treated his employees well, and he and his employees prospered. And then, one sunny afternoon Stormin’ Norman closed a deal to purchase the very corporation where Billy the Bully and Timid Timmy now worked. And, the first order of business for Stormin’ Norman was to terminate Billy the Bully and Timid Timmy for incompetence. Stormin’ Norman never tolerated bully’s, laziness or incompetence.

Stormin’ Norman was successful because, unlike Timid Timmy, he stood up for what he believed in. He didn’t waste his time whining and complaining. And, unlike Billy the Bully, he treated his employees well. Stormin’ Norman could be counted on to take care of business, Stormin’ Norman had the attitude of a winner. He and his employees could be counted on to get the job done. They didn’t quit because the job was too hard. Stormin’ Norman proudly ran with the big dogs.

Keith Birmingham is an Oklahoma/Nevada based photographer, writer and webmaster with a growing catalog of industrial, lifestyle and nature photography. HKB Photois the online portfolio he uses to attract professional photo buyers. HKB Photo Studio. If you use articles written by Keith Birminghamfor any kind of publication you must include this resource box with the article. For details please contact Keith Birmingham.
Where I-40 skirts around Weatherford, OK:
I designed this bumper sticker last night: maddadkeith's Store at Zazzle

Friday, December 11, 2009

Nikon D3000 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm & 55-200mm VR Lenses
All shooters from beginners on up, can have a great shooting experience with the Nikon D3000 Digital SLR Camera. This Nikon incorporates high-tech ingenuity with a 10.2MP DX-format CCD sensor, 11-point autofocus system, plus a Guide Mode and a Scene Recognition Mode for improved accuracy for exposure, white balance, and autofocus. Its high resolution also gives you the freedom to print beautiful enlargements and crop more creatively without loss of sharpness The easy-to-use D3000's shooting modes optimize the camera settings for any lighting situation. This DSLR has an Active D-Lighting function used to improve shadows and highlights of high-contrast scenes. Like the Scene Recognition System, Active D-Lighting utilizes a 420-pixel RGB sensor to analyze a scene then adjust exposure to achieve images that closely resemble what the human eye sees.

Price: $ 799.90 - $ 150.00 = 649.90 + Free Shipping (USA)
Click on image to view product

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What the Fed Said:
Site Growth Dismal - and other improvements: )

Site Growth Dismal - and other improvements: )

I will post when I can. But, my plate is full for some time to come. I am off of the road (for good, as far as trucking goes, I hope), but I have to find a way to produce an income. Hopefully, I will produce an income with my photography and some writing. I am also looking at some web design work.

And, I am trying to learn to treat my body better. It seems a miracle to me that I can actually sleep 7 hours without waking up. With just a slight change in my eating habits I have lost 12 pounds. My legs are no stronger, but they seem more limber. I even walked more than half-a-mile at one time yesterday. I hope to do a mile today, and more, more, more. And, I think my nerves are settling down even though I am still jumpy. So, I may at least have improved health to look forward to.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pink Flamingos of the Flamingo



This quick shot was snapped while I was at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino for a wedding photo shoot.

Shot info: Nikon D70s, f/5 @ 1/45sec, 210mm focal length, shutter photo shoot.