Archive for the iPhone Photography Category

Picture Taking Fun During Walla Walla’s Red Badge Project Class

Posted in Concerning Photography, iPhone Photography, Multimedia, New Media on August 24, 2014 by A Photographer's Life


Red Badge Project visual media faculty member Johnny Bivera prepares to conduct a presentation on visual storytelling to veterans with PTSD.

Red Badge Project visual media faculty member Johnny Bivera prepares to conduct a presentation on visual storytelling to combat veterans.

I want to thank our students and staff for participating in a little shooting assignment for our first mini two-day Red Badge Project Workshop in Walla Walla’s Public Library. The assignment to use one’s cell phone camera to produce an image with the concentration on content I thought went really well.

So with that in mind, without worry to technical requirements, but more on subject placement, moment and graphical composition, I want to show what photographers can do in post work to make their images more interesting artistically and visually through Photoshop.

Please bear in mind that my manipulations are not intended to show that these are what your images should finally look like but more of a sample on what can be done from an illustrative point of view.

I have compiled the images as a side-by-side note before and after to better show how much work is used to alter and enhance each of the images everyone has turned in.  If we look at John’s image

WW_001of what appears to be a dog outside the yard looking in, the original makes it hard to read and it is a soft and blurry image. But there’s a possible graphical interest by using editing tools through Photoshop in the way of filters and third-party plug-ins such as NIC Software ( In John’s image I used sharpening tools as well as pushed the image’s pixel structure to a harsher edge and to also play with the saturation and warmer color balance levels to add additional tones and take it away from its original flat surface. Content wise, the graphics of John was on the right track and interesting to look at, I would in the same instance take additional shots to hopefully get a better silhouette of the dog and hold the camera as still as possible, helping to retain a sharper image. If holding the camera as still as possible hand-held but still your images are soft and not sharp, this is when the use of a tripod or setting yourself up against a wall or some solid object that will help keep your camera steady.


In Michael’s image WW_002of Army veteran Jerry Leisley’s tattooed arm and hat, is a very nice and clean image that supports the story article of our workshop published in the Union-Bulletin( Again, the original is nice enough not needing much post work, but I want to show what changes are accomplished with the enhancement of the images pixel structure and a little burning and dodging of the highlights and shadow areas using that particular Photoshop tool.

Evan’s work on either a wood bench or fence is really nice when you de-saturate the color to black and white, apply sharpening and enhance the pixel structure to a harsher line adds a little more contrast to enhance a blacker shadow. For these images, you really want to pull out as much detail of the wood as possible. WW_003  A lot of detail shots are done by the use of a tripod, the shutter is slowed to gain greater depth of field and lighting and time of day is taken into account to gain the best possible three-dimensional feel to an image.  His second shot of a very cute baby is greatly enhanced by the use of sharpening tools to include structure enhancements and a little dodging and burning. Indoor photography without the use of fill flash is very challenging, and one of the most used for cell phone camera photographers. Both images have great content.









Brent’s six images below show when applying the use

WW_007  of Photoshop editing and third-party software plug-ins, really pull out Brent’s great eye for graphic lines and design.

WW_008There would be great commercial or fine art value in Brent’s work should he continue to pursue photography more seriously. To get more out of Brent’s eye, talking technically, the time of day and studying where the light is coming from can greatly enhance these images or any future image he shoots.WW_006  Using a tripod for very early in the morning or when the sun sets, will add color saturation, three-dimensional shadows and detail, helping to add more to his images without having to use so much post Photoshop editing.



Skips’ image of his dog is very nice and has a reflective relationship between man and his best friend. De-saturating the color to black and white and pulling the shadow detail out with a little burning of tone into the highlights balances the tonal value overall, as well as kicking in a little structural value of the pixels pulls out detail in the carpet lines and his dogs fur gives a more readable image overall.  WW_011


All in all the content of everyone’s images are very visually interesting and I hope that this gives all a better idea that the pictures that one is taking has an even greater value with a little work in post. But to better create a product, shooting the originals and taking into account your lighting and time of day for better color saturation and depth, using tripods or ways to steady the camera for a sharper image will greatly make for a better picture with less work later in post production.


From NY to DC Copyright Discussions by Johnny Bivera

Posted in Concerning Photography, iPhone Photography on April 30, 2010 by A Photographer's Life

It has been quite a week of dialogue concerning intellectual property and copyright, from forums such as ASMP’s ‘Copyright and the New Economy’ in New York to IPI’s ‘Intellectual Property Impact on Jobs and the Global Economy’ in Washington, DC.  It all seems to be riding a tide of awareness, at least for photographers a growing consciousness concerning everyone’s need to understand and implement the registration of their original work with the copyright office ( ).  I share with you a few of the many discussions that happened during the week between NY and DC.

A distinguished panel of leaders at ASMPs Copyright and New Economy symposium in New York Times Center. Moderated by Jay Kinghorn, left, shares the stage with Chase Jarvis, Jeff Sedlik, Liz Ordonez, Darrell Perry, David Carson and Lawrence Lessig.

The New York symposium led by ASMP ( brought in leaders from all levels with differing points of view on the issue of copyright, its challenges and direction.  Part of its launch in a new initiative called Registration ©ounts ( ), ASMP leads an awareness concerning copyright issues and promoting photographers to register their work while providing tools and information necessary for registration.  Among the group of educators and leaders was presenter Brian Storm, President of Media Storm ( ), showing touching samples of their latest projects, the use of viral blogosphere marketing and predictions on the ascending use of mobile hand held devices such as the iPhone/iPad and others in place of what may become the replacement to one’s desktop computer.

Photographer Chase Jarvis makes a statement that it would be the first time that creators can also be distributors and the simply deceptive impact in transition it is having.

Also on stage in New York was enlightened photographer Chase Jarvis ( ), who shared about his trials with mega sporting goods giant K2 back in early 2000.  They infringed on his copyright and breached contract as both parties litigated for years till Jarvis won final ruling in 2007 from the 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals ( ).  This was not only a win for Jarvis but for all visual creative’s everywhere, but winning for the greater good did not come without cost to the photographer, as doing so meant turning down a seven figure settlement in place of putting the infringing company on record and establishing a defensive ground against future violators now on notice.  But in the end Jarvis left me with something to dwell on about photography amidst the polarizing legal discussion and going back as to why we do what we do he said, “What I learned about photography is that it’s not about pixels and dynamic range, but about stories and moments.”  This statement is reflective of what I tell students, but it’s nice to hear it from someone who has been through the mill and back and still feels this way about a career wrapped in a challenging economy going through an industry evolution.

The Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) conducts the Fifth Annual World Intellectual Property Day Forum in DC, as they move forward with panelist Jennifer Garcia, President LogiCreative Design, Ben Cockerham, Co-Founder & COO RightsFlow, Sam DAmico, Photographer & Educator, and Dr. Merrill Matthews, IPI Resident Scholar, were one of many that spoke that day, this panel discussed concerns on intellectual property for small and medium enterprises, IP, jobs and the economy. The Institute for Policy Innovation is a civil society public policy research organization.

On the panel for IPI’s DC forum on intellectual property is local photographer and educator Sam D’Amico, who emphasized the importance of registering one’s creative work.  “If you’re going to be a professional photographer, you have to register your work.  If you register your work and someone infringes your work, they have to prove that they had a license to do that.  If you don’t register your work, you now have to prove damages; the ball is not in the infringer’s court anymore but in yours.  You can only sue for damages, meaning how much was that picture worth in the way it was used.  So if it was only $500, attorney’s fees are going to eat that up in no time.  There’s a big difference in the potential legal remedies that you have.”  And coming from experience he went on to conclude, “Intellectual property is the foundation of your business, without your intellectual property you really have nothing.  The copyright is yours from the moment you create it; the thing about registration is now you have statutory penalties and attorneys fees on your side, so there’s a big incentive for you to register your work.”  For more on copyright and your rights, visit and become a member of the Copyright Alliance ( ).

Eugene Mopsik, Executive Director of ASMP addresses the panel on behalf of photographers.

Along with photographer D’Amico was ASMP Executive Director Eugene Mopsik, who took opportunity in asking Congressman Bob Goodlatte’s presence on panel by inviting him and his team to collaborate with ASMP in finding resolutions to problems concerning copyright violations against photographers.  “We would welcome that,” said Congressman Goodlatte, giving insight to his knowledge concerning copyright infringement to photographers and what his office was willing to do in partnering with ASMP, to finding resolutions benefiting photographers.  Goodlatte states, “Photography I think is a particularly difficult area because so often the identification of the author never even registers with the people who are viewing that photograph or using that photograph for their own purposes, and I think that coupled with the fact that it is so easy to make a copy of a still photograph or even a short video that this is an area where we hope for some kind of technological breakthrough that will actually work, because I think you are facing probably even more sever challenges than the music industry which is the dreaded poster child for what we don’t want to have happen in your industry or your completed work.  And people tend to forget about photography, but if you have ideas we would welcome them and we’d certainly want to work with you to protect that creative work.”

So a promising start in having a congressional leader and team on board, but it’s up to us to push and move forward with their help.  At this point it seems that certain levels of industry have shown us the way with necessary tools for registration, but the real endeavor is on us, and that’s to register our work and pass that knowledge on to others.

Story and photos by Johnny Bivera, Member ASMP

Registering Your Copyright Goes Online

Posted in Concerning Photography, iPhone Photography on April 20, 2010 by A Photographer's Life

So here I am in NYC attending a free ASMP workshop with Susan Carr and going through the steps of how to use the new online registration for copyrighting one’s work.  This will be my second attendance for the same program where I watched John Harrington’s presentation in DC a few weeks back, but I arrived a little late from an assignment so I didn’t quite have the groove of what was going down.  But from what I experienced from that, a second and any further instruction on properly copyrighting one’s work is not a bad idea.  Also in NY tomorrow is another free ASMP event at Times Square on ‘Copyright and the New Economy’  Issues & Trends Facing Visual Artists.

ASMP's Susan Carr goes through the process of properly registering one's work online.