Swimmer
Indoor Vs. Outdoor Sports Photograpy

Sports that take place indoors such as basketball, volleyball, and swimming are sometime hard to shoot – even with fast cameras and lenses.

Most indoor gymnasiums and pools are designed for the sport, not for the photographers shooting them.  Here is a shot from a race in an outdoor pool.  Even though most races and meets you can use flash photography as long as it’s not at the buzzer off the block (the swimmers watch for a flash that goes along with the buzzer to start) you just can’t get this kind of light indoors.

  (Canon 60D, Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 lens)

“How to be Predictably Persuasive in Your Copy”
by Ray Edwards

Sorry, listening to the audio on this website requires Flash support in your browser. You can try playing the MP3 file directly by clicking here.

The Ray Edwards Podcast
September 19, 2013

I met Ray Edwards at a conference many years ago.  He’s a copywriter who has a podcast covering copywriting and life lessons.  Many people don’t pay attention to the copy on their websites, advertisements, sales letters, and email sequences.

There’s a reason why copywriters are some of the highest paid people in marketing – a good copywriter sells.

It’s easy to think you can do the same thing because you wrote a lot of essays, research papers, etc. in college, but the fact is that those kinds of writings are rarely effective in anything else except showing the professor you can follow instructions.  Copy is an art form of its own.  Good copy is engaging, persuasive, captivating, and motivating.

If this is new to you, we need to talk…

Soccer

This is one of those “just about to lose the light” situations. Like with football, girl’s soccer in the fall will generally have a short window of decent light on the field. This was taken with a 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 zoom which has great range, but is only useful for sports with good light. (Canon 7D Body and Canon 100-400 f4.5/5.6 IS)

Snowmobile jumping
When You’ve Only Got an iPhone…

I’ve said before how hard it is sometimes to decide what camera equipment to bring along – if any at all.  Sometimes you want to take photos of the location, sometimes you just want to be on vacation.  This was one of those “I’ll leave it all home” moments.

  (iPhone 4)

Football Players in Advertisement
A Test of the Big Canon Lenses

After using a Canon 300mm f/2.8 prime for sports action shots, I wanted to see what a 400mm f/2.8 prime performed like on the field.  Often you get in spots that you wished you had a little more reach.

I had the chance to give the 400mm a try for a game I was trying to get a few shots that would be suitable for a magazine cover or print advertisement.  I found that it was a really fast lens, of course in the sense of wide-open f2.8 light catching ability, but paired with the Canon 1D Mark V, the combination just nailed every shot I wanted because of the focusing ability of the lens and the processing power of the 1D body.  Although the camera/lens combo was extremely responsive and impressive, I found that 400mm is just too long for most situations on the field.  You’ll find that you’ll get a lot fewer shots, but extremely good ones.  And you’ll realize that the standard zones for photos you use with a 70-200 f/2.8 are too close.

My overall opinion.  Great combination, great lens – but I still think the 70-200 right on the sidelines with a fast body is the way I would go for most cases.  With that big of a lens, you really need the 70-200 on another body with you anyway.

  (Canon 1D Mark V Body, Canon 400mm f/2.8 IS Prime Lens)

Ranking algorithms are way more complex than ever – more data inputs, more quality checks, more subtlety.  SEO is no longer about links you build, or the content you create – it’s about what is earned through true value creation and interaction with the community.  It’s no longer useful (in fact it is damaging) to robotically create content, links, and posts that nobody cares about – in the hopes that the search engines will be fooled into ranking your pages.

Real, true and natural interaction with the community or market has always been the best way to go because while you can sometimes fool the machines, you can rarely fool the people – and now, the machines are smarter than you think they are.

There are no shortcuts, and if you are using dated tactics and techniques that seem to be working – just wait, they will soon be a boat anchor around your neck pulling you and your pages into the depths of obscurity.

Rand Fishkin’s presentation from 500 Startups.

Rain on Rocks photo
Rain On the Rocks

Sometimes you just don’t notice features of a landscape until something happens to show you a new angle.  This image was taken just after a rainfall on a road I drive by ever day.  This day, I noticed, stopped and took some shots.

  (Canon 7D body, Canon 28-135mm IS lens)