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I hold a regular Q+A session on my Facebook every every so often, and this weekends session was full of great questions. I’ve included them here with some extra clarification on my part since I usually have limited time to answer them live. Thanks to all for participating, I’m always grateful for the opportunity to help in any way I can.

What would be the largest acceptable print in terms of resolution from an 18 MP camera?

Assuming a good capture that is sharp and low in noise, you can easily print up 20” x 30” from 18mp. Again, the quality of the raw file is paramount and this is dependent on the sensor quality. The quality of pixels has gotten much better, and so making larger prints from the same file size is much more possible today that it was years ago. The quality of printers has also improved dramatically in the past few years.

What’s your opinion about Nick collection software. I use Lightroom for photo editing; it gets done almost all my work. Would Nick improve quality of the photos or cut down processing time? Thanks!

I don’t use NIK, but they offer good plugins that some of my students like. As to whether they will cut down processing time, I doubt that unless you use presets. Also you will be converting your raw files into Photoshop files – I prefer to keep raw files as much as possible in my workflow.

What percentage of your photos on any given shoot do you consider to be worthy of further review, and what percentage would you consider to be head-scratchers? We’re having a rare snow day in GA, so I just spent 3.5 hours in Cloudland Canyon taking snow pictures of waterfalls. Out of 97 pictures I have maybe 3-4 that I want to continue working on due to their composition, etc. The others just have me asking myself what I was thinking.

Sorry, I have no idea really…it depends on so many different variables like weather, location, mindset and attitude, and gear I’m carrying. I don’t do it for the numbers, I do it because nature gives me something I can’t get anywhere else. Having said that, failure is the norm…but I don’t look at failure as negative. Only the fear of failure is what stops us from success.

I am going to Italy next month with a group of high school students, and plan to do a lot of photography. However, I have to watch the weight limits and don’t want to be carrying around a lot of equipment. If you had to pick one lens to bring, what would it be?

Which camera system?? From your kit or want to buy new?

Canon T3i. I have a 18-55 that’s my default lens, but would consider buying new. Also have telephoto lens, but not sure I want to carry it around all day!

For a little more range and image quality, I would recommend the Canon EF-S 15-85 – great quality and has Image Stabilization. For an L lens, the Canon EF 24-105L is hard to beat, but you’ll lose a little on the wide end. Either would be great for your trip. Have fun!

Do you offer one to one classes at all and if yes would you be able to do them on Sundays?

Sorry my friend – a busy super schedule and family keep me as busy as possible…but stay tuned for future mentorship programs…

What Lens are you using on your E-M1?

Olympus 12mm, 45mm, 75, and Panasonic 20mm – all primes. I cover that in my field test: Exploring Creative Opportunities with the Olympus E-M1

Is Gatorfoam a good method to display, say, in a coffee shop? What size? How good of an approach has this been for you in generating interest?

Yes gatorfoam is a great way to display prints in an inexpensive yet professional looking presentation. I wouldn’t recommend it for galleries where customers want to purchase framed pieces on the stop, but for coffee shops and similar venues, it works for me. If there’s’ interest for a piece, I receive a customer order and make the print for the customer. Size is dependent on venue, budget, subject matter, etc. And if you market the event properly, it will generate interest. See this how-to video

No question, just a thank you! learned a lot from you, especially from your videos/presentations on Lightroom and of course from your blog. i became significantly better in my photography and post processing in a short period of time, and i guess that’s to a large extent thanks to you.

Many thanks really appreciate that and glad to help anytime.

What types of tripod we can use most of the places ? Any Link ? Or suggestion…

I like FLM and Manfrotto Tripods – you can read a recent review of FLM tripod and ballhead here.

Looking for a printer, larger format, 11×17 or so. Any suggestions? Thanks

Canon Pixma Pro-1 OR Epson 3880 – both great, and both work with 3rd party papers like Canson Infinity. I have both and can hardly tell the different between print quality, it often comes down to the actual image. In general, Canon’s are easier to use with many different types of paper, but Epson can be used with any paper as well – they just don’t make it easy 🙂

What is your best selling print size? Do you find that certain images/subjects are more visually and artistically effective when printed a certain size?

Probably 20” x 30” (24” x 34” matted and framed), but that has less to do with customer demand and more with what and how I sell my work. And yes, for sure print size is highly dependent on image – at least for me, which is why I don’t sell smaller sizes. I cover this extensively in my printing workshops and printing ebook.

Robert what part of the Hudson valley do you do most of your shooting at ?

I tend to re-visit locations between the Bear Mountain Bridge and Esopus. That’s about a 60mile stretch, but after 10 years, all of it is home to me. I probably visit Mt Beacon more than any other location – it keeps me fit and beats going to Golds gym any day!

Any suggestions or links about the use of white balances in landscapes ? Where & what to use properly ? Thank You…

White balance is very much subjective when it comes to nature – it depends on your memory and judgement, as well as the feeling and mood you want to convey. Morning and evening light in particular is very much subject to atmospheric conditions as well as our psychological dispositions and interpretation of color. I tend to prefer warmer colors because it conveys what I feel inside. Others may feel differently, which is we try and make art.

Thanks to all for the questions, and hope to hold another session soon.

RR Jr

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