Aug 2014 27

Every month, we ask questions to our members about what and who inspires them the most. This month we focus on the top photography YouTube channels out there  that have helped our members along their creative path. According to  our AdoramaPix Members, here are the top 5 YouTube channels for photographers.

1. Adorama 

Without a question, Adorama’s channel is rich in information for the new and experienced photographer.  It is more than a just a camera store, it is an educational resource like no other. It has several different channels, each focused on a different aspect of photography. Mark Wallace does an amazing job of hosting most of  the informational videos. His friendly demeanor and ability to break things down into the simplest of terms makes it easy for photographers to understand and implement.



2. Jared Polin (aka Fro Knows Photo)

With his amazing hair and sincere love for the photography industry, it’s hard not to get caught up in his enthusiasm. Jared Polin, aka FroKnows Photo, offers critiques, tips and great humor. He is determined to help those just starting out by having them get off Auto Mode and switch to Manual Mode. He is a true digital pioneer in the 21st century. Plus, his grandma, Lil,  gives him advice about life on his channel and it is endearing.


3.DigitalRev TV

I can not stop laughing when I watch this channel. The main presenter Kai is so fun. Even the about section has me laughing , “The most subscribed and viewed photography show on the interweb, presented by an asian dude with a British Accent.” With its bright pink graphics and Kai’s dry sense of humor this just makes this channel a delight to watch. Not all instructional videos need to be so serious. You can view new episodes every Monday and Thursday.


4. FStoppers

This is a conglomeration of great photographers coming together to educate the photography community. The channel offers behind-the-scnes videos, gear reviews and so much more. What’s great about this community is that it’s a group of full-time photographers, videographers, retouchers, and editors.  Because of this, it means the group’s  content is always fresh and up to date. Check out the taser portrait series – it’s shocking.



5. Phlearn

You can’t be a photographer in today’s day and age without knowing about PhotoShop and Lightroom. Aaron always has a smile on his face and  puts the “Phun”  in PhotoShop and Photography. It’s important to know the ins and outs of PhotoShop and this channel is dedicated to getting you on the right track.



-Written by Libby for Adoramapix based on feedback from members

Aug 2014 24
Once a month, we like to take you behind the scenes of someone’s photo book. Photo books are so much more than just paper and board. They can can inspire, call for action, help the hurting heal and preserve memories.
Today, we take a peek at Evan Epper’s photo book and her mission.  I started to chat with Evan and was amazed at her story. She told me she just  finished a mission in Peru where her team finished 50 operations in 5 days. We hope her story will inspire you.
Real People. Real Stories. Real Inspiration
I am a Registered nurse for 30 something years – and loved being one just like the first time I became an RN. I started doing surgical missions in 2004 when I joined Cross Cultural Solutions and went to China by myself and met with other people from different parts of the world that wanted to do something different to help out and make some sort of a difference. It was not a medical mission at that time , just plain and pure helping out. It was good but, not great because I did not feel fulfilled with what I intended to do.
Anyway , I was working with a surgeon that knew I wanted to do medical surgical missions so he introduced me to his world where you go far and away, no equipment like we have here, with constant blackouts during surgeries, patients walk 2-3 days on foot to get to you and sleep on hallways etc. It was what I had always dreamed of doing !!!!
From 2006 till present time, I have been doing medical/surgical missions at least twice or three times a year using my vacation time from my full time job as a nurse here at Hackensack University Medical Center in NJ and have to pay out of pocket for my airfare, room and board, food and all supplies I need to bring with me on these journey; although I have to say – I have been blessed to have met so many wonderful people when I started doing the missions. I have patients and their helped fund my trips,I have doctors helped me out and friends and people i reached out to on the web that have supported me tremendously too.
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Actually , I have this wonderful story that I kept repeating because it had touched my life and have warmed my heart so much that I loved sharing the story every time to people. When I first went to Africa, i know i will need a good light source for my surgeon to do a fantastic job since the lighting there is awful,anyway I googled the light source i want and found the company and emailed them to see if i can maybe get a discount etc.well and behold they emailed me back and asked me to come to their warehouse – which I did and there person who I thought was a salesman started putting the headlight on my head asking me while I try them what I think and if I like them ( mind you, that headlight that I wanted was $ 30,000.00 and for sure I can’t afford) so I tried the one I wanted and I said to the guy that ‘ this is the one” , All of a sudden he told his crew to pack them all up and put it in my car and that it’s Evan’s since she needs it- no questions asked , no commitment just plain gift for us to use and yes, he is the owner of the company and donated the headlight that I brought with me to Africa. Mr. Keith Lambie is the President CEO of SOTA Medical who donated my headlights. From that time on – I knew there’s always somebody out there willing to help if they know. I just need to be the voice and help people to open up their hearts to helping others, and helping us also to be able to help others..
The inspiration to my photo books are the people I capture with my lens and the good heart that I see in my travels- the kindness of people despite the difference in color, religion and language. I know I take more than what I give whenever I travel because I become I better person each time and I become more sensitive to peoples feelings and needs as a nurse and get to understand the true meaning of compassion. The photo book gives me a chance to put all this beautiful memories together and tell my story about the people i met that time and the things we did, I loved putting blurbs on my pages as you see because it brings out the thoughts I have for those images.
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 My struggles with what I do is usually financial for the airfare and supplies we bring for the surgeries and also I love to bring some little gifts for the people of that country especially the children ( I usually bring beanie babies because I can use them to be stuffing for the supplies then the kids get a toy after which is fantastic- That SMILE I get from the children when I do that is so Rewarding !!!.)
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If you noticed on my photos we wear surgical hats which looks so pretty during surgeries, I get to know a company that makes them through the web and now she donates those hats every time I go on my trips. Kim Larson owns KimKaps and she is fabulous and helps us every time we go.
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I have done a lot of missions all over: Niger , Vietnam ,Philippines, Nigeria , Eritrea Africa, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Peru, Rwanda  etc. I love all of them. Volunteering is such a humbling and rewarding experience and I wish everyone gets the chance to feel what I feel even just for once in your life .
I have been blessed and I want to pay it forward – so I do what I do and I hope that I can touch peoples lives and maybe if even just one person reads my story and start doing volunteer work after – then I guess I have made a difference.
Thank you Evan for sharing your inspiring story and photo book. If you would like to donate to this worthy cause, just click on these links:


Aug 2014 21

We have received a number of questions recently about sharing photo books. Sharing a photo book  means that you make it available for others to see and/or buy over the internet. To others, your shared photo book will look just like it looks to you when you click the preview button in the PixBuilder tool. I.e. you see a simulation of what that project will look like in print and you can flip through the pages.

You don’t need to wait until your project is completed or ordered before you share it with others online. In fact, you may prefer to show it to others before you finish it so that they can make suggestions for changes or improvements. This is especially true of commercial projects where client feedback is required.

1. Log into your account and under the “My Books” category click on See all.


2. Find the photo book you want to share. Under the orange bar (if it’s not completed) or green bar (if it is completed) you will find three choices : Edit, Copy, Share/Embed. Click on Share/Embed002

3.  Clicking on the Share/Embed button will take you to a new page. On the right hand side of the screen, click on the blue bar that says “Share”. You will then move the button at the top from the off to the on position. You can then either email the link directly to whomever you would like to share it with, or you can copy the link and send it in a separate email.003


We hope these quick and simple tips will help you when you are designing your photo book with Adoramapix.

Aug 2014 20

The photos you take are personal. They mean something to you. Why not take that one step further and display them in a personal way? 0blog

I found a great birch tree that had fallen in the woods.  It’s a native tree from where I live. I had a friend saw it into different sections for me and then saw about a 1/2″ thick place holder into the top of the small stumps. blog


I love the way they look and they compliment the images that represent where I live. Plus, it’ s free and means more to me than a small frame from a general store. If you choose to do something like this, I suggest to use only fallen branches or logs.

-Written and photographed by Libby for Adoramapix

Aug 2014 19

Ever hear the old saying, “You can fix it later in post” ?  Well that is true on a lot of photography issues, however, trying to get sharp images after the picture has already been taken through post processing doesn’t always work.  Instead, try these few tips to get images sharp right off the bat.

1. Set your AF Point

One of the most important things you can do is to use your navigation keys to choose your AutoFocus point selection within your image.  Typically, when photographing people and or animals set the point on the eye that is closest to the camera. Now, if you can’t get the AF point exactly where you need it, then you can always focus and recompose.  This is used best in low light situations or when your subject is in the corner of the the frame. In order to do this, you select the central AutoFocus point and move the camera on the subject. Then half press the shutter to focus the lens and recompose the shot. You will still have the shutter release button half released when recomposing the shot. Then press the shutter when the image is where it’s at in your viewfinder.


2. Use a Tripod 

Tripods are often awkward to bring along or you may think they just too heavy. However, using a tripod stabilizes the camera and reduces movement. Even when you use a higher shutter speed or brace yourself before pressing the shutter, there is still room for error or in this case blur.


3. Back Focus

Did you know there is a button on the back of your camera that can help you get  a sharper image? It’s the back focus button. Many pros often use this to get tack sharp images, however it does take some time to master. The button is located in different areas on different models of cameras. You’ll want to pull out your camera manual to find out the best way to use this button. I found a great tutorial on why this button is important and how to set up in your camera. Click HERE to read more.


4. Good Lens

There’s no getting around this one. Want a sharp image? Get a sharp lens. The best investment I have made in my photography journey has always been a sharp lens. The kit lens that comes with some cameras will not necessarily net you a sharp image. Instead, do some research and find out what lens is in your budget and will give you the sharpest image.  Whether you choose a prime or zoom lens, you should be able to rent them and test them out before making your final purchase. Prime lenses work best for low light. Zoom lenses work best for more action shots. Depending on what you are photographing, this will also help in your decision on which lens is best for you.


5.  Press Shutter Lightly

A softer touch will always net a sharper image when it comes to the shutter. When clicking the shutter, do it as lightly as you can. Your finger should be actually on the button and then gently press it. Also make sure your finger is in contact with the button to begin with instead of hovering over it.  Remember, more movement means more chance for blur. 


We know there are a lot more ways to get sharper images and we’d love to hear from you. Let us know what you do to master sharpness.

-written by Libby for Adoramapix

-images by Libby and Shutterstock for editorial purposes

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