Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Twitter the non-community for this photographer!

I have a tiny band of 76 followers and the ability to ask a specific question to hundreds if not thousands of other protogs using hash tags, one might think a response to my simple question would be forthcoming....tap, tap, tap...still waitIng. Not once but several times.

When Twitter is referred to as a "community" it makes me think of the scene from the Princess Bride when Vizzini continues to use the
word "inconceivable" and Indigo replies "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

So maybe I am new to the neighborhood, or maybe I posed my question slightly off, seems to me that at least one set of eyes would read, take a minute and respond, even if selfishly it's a means to snag one more follower.

Two reasons for this post, the first is the beauty of freedom of speech on the internet allows me to rant and second is to (in my little way), perhaps cause our photography "community" to stop, read (listen) and respond to those that want to be part of the community.

By-the-way, the #wine community is far better at responding and supporting...I may have to trade in my camera for a few cases of great wine!

So, leave a comment (bet you won't)!

My planned next rant is January 15th, when I take on those that continually post links to Flash sites when they know I use an iPad!


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Monday, December 27, 2010

Play, wine and light = photographs

Fooling around with my camera the other night while half watching TV. The room was relatively dark, just some candles on and one table lamp.

I noticed the reflection of the television on the wine (if you're wondering the wine was 2007 Seavey Napa Cab, yummy) so, what's a photographer to do...

67 photos later and some basic post processing - some contrast, noise reduction, and exposure tweaks...turned out the following set of pics.

The colors are courtesy of what was on the television...

So, love of photography or just happenstance? Please comment.

Become a fan on Facebook and check out my website!

All photos copyright of Bob Ochoa Photography, 2010

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Avenida Urrutia,Tubac,United States

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wine County - Photographer's Work and Pleasure

Welcome to this week's blog (a tad late - but seems a few wineries distracted me).  I hope you find the pics and words enjoyable and will tell your friends to stop on by for a read and subscribe.  Let me start with a few items in the news:

In the news:
  • Tubac Center of the Arts "Beyond the Lens" Exhibition Opening October 15 to November 15.  Tubac Arizona.  One of my works is on display!
  • Just received another 10 or so products to shoot for
  • Practiced some portrait shots (Thanks to Debbie for being my model)!
  • Started adding cameral setting specs to blog pics for those of you that are interested in such info.
  • Napa "Signs" special offer now available on my site, check them out!
  • Now to the pics and words....
Seavey Winery, Napa Valley : 50mm, ISO 400, f9, 1/1250
©Bob Ochoa Photography, 2010
Over the past decade, my wife and I have had the good fortune to visit Napa Valley, California many times.  Each visit has only gotten better.  Better pictures, better wine, and better memories.  This trip is no exception other than I was more focused on improving my photos of the area  The above shot is that of a refurbished diary farm wall dating back to 1881  I used a 50mm prime and had to compose and focus using my feet.  You can visit Seavey Winery...check them out at

Rose, Howell Mountain, Napa ; 200mm lens, ISO 400, f5.6, 1/60
©Bob Ochoa Photography, 2010
On the softer side of Napa, there were some spectacular roses in all phases of blooming.  This one happened to be in the garden of one of the owners of Hunnicutt Winery  We tasted some great wines at Hunnicutt and recommend going there for a visit, but give them a few weeks to finish the road up to their new wine cave.  Ask for Jennifer!

"Red Brand" sign, Chappellet Winery : 50mm lens, ISO 400, f2.5, 1/400
©Bob Ochoa Photography, 2010
2006 is when we first visited Chappellet Winery ( and it was chilly and much so, we were not able to go out to the vineyards.  This year...very different, beautiful blue sky and warm (okay, it was hot!).  Add some nice wine, some education in how Chappellet makes wine = another fun experience.  I shot the "Red Brand' sign off a walking path close to the winery.  The good news here is there was shade for this shot.  Other shots on this trip required some thoughtful setups to minimize the effects of mid-day sun.  

The following shots were of the fruit of the vine.  Both had some direct sun challenges but all-in-all they turned out pretty good.  
50mm lens, ISO 320, f1.4, 1/2500
©Bob Ochoa Photography, 2010
50mm lens, ISO 1600 (whoops), f2.2, 1/3200
©Bob Ochoa Photography, 2010

I hope to have my favorites from this year's Napa trip up on my site in the next week.

Thanks and please tell your friends to check out my blog.  Leave a comment!


Sunday, October 3, 2010

The In-Betweens

                                 View of Elephant Head - from Tubac!  

I just listened to the latest "GoingPro 2010" Podcast #17 hosted by two of the best names in photography, Skip Cohen and Scott Bourne.  It was the topic of the first listener question that is pushing me to devote this week's blog.  The question was when does someone go from an "Uncle Harry" to a professional.  Let me explain...

"Uncle Harry" 
With the technology advancements and lower cost of photographic gear, specifically DSLRs and the availability of training and workshops, there is a significant growth of amateur, semi-pro and professional photogs out and about nationally and globally. (if this were a sponsored blog, I would take the time to provide the readership with some interesting stats to prove the point...but it is not, so if someone wants to google and comment, please do).  This is where "Uncle Harry" enters the scene.  Uncle Harry (aka Soccer Mom with DSLR) is a characterization for those that have nice gear and can be found doing weddings or portraits for their friends, families, acquaintances for free or for a fraction of what a true professional would charge (aka the market price).  

"The Professional"
The Professionals are accomplished, making a living...whether home grown or educated, the professional not only has the gear, they have the bumps and bruises; the lesson's learned; the moxie to have made it.  They "see the light" consistently better, composition is second nature, the professional knows their strengths and core competencies and more importantly, executes day-in-day-out.  Important to note, many of the them (especially Scott and Skip) to give back to the photog community and offer their time, knowledge and heart often with the same fervor they put to the business of Photography.

So what's my point?  I don't think Scott or Skip answered the listener's question.  I think the closest to the answer is what Scott said near the end of the segment...he boiled it down to "commitment" and I agree that commitment is key.  In addition to commitment, equally important is confidence.  For good or bad, this is what moves those of us "in-betweens" from being "Uncle Harrys" to professionals.  Many of us are committed and most of us can learn the craft (no shortage of workshops!), but many of us struggle with our confidence that we can make it.  As a result, we price low, or we trade money for experience.  I submit, there is a direct correlation between confidence and being a professional. 

So, I think the more complete answer is to continue to be committed AND to highlight the importance of building confidence.  Identifying and celebrating the small wins, the continuous improvement toward becoming a professional.  I also think it is important for us in-betweens to surround ourselves with objective and sometimes critical council.  We have a choice, either make it or we shake ourselves out.  If we don't the cold hard market will do it for us, no matter how much we spent on our gear.  

In the news:

  • Tubac Center of the Arts "Through the Lens" Exhibition Photo printed and in route for display between Oct 15 through November 14.
  • Some wonderful person at D'Vine Bistro & Wine Bar purchased one of my fine art prints (at market rates) - exciting 
  • Phase 1 of the Mankinddog shoot is done...just need the customer to identify the final versions that will get posted to their website. 
  • Twitter followers have increased by 5 or 6 over the last several weeks...this is big for my little business.  A shout out to @MommyMentor who helped me kick-start my Twitter practices...shows the power of a re-tweet! 


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Social Media - Product Shoot - Good Week

I have a friend that once gave me council to be focus on the present.  For those that are around me on any given day know that the council is sound but so-so on the execution.  The last couple of weeks have been fun, full of anxiety, and rewarding  

Maybe it is a sign of rookieness toward social media but I am grappling with what my voice should be on this blog, Twitter (@ochoab1), or Facebook.  There is a part of me that wants everyone to find a fine art photo on my site that speaks to them enough to purchase one or two (today?).  There is another part that looks at this as a marathon and that over time and as we get to know each other better (whether through social media, the old fashion phone, or even more old person.  So for the present, I am trusting through some planning, hard work and a tad of luck, the future will take care of itself.  The photo below was taken in 2004 of two older friends walking together.  This is the one I think about when too much anxiety takes over.  Nothing better than walking along with your best friend (in my case, it will be my lovely wife) as we move along this adventure.  

In the news...
I also did another photo shoot for  This is the second set of products for this great company and equally as fun to shoot.  I have so much more confidence shooting bright, metallic or white products or a white web background.  I am also more efficient in terms of # of takes to final proofs.  Here are links a couple of the final proofs:

Mankinddog blanket and three designer leashes  

While you are there, poke around the site.  If you see something you like, let me know we can chat (old fashion social media).  

A couple of companies that have really stepped up for me and my business over the last few weeks.
So, all-in-all a couple of great weeks!  So for now, back to thinking about the present, or is it worrying about tomorrow...


Thursday, September 16, 2010


Short post today for two reasons, first is a promise to myself to post more and second is to highlight two photos that I took a couple of weeks ago.

I always find it interesting what captures my interest. The first pic is simply of my bracelet I wear religiously everyday put into a star shape and placed on my iPad screen. I added some vignette to highlight the subject.

The second photo is made from a set of magnets in typical 3D shapes (triangles, squares). I wanted the reflection off the granite to highlight the shapes. I did a series of the pieces placed at different points along the plane with my nifty 50 wide open but ended up liking this one the best.

In the news!

I ordered the prints for the exhibition at the Tubac Center of the Arts from MPIX. What a great fulfillment house for Photographers. It is easy, intuitive and the right price for what I need. Along these lines, I am going to try out using using Smugmug partners for my next order to see how MPIX compares in cost and service. I will update you on how that comparison turns out.

Be sure to check put my newly designed site. My site

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Location:E County Down Dr,Chandler,United States

Monday, September 6, 2010


I prefer to look forward and see the opportunities that lie ahead.  That is why I only spent a few moments of regret that the last time I posted was nine months ago (my teaser post last week doesn't really count)!  Much has happened in that is fine, the day job is rewarding and no shortage of work and we are fortunate to have such great friends.  

Great news, it's alive!   
My Smugmug website sports a new logo, clean, uncluttered, flow and the ability to order prints directly from the site.  While on the subject, a shout out to Smugmug is in order...they are a great company and by far the best support available to photographers.  Their forum is informative and when one gets stuck, their support is immediate, cheerful, accurate, and a sense of humor to top it off!  If you are looking for a place to host your photos, this is a great company that I would put on the top of my shortlist.  
Click here to check out the new makeover.

In the news:  
I recently submitted several photos for an exhibition for the Tubac Center of the Arts and just received confirmation that the picture below was accepted!  

Nikon 300, Aperture Priority, ISO 800, 24mm, NIK Silver Efex Pro

This and many other great selections will be on display at the Tubac Center of the Arts in October through November.   Here is the link to learn more about both the center and Tubac   Be warned...Tubac is a great place to visit...a couple of visits and you may want to move there.  

That is it for now...look for more posts in the near (at least weekly).  

Leave a comment.  

Monday, August 30, 2010

New posts on the way...

Website revamped, ready to start posting again. Stay tuned!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:E County Down Dr,Chandler,United States