Thursday, February 2, 2017

Calgary Photography Events - February


February is always a great month for photographers in Calgary as it kicks off Exposure Photo Fest, which has expanded to an Alberta-wide event since being established back in 2004.

You can find a full listing of the nearly 40 exhibitions across Alberta here online: www.exposurephotofestival.com/exhibitions

A few I plan to check out this month include:
Alberta Through the Back Door - February 10, 2017 - April 7, 2017
Hosted by Resolve Photo in Calgary, featuring several local photographers and each of their takes on a the very diverse province of Alberta. Event Details: Alberta Through the Back Door Exhibition

Night Skies at the Cave - February 4, 2017 - February 28, 2017
Hosted by Cave & Basin Historic Site in Banff, featuring several local photographers who capture the beauty and wonder of the night sky. Event Details: Night Skies at the Cave Exhibition

The Know: Exposed - February 2, 2017 - February 28, 2017
Hosted by The Know Gallery in Calgary, featuring four local photographers with vastly differing takes on Alberta. Event Details: The Know: Exposed Exhibition

I will very likely (as well as recommend that you) take in many more of the exhibitions featured on the full listings page. This is a fantastic time of year to find out more about local photographers, artists, print shops, and really all things photography. Who knows, you may just find out your favorite new artist/photographer is from right here in Calgary. Oh, and did I mention it's FREE!



Beers and Cameras - YYC -
February 2, 2017
Another event to check out is brand new to Calgary. Beers and Camera's is kicking off a new chapter right here in Calgary and is being hosted by The Camera Store. On Thursday, February 2, 2017 this inaugural event is set to kick off at 6pm at the new Mill Street Brew Pub, which has transformed the former Republik night club into a beautiful new social spot serving up a variety of fantastic beers. From there a photo walk hosted by Neil Zeller will make its way to the second event location of Local Tavern 510.
This should be a fantastic event for any level of photographer to attend to get new tips, tricks, social networking, and beer ... there will be beer!

For all event details check out: Beers and Cameras or the Facebook event page


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Instagram Inspiration : 12 Outdoor & Travel Accounts To Follow!


I love seeing amazing images from around the globe! It provides me with a daily dose of inspiration if you will, keeping me motivated to get out and travel. It also keeps me keen to improve my own photography skill set and learn new techniques. From Burning Man, to mountain tops, to caves and everything in between, this list should provide you with an incredible look at the amazing world around us ... something that keeps me stoked every day!

I thought it would be cool to compile and share with you some of the accounts I follow closely for EPIC travel inspiration. Feel free to share (in the comments section) some of the awesome Instagram accounts you love so I can go check them out!


Follow @natgeo on Instagram
Follow @natgeo on Instagram

Follow @lebackpacker on Instagram
Follow @lebackpacker on Instagram

Follow @arcteryx on Instagram
Follow @arcteryx on Instagram

Follow @chrisburkard on Instagram
Follow @chrisbuckard on Instagram

Follow @colerise on Instagram
Follow @colrise on Instagram

Follow @danielkordan on Instagram
Follow @danielkordan on Instagram

Follow @gopro on Instagram
Follow @gopro on Instagram

Follow @lonelyplanet on Instagram
Follow @lonelyplanet on Instagram

Follow @tiffpenguin on Instagram
Follow @tiffpenguin on Instagram

Follow @treyratcliff on Instagram
Follow @treyratcliff on Instagram

Follow @bobbyjoshiphotography on Instagram
Follow @bobbyjoshiphotography on Instagram

Follow @travisburkephotography on Instagram
Follow @travisburkephotography on Instagram


Follow @neilmcelmon on Instagram
Follow @neilmcelmon on Instagram


Of course I had to shamelessly plug my own account ;)


Thanks for checking out my Instagram Inspiration Outdoor & Travel Roundup! I hope you found some great new accounts to follow, and look forward to hearing feedback about the Instagram accounts that inspire you!!



Monday, October 10, 2016

Adobe Creative Cloud / Photography - DISCOUNT !!

For anyone who ever wanted to pick up Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom, you are probably familiar with the sticker shock on the software and likely decided against it much like myself. Adobe has since revisited how they distribute and update their software, moving into a cloud based system, Adobe CC. I took some time prior to switching over, making sure to get feedback from fellow photographers and was completely blown away at how fast and easy the whole process was. At an annual cost equivalent to the standalone copy of Adobe Lightroom, you get the most current release of BOTH Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop, it's really an amazing package for the cost. Since the software is cloud and subscription based you also receive the most current software updates as they get released, so your software will always be current. 

The regular subscription price which I pay is $9.99 USD, which is really a fantastic deal already considering I am using one of the two programs regularly every day. I happened to come across this deal online today where new subscriptions can get the first year for only $7.99 USD, an even better deal!!

Follow this link to take advantage of this deal (I am not making $ or anything either, just thought I'd share this great find) >> Adobe CC DEAL <<

To check out more about Adobe Creative Cloud / Photography software package simply follow this link and learn more >> Adobe CC Photography <<

Adobe Creative Cloud / Photography

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Discount's and Freebie's

Hey guys!
Everybody likes to save money when they can, especially in the expensive world of photography. I am certainly one of those people. So I decided I'd shoot out a quick blog post highlighting a few money saving options for you guys.

SmugMug Discount
I wanted a reasonably easy to use back-end that had a clean, professional look all without paying a substantial yearly rate as well as being able to use my own URL. SmugMug covered all of those areas for me and I found the rate especially appealing compared to some other similar hosting sites. 
There are 4 different package options to choose from, I am currently subscribed to Power plan which has all of the features I wanted, and should I want to upgrade to another package it's super easy to do with one click.
The site itself is quite easy for any level of user to get started, and has plenty of customization features for the more advanced users as well.
If you are looking to make some money selling digital downloads and prints there is options for that as well allowing you to set your price points.

Feel free to visit my current portfolio website (www.neilmcelmon.com) to see for yourself, and if you are ready to start up your online portfolio site AND you'd like to save a few bucks while doing so be sure to follow my referral link below to save 20% off your subscription!


SmugMug Discount

Google Nik Software - FREEBIE 
In case you missed it a while ago, back in March Google made their famous Nik Software Collection free for all, yes ... FREE!

It is an incredibly powerful collection of plug-ins that can be quite easily integrated with your Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, or Aperture workflow. The package includes Analog Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro (a personal favorite of mine), HDR Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro, Viveza, and Dfine. This package last year ran somewhere around $100 if I remember correctly, so the chance to grab it free now is quite an awesome deal to say the least. Simply follow the link below to grab your copy!

Google Nik Collection

Sunday, June 26, 2016

SE Asia Gallery / Sony a6000 review

Finally, after far too much procrastination since returning home from SE Asia, I have completed my gallery of travel photos. While most of the images I captured were very unplanned and spontaneous, I feel like in the end I was still able to capture moments that I can look back upon and remember exciting things. Normally at home I currently shoot with a Canon 6D and Tamron 24-70 2.8 lens. For this trip though, since it was not only my first trip longer than 10 days, it would also be my first time overseas so I opted to try out a mirrorless camera system so as not to lose or damage my Canon which I use a lot of event and music photography and the setup would be hard for me to replace at the time. After much research I went with the Sony a6000 camera for my trip. The price was very reasonable for a camera which boasts a 24.3 megapixel APS-C sensor (equivalent to a crop sensor on a DSLR) in a very compact, lightweight design which is good since I was packing super light for this trip. Overall I was happy with the camera, though in hindsight I should have bought the camera body and lens separate as the kit lens it came with left a lot to be desired. I would recommend a mirrorless camera system to anyone looking to capture high quality images while reducing size and weight during travel. A complete review of the Sony a6000 can be read here for anyone interested. Shortly after I returned back to Canada in March, Sony had announced the latest version of the camera, the Sony a6300, which cost quite a lot more and at first glance appears to be quite similar to it's predecessor.
The compact size and fast focusing of the camera was very useful when it came to street photography, which is something I spent a lot more time trying out during this trip. The opportunities for amazing street photography are endless in countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Malaysia so I was happy to have a small and discreet camera system in hand. Another feature I found quite useful during my trip was the ability to do RAW conversion and export directly and easily to my smartphone. With free WiFi at almost every establishment in SE Asia I was able to keep my social media feeds going with current content using high quality RAW base files. The camera body itself features a 3" articulating screen on the back, something I found to be a bit of a poor design compared to the fully adjustable screen found on something like the Canon G12. The reason I find the design poor is that it only tilts to about a 45 degree angle, in the end the screen is always exposed on the back making it very prone to scratching when you are transferring it regularly in and out of a backpack or daypack. The design of the Canon G12's screen is far better in my opinion as it can be rotated completely around and the screen can be folded into the camera body during storage. While many reviews speak to the poor battery life of the camera, I didn't find it too bad overall in my experience and the battery/camera can be easily charged with a micro USB cable similar to many of today's smartphones so it was never an inconvenience for me. I found the quality of the landscape photos I captured pretty good as well, and not having to lug a heavy DSLR/lens combination to some of the hikes was definitely a bonus at times when the temperatures on average reached over 30+ degrees each day.

Overall i'd say my first experience with a mirrorless system was a positive one, though at times I definitely wanted my DSLR in hand for familiarity. I have since sold the Sony a6000 since I was out of money when I came home and did not require 2 camera bodies at the time. The technology has certainly come a long way in mirrorless camera systems and I would definitely consider buying another one someday as a second body.

If you are reading this (i'm not certain that anyone does or not haha) I highly encourage you to check out my full SE Asia gallery of images over at my website ... http://www.neilmcelmon.com/Travel/