6 Tips for Boosting your Instagram Game

@scottrinck on InstagramIf you’re like me, you probably started your Instagram account by posting random photos from your phone’s camera as you went about your life. Really, that’s what it was invented for. But times have changed and the bar has been raised. Instagram has become one of the most important platforms on the planet for sharing imagery. Its user base and engagement levels have made it a key piece of marketing strategy for everyone from independent creatives to the world’s largest brands. Here are some ways to stay at the front of the pack as the competition grows ever more fierce. Continue reading

Rent This! The X-Rite Color Munki Photo Color Management Solution

If you’re a professional, or an enthusiastic amateur in any visual field, whether photography, video, graphic design or digital art, it’s your job to make sure that your work goes out into the world looking like you intended it to look.

But despite all of the fine tuning you might have been doing on your trusty computer, you may be missing a crucial step, and losing a ton of control over your output. If you haven’t calibrated your monitor and the printer you use for your artwork to make it match the global standard, you’re rolling the dice on what your art buyers, customers or fans are seeing when they look at your finished work. But there is an easy solution.

My favorite calibration tool is the X-Rite Color Munki Photo Color Management Solution. It’s just as easy to use as it is effective. The bad news is that these things cost $450, that’s halfway to a good camera lens, and a purchase that many people won’t be able to justify. But, I don’t think you should buy one. I think this is one of the perfect examples of equipment that is far better rented than bought. For $37 plus shipping you can rent one of these systems for three days from Borrow Lenses and calibrate to your heart’s content.

Rent Calibration Equipment from Borrow Lenses

I recently purchased a new iMac Retina 5K, and decided to rent a Color Munki to get this monitor in-line with the rest of my equipment as well as to update the color profiles of my other displays and my printer, all of which need recalibration over time. I thought I’d share a behind the scenes look at the steps it takes to calibrate your equipment with this great piece of tech. Continue reading

WHO is Sierra Blair-Coyle? THAT is the Question.

Who is Sierra Blair-Coyle
I sat down to read a blog article earlier today called ‘Athlete or Model: What is Sierra Blair-Coyle?’. When I read the headline I was curious, even totally on board, but after reflecting a bit, I’m calling bullshit.

If you don’t know anything about Sierra, give the post above a quick read. It’s got all the background you’ll need. Long story short, she’s one of the higher profile climbers in the world right now because she is very visible online and, to quote the author of the post, “She’s totally hot”.

I follow Sierra on Instagram, and can understand the curiosity of the author, I’ve found myself wondering whether she’s a legit climber or just a pretty face with a talent for sharing in the digital age. Then a single sentence in the article put everything in perspective for me. Continue reading

Story Behind the Top 5 Grams of 2014 – #1 Alpenglow on Mt. Baker

Behind the Gram 2014 – #1 Alpenglow on Mt. Baker

Alpenglow on Mt. Baker

Original Instagram Caption: Heading up to the North Cascades for a weekend up high. It’s gonna be COLD, but it’s always beautiful! Hope to see some colors like this tomorrow morning.

Technical Details: Captured with Sony Alpha A99 with Sony 70-300 4.5-5.6 Lens @ 300mm. Exposure 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400. Color and contrast adjustments in Adobe Lightroom. Cropped and uploaded via Instagram.

I posted this image in November while en route to my first winter exploration of the year in the Cascades. The actual image is from a previous November excursion to one of my favorite haunts in the entire state. Here’s the story. Continue reading

Story Behind the Top 5 Grams of 2014 – #2 Ruth Gorge Sunset

Behind the Gram 2014 – #2 Ruth Gorge Sunset

Ruth Gorge Sunset

Caption as Posted on Instagram: Today on the REI blog you can find the photos from my favorite trip of the year, and one of the most amazing places on the planet. Click the link in my profile to see the whole story.

Location: Stump Camp, Ruth Gorge, Alaska Range, Denali National Park, Alaska.

Technical Details: Captured with Nikon D610 with Nikon 27-70 2.8 Lens @ 24mm. Exposure 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 640. Color and contrast adjustments in Adobe Lightroom. Cropped and uploaded via Instagram.

There are places on this planet that exist on a plane of visual drama that renders any written or spoken description completely impotent. The only wordsmith who has approached consistent success when writing of the sublimity of nature is the great John Muir. His words upon exploring the glacial landscapes of Alaska will serve well to describe the area captured in this image. Continue reading

Return the Junk and Get The Goods! – 12 Gifts for Yourself

You’ve been through everything under the Christmas Tree and by Jove, you’re not impressed. Those ski socks will be useful – ski socks are always useful – but the rest is going to rot in the closet until you can manage to do some serious re-gifting next season. Fear not, there’s a better plan. Return that blender, those corduroy slacks and the new DVD player. Take the pile of money you get, and buy yourself something that you’ll really dig. Here are some things that I’ve really enjoyed this year. Give yourself the gift of a gift for yourself. You’ve been nice. You deserve it. Continue reading

Story Behind the Top 5 Grams of 2014 – #3

Behind the Gram 2014 – #3 Chilcotin Campsite

Mountain Bike Camping Chilcotins

Caption: Is sleeping outside AND riding bikes all day the best of both worlds? I think it might be. Learn how today on the @rei blog.

Technical Details: Captured with Olympus OM-D E-M1 with Olympus 12-40 2.8 Lens @ 12mm (24mm equivalent). Exposure 1/500 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200. Color and contrast adjustments in Adobe Lightroom. Cropped and uploaded via Instagram.

Story: Any way you look at it, Lorna Lake in the Chilcotin Mountains of British Columbia is an inspiring sight. However, it takes on new dimensions of greatness when your first glimpse is through the windshield of a float plane that will soon be using the azure waters as a landing strip. If you happen to have mountain bikes and camping gear on board, you’re absolutely frothing at the mouth. Continue reading

Peter Lik Just Sold a Photo for 6.5 Million Dollars, But Is It Art?

Peter Lik Phantom

Peter Lik Phantom: PRNewswire

Surely by now you’ve heard that the most expensive photo in history has recently been sold by photographer Peter Lik to an undisclosed collector for a record-breaking price of 6.5 Million Dollars. Peter Lik is better known for his television personality and his decadent galleries in posh retail locations in cities like Aspen, Beverly Hills and Las Vegas than for his dominance in the realm of fine art. But whether you like it or not, his work has just created the new pinnacle in art photography sales, and it undoubtedly raises some interesting questions.

Peter Lik is certainly a personality, and has doubtless created an amazing brand, but is he an artist? Can photography even be considered art? Continue reading

5 Reasons I’m Focusing on ART This Year (and maybe you should be too).

Focusing on Art

As we come to the end of this amazing year, it’s time to reflect on the past and to make plans for the future. I feel fortunate to have had another year of success in photography and business, and am looking forward with a sense of optimism and freedom. As an independent artist I am fortunate to be able to pursue any avenue I can make sustainable. This year, I’m markedly moving my focus toward the creation and business of art, and I think there’s a good case for anyone in a creative field to start moving in this direction as well. Here’s why.

1. Personal Vision – There is really only one reason that I feel able to justify selling my work to private collectors or commercial institutions at a rate that affords a sustainable lifestyle. That reason? Personal Vision. If I can’t bring something unique and captivating to the table throughout my career, I’m just a commodity, easily replaced by a cheaper version. But if I’m in a constant process of refining a truly personal view of the world, then I’m the only one who can create the work that I create. Refined art from the soul is irreplaceable and has immense value. Continue reading

Story Behind the Top 5 Grams of 2014 – #4

Behind the Gram 2014 – #4 Forbidden Peak Dusk, AKA, How I (Almost) Ruined Our Climb

Forbidden Peak Sunset

Caption: The soft hues of winter over Forbidden Peak on Saturday night.

Technical Details: Captured with the iPhone 6. Instagram LoFi Filter.

Story: Soon after pulling my bare hand out of my glove to snap a quick shot of the evening light on Forbidden Peak with my iPhone, during which it was instantly stung by the biting east wind and single digit temperatures, we had the tent erected and were inside ready to hunker down for an extremely cold night by Washington standards. All we had left to do was fire up the stove, melt some snow for water and cook up the dehydrated dinners. Then it was off to sleep for an early morning run up Eldorado Peak.

I must have dug through my backpack at least four times before finally being convinced that I had indeed left the stove in the car, some 5,000 feet of rugged climbers’ trail below. The stove that was going to cook our dinner, provide a warming beverage and, most importantly provide our water for the next day’s long mission, was very much out of reach. Continue reading