Rich Clarkson Enshrined into Basketball Hall of Fame

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Few people, if any, have had the impact on sports photography and photographing the game of basketball that Rich Clarkson has had.

On Thur, September 10, Rich was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, as well as being awarded the Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Media Award. 

He is the first photographer to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame. 

After meeting the creator of basketball, James Naismith, as a young boy, Rich became infatuated with the sport.

His infatuation would lead to photographing basketball players and coaches for over 60 years, including 60 Final Fours. He’s captured acclaimed photos of Kareem Adbul-Jabar (still Lew Alcindor at the time), Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Dean Smith, John Wooden and Bill Knight, among many others. 


Many professionals in today’s sports photography look to Rich as the man who helped start it all. Before Rich, a telephoto lens on a basketball court was unheard of, but after Rich’s 30 Sports Illustrated covers throughout his career, many of his techniques have become standard in the industry.

To honor Rich Clarkson, Sports Illustrated is running a piece featuring some of Rich’s most iconic Final Four photos – of which there are several. View the gallery here:

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2015 Sports Workshop Student Lands Spread on CNN

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Photo by Sharon Chapman


Photo by Sharon Chapman


The Summit Workshops can set up photographers with the tools they need to thrive and be successful, like in one case with a student from the 2015 Sports Workshop.

Sharon Chapman, an Australian attendee of the Sports Workshop, was perhaps the most enthusiastic and eager student at the entire event.

That same enthusiasm that drove her desire to learn and soak up knowledge at the workshop also drove her desire to continue improving her photography after the workshop.

After returning home, Sharon traveled to Birdsville, Australia to capture one of the most unique sporting events in the world, a horse race in the desert.

Not only did she capture incredible photos, she captured photos that were featured on CNN.

Link to Sharon’s spread on CNN:

In Sharon’s words, “I could never have gotten the images I did there without doing the workshop and the inspiration I got from everyone involved.”

We’re so excited for Sharon and all of the new possibilities in front of her, and we’re proud to say that she is a Summit Alumni.

Congratulations, Sharon!



The Digital World – NEW Summit Online Course

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Course Overview

In this course, Allen Murabayashi, takes you on a journey into the digital world that now drives the creative industry in many ways. As a Co-Founder of the unique website, Photoshelter, Allen shares his insight and knowledge in how technology can advance your career and take you to the next level. Once you signup for this course, the plans are broken down in the following sections:

  • Lesson One: Overview of Media & Industry
  • Lesson Two: The Business of Photography
  • Lesson Three: Photoshelter tool : Photo Management
  • Lesson Four: Search Engine Optimization, Analytics, Bounce Rates and More

An In-Depth Look

Throughout this course, Allen gives you online tools that can better your business and personal processes relating to photography and other creative realms. This includes topics like SEO, budgets, organization, metadata, business, and more!

View the Course Here

The Most Under-Valued Editing Tool for Architectural Photos

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Nothing catches the eye of a potential home buyer or design client quite like a beautiful set of photos. Whether it’s for real estate agents, designers, or homeowners, expectations are high, and restrictions are often many. It’s not uncommon to have to deal with extremely short notice, very short windows of time in which to work, or to be asked for almost immediate turnaround. We, as photographers, become torn between meeting all the needs while still producing work we are proud of… and all while still making a profit! In real estate, especially, this often leads to photos that are “good enough”. But does it have to be this way?

While most are aware of the basics of editing images for interior spaces, there is one tool that is often undervalued – the Gradient Filter. This can be a tremendous tool for helping to balance out fading light on the edges of a frame when you are limited on gear and are not able to balance out the light on location. Adding a few Gradient Filters onto an image can make your mundane interior photos go from acceptable to impressive, with minimal time invested. The Gradient tool is also excellent in helping to sharpen up towards the edges of the frame, helping to compensate slightly for lens distortion.

The Gradient Gilter can be found just below the histogram in Lightroom. Once applied, you can move it around by grabbing the central node, you can change the angle of it by placing cursor over center line and clicking to spin it, and you can also spread or tighten the gradient by grabbing the outermost line and moving it inward or outward. The flexibility of positioning alone is a great benefit when trying to keep editing time to a minimum.

Gradient filter tool can be found under the histogram in Lightroom

Another great quality about the gradient filter is that, unlike the lens vignetting correction (under the Lens Correction module) or the post-crop vignetting effect, the Gradient Filter can adjust many factors of the image. You can adjust exposure, temperature, tint, sharpness, clarity, and several others. This makes it a very handy tool for making subtle adjustments that would otherwise be tougher to blend in with a brush filter. In this before-and-after example, the gradient filter has been used to adjust for the blue tint in the shadows on the floor due to the bed cover. It’s a subtle adjustment that helps to elevate the quality of work.




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New Graduated and Radial Filter Features in Lightroom 6

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Lightroom 6 graduated radial filter adjustments

Every time a new version of Lightroom comes out the first thing I look for are features that make the Develop module better, or easier to use. The ones I like best in Lightroom 6/CC are the improvements to the Graduated and Radial Filters. Let’s take a look at them.

Addition of mask overlay

In earlier versions of Lightroom you couldn’t tell with any precision which parts of the image were affected by the Graduated and Radial filters.

In Lightroom 6 you can toggle the mask overlay with the O keyboard shortcut, or by ticking the Show Selected Mask Overlay box in the Toolbar. Previously this was only available in the Adjustment Brush, it has now been added to both the Graduated and Radial Filters.

This screenshot below shows how it works. I wanted to make the background darker without affecting the dandelion head. The best tool to use for this is the Radial filter, but you need to be able to place it precisely. The mask overlay makes this easy.

As you can see, the effect of feathering meant that I needed to create a much bigger Radial filter than you might at first think.

Note: The Radial Filter was introduced in Lightroom 5 and is not available in earlier versions.

Lightroom 6 graduated radial filter adjustments

Lightroom 6 graduated radial filter adjustments




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How to Build an Impressive Photography Portfolio

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Creating a photography portfolio can be a daunting experience. As a rule, photographers have basic or no knowledge of design at all. Moreover, creating a site with the pictures in focus can be a tricky task.

Being a photographer makes you a wearer of many hats. It’s critically important to have an online portfolio, so you can easily show your potential clients what you’re capable of. If you have no idea how to start, where to take pictures, how many of them you need for a site, and how to make your portfolio work for you, these tips may help you get started:

What is a portfolio? How Many Shots Do You Need?

A portfolio is an opportunity for you to present your work, but it’s important to consider why you need this portfolio. Are you going to use it to apply for a job? Do you want to use it to start your own photography business? Or do you just want to exhibit your work?


Portfolio by Marcus Smith

Also, you have to think about how many images you need to upload to your site. The layout usually looks good with a small amount of images uploaded on the home page. There should be a balance between the number of images you’re going to show and the negative spaces you leave between, or around them. If you have many images, consider separating them into categories.

When it comes to the home page, there should be something to pull the user in, then let them decide what to look at next. Value visitors’ time – they don’t need to see all the photos you took since 2008. Rather, display only your top-notch work and then show the potential client more photos if they request it. Don’t overwhelm them with pictures. Put the best pictures on the first page to stand out, and leave your other good work on the second page.

Think of Your Audience

Once you have decided why you need an online portfolio, you need to consider the audience you’re going to reach. Think of the reaction you want to evoke – do you want your clients to be touched, surprised or even shocked by your pictures?


Portfolio by Brian Ingram

If you’re aiming to specialize in wedding or portrait photography, it’s logical to include these shots first in your portfolio. There is no need to demonstrate your awesome landscape shots if you are aiming to attract clients for portrait photography. Keep your target audience in mind and do your best to create a site that solves their problems and provides answers to their queries, rather than simply bragging about your versatility as a photographer.



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New Summit Online Course

By | Education, News | No Comments Presents: NatGeo Research with Jim Richardson.

Course Overview

In this lesson, well-known National Geographic photographer, Jim Richardson, takes you where very few have ever been before — behind the yellow border. He brings us inside many of this Geographic stories and what ties them all together: his research. Once you signup for this course, the plans are broken down in the following sections:

  • Lesson One: Finding a Topic, Pitching a Story
  • Lesson Two: Starting a Mock Research Topic
  • Lesson Three: Getting into the Details & Outline
  • Lesson Four: The Actual Shoot

An In-Depth Look

Throughout this lesson, Jim gives you the secret tips he has learned over the years shooting for National Geographic on multiple occasions. He has traveled the world for his assignments and has built a routine of in-depth research to prepare him for many facets of a story.


Visit SummitOnline to learn more about the NEW NatGeo Research course!


2015 Workshops Kick Off with Summit Lighting

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Dave Black on location with a soccer player to show students how to use high-speed sync.

In only it’s second year, the Summit Lighting Photography Workshop has become a mainstay among the Summit Series of Workshops. Both new facilities and additional faculty made the 2015 Lighting Workshop one to remember.

Held in a bigger and better-suited location at Massif Studios, in Denver, Colorado from May 22-24, the Lighting Workshop delivered both a great classroom and studio setting as well as nearby parks and fields for location shoots.


The instructor roundtable. From left to right: Rich Clarkson, Dave Black, Joey Terrill, Matt Hernandez, and Michael Gray from Profoto.

Dave Black and Joey Terrill, Lighting Workshop faculty members and two of our most popular and esteemed faculty were joined by a third member at this year’s workshop; Matt Hernandez. Matt is a former student of the Summit Workshops and owns Matt Hernandez Creative, where he specializes in Senior portraits and athletic portraiture.


Matt and his group photograph Crossfit athletes at Omnia Crossfit Gym.

The three instructors broke the students into smaller groups and took them to shoot different things each day of the workshop. Joey and his group explored culinary and wedding photography in the studio, Matt took his group to Omnia Crossfit Gym to photograph athletes, and Dave took his group on-location to photograph soccer and baseball players.


On Day One, Dave and his students explored studio lighting with a ballet dancer.

Using their own cameras in conjunction with equipment provided by Profoto and Nikon, students were able to truly explore the depths of lighting and it’s impact on photographs. Students worked with studio lighting and high-speed sync to cover a wide array of lighting uses like commercial and sports photography.


Working with Profoto lights, students got a chance to light their photographs with the best lights in the business.