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Old 08-31-2006, 06:40 AM  
|Zach| |Zach| is offline
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Springfield News-Leader: Amateurs capture digital images

Link with photos... http://www.news-leader.com/apps/pbcs...608310411/1005

Zach Cobb has his sights set on being a professional photographer.

But it wasn't always so. He had a change of heart near the end of his college career at Missouri State University, where he was studying media.

It wasn't a class or an exceptional teacher that led Cobb to photography. The 23-year-old Blue Springs native credits photo sharing sites such as Flickr.com with sparking his interest in taking pictures. He's one of countless new enthusiasts brought into the hobby by photo sharing and digital equipment.

"The digital age has just awakened more people to photography in general," says David Eslick, a member of the Southwest Missouri Camera Club who's been an amateur photographer for decades.

Digital photos have even made their way into the Ozark Empire Fair. Exhibits director Mary Quinn says entries in the digital photography category have jumped from 54 to almost 2,000 in the four years since digital photos became a category.

For Cobb, who has left school for now to focus on photos, the sites allowed his work to be see by many, which is something an amateur couldn't easily achieve a few years ago.

"I think Flickr really broke down the barriers between the idea of a legitimate photographer and someone who is just taking pictures the idea that there is this huge, insurmountable gap there," he says.

Technology and the cost of equipment are still obstacles for the beginner, Cobbs says. Many digital SLR, or single lens reflex, cameras now cost less than $1,000. But even with a $150 point-and-shoot camera, it's easy to step outside the front door and get creative.

The falling cost of equipment and the rising popularity of free photo-sharing sites mean more amateur shutterbugs than ever are getting the feeling of instant gratification that comes with digital photography.

But equipment alone does not make one a photographer.

That's why local photographer Tim Buchanan says he's learned a lot from critiques of his photos by other photographers. One place he gets those critiques is online at Nature Photographers, a Web site with public critique galleries.

"It's one thing that's really helped me grow as a photographer," says Buchanan, who's also the vice president of the Southwest Missouri Camera Club. "It makes you think more critically about your own work."

Buchanan, who's been into photography for about three years, is quick to add that many online critiques must still be taken with a grain of salt because you don't always know who's doing the critiquing.

Flickr, which is owned by Yahoo, is a user-generated Web site, meaning users upload their own photos to the site. While photo sharing sites have existed for years, most have always erred on the side of privacy and asked viewers to use a password given to them by the person who wants to share the photo.

But Flickr isn't just about showing off baby photos for relatives. It has a more artistic bent, and the people who upload their pictures want them to be seen.

"There's all this creativity that I was drawn to," Cobb says of the site.

And there are countless categories, or tags, arranged by subject, style, place and more. There are nearly 6,000 photos with a Springfield, Mo., tag.

Photographers can allow people to comment on their work, and users can search for the most popular photos, too.

Flickr users just rate photos on their face value, Cobb says, so newcomers don't have to worry much about anyone ripping their work. Most often, he thinks the cream truly rises to the top.

"A good picture is a good picture," Cobb says.

Like thousands if not millions of others today, Cobb and Buchanan also have their own photo blogs a personal Web site where they can share their photos along with their thoughts or stories behind the pictures.

They don't get as many hits as a major site like Flickr, but personal sites allow for more freedom. A lot of photo blogging software has popped up on the Internet to help people build such pages. Cobb likes PixelPost, which he says is easy to use and ideal for photos.

Cobb has taken photos for Kansas City Chiefs fan magazine Warpaint Illustrated.

He says he'll keep pushing for a career in photography. He thinks the medium is powerful in this digital age, in more ways than one.

"Everybody runs around to meetings with cell phones, instant messaging," he says. "... But I think there's really something to be said for capturing still moments right now."
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Old 08-31-2006, 06:51 AM   #2
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Old 08-31-2006, 06:52 AM   #3
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Wait. One of our mods is a shill for WPI?

Jesus cripes, they've infiltrated the ranks in droves.
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Old 08-31-2006, 06:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspchief
Wait. One of our mods is a shill for WPI?

Jesus cripes, they've infiltrated the ranks in droves.
Just did a little bit of work. It is a resume booster. I would love...absolutely love to have taken pictures of the Chiefs for Chiefs Planet.com but of course, that is another issue for another day.
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Old 08-31-2006, 06:56 AM   #5
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Old 08-31-2006, 06:58 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Brock
FYI, all the money's in porn.
I have heard that is quite a market.

Rumors....eh I mean someone told me...ehhh.

Ya thats it.
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Old 08-31-2006, 06:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Zach)
Just did a little bit of work. It is a resume booster. I would love...absolutely love to have taken pictures of the Chiefs for Chiefs Planet.com but of course, that is another issue for another day.
Yea, I saw your name in the credits of one of the magazines an issue or two ago.

It's too bad the print quality isn't good enough to really show off your work.
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Old 08-31-2006, 07:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspchief
Yea, I saw your name in the credits of one of the magazines an issue or two ago.

It's too bad the print quality isn't good enough to really show off your work.
I haven't seen a physical copy with any of my stuff. It was a friggen whirlwind the whole time. I have a profound respect for sports photographers after trying to get some of those shots.
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Old 08-31-2006, 07:07 AM   #9
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Cool... from what I have seen you definitely have talent, keep after it.
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Old 08-31-2006, 07:18 AM   #10
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if a picture is worth a thousand words, maybe now Zach will !!!




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Old 08-31-2006, 07:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Zach)
I haven't seen a physical copy with any of my stuff. It was a friggen whirlwind the whole time. I have a profound respect for sports photographers after trying to get some of those shots.
I'd go out on a limb and say that sports photography is probably the most demanding form of the hobby/career. You have to have crazy zoom, shutter speeds that are super fast (which don't go hand in hand most of the time), and then on top of that, perfect timing.

I'll stick to still life, thank you.

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Old 08-31-2006, 08:17 AM   #12
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See Zach's first paying gig at his new site "bangbike dot com" where zach captures
video and digital images of his friends banging drunken skanks they pick up near springfield malls and bars. Watch today for 3.95/month.

bangbike dot com is unique in its artistic pRonography expression as with the cost of fuel, and lack of funds for motorcoach availability, they prowl the streets on a tandem bike and a rickshaw, looking for butterfaces to make airtight.

See this free preview as badgranny gets a BIG surprise for her birthday!
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Old 08-31-2006, 10:20 AM   #13
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Cool.
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Old 08-31-2006, 01:53 PM   #14
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Zach you will probably make more money in photography and have alot more fun than media. If you are good that is. I almost changed my major to photography my Junior year, but figured I was too far into design by then. Sometimes I wished I would have, photography is an awesome career.
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Old 08-31-2006, 01:56 PM   #15
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I'm sure wedding photogs make good money.

They'll also provide you alot of actress scouting for bangGeometro dot com.
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