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Michael B. Stuart
Lewiston, NY

Articles written by Michael B. Stuart

How I Got Over 900 Million Views on Two Different Photos

Back in 2015 I was pretty active on Google+ and most of my posts would get over a hundred plus ones, which are basically the same as a like on Facebook. Getting this much activity on a public post meant that more people were likely to see it. Eventually this pattern resulted in five photos being selected and featured by Google on Chromecast. While I was excited about the honor, I had no idea how many views would come with it.

Some Photography Tips From a Former Card Carrying Beginner

Being new at something is good, and certainly not something to ever be ashamed of. It can be exciting trying to learn everything you can about photography, but it can also be intimidating. There is too much information to take in right out of the gates. You can see why people end up finding out only what they need to mildly succeed, and sticking with it. I prefer to always grow, and by sharing some tips that I've learned I will probably pick up ten more from the comments.

Don't Be Afraid to Take Creative Liberties in Your Photo Editing

One of the biggest hurdles I got over in my journey as a photographer was following too many rules. There are two very different areas in photography you can spend a lot of time studying: the technical end consisting of your gear, exposure, aperture, lighting, and of course the trusty (or dreaded) histogram, and the artistic side where you focus on the look and feel you want to express. You think about the style you want to emulate or portray. Regardless of which side you focus on, you can really get lost making sure you have followed every suggestion correctly.

500px and Format Team Up in Toronto for Online Photographer Portfolios

While everyone is busy arguing down here in the States, two companies based in Toronto, Canada have joined forces in a collaboration to bring Format's very strong looking online portfolio feature set to 500px's active community of over 9 million photographers. 500px is a very popular photo sharing site that was launched in October 2009 and has stood out both in terms of user interface presentation and the overall quality of work showcased. Format boast a very slick and easy to use platform with impressively high user recommendation rate of 95%.

The Concept of Your Favorite Photo Has Changed

Everyone has what they would tell you is their favorite photo. The measure of why has changed quite a bit over the years and I think I might like the old way better. I only say this because Social Media is the main source of validation for a number of photographers today. Applying modern day metrics of likes, shares, retweets, and views creates a score of sorts that someone can use to justify why a photo might be their favorite. This score didn't used to exist. The old equivalent might have been a photo placing well in an art show or being used in a print publication.

First Impressions Are Everything On Your Instagram Profile

A lot of people came to visit when I shared why most of us are not exactly the best at Instagram due to lack of hustle and effort. When someone takes the time to comment or like a few photos I will usually take the few seconds to go see their profile and immediately judge it. We all do it. Sometimes it is a good impression, but often since the majority of us don't plan the posts much, it is not. There are people out there doing it much better than us though. Let me show you some profiles that have a stunning first impression.

Photographers Everywhere Are Stunned After Raw Tests Positive for Compression

There is nothing sacred anymore. The one file format agreed upon and standardized across the industry for its minimally processed data directly from the camera sensor has apparently been the target of a recent investigation headed up by Film Lovers Association of North America. There is evidence that while the raw file format advertises and guarantees lossless capturing, about six years ago it started using compression from time to time. This became a habit, and before Raw knew it, it was staying up until sunrise with known compressors like JPG and GIF. PNG recently released a statement condemning the fellow format's recent actions saying "it is like I don't even know who Raw is anymore."

Why Us Average Joe Photographers Suck at Instagram

I am not good at Instagram and neither are you. I know this because if you were good at it, you would not be reading this. The photographers who gain a following and crush it with likes and comments have put in a lot of work to get where they are. We have not, but we want more results anyway. Case in point, we suck.

Take Your Time Composing For Stronger Symmetry Photos

I'm a symmetry snob. If you are going for the down the center shot, get in the middle. It may seem obvious but at the end of the day a few inches can make a huge difference and actually make or break your photo. So as much as you want to start filling that memory card, slow down and make the fine tune adjustments.

There Is Nothing Like Photographing a Sunrise [Part 3]

The third and final sunrise in this series was by far the easiest to pull off and the most successful. Once again our setting is on a family vacation, except this time it featured Grandparents. Close your eyes (after the sentence of course) and imagine yourself alone about to enjoy a sunrise all to yourself on a beautiful beach in Cape Cod, MA.

There Is Nothing Like Photographing a Sunrise [Part 2]

For me, capturing a sunrise often coincides with a vacation. During the month of February 2015 temperatures were insanely cold. Memories of a fun-filled fall were long forgotten and cabin fever was starting to spread through the household. Worry not though, Groupon came to the rescue with a reasonable two-day pass for an indoor water park about ten minutes away in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. The wife bought the deal, and I took Thursday and Friday off work. To Canada we go!

There Is Nothing Like Photographing a Sunrise [Part 1]

One of my goals as I started taking photography more and more seriously was to shoot a sunrise. Although it seems easy enough to just "get up early and bring a camera," I've found more often than not if you aren't prepped, you'll sleep in. Join me in a walk through three of my successful sunrise shots!