Will Smart Phones Dethrone GoPro Cameras In a Flash?

Image from fstoppers.com


It’s the revolutionary camera that has taken the world by storm. Portable, convenient, and versatile; GoPro cameras are the latest buzz. But with technology constantly progressing, how long will they be around before joining the likes of Sir Typewriter and Madam Floppy Disk?

Fstoppers’ Lee Morris gives his take on GroPro’s destined failure here.

How to Sell Your Fine Art

Don’t you wish you could sell your fine art as easy as you sold that VIP Beyonce ticket to Claire down the street? Well it behooves me to inform you that it’s completely possible. And we found real tips from real professionals on how to do so. This week at Silber Studios, we have scoured the Bay area for the best of the best in the Fine Art Gallery business. By really digging to find the most esteemed gallery owners, we have found a gold mine (in my humble opinion) of information, to share with YOU on how to sell your own fine art work. It truly can be tough, when trying to sell your own personal work, but let’s see if we can help.

As a photographer myself, I’m constantly asking questions, is it even good enough to sell? How much should I sell it for? Should I sell it framed? What size sells best? Then after all of these questions fill your head, if you’re anything like me, you end up with a headache and you’re questioning yourself as an artist altogether.

Well, STOP. We’ve found some real answers! We’ve spoken with a number of gallery representatives from the Bay area and  put together a ten list of those galleries we chose to work with on this project. So first, we’ll share that with you, linked with their website. Then, the answers to your ever-longing questions. Feast away.

  1. Ansel Adams Gallery - Yosemite Valley, CA
  2. Silicon Valley Contemporary – San Jose, CA
  3. Fraenkel Gallery – San Francisco, CA
  4. Mumm Napa Gallery – Napa Valley, CA
  5. Museums of Los Gatos – Los Gatos, CA
  6. Arthaus Gallery – San Francisco, CA (Rated #1 Gallery in Bay area for 2014!)
  7. 111 Minna Gallery – San Francisco, CA
  8. Hangart Gallery – San Francisco, CA
  9. Scott Nichols Gallery – San Francisco, CA
  10. Wolfe Contemporary Art – San Francisco, CA




After speaking to the galleries, we realized much of the information was the same when it came to sales. Are you shocked? Didn’t think so. Artwork is unlike any other e-commerce product. The same rules don’t apply. You buy a picture because you LIKE it. You don’t buy a skirt JUST because you like it, you buy it because it makes your butt look good and it has a good return policy “just in case.” And the biggest predicament of them all? PRICE. Everyone is looking for a reasonable price in the market.

Depending on the materials used, the time put in, how you made the image, etc, is how you determine your price. Don’t you dare undersell your work. But don’t get fancypants on us and try to sell your 4×6 diptych of two dogs for $500 a pop. Truth is, your work is probably going to be worth more than you’re selling it for, nine times out of ten. Unless you meet Mr. Millionairepants, and in that case, write my name down because I’m going to need you to give it to him. However, that’s not always the case. Sell your work for a price you feel comfortable with. Re-read what I said up there about underselling your work. Go.


Also, list a short anecdote about how and why you took the picture with the image itself. Studies have shown that people are drawn to images that have a story. It’s so important as an artist to know what’s happening in the world around you. Do your research so you know what you’re up against, if you truly want to sell your work consistently.

Stay tuned for part two of How to Sell Your Fine Art!





Images References:



This week in Advancing Your Photography, we sat down with Deanne Fitzmaurice, a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer who is based in San Francisco, California. She specializes in journalism stills and motion. Her work has appeared in National Geographic, Time Magazine, ESPN the Magazine, Sports Illustrated , Men’s Journal, Newsweek, The Economist, Stern, GEO and numerous other publications. Over the years, she has partnered with many non-profits such as NPR, UCSF, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the James Irvine Foundation. She has also created multimedia pieces for NBC, Wharton, ACLU and her corporate clients include Netflix, Target, Avon, and Adobe, to name a few.

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 6.54.58 PMDeanne sat down with Marc Silber and talked about her approach to photography. She says, “When I pick up a camera, I try to make a human connection with my subject, and try to humanize an issue.” A while back she had the opportunity to photograph a soldier from Iraq, who, like so many others, had suffered from numerous injuries. As a result, his life was altered and he and his family were deeply affected. Deanne, being the sensitive photographer that she is, went deep into understanding who this soldier was inside and out. “We had to find a soldier who would let us into his life.” It was at Walter Reid Medical Center where she met Brent Bretz who had lost both legs and medically had much to overcome, while also trying to get his life back together. “By gaining his trust, he felt comfortable letting us in his life.”, she says. “After all, he had to put up with us being there,  we wanted to capture the moments. We wanted to connect and care about the issue. “

When asked if it is better to plan shoots before going on location, Deane says that although it’s important to have a general plan, she notes that one needs to be willing to let things change. “Things don’t go as you expected, and it should be that way. Unexpected things happen and sometimes it’s a blessing while other times it’s a curse.”, she smiles.

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 6.56.52 PMWith respect to going Pro, she says anyone can be a pro as long as they are driven. She agrees that it is difficult but if you’ve got the passion then it will happen! “It has to be a part of you. Get up in the morning and think about what you want to photograph for the day. If you just dabble every now and then, you won’t make it. But if you wake up, go read about photography, try new things, subscribe to news on photos, seminars, and constantly educate yourself, little by little you will get there!”, she says. Aside from hard work, she also stresses the importance of networking. Showing your work to various people, attending workshops, and knowing all the important people in the business are ways to make great connections. But above all, Deanne says be passionate!


Felix Kunze: Gold Medals and Holy Grails.

Just a beautifully composed shot by Felix Kunze using Nikon's "Holy Grail"


We recently had a chance to catch up with our friend, celebrity portraiture photographer Felix Kunze. This was no small feat as someone who’s highly in demand like Felix is a globetrotter by necessity. He might be found in New York assisting Annie Leibovitz with her work one day and in Europe shooting a fashion campaign for Danish fashion brand Atelier Bogelund-Jensen the next.

Felix recently returned to the UK where he covered the London 2012 Olympics this past summer. Though he was “in the throes of London Fashion week madness”, he was gracious enough to make some time to chat. As always Felix was good for an interesting story (or three.) He told us about some very interesting work he did for the cover story of Nikon Magazine. The two stars of the story were Double Olympic Gold Medalist rower, Pete Reed and Nikon’s 13mm f5.6 lens aka The Holy Grail. Here’s Felix in his own words :

On a cold November morning in 2012, I attempted something that arguably no-one had ever done before.

I was given an assignment to photograph a portraiture session with an extremely wide-angle and rare lens; Nikon’s 13mm f/5.6 rectilinear marvel, often dubbed the ‘Holy Grail of lens design’.In simple terms, this is a wide-angle lens that has almost no distortion, a problem that most wide lenses suffer from. The distortion can cause a kind of warped feeling, as if things in the edge of the image are stretched. This $30,000 behemoth employs some glass to counteract this effect. It is designed for architectural photography and has wide applications in landscape. Proving difficult and expensive to manufacture, only about 350 of them were ever sold. The lens is no longer in production.

It’s unusual to shoot portraiture with a lens such as this, it requires me to be very very close to the subject, not made any easier by my decision to shoot part of the editorial on the rushing river Thames after heavy rain.

We chose to base our shoot in rowing because the long lines of oars, boats and the riverbank would demonstrate the capabilities of the lens.

Double Olympic Gold Medalist Pete Reed (Beijing 2008 & London 2012 in the Coxless Four) was kind enough to undertake this crazy task with us. Pete is a keen photographer himself and was an absolute sport despite the low temperatures and challenging conditions.

It was definitely an unusual shoot – Felix’s full thoughts are expressed in the full article found in the latest issue of Nikon Owner Magazine. Below is the behind the scenes video you can click to watch:

Behind the scenes with Felix Kunze shooting for Nikon Magazine

What’s New at Silber Studios

Eiffel Tower at Dusk
How do you capture images of something as iconic as the Eiffel Tower without turning it into a total cliche? Exploring around with my camera, I found this view of the base, set off against the fading light of dusk, pretty intriguing. As a tip, it’s always a good idea to experiment with angles and heights to find your unique view. BTW, we printed this as a special edition, custom framed and rather handsome on the wall. If you’re interested to know how this might look on one of your walls, let us know.     
Help Us Launch our New Photography Series
Please take two minutes for a survey on photography. Your input will help us when we take our new series to sponsors so we can get out and shoot all those talented photographers sharing their insight and tips. This new series will be edgier and more behind- the-scenes, so you can see exactly how they work their magic.  Stay tuned and meanwhile you can catch  our previous shows here.   

Video Production

We’ve been very busy helping a variety of companies tell their stories in an engaging and compelling way. As a recent example, Bebe au Lait, a wonderful company right here in Los Gatos,  asked us to craft some videos about their products for—you guessed itmoms and babies. Have a look at this one we just produced for them. The video was based on an interview with the co-owner and mom discussing the product she designed.

You’ve heard me talk about why we like to start with a strong interview. It comes across as a conversation between two people because that’s exactly what it is. No one has to face the camera alone and try to remember lines and somehow sound natural. It’s really just my conversation with them, to which we add other shots illustrating what’s being discussed. BTW, for tips on video production, you can grab our free ebook here.   
And hey, if you’d like a free consultation about how to tell your story visually, click here.

Have I Told you Lately That I love…
…to hear from you? I really do love your feedback, questions, requests or whatever’s on your mind. The easiest way to get in touch is to simply hit reply to this email or click here. If you’d like to have a conversation just let me know too…

Nikon will be back in March

In the fourth offical update on the situation in Thailand, Nikon has declared that everything should be back to normal by March of next year. The recent announcement of a new flash was definitely a good sign, and this shows that things are improving, however slowly. By Nikon’s own account, the factory has been completely pumped clean of water, and now they’re focusing on restoring the infrastructure.

Nikon already has limited production going underway at partner factories, with some DSLRs and lenses shipping out from November 30th. They hope to have some factory operations from January, and expect everything to be back up to full speed by March of 2012. This follows reports of Nikon also gearing up some operations in Japan to pick up numbers, and Sony resuming production of the previously haulted SLT and NEX cameras.

[image by noppatjak]


(via PopPhoto


24 hours of Flickr photos, printed.

Over 6 billion photos have been uploaded to Flickr since it’s launch in February of 2004. It sounds like a lot and it is, but compared to Facebook it’s nothing. Supposedly facebook gets around 6 billion photos per month. In order to put things into perspective, Erik Kessels decided to print every photo that was uploaded within a 24 hour period to Flickr. Got any opinions about it?

Stopping by Steve Jobs’ Home in Palo Alto

Chalks memories of steve jobsRemembering Steve Jobs, his home Palo Alto

Even though we knew his stepping down from CEO last Summer was a foreshadowing of what might be looming, I wasn’t prepared for the news on Tuesday. When I heard that he was gone a wave of sadness hit me.  True it wasn’t a sudden and jarring slap like John Lennon’s death, but it hit hard nonetheless.

Steve was our generation’s grand wizard, transforming otherwise mundane objects into fun, creative and empowering machines. For those of us in the visual arts, he helped us open doors that might otherwise have remain locked.

flowers in front of Steve Job's home

Flowers in front of Steve’s home

We know he was no saint, but dang  he somehow managed to get it right so often that we could set our clocks by his next cool release.

I stopped by his house yesterday and was surprised to see that so many people had managed to find it, how so?  I walked around quietly and appropriately getting images with my iPhone. It was a calm and orderly gathering, but clearly not just the locals who knew where he lived. In fact when I went back today to get some more images with my 5D Mark II, one of the plain clothes police, asked me what lens I was using I replied that it was a 24-70, f 2.8 and we talked about cameras for a bit. When I asked him how how these people had found his house, he replied, “we don’t know, it’s not on the web, but they’ve come from all over the world as far as Hong Kong and Russia.”


woman taking an iPhone photo at steve jobs home

I’ve always been amazed at how accessible and open his home is, on the corner of a quiet street in Palo Alto. Far, far from a billionaire’s secluded compound. In fact, we’ve often seen him around Palo Alto, at restaurants, on the street and even the old fashioned Peninsula Creamery.  I’m sure his refusal to wall himself off from the very people  he was able to touch with Apple’s cool stuff, allowed him to stay in touch with us– and with his wizardry somehow know what we wanted next.

apple logos at Steve Job's house


an apple on steve job's fence

We’ll miss Steve, he made a huge  difference. He’s given us new age tools to work our craft, to listen and share and get work done in a new cool way. He became part of our culture, a like a Beatle of high tech leaving us with tons of cool memories and phrases like this for all artists to remember: “Real artists ship” — meaning you gotta get your work out there,  better yet get it sold and shipped off! Annie Leibovitz, Picasso, Ansel Adams — they certainly shipped!

Steve Job's Home in Palo Alto

Goodbye for now Steve, we’ll remember you with every click, touch and most importantly, every piece of art you  have helped us to ship.

Spencer Tunick Dead Sea


Spencer Tunick has put a whole lot of life in the Dead Sea. The photographer, famous for his mass photo shoots of nude people, has collected over 1,000 naked swimmers for his latest project.

Hundreds of Israelis dressed in their birthday suits gathered on the banks of the Dead Sea — the lowest spot on Earth — to be part of Tunick’s massive photo shoot this weekend, which is partly an effort to bring recognition to the salty landmark ahead of a vote on the Seven Wonders of the World in November.

Scientists believe the sea, which lies between Jordan and Israel, could dry up by 2050 unless urgent steps are taken.

But the only steps heard so far were those of 1,200 nude swimmers as they splashed into the water, arranging themselves into what Tunick called the Naked Sea project.

It is the latest installation from a photographer known worldwide for his massive gatherings of nude people, including shoots of naked women in New York’s Grand Central Station, 2,000 nude soccer fans in Vienna and a record-setting 18,000 people in Mexico City.

For Tunick, the shoots are often indicators of how tolerant a nation is.

“In some places the work is a little bit more controversial, and then in other places the works are accepted as a litmus test for how free a country is, or how open a country is, and how full of rights a country is,” he said during a pre-shoot press briefing.

To see more of Spencer’s work, head over to his website. But be forewarned: by sheer numbers alone, this is probably the most nudity you will ever see in one place.

Nicolas Cage Is A Vampire, Says Antique Photo Collector

Nicolas Cage, the vampire

The image in question was taken by G.B. Smith, a photographer of Confederate POWs.

Critics who describe Nicolas Cage’s acting as stiff and bloodless don’t know how close they are to the truth.

An antique photograph collector says he has discovered a Civil War-era image of Cage, and argues that the Oscar-winning actor is a vampire who has been alive for hundreds of years.

“Personally, I believe it’s him and that he is some sort of walking undead/vampire, et cetera, who quickens/reinvents himself once every 75 years or so,” says the owner, Jack Mord. “150 years from now, he might be a politician, the leader of a cult, or a talk show host.”

Mord, who is selling the image on Ebay for a hefty tag of $1 million, says the photo is completely authentic.

“Any serious potential buyer will be allowed to have a photo expert of their choice examine the original photograph before any money changes hands,” Mord writes on the sale page.

Wait a second, you’re probably asking. If Cage is really immortal and has the ability to live for centuries without growing older, how is it that he’s aged so visibly over the last ten years?

“My theory,” explains Mord, “is that he allows himself to age to a certain point, maybe 70, 80 or so, then the actor ‘Nicolas Cage’ will ‘die’… but in reality, the undead vampire ‘Nicolas Cage’ will have rejuvenated himself and appeared in some other part of the world, young again, and ready to start all over.

“From time to time somebody might mention to him that he bears a slight resemblance to the young version that dead American actor, whose name they can’t recall, but eventually, those occurrences will stop altogether.”

Cage, meanwhile, has yet to offer up an argument to the world that he is not an undead bloodsucker. Considering his performances in recent films, that might be easier said than done.

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