New Article Published

EV Mag SmallThis past week I had another article published, this time in New Zealand online magazine for photographers “Extraordinary Vision”
EV is a beautiful magazine, available on Android and iOS platforms (you find it in the app store), which goal is to expand the way a photographer sees things allowing thus to help him take better and unusual photos. I hope you will enjoy my article, it contains some cool photos I took on Easter Island.

The article is called “Beyond the Ocean: Rapa Nui” and you can download a free copy (and more) until July 15th here:

The Photographer’s Blues

You have been taking photos enthusiastically for months, with subjects ranging from landscape to macro to long exposures and you have participated, or at least been lurking, in many online forums but all of a sudden you just don’t feel it anymore, you want to go out and take photos but can’t bring yourself to do it. You’ve just been diagnosed with a common case of the Photographer’s Blues. It happened to me last year; after years of being driven to search a variety of light conditions, new locations, new angles on old locations, being an active member of the photographic community and devouring books and magazines, I bumped into a wall. The motivation to grab my camera was completely gone and I worried if it would ever come back. As months passed and a large pile of unread photography magazines piled up on my coffee table I occasionally would look at my non-growing collection of photos in my hard drive. Something had to be done, I wasn’t going to let this “photographic depression” take over and put an end to what had been a passion since the age of six. My first step was creating a blog, if grabbing my Canons wasn’t the highest of my priorities, writing was still something I considered enjoyable and personalizing a pre-existing interface for my new WordPress blog was actually a fun task. Some of you might not be too big on writing, but a blog doesn’t need to be a collection of long essays, you can post quick thoughts or just images with a caption. At first it might be just for you and your family or close friends but as you grow a following, you will find more inspiration, motivation as well as materials since many will offer their ideas. After all, this article would have probably never been written had it not been for a fellow blogger’s complaint that she did not enjoy taking photos anymore. Besides a blog, and as a good complement to it, if you haven’t done so already, starting a website gives you exposure (no pun intended) as well as providing another outlet to your creativity. Even if you’re not computer savvy at all, starting a website today is easier than ever. Internet Providers like 1and1 or Zenfolio (check my website under Discount Offers for details) allow you to register your own domain name for a small fee and give you a selection of tools, as well as templates, to start a website in minutes. You can create pages of any kind as well as professionally looking galleries. If you have a larger budget and some HTML and CSS programming knowledge or are willing to learn them, a software like Adobe Dreamweaver will really allow you to have total control and flexibility over your creation.

Photographers are everywhere, and most of them are social people looking to learn new things or willing to share what they know. So, why not get in touch with other photographers in your community and start a club or a weekly meeting/photoshoot. Not only that’s a great way to make new friends, but everyone wins in terms of knowledge and portfolio images as well as finding a great enthusiasm booster. Starting something like that can be easily achieved with just a post on Craigslist. I was a very active member of the online community of a well known photo magazine, but ended up abandoning it because of the excessive spam (eventually everyone left). It was great times, we had weekly assignments, photo critiques and everyone had something to share. It always saddened me how the magazine management let something that great just die. Recently I created discussion forums on my own blog and I’m hoping to capture the same environment of cooperation that we had then, minus the spam. Search “create online forums” on Google and you will find enough tools to make your own. Don’t feel up to the task? Make yourself a promise to become involved in a discussion forum with at least two or three posts a week. And don’t be afraid to ask questions, those who have the answers are usually more than happy to share; we all like the feeling that comes from having helped someone.

If you can afford it, take a photography seminar or in-the-field workshop. You’ll learn from a pro and be taken to places you probably didn’t even know; and chances are you will learn functions of your camera that you didn’t even know existed or that seemed too esoteric.

I left the most exciting one for last: travel!

Get in your car, get on a plane, get on a cruise ship… just go somewhere new. I’m what you could call a professional traveler. To me traveling is a way of life. I like to see new places, explore new foods, meet new people. I can guarantee you that traveling doesn’t have to be expensive. I’ve flown to Europe for as little as $400 round trip from Los Angeles. My two weeks in Peru (and who doesn’t want to photograph Machu Picchu?) came to a total of less than $1,000 (flight included from Salt Lake City). A 4 nights cruise to Bahamas was $262 (gratuities included as well). All it takes is a bit of planning and some good price shopping skills. Go to new places and you will come home with a new collection of photos that you will be excited to share with friends and other photographers.

And if you really don’t or can’t get away from home, find the nearest forest near you and photograph trees. Get into the woods with a wide angle lens and explore its possibilities. Try to make those trees look as imposing as you can. You will like the results.

I’m writing this while sitting on the steps of NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Arts. I hope my ideas make you want to grab your camera. I’ll end this article here as my right index is itching once again to press the shutter.

NikSoftware by Google Collection

Nik Software titles have been a must for many professional photographers and recently Google bought this software company, but the best part is that Google has slashed the prices of the Nik products. For just $149 we can own the entire collection whereas before a single software titles was upwards of $200. And if that wasn’t enough, until March 30th only you can use my coupon code LucaDianaPhoto to save an extra 15%.

Click on the logo or here to access the Nik Software page

The Basic Illustrated Guide to Cross-Country Skiing

Hello everyone!

My Post Office Box today had a nice surprise: an advance copy of the book “Basic Illustrated Cross-Country Skiing” published by Falcon Guides. This is good news because I have spent nearly a year doing the photography and editing for this book. More than a thousand images were taken and I had to select just over 100 of them to make it into the book. The editing of those images took a considerable amount of time, particularly for the montage. The weight of the project was partially alleviated by new hardware. Let me take you for a minute behind the scene to tell you what I used:

– A new custom built Windows 7 64bit desktop computer with a Pentium i7 3.6Ghz overclocked by 20%, 16GB, GEForce GTX 560 Graphic Card with 2GB or RAM. 120GB SSD to contain the operating system and 4 different Hard Drives in removable trays for software and data, Liquid Cooling.

– Wacom Intuos 5 Large tablet (saved me hours of editing)

– Two 24” HD monitors

– Lightroom 4 64bit (first the beta which was already rock solid, then the final), Photoshop CS4 64bit, OnOne Perfect Layers 6

Some days were spent miserably outside in the cold with winds that would chill us to the bone, other days were warm and sunny and fun. Sometimes we would get the correct shot right away, other times we would have to try over and over before we got what we wanted. For an entire month the weather was so bad I could not do any shooting.
Scott (the author) and I have worked on many projects for ski magazines and the past experience made it easier as we could visualize the scene and know what the end results needed to be without so many words. Having worked for quite some time in Hollywood in movie production I must admit that this was not very different from shooting a movie.

My thanks go to Scott McGee for bringing his positive attitude (and food) to our photo locations, and to our editor at Globe Pequot Katie Benoit, for the constant positive reinforcement and flexibility with our deadlines.

The cover features Scott’s lovely family enjoying a morning of cross country skiing by the town of Kelly, WY

I have a few copies available for sale. The cost is $12.95 +$3 shipping in the US. Credit Cards/Checks/M.O. Ok – email

Sardinia, Italy – some news

Greetings from the beautiful island of Sardinia, my native place. The weather has been beautiful and I’m slowly regaining motion of my arm. I’m finally able to lift my camera and press the shutter button again, so that’s a big plus. The sky has been gifting us with some pretty amazing sunsets recently; hopefully there will be a few more before I have to say goodbye. Yesterday I had the pleasure to give a speech, present my work and lead a discussion for the Photography organization F/0 in Cagliari, Sardinia’s Capital. It was an interesting event with a great exchange of ideas and I had the opportunity to meet many talented young photographers, who I warmly thank, particularly my longtime friend Barbara Meloni, for their kind invitation and the warm welcome I received.



My surgery went well, although some of the pain lingers and having some discomfort from not being able to sleep in bed. Hopefully in a few days things will be a lot better as I feel strength to my arm returning every day a bit more. This is all of the typing I can do, for everything else I rely on my Android’s Swype and Dictation.

Some news

Next week I’m getting some much needed shoulder surgery and after that I won’t be likely to press the shutter for a while, but hopefully I will be writing some new pieces. I finished the first draft of a new article and it’s now being submitted to a magazine.

New Discounts Page

There’s a new page on my main website’s menu: Discount Offers. Here you can find discounts from some of my friends and partners for all your photographic needs: software, accessories, web hosting, etc.