Singapore International Photography Awards

Submission deadline is Sept. 12, 2017 so hurry and get your entries in! Bon Chance, mes amis!!!

Here’s the link:

Creative Live Free Classes

Free On-Air Classes – Week of 9/3

Class Name: Connect With Your Customers on Social Media
Text Link: Connect With Your Customers on Social Media Class at CreativeLive
Start Date: 09/03/2017
End Date: 09/04/2017
RSVP Date: 09/03/2017

Class Name: Blogging to Sell Your Products
Text Link: Blogging to Sell Your Products Class at CreativeLive
Start Date: 09/04/2017
End Date: 09/05/2017
RSVP Date: 09/04/2017

Class Name: The Easy Yes: How to Craft an Effective Pitch
Text Link: The Easy Yes: How to Craft an Effective Pitch Class at CreativeLive
Start Date: 09/04/2017
End Date: 09/05/2017
RSVP Date: 09/04/2017

Class Name: Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques
Text Link: Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques Class at CreativeLive
Start Date: 09/05/2017
End Date: 09/06/2017
RSVP Date: 09/05/2017

Class Name: The Outdoor Enthusiast’s Guide to Photography & Motion
Text Link: The Outdoor Enthusiast’s Guide to Photography & Motion Class at CreativeLive
Start Date: 09/05/2017
End Date: 09/06/2017
RSVP Date: 09/05/2017

Class Name: Perfect Your Conversation Skills
Text Link: Perfect Your Conversation Skills Class at CreativeLive
Start Date: 09/06/2017
End Date: 09/07/2017
RSVP Date: 09/06/2017

Phottix Odin, Mitros+ overexposure

If you’re experiencing over exposures in ETTL mode when using the Phottix Odin TCU and Mitros and or Mitros+ flashes OFF CAMERA, join the club!!! Here’s how I fixed it. But first a little more info.

I updated the firmware on the Odin, here’s the page to get the firmware:

Phottix Odin for Canon firmware update

Then if you’ll notice the lighter font section near the bottom “Update 08/8/13:” I followed that. Voila! over exposures when off camera (3 different flashes) in ETTL mode. Manual is fine, on camera is fine.

So after months, more like a year of just using my flashes in Manual mode and finding it a paint to keep pushing the buttons on the Odin TCU, I decided to try and fix my odin’s. Also I went to a Godox sales pitch thing regarding their new line of strobist gear…The gear and tech put me in the mindset where I was at when I contemplated the change from Canon to Phottix. Cost vs Tech. Phottix won…It seems Godox (to me) is getting there in terms of quality. They are cheaper than Phottix in price and the seems more versatile.  So I’m thinking about it because if I can get a fair price for my phottix gear, I can get a bigger (more stuff) Godox system. But then it’s such a hassle and I do so love my Phottix gear.

Anyways, as written on the Phottix page, it seems you need to turn the 1d to off…That didn’t work for me. However, I was thinking…ya maybe its a language barrier or I just interpreted it wrong, so I switched mine on. VOILA!!! IT WORKS!!! HAHAHA…don’t know why, or how but at this point, I don’t care cuz it’s working, YAY! If you’re pretty much in the same boat as I was, give it try, it’s just a setting, you can always change it back.

1d setting to fix ettl overexposure issues when using flash off camera

Good Luck! Hope this helps you!


After the above fix, I was playing around some more and found out that my both my Mitros+ flashes when used on camera in Odin Tx mode would grossly over expose. What?!?! So first thing I did was check firmware, mine was outdated so I updated. That is the fix that worked for me. A firmware upgrade to v 2.12. You can get the downloads you need as well as instructions on the Phottix website.

NOTE: Apparently, the updater software is OS specific (yes even different versions of Windows). I’ve read about differing named Windows OS not working ie WinXP and WinVista but for me I couldn’t get the updater to update the second Mitros+ on my Win10 hybrid laptop (the type where you can remove the keyboard). I kept getting the “No FDS Device” error.

My fix was to use my regular laptop running Win10 to update the firmware. The process was smooth as butter for both my Mitro+ and Mitros.

Gurushots “Powerful Shots” Book

Just received this book. It’s awesome! Hard cover, 30.5 cm x 22 cm. Images selected through a challenge run at

Gurushots Photo Contest Game Site is a photo competition “game” website. There are themed challenges that you can join by entering up to 4 of your images. Prizes are not always the same, most will have in game currency awarded, such as “swap”, “boost”, “auto fills”. Some award prizes from sponsors, books and some are inclusions in exhibits. The exhibit and book ones have a small fee to enter. Challenges are run by “guru’s” and winners of the challenges are chosen by votes and one by the Guru. Joining is free as is entering the challenges. Player rankings start at Newbie and as your photos gain votes and as certain criteria are achieved your player ranking progresses, ending with the Guru status.

I’ve been playing for maybe 6 months now and currently at the “expert” level, here’s my profile. I think I’ll be stuck here a while since one of the criteria I’ve yet to achieve is winning a challenge. So here’s the gist of “playing” Gurushots, as I see it:

You upload your images and your shots get displayed to fellow players and if they like your image they click it to signify voting for it. You can increase the chances of your image being seen, the free way, by playing the game ie voting for the images in the challenge. Or the not so free way, which is using “boosts” either from winning them or purchasing them. There is an “exposure meter” (relating to your image) that increases as the number of votes you cast increases. If you don’t want to “play” or you’ve entered so many challenges that it’ll take you all day to catch up, you can use your “auto fills” to fill up your exposure meter. Again, these can be won or purchased. As you move up in rank. If an image is not garnering enough votes you can swap it out using a “swap”. Again won or purchasable.

Exposure and Voting…I have no clue of the inner workings of this and it seems this is the source of a lot of negativity.

I have no idea what the formula of how often an image shows up on a players voting page. But you can “keep voting” after the round of images shown when you first start to vote is done. But how many continues are you willing to wade through? There are thousands of photographers in each challenge each submitting 4 photos (I’ve seen over 10k photographers in some challenges), so if you’re not viewing pages and pages of images, there is a pretty strong chance you won’t see (and get to vote for) the eventual winners. Is this a flaw of the system? Maybe but I wouldn’t know how to do better, as long as I’m getting beat by better images, I’m ok with it.

Then there are those who believe that other players will deliberately vote for “bad” images to decrease the votes of the good images. That doesn’t make sense to me as I find that poor sportsmanship. While I believe it may happen, I can’t bring myself to believe that this happens so often that it makes a difference in the results. If you are skeptical look through all the winner’s galleries. I haven’t come across a single winner’s image that I can wholehearted say doesn’t deserve to win, not that I’m an expert or anything, its just I’ll know when an image is better than the one I submitted.

As for the buying the win…ya there is an advantage. Do I buy them, no. Why? Because I can win some if my images are good enough. After all, this is a competition. Am I handicapping myself? Not really, because you get a few boost, refills, swaps when you join. If my images are good and I use them then I should be able to win more to use. I find only when enter too many at once that I run out of boosts. Plus you can only boost one image in the set of four that you submit (that I’ve experienced). The swaps I only use at the very beginning if I don’t have time to vote in so many challenges. I do however pay to enter the challenges that have an exhibition or a printed book as a prize.

Now the prizes, I can’t attest to getting any because I haven’t won any. I can attest to getting swaps, boosts, and auto fills when my image or image set has done well. I can attest to being notified of inclusion in an exhibition (albeit only the digital section), you can see it here. Also I can attest to receiving the book “Powerful Shots” for free (my image is on page 60). It’s a beautiful, hard cover book measuring 30.5 cm x 22 cm. The entrance fee to be included for selection for each of these challenges was below $10 USD, can’t remember exactly how much it was. For sure you can’t buy a photobook of that quality for $10 with your image in it, even if you make it yourself! Personally, I think making it into an exhibition in another country for less than $10 is worth it.  What would be even better is if a portion of the proceeds from the book makes it back to the contributing photogs. I’ve also wondered why images aren’t available for sale, I’ve seen some awesome work that if I had the budget, I would buy or recommend to someone who would.

So bottom line, do you have to pay money to play and win? No. Does it consume a lot of time? It can. How much is up to you.

I play almost everyday around 15 to 30 min. I have a certain block of time in the day to do my social media/marketing/emails and I play then. I find it really has honed my photographic “eye” and recognizing/understanding photographic artistry. For example, prior to playing gurushots, I would have a max of 2 image acceptances from photography salons (International competitions recognized by FIAP, PSA, GPU, IUP) the most recent one I got 15 acceptances, one merit and one honor mention. You can check this out on my instgram post. So for me there is a

It is my opinion that being able to put up images to compete and seeing responses in terms of votes, being able to compare the number of votes winners get has helped me to understand image making…from choosing an image to editing style. The extra benefit of buying in (cheaply) when my numbers are high enough to compete for a spot in an exhibition and or book are worth it for me. You can put these achievements on your artist bio/CV, it’s worth it.

The only thing that I don’t really “like” but I do it too, is the entering of an image into multiple challenges. It’s just too easy and quick to do so. I shouldn’t complain because I do this too but I am complaining because many times it’s the same photographer(s) and or image that beats me.

And therein lies the challenge!