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Welcome Shutterbug readers!

Today the December issue of Shutterbug hits the shelves, plus the online edition has been up for less than a week I believe. I’m seeing a few spikes in traffic and have received a couple of emails from people who saw my site in Shutterbug and wanted to let me know they stopped by.

I wrote about my website being mentioned in this magazine last week (you can go back and read it here). Undoubtedly one of the highlights of any photographer is to see his name and work published in a real magazine, so this being the first time ever for me is an exciting event. That is kind of putting it mildly…I’m in hog heaven right now.

I just wanted to welcome all you Shutterbug readers who found me though the magazine. Drop a note in the comments below to let me know you stopped by and if you have any questions about blogging, the theme or my photography, please feel free to ask. I don’t mind offering help and guidance to people looking for help with HDR photography or just about anything. I am by no means an expert but I can tell you what has worked for me thus far.

Once again, thanks to Joe Farace and Shutterbug for including me in their latest edition!

An appearance in Shutterbug magazine

I teased people yesterday on Twitter/Facebook about something awesome that happened earlier in the day and after a lot of feedback/questions/silly comments on Facebook, I suddenly feared that this little nugget had a life of its own and there was no way what I am posting right now could possibly live up to expectations.

If you are a movie fan, think Last Action Hero. I don’t know if there has ever been as much hype for as bad of a movie as that was.

Alright, I know it’s not Movie Title Wednesday, so I’ll just share the news and let you decide if it’s awesome or a flop.

Back in July I was contacted by writer Joe Farace asking if he could feature my website in the December issue of Shutterbug magazine. That was soooo long ago I kind of forgot about it but even if I hadn’t, at the time I didn’t even know exactly what it meant. I got an email last week notifying me that I had been mentioned in the issue and they promptly sent me an advanced copy, which you can see above and below.

Like I said, I didn’t know what to expect. But holding that magazine in my hand today and reading what writer Joe Farace had to say about my work was beyond anything I could have dreamed.

Now, I don’t know much about Shutterbug. I honestly don’t read many magazines because my time is so limited these days with a full-time job, family and photography, I pretty much read a single book in my spare time and that’s about it (I’m in the middle of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo right now…awesome). I do know it’s the 3rd highest selling photography magazine on Amazon.com. Furthermore, while I likely seem over-excited for something that may be in the grand scheme of things not that big a deal…it’s an amazing accomplishment for me thus far in my young photog career and I’m going to enjoy every second of it.

The article is titled “Deck the Halls with Websites: Have an HDR Christmas” and starts on page 30.

What makes the mention special for me is that I’m one of four HDR photographers in the article, two of which I’m very familiar with. One is Trey Ratcliff who is considered the foremost authority on HDR (and has a photo hanging in the Smithsonian!). Being mentioned alongside him is mind-blowingly a-mazing. But the other guy is my buddy Brian Matiash from Boston who has been a source of inspiration, support and friendship to me over the last eight months or so. I’m so proud of that guy and the way he sacrificially helps other photographers out by teaching them how to do things the right way without ever expecting something in return. So many photographers try to keep all their secrets to themselves out of fear…but Brian doesn’t. Neither does Trey. I think that’s the right way to be.

I am not going to post the article here for all to read because it’s only right that people go buy the magazine (or at least read it at Barnes & Noble!), but I definitely need to post a few excerpts because what Farace says completely blew me away.

“Mike Olbinski is an Arizona photographer who shoots wonderfully natural-looking portraits, mostly of kids, with a few adults throw in for variety. His portrait collection is not to be missed and is chock full of warm, human (and believe me, that’s harder than it looks) monochrome and endearing soft color images of children.”

This is really one of the very first times I’ve read someone’s opinion of my work that I’ve never spoken to other than a single email exchange. It’s a surreal feeling to find out what a writer from a photography magazine thought about your images…and even more amazing when the review is so complimentary. He was writing about HDR, but took his time to look at my other work and find amazing things to say about it. Wow.

He next referenced an article I wrote called “Enough Already with the HDR bashing” in which I stated a lot of my opinions and feelings regarding the way non-HDR photographers out there love to bash those that appreciate this artform.

“Olbinski lays it on the line about why he loves High Dynamic Range photography, and also features an image of a barn and solo that, like all of his work, contains a delicate beauty. At one point he says, “Art is art. It’s about creating something.” And that’s what Olbinski has created with his site – art.”

Did I mention surreal before? Seeing words you wrote actually quoted in a magazine is well…unbelievable. And that last line about creating art…wow. I honestly had a hard time reading it outloud to my wife and even she got a little misty-eyed.

If I ever get quoted or talked about in a magazine ever again…I promise to pretend like I’ve “been there before.” Right now, however, I’m going to soak it up and relish in it.

Joe Farace is a photographer himself and you can find him on Twitter or Flickr.

Thanks to Joe for his kind words…and to everyone else, it goes on sale November 11th. Please go buy a copy and I’ll autograph page 32 whenever I see you in person.

Okay, come on…I was joking at that last bit.

Kind of.

No, I was.

Really.