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Architecture of the Lower Rio Grande Valley: An Introduction
Brownsville Architecture: A Visual History
Galveston Architecture: A Visual Journey
McAllen Architecture: A Visual Journey
Quinta Mazatlan: A Visual Journey
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Wouldn't it be great to learn how to use the camera you have? Or, take better pictures with your smartphone? If all you are looking for is feedback on your images, I can help with that too. As a published photographer and author of six books on historic architecture, I have been blessed with the knowledge and experience to coach you on your photography learning.
How is the Photography Coaching I offer different from taking a class elsewhere?
Coaching fees are $30 for a 45 minute session per person within 5 miles of 78501, other locations - reasonable travel fees. Book your coaching session today!
As someone famous said, 'the best camera is the one you have on you.' I shoot with my Pixel 3XL or iPhone most of the time. No, the photographs on this site are taken with a DSLR. But, unless you don't mind carrying around a bulky DSLR, you are better off with a non-DSLR camera. So, when I take pleasure trips, I take my Sony A6000 with me. It is less bulky, attracts less attention and takes decent pictures. It is a mirrorless camera. Most manufacturers make one. Based on my research, I found that the A6000 is the single camera body for which the maximum number of lenses are available - of any camera ever manufactured. So, that is why I am recommending that you build your system around it or its later generation model. I researched them early 2017 when I was getting ready to take a 5 week trip to India and Paris and decided on the Sony A6000 with the kit lens of 16-50. Note that it is not the latest and greatest. It was released on February 12, 2014 so as of June 2019, it is over 5 years old!
Why would I recommend something 5 years old especially, given that technology changes so much? Cost. Features. Aftermarket accessories available. Relatively bug free. So many owners out there that you can easily find an answer to anything related to the camera. So, buy yours here. Generally speaking, I prefer buying the camera body separately from the lens so that I can buy the specific lens for specify type of photography. In this instance, Sony has bundled a pretty decent lens so, am comfortable recommending the kit purchase.
In May of 2019, Sony released an upgrade called the A6400. Sure, if you have the extra money, go for it. Most folks I know will not utilize the full capabilities of a A6000. Remember, my initial recommendation is to still get a Pixel 3XL or Google's latest model or Apple's iPhone.
RECOMMENDED (MINIMUM) ACCESSORIES
There is an old saying "The pen is mightier than the sword" coined by Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839 (Wiki).
Perhaps, you have been contemplating writing a book for some time now. You have the book in your mind or your heart or your soul and are ready to see it in either a print or eBook or audio format. But, you don't know where to start. That is where I was on June 26, 2016.
I went through a massively steep learning curve in a short time and purely, as a result of blessings, given my technology, business, digital media and online publishing background, I was able to publish five books since then. In September of 2017, I was exhausted from the frustrations of the book industry learning curve. For a week, I went into self-pity mode and enjoyed feeling sorry for myself. Eventually, I started praying and contemplating and asking God as to why was I having to go through what I went through? Why didn't I have the resources to hire someone to do all the work? Now, know that I am the one that chose to go the self-publishing route because I did not have the means to hire/outsource the production of books.
Nor was the topic of my book attractive enough to get the attention of a publisher that would make it easy for me to just focus on the content and them take care of everything else. God answered and His answer was that the purpose of making me go through the intensively frustrating learning experience was so that I could help others by way of sharing with them the simple way to get published. Aha! It produced optimism. Within 48 hours, I was meeting library directors in the Hidalgo county that were open to the possibility of me doing pilot workshops to coach folks wanting to publish. Edinburg, Mission and McAllen public libraries were gracious enough to let me do the workshops at their respective facilities. Based on each feedback from each workshop and questions asked by the participants, I fine tuned the curriculum for the workshop that I do at the libraries IF YOU request the library to have me do them (no cost for you to attend).
So, without further ado, here are the things to consider as you decide you want to publish:
GET A NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION
The ALRGVPP maintains a growing collection of photos and information for buildings and structures that are historically and architecturally significant in the Texas-Mexico border counties of Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy. Currently, the database consists of 420 buildings, 172 residential and 248 nonresidential, provided by Stephen Fox. We plan on adding another 150 structures from over the border when Mexico is safer. This will bring the total number of structures to 570. Photos and further information are being included with each entry. We are always on the lookout for more buildings. If you or your firm have a structure(s) to include in the database, skip down to the “Submit Your Structure” section.
HOW WILL THE PHOTOGRAPHS BE DISPLAYED?The ALRGVPP will be available in a searchable online database, in print and eBook formats, through photography exhibitions, and as photographic prints.
I - GETTING THE WORD OUTAs you’ve probably realized, we aren’t stinting on content, but what good is content if no one sees it? Here are some ways you can help us spread the word.
I am an Architecture, World Heritage, and Performing Arts Photographer, Pino Shah. I am based in McAllen, Texas and Ahmedabad, India. I would like to share my Mission Statement with you:
VISUALLY PRESERVE HISTORIC ARCHITECTURE
The power of words is legendary as it is said that the pen is mightier than the sword. The power of images is equally legendary as it is said that a picture can speak 1,000 words. And of course, words combined with images deliver a resounding message.
My mission is quite simple. I want to showcase world heritage quality architecture first and foremost to a younger audience, typically, a sixth grader -- the 'heads down' generation as a wise person termed it. My hope is that by impressing upon them at an early age the importance of heritage architecture, when they become our future civic and corporate leaders, that they will hopefully be of a preservation mindset.
To that end, my method of presenting the images are primarily through online and mobile channels. A website, smartphones, tablets, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter... Another major goal that has been elusive thus far is the goal of developing a sixth-grade level TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) compliant curriculum that is based on the photography projects I am undertaking in Texas; the Architecture of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Photography Project (ALRGVPP) and the Galveston Architecture Photography Project (GAPP). The reason it has been elusive is lack of funding -- all my efforts are self-funded -- needed to hire writers proficient in history and curriculum developers.
For my Ahmedabad Heritage Photography Project (AHPP), my goal is to showcase the 606-year-old city which earned conditional 'World Heritage City' designation on July 8, 2017 by UNESCO to the world.
Another major reason for doing this is to showcase my blessing of being able to take great architecture photographs in order to get paid assignments across the globe.
As an Architecture, World Heritage, and Performing Arts Photographer, the 'o' in my name symbolizes the lens of my camera and the world which is what I focus through - my eye through which I take in the world, heritage, culture. The '@' represents that I can be contacted 'at' email@example.com, gives my twitter and all online identities, the artbypino.com tells the viewer what my website address is and the +1 phone number is for Customers outside the US to know how to dial my number internationally. A single purpose logo that I can use for my business cards, online and in print media. Simple and uncluttered.
The red color seemed a bit overpowering at first to use for the entire name as opposed to just using the circle logo that I have been using. But, red as a color is regarded positively in the Asian sub-continent (Ahmedabad, India being my other office) and Europe and is associated with life, the sun, vitality, energy and more. Brides in India wear a red saree on their wedding day. It is not always seen as a power symbol as is viewed in the US like a red 'power tie.' Being a photographer at a global level is what also helped me overcome the reservations of using so much red as it does help the logo stand out in directory listings.
Using ArtByPino.com as my business name lets folks know what my website is.
I am working on a book on Ahmedabad, India's first World Heritage City as designated by UNESCO and it will be out in the 2nd half of 2019. It will be available primarily outside India as the book is intended for a global audience. It will also be available on all eBook platforms, globally.
Ahmedabad was established in 1411 AD in the western state of Gujarat in India. It is also known as Amdavad. Other historic name is Karnavati.
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