Find Your Next Photo Location With ShotHotSpot
Friday, November 8, 2013
I recently discovered a neat web service called ShotHotSpot.com. It helps you determine which locations are the most popular sites of photographs indexed via geolocation tags. When you're looking at a Google map you can click the "Photos" option to see still photographs arranged on the map by the location where they were made? Well ShotHotSpot takes that information and, after you input a destination, it will return a map with the most popular photo locations marked, along with some helpful information about the type of photographs commonly made there. In just a few minutes on the site I found a vantage point near a location I know well that I had no idea was the perfect spot for a downtown skyline photo. Based on that quick success, I'm planning to add ShotHotSpot to my regularly consulted bookmarks. I can imagine it would be especially helpful if you're traveling to a new destination and want to get a leg up on the most popular photo spots; in some cases you may want to flock to them along with everybody else, while in others you may want to avoid the most overused vantage points. What a simple and useful tool.
Professional Photographer Webcast Series
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Rob Haggert, photo blogger extraordinaire, creator of the A Photo Editor blog and A Photo Folio web site provider for photographers, recently began a series of Professional Photographer Webcasts ("So named," he says, "because I am the most literal person in the world") aimed at empowering commercial photographers to do better work for better clients and generally become more successful. Whether you're a seasoned professional or someone just dabbling with the occasional professional assignment, it's an interesting series you'll want to check out. Linked here is the webcast he conducted with Suzanne Sease, photography consultant, and Kat Dalger, experienced art producer, who each share insights on how best to reach out to an audience of potential photography clients. It's not glamorous, but it's the kind of thing working photographers spend a whole lot of energy on, so I know plenty of us are going to find it as useful as I did.
Funny Mutt Mugs In Super-Slow-Mo
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
I'm a dog lover, so naturally when I saw Carli Davidson's awesome super-slow-mo video and stills of dogs shaking themselves, I was instantly in love. Check out the stills from her new book, Shake, which is likely to be an instant classic, and it's definitely going on my Christmas list. Also, be sure to watch the slow-motion video for a more detailed look at dogs shaking themselves. There's flying fur and cheeks and slobber and ears… It's a pretty entertaining look at man's best friend.
Are Memory Cards Missing Bytes?
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Did you ever notice that your 32GB compact flash memory card only states a capacity of around 30 GB when you put it into your computer? I did, but for some reason I never bothered to ask the logical question: why? Why exactly does a 32GB media card not have 32GB of free space? It's not just 32GB cards, it's all of them; the math never quite adds up, and I want to know why. Well, thanks to the DIY Photography blog, now I do. It's got to do with the way a computer calculates a gigabyte versus the way card manufacturers do it—with the Binary system or the SI system, almost like the differences between dialects in the same language. Take a look at these two very informative little posts—the first one outlines the problem, and the second explains the solution—and you'll never again have to wonder where your missing gigabytes went.
Instagramming The World Series
Monday, November 4, 2013
Last week was a sad time if, like me, you are a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals. They lost the World Series to the Boston Red Sox in what was a really exciting series. Even though the outcome wasn't exactly what I was hoping for, I'm still able to enjoy amazing photographs from the Fall Classic courtesy of baseball photographer Brad Mangin, who has covered the series for 15 years on assignment for the likes of MLB Photos and Sports Illustrated. His magazine photos are great, but it's the personal work he was able to create with his iPhone and Instagram that I think is so iconic and well worth a look. Check out the gallery via his Instagram feed, then take a look at the book of baseball Instagrams he published earlier this year. Only about 100 days until pitchers and catchers report, and the boys of summer—and Brad Mangin—will be at it again.
Forced Perspective Street Scenes
Friday, November 1, 2013
This picture looks like it's just a normal street scene, right? Well click through the link below to see just how those looks are deceiving. In actuality, this image combines tiny toy car models in the foreground and the regular full size world in the background to create this rather normal looking image thanks to the technique known as forced perspective. This photographer, Michael Paul Smith, has been making these quirky street scenes of a fictional town for 25 years, which is probably why he's so good at making them look so realistic. When you see the wide shot of the setup—a folding table with a faux streetscape on it—you'll see just how impressive this simple optical trick is.
Wildlife Photographer Of The Year
Thursday, October 31, 2013
The 2013 Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards were announced last week by the Natural History Museum of the United Kingdom, so I've linked here to a gallery of winning images that I think is just breathtakingly beautiful. Pictured above is an amazing image called "Mother" by Udayan Rao Pawar, one of two Grand Title winners. The young photographer camped overnight near the Chambal River in India to photograph a nesting colony of rare gharial crocodiles. In the morning he was rewarded with this remarkable moment when several hatchlings swam to their mother for protection. It's a once-in-a-lifetime sort of image, and somehow this gallery is full of a dozen other equally amazing images as well. Check it out via the Colossal blog.
More From Mark Edward Harris
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
On newsstands now in the November issue of Digital Photo Pro is my interview with photographer—and regular contributor to both Digital Photo and Digital Photo Pro magazines—Mark Edward Harris. He really is an impressive guy, with one heck of a diligent work ethic and, above all else, a talent for telling stories with his camera and his pen. One story that I didn't have room to include in the article is about Mark's tenure with Playboy. He worked with the magazine for more than two decades, and while he wasn't photographing centerfolds (he specialized in celebrity portraits and other fully clothed subjects) he learned a lot about lighting from the photographers making the images the magazine is most famous for.
"I shot the day in the life of the playmates," Mark told me. "The picture story that accompanied the centerfold. It was cool. After college, I really didn't know how to use strobes, so I started freelancing as an assistant. One of the first gigs I got was at Playboy. I started assisting there and really learned lighting. No matter what people think of Playboy, nobody can say their photographers don't know how to light. They might say they overlight, but… I learned so much from my experience there."
Harris stayed on with Playboy until fairly recently, when the magazine made some editorial changes in an effort to make it more current. He maintains a good relationship with the publisher, and hopes to publish some of his documentary travel work there in the future. To see more of Mark's tremendous photography, pick up the November issue of Digital Photo Pro, and visit his web site at http://www.markedwardharris.com.