The World’s Youngest Successful Photographer?
Thursday, November 20, 2014
As the father of a toddler myself, I can't begin to imagine my kid wielding a camera—much less using it to make great pictures. But that's exactly what four-year-old Hawkeye Huey does. He's the son of National Geographic photographer Aaron Huey and he's got one heck of an artistic eye—especially given that he's only been on this planet for 48 months. The boy's father introduced him to photography about six months ago, hoping to inspire a bit of father/son bonding. Then when dad posted this image of Hawkeye on his Instagram feed, he was overwhelmed by the response. So the senior Huey created an account for his son, who now has nearly 60,000 followers. It's a neat story, which you can read at Petapixel. Then head over to Instagram to add your name to the list of young Hawkeye's fans.
One Photographer’s Thoughts On Discount Pricing
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
If you're at all interested in getting into the photography business, even part time, you should read this post on pricing by pet photographer Jamie Pflughoeft. It's called, "Dear Cheap-But-Good Photographer: You are ruining my life and this industry." That title's a grabber, wouldn't you say? Some folks might call the long post a rant, while others will say it's just sour grapes because of the seismic changes to the industry in recent years, but I think there's a very valid point here. It's not that I disagree with the capitalist idea of charging whatever the market will bear. It's not that photographers who price their service too low make it harder for everyone else to charge more (though there is that potential effect). The problem is that, in many cases, I've seen very talented young photographers who weren't able to sustain their businesses because they weren't able to charge enough for their great work—either because they hadn't been told how to properly price their work, or because other "lowball" photographers made it too difficult for them to charge more in a field of stiff competition, and they ultimately couldn't stay in business. I like that photography has become ubiquitous in our society in the 21st century. But I want photographers who choose to make a living with their work to be able to sustain a business so that we don't eventually lose them to the ranks of "just some job." Photography isn't something you can do really well only some of the time. In my opinion, to get great you've got to shoot a lot. And if you're charging so little that you don't give yourself a chance to stay in business and put in your 10,000 hours, that's just a darn shame. Anyway, if you're curious about pricing your own photography services, take a look at this post at the Beautiful Beasties blog.
The Complex Legacy Of Kodak’s Shirley Cards
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
During my morning commute last Thursday I listened to an interesting story on NPR about Kodak's Shirley Cards. These photographic portrait negatives and prints were distributed to labs across the country to be used to set the "normal" skin tone standard for photographic prints. The process began back to the 1950s. The story is fascinating both for its examination of how and why these mysterious women (the first, apparently named Shirley) came to appear on these photographic test standards and become famous among a small subset of people—those who worked in photo labs) as well as the discussion about the impact of setting a Caucasian face as "normal" or the standard against which all other portraits would be measured. A good listen, and an interesting read for sure, at NPR.org.
Photos From The Surface Of A Comet
Monday, November 17, 2014
Last week, the European Space Agency made a whole lot of well-deserved headlines when its Rosetta mission to land a probe on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was a rousing success. After a tense, seven-hour descent to the comet, which followed ten years of hurtling through space, the Philae probe made contact with the comet (which measures about 4 kilometers in diameter) and set down to commence its testing of the celestial body's surface. There have been a lot of interesting stories and photo galleries to emerge in the coverage of the event, but I figure why not go straight to the horse's mouth. So here, without further ado, is a link directly to the ESA's Flickr page where it's updating regularly with new photographs of the mission, straight from the surface of the comet. It's pretty remarkable photography—another addition to what seems to be an increasingly frequent list of "world's firsts" in far out photography.
Astronauts Make A Weird Floating GoPro Water Bubble
Friday, November 14, 2014
Apparently astronauts are just big goof-offs too, like many of us down here on terra firma. In this video, astronauts on the International Space Station squeeze water into their weightless cabin, and it forms into a blob that clings together and floats there in "midair." But then they decide to stuff a GoPro Hero action camera into the shuddering glob (would this count as "submerging" the camera?), apparently just to see how it behaves and what the resulting video will look like, i's pretty neat. Better still, they filmed the thing with a 3D video camera, and if you've got a pair of traditional red/blue stereoscopic 3D glasses you can watch the 3D video online; it's linked in the video information below. If I ever find myself orbiting the planet at 200 miles with some spare time on my hands and some really cool cameras, I'm totally going to try this.
Brides Offer Tips To Their Wedding Photographers
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Are you a wedding photographer, or are you looking to break into the business? If so, you might want to take a look at this post from Bride Box Pro. It's a list of suggestions from 50 brides about what they wish their wedding photographers would have done differently. Suggestions such as "Snap more candid photos" and "Listen to me better," are easy enough to add to your repertoire, but there are some deeper issues discussed as well. For instance, one bride didn't like the post-processing filter her photographer used on every photo. Are you one of those "over retouchers" that are all too common these days? Don't forget that some brides don't appreciate that (and frankly, I don't either). The trend of better communication and better understanding of what the bride wants before a shoot begins is common in the suggestions, as is the simple request that photographers remain professional throughout the process. There's no excuse for not returning calls or emails, even months after an event, if for no other reason than it shows your professionalism, or a lack thereof. For the complete list of insights from brides, check out the link below.
The Gaff Gun
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
When I first saw this video, I just about fell out of my chair. It's a demonstration of the Gaff Gun. What is a Gaff Gun, you ask? It's an easy-to-use tape dispenser for gaff tape—the ubiquitous stuff that holds together practically every photo shoot, concert, movie production or any other event in which cables are strung about on the ground in order to connect cameras or lights or speakers or microphones. Gaff tape is very commonly used to secure cables to the floor so that passersby don't trip on the cables. This tedious and time-consuming task usually falls to the low man on the totem pole—an assistant or intern, for instance—and it's, frankly, a pain in the behind, as well as the knees. But with the ingenious Gaff Gun, tape can be dispensed at a walking pace, and cables can be secured to the floor in such short time that I wouldn't be surprised if Hollywood budgets began plummeting. Seriously, anybody who has ever used gaff tape to secure cables is sure to want one of these things. The only problem is the price: the makers must know how desirable the device is, as its sticker is $199. Still, it's a deal at twice the price. See more, including a video of the Gaff Gun in action, at http://www.gaffgun.com/
More Photo Copyright Drama
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Photographer Justin Cook recently learned that a prominent university was using one of his photographs without permission, so he sent the institution an invoice. The university removed the image, but refused to acknowledge that it had infringed upon the photographer's copyright, as there was no way it could have known the image was not free to use. That's the ol' "it's online, so I can use it" argument. The ongoing debate shows just how much people don't understand about copyright. We as photographers have the right to publish our work online without fear that those works will be repurposed—especially by organizations making a profit with the assistance of those images. Whether it was a mostly harmless mistake by an unknowing intern or a malicious flouting of copyright, this incident has got lots of people up in arms. It's good to see that photographers are increasingly standing up for their rights, as it ultimately benefits all of us. Watch the story unfold via the Petapixel article below.