Early Images Of Antarctica
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Here's another wonderful collection of historic images, this time documenting an expedition to the Antarctic in 1911 by Dr. Douglas Mawson. This was the first Australian journey to Antarctica, and it took three years. Not only is this collection a rare glimpse into life a century ago far from most of our homes, it's a look at early explorers living their day to day lives in one of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on the planet. Beyond that, the images are as beautiful as they are interesting—something that the Brain Pickings blog does a great job finding.
Keeping Lenses Clean
Monday, August 15, 2011
I know all about how important it is to keep my sensor clean, and I'm sure you know this too. Anybody who's spent hours at a time retouching dust spots out of blue skies or other areas in a favorite photograph is bound to redouble his efforts to keep dust from landing on the sensor in the first place. But there's another important piece of gear you need to keep clean, and that's your lens. Old-school photographers are sure to remember keeping lenses clean; after all, ten years ago that was the main piece of equipment you worried about. Whether you're a microfiber cloth or a disposable wipes guy, a lens pen or a camel hair brush user, you've got lots of options and no excuse to not keep your lenses clean. The fine folks at LightStalking have put together a neat little video to help you follow their suggested best practices when it comes to cleaning lenses. They even updated their post after the video first aired to include another approach—the Hollywood approach—to keeping glass dust-free.
Photographing The Blue Hour
Friday, August 12, 2011
Here's a new one for you. I know you're familiar with the magic hour, and probably the golden hour, but have you ever heard about the blue hour? That's right, the blue hour. It's the time just before sunrise and just after sunset—adjacent to the times when the land is bathed in warm, golden sunlight—when the sky turns deep blue and everything gets a cool blue cast. It can be a wonderful time in which to photograph, though it's got to be approached a bit differently than the warmly dramatic true "magic hour" light. So how do you best capitalize on the blue hours? Check out this Lighstalking tutorial to learn how to shoot during these coolest times of day.
Photo by Garry - www.visionandimagination.com
A photographic Rube Goldberg Contraption
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Not long ago a video went viral and took the photo-blogosphere by storm. In case you haven't seen it, it features a photographic Rube Goldberg contraption in a four-minute free-for all that's as ridiculous as it is inspiring. (Minus the cheesy commercial endorsements built in.) The photographers of 2D Photography in Toronto crafted the fun project that certainly garnered them a bit of internet celebrity. Check out the video, as well as a behind the scenes look, at the 2D Photography web site. But that's not all I've got for you today. This video got me to thinking about some other great Rube Goldberg videos I've seen online. So I decided to compile a few and share them with you. There was a great one last year courtesy of the band OK Go, and one I remember enjoying on the television show Mythbusters. But my absolute all-time favorite, and a veritable industry standard in Rube Goldberg contraptions, was a commercial for carmaker Honda. Produced in 2003 the video not only showcases the awe factor of an over-the-top contraption, but it is filmed and photographed beautifully. Inspiring all around.
Thirty-Six Photographers Edit One Picture
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
What happens when 36 photographers are provided with the same digital image file and asked to retouch it however they see fit? You end up with 36 very different interpretations of the same image. Child photographer Michele Anderson proposed this task to 36 of her closest photographer friends, and the results are, sure enough, intriguing. What's surprising is that they're intriguing as much for the differences as for the similarities. There are tight crops and wide shots, high contrast and low, over saturated as well as under. Yet nobody decided to convert the image to black & white, and it looks like everyone provided something that a client would certainly be pleased with. It just goes to show that no matter how similar the equipment and the technique, there's still quite a bit of artistic vision at work in each and every photograph.
A Good Guy Wins
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Every so often a good guy wins. It appears that has happened in the case of photographer Mike Mitchell and his decades-old run-in with the fab four. When Mitchell was just 18 years old the Beatles arrived in the United States. The young photographer was assigned to cover their visit and subsequent performance in Washington DC, which he did nobly. He then forgot about the pictures for nearly half a century. He recently re-discovered them, made prints, and decided to put them up for auction. To say the Christie's auction went off without a hitch is a gross understatement. Read all about Mike's endearing story, and the story of these great pictures of the Beatles, at the Online Photographer blog.
How Leica Lenses Are Made
Monday, August 8, 2011
Not long ago I posted a link to a really neat Leica video. That one was about the history of the company—specifically, how the son of the founder saved many friends, colleagues and employees during World War II by sending them to work in facilities far from Hitler's reach. Today I've got another great Leica link, but this one is a bit more contemporary and a bit less life changing. Still, it's a pretty neat thing to see. It's a unique behind-the-scenes look at Leica lenses in production. Sure it's a Leica-produced video that amounts to a slick long-form commercial, but it works. Because this stuff is interesting. It's amazing how much hands-on work goes into these high-tech lenses. See for yourself at Vimeo.
Rich Clarkson In His Own Words
Friday, August 5, 2011
When I was 18, a mere skinny little lad, I attended a photography workshop at the US Olympic Festival which was being held just a few miles from my hometown. During that week I learned from and rubbed elbows with some of the most prominent sports photographers of the last half-century, including the man who had organized the entire workshop—Rich Clarkson. I learned he was a pioneer and an icon in the world of sports photography. (He was a nice man, too, as I recall.) Here, Mr. Clarkson talks about some of his personal favorite photos, including how he made them and why they're important. I particularly like his solution to an egregious copyright infringer. See for yourself at the Denver Post photo blog.
Photo by Rich Clarkson