The Met Makes Art Images Free To All
Friday, May 30, 2014
Care to create your own timeless fine art and photography collection? New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art has now made it easier. The museum has created its Open Access for Scholarly Content initiative and put almost half a million images of artworks in its collection online. Many of the images fall into the public domain, and so the museum has provided free and open access to high-resolution versions. So if you want to print your own collection of the work of Alfred Stieglitz or Edward Steichen, now you can—with some caveats. While some image files are available at true print resolution sizes, not everything there is. Still, the collection is so expansive you can get quite a photographic education simply by browsing. Read all about it at PetaPixel before heading over to the museum's web site to search for your favorite artists.
The Photographer’s Playbook
Thursday, May 29, 2014
I'm always looking to kick-start my creativity when it comes to planning a photo shoot. By that I mean that I'm regularly reading magazines and surfing the internet in search of photographic inspiration. So when I learned that iconic photography book publisher Aperture is planning to release a book specifically designed to give photographers assignments that challenge their creativity and deliver outright inspiration, I instantly knew it was for me. The Photographer's Playbook is edited by Jason Fulford and Gregory Halpern, both photographers and savvy students of the medium, and it's sure to offer motivation to the rest of us because it contains advice for photographers from photographers—some of the biggest names in the game, in fact, including Tina Barney, Philip-Lorca diCorcia and Alec Soth. For more information on the publication, check out the review at Juxtapoz via the link below. I'm thinking it's going to be a must-have book, so I've pre-ordered mine via Amazon.com.
Tips For Underwater Photography
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
In my little corner of the Midwest, Memorial Day marks the official opening of swimming season. So now that summer has officially arrived, at least as far as swimming pools are concerned, why not consider a bit of underwater photography for those long summer days? Whether you're in a backyard pool, a local pond, or the great big sea, underwater photography is definitely a fun way to create unique images. Alix Martinez of ClickinMoms has posted a tutorial with simple tips for getting started in underwater photography. She suggest starting with simple and affordable cameras—whether they're disposable underwater cameras or something like a waterproof point and shoot. You'll get a feel for what you can do underwater—as well as what you can't—before you go risking your expensive DSLR and lenses. Alix upgraded to an Ikelite waterproof housing for her Canon 5D Mark 3, which is the same sort of gear a professional underwater shooter would use, so you know her results are going to be great. Read more, and get ready to take a dip and make some pix, at http://www.clickinmoms.com/blog/simple-tips-on-how-to-take-photos-under-water-by-alix-martinez/
Find The Ideal Time For An African Safari
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Are you interested in planning an African photo safari? If so, the folks at Discover Africa outfitters make a strong case that you should travel with them. This year, they've introduced a new tool to help make planning safaris easier while ensuring your trip coincides with the biggest event of the season—the migration of the wildebeest herd across the Serengeti and Masai Mara. Discover Africa's HerdTracker overlays precise migratory information, supplied by spotters and pilots who travel the area weekly, onto an interactive Google map. This makes trip planning better because, for instance, this year the wildebeests' herd movements suggest the crossing of the River Mara almost a month earlier than usual, so travelers who book during that normally slower time of the summer will actually witness a peak migratory event. To learn more about Discover Africa, and to test out the HerdTracker tool, visit the company's web site via the link below.
Images Of Memorial Day
Monday, May 26, 2014
Happy Memorial Day, and thank you to all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our freedom. On this Memorial Day, why not take a moment to browse this gallery at History.com and view a collection of beautiful and thought-provoking images that shed a little light on Memorial Day celebrations across the country. While a few of the images depict the lighthearted tradition of the holiday barbecue, most of the gallery depicts civilian and military displays honoring fallen soldiers. View the photographs at http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/memorial-day-history/pictures/memorial-day
Learn Visual Storytelling From Steven Spielberg
Friday, May 23, 2014
I recently saw a great video about cinematography which, as you might imagine, also pertains pretty well to photography. It's a collection of long shots that comprise entire scenes (also known in the biz, apparently, as "oners") that were culled from Steven Spielberg movies. This compilation of "oners" is actually pertinent to us still shooters in a couple of ways. First, these are very well composed images that do a great job of storytelling within a single frame. Like those shooting motion pictures, photographers are also telling stories in pictures; at its root, that's what we do. But there's a more powerful message here, and it's about what Spielberg is actually accomplishing with these long, complex shots—these "oners." For cinematographers, this type of long single-take scene is typically done with some amount of showiness: "Look at this amazing feat of cinematographic technique I'm pulling off!" But as the author of the video concludes, the way Spielberg does it is the opposite. His "oners" are totally subtle, because rather than wanting to show off what amazing cinematography skills he has, he's simply trying to do the most efficient and effective storytelling job he can. His technique, while impressive, is subservient to the story. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a very powerful message for us photographers too. Many of us, myself included, find ourselves getting all caught up in technique as an end in itself, when in fact what's most important is the content of our pictures. And so studying the work of the greats like Spielberg can certainly help us improve our compositions. But more than that, seeing the way they defer to the greater good of the story instead of showy technique, is a good reminder to us all about what's really important in our imagery. It isn't how we make it, it's what it is. It's the photograph that matters.
Photographing Tears Under A Microscope
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Photography continues to illuminate our world and broaden our understanding of our place in it day after day after day. Don't believe me? Then take a look at these photographs of human tears, made by artist Rose-Lynn Fisher. She is best known for her photographic work involving microscopes, most notably her 2012 book "Bee," in which she photographed honey bees under intense magnification. During a particularly difficult time in her life, the artist wondered if her tears of grief were biologically different from tears of joy, so she began to photograph them under her microscope. She found that basal tears, the ones produced for simple lubrication, are drastically different than the ones that come about from emotions, which themselves vary dramatically whether they're from laughter or sorrow. Her project is called "The Topography of Tears," and it's not only an interesting scientific study, it contains some really fascinating photographs that easily tell this illuminating story. Check out the work via Lifebuzz below, then read an insightful interview with Ms. Fisher at Wired's Raw File photo blog.
Turn Your Room Into A Camera Obscura
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
You know, I've always wanted to turn my bedroom into a camera obscura. After all, it's what started this whole photography thing in the first place. The term essentially means Dark Room, and that's what you start with to make your own life-size camera obscura. The best part is all you need is a single window (in fact, one is preferable to many because it's easier to keep your dark room dark), some cardboard and scissors, and voila—you've got your very own camera obscura. As long as you don't mind the view being upside down, it's perfect. Shoot your own photos of the view and you can create some extremely interesting images, which is what the photographing/blogging team known as "Destruction of Cats" has accomplished here. The technique is fairly straightforward, and may even provide you with a bit of a profound understanding about what it actually takes to make a camera. It's really just a light tight box with an opening to let in light. It'll certainly impress your friends, and who knows, if you work hard at making photographs with your camera obscura you may find yourself on par with some talented fine art photographers like Abelardo Morell and Vera Lutter. They have taken the camera obscura to new heights. You can examine their great work via the links below.