Make The Ordinary Extraordinary
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I like simple and I like great. The work of photographer Caleb Charland would have to qualify as both. Charland got a recent writeup on the DIY Photography blog, which is where I stumbled across the man and his work. What is perhaps most "DIY" (do-it-yourself, for those uninitiated) about Charland's work is the fact that he's building interesting constructs and contraptions to photograph. The photography is fairly straightforward, albeit beautiful, but the subjects themselves make the work totally fascinating. I particularly like the idea of illustrating everyday concepts—like magnetism, for instance—in such a simple way. Simple, yes, but plain? Definitely not. I love photographs like this that take something ordinary and make it look extraordinary. Check out the writeup at DIYPhotography.net, then head over to Charland's web site to see more of his work. His new series of color images is mind blowing.
Buy Nikons, direct from Nikon
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Well duh. Why didn't I, or they, or any camera manufacturer for that matter, think of this sooner? I'm sure it's got to do with all sorts of things I can't comprehend regarding distributors and middlemen and contracts and such—after all, if you've sold Nikon cameras for 50 years you're likely not happy with the company trying to cut you out. But what's bad, or potentially bad, for retailers could be good, at least potentially, for us customers. Now you can buy Nikon gear, including refurbished and discounted items, direct from the manufacturer. I don’t think bricks and mortar retailers have too much to worry about because buying a camera is like buying a car—you’ve got to test drive the thing first. Holding a camera in your hands is still an ideal way to see what a camera is all about before you plunk down the money to purchase it. Still, if you know what you want, buying straight from the manufacturer does seem convenient. We’ll see how this all shakes out fairly soon, I’m sure.
Happy Labor Day!
Monday, September 6, 2010
Today is Labor Day, so hopefully that means you’re not reading this at the office computer but on the couch—or even better, on the patio warming up the grill for a backyard barbecue or getting ready to take an end-of-summer dip in the pool. Either way, enjoy your day. If you’re looking for something online before you get out there and enjoy the day, check this out: it’s a gallery of great photos that are bound to remind you that summer is fleeting, and swimming weather is almost gone. It’s a collection of diving photographs on The Boston Globe’s Big Picture Blog, and it’s bound to make you miss summer before it’s even over.
Bits of Bits
Friday, September 3, 2010
Steve Berardi is the PhotoNaturalist, and I highly recommend reading his blog if you're at all interested in wildlife, landscape and nature photography. But his expertise goes well beyond topics of use only to outdoorsmen, as evidenced by a techie think piece he recently wrote for DPS. It answers a question about which I’ve always wondered: what exactly is a bit and why does it matter? Analog-to-digital converters, color depth, even Photoshop itself uses the ìbitî terminology, but none of them seem to mean exactly the same thing. So if you too wonder about bits, check out Steve’s great new post. And then be sure to visit his own blog to see what wildlife and nature photography bits you can learn about too. (See what I did there?) Pardon the pun, but it is true: there’s always lots to learn from the PhotoNaturalist.
All About Color
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Everything, and I do mean everything, you could ever want to know about color seems to be contained within this nice new post at Lifehacker. Not only is it an amusing and entertaining read, it really does have a lot of pertinent information for photographers who want a deeper understanding of how and why color works in a photograph. More than a technical analysis, though, the post is about color theory—the interactions of complementary colors and the psychological impact of certain hues, for instance—and how to put it to use in your photographs.
Street Photo Tips
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
DPS always has great photography tips covering a wide variety of topics. Sometimes they get a little bit specific, but sometimes that’s what makes them all the more interesting. Such is the case with a recent post offering tips for aspiring street photographers. Even if you’re not interested in street photography in particular, these are great storytelling tips that apply to a number of shooting styles and subjects. I knew it would be a worthwhile read the moment I saw the first tip: ditch your zoom lens in favor of a wide angle lens. Yes! This advice seems counterintuitive to many, but in fact the wide angle prime is the perfect context-setting lens. Rather than offering an infinite number of options as a zoom lens does, the fixed focal length of a prime can actually be freeing. You can get close enough to the subject for interest, while retaining a wide enough angle of view to provide context. This, as well as the other great tips, apply to almost any subject you might be photographing.
A sneak peak at Blair Bunting
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
If I could be any photographer, there's a good chance I'd choose to be Blair Bunting. Not just because he's super talented and a master of complex studio portrait lighting, but because he's just 26 years old. That’s almost ten full years younger than me. What I would give to be young and talented. I recently had a nice long conversation with Blair, and now I’m even more impressed. I think he's going to become a superstar—if he isn’t considered one already. Talented, humble, inquisitive, compassionate... He's got a lot of qualities beyond pure lighting talent—which he possesses in spades. So if you'd like to get a sneak preview of an upcoming profile to appear in the pages of Digital Photo Pro, check out some of Blair’s newest work, updated weekly on his blog.
Expensive Cameras Make You Look Better
Monday, August 30, 2010
That title isn’t pure hyperbole. There’s scientific proof. While I don’t normally find a lot of pertinent scientific studies on the OkCupid dating blog, this time they’ve really come through. They’ve published the results of a fairly in-depth study whereby they aggregated more than 11 million opinions about exactly what makes a great photograph. And you know what? Amusing as it is, the findings really reinforce some actual photographic principles. Things like the fact that using a shallow depth of field tends to create a feeling of intimacy that viewers respond to, or that magic hour light around sunrise and sunset translates directly into the appeal of a photograph. This is great stuff, definitely an amusing read. There should probably be an R rating for a bit of adult language, but then again this is the internet. By comparison it’s rated G. Oh, and one more thing: maybe don't buy your teenager an iPhone.