The Ramble In Central Park
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
I'm not a New Yorker, but after seeing this book I kinda wish I was. It's called The Ramble In Central Park, and it's a collection of Robert A. McCabe’s photographs of this "Wilderness west of Fifth.” A New Yorker may know about this wilderness, but the rest of us may not be familiar with The Ramble; It truly is a little bit of raw nature right there in the middle of the city. Not just green space like the rest of Central park, it’s actual wild space—a densely forested area almost 40 acres in size and filled with winding paths, streams, lake, boulders and trees. This Ramble is a lovely spot, and these photographs make me wish I had the opportunity to experience the urban wilderness on any afternoon stroll. A beautiful spot in any location, this particular place—and this collection of photographs—is made even more special because of its juxtaposition with New York City. Visit Mr. McCabe's web site to see more photographs of this wonderful place, and buy the book to serve as a subtle reminder that you shouldn't let simple geography keep you from photographing what you want. If he can photograph nature in the heart of Manhattan, anything must be possible.
Free Guide To Selling Prints Online
Monday, April 4, 2011
Everything else happens on the internet, so why shouldn't your photo editing occur online too? I can't say that I've ever done any serious I just downloaded a free and quite interesting guide to selling prints online courtesy of the fine folks at Photoshelter. Sure, they have an agenda, and that agenda is to convince you that their service is an ideal place to store, display, license, print, and sell your photographs, but that doesn't mean the info they provide in exchange for an email address is any less pertinent or accurate. It's a great guide to selling prints online, whether you work with Photoshelter or not. Covering everything from color matching to print finishing, trends in what sells and even pricing and marketing strategies, any photographer who's ever even thought of selling a print via their web site would be well served to click over to Photoshelter and download this guide. Then go ahead and get rich selling your photographs online, and tell me all about the success that this post inspired.
Online Photo Editing Resources
Friday, April 1, 2011
Everything else happens on the internet, so why shouldn't your photo editing occur online too? I can't say that I've ever done any serious image editing online, but the idea definitely intrigues me—especially as a resource for folks who don't have hundreds of dollars to shell out for photo editing programs that live on their computers. The Light Stalking photo blog recently compiled a list of five free online photo editing programs that deserve a look if you're interested in editing your images online. One of them even carries the Photoshop name. All in all, online editors probably aren't yet ready to take over for full-fledged computer-based versions of photo software, but they're making great strides—and they're providing a useful resource for many users, and maybe even a glimpse into the future of photo software.
The next big thing in really small cameras
Thursday, March 31, 2011
In case you missed it, your pocket point-and-shoot is no longer the smallest camera around. Neither is your cell phone. It's not your toy spy camera either. It's a camera the size of a grain of salt, and it was announced earlier this month by researchers in Germany. At 1x1 millimeters in size, it's probably not going to be for sale at your favorite camera store any time soon, but you may find yourself on the other end of this camera via your doctor's office. The device is destined to be immensely helpful in the medical world of endoscopic surgery, but it could also find its way into many other devices as well. And who knows, perhaps the technology could help get a future D-SLR to fit into a teacup?
The ground-level tripod
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Every time I have to get my camera close to the ground I'm never really sure of the best way to go about it. I could use a tripod with a convertible center column that can suspend the camera quite low, or even upside down. Or I could use a backpack or sandbag and squeeze the camera gently into place just a few inches from the floor. Or I could finally wise up and do what James Burger did and make my own extremely low angle floor plate tripod. What a simple idea; I'm embarrassed it hasn't occurred to me sooner. After all, a real tripod head attaches to the legs with a simple 3/8" screw, so why not use your own 3/8" bolt and put it through a board to mount a tripod head at floor level? With a few bucks and a little ingenuity, Mr. Burger is really on to something here. And now I know how to get those floor level shots without resorting to an unsteady approach.
The Portraits of Ida Kar
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
March is women's history month, and while I've been pointing out some tremendous female photographers for the last few weeks, I haven't taken the time to mention the obvious connection. Well now I am, and before the month is gone I want to bring another great woman to your attention. Her name is Ida Kar, and she's the focus of an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London until the end of June. Whether you peruse her work online or in person at the museum, be sure to find the time to take a good long look. This woman was a master portraitist, a photographic pioneer, with a body of timeless work that would look at home in any portfolio today.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Here's a quick little tip for you. Can you identify the photo above? No? It's just a piece of gaff tape. But it's a piece of gaff tape you'll find, in various colors and configurations, on many of my gear bags. I've got one on the back of my light kit (that's what you're seeing here) as well as one inside my grip case and one even taped to the top of my camera bag. I do it for two reasons. One, gaff tape is always handy to have around. A spare six inches of tape might be just what you need in a pinch, and so keeping it taped to my bag is good practice, just to be safe, for when I'm shooting on location. The second reason is even more of a lifesaver. I also tape a spare CompactFlash card beneath each strip of gaff tape. You know those old CF cards that you stop using because they're only 1 or 2 or 4 gigs? Those cards are the perfect thing to stash for those "just in case" moments when you'd trade your kingdom for a card. So that's what you're looking at: my dual backup system—gaff tape and a CF card. You can never have too much of either.
How To Display Inkjet Prints
Friday, March 25, 2011
Being a photographer in 2011 is a little bit sad. Why? Because for years being a photographer meant you took pictures and made prints and had a finished product you could hold in your hands or hang on your wall. These days, though, the print has all but disappeared. It’s too easy to shoot photos and look at them on our computer screens and then forget about them forever, without ever making a print. Sure, galleries and pharmacies still trade in prints, but let's be honest: most of us wish we printed a lot more of what we shot. Let's all agree that we'll make a conscious effort to print more of our photographs.
That's only part of the challenge, though. Printing is a bit of a tricky endeavor because most photographers are printing their work in-house on inkjet printers. Instead of farming out the job to a pro lab, most of us are doing it ourselves. The good news is that these prints look great and have archival qualities as good or better than traditional darkroom color prints. The bad news is that we've got to take a little bit of extra care to ensure our prints look their best and last a long time too.
To that end, The Online Photographer’s Ctein (think Madonna or Cher, but with more photographic chops) has written a great guide—practically a treatise—on displaying and caring for inkjet prints to maximize their beauty and their lifespan. For anyone interested in treating their photographs as fine art, or at least for those of you who want to ensure your photos stick around long after you're gone, it's a must read.