The Photo Society
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
A group of established National Geographic photographers have gotten together to form a loose organization called The Photo Society. Open to photographers who have had at least one feature story published in The Geographic, the Society's web site is built to promote the work of these tremendous photographers and help provide the general public a glimpse behind the scenes into the lives of these photographers with the hope of shedding more light on many questions about their work, including perhaps the most popular question of all: "What does it take to become a National Geographic photographer." The site is filled not only with stunning images, but with tremendous stories of harrowing adventures and near death experiences as well. It's a must-see for anyone interested in world-class photojournalism, National Geographic, or simply for another look at amazing images of the people and places that make our world so special.
Earth From Above
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
The Atlantic recently featured an interactive puzzle game based on Google Earth's satellite photographs of interesting locations around the world. Though the game itself is fun—quizzing viewers on their ability to guess a location based on its appearance from above—what really struck me was just how stunning these images are, and just how tragically beautiful man's influence on the land can be when viewed from this unique perspective. So head over to the Atlantic's In Focus blog to play the game and view these stunning photographs. It really is a nice collection of images that's worth a look even if you're uninterested in playing the game (you party pooper).
The Next Big Little Thing
Monday, December 12, 2011
Are you ready for new way to store your pictures in your camera? You'd better get ready, because it's coming next year. The CompactFlash association announced last week a new plan for a high-performance memory card format. The XQD specification will create cards smaller than CompactFlash but larger than SD, built on the PCI Express platform with theoretical maximum read/write speeds of 600mbs, though the first generation will target a speed of 125mbs. The memory format will begin licensing to camera manufacturers in the next couple of months, and it will be interesting to see if it can quickly replace the traditional type 2 CompactFlash card we've grown so used to—though there's bound to be some resistance from users heavily invested in the CF format. I'm eager to see how it all shakes out.
The Light Of The World
Friday, December 9, 2011
As the holidays arrive I get more and more interested in the best photo books of the year. I don't necessarily mean any official "best of" list, so much as the list of books that have caught my own personal attention this year, and which have made it onto my gift giving and getting lists. A series of books by photographer Jean-Michel Berts has definitely piqued my curiosity thanks to the publication of the most recent one, The Light of Istanbul. Berts has traveled to New York, Tokyo, Paris (my personal favorite, in case you're in a giving mood) and now Istanbul to photographic these iconic old cities before sunrise and after dusk. The black & white images are moody, sensuous and dramatic, with just a hint of HDR, and these books would look good on any coffee table, as well as serving as a lovely addition to any photographer's library. Especially mine. Read all about them at publisher Assouline's web site, where you can order them too.
Make It Easier To Paint With Light
Thursday, December 8, 2011
The friendly folks at Photojojo have a knack for finding the oddest, most whimsical photographic devices in the world. So perhaps it should be no surprise that they're now selling a spray can aimed at graffiti artists. Don't worry, though: instead of spraying paint, this can sprays light. It's the Glow Graffiti light paint can and for 40 bucks it provides a bottomless cup of light painting fun. Use the embedded blue LED to paint with light just as you would with any flashlight or fiber optic device, or work in conjunction with the included stencils and UV background to make your light graffiti last longer, giving you more time to photograph it with a long exposure. Winter is the perfect time to practice long exposures and light painting since the days are shorter and the sun sets so early. You can learn more about the light paint can, as well as a number of other odd photo devices, at the Photojojo web site. If you act soon you're sure to find a lot of ideas for the photographers on your holiday shopping list—as well as countless ideas for filling your own stocking.
Smartphone Photo Tools
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
I love my smartphone, and I'm surprised by just how much I've integrated it into my daily life. But aside from snapshots, I don't use it terribly often for photography related applications. Well maybe I'd love my camera, I mean smartphone, even more if I utilized more photographic tools. I'm still a relative smartphone newbie, so I'm always keen to find helpful information about what apps might actually make my photography even better. So it was with great excitement that I stumbled upon this list of the best Android and iOS apps from DP Review. More than just neat little gimmicks that help make your pictures quirky and funky, these are apps that can really help photographers make better pictures. They're not apps at all; they're tools. From scouting aids like The Photographer's Ephemeris and iScoutLocation, to apps that help with model releases and portfolio display. If you're looking to get more out of your smartphone or tablet device, start here first for a great overview of the best photo apps on the market.
Vivian Maier Book Arrives
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
There was perhaps no hotter photographer this year than Vivian Maier. This Chicago nanny led a somewhat secret second life—as street photographer for decades in the middle of the 20th century she made hundreds of thousands of beautiful images, never showing them to anyone. Only near the end of her life was her collection of negatives recovered from a storage auction, leading to a frenzy of interest in her phenomenal work that included numerous television documentaries, a film and, finally, a newly published monograph of her work. Vivian Maier: Street Photographer was released just a couple of weeks ago, just in time to add it to your holiday shopping list. It's already in high demand, though, so you may have to shop quickly. Read more about it, see inside the book and order it at the Powerhouse Books web site.
A New Take On Underwater Photography
Monday, December 5, 2011
Ever wonder what would happen if you dropped your D-SLR into the sea? Well now we know: the camera might be kaput, but your pictures would likely remain intact on the CF card for a long, long time. Chase Jarvis linked to the story of Markus Thompson, a diver who recently found a Digital Rebel at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. He brought the camera to the surface, salvaged its memory card and was actually able to download the data. That in itself is cool enough to be noteworthy, but the story gets even better. Given the connected world we live in, perhaps it's no surprise that Thompson wanted to find the camera's rightful owner in order to deliver the photos. And he did. Read all about it at Jarvis's blog, then click through to Thompson's original Google+ post to see how the recovery unfolded.