Advice For Young Photographers
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
I recently stumbled across a treasure trove of photographic insight courtesy of the Canon Professional Network. Turns out Canon Europe has created interviews with talented, well-established professional photographers specifically designed to educate and inspire young photographers. We are familiar with a few of their names over here in the States, but Europeans may likely know all of these photographers and their work. Thanks to the Internet we can enjoy these interviews just as easily as folks over on the continent, and that means we can learn from them too. Ain’t the modern world great? An aperture is an aperture in any language, after all, and beautiful light is still beautiful light. Check out the videos and see if you learn anything new, or maybe you’ll just find some inspiration in the work of these talented world-class pros that will help you along the way.
My Pictures Would Be Better If...
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Chase Jarvis is a commercial photographer with a great blog and a great following. A while back he asked his readers to consider what might make their pictures better. That got me to thinking about what would make my own pictures better, and what sorts of things would probably make everyone’s pictures better? I then started making conscious changes to my work patterns in order to improve my photos based on the answers to this silly little exercise. It turns out it's not so silly after all. So I really recommend that you try this. Answer this question as many ways as you can, and then start doing the things those answers instruct: My pictures would be better if ____. For me, some of the answers were:
- If I made photographs more often.
- If I got out of my own way and let technique be secondary to content and composition.
- If I simplified everything more often, from lighting to equipment to backgrounds.
- If I made every photograph as if it might be the best picture I'd ever make.
One way I’ve done some of these things is when it comes to photographing my new baby daughter. Instead of constructing elaborate photo shoots, I concentrate on capturing the real moments of her life so that someday when I look back at these images I’ll remember not only the photo shoot, but what she was like as a six-month-old.
So what would you say to this question? Ask yourself what would make your photographs better, and then set about doing it. You might like what it does to your photography. I know I do.
RAW-Style White Balance Adjustment Of JPEGs
Monday, August 29, 2011
Everybody's always saying that you've just gotta shoot RAW. I tend to agree with the sentiment, but I also understand there are lots of reasons not to. Let's say you want to work really fast, maybe you shoot sports or photojournalism and you want to rapid-fire frames and then process them quickly and efficiently, there aren't as many reasons to shoot RAW. But no matter what you shoot, one thing that you might miss about RAW files is the ability to make efficient post-production changes to exposure and white balance. Well JPEG shooters actually aren't completely out of luck. In this tutorial from DPS, Elizabeth Halford explains how she makes RAW-style white balance adjustments to the JPEGs she captures long after the exposures are made. These simple techniques offer JPEG shooters a great way to adjust white balance quickly and easily—just like RAW shooters do—in Photoshop, Elements and Lightroom.
Poignant Pictures Of Where Children Sleep
Friday, August 26, 2011
Sometimes beautiful photography is also very difficult. Such is the case with these amazing and touching images by photographer James Mollison. He's made a book for children, filled with portraits of kids from around the world and the places in which they sleep. From rich to poor, impoverished to luxurious, the book and beautiful images are designed to help kids ages 9 to 13 empathize with other children throughout the world. It's hard to imagine a book that works so well for kids also functioning so beautiful as a meaningful photo book for adults.
Photographing The Town That Disappeared
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Thanks to the How to be a Retronaut blog (a personal favorite of mine for finding interesting photographs from the past) for pointing me to this great collection of images from the Atlantic Monthly's photo blog. It's the story of a town that disappeared. The Argentinian town of Villa Epecuen sat a few hundred miles from a large salt lake that, due to a prolonged rain, burst its earthen damn in 1985. Soon the town of 5000 was under 30 feet of water, and it remained that way for almost 25 years. Then in 2009 the water began to recede. Photographer Juan Mabromata visited recently, armed with images from the Villa's heyday, to photograph what a place looks like after a generation underwater. It's an amazing story illustrated with beautiful, haunting images.
Photo by Juan Mabromata
Rack Focusing For DSLR Video
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
I don't do tons of DSLR video recording, but I do dabble. And as far as I can tell, the biggest challenge is focusing. If your subject is stationary you can prefocus and do fine. But heaven forbid you'd like to change focus during a shot. This technique is called rack focusing, dramatically shifting focus from foreground to background, or vice versa. In Hollywood they've got whole jobs dedicated to this, but when you're doing it yourself you need a DIY fix to be able to rack focus effectively. That's where this post-it note-based system comes in. It's brilliant in its simplicity. See for yourself at the DIY Photography blog. www.diyphotography.net
On Assignment For National Geographic
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
National Geographic photographer John Stanmeyer is frequently asked one simple question: What is it like to work on assignment for the famous yellow-bordered magazine? Well on his personal photo blog he's recently posted the first in what's to be an ongoing series about exactly what shooting for Nat Geo entails. From the look of things, a lot of it involves getting wet and dirty and tired and smelly, and ruining a lot of expensive camera equipment in the quest for the perfect picture. It's a great read, illustrated by photos that bring home just how challenging the job can be. Which, in a way, illustrates the power and importance of photographs telling a story, and why the Geographic puts such effort into visual journalism. Thanks to A Photo Editor for pointing his readers to this great post.
Photo by Anil Chandra Roy
Picturing The Future Of The Olympics
Monday, August 22, 2011
If you're like me you love all things related to the Olympics. (Well, all things except for the performance enhancing drugs and petty politics.) But the pageantry, the spectacle, and the once-every-four-years rarity gets me really psyched up for both the summer and winter games. Well summer 2012 will see the Olympics in London and, as is required for any city to secure the Olympics, a whole lot of new facilities are being constructed for the games. Including this gorgeous structure—the aquatics center. Here's a gorgeous gallery of architectural images photographed by London photographers Hufton + Crow. Beautiful all by itself, it's going to be a stunning location in which the athletes can take center stage.
Photo by Hufton + Crow