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
Why You Should Take Pictures In RAW
Friday, August 19, 2011
If you’re a JPEG shooter you’re probably sick of being told you need to shoot RAW. The reality is you need to shoot in whatever format works for you, and know that you’re not doing anything bad by choosing JPEG. It’s just that RAW shooters tend to love the options this format affords them, and so they want to encourage others to fall in love with the format too. No matter on which side of the debate you fall, here are a couple of neat a graphical illustrations of exactly what the differences are between RAW and JPEG capture. The version posted here is the original, perhaps-too-oversimplified graphic. To see the updated flowchart, visit the Pixiq blog directly. Granted, these graphics were created to sway you to the RAW side, but what you choose to do with the information is entirely up to you. The pertinent part is how simply these flowcharts convey the differences between RAW and JPEG. Check it out for yourself.
Animal Self Portraits
Thursday, August 18, 2011
I have a soft place in my heart for "an animal stole my camera and check out the great pictures I found when I got it back" stories. There've been some good ones in the news this summer, so I thought I’d share with you three of my new favorites. First is a story from London's Daily Mail in which a photographer loaned his camera to an Indonesian Macaque who proceeded to take a smiling self-portrait and many pictures of his monkey family as well. The pictures are almost too good to be true, and some commenters question whether they might be—which does make for some interesting reading. Along the same lines is a video that's seemingly got half the Internet in an uproar because it's surely a "fake" done to promote a little video camera. Whatever its origin story, it's still a neat look flight from a perspective we don’t often see—the seagull perspective. Finally is a video that was shot by a lion in the Tswalu Kalahari Game Reserve. It appears that she was encouraged to find this little video camera, which sure enough she did. She then took the running video camera for a walk. I don't know that I'll ever get tired of these animal-made videos and photos, and I’m sure the Internet will never fail to deliver them. If you’ve got a favorite, I hope you’ll share it in the comments.
Rock 'n Roll Photographer Robert Altman
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Are you a rolling stone, or were you at one time? Was your father? Did you maybe read the magazine in its early years of the 70s? Have you heard of the Rolling Stones at least? If any of these qualifiers apply to you, you may have been fortunate enough to see the work of rock 'n roll photographer Robert Altman. No, he's not the same guy as the brilliant movie director with whom he shares a name, but his work is equally exceptional. The photographer was present at many formative moments during the early years of rock, including the Rolling Stones infamous tragic performance at Altamont. Here the Selvedge Yard blog has collected a wonderful group of photographs, along with a bit of interesting information about this pioneering photographer through whose lens America watched the rock scene of the 60s unfold.
Photo by Robert Altman
Early Images Of Antarctica
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Here's another wonderful collection of historic images, this time documenting an expedition to the Antarctic in 1911 by Dr. Douglas Mawson. This was the first Australian journey to Antarctica, and it took three years. Not only is this collection a rare glimpse into life a century ago far from most of our homes, it's a look at early explorers living their day to day lives in one of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on the planet. Beyond that, the images are as beautiful as they are interesting—something that the Brain Pickings blog does a great job finding.