A Kickstarter Success Story
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
I love the idea behind the web site Kickstarter, especially as it relates to creatives. You get an idea, you need to raise funds to make that idea a reality, you start a Kickstarter project and folks all over the world can contribute to projects they believe in—or the ones that offer the best schwag in exchange for a monetary pledge. While I've seen interesting Kickstarter projects for photo books, travel magazines, gallery prints and even independent films, none of them have seen the success of this project by an inventor of an interesting piece of camera gear. It's the Capture Camera Clip system, which is designed to let you securely hold your camera on your belt, without worrying about camera straps and too much fuss. The device sure sparked the interest of lots of other photographers, because as of this writing almost 5,200 of them have contributed a whopping $370,000—a significant success when you consider that the inventor, Peter Dering, was looking to raise just $10,000 in order to complete an initial production run of the product. Check out his Kickstarter page, consider contributing, and look for this neat device as soon as it's released.
Mount Your D-SLR Lenses To Your iPhone. Really.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Ever since the iPhone, and in particular the introduction of its Instagram app, folks everywhere have been treating their iPhones like actual cameras. The point, usually, is that you can make great pictures with even a relatively rudimentary fixed-focal length lens. And it also proves, as Chase Jarvis will attest, that the best camera is the one you have with you all the time. Just like an iPhone. Well now there's another add-on for folks who want to get serious, really serious, about taking iPhone pictures... in a totally ridiculous way. It's the SLR iPhone lens mount from PhotoJojo, which allows you to take the zoom off your Nikon D90 (or whatever Nikon or Canon D-SLR you happen to be toting) and affix it to your iPhone for "serious" picture taking power. I know it's too ridiculous to be true, and yet here it is. See for yourself at the PhotoJojo web site.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Thanks again, John Paul Caponigro, for coming through with spot-on invaluable Photoshop information. In this recent post he points us readers to a great resource for over 10,000 Photoshop add-ons—from templates to tutorials, brushes to plug-ins. It's Adobe's own Photoshop Exchange, where photographers can access thousands of unique tools (like Actions, Styles and Brushes) to make Photoshop better—or easier, more fun and more interesting. And many of them are given away for free. The ones that do charge, Caponigro points out, average only a few bucks each, so either way it's an invaluable resource. Take a look at what you can add on to your computer to make Photoshop work even better.
Cameras In Action
Thursday, July 14, 2011
I recently saw this neat little video on the DPS blog. It's by street photographer Eric Kim, who strapped a tiny GoPro video camera to his Leica's hot shoe and took to the streets. A neat way to see how an actual street photographer works. I'm not at all disparaging Mr. Kim's approach to photographing people on the street, but it did make me realize how differently he approaches his subjects than some other photographers I've seen from their cameras' perspectives—like, for instance, James Nachtwey, who in the documentary "War Photographer" had a tiny video camera strapped to his camera as well. It too is a fascinating look at how a photographer works, made even more powerful when viewed from the perspective of his camera. It's interesting that Mr. Kim tries to avoid eye contact and shoots quickly before moving on to another subject, while Mr. Nachtwey works in a more lingering, deliberate manner. Part of it may be the different subject matter, part of it is surely different shooting styles. Whatever the differences, and whichever approach you prefer, it's extremely interesting to watch photographers work like this. Check out both videos via the links below.
Restoring An Antique Tintype
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
It's amazing what a skilled set of hands can do with a tool as powerful as Photoshop. Take, for instance, the world of photographic restoration. It's a different set of skills than just the regular old image editing and retouching so many of us do in our regular photographic workflows. When it comes to restoring an old image, I can't think of any challenge more daunting than a 19th century tintype. Here's a link to a collection of these photographs, which were made right on a sheet of metal. Check out the amazing transformation that takes place in this restoration project, and keep it in mind the next time you feel like a retouching project is too daunting.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Okay, one more fireworks post. I found lots of shards and rocket remnants in my city yard last week, and one of them was big enough to tote a D-SLR camera aloft, I'm sure. Well that's just what these folks did when they stuck a camera to a rocket and shot it into the air. Repeatedly. Actually, it wasn't a D-SLR, but a little pocket video camera. And it worked well regardless. The video is a bit disorienting, sure, but it's also pretty darn cool. Thank goodness for tiny digital video cameras, and the people crazy enough to risk their destruction in search of cool footage.
Fireworks Time Lapse
Monday, July 11, 2011
So, one week ago the nation was celebrating. People everywhere were blowing up all sorts of fireworks to commemorate the rockets' red glare on the fourth of July. In my neighborhood the practice was... extreme, to say the least. In fact, it sounded the way this great video looks. It's a time-lapse of the Chicago skyline dotted with fireworks wherever you look. Fireworks which, coincidentally, are illegal within the city limits. And since this video's so neat, I can sort of see the appeal. But still, just to be clear, setting off fireworks in a crowded neighborhood later than 11pm kind of makes you a jerk, at least around my house, no matter how cool they look.
Linda McCartney's Thoughtful Photographs
Friday, July 8, 2011
I've been seeing a lot of Linda McCartney's work lately. And that's a good thing, because before now I never realized what a talented photographer she was. I'd always sort of assumed she was a rock star wife in the right place at the right time, fortunate to photograph the Beatles in their heyday from behind the scenes. But that was my mistake, one born out of simple ignorance. The release of a beautiful new Taschen retrospective of her work has prompted many photo blogs—including Brain Pickings, which finally prompted me to write about the late Mrs. Sir Paul—to feature her work. What a talent. The images show that she was a gifted photographer who certainly would have been a success no matter what she would have turned her camera to. Along with the Brain Pickings collections, there's another great gallery of her work at Everyday I Show, which is well worth checking out whether you love everything Beatles related, or if you just like being inspired by wonderful photography.