Photojournalists Bring Us The Story of Japan
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
With all of the coverage of the earthquake and tsunami devastation in Japan, I’ve found myself turning to photojournalists for a better understanding of what I’m seeing. Sure, television’s moving pictures do inform us quite effectively about what’s happening—especially on the broader scale. But I’ve noticed that the places in which I’m gaining a detailed understanding of the state of life on the ground in northern Japan all involve still photographs. I think it’s for this reason that photojournalists will always be integral to news gathering—even in a 24-hour television news cycle. For a dramatic and emotional gallery of images of the aftermath, perhaps no news galleries are better than the Boston Globe’s Big Picture and the Sacramento Bee’s The Frame. Be prepared, though—the images are heartbreaking.
Gregory Crewdson’s Cinematic Process
Monday, March 21, 2011
The photographs of Gregory Crewdson have always fascinated me. Not only are they mysterious and compelling, their scope is unlike anything else ever seen in the art world. He works the way a filmmaker would—with an entire film crew's worth of production, not to mention the pre- and post-production requirements of a big budget Hollywood motion picture as well. Essentially Crewdson makes films and then simply photographs them one still at a time. This video, linked to via John Paul Caponigro’s blog, provides a detailed look at how he works, and why.
All About Lightroom Collections
Friday, March 18, 2011
I've been working with Lightroom for about a year now and I think I've got a pretty good handle on it. I'm happy with my workflow and I feel like the program is generally intuitive to work with. That said, there's one major feature that I don't use in a very in-depth way: collections. Of course I have basic collections set up, but I also know I'm not harnessing the power of collections in the most efficient and effective ways. Thankfully Helen Bradley, who always writes very insightful and helpful tips for Lightroom and Photoshop CS, has published an in-depth look at Lightroom Collections on the DPS web site. From Smart Collections to sorting tips, Helen's tutorial is immensely helpful for Lightroom users who are looking to harness a little more of the great program's organizational power—which is exactly what I need to do.
The Perfect Repurposed Lighting And Grip Case?
Thursday, March 17, 2011
I love putting non-photographic gear to use in the photo world—especially when that stuff is so perfectly suited to photography. Turns out lots of stuff from the music world can actually be repurposed effectively in photography. For instance, I use a drummer’s throne in lieu of a posing stool. It functions just the same, and cost a fraction of the sanctioned photo stool. Here’s another great suggestion I just read about at DIYPhotography.net: use a guitar case to haul around lighting gear—particularly stands and other long grip supplies. It makes perfect sense when you think about it—which I’m glad Udi Tirosh did. Read about it at DIYPhotography.net.
iPod And iPad Apps for Freelance Photographers
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Are you trying to earn a buck with your camera? Do you use an iPhone or iPad to help in that endeavor? Then you need to check out this list of 90 awesome apps for freelance creative types. Some of them may be more specifically suited to graphic designers, but the art and productivity apps for freelancers found in this list are sure to be of help to many photographers as well. Whether you want to make sketches on your phone's touchpad or figure out how to bill more appropriately for your time on a shoot, there's an app for that—and you can probably find it in this list.
All About Lens Profile Corrections
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
In case you missed it, Adobe's been working hard to allow you to automatically correct for all the problems with your lenses. I don't mean correct for errors particular to the brand and model of your lenses, I mean your exact lenses. Thanks to Adobe's Lens Profile Creator, not only can you fix chromatic aberration, distortion and vignetting with pre-made profiles for you brand and model of lens, but you can download a test chart to photograph and make custom profiles for the peculiarities of the very lenses you own. It's a super-powerful tool, and if you're not yet putting it to use I suggest you check out John Paul Caponigro's blog to read up on the tool and how you can put it to use in Camera Raw and Lightroom, or inside Photoshop itself.
Sigma Wants Your Help
Monday, March 14, 2011
Well this is a nice change. It's a photo contest in which you can participate, not just by entering, but by being a judge as well. Sigma announced its scholarship contest for student photographers last fall, and now it's asking the public to vote in order to determine winners. Nice! Rather than some anonymous/ambiguous/unknown panel determining the winners, the public gets to vote, American Idol style. I say that's great. Head over to Sigma's web site to vote for your favorite photograph until the end of March.
Your Dream Studio Setup
Friday, March 11, 2011
Oh good. Just when I was feeling perfectly adequate I had to go and watch this video. It ruined my day. Why? Because it's a video of microstock king Yuri Arcurs providing a tour of his new studio, with a breakdown of the extensive inventory of top-of-the-line lighting gear. And it makes me and my studio and my gear look like a rank amateur. When you're watching it and tabulating in your head all of the tremendous expense involved with this purchase, remember that Yuri made his mark in Microstock. That means he earned this impressive studio a few dollars at a time. That’s quite an achievement and certainly quite a studio.