Hans Strand, a Hassy and a Volcano
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Swedish photographer Hans Strand, a master photographer who was featured in this year's Outdoor Photographer Landscape Issue, has again caught my eye with his photographs of the unpronounceable Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajökull. Strand used his Hasselblad H4D-40 to capture these amazing photographs in what would have to be considered extreme circumstances by anyone's standards. Check out the photographs, read about Hans' experience, and watch a behind the scenes video at the Hasselblad press site.
Make Large Format Negatives from digital files
Monday, July 12, 2010
I encounter even film photographers on a regular basis who say they wouldn't think of printing without the intervention of the computer. That doesn't mean they all make inkjets; often it's as simple as digitally optimizing or retouching a file, or creating an unretouched digital output at a massive print size. The only real drawback to digital printing is that it's not analog. There are some great processes—particularly old-school alternative processes like cyanotypes, platinum prints and lith printing—that just don't look the same by any other approach. For those, photographers can now use their HP Designjet Z3200 photo printers to create large format negatives that can be used in all sorts of non-digital printing. Care to make an 8x10 contact print of a digital capture in your chemical darkroom? Now you can. The software is free to use for Designjet owners (who are most likely to be serious professionals who can afford the $5000 device). Presumably photographers will begin to see their favorite labs and printing professionals also offering the service too. The only limit is the substrate size and imagination. I'm excited to see a resurgence in non-silver printing as photographers begin to once again explore alternatives to traditional silver and digital printing techniques. Read all about the Large Format Photo Negative application on HP's web site.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Nikon has just announced the 33rd iteration of its Nikon Photo Contest International. The 2010-2011 challenge is open to photographers of all skill levels, all around the world, working with any digital or 35mm film cameras. Entries will be accepted September through November of this year, so start working on your prize-winning entries now. All the information you need, including judges, past winners, contest rules and regulations, is available now on Nikon’s NPCI web site.
Launching a Career in Commercial Photography
Friday, July 9, 2010
Selina Maitreya has built her own successful 30-year career by helping photographers polish their portfolios and position themselves most effectively to build the type of creative and commercial success crucial for a long-lasting career in photography. She offers inspiration and guidance to photographers interested in their own business development. Now she has also moved her personal consulting approach into the online world with a series of MP3 downloads called “The View From Here.” To accompany this program she’s also created a brief introduction video, as well as the first in a monthly series of video challenges for photographers who are up to it. She promises that if you take her challenge you will move your photo business forward. Tune in to learn more at Selina’s web site.
Solar Eclipse Imagery
Thursday, July 8, 2010
As I’ve stated on this blog many times before, I know almost nothing about astronomical photography, yet I’m totally hooked on finding the best examples of it. It’s a classic, “I don’t know much, but I know what I like” scenario. And the most recent astral work that really impresses me comes courtesy of the National Geographic Blog. It’s a composite of 55 calibrated images made by a team of astronomers, and it’s simply stunning. In the accompanying text, Jeremy Berlin explains that I’m clearly not the only one hooked on these total eclipse images. In fact, there’s a tour company dedicated to traveling the globe specifically for optimum eclipse viewing, and a web site all about eclipse chasers. Check it out, whether or not you plan to ride a freighter to the South Pacific to watch the sun disappear briefly behind the moon.
Get the Shot
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Speaking of great video tutorials to be found online, here’s a great one from the creative duo of Larsen & Talbert put together by the folks at PhotoShelter.com. Ever been to a celebrity photo shoot? How about dozens of them? In this hour-long webinar, the photographers explain how they made their way in photography and walk viewers through shoots with top celebrities. Check it out, as well as a number of other PhotoShelter-sponsored webinars, on Vimeo.com.
Heisler on Lighting
Monday, July 5, 2010
I’m such fan of Gregory Heisler and his masterful, understated use of strobe lighting, I’d watch him diagram a passport photo. Thankfully I don’t have to resort to that since Profoto has recruited him for a series of explanations about some of his most well-known portrait setups. Most recently he diagrammed a portrait of Yankees great Derek Jeter for the cover of Sports Illustrated. It’s a perfect example of using precisely placed lights to recreate a natural illumination, totally ambient in appearance. And it’s well worth a look. Check it out at Profoto’s YouTube channel.
How to shoot a TV drama with your D-SLR
Friday, July 2, 2010
Remember earlier this spring when the photoblogosphere was all at witter with news that the season finale of Fox’s House had been shot entirely with a Canon EOS 5D Mark 2 D-SLR? Well if you happened to be living under a rock at the time—or if you have better things to do than read the Internet all day—trust me, it was. This was (and still is) big news, because instead of a $50,000 setup (or god knows how expensive a traditional high-def video rig and lenses could be) you can now shoot primetime TV dramas with a $2500 camera and a couple of $1000 lenses. That’s big, right?
Well now you can learn exactly how it was done by tuning in to an interview with the director of that episode, Greg Yaitanes, on the blog of filmmaker Philip Bloom. Philip interviewed Greg to create the hour-long radio-style interview full of experiences from a seasoned television professional on working with the little D-SLR that could also do TV. (If you’d rather not stream the audio, you can save the clip to your desktop or even peruse a transcript instead.) Anyone interested in broadening their video horizons would be well served by a professional TV shooter’s insights and inspiration.