More of this year’s best pictures

The "year's best" galleries are popping up everywhere now. Three new ones this week come courtesy of The Boston Globe, The Denver Post and The Los Angeles Times. War, floods, oil spills, earthquakes, volcanoes... it's not a pretty picture of the world in 2010, it's an incredibly tumultuous one. But it's also a powerful view provided by professional photojournalists--a way of seeing the world unlike any other medium. And it’s probably one we haven’t seen much of on TV news. Be warned, some of the images are quite intense. Others can be uplifting as they highlight human compassion and resilience.  

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/12/2010_in_photos_part_1_of_3.html
http://blogs.denverpost.com/captured/2010/12/15/denver-post-plog-the-year-in-pictures/2588/
http://framework.latimes.com/2010/12/10/2010-the-year-in-pictures/#/0
DPMag
The "year's best" galleries are popping up everywhere now. Three new ones this week come courtesy of The Boston Globe, The Denver Post and The Los Angeles Times. War, floods, oil spills, earthquakes, volcanoes... it's not a pretty picture of the world in 2010, it's an incredibly tumultuous one. But…

A double-shot of surf culture

Surf photography's always cool, but even cooler when it documents a bit of history and lost culture—as this collection of photography by surf legend LeRoy Grannis does. His photographs document the 1960s and 70s surf photography era of southern California. A neat collection both for the glimpse of a time gone by, and for the interesting surf and beach photography. Add to that an equally interesting historical Southern California surfer-esque series and you've got a double-shot of great surf-inspired images. These photos document the dawn of skateboarding, when a drought in Southern California in 1975 inspired young surfers to figure out a great use for dried up backyard swimming pools. That's how a whole new sport, and skate culture, was born. I'm struck by just how timeless so many of these images are.

http://theselvedgeyard.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/the-photography-of-leroy-grannis-legendary-liver-chronicler-of-california-surf-culture/
http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2010/11/30/hugh-holland-locals-only
DPMag
Surf photography's always cool, but even cooler when it documents a bit of history and lost culture—as this collection of photography by surf legend LeRoy Grannis does. His photographs document the 1960s and 70s surf photography era of southern California. A neat collection both for the glimpse of a time…

The iPhone as a tool to tell a war story

Here's an interesting photojournalism discussion. A New York Times photographer in Afghanistan used his iPhone to make a series of photographs of soldiers as they trudge through their daily lives at war. Damon Winter believed that his iPhone could not only do the job, but do it in a much less intrusive way than if he'd used his typical D-SLR gear. The photographs are amazing and they offer a glimpse into life at war quite unlike most we've seen before. But there is some controversy around this body of work, and it's got to do with the iPhone app's propensity for post-processing wizardry (which is done automatically, much like a Photoshop filter you don't even have to click). The Times has very high standards in terms of non-manipulation of documentary images. Does this Hipstamatic iPhone app, which applies significant post-production special effects automatically, violate those strict standards? Some commenters believe so, and in my opinion they make a good point. When we start seeing style in front of substance, we may not be seeing the right things. It's an interesting debate, either way, and well worth a look.

http://duckrabbit.info/blog/2010/11/do-damon-winters-iphone-pictures-make-a-mockery-of-new-york-times-policy-on-digital-manipulation/
http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/finding-the-right-tool-to-tell-a-war-story/
DPMag
Here's an interesting photojournalism discussion. A New York Times photographer in Afghanistan used his iPhone to make a series of photographs of soldiers as they trudge through their daily lives at war. Damon Winter believed that his iPhone could not only do the job, but do it in a much…

One-Light Portrait Advice

Just yesterday I was making simple studio portraits with a couple of lights and I was thinking about how great photographs require great light, but great light doesn’t mean lots of lights. Case in point: photographer Matthew Jordan Smith speaks in this Profoto-sponsored how-to video about creating a gorgeous one-light portrait of model Tyra Banks. More than your average short video, this clip has Mr. Smith diagram the shoot and offer insights not only for working with one light but for positioning lights for the ideal effect. He also offers advice for working with models when you're using a powerful source like a ring light. It's a great shot, and a great video—both done simply and both done quite well. 

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2010/12/matthew-jordan-smith-gives-tyra-ring.html
DPMag
Just yesterday I was making simple studio portraits with a couple of lights and I was thinking about how great photographs require great light, but great light doesn’t mean lots of lights. Case in point: photographer Matthew Jordan Smith speaks in this Profoto-sponsored how-to video about creating a gorgeous one-light…

A guide for pricing photography

With more and more amateur photographers dipping their toes in the waters of paid photography, there's a lot of discussion these days about exactly what to charge for assignments. The conventional wisdom seems to be that newbies aren't sure of what to charge, and so they underbid established photographers quite significantly, which has a triple effect: the newbie is paid less than a fair value for the work, the established photographer loses income altogether, and the market value of photography in total goes down. This is not good for photographers at all, new or old, period. Now there's a new web site called Shakodo that aims to help new photographers determine what to charge for their work. It's not a price guide per se, but rather a venue where photographers can share ideas, facts and figures on pricing all kinds of photography. If you're considering charging for a photo shoot, even if it's just a one-time thing, have a look at Shakodo and see if it helps put more money in your pocket. 

http://www.shakodo.com
DPMag
With more and more amateur photographers dipping their toes in the waters of paid photography, there's a lot of discussion these days about exactly what to charge for assignments. The conventional wisdom seems to be that newbies aren't sure of what to charge, and so they underbid established photographers quite…

Smartphone Model Releases

Here's another indicator that I'm completely behind the times. It's the model release via smartphone phenomenon, and I'm ready to jump on board. First, a bit about model releases: you need them. I recently spoke to a photographer who's able to turn his entire archive into a money-making stock image library specifically because he's been getting model releases for people shots since the 1980s. I, on the other hand, struggle to get model releases even when I know it's in my best interests. With the advent of a handful of smartphone model release apps, now I've got no excuse. In most cases, it seems that the subject is able to sign right on the smartphone screen just by using their finger in lieu of a pen. Pretty cool. The real question is which app to choose. There's iD-release, which is free and allows you to create and store releases on your iPhone. There's Easy Release, which seems to do the same sort of thing, sans freeness, for both iPhone and Android operating systems. Then there's mRelease, which offers a variety of releases (including talent, property and location releases) for the iPhone OS. Are there any others? Do you utilize one of them? I'd love to know which way you think I should go.

http://www.idrelease.com
http://www.applicationgap.com/apps/easyrelease
http://www.mreleaseapp.com
DPMag
Here's another indicator that I'm completely behind the times. It's the model release via smartphone phenomenon, and I'm ready to jump on board. First, a bit about model releases: you need them. I recently spoke to a photographer who's able to turn his entire archive into a money-making stock image…
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