Learn Photography The NASA Way

Here’s a cool blast from the past. Check out this Astronaut's photography manual, printed on behalf of NASA by Hasselblad—official camera outfitter of American Space Exploration since, well, since we've been slipping the surly bonds of earth. Kitsch appeal aside, it's actually filled with some very interesting photographic information that covers topics like depth of field and image composition, and they're covered in ways slightly different than the usual photo fare. Most notably, the images are illustrated with drawings of astronauts and spaceships and planets. And that makes it a fun way to learn some very practical photographic techniques, even if you’re using them here on boring old earth.

http://www.howtobearetronaut.com/2011/09/nasa-photography-manual-1984/


DPMag
Here’s a cool blast from the past. Check out this Astronaut's photography manual, printed on behalf of NASA by Hasselblad—official camera outfitter of American Space Exploration since, well, since we've been slipping the surly bonds of earth. Kitsch appeal aside, it's actually filled with some very interesting photographic information that…

Magazine Portrait Retouching Tutorial

In this cool tutorial photographer Douglas Sonders takes his blog readers through the process of retouching a magazine cover shoot. He photographed the band Blink 182 in four versions—as three individuals and in one group—and so he had a lot of retouching to do. Here he leads us through his approach to spotting, eliminating blemishes, minimizing skin shine and maximizing sharpness in a fairly quick and easy-to-follow video that photographers from newbie to pro are sure to find helpful. He's also got a link to a behind the scenes video from the photo shoot itself, which is always a pleasure to get to see. Check it out at Mr. Sonders' photography blog. 

http://www.sondersphotography.com/blog/2011/08/29/tutorial-how-i-retouch-a-portrait-magazine-cover-blink-182-edition/


DPMag
In this cool tutorial photographer Douglas Sonders takes his blog readers through the process of retouching a magazine cover shoot. He photographed the band Blink 182 in four versions—as three individuals and in one group—and so he had a lot of retouching to do. Here he leads us through his…

A Gallery Of Great Bodies

ESPN The Magazine is giving Sports Illustrated a run for its money. Here they've published a great gallery of nudes that is sure to rival any swimsuit issue for eye-popping attention. I should point out that in the grand scheme of things these pictures are totally tame—although I know I should qualify that with the disclaimer that if nudity of any sort will get you in trouble then this gallery is definitely not safe for work. The point, though, is that it's a stunning gallery of photographs of athletes made for ESPN's annual "Bodies We Want" feature. These awesome images were made by a variety of photographers and include a number of athletes who are sure to inspire equal amounts of envy and lust. 
http://espn.go.com/espn/photos/gallery/_/id/7030506/bodies-want-2011#1
Photo by Alan Clarke

DPMag
ESPN The Magazine is giving Sports Illustrated a run for its money. Here they've published a great gallery of nudes that is sure to rival any swimsuit issue for eye-popping attention. I should point out that in the grand scheme of things these pictures are totally tame—although I know I…

A Worthwhile Gallery Of Cinemagraphs

For several months now I've been seeing these inexplicable things everywhere. They're images online that appear to be standard photographs in every way except for one little part of the frame that's moving. At first I ignored them, then I dismissed them (as something akin to plain old animated gif) and now, finally, in this post at the Silber Studios blog, I'm actually kind of impressed and entertained by them. The process is fairly straightforward—multiple exposures are layered together and play just like an animated GIF—and it seems like it might actually be a useful way to introduce subtle movement into a still image without all the trappings that accompany the creation of actual video. It will be interesting to see if these things garner wider commercial use as something more than a curiosity.
http://www.silberstudios.tv/blog/2011/09/cinemagraphs-photography-on-the-move
Photo by "From Me To You"

DPMag
For several months now I've been seeing these inexplicable things everywhere. They're images online that appear to be standard photographs in every way except for one little part of the frame that's moving. At first I ignored them, then I dismissed them (as something akin to plain old animated gif)…

Photography On Film

Here's another twofer for you. As I write this I'm watching a film about a photographer. it's called Bill Cunningham New York. Mr. Cunnigham is known to those who follow fashion and see his regular columns in the New York Times. He's a fascinating character, and the film is entertaining, enjoyable and constructive for photographers. Certainly not by way of photographic technique, as Mr. Cunningham freely admits he points and shoots whatever catches his eye. He's selling his aesthetic short, by the way, but his point is well taken: he's not a highly technical photographer. But what he does have is a highly refined eye: he knows what he likes. What photographers can most learn from him is passion. He does only what he loves, for entirely personal reasons far from the desire for financial success. He's a model many of us would be well served to emulate. More importantly, he comes off as a wonderful man and the movie is very touching. Read about the film at the Zeitgeist Films web site, and then do what I did—stream it from Netflix. I mention Netflix because it occurs to me that photographers who care to learn more about their craft, its history, technique and the arts in general could benefit greatly from a Netflix subscription. There are many great films I'd never see if it weren't for the easy access and low cost of Netflix. And because of the company's suggestion engine you can discover all sorts of instructive, educational and entertaining movies about photography that you never even new existed.

http://www.zeitgeistfilms.com/billcunninghamnewyork/
http://www.netflix.com

DPMag
Here's another twofer for you. As I write this I'm watching a film about a photographer. it's called Bill Cunningham New York. Mr. Cunnigham is known to those who follow fashion and see his regular columns in the New York Times. He's a fascinating character, and the film is entertaining,…

Help Amit Fight Leukemia

The founder of one of my favorite photo sites, Photojojo.com, Amit Gupta is a bit of a visionary. He also needs our help. Amit has been diagnosed with leukemia. With a bone marrow transplant—which as I understand it is carried out much like a blood transfusion—Amit's prognosis improves dramatically. But the odds of finding a perfect genetic match are daunting. So his tech-savvy friends have taken to the blogosphere to spread the word and ask anyone of South Asian decent to be tested (a simple swab to the cheek) to learn if they're a match. There's a party in New York this Wednesday night where you can be tested, but readers beyond NYC can also be tested via mail. Check out the blog of Amit's friend Tony Bacigalupo for more details, and consider this a good opportunity to register with the National Marrow Donor organization.

http://happymonster.co/2011/10/06/lets-help-amit-gupta-defeat-leukemia
http://www.marrow.org/Join/Join_Now/Join_Now.aspx

DPMag
The founder of one of my favorite photo sites, Photojojo.com, Amit Gupta is a bit of a visionary. He also needs our help. Amit has been diagnosed with leukemia. With a bone marrow transplant—which as I understand it is carried out much like a blood transfusion—Amit's prognosis improves dramatically. But…
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