The Year’s Best Sports Photography

Rob Galbraith, who’s always great at pointing out wonderful collections of top-notch photography, has recently directed his readers to three awesome "best of the year" galleries. These aren’t your average year-end photojournalism galleries, though: they each feature the best of sports photography from 2010 from the Denver Post, Sports Illustrated, and the New York Times Lens blog. Together they’re like a self-contained class in how to make great sports photographs. 

http://blogs.denverpost.com/captured/2010/12/21/the-game-2010-sports-photos-of-the-year/2595/
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/1012/pictures-of-the-year.1/content.1.html
http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/22/memorable-moments-of-2010-sports/

Rob Galbraith, who’s always great at pointing out wonderful collections of top-notch photography, has recently directed his readers to three awesome "best of the year" galleries. These aren’t your average year-end photojournalism galleries, though: they each feature the best of sports photography from 2010 from the Denver Post,... Read more

Every National Park on the iPad

Are you a National Parks nut? Or maybe just a fan of fantastic landscape photography? Either way, you should consider shelling out five bucks for Fotopedia’s National Parks app for iPad and iPhone. It’s a collection of 3000 amazing images by photographer Quang-Tuan Luong made over the course of 10 years shooting in each of the United States’ National Parks. More than just pretty pictures though, photographers can use the app as a tool to help plan out photo treks and vantage points for their own shots. Check it out at Fotopedia.com or download it from the Apple app store.  

Are you a National Parks nut? Or maybe just a fan of fantastic landscape photography? Either way, you should consider shelling out five bucks for Fotopedia’s National Parks app for iPad and iPhone. It’s a collection of 3000 amazing images by photographer Quang-Tuan Luong made over the course of 10 years shooting in each of the United States’... Read more

Speed up your zoom’s autofocus

You know how some zoom lenses have a switch on the side that allows you to adjust the AF to the full range, or just a part of the possible zoom range (say, closer than a certain distance or farther than that point)? Well, that switch comes in really handy when you want to autofocus quickly. Fast autofocus, like when you’re shooting sports or wildlife, is the perfect time to flip that switch to the appropriate distance. It will keep the AF from searching near for focus when the subject is far away, and it will keep the lens from searching for far focus when the subject is up close. It’s a great way to keep from missing the shot when shooting fast moving subjects and/or in low light. Read about this practical advice, including a few other ways to improve your autofocus, at the Photonaturalist blog.

http://photonaturalist.net/quick-tip-for-getting-a-faster-autofocus/

You know how some zoom lenses have a switch on the side that allows you to adjust the AF to the full range, or just a part of the possible zoom range (say, closer than a certain distance or farther than that point)? Well, that switch comes in really handy when you want to autofocus quickly. Fast autofocus, like when you’re shooting sports or... Read more
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Nikon Aspire Sweepstakes

Nikon just kicked off the Nikon Aspire Sweepstakes, which offers "aspiring" photographers the opportunity to win a photo excursion with National Geographic photographer Annie Griffiths, as well as a D7000 D-SLR and a tutorial from a Nikon product specialist. You can enter every day for the next month or so, and the winner will be announced in February. Until then, you can also check out Ms. Griffiths’ great travel and documentary work at her web site, http://www.anniegriffithsbelt.com

www.nationalgeographic.com/nikonaspire

Nikon just kicked off the Nikon Aspire Sweepstakes, which offers "aspiring" photographers the opportunity to win a photo excursion with National Geographic photographer Annie Griffiths, as well as a D7000 D-SLR and a tutorial from a Nikon product specialist. You can enter every day for the next month or so, and the winner will be announced... Read more

Don’t Steal Stuff

I do a lot of photo-blog reading in my quest to stay informed, and nine times out of ten the stuff I see is great and informative. But I just read a blog entry on a site targeted primarily at wedding photographers. The post was for those who produce slideshows to showcase a couple’s wedding day in synch with music. These multimedia slideshows are often sold to the couple, or simply used to showcase the photographer’s work online. The article addressed the legality–actually, the lack thereof–of using songs for commercial use without approval. The thing that bothered me was that the author shrugged it off. I won’t pretend to think that sort of thing doesn’t happen, but neither will I pretend that it’s not a big deal for us photographers. So let me be clear: it’s not okay to use a song for commercial use without licensing it. It wouldn’t be okay for a musician to steal my photographs for use on his album cover, so why should I treat his creative output any differently? We photographers are in the same boat as musicians; it’s getting harder for to make a buck with our creative output. And if photographers won’t stand up for the legitimate licensing of music for commercial purposes, what hope do we have that anyone would ever pay for our work? There’s a great primer on music licensing for photographers, including useful resources for licensing songs legitimately, at the Wedding Photojournalist Association’s web site.

http://www.wedpix.com/articles/010/music-on-wedding-photographer-web-sites/

I do a lot of photo-blog reading in my quest to stay informed, and nine times out of ten the stuff I see is great and informative. But I just read a blog entry on a site targeted primarily at wedding photographers. The post was for those who produce slideshows to showcase a couple’s wedding day in synch with music. These multimedia slideshows... Read more

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

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... Read more

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

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... Read more

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/

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... Read more

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

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.... Read more

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

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... Read more

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

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... Read more

Reuters Pictures of the Year

It’s that time of year once again where everyone starts talking about their year-end highlights. Every media outlet seems to put together some variation on a slideshow of its favorite pictures of 2010, and to get us started here’s a good batch from Reuters, by way of Rob Galbraith’s blog, that focuses on world news. It serves as a great reminder of the power of photojournalism to tell a story quite unlike any other medium can. These are powerful, and in some cases disturbing, photographs.

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/content_page.asp?cid=7-10058-11090

It’s that time of year once again where everyone starts talking about their year-end highlights. Every media outlet seems to put together some variation on a slideshow of its favorite pictures of 2010, and to get us started here’s a good batch from Reuters, by way of Rob Galbraith’s blog, that focuses on world news. It serves as... Read more
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