Everybody loves Dan Winters

Rachel Hulin of A Photography Blog recently titled a post “I like you, Dan Winters.” Well I like Dan Winters too. He’s the mack daddy, the cat’s pajamas, the bee’s knees, all rolled into one. While he may be known as the photographer’s photographer and the preeminent portraitist working today, he’s multitalented. He doesn’t just make great color portraits—which are basically the best around—he also makes stunning grayscale images of honeybees too. Check them out, but first be sure to set the stage with an overview of Dan’s great work. Watch the video on A Photography Blog, then follow the link to the Texas Monthly piece about the bees. You’ll have to register, but it’s a worthwhile adventure.

rachelhulin.com

texasmonthly.com

Rachel Hulin of A Photography Blog recently titled a post “I like you, Dan Winters.” Well I like Dan Winters too. He’s the mack daddy, the cat’s pajamas, the bee’s knees, all rolled into one. While he may be known as the photographer’s photographer and the preeminent portraitist working today, he’s multitalented.... Read more

iPhone photo shoot

It’s the lighting, stupid. So says Strobist and uber-photo-blogger (not to mention pretty great photographer) David Hobby. He’s recently linked to a video that is interesting, insightful and fun—even if it is a bit gimmicky. Lee Morris, photographer and blogger at Fstoppers.com, did a whole fashion shoot with the worst possible camera—the built-in “camera” on an Apple iPhone. Tongue-in-cheek gear digs aside, the video makes an awesome point that’s all-too-easy to forget: it’s not about the camera! Even an iPhone takes great pictures if you know how to light. Whatever camera you have, you can create great photographs. Because it’s not about the camera—it’s about the photographer, the subject and the light!

strobist.blogspot.com

It’s the lighting, stupid. So says Strobist and uber-photo-blogger (not to mention pretty great photographer) David Hobby. He’s recently linked to a video that is interesting, insightful and fun—even if it is a bit gimmicky. Lee Morris, photographer and blogger at Fstoppers.com, did a whole fashion shoot with the worst possible camera—the... Read more

Hans Strand, a Hassy and a Volcano

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.

press.hasselblad.com

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... Read more

Make Large Format Negatives from digital files

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 8×10 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.

hp.com

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... Read more

Solar Eclipse Imagery

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.

blogs.ngm.com

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... Read more

Nikon Contest

Nikon has just announced the 33rd iteration of its Nikon Photo Contest International.

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... Read more

Launching a Career in Commercial Photography

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.

selinamaitreya.com

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.... Read more

Get the Shot

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.

vimeo.com

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... Read more

Heisler on Lighting

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.

youtube.com

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... Read more

How to shoot a TV drama with your D-SLR

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.

philipbloom.net

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)... Read more

A close-to-home photo safari

Let’s face it: much as I’d love to try my long lenses photographing wildlife on an African safari, I’m much more likely to photograph exotic animals at the local zoo. And that’s okay, I say, because a beautiful photograph is a beautiful photograph no matter where it’s made. If you’re planning your own zoological photo safari, there are a few special precautions to take. True, you have a much lower chance of being trampled by a rhino at the zoo than on the open plain, but there are other problems. Things like enclosures and power lines and other manmade structures that sort of spoil the wild appearance of your wildlife images. To do a better job of eliminating these, use the longest lens you can and create the shallowest depth of field with a wide open aperture. To read more about the specific challenges of photographing at the zoo, check out this recent Lightstalking post. It may not offer advice on wildlife photography in general, but it does prepare you for the specific challenges of photographing at the zoo.

lightstalking.com

Let’s face it: much as I’d love to try my long lenses photographing wildlife on an African safari, I’m much more likely to photograph exotic animals at the local zoo. And that’s okay, I say, because a beautiful photograph is a beautiful photograph no matter where it’s made. If you’re planning your own zoological photo safari, there are... Read more

Movie or Strobe?

T.1 and T.5 surely pertain to Terminator movies, no? I must confess that I’m not terribly well versed in the current state of action movies, but I do know about photography stuff. It turns out that T.1 and T.5 are designations for the time it takes a flash to output a burst of light. The duration of a flash, as you know, is really short. But not all flashes are equal. In fact, some flashes are less powerful than others even though they can deliver the same amount of total illumination. They do this by lasting longer—say a 500th of a second instead of a 1000th of a second. The strobe pulse duration may not mean much in many situations, but sometimes it can make the difference between a sharp shot and a blurry one.

For example, if you’re photographing a dancer in motion and you’re relying on a flash to freeze her in midair, you’d be much better served by a shorter flash duration—say 1/2000th of a second—than you would a flash that lumbers along taking all of 1/200th of a second. There’d be a big difference in motion blur there, just as there would be with the same sort of shutter speed changes. (In fact, I always suggest to folks who are looking to stop motion with their flash to set the unit for its lowest power output and make that exposure work in camera—because the lower power translates into a shorter flash duration that’s much better at stopping fast action.) Now back to those Terminator numbers.

Manufacturers publish T.1 and T.5 numbers that can be used to compare different flashes. The T.1 number represents the time it takes for a flash to output almost all (90%) of a strobe pulse, whereas the T.5 number is in indication of the time it takes to output 50% of a pulse. Generally faster is better, but the most important thing when you’re comparison shopping is to compare apples to apples—if you’re looking at a T.1 number for one unit, be sure to compare the T.1 (as opposed to the T.5) number of another. Think of the T.1 as the time it takes to pump out the entire flash, and you’re closer to understanding the overall speed a flash is capable of delivering.

All of this photo-geekery comes to mind courtesy of the Strobist blog, which is the place to geek out on obscure flash technical information like this. I recommend heading over there asap to read the recent post all about T.1 and T.5 numbers to get a better understanding of how they work and how to put that knowledge to use.

strobist.blogspot.com

T.1 and T.5 surely pertain to Terminator movies, no? I must confess that I’m not terribly well versed in the current state of action movies, but I do know about photography stuff. It turns out that T.1 and T.5 are designations for the time it takes a flash to output a burst of light. The duration of a flash, as you know, is really short. But not... Read more
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