Make The Ordinary Extraordinary

I like simple and I like great. The work of photographer Caleb Charland would have to qualify as both. Charland got a recent writeup on the DIY Photography blog, which is where I stumbled across the man and his work. What is perhaps most "DIY" (do-it-yourself, for those uninitiated) about Charland’s work is the fact that he’s building interesting constructs and contraptions to photograph. The photography is fairly straightforward, albeit beautiful, but the subjects themselves make the work totally fascinating. I particularly like the idea of illustrating everyday concepts—like magnetism, for instance—in such a simple way. Simple, yes, but plain? Definitely not. I love photographs like this that take something ordinary and make it look extraordinary. Check out the writeup at DIYPhotography.net, then head over to Charland’s web site to see more of his work. His new series of color images is mind blowing. 

http://www.diyphotography.net/interview-with-caleb-charland
http://www.calebcharland.com

I like simple and I like great. The work of photographer Caleb Charland would have to qualify as both. Charland got a recent writeup on the DIY Photography blog, which is where I stumbled across the man and his work. What is perhaps most "DIY" (do-it-yourself, for those uninitiated) about Charland’s work is the fact that he’s... Read more

Buy Nikons, direct from Nikon

Well duh. Why didn’t I, or they, or any camera manufacturer for that matter, think of this sooner? I’m sure it’s got to do with all sorts of things I can’t comprehend regarding distributors and middlemen and contracts and such—after all, if you’ve sold Nikon cameras for 50 years you’re likely not happy with the company trying to cut you out. But what’s bad, or potentially bad, for retailers could be good, at least potentially, for us customers. Now you can buy Nikon gear, including refurbished and discounted items, direct from the manufacturer. I don’t think bricks and mortar retailers have too much to worry about because buying a camera is like buying a car—you’ve got to test drive the thing first. Holding a camera in your hands is still an ideal way to see what a camera is all about before you plunk down the money to purchase it. Still, if you know what you want, buying straight from the manufacturer does seem convenient. We’ll see how this all shakes out fairly soon, I’m sure.

http://shop.nikonusa.com/store/nikonusa/en_US/home

Well duh. Why didn’t I, or they, or any camera manufacturer for that matter, think of this sooner? I’m sure it’s got to do with all sorts of things I can’t comprehend regarding distributors and middlemen and contracts and such—after all, if you’ve sold Nikon cameras for 50 years you’re likely not happy with the... Read more

Happy Labor Day!

Today is Labor Day, so hopefully that means you’re not reading this at the office computer but on the couch—or even better, on the patio warming up the grill for a backyard barbecue or getting ready to take an end-of-summer dip in the pool. Either way, enjoy your day.

Today is Labor Day, so hopefully that means you’re not reading this at the office computer but on the couch—or even better, on the patio warming up the grill for a backyard barbecue or getting ready to take an end-of-summer dip in the pool. Either way, enjoy your day. If you’re looking for something online before you get out there and enjoy the... Read more
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Bits of Bits

Steve Berardi is the PhotoNaturalist, and I highly recommend reading his blog if you’re at all interested in wildlife, landscape and nature photography. But his expertise goes well beyond topics of use only to outdoorsmen, as evidenced by a techie think piece he recently wrote for DPS. It answers a question about which I’ve always wondered: what exactly is a bit and why does it matter? Analog-to-digital converters, color depth, even Photoshop itself uses the ìbitî terminology, but none of them seem to mean exactly the same thing. So if you too wonder about bits, check out Steve’s great new post. And then be sure to visit his own blog to see what wildlife and nature photography bits you can learn about too. (See what I did there?) Pardon the pun, but it is true: there’s always lots to learn from the PhotoNaturalist.

http://digital-photography-school.com/16-bit-vs-32-bit-vs-64-bit-what-does-it-all-mean
http://photonaturalist.net

Steve Berardi is the PhotoNaturalist, and I highly recommend reading his blog if you’re at all interested in wildlife, landscape and nature photography. But his expertise goes well beyond topics of use only to outdoorsmen, as evidenced by a techie think piece he recently wrote for DPS. It answers a question about which I’ve always wondered:... Read more

All About Color

Everything, and I do mean everything, you could ever want to know about color seems to be contained within this nice new post at Lifehacker. Not only is it an amusing and entertaining read, it really does have a lot of pertinent information for photographers who want a deeper understanding of how and why color works in a photograph. More than a technical analysis, though, the post is about color theory—the interactions of complementary colors and the psychological impact of certain hues, for instance—and how to put it to use in your photographs.

http://lifehacker.com/5620138/how-to-get-the-best-color-out-of-your-photos

Everything, and I do mean everything, you could ever want to know about color seems to be contained within this nice new post at Lifehacker. Not only is it an amusing and entertaining read, it really does have a lot of pertinent information for photographers who want a deeper understanding of how and why color works in a photograph. More than a technical... Read more

Street Photo Tips

DPS always has great photography tips covering a wide variety of topics. Sometimes they get a little bit specific, but sometimes that’s what makes them all the more interesting. Such is the case with a recent post offering tips for aspiring street photographers. Even if you’re not interested in street photography in particular, these are great storytelling tips that apply to a number of shooting styles and subjects. I knew it would be a worthwhile read the moment I saw the first tip: ditch your zoom lens in favor of a wide angle lens. Yes! This advice seems counterintuitive to many, but in fact the wide angle prime is the perfect context-setting lens. Rather than offering an infinite number of options as a zoom lens does, the fixed focal length of a prime can actually be freeing. You can get close enough to the subject for interest, while retaining a wide enough angle of view to provide context. This, as well as the other great tips, apply to almost any subject you might be photographing.

http://digital-photography-school.com/10-tips-for-the-aspiring-street-photographer

DPS always has great photography tips covering a wide variety of topics. Sometimes they get a little bit specific, but sometimes that’s what makes them all the more interesting. Such is the case with a recent post offering tips for aspiring street photographers. Even if you’re not interested in street photography in particular, these are great... Read more

A sneak peak at Blair Bunting

If I could be any photographer, there’s a good chance I’d choose to be Blair Bunting. Not just because he’s super talented and a master of complex studio portrait lighting, but because he’s just 26 years old. That’s almost ten full years younger than me. What I would give to be young and talented. I recently had a nice long conversation with Blair, and now I’m even more impressed. I think he’s going to become a superstar—if he isn’t considered one already. Talented, humble, inquisitive, compassionate… He’s got a lot of qualities beyond pure lighting talent—which he possesses in spades. So if you’d like to get a sneak preview of an upcoming profile to appear in the pages of Digital Photo Pro, check out some of Blair’s newest work, updated weekly on his blog. 

http://blairbunting.com/blog

If I could be any photographer, there’s a good chance I’d choose to be Blair Bunting. Not just because he’s super talented and a master of complex studio portrait lighting, but because he’s just 26 years old. That’s almost ten full years younger than me. What I would give to be young and talented. I recently had a nice long... Read more

Expensive Cameras Make You Look Better

That title isn’t pure hyperbole. There’s scientific proof. While I don’t normally find a lot of pertinent scientific studies on the OkCupid dating blog, this time they’ve really come through. They’ve published the results of a fairly in-depth study whereby they aggregated more than 11 million opinions about exactly what makes a great photograph. And you know what? Amusing as it is, the findings really reinforce some actual photographic principles. Things like the fact that using a shallow depth of field tends to create a feeling of intimacy that viewers respond to, or that magic hour light around sunrise and sunset translates directly into the appeal of a photograph. This is great stuff, definitely an amusing read. There should probably be an R rating for a bit of adult language, but then again this is the internet. By comparison it’s rated G. Oh, and one more thing: maybe don’t buy your teenager an iPhone.

http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/dont-be-ugly-by-accident

That title isn’t pure hyperbole. There’s scientific proof. While I don’t normally find a lot of pertinent scientific studies on the OkCupid dating blog, this time they’ve really come through. They’ve published the results of a fairly in-depth study whereby they aggregated more than 11 million opinions about exactly what makes a great photograph.... Read more

The Making of an Underwater Photo Shoot

I’m a sucker for behind the scenes videos. It’s probably my favorite thing about the whole photo/video convergence that’s been happening of late. Just because your camera shoots video doesn’t mean you’re a videographer, but it does make it easier to create videos that show the rest of the world how you work. Chase Jarvis is a master of putting these video skills—or those of his assistants—to great use to show how a photo shoot works. He’s also a master of pointing out great work and other photographers’ great behind the scenes "making of" videos. He recently directed his readers to a great look at an underwater ad campaign shoot. Produced by the client, swimwear company Speedo, it explains the creative process from concept through shoot and ultimately including the post production illustrations that completed the campaign.

It’s really cool to see how a studio production works when it’s 12 feet underwater. I was surprised by how much of it looks almost the same as a dry land studio setup. I bet it’s a much bigger pain, however.

The clip doesn’t delve into a lot of detail about the photographer, Martin Brent, so to learn more about him and see his body of work, you’ll have to check out his personal web site.

http://blog.chasejarvis.com/blog/2010/07/making-of-the-speedo-underwater-ad-campaign
http://www.martinbrent.com

I’m a sucker for behind the scenes videos. It’s probably my favorite thing about the whole photo/video convergence that’s been happening of late. Just because your camera shoots video doesn’t mean you’re a videographer, but it does make it easier to create videos that show the rest of the world how you work. Chase Jarvis... Read more

The Golden Decade

I went to photo school, and I’ve been intrigued ever since by the debate about going to actual school versus the school of hard knocks. It’s a real pressing question for some folks: if you want to make a career of photography, should you study it in a classroom or should you apprentice with another photographer? The easy answer is to do both, but that option isn’t always practical. I learned a lot in school, but it’s amazing what you can learn quickly on a real live photo shoot.

One thing is certain about photo school: if you have the opportunity to go back in time and study at the California School of Fine Art Photography in the post WWII era, you should probably leap at the chance. Imagine this—a school of photography established by none other than Ansel Adams himself, run daily in the classroom by Ansel’s protègè Minor White. Stepping out into the world to shoot? No problem, as the field instructor was Edward Weston. Getting tired of learning from the same three geniuses all the time? Guest lecturers included the equally genius Imogen Cunningham, Dorothea Lange and Lisette Model.

Philip Hyde also taught at the school, and his son, David Leland Hyde, writes a great blog about classic landscape photography. That’s where I learned about this peerless decade at this too-good-to-be-true photo school, via Hyde’s Landscape Photography Blog. His writeup is timely because of the release of a neat new book, The Golden Decade, a story of the first decade at this amazing photographic school made to accompany the equally inspiring gallery show. So travel back in time virtually in the pages of this forthcoming book, and if you’re in the Bay area check out the Smith Anderson North gallery for the exhibition of vintage prints by these masters as well as their talented students.

http://landscapephotographyblogger.com/events/the-golden-decade-california-school-of-fine-arts-photography
http://www.smithandersennorth.com/exhibits/upcoming_exhibits.html

I went to photo school, and I’ve been intrigued ever since by the debate about going to actual school versus the school of hard knocks. It’s a real pressing question for some folks: if you want to make a career of photography, should you study it in a classroom or should you apprentice with another photographer? The easy answer is to do... Read more

Embracing Photographic Change

Photo blogger Scott Kelby invites a guest blogger to fill in for him every week, and recently it was photographer Gary S. Chapman. Chapman is a photojournalist turned, well, photojournalist, but he was also a stock photographer in between. These careers don’t really seem to go together, until you hear him explain his path. It used to be that he was a newspaper photographer, until changes in the newspaper business suddenly found him searching for another way to earn a living with his camera. He became a small business owner and created conceptual photographs for the stock industry. Microstock subsequently meant the virtual death of the stock photographer, so these days he puts his documentary skills to use again—not for newspapers, but to aid non-government organizations and non-profit charities to tell their stories in pictures. He’s still serving the public with his camera, just in a different way. You might think that the idea of conceptual stock images and straight up documentary photographs aren’t exactly one and the same, but when you realize that every time you create a photograph what you’re really doing is telling a story, suddenly Mr. Chapman’s career path doesn’t seem quite so odd at all. His is a great story about perseverance, thinking outside the box, and making great storytelling photographs. Check out the Photoshop Insider blog to read Mr. Chapman’s personal story and view a few slideshows he created that illustrate his multifaceted career at its different stages, then head over to his personal blog to read more about what he’s doing with his camera nowadays.

http://www.scottkelby.com/blog/2010/archives/11394

Photo blogger Scott Kelby invites a guest blogger to fill in for him every week, and recently it was photographer Gary S. Chapman. Chapman is a photojournalist turned, well, photojournalist, but he was also a stock photographer in between. These careers don’t really seem to go together, until you hear him explain his path. It used to be that... Read more

Backup Disk Primer

DPS recently published a nice little shopping guide for external hard drives. It’s a great help for those who are considering an external drive for backing up photos—covering the bases of connectivity, speed and capacity. And you should definitely consider an external hard drive for backing up photos. The thing is, though, it’s definitely not the only thing you should consider.

You can’t just put your photos on an external hard drive and assume you’re covered. You’ve got to make sure you’re doubly covered, so that if (or when) a hard drive fails you’ve got the files stored safe and secure somewhere else. For years that somewhere else for me has been optical media.

In 2003 I was still using CDs to back up my digital image files. Then in 2004 I made the switch to DVDs. By 2009 I was backing up a dozen DVDs every month, so I recently upgraded to Blu-Ray disks for backup. For a brief time that meant I was backing up a month’s worth of work on 2 BDR disks, but now with continually larger file sizes I’m backing up on more and more of those big Blu-Ray disks too. It’s a never-ending capacity problem, but at least I know when something goes wrong with my magnetic media hard drive I’ve got duplicates on more stable optical disks. The reverse has happened too; I’ve had DVDs fail because I bought cheap disks. That’s why having a hard disk backup is crucial; it’s come in handy for backup as well.

http://digital-photography-school.com/external-hard-drives-backing-up-and-saving-your-images

DPS recently published a nice little shopping guide for external hard drives. It’s a great help for those who are considering an external drive for backing up photos—covering the bases of connectivity, speed and capacity. And you should definitely consider an external hard drive for backing up photos. The thing is, though, it’s definitely... Read more
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