Fashionably Black and White

Last year I had the opportunity to interview fashion photographer Michael Creagh for a profile in Digital Photo Pro magazine. Not only was Michael a great photographer, he was a real pleasure to speak with. The hook for our story was about how he shoots fashion photographs in black and white—not something you see all the time. He relies on digital cameras and a digital workflow to create his black and white look, but the effect is as classic as any darkroom technique could be. For those unfamiliar with his work, not only do I recommend reading that article from DPP, I’d also suggest you check out some of Michael’s newer photographs. On his blog he’s recently published a series of absolutely stunning and innovative fashion photographs involving a "Penn corner," a whole lot of mirrors and his amazing eye. 

digitalphotopro.com
michaelcreagh.wordpress.com

Photograph © Michael Creagh

Last year I had the opportunity to interview fashion photographer Michael Creagh for a profile in Digital Photo Pro magazine. Not only was Michael a great photographer, he was a real pleasure to speak with. The hook for our story was about how he shoots fashion photographs in black and white—not something you see all the time. He relies on digital... Read more

Manfrotto School of Excellence

Looking to learn a thing or two about photography from some of the world’s premier professionals? Check out the Manfrotto School of Excellence where photographers like Joe McNally and David duChemin offer tips, techniques and real-world examples from their own photo shoots. Currently up on the site are behind the scenes glimpses of Teymur Madjderey’s street photography and Kristof Ramon photographing cyclocross—both of which offer insights into the photographers’ approaches that can be applied practically anywhere at any time. The Manfrotto School of Excellence is a great resource for those interested in learning a variety of techniques from a number of different resources, all in one place.

http://manfrottoschoolofxcellence.com

Looking to learn a thing or two about photography from some of the world’s premier professionals? Check out the Manfrotto School of Excellence where photographers like Joe McNally and David duChemin offer tips, techniques and real-world examples from their own photo shoots. Currently up on the site are behind the scenes glimpses of Teymur Madjderey’s... Read more

Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts

I recently read a blog post in which a photographer advocated utilizing shortcut keys when editing photos in Photoshop. He was brief, but right: shortcuts really are important if you want to work with images efficiently in the computer.

For example, there are a few basic shortcuts (or speedkeys) that I use all the time in Photoshop. Better still, the basic key combinations tend to be universal across many programs. On my Mac, it’s CMD-O to open a file, CMD-A to select all, CMD-C to copy, CMD-X to cut, CMD-V to paste, CMD-W to close the window, CMD-Q to quit the program. (On Windows, simply replace the Command key with Control.) If you can start with just these basics, you’ll seriously improve your processing time.

After those basics are covered, consider learning some keystrokes specific to your most frequently used programs. In Photoshop, I frequently hit F to cycle to a full-page view of the image I’m working on. I use the O key to toggle to the dodge/burn tool, the V key to access the move tool, the S key for the stamp, the J key for spot healing brush, the T key for type, the E key to erase and the B key for the paintbrush. I guess I didn’t realize just how many of these basic speedkeys I actually use all the time. How did I learn them? I printed out a little cheat sheet and taped it to the side of my monitor, right next to where the toolbar is located. Not only did it help me to see which keys correlated to which tools, it still provides a quick reference for the random tools I don’t use on a regular basis.

There are speedkeys for almost every function you can imagine in Photoshop. To get started, check out Adobe’s Help guide with details on keyboard shortcuts arranged by function. And for printable shortcut cheat sheets for many versions of Photoshop, visit designer Trevor Morris’ web site to download, print out and start learning the keystrokes that will streamline your Photoshop workflow.

help.adobe.com
morris-photographics.com

I recently read a blog post in which a photographer advocated utilizing shortcut keys when editing photos in Photoshop. He was brief, but right: shortcuts really are important if you want to work with images efficiently in the computer. For example, there are a few basic shortcuts (or speedkeys) that I use all the time in Photoshop. Better still,... Read more
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When Animals Find Cameras

I’m not sure what there is to learn about photography from watching an animal steal a camera and make great photos or videos, but I sure do love watching it happen. Case in point, this awesome video of undersea life made by an octopus who made off with an unsuspecting tourist’s running video camera. The music and video construction show the creator’s penchant for fine storytelling that’s sure to put a smile on your face. And I guess there is something to learn—how to make lemonade from lemons, and how creatively captioning and soundtracking almost any footage can tell an interesting story. Following that video, another personal favorite is the astounding story of the camera that washed up on the shores of Florida after a six-month, 1200-mile journey floating through the sea. About two months into that trip, somewhere in the vicinity of Honduras, a sea turtle tried eating the camera but only succeeded in starting it recording. Maybe the lesson is simply to keep a short leash on your camera lest a wild animal makes off with it. Or perhaps the opposite is true—figure out any way to get your camera in the hands of wildlife, because the perspectives are unlike anything man seems to be able to do on his own.

youtube.com
youtube.com

I’m not sure what there is to learn about photography from watching an animal steal a camera and make great photos or videos, but I sure do love watching it happen. Case in point, this awesome video of undersea life made by an octopus who made off with an unsuspecting tourist’s running video camera. The music and video construction show... Read more

Photo Based Reality TV

I may be a bit of a TV addict, but I’m also somewhat of a TV snob. I do not usually get caught up in celebrity-gone-wild style reality TV, but I may make an exception for a new Bravo show. Double Exposure follows the high-fashion photography duo of Markus Klinko and Indrani, formerly a romantic couple and currently the king and queen of the high-fashion photography world. Their talent is remarkable—but apparently so is their penchant for drama. In fairness, from the few clips I’ve seen, Indrani—the former model—seems to be fairly reasonable and, dare I say it, normal. Klinko, however, seems to be a walking caricature of a diva fashion photographer—the kind of man-child that reality show producers must dream about. Tune in for the drama or tune in for the comedy. Or you can just tune in because as a photographer it’s fascinating to get a behind the scenes glimpse of big budget fashion shoots. On one hand they work just like the rest of us. On the other, we couldn’t be working in more different worlds. For schedule and video clips look to the Bravo web site.

bravotv.com

I may be a bit of a TV addict, but I’m also somewhat of a TV snob. I do not usually get caught up in celebrity-gone-wild style reality TV, but I may make an exception for a new Bravo show. Double Exposure follows the high-fashion photography duo of Markus Klinko and Indrani, formerly a romantic couple and currently the king and queen of the... Read more

Edward Steichen in High Fashion

I was recently fortunate to visit Kansas City’s Nelson Atkins Museum of Art and its traveling exhibit, Edward Steichen: In High Fashion. The beautiful collection focuses on Steichen’s celebrity portraiture and fashion photography during the 1930s when he was chief photographer for Vogue and Vanity Fair. What struck me was how timeless many of his images are, and how photographers today can still learn from Steichen’s work. It’s amazing what he achieved with relatively rudimentary equipment more than 80 years ago. The exhibit has been traveling for more than a year, and no additional stops are yet on the calendar. So if you can’t hurry to Kansas City before the end of the month, you’ll have to settle for learning about Steichen and his work online. The Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography has a nice writeup of the man and his work, as well as a fairly robust image gallery on its web site. The Art Gallery of Ontario has a very nice selection of audio podcasts with exhibit curators discussing specific selections from Steichen’s portfolio.

fep-paris.org
ago.net

I was recently fortunate to visit Kansas City’s Nelson Atkins Museum of Art and its traveling exhibit, Edward Steichen: In High Fashion. The beautiful collection focuses on Steichen’s celebrity portraiture and fashion photography during the 1930s when he was chief photographer for Vogue and Vanity Fair. What struck me was how timeless... Read more

The Tour in Pictures

With the greatest sporting event in the world well underway, I suggest you take a look at some amazing photographs. It’s the Tour de France, and in its 97th year the course is carrying its riders across three weeks, three countries and almost 2300 miles. Even if you don’t know your maillot jaune from your lanterne rouge, there’s something for everyone in the Tour—especially in the photographs. The unique scenery and athletic intensity make the annual event a true spectacle, and a great example of interesting sports photography. The Boston Globe’s Big Picture has a nice gallery of images from this year’s Tour, as does the Christian Science Monitor. If you’d like a more historical perspective on the event, and professional cycling in general, take a look at the web site of photographer Graham Watson who has covered the sport for three decades and has assembled a body of work online that shows the modern Tour in all its splendor. He’s gone the extra mile and put together athlete tributes in pictures, allowing you to learn the context and full story in pictures of the greatest cyclists of the modern era—including Lance Armstrong, Marco Pantani, Jan Ullrich and more.

boston.com
csmonitor.com
grahamwatson.com

With the greatest sporting event in the world well underway, I suggest you take a look at some amazing photographs. It’s the Tour de France, and in its 97th year the course is carrying its riders across three weeks, three countries and almost 2300 miles. Even if you don’t know your maillot jaune from your lanterne rouge, there’s... Read more

Lexar's Facebook Photography Sweepstakes

I resisted Facebook for what seemed like an eternity, finally signing up for the social network a year or so ago. In that intervening year I’d have to say that I now understand what the hubbub was all about. It’s a whole different way to communicate and share ideas—as well as photographs. If you’ve been resisting the social network for lack of a reason, here’s the excuse you’ve been waiting for: Lexar’s "Take the Next Shot" Facebook sweepstakes. It’s not a typical photo contest because the sweepstakes format means the winner will be randomly chosen from submitted photographs. (Maybe now I’ve finally got a chance!) Simply submit a favorite photo with a 15-word caption and be sure to become a fan of the company’s Facebook page, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a NikonD300 or Canon EOS 7D, plus a lens, Lexar cards and readers. It’s a total value in the neighborhood of $3000, so don’t miss it. Enter by July 31.

facebook.com/LexarMedia

I resisted Facebook for what seemed like an eternity, finally signing up for the social network a year or so ago. In that intervening year I’d have to say that I now understand what the hubbub was all about. It’s a whole different way to communicate and share ideas—as well as photographs. If you’ve been resisting the social network... Read more

Surf Photography Primer

I don’t surf. I like to think that’s because I live in the middle of the country, but I know for a fact that if I were to live on a coast I would not be surfing there either. I’m a scaredy cat. The worst part about this is that I would like to think of myself as the type of guy who would surf. Owner of a laid back attitude, deeply tan, shaggy blonde hair and a pooka shell necklace. But i’m not that guy. I’m an out of shape gen-xer with a job and a wife and a mortgage and absolutely no opportunity to dip my toes in a puddle, much less surf. So surfing photography is a bit of an escape for me. I like seeing photographs not only of these people who allow me to live vicariously through their exploits, but also photographs of the beautiful surf itself.

Twenty-two-year-old surfer and photographer Dane Grady recently wrote a surf photography primer for DIYPhotography.net. Whether you’re an aspiring surfer dude or just a landlubber like me who likes to live vicariously through pictures, the great gallery and useful tips are well worth your time. After that, check out more of Dane’s work at his own web site, danegrady.com.

diyphotography.net

I don’t surf. I like to think that’s because I live in the middle of the country, but I know for a fact that if I were to live on a coast I would not be surfing there either. I’m a scaredy cat. The worst part about this is that I would like to think of myself as the type of guy who would surf. Owner of a laid back attitude, deeply... Read more

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