Camera & Photo Learning News Digest: “For Freedoms” At ICP, Google Pixel 3a And More

Exhibition: There’s a lot to see and learn about in the current photography exhibition “For Freedoms: Where Do We Go From Here?”, which is running at the International Center of Photography in New York City until June 16. What’s intriguing about the show is how it re-envisions four painting created by Norman Rockwell in the 1940s, which were based on the four freedoms President Franklin D. Roosevelt discussed in his 1941 State of the Union Address: Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. The exhibition attempts to take those four ideas, which Rockwell turned into classic images of mid-20th Century America, and bring them into our current era. And while some may not agree with every aspect of the show, it’s a brave exhibition that attempts to mix art, technology, media and politics in a way that addresses very timely topics and current events. For more, check out this short review and video, as well as the museum’s website, at icp.org/exhibitions/for-freedoms-where-do-we-go-from-here (Lead image: “Freedom from Want,” 2018. By Hank Willis Thomas & Emily Shur. Courtesy of For Freedoms)

The “For Freedoms” exhibition at ICP in New York City.

An Appreciation—Michael Wolf: Michael Wolf was a German artist and photographer, who died two weeks ago, on April 25. What made his works intriguing wasn’t just that fact that he focused on daily life in big cities, but in the rather unsentimental manner in which he captured cities and the urban landscape, particular Hong Kong, Chicago, Paris and Tokyo. And while his body of work has been connected with the rather cool, detached formalism of what’s been called “The Dusseldorf School of Photography”, to me, there was also something that connected him to other genres of artists—the poetry to the Romantics and Edward Hopper, to name a couple—that gave his body of work, from “The Density of Architecture” to his work street photography and even his still lifes, an expansiveness and expressiveness that was deeply emotional and visceral. And always, it had a powerful visual impact. For more, go to his website, photomichaelwolf.com

Books—By Bryan Peterson: If you’re looking to brush up on photography basics or explore some new ideas in how to capture your shots, check out one of several books by Bryan Peterson, who’s a pro photographer, instructor and author. He’s also the founder of The Bryan Peterson School of Photography. Two books that I particularly enjoy are “Understanding Exposure” (Fourth Edition) and “Learning to See Creatively” (Third Edition). For more, go to bpsop.com 

Computational Photography—Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL: This past week, Google announced a couple of new smartphones—the Pixel 3a and 3a XL. What’s new with the new Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL? Mostly price, it seems. On one of the blogs run by Consumer Reports, editor Bree Fowler notes that both new phones are similar to last year’s phones. She writes: “A lot of the inner hardware and software are the same, too.” Julian Chokkattu, from Digital Trends, compared the photos from both the newer and older Pixel 3 sets. And while he found the older Pixel 3 XL just slightly better, he mentioned that the newer models cost you half of the old models. PCMag has several articles on the new Pixel models, including this one by PCMag’s Will Greenwald. And you can find out some pros and cons (like there’s no microSD card slot on the new phones) at Wired. All Pixel models also will soon get a time-lapse mode, Google announced this week.

Mother’s Day Deals—Sigma Lenses: If you’re looking for some great deals on various third-part lenses for your DSLR or mirrorless camera, you can save up to $150 on select Sigma lenses and its MC-11 mount converter, which can make a very nice gift for mom…or yourself. For more, go to  sigmaphoto.com/mothersday

Inspiration: Check out this wonderful story titled “Fireflies” on the Lensculture website. With photos by Anupam Diwan.

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