Ever wonder what the iconic performers of the New York City Ballet does beyond the scenes? Aside from the usual graceful movements, tedious preparations, there is above all a glimpse at the real portraits of the young men and women who makes the arduous path to the world’s best ballet house. Kyle Froman, a former member of the NYCB spent some time photographing what goes beyond the curtains and compiled them in his photography book In the Wings: Behind the Scenes of the New York City Ballet. “There’s a different kind of beauty that’s revealed when you take a dancer off a stage,” he tells Vanity Fair.
Blazing a colorful career as part of the New York City Ballet and into a successful transformation as a dance photographer, Froman visually convinces viewers that he is indeed a master in documenting the world of dance. Froman started his journey to the graceful universe of ballet at a very young age. “My brother and I started coming up to the School of American Ballet (SAB) for the summers when we were fifteen. Those five week intensives were beyond thrilling. Not only were we in New York City by ourselves, but we were spending the days dancing, taking technique, partnering, variations, and character dance classes,” he tells Broadway World.
“By the time we were eighteen we had graduated a year early from high school, been professional company members with the Fort Worth Ballet, and were finally moving up to study at the school full-time. We were awarded the first Rudolf Nureyev scholarships, which allowed us to study at SAB free of charge. It was a gamble leaving Fort Worth Ballet, but joining the New York City Ballet was our goal, and the scholarship wasn’t something we could pass up. We crossed our fingers and returned to being students at SAB. Six months later we got into the New York City Ballet.” Froman adds
Developing a keen eye in observing his colleagues on the dance floor, it didn’t take long before Froman started taking photographs of what goes beyond ballet’s biggest stage and capturing all the emotions that envelopes young dancers day in and day out. “I knew where to point my lens to catch the human side of a dancer’s life, but I also understood choreography and the energy of a performance,”
“I first became interested in photography during the Nutcracker season of 2005. I can only explain it as I started seeing pictures. I’d catch glimpses during barre and throughout my day and night. Thus, my second career began,” recalls Froman. Indeed, a second career that is now catching attention within both the dance and photography world. Along with Froman’s book, his works are also part of the new photo exhibit at Jacob’s Pillow, “Kyle Froman: Bodies/Buildings”, a series that explores the universe housing the art of dance, the struggles and fulfillment of ballet, its chaotic order and duplication graceful movement, all showcasing Froman’s photography that blends ballet movements with New York City’s architecture.
Lytro has announced a set of updates for both the Illum camera firmware as well as the desktop software. The updates feature full living picture playback on the camera, native editing in Adobe Photoshop and even faster processing of light field images during capture and post-production. You can now also create even more results from one exposure including 3D lenticular prints and stereoscopic side-by-side 3D animations, which Lytro says can be used with virtual reality headsets like Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR.
The update brings some user enhancements that make shooting with the Illum a more pleasant experience. Firmware version 2.0 brings new full screen views and improved focus aids and, more importantly, full living picture playback interaction on-camera.You now have access to the full Living Pictures playback experience in camera, which includes enhanced interactive refocusing, virtual aperture and perspective shift (those are the things you only get with the Illum camera) allowing you to have a more immediate look at Living Pictures for real-time adjustments while you’re shooting. Lytro has also improved auto focus that they are claiming is up to three times faster.
The remainder of the updates will be found in the Desktop update, Version 4.3. Here is what you’ll see therein:
- Native Editing in Adobe Photoshop: Streamline editing by exporting Living Pictures to Adobe Photoshop as editable image stacks, with individual layers, in one step. Edit any of the layers in Adobe Photoshop and save the file; those changes are then automatically applied to the Living Picture in Lytro Desktop.
- Faster Import: Lytro Desktop now gives the option for images to be imported without processing – a huge timesaver for photographers in the field. Unprocessed images are shown with a thumbnail preview, and can be selected later for processing individually, or in bulk.
- Depth Map Editing: Living Pictures provide an additional option for personal creativity with the Depth Map. Depth Map editing allows light field photographers to make adjustments to depth (e.g., touch up in areas that may have been missed, clean up the contours of objects in the scene, remove artifacts or fix cloud and sky scenes) and see the results instantly without ever leaving Lytro Desktop.
- Side-by-Side 3D Animation: Provide real world content for virtual reality with ease by automatically exporting stereoscopic side-by-side 3D animations directly from Lytro Desktop 4.3. It is compatible for virtual reality playback in Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus, or stereo viewers.
- Lenticular Printing: Lytro Desktop 4.3 can automatically export a series of images with a captured focus range for the creation of full color 3D prints by a lenticular print vendor. This allows viewers to see printed photographs in 3D without polarized or red/blue anaglyph glasses.
Both these updates are free and you can get them both immediately:
On Friday, June 19, The International Center of Photography (ICP) celebrated this year’s one-year certificate program exhibit “Tipping Point,” highlighting various mediums within the graduating class’s collective with booze, music and friends. Taking place in the hidden, underground ICP gallery space located on the corner of 6th Ave. and 43rd St., photography enthusiasts and New York vagabonds scattered the jam-packed gallery, perusing through the multimedia attractions, video installations and—of course—photos made by the school’s finest up and comers.
Each wall, while portioned off to showcase individual recipient’s work from over the past year, indulged patrons to investigative photojournalism while simultaneously aligning themselves with works of fine art, provoking feelings of unease and inspiration.
“Tipping Point is the result of a year of study at ICP and highlights a project completed by each student,” said Alison Morley, Chair of the Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Program, in a press release. “Encompassing an in-depth slideshow as well as multimedia and video components, the exhibition demonstrates the great diversity of students, subject matter, and media platforms that ICP students share.”
With artists of varied interests and age, works ranging from themes of police brutality to gender expression, and even the documentation of war were displayed, further emphasizing ICP’s commitment to explore routes of experimental image production and technical knowledge when considering today’s societal impact.
“This graduating class is a special group of 76 artists,” said Marina Berio, Chair of the General Studies
in Photography Program, in a press release. “From the very beginning of the school year, we were impressed by the seriousness of their commitment and their curiosity. They have shown an extraordinary capacity to work together in the classroom and to think in sophisticated ways about photography.”
“Tipping Point” is now open to the public and will close on Aug. 9.
[Photos via ICP]
Instagram announced a major update to their Search and Explore page today, and while it appeared to be an impressive overhaul, in reality, it is just more of the same.
On their blog, Instagram is touting the update as a way to ‘See The World As It Happens’. At an overview, this update includes trending tags and places while also expanding the search feature to make it easier to find people, places, and tags.
When opening the new Explore page, the first thing you will notice is the slick new slideshow header. Instagram says this is curated collections which will be updated regularly. This feature has a lot of promises but falls flat. For instance, I went into “Towering Rocks” and saw that Delicate Arch in Arches National Park was listed near the top. I know this place very well, so I wanted to be inspired to return by finding some awesome new photos. But entering into the details was a disappointment. Instagram only returns three photos in their “Top Posts” field. And those 3 photos combined for a total of fewer than 400 likes.
Don’t get me wrong, the photos are fine. Very Instagram like. But when I open the Top Posts of a curated list for one of the most beautiful locations in the United States, I expect to see photos like Michael Shainblum’s or Toby Harriman’s.
But they aren’t there, even though they have thousands of more likes and are much more popular. And one of the reasons why appears to be because the photographers didn’t tag the locations when they uploaded, and this leads to the biggest issue I have with Instagram and more specifically, this new Explore page. I am sure I can find examples of popular and beautiful photos recently updated with the Delicate Arch geotag, but I don’t have time for that. No one does. And that defeats the purpose of using this to find inspiring and beautiful content.
Instagram is still trying to be a mobile-only application, as they won’t let you tag a location for a photo unless you are actually there at the moment you post. There are ways around that of course (just send geotagged DSLR photos to your phone), but if Instagram is changing their Explore feature to bring us the best of the best, they aren’t going to get it from mobile only photos of teenagers. Take, for example, that the first photo in the Arches Top post is an average photo in harsh light and only has 26 likes. I have seen 10,000 versions of the same exact photo before. How exactly did Instagram determine this was worthy of a “Top Post”?
There are really good photos are on Instagram. Amazing photos from amazing photographers, but Instagram’s stubbornness to accept itself as a mobile portfolio and powerful marketing tool for working photographers is causing them to force feed us average content, all while implying it is the best of the best on the platform. Instagram’s suggestions “Based on people you follow” is the most accurate, giving me interesting content more often than not. So why can’t they incorporate this algorithm everywhere? When I search Delicate Arch, I should be given “Top Posts” consisting of a mixture of “Based on people you follow”, location relevance, and highest engagement %.
“Trending Places” seems like an interesting feature to help keep watch of events unfolding in certain locations, although my initial test didn’t really deliver anything interesting either. The Golden Gate Bridge came up first, which doesn’t interest me since I live close by. Down the list, I didn’t find myself interested in much else either. I did learn there is some big concert happening at the TD Garden in Boston tonight though.
Below the slideshow header, the section “Trending Tags” appear. This is very valuable information for users who are trying to be seen, as you can simply upload a relevant photo like a warm sunset to a hot topic like #StartOfSummer.
Knowing the Instagram user base, however, this can also signal the death of a useful and exciting hashtag or locations as totally irrelevant (and often idiotic) content will soon overtake the hashtag. This is uploaded by users desperate for followers, and willing to do anything to be seen. Take the top post for Iceland for instance…hint, it isn’t the Gullfoss waterfall!
The most interesting page I found on the new Explore feature was the “Extreme Athletes” section, but not for the reason I had envisioned. I assumed I was going to see the accounts and photos of some of the world’s craziest athletes, but instead I saw the accounts of awesome photographers like Chris Burkard, Zak Noyle, and Jimmy Chin. These photographers do photograph cool athletes, but my mind envisioned something very different when I read “Extreme Athletes”
The only positive that has come out of this update, in my opinion, is that it is a wake-up call to photographers to geotag their Instagram photos if they want to be discovered. I started Geotagging all of my personal Instagram photos months ago. When I started the new Resource Travel Instagram account to share the world’s most beautiful and inspiring travel photos, I made the decision to not feature any work that I couldn’t geotag to a near exact location.
I am happy to see Instagram is starting to incorporate locations more and more into the Explore page, but they still have a long way to go to make it interesting.
On last Wednesday evening, Guggenheim Fellow Photographer Elinor Carucci presented her latest collection, The Effect of Motherhood, which explores the influence of her children’s birth on her editorial and commercial assignments. Held at the Conde Nast Gallery within the World Trade Center, Carucci brought forward selections from her archival work including pieces from her most recent monograph Mother (Prestel, 2014), each printed with the use of Ilford products.
Captivating images of differing families–with struggles to each their own–hanged adjacent to one another, pushing forward this sense of universality within not only family dynamics, but hardships. In the end, this is what it’s all about for Carucci. After having given birth to her twins Eden and Emmanuelle, age 11, she became utterly aware of the hidden trials and triumphs families encounter.
“My work originally came from a place of anger with media,” Carucci tells Resource. “We’re given [the image of] the Madonna and child, and celebrities who look perfect, untouched days after giving birth, and that’s dangerous and not right.”
Carucci, despite being wholly aware that some people do have it easy after childbirth, finds it her mission to highlight cases that oftentimes go overlooked by media outlets and Hollywood, if not outright rejected.
Just take a look around the gallery space. On one corner, spectators grasp a look into the lives of a family who have a daughter with Down Syndrome. Capturing a sincere moment taking place amongst the family, Carucci documents a grueling task, which almost every family encounters: baking brownies. After a seemingly successful batch, nothing seems out of the ordinary—and that’s the beauty of it.
Families that struggle—with whatever hand they are dealt—face pity and are categorized as one sole entity within media. Carucci goes beyond that—whether that be when capturing this family or the premature birth of another’s—normalizing these happenings, showcasing their intactness.
“My children’s birth made me really see everything around me,” Carucci says. “[Becoming a mother] makes you truly understand family dynamics and overall relations. It continues to deepen my visual understanding of intimacy and connection.”
Yet, neither being a good photographer nor mother comes easy. Documenting the hectic lives of her little ones left Carucci snapping away at any given time with her Canon 1ds in hopes of cultivating derivative emotion into single shots.
She explains at one moment, her children might take hold of the camera and capture something beautiful. In another, she may demand her husband to press the shutter as she interacts with the twins, disregarding the set-up of lights, getting to that essential moment of brilliance.
It works for her, clearly.
And without shock, the brightest, most proud aspect—when reflecting on her career thus far—has been photographing her children’s fifth grade yearbook. “Motherhood is very personal,”Carcucci reinstates. “There’s specifics to each family and I get to learn and grow from them with every assignment. You adjust and learn. This [family] is okay, this is normal, and this is complex. And it’s all beautiful.”
Elinor Carucci: The Effect of Motherhood is open now until June 26.
Update – It appears Taylor Swift may be closer to the wording on this contract then we originally thought. Read our update here.
Taylor Swift continued her crusade against online music streaming services by penning an “Open Letter To Apple” in which she states that it is unfair, and even exploitation, to not pay musical artists for the 3 month free trial that Apple is offering to new subscribers. While I don’t know Taylor Swift’s music from a hole in the wall (Get off my lawn!) I do agree that I think the music streaming business model is flawed. The real winners in this battle are us, the end user, who get access to almost every song every recorded for $10 a month. Remember when you used to pay $15 for a CD, only to drop it on the pavement and scratch the hell out of it that same day?
Well, this post isn’t a debate on whether Swift is right, it’s a report coming from the blog concert photographer Jason Sheldon of Junction 10 Photography, who calls out Swift for being a hypocrite when she claims that it’s unfair to not pay an artist for their work. Sheldon produced a contract that he had to sign when photographing a recent Swift concert.
Sheldon’s issue with Swift arises from points 2 and 3 of the contract, which essentially states Swift and her promotion company can use the photos exclusively for whatever use they see fit, without compensation, while Sheldon is not allowed to re-license or even use the photographs in any self-promotion, most importantly, his portfolio.
Sheldon states on his post:
Now.. forgive me if I’m wrong, but if you take points 2 and 3 in that contract (which is provided to Photographers who need to agree to those terms before they are allowed to do their job in photographing you for editorial outlets), it appears to be a complete rights grab, and demands that you are granted free and unlimited use of our work, worldwide, in perpetuity. You say in your letter to Apple that “Three months is a long time to go unpaid”. But you seem happy to restrict us to being paid once, and never being able to earn from our work ever again, while granting you the rights to exploit our work for your benefit for all eternity….
Sheldon later expands on what he means by being paid once.
As a freelance photographer, I am asked to photograph concerts by publications. I get paid IF and when the photos are used, not for turning up to a show and shooting it. Therefore, if the newspaper has a bigger story to run and doesn’t have enough room to use my photo, I don’t get paid.
When I’m not allowed to do anything else with the photos, that means I’ve incurred expenses to work, which I can’t recover. Therefore preventing me from licensing my photos to more than one publication, or even (as later versions of this contract stipulate) preventing me from using the images for my own self-promotion in a portfolio etc while they can use them without licensing the usage is highly unfair and unjustified.
And tearing a page from the Swift playbook, Sheldon finishes his open letter in striking fashion.
Photographers don’t ask for your music for free. Please don’t ask us to provide you with your marketing material for free.
While contracts aren’t my specialty, Sheldon does bring up some strong points in regards to Swift’s contract that is given to photographers before her concerts.
Chances are, Swift has no idea what this contract states, as this isn’t part of her job description of “Shaking It Out” (Ok, I lied about not knowing her music). But as Sheldon’s title states, shouldn’t those living in glass houses not throw stones?
What are your thoughts? Is Sheldon right to call Swift out?
Oh, and for the record, the Swift rant was successful, as Apple backtracked on their stance to not pay artists for the 3-month trial.
Ever since photography became part of our lives more than one hundred years ago, a horde of legendary photographers have showered our consciousness, with standout imagery that has since become part of the history of art. Their names are forever etched along iconic images of the who’s who of our pop culture, breathtaking landscape images, riveting photographs that define an era; from politics, war, religion, music and the performing arts, to culture and history. Any photography enthusiasts can write down a long list of photographers who deserves the “legendary” label. From the ones who have commanded the most expensive photographs to those who have captured the most endearing images that transcends all over the world, our current generation of photographers are blessed to look up to such revolutionary group of photography heroes and influences. Resource Magazine boiled down a list of the 15 legendary photographers you should know (in no particular order).
1. Nadav Kander
Known for his landscape and portrait photographs that would leave you tearing with visual delight, Nadav’s resume consists of a long list of impressive works and accolades. Nadav is widely-known for his series “Obama’s People,” a photography documentation of the most important members of US President Obama’s team, commissioned by the New York Times in 2008. Also regarded as among his best known photos are the images from his 1997 series Diver, Salt Lake, Utah
Magnum member and one of the most prolific masters of contemporary street photography, Kalvar has successfully elevated his art with a fusion of quirkiness and artistry that, up to now, further influences a rising crop of inventive young photographers. In a 2013 interview with Blakeandrews, Kalvar explains his method “I’m trying to create little dramas that lead people to think, to feel, to dream, to fantasize, to smile… It’s more than just catching beautiful moments; I want to fascinate, to hypnotize, to move my viewers. Making greater statements about the world is not my thing. I think there’s a coherence in the work that comes not from an overriding philosophy but from a consistent way of looking and feeling.”
Perhaps the most famous portrait photographer of all time, the late Richard Avedon’s body of work is the quintessence of what a unique artist is all bout. Right after his death, The New York Times published an obituary that says “his fashion and portrait photographs helped define America’s image of style, beauty and culture for the last half-century”.
His name is almost associated with every mesmerizing photographs that depicts Far East Asia and that’s pretty fair, as most of his works centers on this subject. A winner of the Mainichi Art Prize in 1980 and the Annual Award of the Photographic Society of Japan in 1981, among many accolades, Kubota has surely etched his legendary status among photography enthusiasts this part of Asia and the rest of the world.
5. Pieter Hugo
A photographer as young as this 38 year old South African, Hugo’s incredible work could easily get his name mentioned with the other legends of his craft. Known for documenting the unique arts and traditions, history and everyday living of African communities, Hugo has given the African people a new art medium where they can express themselves through his photographs.
6. Vivian Maier
Vivian Maeir is the only photographer on this list who didn’t pursue a photography career in her lifetime. Maier only took photographs, some 150,000, during her spare time while working as a nanny in Chicago. It was only until 2007, two years before her death, that a collector discovered her undeveloped negatives. Upon discovery, the photography world soon praised her images that showcased mostly street scenes and portraits of people around her neighborhood. Even after Maier’s death in 2009, her eccentric style of street photography continues to grow into legend.
Widely known for her unique style of photojournalism, portrait photography and documenting people, Mary Ellen Mark was once praised by Salon for photographing individuals “away from mainstream society and toward its more interesting, often troubled fringes”. Her work was displayed at leading museums and galleries all over the world and graced the pages of leading publications such as The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, and New York Times. She was a part of the prestigious of Magnum Photos between 1977 and 1981.
The current Facebook generation might know Annie as the photographer who shot the Vanity Fair cover photographs of Caitlyn Jenner, but for photography enthusiasts Leibovitz have blazed through a legendary career by producing a long list of iconic images. She was a former Rolling Stone chief Photographer and now a Vanity Fair contributor and has published many books about her works as well as collaborating with almost every A-lister celebrities all over the world.
9. Jean Gaumy
A member of Magnum Photos since 1977, Jean Gaumy is a French Photographer and Filmmaker known for his provocative images that exposes corrupt prison systems to documenting French healthcare, to covering the women fighters of Iran during the height of the Islamic Revolution. Gaumy is also known for his iconic portraits of a few select celebrities.
Not too many know the man behind some of the best portraiture in photography, but to the purist followers of photography, Rehann is considered almost unanimously as the world’s best portrait photographer. Mostly documenting the places of Rajasthan state in India, Vietnam and Cuba, Rehann is right on course in showering all of us in the photography world with his impressive works.
11. Steve McCurry
Best known for the photograph “The Afghan Girl”, Steve McCurry is more than a one-photo wonder. Looking through his online portfolio will make you discover endless astonishing portraits and spectacular scenes of travel, life and social issues. He has won numerous photography awards, including the National Press Photographers Association’s Magazine Photographer of the Year, a historic first of four first-place prizes in the World Press Photo contest. In 2014, McCurry was bestowed the The Royal Photographic Society’s Centenary Medal in recognition of a consistent, meaningful contribution to the art of photography.
12. Jimmy Nelson
Cementing his place in the photography world with his series “Before they Pass Away“, a mind blowing collection of documentary and portraiture of the members of more than 35 indigenous tribes, using only a 50-year-old 4x5in camera, in a photography project that took him 3 years traveling around Europe, Africa, Asia and South America.
13. Brian Griffin
Never to be mistaken with the character from Family Guy, Brian Griffin is a real-world with an out-of-this-world talent behind the camera. His photographs – visually represented by his trademark noir-style lighting technique are definitely something you will associate with a real photography legend.
14. Frans Lanting
This Dutch and ground breaking Wildlife photographer has carved a sustained and great career as a National Geographic lens-man, whose images have paved the way for countries to implement environment conservation policies.
15. Martin Parr
As far as humor in a photograph goes, nothing beats British Photojournalist and Documentary Photographer Martin Parr – as his often dark and acerbic photographs bursting with sense of humor always succeeds in presenting a visual study of our modern culture.
This list is, of course, a subjective one and we have excluded some of the names that are already known worldwide as legendary photographers such as Ansel Adams, Robert Capa, David Bailey, Dorothea Lange, Diane Arbus, Brassai, Ernst Haas and many more who have long since cemented their place in the photography world. In the field of portrait photography, we would also like to include other notable legendary photographers such as Platon, Dan Winters, Lee Jeffries, Eric Lafforgue, Peter Hapak and scores of others, but 15 is just too few to include all the legends in the photography world.
Feel free to let us know on the comment section if you think we missed out on any other names.
Today, medium format camera manufacturer Hasselblad announced the new A5D series. Designed to be used for aerial photography, these cameras come with 3 different sensor sizes. The 40MP (A5D-40), 50MP (A5D-50c) and 60MP (A5D-60) should all produce images large enough to please renowned fine art aerial photographers like Toby Harriman and Vincent Laforet.
What makes this new line of cameras perfect for aerial photography is that the A5D series is designed with no moving internal parts. Hasselblad says this will prevent unintentional movement from the vibrations generated by the aircraft. A new line of Hasselblad aerial lenses with locking mounts will also be available.
14 stops of dynamic should produce quality images from flights where lighting is not ideal.
While availability and pricing is not yet available, we will be sure to let you know when this information becomes available!
More information on the Hasselblad site.
[Via Photography Bay]
In the last couple of years we have seen a boom in creativity of an ever increasing base of Instagram users. Although 8 out of 10 Instagram users you follow still posts endless selfies or flood your feed with successive images that would make you want to comment “can you just post it as an FB album,” the jewels among the rough in Instagram isn’t hard to find, as these are the users who command a large following. These photographers fill up their feeds with a consistent stream of spectacular images that quickly garner a hundred likes inside the first ten minutes of upload. Ever wonder how they do it? Well, aside from having the right skill sets to take amazing photographs, they also have quite a handful of tricks up their sleeves.
To cut to the chase, Resource Magazine has come up with a list of 20 Things You Can Learn From an Instagram Photographer.
1. Photograph What Makes You Happy
It doesn’t matter what type of subjects you photograph. The important thing is to stick with what you love taking pictures. Because, doing so creates a certain character that your followers associate with your images. “Don’t try to please followers because they clearly have many interests and you wont be able to make them all in a blink of an eye.” photographer Fauzi Putra tells in an interview with Printl.
2. Shoot Landscape and Underexpose. Then Edit Brightly.
Karen Grubb (@mrsgrubby), a travel photographer who currently has 129,000 followers has this to share when asked by Instagram Talk about her rules for shooting “When shooting with my iPhone, I always shoot landscape, rather than portrait, and always with the AE/AF lock on. I tend to shoot images underexposed and then I brighten them up when editing.”
3. Don’t go Full B/W
Photographer Jason Peterson (@jasonmpeterson) is known by his over 490,000 followers for his black and white images of the city of Chicago. If you think his images are produced through simple clickings of a B/W button then you are wrong. Jason shares his shooting tip with Instagram Talk ” I actually don’t do true B/W. Everything is actually color desaturated 90-98%. I have always found 4 color b/w to be much richer and gives you darker blacks.”
4. Post Consistently with Artistic Control
As you gain followers the urge to post more images becomes really enticing. Do not surrender to this temptation or else you will end up flooding the feed of your followers. Remain at your consistent and controlled pace. That said, do not also go missing in action for a week as your followers might think your instagram has become inactive. A good one or two photographs a day is just about the right amount of remaining consistent while retaining your artistic control.
5. Focus on Creating Engagement Rather than Chasing Follower Numbers
Don’t be like some Instagram users with thousands of followers but attracts minimum number of engagements. Make sure to engage your followers by writing a witty and informative caption. Better if you will ask them a question or make them laugh. This will invite more ‘Likes’ and ‘Comments’ making your feed more attractive to follow.
6. Do Not Bastardize the Use of Hashtags
Your followers would appreciate reading an insightful caption consisting of a line or two, but would be miffed if you bombard your image with dozens of hashtags. Just stick to the more important ones by being creative and specific, if it is a travel image you are positing just use #Travel #(continent) #(name of country) to highlight where you have taken the picture.
7. Remember the Importance of Composition
Instagram legend Janske Kaethoven (@janske) tells Instagram talk in a 2012 interview the importance of composition “as Edward Weston said: “Composition is the strongest way of seeing“. Few people take the time to think about the composition, by for instance applying the rule of thirds or placing the main subject off-centre. Also, balancing out the layers in a composition creates an image with much more depth. Of course, all of this only works with the right light. In my opinion using a filter to simulate a situation with extraordinary light is never as good as the real thing. Those who put more effort in their compositions and make clear choices really stand out on IG.”
8. Dare to Be Creative
Showinga unique creativity in your Instagram is the best way to attract followers. Murad Osmann‘s “Follow Me To” series is the most shining example of this. Last year, Resource Magazine featured Anton Charushin, who is known for his distinctive headstand travel photographs. “When I travel, I don’t want to post the same old ‘me-and-something-beautiful-in-the-background’ photos, I like to share something unique, so I use my ability to stand on my head.” Charushin explains.
9. Symmetry is Elementary
Making it a must factor in every photograph you take. “In order to capture the symmetry in a scene, you have to center yourself, make sure all your lines are straight, and be a perfectionist when it comes to your square crop” says San Francisco based Instagram user Pei Ketron (@pketron).
10. Photo-Walk is as Good as Gym Time
The most fascinating scenes are what usually happens in your immediate vicinity. Indulge in numerous photo-walks around your neighborhood every week. It is not only a good substitute to your gym time it also assures you a myriad of fascinating Instagram subjects.
11. Selfies are a Big No, Self-Portraits a Resounding Yes!
Incorporating a human subject into a photograph is one of the most effective way of presenting it. When no one is around, then why not take your own self portrait foregrounding a visually pleasing place. The only rule to follow is never allow half of the frame to be occupied by your face. The image below shows Instagram photographer Martin Reisch (@safesolvent), who is known by his more than 60,000 followers for his series of captivating self portraits.
12. Add Lens and other Shooting Accessories to your Phone
Macro and zoom photography has a place in mobile photography and Instagram. Producing images with crystal clarity though requires some additional accessories that will jazz up your phone camera. Resource Magazine has listed down some of last year’s must-have mobile photography accessories.
13. Carefully Select Instagram Filters
When selecting filters do not just rely on random clicks, rather know how each filter relates to the type of images you are posting. A lot of travelers agree that when uploading shots of sunny beach scenes, the filter Valencia brings down the saturation and make the colors richer. The filter Hefe meanwhile makes photographs of mountains more bolder. Try experimenting with different filters and in no time you will eventually easily relate each to a type of image you are uploading.
14. Make the Golden Hour into Instagram Time
Mobile phones still lack the technology of DSLRs and leading mirror-less cameras in the market when it comes to processing ambient light. The best way to solve this is to start practicing by shooting images during the ‘Golden Hour’ – that time of the day before sunrise and the hour before the sun set. This time of the day produces a diffused and softer lighting that proves perfect in illuminating any subjects.
15. Edit. Edit. Edit. But Go Easy on It
Photographers with hundreds of thousands of followers do not just shoot and post images on their respective Instagram accounts, they take time editing their photographs using a few outstanding mobile phone editing apps like VCSO Cam, Snapseed, HDRFX Pro, or Hipstamatic just to name a few. That said, it is important to remember to go easy on the editing part as too much editing lessens the quality of your image and make it appear cartoonish.
16. Shoot in Multiple Angles
A great Instagram photograph is rarely a result of a one-shot attempt. If you see a fascinating subject, make time to move around and look for the perfect angle (aerial, eye level and diagonal). Try shooting from varying perspectives to give you more choices of uploading the best shot in the lot. “Experiment when shooting. Look for different angles. Get down low to the ground, climb on top of something or hold your camera over your head. If you take a shot, find another angle to shoot the same scene. The more you shoot, the more you will learn what you like and develop your own style.” – @mrsgrubby
17. Blending Art with Photographs
Resource Magazine has featured outstanding Instagram users who have infused their arts with their photography. An example of it is the work of Yacine Ait Kaci (@elyxyak), who blends the fictional sketches of his character creation Elyx into his Instagram images.
18. Slow Down and Observe
Photographer Dan Rubin (@danrubin) offers this wonderful tip “Learn how to use your camera to the best of its capabilities, and then spend your time experiencing the world around you as you move through it. Observation is the most important tool a photographer has.” – @danrubin
19. Always Learn from the Best Instagram Photographers
Instagram didn’t became one of the most popular social media tool if it weren’t for the community it harbors. A huge part of it stems from the on-going collaboration, exchanging of ideas and learning shared between photographers. Take advantage of this by nurturing your own creative styles without becoming a copycat. “Follow people whose feeds you would like to emulate. The more good photos you see in your feed, the quicker you can develop an eye for it. Also, don’t be discouraged or overexcited about likes. Certain types of photos get more likes than others, regardless of the quality. Focus on taking photos that you like, learn from the best, and don’t be afraid to try something new!” – @coryacrawford
20. Break All the Rules
Following all the rules and wisdom you learned from great Instagram photographers will definitely help you boost your creativity, but sometimes breaking all the rules give you the freedom to step out and discover your inventive identity.
Much of the strength of a film relies on the final sequence just as much as its overall plot. The scenes that transpires right before the screen turns black, that delivers a stirring emotion whether in the form of a dramatic line or a fascinating climax always remains in the minds of the viewers. Throughout the motion picture history we are gifted with such classic endings and I of course have a lot of personal favorites, but a couple movie endings stand out in my mind right now: The final scene of “Trainspotting” when Mark Renton (played by Ewan McGregor) walks away for good from his junkie friends both literally and figuratively, while delivering the classic monologue narration about “Choosing Life…the job, the family, the fucking big television, the washing machine, the car, the compact disc and electrical tin opener, good health, low cholesterol, dental insurance, mortgage, starter home, leisurewear, luggage, three-piece suite..” and Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter staring outside at the exploding and collapsing buildings while the Pixies’ “Where is My Mind” blasts the soundtrack in the film “Fight Club.” These are just two of the many wonderful final movie moments that got us leaving the movie-house with such zest and acquired new love for cinema.
It is understandable to have our own long list of favorite movie endings and for London-based filmmaker Lorenzo Antico, editing a dramatic montage of “33 last shots from 33 different movies” conveys his personal “reflection on the inspiring, cathartic and transcendent power of the final moment in a movie”. In this montage that includes the final scenes from films like; Inception, Little Miss Sunshine, 12 Monkeys, A Clockwork Orange, Her, Rocky, Dallas Buyers Club, Mud and a lot more, we were again reminded about the beauty of the art of film-making.
Watch the video and see if your favorite movie endings was included in this montage which is accompanied perfectly with Arvo Pärt’s “Spiegel im Spiegel.”
If you’re anything like my Podcast partner Karaminder, you’re in love with neat, new tech gadgets, and that includes the Apple Watch. He loves his, and even though the holiday its celebrating is over, I noticed this Mother’s Day contest that Adorama is putting on. It goes through the end of the month, so it’s worth mentioning still, and they’re giving away an Apple Watch as well as an iPad.
So in order to enter to win, you need to upload a photo of your mom that best tells her story. Photos will be judged on emotional feel rather than technical merit – so shoot with your phone or DSLR. Contest will be judged by world famous photographer and book author Rick Sammon. You can enter here. Good luck!
Our very own Michael Bonocare earlier wrote a provoking and insightful piece called Dear Photographers: Please Don’t Get on a Plane to Nepal, warning photographers who wanted to use their talent to help the people of Nepal from crowding the already chaotic ground zero. It is filled with many eye-opening facts about how a horde of photographers rushing to a disaster-stricken nation could possibly create more problems than solutions. That scenario however, is different from this small band of photographers, as they are based in and around the neighboring nations of Nepal.
Writer Tara Bedi and Photographer Sumit Dayal immediately gathered the small group “to collectively put out useful and credible information from people that we know and trust on the ground, all under one banner,” Bedi tells TIME. Known as the Nepal Photo Project, it was launched on social media through Instagram and Facebook on April 26, just a few hours after the deadly earthquake hit. Not long after, other photographers from the region who were part of the Photo.Circle group in Kathmandu, completed the cast: Kishor Sharma, Nayantara Gurung Kakshapati, Saagar Chhetri, Bhushan Shilpakar and Shikhar Bhattarai.
Contextualizing the effect of the earthquake to the survivors the Nepal Photo Project has become a source of human-interest stories as seen through the lens of these 35 photographers who partook in the project. “Our goal with NPP is to put out as much useful and helpful information as possible,” Bedi tells HindustanTimes. “Our main parameter for what we post is pretty simple: that it should communicate something purposeful or meaningful — be it the damage and devastation, links to reliable fundraising campaigns, photographs of missing people so they can be circulated as widely as possible, coverage of rescue and relief operations, citizen volunteer initiatives, links to resources like quakemap.org, [or] other relevant articles and images.”
While major news organizations continues to report the increasing number of deaths and citizens greatly affected by the disaster, the photographs which the group compiles, are credited for accompanying statistics with human faces – and their stories. “When the quake hit, we thought this would be a good way to put out useful and credible information from people we know and trust on the ground, all under one banner,” says New Delhi-based freelance writer Tara Bedi, 26, who currently serves as the curator and editor of all the images posted on NPP social media sites. ‘Putting such a personal face on this tragedy’ was one of the comments on a picture,” says Bedi. “This gives us an idea of how much our followers appreciate our work.”
Pointing out the power of visual images combined with the reach of social media, Chhetri adds. “It was this realization that prompted us to set up the Instagram account. It is our job to take reliable pictures and we wanted those images to become a medium for people to reach out and help.” The almost infinite bounds of social media compared to the very limited exposure traditional news offers is the main reason why the Nepal Photo Project evolves into this large platform of spreading information. “Instagram allows personal followers to sift through your images, providing a larger platform for the pictures to become visible,” says Prashant Vishwanathan, a photojournalist based in New Delhi who has extensive experience reporting in the quake devastated areas of Kirtinagar, Sindhupalchowk, Kathmandu and Lalitpur.
While we are in the age where such similar photography portrait documentation such as Humans of New York is consistent in delivering insight to human driven stories, this project creates more emotional tone as it opens our eyes to real human stories from the area hit hard by disaster. The survivors foregrounding scene of utter destruction are the main subjects of this photography project. In one of the image featured at NPP’s Instagram page, we learn that humans are not the only casualty of the earthquake. Prashant’s photograph of Sundaya Tamang and her cow tells of another set of sufferers. “The cow used to give the family 7 litres of milk a day. A lot of livestock has been injured and lost too, and that is something many of us don’t consider,” Prashant says.
In another image captured by Nepalese photographer Shikhar Bhattarai, a 95 year old grandmother poses with an ageless smile as she recounts the previous magnitude 8 earthquake that hit Nepal in 1935. Living through a rare two killer earthquakes in her lifetime, her portrait shows the current generation the gritty persona of being a survivor. “There is no theme, just a mission to share, connect and keep the focus on the victims in Nepal,” tells Bhattarai. “What we are beginning to realize is that it is not just the strength of the images that get responses, it is the stories they communicate,” echoes Bedi.
The Nepal Photo Project looks far beyond the aftermath of the earthquake – and is planning to make plans to document the lost heritage structures of the country. “Kathmandu’s major monuments now exist only in photographs,” says Dayal. “One of the biggest realizations of the earthquake is the importance of ‘proper’ visual documentation. It’s quite difficult to comprehend that the next generation of Nepali children will grow up without this architecture that infused a vital cultural identity. As Nepal rebuilds itself, we intend to continue our work of sharing stories of human interest.”
Combining the elements of yoga and street art, Soren Buchanan succeeded in fashioning her Instagram with creative and meditative visuals that appeal to her more than 54,000 followers. A fascination with visual arts and the spiritual discipline of yoga has taken Soren to exploring the streets of Chicago for the dual purpose of showcasing her graceful yoga poses and her appreciation of the Windy City’s bustling art scene.
Growing up to a household established by her artistically inclined parents, an art teacher father and a sign painter mother, Soren Buchanan (@spritesoren) commanded all the necessary motivation to embrace the world of visual arts. Further enriched by her experience during her college stint in Florida, Soren edged closer to street art. “I began noticing, photographing and jumping fences to get to street art and graffiti.” Not soon after, she discovered her second love when she left to trade the sun of Miami to the cool weather of Chicago in 2009. “I spent my first Midwestern winter shocked, frozen and hiding from the cold,” Soren recalls to Instagram blog. “I knew I needed to adapt and create my own warmth. Yoga was the answer.”
Now living as a Yoga instructor in a neighborhood that runs smack in the middle of Chicago’s vibrant urban art scene, Soren finds simple joys and fulfillment by integrating both her passions in yoga and street murals through her Instagram account. “I hope to accent the art, complement it with human interaction — and yoga provides endless possibilities for shapes and expression.” Soren explains the relationship and similarities of the disciplines one can learn from doing yoga and practicing street art.
Now that her Instagram account has spread the world over and has motivated like-minded individuals to form a community, she makes a point to also introduce other artists she collaborates with to her fast growing audience. “Artist recognition is very important to me. If people are drawn to my images, they need to know who I am collaborating with,” she explains. “I hope to bring attention to artists who, other than on the streets, might have limited venues showcasing their art and sharing their styles.”
Most of the images posted on her IG account was taken by her photographer friends and collaborators, while the street art murals she features are drawn and painted by other artists. To learn more information behind each work of street art, all proper credits are highlighted on her Instagram. Stressing the varying inventive styles of illustrative street art, such as; geometric patterns, magical animal and human portraits, Soren compliments all these work of art with her demonstrative and graceful yoga movements.
To see more of Soren’s yoga and street art collaboration, please follow her @spritesoren on Instagram.
There’s no denying it: mobile photography is here as an art form to stay. Love it or hate it, it’s now a major category for many large photography competition, as evidenced this week when Sony announced the winners of its 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. Their mobile category had some pretty amazing examples of what is possible with that little piece of technology you probably have in your pocket right now. There were a total of 10,200 mobile submissions and the photographs were voted for online, with the winner taking in 6,718 votes. Here is the first place winner as well as 19 other top shots that were selected.
Soho, a neighborhood once lined with low-income tenement houses, is today, as we know, an upscale hipster mecca. Contemporary galleries and dumpster chic fashion boutiques press against each other, creating a pseudo-affluent art community.
I found myself here on March 26, ready to attend a photo exhibit at the Morrison Hotel Gallery. The exhibited photographer was none other than Joel Brodsky—the Brooklyn-native who shot the legendary Young Lion photographs of The Doors’ lead singer Jim Morrison.
In 2007, Joel passed away at 67 years old, leaving behind three children and his wife and colleague Valerie Brodsky. Fortunately, I was able to chat with Valerie, who co-hosted the exhibit. Curating Joel’s work worldwide, Valerie has made both her and her family a monetary fortune. But as I began talking to her about Joel’s work I began to realize that, to him, it was never about the money.
“I don’t think he cared,” she said about the 15,000 bids that Joel got for his acclaimed American Poet photo of Jim Morrison, that first ran in the Village Voice in 1966. “To him, it was always about the aesthetic. What you see here tonight is only what he really liked.”
And what was on display was, indeed, quite likable. A 30×30 archived digital print of American Poet—the iconic shot of Morrison with his arms stretched out—majestically hung on a wall. Nearby, on a cloth-shrouded table, sat a laminated piece of paper with the photograph’s requested price printed in bold: $40,000.
Beyond American Poet, which did, in fact, come out of the Young Lion sessions, there were album covers, portraits and stage shots of artists and bands like Kiss, Aretha Franklin, Joan Baez and Otis Redding. “Oh my God, Booker T!” exclaimed a man , who passionately viewed an album cover Joel shot of the multi-instrumentalist in 1970.
As the evening turned to night, more and more people spilled into the gallery, as bottle after bottle of Shiraz was uncorked and served to the increasing number of guests. Around 8:30 p.m., I began to feel as if I may have had a tad too much of the complementary beverages.
“We both drank scotch,” said Valerie, reminiscing about the time she first met Joel at landscape photographer Ray Metzker’s studio in 1963. “He drank J&B and I drank Johnny Walker. A year later, we were married.”
By 9 p.m., I was on my way out. And as I hopped on the A train towards Brooklyn, I noticed a New York Times alert on my phone: “New York Explosion Ignites Fire, Fells Buildings and Injures at Least 19.”
Reading the alert, I found myself wondering if a fire in the used-to-be slums of the Lower East Side would have been acknowledged by the media around the time Joel shot his Young Lion photos. Then, as I opened my book in attempt to read, my mind drifted towards the words Valerie told me about the American Poet photograph.
“Everybody was looking for the needle marks on Morrison’s arms,” she said. “But they weren’t there. Was he a drunk? Sure, but that was it. Joel always told me the same thing.”
The exhibit will run until April 14. Visit the Morrison Hotel Gallery site for the details.
I had an assignment to photograph the former CEO of Philips Lighting for New York Times. He flew into Boston for a few days for a conference from Europe and I had to find him in between meetings for a few scarce minutes and create an interesting photograph. The idea for the shot was to compare an LED build with a traditional light bulb.
The challenge: how to do this in a hotel hallway as it was the only location that worked in the time constraints. My solution was have him hold to lit light bulbs, which would take the environment out of the equation and focus attention on him and his hands. To light the bulbs, I went to the hardware store and bought 2 clamps on garage lights. I threw away the clamps and the reflectors, as all I wanted was the sockets and cords. I had him hold the lights and plugged him in. To get the effect off the LED, I used a cross screen filter.
To determine my exposure, I read the ambient light off the light bulbs. I wanted to shoot at about f/8, using that as my starting point I adjusted my shutter speed for the proper exposure for the bulbs. I used a small Chimera soft box with a speedlight to light his face. Both my camera and strobe were set on manual. Using a Sekonic meter to read the strobe output, I adjusted the output of the strobe until it matched my ambient light from the bulbs.
The shoot took place in the hallway of Intercontinental Hotel in Boston. I arrived at the hotel before my shoot, to scout the location & the set up; This is a busy hotel, you cannot have a big set up. First thing I did was, look for the outlet! I did bring an extension cord, but you really cannot run a long extension cord through a busy hotel floor. Second, I picked a background. I choose this neutral wall for my background. This is a hotel; this is not his environment. I wanted to keep it simple and neutral.
My shooting time with him was 19 minutes. ( I looked into my metadate of this shoot: time between the first frame and the last frame of him was 19 minutes!).
I used 1 speedlight with Chimera small softbox.
Here is to just to give you the space I worked at.
I have several Location Lighting Workshops coming in Boston, Cape Cod, Miami & New Jersey. I hope to see you at one of them! To see my workshop schedule, please visit my website!
Anyone who has been a part of a creative industry for long enough has likely lost (or won) work from a client that several other creatives were bidding on. When you’re a small shop or an independent, this can be tough, but don’t hate– collaborate. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some great people, but I’ve also come across those who are less than accepting when they fear you might take their work. The attitude I approach situations like this with is one of joining forces, and here are some ways to do it.
Drop your ego. Like, now.
The biggest barrier between you and another creative that is close to your level, is often your own pride. Let it go. They got where they are for a reason, as did you. Show them some respect and take a genuine interest in how and what they are working on– even if at first they don’t show any towards you.
Offer to be an assistant for them.
Time and time again I write about (and read others suggesting) working as an assistant for someone else, even though they might run their own business or be a professional themselves. Consider taking this approach with the other creatives in your locale. Not only does this get you a little work, but you’ll be able to learn from someone who likely does things in a completely different method than you. A creative at any level can still learn a thing or two.
Some folks won’t be interested in hiring you and will have their “own people.” If this fails, try turning the tables on them and…
Try to hire them when you have a budget that won’t insult them.
This is the flipside to assisting for them– try to hire them. Don’t be a dick, rather be a partner. Show them how good you are at what you do but allow them to have input as well. (This can sometimes lead to not just a working relationship, but a friendship as well.) I always need a few people in my digital rolodex to recommend to potential clients when I’m too busy, and hopefully they can see the value in doing business with you.
Cultivate a working relationship.
From a distance, resentment can easily fester and misconceptions about the kind of person a competing photographer or filmmaker might be. You’d be surprised how much your goals might align though, and how similar you might be.
Building a rapport with someone you might consider to be your “competition” not only soothes any tension that might exist, but all of the sudden when either of you get approached with a huge project where you need a big crew with a lot of talent, you can hire each other. What I’ve learned is that what goes around usually comes around– I’ve hired my competition and they have hired me, and we recommend each other when one of us is too busy to take on a particular job.
People who are scared of losing work, read this.
I reached out to just about every local photographer and filmmaker in the southwest Colorado area, and I got very few calls back. (I pretty much have only 1 person I regularly work with, and I have to fly in the rest of my crew from out of state!) I’ve met some of them while on shoots we were both working, and even tried to hire them to assist me on projects. I don’t know if they genuinely are busy, or are scared that I might start to eat in to their clients and work, but I honestly believe it is their loss– collaborating with fellow creatives opens doors that are often not even seen and can result in work that no single creative would have been able to produce.
People like me are looking for work, yes, but we want to work WITH you much as we would like to work with some of the same clients. Every year I make a decent income from being hired to work for other creatives I’ve met– but I also put a fair amount of money into the pockets of those that I hire.
The thing no one wants to hear.
The last thing that comes to my mind on this topic is this: If you’re that afraid of losing work to someone else, perhaps you need to get better at what you do.
There’s no use in getting upset about someone else getting jobs over you when their work is better; in fact, it should motivate you to push yourself. A new guy sold some photos to one of your regular clients? Well why didn’t you have those same images? Either you were too busy working because you’re a pro and have other jobs (in which case you probably aren’t hurting in the back account so get over it) or your work wasn’t good enough– which means you need to get out there and get better. And finally, to bring it full circle, one way to get better is to work with and learn from your competition.
Photo editing software can get incredibly expensive, and sometimes these costs can be prohibitive. If you’re a looking for a free alternative to Photoshop or Lightroom, they do exist, and PicMonkey is one of them and probably one of the better free options you have.
This online photo editing website offers many of the basic editing tools for touching up your photos, and most of the basics are offered completely free. There are some more advanced options as well that the site offers if you upgrade to the paid subscription “Royal” membership for $4.99 a month or $33 a year, but many of the free options might be enough to get the job done for you (you just have to put up with ads).
Let’s start with what you can do for free. Once you enter the site, you can immediately upload and start editing without needing to sign in or fill anything out. While it seems basic, this is actually a very nice feature, especially if you’re just looking for a quick upgrade to a jpeg you have. You can upload directly from your computer, OneDrive, Dropbox and even directly from your Facebook profile. As soon as you upload, it takes you right to the photo with a simple toolbar on the left.
The free editing options cover most of the basics you would expect from any photo editor: You can crop, rotate, resize, apply basic filters and adjust exposure and contrast. For not spending a dime, you can actually do quite a bit. It does lack any type of layering abilities however, so if you’re looking to get fancy and super detailed, you’ll be disappointed.
There are extra filters and cosmetic brushes you can use if you do choose to upgrade, but to be honest some of the extras are rather silly, such as the whisker grow which allows you to adjust scraggliness.
Like I said, silly and not particularly useful.
You can also easily add text to your photos and add default stamps or import your own. This is nice for creating quick branded shots for say, a website that you may have. Finally, the export process is very fast and simple. You simply click to send the photo to social media site’s or directly to your computer. There are three different sizes you can choose from for your final photo. Mine tended to range from 38 kb for the small or “Roger” quality to around 130 kb on their “Sean” setting. Yes, their export qualities have names.
All in all, if you’re looking for a quick editing tool, PicMonkey should be able to hit the spot for you, as long as you have a viable internet connection, which brings up another downside to the application: It is an internet only service, so if you often like to edit your photos on the go like I do, without WiFi you’ll be hung out to dry here.
If you’re looking for a more advanced editing tool, you may need to look elsewhere or invest in some more “hardcore” software such as an Adobe offering or Affinity Photo. If your business relies on touching up photos and the results you garner through that, then again this may not be for you. But if you need a tool that’s basic, quick and most importantly free, then I would totally recommend checking this web application out.
- Easy upload process with no signup required
- It’s free or relatively cheap if you choose to upgrade
- Very easy to understand interface
- Download and sharing process is painless and simple
- Internet only use with no downloadable app
- Some of the extra features are a bit silly
- Lack of any real layering options
- Free tools are mixed in amongst the paid ones
We give PicMonkey a mid three out of five stars (3.5) for an easy upload and export process and simple interface, but found it lacking when it comes to offline use and in its limited features, with paid tools offering more silliness than usefulness.
Photographer of the day is Eddie Ngugi a 26-year-old London based self-taught photographer. During the day he works as a freelance photojournalist, occasionally shooting protests and debates for regional magazines and newspaper companies and at night he gets out on the streets of London to shoot cityscapes with friends and Instagram enthusiasts.
He first started making pictures about 4 years ago when after he graduated and he wanted to pick up a new hobby. Ngugi started off shooting pretty much anything he found interesting and beautiful at the time in the streets of London. The idea was to learn to control his camera and understand composition.
After spending a lot of time learning the craft, reading online articles, attending open events and meeting other photographers, Eddie discovered that he actually enjoyed photojournalism. More than that he was drawn to photojournalism because it conveys real life issues, tragedies or celebrations, introducing you to the people affected, how you relate to their story and what happens after.
The thing with photojournalism is the images must be relevant to the event and society in order to be effective. The photos must be accurate, informative and able to convey what is happening during a particular moment in time. These images possess an objective quality. When taken correctly with relevant content, pictures are unbiased. Viewers are left to make their own decisions on what the truth is. Conversely, words can carry the tone of the person who wrote them.
As a self-taught photographer, Ngugi loves to experiment with different camera techniques. He became interested in Cityscape photography while shooting with a local group of photographers. With their help he learned a lot about night photography and shooting long exposures.
Ngugi has been practicing cityscape photography as a way to explore the city that he spent most of his life in. Shooting long exposures particularly, helps him practice composition the most. While he is taking pictures at night he feels that he’s learning more and more about London, just like a tourist seeing the city for the first time. “To be honest I don’t feel like I knew London until I became a photographer,” Eddie said.
Instagram is his most beloved medium, “It has become both a challenge and a great opportunity to study images and learn great techniques,” he said. He’s made a lot of friends through Instagram that he continues to shoot with today. People who challenge his creativity and inspire him to create at the same time.
To see more of Eddie’s work, visit his site.
If you’d like to be considered for Photographer of the day, please follow us on Instagram @resourcemag and e-mail submissions to email@example.com with the subject line “POTD Submission.”
EyeEm is wrapping up the World Tour of their 2014 Mobile Photography Exhibition, and they want you to join them as they come back to New York City, where it all started for them five years ago. The mobile photography platform has been growing recently and they’re planning on making a major announcement about their company at the NYC exhibit.
Started five years ago, EyeEm is a photography sharing app that allows photographers from novice levels to experts to possibly have their work shared at exhibits around the world. Starting off as a small company, they have grown tremendously over the past five years, and according to their VP of community, Severin Matusek, they now employ around 60 people around the world and the platform has over 13 million users.
The upcoming exhibition takes EyeEm back to it’s home city to share hundreds of it’s best photos that users around the world have created.
“The photos you’re going to see are some of the best photos that people can take with mobile devices nowadays
“EyeEm as a platform and a company is promoting the idea that everyone can become a great photographer and do more with their photos. We have missions going on where we give people the opportunity to get published and we work with magazines to get them featured. We really see ourselves as more than just a photography app where people like and comment and upload photos This is just the start and this is what we want to show with the exhibition.” – Matusek, in an interview with Resource.
The exhibit will display many different categories including street, portrait, landscape, visual storytelling and post processing. This event is set to be held on March 26th from 5:30pm to 10:00 pm at the Openhouse Gallery in NYC. Check out more information at their Facebook event page here. There will also be a EyeEm photographers meet up event at the Openhouse Gallery on March 28th between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm that will feature a masterclass on portrait photography with Jordan Cortese. Click here for a link to this events Facebook page.
Photographer Navid Baraty has been creating some stunning and hyper-realistic images of space, using items that most of us have in our kitchens right now. His collection called “WANDER” follows an imaginary space probe as it explores a galaxy that exists completely in Barty’s imagination.
He pulled this effect off by taking spices, powders, glasses of liquid and food colorings and placing them onto a scanner. He started by using salt and flour to replicate stars and he used glasses of liquid for the planets, using light photoshop to darken the empty space. By manipulating these household items and scanning them over a sheet of glass, he recreated the cosmos and the resulting images look incredibly convincing.
Baraty drew his inspiration for this project” from NASA images of deep space exploration that they post regularly on their website.
“I’m a really big space geek,” Baraty said in a recent story by NPR’s The Salt. “I’ll look at NASA images or Hubble images to see how things were placed in the sky, and I try to make things as realistic as possible.”
Aside from his space oriented work, Navid Baraty is also well known for his traditional photography. Check out more of his work here on his site.
All images © Navid Baraty
Bear with me, because the sensationalist title will pay off. A user by the name of UNO recently followed me on Instagram, and like a gentleman I went to check out their page as soon as I realized this.
Doing so immediately dropped my jaw. UNO is using Instagram in a way I’ve never seen before, and it’s fantastic.
Instead of making each photo they send to Instagram stand alone, they use twelve uploads together to make one complete image that only works if you view their profile on your phone.
Let me explain. Check this single post out, for example:
Completely bland and uninteresting right? If we look at their Instagram page on a desktop, it’s a bit more apparent what they are doing, but it still doesn’t make a ton of sense:
But when you view their profile on your phone, you get a wholly different experience:
UNO has made it so that in order to get the true experience of their Instagram, you have to visit their main profile page. As far as Instagram goes, that’s not normally a place anyone visits. They’ve changed the dynamic of the social platform, and it’s blowing my mind.
This is the single coolest way I have ever seen anyone use Instagram. I’m kind of still in shock as to how amazing this is. Well done UNO, you’re fantastic.
NYCFotoworks is coming to LA on March 17 and 18. So if you’re an up-and-coming or emerging photographer, don’t miss this annual opportunity to have your work evaluated—and maybe even hired—by top professionals in the industry today.
“The portfolio review is something you really have to take seriously. You’re representing yourself, so the review’s a really valuable preparation and exercise that sort of gives you a hammering,” says Hasselblad President Michael Hejtmanek, who is working with Hasselblad to sponsor the event by hosting workshops for photographer in between reviews.
He adds, “You’re going to see so much and you’re going to get so much feedback in one day that you’re going to grow as a photographer. And hopefully you’ll listen to that feedback and grow what you’re doing while still being true to yourself.”
NYCFotoworks, or in this case LAFotoworks, portfolio review brings together an incredibly impressive list of art buyers, photo editors, creative directors, reps and design firms to meet one on one with established and up and coming professional artists. It’s an outright fantastic event for photographers to have real authentic exchanges, and to better understand what they’re trying to achieve with their work. “For anyone taking part in a portfolio review, I’d recommend taking the next day off and really processing the valuable feedback that was given to you,”Hejtmanek says.
The series “My Last Day at Seventeen” is a bold attempt to capture the feeling of youth vanishing and the prospect of our best days being behind us. This Kickstarter project from photographer Doug DuBois and the Aperture Foundation is attempting to raise $27,000 to share this depiction of the young people in a small community in Ireland over a period of five years.
DuBois first visited the community back in 2009, originally only planning to spend a year. He ended up returning every summer for five years and captured a group of young people as they left their youth behind.
“The resulting photographs are an exploration into the promise and adventure of childhood with an eye toward its fragility and inevitable loss.”
DuBois describes the community as a part of Ireland that you wouldn’t find yourself in unless you were born there or knew someone from there. The series does seem to capture a very native and contemporary Ireland that a tourist might completely miss. One of the main themes of the series is the relationship between the photographer and the community throughout the years, making DuBois an integral part of the story. This makes him a non objective observer as he follows these people through the last years of their youth.
“People came and left, relationships formed and dissolved, and babies were born. Combining portraits, spontaneous encounters, and collaborative performances, the images of My Last Day at Seventeen exist in a delicate balance between documentary and fiction.”-Kickstarter Page
DuBois has set out on this fundraising campaign to help repay the people he followed so intimately throughout the years. He plans on providing everyone featured with a custom copy of the series.
Check out his Kickstarter campaign here.
Jen Rozenbaum has a passion for making women feel beautiful, strong and #ShamelesslyFeminine. Her Studio, Jenerations is one of the premier luxury boudoir photography studios in New York City, and her catchphrase #ShamelesslyFeminine perfectly sums up her mission.
Last year, she teamed up with Sigma on their Model Shoot Out Tour with American Photo Magazine. While working with them, she got to try out many of their various lenses and fell in love. They liked her as well, and invited her into the Sigma family, where she’s been proudly representing them since.
Rozenbaum’s boudoir work isn’t just about being sexy, but also expressing power and strength through femininity. She is very passionate about the modern definition of what it is to be a feminist and how that definition may be evolving.
She told Resource that somewhere along the way, women started thinking that they needed to embrace more male qualities in order to be seen as equals. Her message to women however is the exact opposite.
“When a woman has a boudoir shoot, she is owning who she is,” she said “It is a sexy shoot, but it may or may not be about sex to her. Usually its about taking the bite out of someone else sexualizing her and allowing her to own her definition of what being a woman is for herself.”
The inspiration for her #ShamelesslyFeminine tag line came from her own personal struggles to figure out what her femininity meant to her.
“Every woman should celebrate her unique femininity shamelessly. That means that she can be whoever she wants. Soft, hard, girly, tomboy, etc… or any combination of things, and still be 10000% women. It’s about breaking the boundaries of what we THINK women should be and allowing them to express it for themselves.”
Rozenbaum’s entrance into the world of boudoir and photography was actually completely accidental. She first picked up a camera when she was going through a very tough time, and having trouble finding happiness in her life. She was looking for a way to distract herself and found a camera to be a perfect outlet for her.
“Picking up a camera and teaching myself how to take pictures allowed me not only a great distraction, but a chance to see beauty in the world again. It gave me something to wake up and look forward to everyday. I didn’t really think I would make a business of it or change other women’s lives.”
She started boudoir photography about four months after first learning how to shoot. A friend of hers had booked a shoot and was a little nervous about it, so she asked Rozenbaum to tag along.
“I went with her, LOVED it and came home telling my husband I wanted to be a boudoir photographer when I ‘grow up.'”
She says that at first she was just a girl with a camera in her bedroom taking pics. She would ask her friends if she could shoot them and says that she didn’t work with an actual model until years into her career.
One of the most crucial aspects of her method is her ability to establish and maintain strong connections with the women she shoots. Being a female photographer gives her an understanding of their body issues. She can commiserate and empathize with her subjects very easily, but she pointed out that the sex of the photographer doesn’t really have that much of an impact on that connection.
“I try not to look at is as a male/female thing but a personality component. I base my studio around the fact that I want to change women’s lives – that is my approach. I think every boudoir photographer male or female has to discover their angle and run with it.”
Rozenbaum’s company Jenerations has been keeping her very busy. On top of offering personal one-on-one boudoir shoots, she has also been busy teaching classes that cover shooting technique, makeup and the best lingerie to wear. You can check out her website for Jenerations here, and follow her blog.