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.
By Graham Burns
So what the heck is InstaCamp? Well, if you’re anything like me and thought it had to do with rapidly inflatable tents and/or sleeping bags, you’d be wrong. InstaCamp is actually an event for marketers, brand managers, social strategists and photographers to come together and discuss the art of successfully using Instagram for marketing.
On March 3, Flashstock held its first-ever U.S. InstaCamp event at Irving Plaza in New York. Here’s what we learned.
Under all of the buzz words, industry jargon and a secret contest to see who could say the word “millennials” the most, InstaCamp provided some pretty powerful insights for companies and brands that are looking to efficiently and effectively engage with the Instagram community. The presenters who provided these insights were diverse in their experience and areas of expertise. From Matthew Wurst, VP and head of social at the blazing hot digital agency 360i, who discussed how his team achieved success with campaigns like “#snackhacks” for Oreo to crowd favorite 17-year-old IG influencer Humza Deas, who instantly captured the audience’s attention with his infamous “roof-topping” shots and stories of trespassing.
We’re caffeinated thanks to @standcoffee and well on our way with #instacampNYC at @irvingplaza! A photo posted by FlashStock (@flashstock) on
For most companies and brands, their first step is to say to their teams, “we need to be on Instagram”. They then start posting random superficial content with no rhyme, reason or game plan. Unsurprisingly, this is a big no-no according to Michael Scissons, co-founder/chairman of Flashstock. Instead, he suggests examining the trends and data and coming up with a strategic, focused and consistent approach to the platform that takes full advantage Instagram’s biggest strengths. Grant Munro, co-founder and CEO of FlashStock, and Edlynne Laryea, consultant at Global Digital Center of Excellence at Johnson & Johnson, asked the audience to think before you post and ask the question “would I hang this on my wall.”
The most honest and insightful presentation of the day came from Gian Carlo Pitocco in his presentation on the Future of Instagram. The main take away being if you want to succeed on Instagram you need to “know thy audience” and “be authentic.” Instagram, as with each individual social platform, has its own unspoken set of aesthetics that hold value in the community. In order to break through all the other marketing white noise, you need to have a deep understanding of the established style of the community. In other words, you have to learn the rules before you can play the game.
It’s no secret that Instagram has rapidly become one of the most popular social networks, with about 300 million active users per month (as of December 2014), and that kind of traffic is sure to bing more and more marketing dollars in the very near future. The only question is, will that money be turned into effective statements that engage their intended audiences, or will they simply cause users to unfollow?
[featured image via Flashstock]
The World Press Organization has revoked the first-prize winner of their contemporary issues photo contest, after an investigation into whether a photo in the series was intentionally misleading. Giovanni Troilo’s winning series “The Dark Heart of Europe” had come under scrutiny after claims that a photo of a painter was shot in Molenbeek, Brussels, and not in the town of Charleroi, where the rest of the series was claimed to have been shot. After an investigation, the WPO confirmed with Troilo that the the location of the photo was falsified during the submission process, and the work was therefore disqualified.
In a press release yesterday, the WPO’s Photo Managing Director Lars Boering said that while there were strict controls in place, their contests rely on the trust and ethics of the photographers who submit their work.
“Based on the mixture of reactions we’ve received over the past week, it is clear to me that the debate taking place about the definitions of press photography, photojournalism and documentary photography is necessary, and it will have implications for the professional ethics of practitioners. We find ourselves right in the middle of this debate, and we aim to use this as a learning experience, to give focus to the discussion and bring it to the next level. In order to do this, we are organizing a discussion about image integrity that will take place during the Awards Days in Amsterdam and we also plan to hold a debate about ethics in the profession during the same event at the end of April.”
This decision has sparked a huge conversation about ethics in photojournalism and the standards in which photography contests are judged. Although the issue in this case was a misleading location in one of the photos, it draws into question the integrity of the rest of the series, and this entire form of photojournalism in general. Where do you draw the line between real storytelling and artistic liberty?
Bruno Stevens, a Belgium photojournalist and a former World Press winner, was the one who had initially contacted the awards’ body about an incorrect caption on the disqualifying photo. In an article by The Guardian, he stated that this particular incident brought up many larger issues, saying the photos in the series were a “clear breach of normal journalistic behavior,” and that the entire series only blurred the boundaries of fiction and non fiction in photojournalism. He didn’t question the abilities of the photographer in this case, but instead, questioned the methods that were used to portray “truth” in the series.
“While his working methods are perfectly alright in commercial or fine art circles, they are not remotely adequate for journalistic work.”
The lines in the current ethical debate are anything buy clear, but the WPO had made clear its rules with this contest. It’s goal was to seek out a visual form of “truth” that can only be captured by real authentic photojournalism. This comes with strict rules and a zero tolerance policy for any forms of photo alteration or misrepresentation. The urge seems to be to keep the realm of photojournalism separate from art, but examples such as this most recent disqualification blur the lines between truth and art. Where should we distinguish between telling a true compelling narrative through visuals, and painting pictures for people with photos?
As the WPO reasserts its strict adherence to ethics and “truth” in its contests, it will be interesting to see if other contests begin to come under increased scrutiny in the future.
From a discussion about photo manipulation, hosted by the World Photography Organization, here’s what a few Facebook and Linked in members had to say on it:
“Photojournalism should depict the truth through the image at the moment it was taken. In this digital age the truth seems to be enhanced quite a bit, leaving much doubt as to the “real” truth. This doesn’t make sense to me. The job of the photojournalist is to report via photography what they actually saw happen and if they are good at what they do that image will convey it all at one glance, no doctoring needed.”
“As long as photography is considered art, no laws or regulations may be applied. There certainly should be barriers between numerous categories of photographs, from documentary ones, i.e. described by EXIFs or RAW files, to non-documentary, depending on the amount of involvement of graphic software. However, such sets of limitations are quite reasonable for theme competitions of any kind to make the jury’s job easier and more objective.”
“I do believe that the original content and composition should be presented without post edit alteration. That said is it is a matter of contrast, brightness, sharpening, or minor color adjustment, I don’t see those as material to the content. If of course it is specifically stated that no photojournalist entry may be edited in anyway whats so ever, but straight from camera, then so be it.”
“Today the competition is tougher than it’s ever been, there is a lot of good photographers out there and they are looking to stand out from others. I personally think a little “enhancing” is good if the photo is looking dull (due to circumstances) which is sometimes needed or if we made an error during taking the picture taking process.”
Phase One (http://www.phaseone.com) came along when renowned portrait photographer Jason Bell (http://www.jasonbellphoto.com/) went to London’s Hampstead Heath to shoot actor and Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch for Vanity Fair magazine’s Hollywood Portfolio.
Go behind the scenes with Jason Bell and experience Benedict Cumberbatch handle dogs, climb a tree, and dive backwards into a lake:
On the first shooting location Jason set out to turn a day lit forest into night. To accomplish this task, a variety of lighting equipment, two guys with moveable smoke machines, and the actual photographing had to come together as one.
The shoot became even more elaborate when two lively giant hounds were added to the mix.
“I like to have a sort of narrative in my head which you don’t necessarily get when you look at the picture, but it informs the mood of the picture. On this occasion I am imagining that he has been at a ball, he is probably drunk, and he is going home with his dog. That is the story in my head for the picture. It helps me decide where light should be and even how I print. And it helps him to think about something rather than just: ‘I’m having my photograph taken.’”
Jason Bell emphasizes the team effort it takes to make a shoot like this happen: “It is a collaboration with all the guys doing the lights and the smoke. I’m not doing it on my own. I’m the captain of the ship.”
While Jason directed his crew, he also made sure to include Benedict Cumberbatch in the creative process. “He got very involved and there were things he wanted to do which I always really like”. Benedict’s creative ideas included a suggestion to jump into the lake – fully clothed – rather than being photographed next to it. Jason went along with the idea immediately.
“We plan a lot of it and set it up but always when the person is in camera and I start shooting is when I really decide”.
Jason Bell came up with the idea to shoot an all-U.K. edition of Vanity Fair’s annual Hollywood Portfolio issue. The shoot featuring Benedict Cumberbatch is just one of the 44 British icons portrayed in the issue.
Jason Bell: “My favorite thing about working for Vanity Fair is the creative freedom. They are fantastic at saying: “What do you want to do? Okay, do it.” That is obviously an exciting thing as a photographer to be allowed to do what you want.”
Check out the rest of the Vanity Fair Hollywood Portfolio images shot entirely by Jason Bell with Phase One here.
Let’s face it, film is expensive… but film shooters will happily pay the price because the look and mindset of shooting film are worth it to them. Transitioning into film from wholly digital is a hurdle though, thanks to that price wall. So figuring out how exactly you transition from digital to film is key. You can do it without losing your mind (and your profit).
I started film after I started digital. Traditionally speaking, it’s backwards, I know. I wanted to hone my photography skills so I decided that the best way for me to do that would be to go back to basics and learn film. But once I started to shoot it, I couldn’t stop. I never intended to shoot film professionally, but it filled the creative hole I had in me and I was hooked right from the start: I knew I wanted to be a film shooter, but I had to figure out how to incorporate film into my workflow without losing all my profit.
I made a lot of errors along my way to becoming a film photographer. I overshot, lost profit and had too many duplicate images that I didn’t need. I am still not fully film for weddings. I choose to switch to digital in low light situations. When you have a dark candlelit church ceremony at night, film just isn’t the best medium (unless your clients are okay with all black and white – which I would LOVE by the way). So for dark churches and the “party” of the reception, I fall back on digital photography. But for the rest, including elements of the receptions such as details, entrances, first dance and cake cutting, I shoot film.
When I first started I tried to shoot both film and digital simultaneously. Unless you like undue stress and wasting your money and time, I wouldn’t recommend this. There is absolutely no point in getting a shot both on film and on digital. If you don’t trust yourself to get a solid shot on film yet, then you aren’t ready to use film in a wedding situation. Keep at it with personal work and portrait sessions until you are confident enough to shoot a setup on only film. I spent way too much time and money editing digital photos to look like my film and trying to make it work. I had so many weddings where I threw out digital after digital image once the film came back in. Why did I waste my time doing both? I wasn’t confident and that was my mistake.
When I’m mentoring photographers and they ask me about going hybrid, I tell them what I would have done instead of what I did. I suggest starting with shooting film and digital but making the film unique. Shoot black and white only and your digital will be your color. Once you gain more confidence and are ready to transition more, shoot entire sections in film only. Start with details, add in portraits (because you can control the lighting better) and then add in getting ready and lower light situations where you need additional light sources (video lights and flash). By shooting film in smaller pieces, it allows you to transition slowly and be confident that your wedding film will be amazing.
Another benefit of this slow transition is cost. When you start your hybrid photography journey you most likely did not account for film in your pricing. Going forward it is important to add in the cost of film and development, but no one wants to wait a year to shoot film once they are bitten by the film bug. Starting with only black and white means you are only shooting a few rolls at a time. Try limiting yourself to a set number of rolls per wedding as you are transitioning. It’s important to show film if you want to shoot film, but you shouldn’t break the bank doing so. Setting a budget per wedding can be hard, but it’s a great way to ensure that you are getting what you need for your portfolio while still earning money to stay in business.
So what do you do with your second shooter’s images? For me, I will now either hire a film second or I make all my second shooter’s images black and white. My film lab edits my digital files to match my film, but I tend to still prefer the real deal, so all my second shooter images go black and white. I like consistency and I can see the minor differences in both color and feel of the image. This allows me to have the seamless feel that I prefer and that my clients expect.
Finally, as you add in more film, start showing just film on your social media and blog posts. It will help define you as a film shooter. And remember… there is absolutely nothing wrong with being hybrid. Just be smart hybrid. Choose the areas you want to shoot film and stick to it. It is possible to be a hybrid shooter and earn a killer profit!
If you want to learn something in Photoshop, odds are it’s covered in a packed schedule of incredible instructors at this year’s CreativeLive Photoshop week. Two of my best friends are teaching courses: Mike Kelley and Julia Kuzmenko, and both of them are absolute masters of their craft.
I’ve personally worked with both Mike and Julia, and each of them are really good at explaining exactly what they are doing, how they are doing it and most importantly, why they are doing it. Mike’s techniques are self described as taking an image that is “plausible, but unlikely.” It creates a look that is dreamy and perfect, yet still realistic. Creating an image that has those characteristics takes a bit of finesse, but Mike is great at explaining how to get it done. Julia is absolutely amazing when it comes to skin work. If you’re a portrait photographer who wants to get into high-end beauty, there are few instructors better than Julia (actually I can’t think of any).
Over the course of six days, CreativeLive will stream 49 live classes presented by the industry’s leading Photoshop experts including Dave Cross, Tim Grey, Jason Hoppe, Matt Kloskowski, Julieanne Kost, Jared Platt, Aaron Nace, Chris Orwig, Colin Smith, Paul Trani and Ben Willmore and the aforementioned Mike Kelley and Julia Kuzmenko. Each 90 minute class provides a detailed look at the hottest topics for a comprehensive learning experience that can be applied to your graphics and photography.
You will also have an opportunity to purchase and download any of the 49 classes to create an on-demand personal library of Photoshop and Lightroom tutorials from the very best in the business. The cost for downloading the entire course curriculum is $299. Individual classes can be downloaded and archived for on-demand viewing for $19 each.
From beginner to advanced users, photographers who tune into Photoshop Week will find what they learn to be an invaluable asset to their day-to-day workflow actions. Whether it’s a new feature or technique such as Introduction to 3D in Photoshop or a refresher course on Layer Effects, the viewers will listen and learn from the very best in the business. Visit the CreativeLive website to review the entire schedule of classes and build your personal calendar for Photoshop Week.
In any business what you produce must have, or more accurately, be perceived to have value. Without that belief by your client you will fail to garner business and future clients. How does this translate into the photography world? Most people, especially newer photographers, place their value in their portfolio, in the quality of the work. While this is true in some sense I would say there is another place that holds more weight to the client… you.
“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”- Warren Buffet
Often times as photographers we come across clients that ask or passively imply they would like a discount. Most of the time we stick to our guns and will not budge on pricing. I think that is great, and appropriate if the discount they are asking for is significant, but what if it is minimal? What if it is only $150? What do you do then? I read comments in a thread that ranged from tell them you are booked, to tell them you are not the right fit, to suggesting they don’t eat out at their favorite restaurant next month. Seriously?! All this over $150 dollars? This is a perfect example of the client not seeing the value of one over the other. Somewhere in the consultation process the value got barreled down to one photographer’s photos over another. To the client, the perceived value was in the quality of work. The client is thinking “Hey this photographer does really good work as well and they are $150 less!” That is not how we as business owners want them to make their decision.
“You don’t get paid for the hour. You get paid for the value you bring to the hour.” -Jim Rohn
From the moment we first respond to a client inquiry our value is being measured. They have already made the decision they like your photos otherwise they would not be contacting you. As soon you hit the send button your value, your ability to give them something no other photographer can, is being evaluated. If they email you back later haggling over $150, maybe she doesn’t see the value in you. We need to educate them as to why we are more and why going with us will be worth it. Somewhere along the line, the value of your service got lost. Guys, I completely understand sticking by your prices believe me I do. But we can’t stand on the quality of our work alone because there are others whose quality is just as good. Using the reason that your portfolio alone should be enough cannot be the reason for non-education of clients. Your value is in you and how you make the client feel from the very beginning.
“If you create incredible value and information for others that can change their lives – and you always stay focused on that service – the financial success will follow.” -Brendon Burchard
“Its not my job to educate the client,” is a phrase I hear applied to this and many other situations with tough somewhat high maintenance clients. So if it’s not ours, whose job is it? Should the client really have to find the time to explore the ins and outs of why we charge what we do on top of trying to plan for their own wedding? Plus, I doubt the client would ever really understand the ins and outs anyway. So why shouldn’t we help them? I am not saying we need to do this all the time.I am saying that if we set it up so that the very first email we send makes them feel wanted, we wont ever even have to broach the subject. The foundation of our perceived value will be won and lost on that first correspondence. Do you send your prices in that first inquiry, or do you congratulate them and ask for more info about how they met? Do you wait for them to reply or do you take initiative and call them to personally thank you for inquiring with you? When the time comes to make the decision to go with you or the photographer that is $150 cheaper, these things could very well be the weight that tips the scales. This is upon what we want the client to base their decision.
“It seems like photographers are so quick to just say “RED FLAGS, LET THEM GO!” and walk away from what could be a good business relationship. If you take the time to talk to her, educate her as to why your rates come with more experience and talent, and what the higher price tag will entail, maybe you can convert her. It’s happened to me more times than I can count.”- Susan Stripling
Now let me clarify: I fully believe in getting paid what you are worth and that we should not give into clients trying to book us for less, especially if that request is significant. I also fully believe that if a client is having a hard time booking you over $150 dollars that we should not automatically apply the red flag or problem client tag to them either. Maybe in this situation we need to step back, breathe and re-evaluate where we went wrong in presenting our value to the client. Never assume your process is perfect, always be willing to learn and serve, your business and your clients will thank you for it.