Resource Photo. Video. Lifestyle. Sat, 17 Feb 2018 15:00:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 48072327 How Should Photojournalists Cover Tragedies? Sat, 17 Feb 2018 15:00:30 +0000

Another school shooting, another round of debate on gun regulations. We’ve become accustomed to the cycle.

However, another discussion typically comes up around times like these in the communities of photojournalists and their editors: “How graphic,” as Poynter‘s Al Tompkins phrases the question of covering mass tragedies, “is too graphic?”

A little background- 


After the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Slate published an article entitled “Show the Carnage,” urging Americans to “see the true effects of mass shootings” by viewing their bloody aftermath. The fact that so few Americans “see what the bullets do,” it argues, “might be part of the problem.”

It then goes on to quote former Attorney General Eric Holder who, in the wake of Sandy Hook, said of its visual documentation: “If the American people had access to those pictures, if the American people had seen those pictures, the calls for reasonable gun safety measures would have been passed.” 

Similarly, Kamala Harris, the Senator from California, said yesterday of viewing gun-related crime scenes: “When you see the effect of this extreme violence on a human body, and especially the body of a child, maybe it will shock some people into understanding this cannot be a political issue.”

Seeing the horrific results of violence, this argument goes, will serve to motivate citizens to seek its reduction.


Tompkin’s Take- 

Mr. Tompkins [Image Courtesy Poynter]

Al Tompkins, senior faculty of the Poynter Institute, has a different take.

He begins by noting both sides of the argument:

  • “We could argue,” he says, that “if the public, if elected officials saw the images as they really are, maybe we would have a more serious conversation about gun violence.” OR….
  • “….maybe, we should argue that showing the graphic images rewards the shooter and encourages others.”

Avoiding both extremes, Tompkins lays out a list of considerations for anyone thinking about publishing the images of a tragedy. Here are the ones relevant to photographers:

  • Why You Would Show a Graphic Image– A graphic image, he explains, is justifiable if “the truth is in doubt.” This goes for police shootings caught on phone cameras and other crimes which the perpetrators deny (not the case here.)
  • Why You Would Not Show A Graphic Image– The image, especially in school shootings, might involve a minor, whose parents need to be asked for permission. Further, as the knowledge of the crime becomes more widespread, graphic images meant to “break the news,” become less and less justifiable over time.
  • Tone and Degree While images can bring attention to something, they can also overdo it. Tompkins points to the example of the endless loops of children running from their school in terror being played on national TV. Eventually, he says, this will “have the effect of exaggerating the danger that students face in schools,” noting that, statistically speaking, schools are the safest places for kids to be.
  • Creating Celebrity– Granting that “some criminals flat out crave publicity,” Tompkins still advocates for making the accused’s name, and therefore image, public. While it may give them the celebrity they crave, the positives outweigh the negatives insofar as it allows greater discoveries like the “threatening social media pages that may have been posted by the accused,” to be uncovered by everyday citizens.


What do you think? 


Feature Image Courtesy Tony Webster 


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Chinese Smartphone Company Huawei Shut Down By U.S. Intelligence Agencies Fri, 16 Feb 2018 22:46:29 +0000

What do the FBI, CIA, and NSA have in common?  Well probably a lot that we could get into, but one thing in particular that’s been making rounds in the news lately: All of them testified before the Senate recommending that Americans should not use technology from the Chinese smartphone company Huawei–or Chinese telecom company ZTE.

These intelligence agencies fear that, should the Chinese government demand information from Huawei or ZTE regarding information sent with their devices, they wouldn’t have a choice but to comply.

Don’t worry, if you don’t know Huawei, that’s okay; I didn’t either.  But apparently they are a massive company that, for a brief stint there, a few months back, was the 2nd largest smartphone manufacturing company in the world behind Samsung—that’s right, they were ahead of Apple.  The reasons we don’t know about them is because they’ve yet to make an impact in the US—in Asia, however, they are insanely popular.

Partnering with AT&T, they had plans to change that this year (and in the past, had plans with Verizon as well).  Unfortunately, AT&T backed out at the last minute supposedly due to pressure from lawmakers.

These aren’t FBI guys but they might be FBI guys.

FBI director Christopher Wray said:

“We’re deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks.”

Another cause for concern is the fact that Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, had served in the Chinese army before he started the company.

This isn’t the first time the US has shut down Huawei either.  In 2012, there was a Congress report that said that the US should be weary of these companies and in 2014, Huawei was banned, because of suspicions of espionage, from bidding for US government contracts.

“Huawei is trusted by governments and customers in 170 countries worldwide, connecting one-third of the world’s population,” Huawei’s vice president of external affairs said, “Privacy and security are critically important to all of us these days and we must all be cautious to protect our personal and family and professional data from compromise.”

Well, I’m happy with my iPhone.


Cover Photo pic: Oliver Needham

Men in suits pic: Dylan Richards

Iphone pic: Nigel Tadyanehondo

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7 Ways To Find A Place Where You Can Create Fri, 16 Feb 2018 20:00:22 +0000

Picture this: It’s the weekend, you finally have time to relax, sleep in, and – most importantly- exercise your creative ambitions.  Around noon you finally roll out of bed, pull out your creative tools, and set out to start becoming the next best photographer/artist/screenwriter there is.  You’ve got this!  You know that you are the next great thing, you just have to be discovered.

But there’s one problem.  Everywhere you go, there is not a single space that is just right for you to work on your art.  Outside of your window, the construction is too loud.  Your roommates are taking up the living room, even though you told them it was your creative space on the weekends.  And that coffee shop that you sometimes go to is inconveniently full.

We’ve all experienced this feeling, where the world seems to be putting up all of the obstacles it can to keep us from creating.  It’s frustrating! Why can’t you just have a place where you feel serene and inspired?  Well never fear, you aspiring artistic soul.  Here are some tips and tricks on finding a space for you.

1.) Space Savers are Key

organized, desk, pens

If you live in a tiny space, and can’t afford to rent a studio to fulfill your artistic ambitions, it is important to take advantage of the tiny space that you have.  Invest in storage bins that you can store under your bed and in your closet.  Organize them so that you only need one bin at a time, so you can utilize the rest of your floor/empty desk space to stretch out and relax as you work.

2.) Find Music that Inspires You

Music, vinyl, headphones

Whether you’re using old-school vinyl or listening through your Premium Spotify account, it’s always important to have music playing that inspires a sort of mood.  Some people work best to classical, while others feed off the energy of hard rock.  Whatever feeds your good-mood-vibes, hit the play button and let the music make your space feel more inspiring.

3.) Be Real With Your Roommates

picture, mirror, alone

As mentioned before, roommates can be a real pain in the ass when you’re trying to reach your inner-muse.  Don’t be rude to them (after all, they’re paying half the rent) but do let them know that this is important to you, and ask if you can have a couple hours of silence on the weekend to truly focus.

4.) Go on a Walk

Camera, street, photo

If your apartment is out of the question as far as artistic endeavors go, explore the neighborhood.  Find a place that inspires you and sit down to jot down ideas.  Even if you can’t get your work done in this environment, it will be enough to stimulate your brain and get you thinking about what you want to do and how you’ll achieve it.

5.) Wake Up Early

morning, sun, plant, window

I know, I know.  Don’t hate me.  But remember that if you have a few hours in the morning to yourself, you will have more time to work (or at least think about working) on your project.  Plus, doesn’t it make you feel good when you wake up and restaurants are still serving breakfast?

6.) Take a Day to Take Away the Clutter

paintbrushes, supplies, clutterYou know that you have a ton of old artistic projects and equipment stuffed in corners around your room.  I know that it inspires you, but it may just be holding you back in the time of projects-once-completed.  Save yourself from the anxiety of clutter and find these projects a new home – give them to your Mom or sell them to someone who appreciates your creative talents.

7.) Clear Your Mind

Mug, carpe diem, coffee

The most important part of the process when doing anything creative is having a mind that is open and willing to take on the obstacles that you run into throughout the day.  Take a few minutes to let yourself breathe when you wake up.  Maybe do some yoga, or drink your coffee without going on your phone.  Relax, and the rest of the day will feel easier, even if the rest of the world is trying to obstruct your creative flow.

Feature Photo by Alex Plesovskich on Unsplash

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Patreon is the Startup Trying to Rescue Creators From Advertisers Fri, 16 Feb 2018 19:00:51 +0000

When Jack Conte spent more than $10K to produce a music video which, in the five years since, has earned him around $1K, he knew he had a problem.

Mr. Conte along with his wife, Nataly Dawn, performing in their band “Pomplamoose” [Image Courtesy ronyeh]

The problem wasn’t artistic—the video received rave reviews and over 2 million plays—but economic. The business model for creatives was broken. As he told Forbes, he “knew he’d created something of value,” and yet “would never be paid for it.”

[I’ll post the video at the bottom of the page]

So Jack, along with college roommate Sam Yam, founded Patreon, a site they describe as “a way to get paid for creating the things you’re already creating.” 

The Platform


Here’s how it works:

  • Creators (of all types) make a profile on Patreon and start a “Page” which will then be searchable through the site.
  • Along with any personal info, they list on this page:
  1. Their Payment Cycle–monthly, per creation, yearly, etc.
  2. Their Product–what are they producing (music, video, etc.)
  3. Their Rewards–what will the customer get for subscribing (i.e. behind-the-scenes, tutorials, chats)
  4. Their Goals–what they plan to do with the money they earn.
  • Then, eager patrons can decide to “subscribe” to an artist and pay the fees as specified by that artist’s payment cycle.
  • Finally, creators create, patrons pay, and enjoy the finished product.


Along with their platform, Patreon also offers business and analytics tools to help creators understand and grow their fanbase.

The Results


While many left the subscription model for dead, Patreon seems to have found a niche: they paid out $150 mil to artists in 2017 alone.

The community is a healthy size, too, and growing: 50K monthly active creators and 1 mil active patrons. That’s a 20:1 patron-to-creator ratio. The average pledge is $12 and, according to their site, creators are “doubling their income annually.”

While this may be an outlier, Forbes also reported that acapella singer Peter Hollens made $400K on the site in the past year. “Dozens” others make more than 30K per month. Musician Meghan Tonjes recently told the “Rakin’ It In” podcast that she’s “been able to pay [her] rent entirely” with her podcast and Patreon.

The Management

Patreon funds itself by taking 5% from each pledge. This puts them on par with Kickstarter but well below iTunes (30%) and YouTube (45%). Revenue last year was reportedly $8mil.

Patreon is made by a creator (Conte) and it reflects that in its business model. In its own words, it seeks to offer creators “the best place…to establish ongoing and predictable monthly revenue and expand their career.”

The Future?

Their new logo circa 2017.

This is the kind of stability that artists of all stripes clamor for—the freedom to step away from day-to-day marketing and simply create. If consumers prove willing to pony up a little extra dough for the chance to fuel ad-free creation and establish relationships with their favorite artists, it just might become a reality for many, as it already is for some.


Here’s his awesome $10K music video, btw. 






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Meet Amy Smith, Creator of Joylita Photography Fri, 16 Feb 2018 18:14:13 +0000

When I got Amy Smith, founder of Joylita Photography, on the phone, the first thing she said in regards to her business is, “well, it’s been a process.” I’m sure it has been, and I’m eager to hear about the journey she’s taken discovering her passion and starting a business from the ground up.

The Houston-based photographer, who began the practice of her craft while in high school, tells me, “I found I had this need to take pictures of everything we were doing, a need of having to document this experience.” This, naturally, led Amy into the arms of photography and she hasn’t turned back. With her first camera, a Canon, in hand, she began to build her skillset as she grew more and more serious about keeping photography a salient part of her life.

As a self-taught photographer, who learned most of her photography skills by playing around with her equipment and occasionally turning to YouTube for a bit of extra help, Amy developed a personal relationship with her technique and style after working hard to better her craft all on her own.

Although she didn’t study photography in school—she opted for hospitality instead—Amy was keen to continue her practice, leading her to the creation of Joylita.

Amy started Joylita Photography as a way to maintain a steady relationship with photography, even though it wouldn’t serve as her “day job”. Through Joylita, Amy is able to combine her passion for photos with her love of people—her typical jobs involve family sessions, engagement shoots, and weddings, where Amy is able to collaborate with her subjects to get the best shots. The photographer favors this sort of personal photography for her desire to “make people see what I see, we all view ourselves differently.”

Amy’s approach involves capturing people in as natural a way as possible, revealing their beauty sans post-editing photoshop. She explains that if a client asks her to remove wrinkles or slim down their bodies, she will likely decline, as photoshopped beauty isn’t her game. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t value the post-edit process—all of her shots are delivered to clients after she edits to improve the overall photo quality.

In terms of her business and what clients can expect out of a shoot with Amy, she explains that once she goes through the shots and removes those of poorer quality, she provides her clients with the entire shoot. “I don’t understand why some photographers make people buy 10 additional photos, like what am I going to do with the photos?” By receiving the whole photo collection, clients can ensure that their favorite shots are included.

The photos will typically include a bunch of candid shots—”I hate stiff poses,” Amy tells me, “I mix it up and it’s very specific for who I’m shooting.” Clients can expect a diverse range of photos that meet their needs, as communication is key when collaborating with people on the photoshoots that capture the important moments in their lives. Although Amy is running a business, she ensure that she is “more about the people than about the money.” Her standard prices are $350-$400 for engagements, $350 for families and seniors, $300 for portraits and kids.

When Amy isn’t catering to the needs of her clients, a first priority, she always has her eyes open for personal photography opportunities, which can spring up just about anywhere. She tells me, “Every time I drive past an ugly wall I’m like I bet I can make that beautiful.” Though sometimes it takes a little inspiration to get the creative juices flowing—for example other photographers she finds to be inspiring—for Amy it’s about originality.

She explains: “Photography can get repetitive, so I lean towards people who take an idea and make it theirs.” Amy then demonstrates her own originality when she adds that when a creative idea strikes she often relies on her friends and family to help her out, serving as the photos subject—”I’m like ‘hey do you mind if I put you in this bush and put a smoke grenade in your hair?'” It’s clear that when an idea forms in Amy’s mind, she is confident and ready to go out and make it happen.

I can hear in her voice the sincerity when she ends with, “It’s such a blessing to have a creative outlet that’s also inspiring.”

Check out Amy’s Joylita Photography for more of her work!


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Studio-Made GIFs Are A Real Thing Fri, 16 Feb 2018 15:47:28 +0000

The internet is moving so fast it’s hard to keep up sometimes.  Maybe I’m getting old.  Some people are at the forefront of this change though, ready to monetize current trends and movements that popularize themselves online.

Case in point: Giphy, a company in California, is making professional GIFs.  

A GIF is a short clip, often times overlaid with words, that is pulled from a movie, TV show, or other media event, that plays on a loop with intentions to express an emotion or reaction or to make a statement.

If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about then this is your first time on the internet and I’m really happy that you came to this site first. 

A GIF from Giphy

But a GIF uses a preexisting piece of work, you may be thinking, how can this be done in a studio?  And is it even necessary?   

Well even though they do make original Gifs in studio, they also search through your favorite pop culture medium looking for clips to use, as well as receive user submitted GIFs.  So they got it covered from all angles. 

And as far as being necessary?  Well apparently it is considering the company has been around since 2013, currently have over 70 employees, and a billion of there GIFs are shared each day through all the popular social media platforms.  In fact, there is a good chance that you’ve come across or have used a GIF today that originated with them.  There claim that they are the largest distributor of six-second content in the world is argue with.  

Not only that, but they have worked with professional athletes, musicians, and celebrities to create original GIFs.  They’ve been commissioned by companies such as HP, Absolute Vodka, and H & R block to produce GIFs for advertisement.  And they were also hired by producers to create “live GIFs” at the 2017 Emmy’s.  That is to say, the clips were created and uploaded to their website just minutes after the moment happened in real life. 

jack nicholson yes GIF

Again, from Giphy

And you know all those Game Of Thrones GIFs that you send your friends?  Well there is an HBO specific page on Giphy’s website (yes, legally) with over 700 GIFs…so yeah, they probably came from there.

As crazy as this thing is, it’s not crazy enough to keep me from making my own GIFs on their site.  Yes, it’s true, you can.  Go nuts!



All the Gifs on this article were from them: Giphy

There is also a good article on the company here: New York Times

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Getty and Google Reach Settlement—Say Goodbye to ‘View image’ Button Thu, 15 Feb 2018 20:00:41 +0000

Put away the knives, fellers—Google and Getty have reached a compromise.

It all began in 2016, when Getty filed a lawsuit against Google in European courts, alleging that Google’s decision to show hi-res images in their “image search” tool was devaluing Getty’s property. Getty argued that, “Because image consumption is immediate,” just displaying a Getty image—let alone allowing its download—would diminish the value of their work.

“We believe our approach to work closely with Google will best protect copyright and the livelihoods of photographers”

If someone could simply right-click and hit “save image,” they reasoned, they would have little incentive to actually purchase its rights. Further, Google—which would earn advertising money each time a search was performed—failed to “contribut[e] to the costs of creating the content” that they displayed.

Just yesterday, however, the two sides announced they had reached a deal that would avoid further litigation. Here are the key takeaways from the agreement:

  1. Labelling – Google agreed to “mak[e] the copyright disclaimer more prominent” on image results. While this doesn’t stop would-be pilferers from scraping images, it does notify well-meaning individual unaware of copyright law.
  2. Removing “View Image” – Perhaps the most radical and noticeable change will be Google’s decision to remove the ‘view image’ button from appearing alongside an image result. This was at the center of Getty’s original complain; by hitting ‘view image,’ the user is given a hi-res copy of the original which they can then save. Instead, Google will only offer thumbnails of images, as they did prior to 2013.
  3. Partnership – The two sides agreed to a “multi-year licensing partnership” which will allow Google to use Getty’s images on all of their various products and services. Of which Getty Images released a statement reading, in part:


“We believe our approach to work closely with Google will best protect copyright and the livelihoods of photographers, and other artists who rely on licensing to earn a living and fund the creation of new works.”


Getty CEO Dawn Airey [Image Courtesy her LinkedIn]

Going Forward

Getty was wise enough to note that despite this “significant milestone,” many “other battles remain.” And this could not be more true.

The fact is, most photographers out there do not have an organization like Getty standing behind them which—besides offering the security of a salary to many of its employees—has the resources and legal wherewithal to protect their work. While it’s nice to see somebody make a dent in the free (aka stolen) photo ecosystem, it wasn’t exactly made by those who need it most; recall Getty settled a nearly $1 billion lawsuit just two years ago for trying to claim copyright on an image in the public domain.

Oh, and try not to gripe too much about the lost ‘view image’ button; it’s removal is for the best.

Feature Image Courtesy perzon seo 

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Blogger Travels The World In Search Of Famous Movie Settings Thu, 15 Feb 2018 17:00:53 +0000

Andrea David is combining travel and film to create a whole new type of travel blog. She prints pictures of scenes from famous movies or television shows, travels to their real world location, and positions the snapshot perfectly into the setting. If you’re confused by that explanation, the pictures will help:

Instagram Photo


David, who is from Germany, wrote her thesis on the “influence of cinema on tourist habits” while studying tourism management in Munich. On research trips, she would travel to a film’s location with a printed snapshot in hand to make it easier to ask locals where the scene was filmed. She eventually came up with the idea to take a photograph of the photograph, blending the image with the real background.


Instagram Photo


Since then, over the course of 12 years, her idea has brought her all over the world.

How do they fit together, the film and the real? Ask her blog :

One skillfully plays with illusions, the other promises real experiences.  But both sell us dreams and there connection lures movie tourist to various locations.

Instagram Photo


However you want to theorize the connection between movies and travel and what is attractive about both, it seems people are definitely into it. She has a popular travel blog (where you can find this stuff, as well as other, travel related post) and well as a rapidly growing Instagram following of 86K.

Images Courtesy Andrea David’s Instagram & Blog

Cover Photo by Dorian Mongel

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Meet the 10 Canadian Creatives in AdoramaTV’s ‘Through The Lens’ Web Series Thu, 15 Feb 2018 15:05:54 +0000

When one thinks of Canada, usually the first impression that comes to most of our minds is snow, snow and more snow. While Canada does get a good amount of snow, the country is more than just scenic mountains and winter sports. Although there is plenty of that, the new season of AdoramaTV’s ‘Through The Lens‘ web series aims to showcase some of Canada’s finest photographers who are well known not only for their outdoor adventure work, but also portraiture, fashion, dogs and even light-painting.

The 10 episode season of ‘Through The Lens: Canada’ debuted on February 7th, with new episodes being added to the AdoramaTV YouTube channel twice a week, on Wednesday and Friday at 10:00am EST. So far, three episodes have been released, and if they are any indication of what’s to come, this may be the best season of ‘Through The Lens’ to date.

So before you binge-watch the first three episodes, let’s get to know the 10 Canadian Creatives being highlighted on this season of ‘Through The Lens: Canada.’

Elizabeth Gadd

We have been big fans of Elizabeth Gadd’s work for years, and once you see her environmental self-portraits, you will understand why. Gadd has a unique ability to find the scenes that are so dreamy, you would think her shots are ‘Photoshopped.’ But the reality is quite the opposite. Gadd relies on the incredible scenery in her home province of British Columbia and her determination to be in the right place at the right time to create the look she is so famously known for.

And occasionally, you will even see an adorable puppy in Gadd’s photographs. That is her sidekick, Pepper the Adventure Dog, and he is one handsome fella. He is also just as famous as his well-known mother, even being the star of Passenger’s music video ‘Heart of Gold.’

I often take my self portraits far away from the camera, usually facing away from the camera. I want people to use their imagination when looking at my photos. It could be anyone in the photo. It could be telling any kind of story. Growing up, I was always drawing and painting. And it was always nature and animals. When I started to take my self portraits, it was scary. I always preferred to be behind the camera. I started to discover that taking these self-portraits became a really therapeutic experience for me. I hope that my photographs show the positive connection between humans and nature, and I hope it inspires people to try to seek their own beautiful connection with nature.

Check out Gadd’s episode and some of our favorite photographs.

Jamal Burger

Toronto based photographer Jamal Burger is a relative newcomer to the photography life. He started his photo journey four years ago with only his phone. When he was in a sneaker shop, the owner asked Burger if he would be interested in taking photos for the store. Without a camera, the creative offered a compromise. “Buy me a camera and I will work for you free of charge for one year.” That chance encounter started Burger down the road of pursuing a career out of his passion, and he hasn’t looked back since.

Burger loves capturing ‘moments’, which led him to focus his energy on street photography, which meshed well with his monochrome style. He also developed a love for giving back through his work. He aims to inspire kids that chasing your dream isn’t impossible. And with that chance encounter and Burger’s relentless passion for capturing the moments, he is proof that any dream is possible.

Taylor Burk

Even if you don’t know his name, you have most likely seen some of Taylor Burk’s photography. With an impressive client list including BMW, The North Face, The Travel Channel, and Red Bull, Burk always finds a way to add a sense of jaw-dropping adventure to the campaigns he is hired to photograph. And with almost half a million followers on social media, it’s obvious that the adventure seeking public responds to Burk’s take on the connection between people and nature.

We caught up with Burk to chat about his seemingly non-stop action-filled life.

You are one of the most well know Adventure photographers out there today. Does this even feel real? That you get to just live out your passions and dreams for a living?

It is something that I don’t take for granted, I am extremely fortunate and privileged to be doing what I do for a living. I still have a lot to learn and there is always room for growth. I aspire to continue to create a good name for myself in the industry.

On Instagram, Your life looks epic from sunrise till lights out 365 days a year. But surely there are some challenges with this lifestyle right?

Often people forget that my Instagram feed is just a curated collection of photos. It doesn’t represent a complete picture of my life. It’s just a highlight reel of some of my favorite photos/moments spread out over time. I like challenges and with this lifestyle you have to learn to adapt. Sometimes you hardly get any sleep, are away from home for long periods of time and away from loved ones. At the end of the day, I am doing what I love and wouldn’t change it for anything.

If you could see Taylor Burk in 25 years, what is he doing?

Hopefully climbing a mountain, healthy, surrounded by good people still doing what I love!


Wayne Simpson

Based in the artistic village of Elora, Ontario, Wayne Simpson didn’t always see himself being a professional photographer. Now known for his dramatic portraits, his photography began as a hobby while working as a graphic designer. Simpson soon found his passion for his photography consuming him, and he started spending the majority of his time building a rapport with his subjects in order to get them comfortable, which wound up translating into photos that would become more than portraits. They would become stories, enticing viewers to wonder about this person’s life and experiences.

Simpson told us about his biggest influences and why his style of photography intrigues him.

I would say that my biggest visual influences are the work of Caravaggio (Italian painter), Joey Lawrence (Canadian photographer) and Lee Jeffries (British photographer). These are all artists who I feel work very well with light and are masters of conveying mood and emotion in their work.


I think I am drawn to people with a lot of character because there is a certain honesty in their faces. Most of my subjects don’t attempt to cover blemishes or perfect their skin – they wear the wrinkles and scars with pride. There are stories in those features – that’s what I love and appreciate. On another level, I love getting to know the people I photograph. These are often people who are different from the majority of society and in some cases they are simply misunderstood. I find it incredibly enlightening to talk to them and see the world through their eyes.


Maria Koutsogiannis

Maria Koutsogiannis is the daughter of Greek immigrants, and her mother’s simple cooking style helped shaped Maria’s love for food. She was always amazed at how her mother was able to take very few ingredients and convert them into an incredible meal. Soon, Maria started making her own recipes, focusing on making delicious, yet healthy meals. The fitness fanatic credits her healthy eating to curing any ailments that she had and aims to inspire people to eat healthier and exercise through her food and fitness blog.  She graciously shares her recipes on her website and has even authored a vegan cookbook, all while honing her photography skills to make her food look as amazing as it tastes.

Stevin Tuchiwsky

Stevin Tuchiwsky lives and breathes adventure. And his home country of Canada provides no shortage of adventure and beauty to help the young photographer create images that his Instagram audience of 230k followers drool over. His unique ability to capture adventure sports and landscape scenes of Canada’s most dramatic locations makes Tuchiwsky a favorite partner for local tourism boards and outdoor brands looking to share the Canadian adventure.

We sat down with Steve to talk about his incredible work and what Canada means to him.

It is obvious from your work that you most likely will never convert into a studio photographer. What is it about the outdoors, the backcountry, and capturing the activities and athletes that draws you in? Where do you remember this love for the outdoors being born?

Ha, I wouldn’t say never but you are most likely right. I have been thinking lately that I am ready for a new challenge and would like to swing more to a few portraits here and there. That being said I think the biggest thing that draws me to photographing the outdoors is the uncertainty. You never know what you are going to get, but when everything lines up it has often been the most rewarding times for me. Some of the most rewarding times, or memorable images I have shot have also been in some of the most miserable conditions. It is easy to get caught up in that perfect moment but I think sometimes things come best when unscripted if you can say. I think my love for the outdoors came from being able to have the freedom to do as you please. I obviously mean this in a creative way, not disrespecting way to the outdoors, but that the outdoors provides so many activities to do, and some of the coolest ones I think!

For those of us not from Canada, is it really the mountainous outdoor playground that we think it is from the Instagram posts that we see?

For the most part, yes. I say it like that cause it’s also easy to make something seem like it’s not. Regardless the mountain ranges here provide a little bit of everything for all ages and all skill sets. I think that is the thing I love most about it. If you want to just go for a drive and get lost to some of the most spectacular sights you can easily do that. If you want to challenge yourself to some type 2 fun to see some of the most amazing sights you can also do that. It is really endless here.

Where do you see Steve Tuchiwsky in 25 years?

Oh that is a tough one. I seem to have an ever growing demand of passions and interests where I always want to be the best at what I do. In the end though whatever I am into at that time that can make me smile is all I really can ask for.



Naskademini is a Montreal-based photographer who is well known locally for his fashion, lifestyle, portraiture and luxury photos. He has turned his passion into a full-time business by working with brands like Cadillac, Nike and Timberland. His photographs have graced the pages of Esquire, The Gazette and more.

While photography is his passion, he still finds time to lend his creative vision as a consultant for magazines and fashion trade shows. His use of light is stunning, creating intimate and clean portraits of his subjects.


Andrew Knapp

Nothing is greater than the bond between a man and his dog. Ok, there is one thing greater. When that man beautifully documents the bond between himself and his dog. And luckily for us, we can all come along for the ride as Andrew Knapp takes us on adventures with his dog Momo. And Knapp’s adventures with Momo seem to resonate with people, as the pair has accumulated over 600k Instagram followers who come along for the journey. Knapp’s Instagram feed will keep you busy for hours, as the adorable adventure puppy will keep you swooning and the incredible scenes captured through Knapp’s lens will make your jaw drop.

Eric Veloso

Creativity flows from the Vancouver-based photographer Eric Veloso. His stark images are thought-provoking, and a unique take on urban life. Veloso is also the creative director for Street Dreams Magazine.

Veloso seems to find beauty in what most people would never notice, and that is what makes his imagery so appealing. From abandon cars to crosswalks, Veloso is rarely without his camera, documenting the lives of him and his friends in the big city on the British Columbia coast.

Eric Paré

Maybe the most ‘out of the box’ creative on this season of ‘Through the Lens’ is Eric Paré. He is well known for his light painting and bullet time photography, leading most viewers to wonder: ‘how did he do that!?’

We have wondered that plenty of times ourselves, and we don’t really have an answer. But the season finale of ‘Through the Lens: Canada” should hopefully provide us some answers.


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Astrophotographer Rogelio Bernal Andreo Isn’t Letting Tesla’s “Starman” Out of His Sights Thu, 15 Feb 2018 14:00:24 +0000

When news broke that Tesla had launched a Roadster into space, along with a mannequin driver nicknamed “Starman,” most people’s reaction was something like: WTF? 

Are there even roads in space?? [Image Courtesy Mark Van Seeters @]

For one dedicated astrophotographer, however, the news led to an immediate obsession to answer the question: Can Starman be observed from Earth? 

That photographer was none other than Rogelio Bernal Andreo, operator of RBA Premium Astrophotography and winner of many awards. Here’s how he describes his motivations on his blog, deepskycolors [emphasis mine]:

Mr. Andreo [Image Courtesy Michael Stecker @]

“once footage of the car and Starman started to arrive and people wondered if it could be observed from Earth, there was just one thing in my mind: to find the answer to that question and if yes, to try take a picture – better yet, a video – of it.”


And so began a 3-day adventure which would include lots of coordinates, little sleep, and a one tiny mistake.

Feb. 8

“I spent a big part of the day…”

Rogelio begins looking for the Roadster’s “ephemeris,” a fancy word for a list of coordinates describing its location over time; this takes “a big part” of the day. He discovers that NASA had just added the roadster, under the designation 2018-017A, to its list of documented ephemerides.

Feb. 9 

“It’s cold and I’m tired”

2:00 A.M.– With his findings in hand, Rogelio heads to Montebello Open Space Preserve, where he has a night permit (brownie points for staying legal).

While he doesn’t typically do astrophotography at this location—its proximity to San Fran gives it too much light pollution—he “was tired” and the “quick 40 minutes drive…sounded just about right.”

Still, he has a feeling he’ll be able to capture the Roadster and Starman given its reported brightness magnitude of 17.5.

4:00 A.M.- “It’s cold and I’m tired”

5:15 A.M.- Rogelio heads home, sleeps “a few” hours, and begins looking at what he captured. Unfortunately, he says, “no matter what I did, I could not find the Roadster”

Feb. 10

“….still puzzled about the whole thing.”

1:30 A.M.- Arrives at Montebello, begins to set up gear.

2:30 A.M.- Begins shooting.

3:00 A.M.- Clouds appear.

4:00 A.M.- Dejected, Rogelio heads home.

After a quick nap- Rogelio has still found nothing, is “puzzled about the whole thing.” THEN, it hits him:


“I did not enter my coordinates!!”


You see, Rogelio had been mapping the Roadster’s coordinates as they were in relation to NASA’s default location, not his own. In his rush to answer the question on every astrophotographer’s mind, he had forgotten this simple step. Accounting for the differences, he easily finds Starman “cruising through space” in his video.

The above video magnified and with helpful arrow:

As to the original question—Can Starman be observed from Earth? —the answer is, given you remember to account for your own coordinates, absolutely.


Images and Video Courtesy Rogelio Bernal Andreo 

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Valentine’s Day Pro Tip: Getting That Cute Couples Pic Even Though You’re Single Wed, 14 Feb 2018 21:11:10 +0000

It’s Valentine’s Day today and the only person who has wished me a V-Day so far is my grandmother.  So I guess you know what my plans are tonight.

Okay, that kind of made it sounded like I was gonna try to get at my grandma.  No!  I meant that I don’t have plans.  My grandma is just a sweet old woman being sweet.

I’m single, okay!  I admit it!

But even though I’ll admit it here, I am definitely not going to announce it on social media.   And I know you won’t either.

But what we can do is pretend we do have a significant other by taking pictures that make it look like we have a significant other.

“But how do I do that?” You ask.

“My best bud isn’t willing to put on a wig,” you say.

First, you don’t need anyone else.  You can do it all on your own and achieve amazing results.

Second, in doing this, you can say a big f*** you to Valentines day and all it’s horribleness.

Thirdly, if anyone has any single friends shoot me an email.

Anyway.  Here’s a a little photo tutorial courtesy also-single-person Rain Yokohama:

Single Couple Trick

Whole new meaning of foot fetish. 

Single Couple Trick

Unlike Jerry, this guy loves Man Hands

Single Couple Trick

I would never date someone who leaves the fork in their grip whilst wiping the shmutz off my face. 

Single Couple Trick

If your partner is going to be fake anyway, why make them one of those I-draw-on-sleeping-people’s-faces jerks? (I’m looking at you, high school football team.)

Single Couple Trick

Tender like chicken.

Single Couple TrickThis kid has so many skills; I can never manage to keep my eyes closed.

Also, side note, isn’t weird how when you are a kid you would get a Valentine from everyone and yet, you would still find significance in the Valentine you got from your crush even though it was the same as everybody else’s?   God, we still do that nonsense as adults.  Like when someone we are into texts us about something that has nothing to do with love.  We put significance where there isn’t any.  Is this similar?  I think.  Probably.  It’s a discussion for another time.  Kids are so dumb.

I just keep writing because the sooner I finish this, the sooner I have to go back to the reality of my single hood.

We are gonna be okay, everybody.

Thank you Rain Yokohama for the epic pictures and giving us some joy on this dark day.


Captions by Breindel

Cover Photo by Kelly Sikkema

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Australian Photography Magazine Announces 2017 Photographer of The Year Winners Wed, 14 Feb 2018 20:00:43 +0000

Australian Photography Magazine has announced the winners of the 2017 Photographer of the Year.

The competition, in its 5th year, is only open to amateur photographers who are residents of Australia or New Zealand, though the pictures themselves can be taken anywhere in the world.

Each photographer submits four photos in the specific category.  The categories include:

  • Wildlife and Animal 
  • Travel
  • Landscape 
  • People and Portrait
  • Black and White
  • Junior Photographer of The Year

There is also a single image entry for the category of

  • Photo of the Year. 
  • Pro Photo of the Year (which is open to all photographers, professional and amateur)

A panel of professional photographers, both Australian and international, vote on a winner for each category as well as an overall winner.

Editor Mike O’Connor said:

“The challenge for entrants is not just shooting one or two great images, but compiling a series of four that work seamlessly together.”

Overall Winner & Wildlife and Animal:

Jordan Robins. “Tale of The Turtle”


Kristyn Taylor. “Across the Pass”


Tim Fan. “The Beauty of New Zealand’s North Island” 

People and Portrait

Yunis Tmeizeh. “Coney Island 17”

Black and White

Matthew Tuffield. “Shapes of Architecture”

Junior Photographer of the Year

Nikolay Miroshnichenko. “Daemons”

Photo of the Year

Timothy Moon. “The Wave”

Pro Photo

Rosemary Rossi. “The Barber”

From there website:

A full list of winners, runner ups, and 20 finalist across all categories can be found in the February issue of the magazine.

“Australian Photography has one simple goal – to help you be a better photographer. Each month we profile leading shooters, review the latest gear and share useful tips to help you improve the way you go about planning, shooting, editing and sharing your images.”

They also do a monthly competition with a specific theme chosen: weather, wildlife, street, etc,.  Unfortunately, again, to win, you have to be a resident of Australia.  Fortunately, again, for everyone else, you can view all the awesome photos (all entries and winners) on their website and maybe get to see a side of Australia you haven’t seen before.

Cover Photo by Alex Wong

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“Free-Photo Gate” Continues: Photojournalist Responds, Poynter President Blames “Reality” Wed, 14 Feb 2018 17:58:52 +0000

Last Thursday, Poynter, the renowned journalism institute, published a conversation between two in-house reporters on how to get free images to go alongside a story. Their message: “No image, no problem.”

The Poynter Institute for Media Studies. (PRNewsFoto/The Poynter Institute)

“No Image, no problem.”

While conceding that stories without images—a.k.a “just a block of text”—typically flounder on social media, their comments have struck many as demeaning to photojournalists. They agree, for example, that finding an image is an “awful, time-consuming process.”

The meat of their story was that for image-strapped newsrooms, free photo sharing websites—like Unsplash and Pexels—can be a great resource to “help you find awesome images that you don’t have to pay for.” The ethics of doing so, meanwhile, only get mentioned on the “One last thought” section gracing the bottom of the page.

Photojournalists and others came out in droves to criticize Poynter for what was now being referred to as “free-photo gate”; I reported on some of it.

In response, Poynter has published two seperate pieces: one, by Poynter-affiliated visual journalist Mark E. Johnson, and another by Poynter president Neil Brown. Here are some of the highlights:


Mark’s Letter

Mr. Johnson [Photo Courtesy Grady College]

“Good visuals increase engagement.”

Mark was clearly distraught that Poynter—many of whose members he considers “dear friends”—had, with their endorsement of the primacy of text over images, “raze[d] everything I have done over the last quarter century” as an advocate for visual journalism.

Rather than cut ties with Poynter, he decided to use their platform to spread his message. In a published letter, he laid out three suggestions for the institute going forward:

  1. Acknowledge the Fury – He asks that they “append a statement” to the original posting—which they refused to take down—”summarizing the outpouring of opposition” it received. [Update: they’ve done this, writing “we heard from many esteemed journalists who were critical of our approach”]
  2. Investigate the Process – He suggests Poynter pursue a “well-reported piece” on how journalists across the globe can “develop the skills to think about the visual aspects of a story,” rather than placing them on the back-burner. 
  3. Training & Payment – Finally, he urges “the development of more training” to help visual and textual editors communicate and learn from each other, as well as pressuring “upper management” to take images seriously. “Good visuals increase engagement,” he reiterates, so “their creation and acquisition is a cost that must be factored into a journalism organization’s business plan.”  


Neil’s Letter

Mr. Brown [Photo Courtesy Tampa Bay Times]

“the realities of an industry”

Mr. Brown, while acknowledging that the article “understandably offend[ed] many,” stressed that the original dialogue in it—reporters discussing how to find free, high-quality images—is a “very real conversation that we know from experience is happening frequently in newsrooms or among small teams of producers.”

These, he says, are “the realities of an industry where many newsrooms don’t have visual journalists as employees anymore.” While their approach was flawed—using “cold, practical terms” that were bound to have “struck a nerve”—this was not meant to be malicious, but an honest reflection of editors’ day-to-day decision making.

Unfortunately, Mr. Brown admits, this approach “didn’t make room for how deep — and personal — the issues run.”



Here’s some feedback:


Feature Image Courtesy mike 

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6 Films With Unique Color Schemes And What We Can Learn from Them Wed, 14 Feb 2018 15:28:27 +0000

A film can be inspiring and funny and wonderful, but if it wasn’t created with an artist’s eye, it will fall away from the public’s consciousness like that.

Humans are visual creatures. Cinematographers and directors have to be creative with composition if they want to capture the attention of the audience. Visually striking pieces like these are the ones that have left the audience feeling as if they’ve journeyed to another world.  They took advantage of color, and immersed their audiences into another land.

You can do the same with your photography.  If you are willing to experiment, and to work to find the colors that will capture the mood of your portfolio, you will be able to successfully create images that astound and inspire people.


1.) Life of Pi (2012)

tiger, boat, water, yellow

Ang Lee’s Life Of Pi has taught cinematographers and directors to be bold with their choice of color.  Swathed in golds and blues, this film is a visual treasure chest that sweeps you across the ocean.  If you wish to inspire your audience to seek adventure and the natural beauty of the sea, take a leaf out of the Life of Pie’s book and experiment with bold colors.


2.) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)clock, man, sunglasses

A curious case, indeed.  Unlike Life of Pi, Curious Case utilizes subdued colors to capture the mood of the film.  As Benjamin ages backwards, the colors grow brighter as he gets younger.  But as he reaches birth, or, in the case of the story, death, the colors become subdued again.  The strength of the colors in this film vary as the mood changes, demonstrating to us that the colors in your images can work to tell a story.


3.) Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

girl, tree, opening

Pan’s Labyrinth is a perfect example of how color can set the tone between two different worlds.  When the characters experience the real world, they are surrounded by yellows and greens.  In the scenes where they are faced with monsters and magical curiosities, the composition suddenly turns blue and dark. Pan’s Labyrinth is unique because, while both worlds are distinctly different, the tone throughout the film is eerie because of the sharp shadows that strike across the character’s faces.


4.) Amelie (2001)

amelie, red room, green shirt

This charming tale is composed in reds and greens, which evoke feelings of love and luck. This harsh juxtaposition of color not only catches the eye of the viewer, it sets the mood for the film as well.


5.) Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

lighthouse, blue sky, police car

Wes Anderson is known for his bright, comic-book like color schemes.  Through this, he has made his work some of the most identifiable in the world of film.  If you want to feel inspired by the world of color like you were as a kid, take a moment to watch any of Wes Anderson’s work.


6.) Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind (2004)

blue, dark, bedroom , dim

Starring Jim Carrey as Joel and Kate Winslet as Clementine, Eternal Sunshine tells the story of a man who erases his memory of the woman that he once loved.  As most of the film takes place in Joel’s mind, like a dream, the composition in this piece is dark and jarring.  Composed of blues and grays, Eternal Sunshine demonstrates that an image can be affective even if it just utilizes cool color tones.


Feature Photo Courtesy Amelie


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6 Reasons You Need A Telephoto Lens For Landscape Photography Tue, 13 Feb 2018 19:00:04 +0000

Professional photographer Andy Mumford has released a great video on reasons why you should haul that telephoto lens around with you when taking pictures of landscapes.  Using his own amazing photos, Andy breaks down how a telephoto lens can enhance your landscape photography. 

Throughout the video, Andy uses a wide-angle lens for comparison (the other popular lens for landscape), stating that wide angle lenses push everything away while giving the foreground a dominant aspect in the image.  A telephoto lens, on the other hand, brings the scene closer rather than pushing it away.  It creates a narrower field of view, resulting in a compressed perspective, causing the distance between subjects to become less distinguishable.  

“Particularly in an elevated location, somewhere with a lot of hills or mountains, telephoto lens will just give you a whole new perspective it opens a whole new ways of shooting and that’s why for me a telephoto lens is an absolutely essential piece of kit for landscape photography.”

If you don’t have time for the twenty minutes video, then here is a recap of the six reasons you should have a telephoto lens:

1. It Compresses The Perspective

The telephoto lens brings background and foreground together and emphasizes certain elements. You can fit much more in the frame, which will work better for particular scenes.

2. In Case of Backlit Mist

A telephoto lens works better when atmospheric conditions like mist or fog or haze separates the different parts of the scene (for example, mist on the valley floor between mountains).  It reenforces the perception of layers in the landscape.

3. For Minimal and Abstract Compositions

Less is more.  Create “minimal, abstract, simple compositions.”  The telephoto lens forces you to focus on the most important element in the shot instead of trying to get everything into the frame.  You are able to compose a scene with simplicity in mind, reducing the scene to its most basic form, and creating the cleanest landscapes. 

4. It Has a Single Point of interest

A telephoto lens allows you to find a single point of interest in the photo.  Something for the eye to focus on that interrupts the pattern in the landscape. (His example included a caravan of camel’s in the far distance in a vast desert landscape.)

5. It Can Exclude The Foreground

At times, the foreground may be unappealing, an element that may not add anything to the photo (and might even take away from it).  A telephoto lens can look past the uninteresting foreground and focus on the interesting parts in the distance.

6. It Can Exclude The sky

Sometimes the sky in your shot will be uninteresting, providing nothing but empty space, or perhaps it may even be too bright, reducing the impact of the image.  The telephoto lens allows you to cut out the sky when it is unneeded.

If you liked the video, you should go to Andy Mumford’s youtube channel here.  He has a ton of awesome videos.

Cover Photo by Redd Angelo

Landscape Photo 1 by Jakub Kriz

Landscape Photo 2 by Daniel Frank

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