Let's face it, it is about to be 2015. As in, 15 years after the change to the new millennium. We are firmly in what we used to call "the future" when I was a kid, and technology is overwhelming us with brutal amazingness every couple of weeks. The youth of today have no idea what life is like sans smartphones (read: access to almost every piece of information in the world at any time in your pocket) or social media platforms. To them, life is one big pile of over shared, overseen and overly celebrated schlock mixed in with useful bits of knowledge, and it is all taken for granted. The digital world isn't coming, it is here, and has been. So who in the right mind gives a crap about a printed photograph anymore?
People often forget that all successful photographers started from the bottom. This knowledge should be an aspiring photographer's motivation that fuels every action and re-touch. Each person has the ability to exceed beyond expectations; to set goals and reach them. In the future, you may look back at your work with embarrassment. Remembering where you started from should be a source of pride. The growth of 20 popular photographers in their retouching skills might be the greatest source of inspiration.
A new photo series on display at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Arts explores the handful of countries that have declared sovereignty that no one knows about. In his “Lands in Limbo” project, photographer Narayan Mahon documents the seemingly non-existent countries of Abkhazia, Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh, Somaliland, and Northern Cyprus, all share one thing in common - the lack of international recognition. In many cases, he was surprised to find that many of them actually functioned better than he thought. “It’s not chaos. It’s not lawless,” he tells Slate.
These days it's hard to come by a fashion shoot that's not shot with a digital camera. That's why when Fstoppers discovered on a Facebook Film Shooters group that Indonesian based photographers Wirawan Sanjaya and partner Gaillard Mathieu had convinced the editors at Bazaar Magazine to allow him to shoot the entire editorial on film, we just had to reach out! The stakes were high, but his results were stunning.
Artificial lighting can be overwhelming, there are thousands of options to modify one single light source and there are dozens of companies that claim they have the best product and best bang for your buck. Regardless, photography equipment is expensive and I know I'd rather not waste money on a gimmick product when the same result could be achieved with just the right strobe placement or accessory.
Allow me to state that for the record before we dive in here, gear does not make the photographer. A talented artist can make an image with whatever falls into their palm, but for those of us who have the luxury of choice, be it the pocket sized Ricoh dangling from Moriyama's wrist, or Crewdson's cherrywood 8x10, a powerful image is about the framing of a moment, the machine it is seen through only serves simplify and streamline the process.
Reviewing our old photographic work can be a little daunting. As styles change and skills improve, we start to notice what was once a hero image is now sorely lacking in quality and perhaps even embarrassing to look at. I propose that it is a good thing if you hate your old photographs because it could be a sign that your taste is improving. Having a refined visual taste is arguably one of the most important factors to developing as a photographer. It guides all our creative and technical decisions, but it is also one of the most elusive qualities to develop.
While it’s a part of life most people try to avoid, for her latest project, Danish photographer Cathrine Ertmann decided to put death right in the spotlight. “About Dying,” a photo essay she created in collaboration with journalist Lise Hornung, takes on the subject of immortality in an anonymous and universal tone rather than through the stories of the specific subjects she photographed. In a sense, by doing this, it comfortably helps bring the viewer much closer to the intimacy of their own fates.
Each year, TIME Magazine picks and highlights the best photography books of the 12 months prior. This year, they’ve put a special focus on the growing trend of bucking the traditional publishing system as many of their choices fall in the realm of self-publishing and self-promotion. This was made most evident when many of TIME’s editors picked the same book for the top spot, Magnum Photographer Peter van Agtmael’s self-published Disco Night September 11, an often brutal look at America post-September 11.
You never know what’s going to happen in New York. Last week, photographic gold was struck in Times Square in the deep cavernous archives inside the Conde Nast building. Two thousand prints shot by Edward Steichen, one of 20th Century’s most influential photographers, were found after lying hidden for over eighty years. The story behind them, and of Steichen’s rise to photographic fame and acclaim, are almost too unbelievable to be true.
Flickr's tumultuous history has been well documented over the years, but this photo sharing site has been fighting back with revamped designs, generous storage for users and new photographic services. Among these initiatives is a new Wall Art service, allowing users to make prints from a mind blowing 50 million freely-licensed Creative Commons images as well as Flickr hand-selected collections. While this service provides an opportunity for photographers to have greater exposure and to make money from their work, some are very upset with how their photographs are being treated.
While sharing drinks with a friend, he started inquiring as to how I’m able to supplement my income with video editing projects. The more we talked, the more I realized that a lot of people have the ability and skill to do it, but they don’t understand the small things that can make or break being successful at it. In this post, I’ll share what I’ve learned about being a freelance editor.
Two things you can't get enough of: Benedict Cumberbatch and Dan Winters. Cumberbatch stars in The Imitation Game - opening next week - as Alan Turing. Dan Winters photographs him for the cover of TIME. Dan Winters' perfect attention to detail is on full display here - personally building various set pieces and even having an authentic WWII Enigma machine hand-delivered from a museum six hours away.
I have always associated a romance with being a specialist photographer, whether this be in the area of weddings, fashion, automotive or dreamy tintype portraits. You are valued as a master in your field and people want you for the style that you create. On the other hand, there are positives in working in multiple industries as a photographer. You rarely get bored due to the variety of work you do, and it’s fun to learn new skills and adapting to various situations. You might have to manage different “identities” but that suits you fine because you love the challenge conquering different fields.