Digital retouching is a touchy subject. Many see it as virtual plastic surgery, a dishonest concealment of the person’s true self — creating an unrealistic standard of beauty. Others view it as a means of helping a person look their best, or to achieve an artistic vision. Either way, there doesn’t seem to be much sign that this trend is about to change. Countless articles have been dedicated to this debate, but it is not every day that we hear a famous photographer weigh in on this issue. In this video, fashion photographer and past judge of America’s Next Top Model, Nigel Barker steps up to defend this form of image manipulation with some interesting justifications.
As the old adage goes, it’s not the gear, it’s the photographer that takes a good photo. While this is generally true, is there something to be said about $20,000 worth of Broncolor lighting gear? I mean a flash of light is a flash of light, right? Or is it?
Trade secrets exist in every industry known to man. In most industries, trade secrets are common, expected, and understood. No one gets all bent out of shape about Coca-Cola keeping their formula a mystery. No one stops using Google because they don't share their search algorithm. Without these secrets, a vast number of companies wouldn't even exist. The whole primus of having a trade secret is having the ability to do or create something no one else can recreate. With that being said, are we as photographers allowed to have trade secrets or are we obligated to share our knowledge with everyone?
Patrick Hall shared some opinions about what features our professional DSLRs absolutely should have, but don’t, going into 2015. And he was right. But as happy as having those features would make us, not one or even all of them would allow any single company to become the next Apple or Google of the photography world. However, there’s something bigger that no one is thinking about — or at least there aren’t any signs of it. Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, Phase One, Hasselblad; no one seems to be doing what it would really take.
From 3 megapixels to 10 megapixels to 50 megapixels, the world of photography has changed significantly over the last 10 years. With the changes in technology, we're always in battle to keep our work and data on the most current iteration. With the rumors of the next Apple MacBook Air, it seems that the USB port is under attack, making photographers everywhere questions how they can keep their work on the most recent format.
VSCO, Mastin Lab Presets, Florabella, and Pretty Presets. If you've looked for advice on retouching in the last few years, you've probably been recommended one of these preset and action systems at least once. They're designed to give you beautiful film simulation and color tones to make your images look great using a single click of the mouse - and I hate them all.
As a family photographer, I often find myself pushing the limits with how fast I'm moving. Sometimes I'm trying to get a shot before the 2-year-old child decides he hates what is happening, and other times I'm rushing to make sure I accomplish everything the family wanted to get. It doesn't matter what situation I'm in. Anytime I'm rushing, my images suffer. Last year at WPPI while attending one of Jerry Ghionis' classes, he said something that really stuck with me, and helped improve my photography. Ghionis said to slow down.
As photographers, it’s important to use all social media platforms as a marketing tool. Instagram is a personal favorite, but the upload process is by far the most annoying. There aren’t many options to upload images, but here is the most efficient workflow from resizing to uploading.
Having your own muse, a person on call who is willing and able to bring your creative ideas to life, is a gift. Traditionally female, muses have been the source of many artistic inspirations and great works of art, due to their beauty, character, or some other mysterious quality. Problem is, these collaborations can become murky as conflicting goals, crossed boundaries, and trust issues seep into what was “a good thing.” How can working with a muse revolutionize your work? Are the benefits of finding one worth the trouble?
If you’d asked me this question last week, I would have said no. What a difference a few days makes. Ruslan Pelykh, a New York City-based videographer and photographer, is creating outstanding video with a Leica D Lux 6, a 10 megapixel, $600 point and shoot. This post is a kick up the butt for anyone hanging on for a piece of gear as being the reason they can’t create with what they have. Welcome to creating more, with less.
When people walk through my living room studio, they are puzzled that I do not own or rent a permanent studio space. What many do not know is that when I’m contracted for a commercial assignment, about 80% of the time I must travel to a location or shot at the client’s home base. And, in many cases that requires transporting several 9 foot seamless backdrops and a whole lot of equipment. I don’t have a giant bus to haul all of my studio gear, so it’s been a trying experience to find the right tools to efficiently pack and tote my mobile studio.
In three years of working in photography, I've shot roughly 1,500 family sessions. I've dedicated all my time to growing my photography skills whether it be watching online tutorials, going to WPPI, reading articles, and reaching out to fellow photographers. In my time spent doing this, I've come to one major realization; photographers seem very guarded, opinionated, and close-minded. I've tried to understand what it is that stops us from helping one another? Is it the fear that we are training our competitors, are we bitter that we may have had to learn the hard way, or is it the fact that we are too proud to admit when someone is better than us?
Recently while filming video for our next educational tutorial with landscape photographer Elia Locardi I found myself asking, "Why in the world do our $4000 cameras still not do this?" Today I have laid out 12 simple features I believe would make all of our lives a lot easier, and most of them could probably be implemented right now! Give me your opinion in the full post poll.
Last week saw the release of ‘Anomaly’, a film that is redefining the approach and model for independent, narrative film making. Co-Director Salomon Ligthelm outlines how he managed the project as it grew from “a 2 minute art film” into the astonishing 38 minute-long final masterpiece, and provides key takeaways for all of us that we can apply to our own stills or motion projects. If you have any interest in what's coming over the horizon for cutting edge, independent, visual media production, this is for you.
With the year drawing to a close, and the new one just around the corner, it is at this time many of us reflect on what has happened and what we plan to achieve. Year after year it is the same story. We make a couple resolutions, we give it a good go for a few weeks, and then we fall back into some old routines that keep us from making progress. Here’s how I like to tackle my resolutions and keep myself on track each and every year!