Whether you’re brand new to photography, a seasoned veteran, or somewhere in-between, learning and re-learning the ins and outs of your craft is an essential part of the continuing education that comes along with being a photographer. If you’re a professional who makes a living on taking photos, then this is even more vital. Here are the most influential authors of the past 10 years who have helped me to understand everything from light itself through setting up my own office / studio.
When taking portraits with natural light, often times, there is one key aspect that is overlooked. This facet of naturally lit photos is far more important than things like shooting at a specific time of day. Before diving into what makes a naturally lit photo a spectacular one, it is important to know and understand the difference between artificial lighting and using natural light.
Seventy years ago, on January 27, Russian soldiers arrived to liberate less than 8,000 prisoners still remaining at Nazi-Germany's deadliest concentration camp, Auschwitz-Berkinau. During the camp's operation, Auschwitz' officers were responsible for an estimated 1.1 million deaths. To mark the historic liberation of the camp, BBC treated its audience to a unique view that embodies the eerie and gruesome history of the vast camp.
I have learned a lot over the years regarding pricing and bidding commercial photography. I still have a lot to learn. I've made mistakes (lots of them) and had some victories (fortunately). Sometimes as photographers we feel isolated on this psychological roller coaster of wins and losses. The reality is, no matter where you are in your photography career, no matter how big (or small) your clients are, we're all struggling with the same issues when it comes to bidding a gig.
As a photographer, my skill set is constantly put to the test. In most cases, I’m handed an idea on a slab of wood and the mission is to hand that idea translated to a tangible artifact back to my client on a silver platter. It’s never an easy process, but it’s a part of my job.
A big portion of my work comes from clients in the tactical and law enforcement industry. This past week I attended a trade show for my industry. I knew this was going to be an amazing opportunity to network, make connections, and, fingers crossed, make some new clients. I realized I needed to come up with a strategy that would set me up for success and assure that I got the most out of my experience. A made a list of ideas to try out. I took the ones that worked the best and developed this simple five step plan that will make your next trade show visit a beneficial one.
As a designer I've always been fascinated with branding and the history of logo marks across many top-tier brands. From Apple to Adidas, every brand has its story, and some of which are disputed. That includes Nike and their iconic Michael Jordan "Jumpman" logo mark used on the wildly famous Air Jordan shoe line. Photographer Jacobus Rentmeester is now suing Nike in Oregon Federal Court for copyright infringement on the photo he shot in 1985 of the famed basketball star in which he says the logo was based.
This week DigitalRev put up a video challenging Kai and Lok to build a decent photo kit from scratch for a thousand bucks. While $1,000 is a decent amount of coin for most people (certainly including myself), it wouldn't put too much of a dent in any pro's photo kit. Just two days ago, Michael Woloszynowicz posted an article showing off his fleet of awesome Broncolor lighting gear - a $20K setup! While I wouldn't care to start my own (small) kit over from scratch, I think it's a fun little mental experiment. Here's what I've come up with.
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.