The question of whether or not to do free work is always pressing. The debate becomes a grey area of ambiguity with many people firmly on one side or the other, and the rest of us stuck somewhere in between questioning our self worth as artists. There are strong arguments on both sides of the arena. Over the course of my career I have wandered back and forth across the defining line only to lately land in the anti-free work position, and here is why.
Everyone’s life journey is different and often the road of the bravest leads to the most unexpected discoveries and inspiring experiences. It is never someone else’s decision of which path we take in our way and what we become. Henri Matisse, one of the giants of modern art, once said that creativity takes courage and I can’t agree more. We, as humans, have an obligation to grow as a person, as a professional,and as an artist, and inspiration plays a major role in this process.
Point and shoot. That's how many people think about modern photography. A lot of things we take for granted today developed in the 1800s, including photography. Exposures took days until Louis Daguerre invented his daguerreotype process, which reduced days to minutes and produced clearer, more detailed images. At about the same time, the Victorian Period began with the ascension of Queen Victoria to the British throne. Disease was rampant and mortality rates were high, especially among children under five years old. Arguably, these were contributing factors to the unintended birth of portrait photography.
When I sat down to read the copy of Picture Perfect Lighting by Roberto Valenzuela my first expectation was a book that parroted much of the same content that many other photography books had already laid out many times in the past. Basic lighting tips, the exposure triangle; the usual sorts of stuff that you'd expect from a typical book on photography. To my surprise, however, Picture Perfect Lighting offers a delightfully unique glimpse into lighting that can help beginners and veterans alike.
The first competition in 2014 attracted hundreds of entries from all over the world. Now, the Craft & Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) in Los Angeles and the Farhang Foundation have put out a call for entries for the second, biennial juried exhibition of contemporary photography and video works relating to Iranian culture and heritage. The submission period opened June 1st and runs through August 8, 2016. Up to 40 photographs and videos will be selected by a panel of seven jurors for inclusion in a group exhibition at CAFAM from January 2017 to May 2017.
Awakening your creative mind can be a challenge, but from my previous article "Fstoppers Creative Photography Challenge (Part One)" I hope that these challenges are helping you overcome your creative rut. Sometimes it's hard to spot simple things and sometimes you just don't have that drive to take that photo. There are tons of options to sharpen you creative skills, but I find these challenges relaxing. Here are some more added challenges for you to continue.
Video is something I have begun to play with over the last few weeks in the form of a vlog on YouTube, but as you might know it's difficult to gain that organic reach you're used to on social platforms. That doesn't mean its impossible, but by using various other channels to advertise and push them to that new content is key in today's world. That is where vertical video comes in on Instagram! Yes, it might be annoying as hell to see yet another vertical video, but hold tight as I walk you through why this is a brilliant place to use it and also how you can do it yourself.
It's not often someone contacts you about chemistry and superheroes, but when someone does, you pay attention. Nikolay of ArtNauka showed me a project they have been working on where they combine a superhero theme with chemical elements and reactions to create a series of striking portraits.
Landscape photography is the often stigmatized genre of it not communicating anything other than display of beautiful imagery at best. In this epic arc series, I strive to provide an integral resource for working on your own landscape images. We’ll cover planning, shooting, and post-processing, and talk about anything from composition to colour theory. And for the more advanced photographers, we’ll include the use of shapes, tropes, and negative space to aid in compelling visual storytelling. This week: A composition primer.
Everyone makes mistakes, this we know, but there are some unforgivable mishaps which plague the nightmares of filmmakers regardless of the scale and budget of the production. Some of these would include forgetting to pack an essential piece of gear, forgetting to hit record before a great take, or losing footage, but none of these can compare to dropping an Arri Alexa.
The recent controversy surrounding Steve McCurry and his use of Photoshop has raised both questions relating to his past work and broader questions of representation in photography. Though an increasing number of images showing evidence of cloning and other manipulations have been uncovered, recently, two videos have surfaced that raise further questions.