What makes a photograph or movie memorable? With cinema as widespread as it is, a film needs to stand out in a big way, not only to succeed at the box office, but to be remembered in any capacity. As for photographs, it's the same challenge. We remember the Tiananmen Square protest photo because it captured the issues sweeping the globe in a single frame. Films like "The Shining" and "There Will Be Blood" are relatively simple in terms of visuals, but have stories that will forever make them classics. And that's exactly what makes a film or a photograph great: story.
Tintypes continue to fascinate us. Despite the process being over 150 years old, its methodical, almost meditative procedure and striking results have kept it alive. It's also a fairly scientific process that involves a good bit of chemistry. Check out this video to learn more about the technical and practical aspects of the practice of shooting tintypes.
South Africa's racial segregation laws and policies of the apartheid era may have ended 22 years ago, but the lingering effects of the forced separation of whites and blacks is getting another look through a photography project called "Unequal Scenes." It is the brainchild of American Photographer Johnny Miller, who now lives in Cape Town. What started as a post on his Facebook page, has morphed into a national and international dialog.
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.
In November 2015, my mom came up with some old photos of my deceased grandfather, which were negatives printed on film. She said that she had asked several photography studios if it was possible to get normal prints from the printed negatives, but the answer was always no. As those were some of the only photographs left of him, she had kept all of them with a hope. Years after, it was my turn to try. The process to get some decent prints and move my mom to tears was ever so easy.
From Vogue to People, including Playboy and National Geographic, all these popular magazines are familiar to us and instantly recognizable, but just a few of us know what their first editions looked like decades ago. As time passed by, bringing forth new faces, new fashion, and a whole new way of thinking, magazines needed to evolve with their time and adapt. Some have stayed faithful to their initial visual identity, having only undergone minor changes because they knew what worked for them. On the other hand, other magazines covers have changed drastically, their covers being a far cry from the original design.
Ah, the selfie stick. And here we were thinking this was a new invention! Taken in 1934, Helmer Larsson and his wife, Naemi Larsson, show true human ingenuity as they pose for a portrait together in Wermland, Sweden, using a literal selfie stick. I think this is the first photograph I've seen where a selfie stick doesn't make the user look like an absolute tool.
COOPH Video Director, Matthew Rycroft, continues to make my job easier by sending me engaging content to share with the Fstoppers' community. Their latest video focuses on the ability, we all have as photographers, to capture unique, iconic, and fun moments. Watch "The Power of a Photograph," as it highlights twenty-two iconic photos that depict loss, depression, defiance, bravery, triumph, love and respect.
This gruesome photograph became pivotal anti-war propaganda that drastically shaped public opinion. The horrific frozen frame depicts a baptismal moment of unwavering distinction, a moment in a time that could not be undone, an elevated wartime tension that could not be unraveled. In this sense, the photograph was successful. It was shocking and characteristic in its ability to drive the anti war movement, protesting against brutality of the Vietnam conflict. But, what you can't see, is enough to change your perspective completely.
In this video essay, Evan Puschak aka The Nerdwriter explains some of the techniques Ansel Adams used to achieve his technical and esthetic mastery. Using visualization and some other relatively easy to learn techniques, Adams learned to bring what he saw in his mind's eye to his photographs (yes, I said "easy to learn," but hard to master). It was Adams' commitment to taking photographs, with intent, that made him a master artist and led him to develop the tools he needed to bring his images to fruition.
As someone who makes a full time living working as a photographer I am often asked for advice on how to get started and how to make it in this career. Despite the seemingly impossible odds, it is in fact quite possible to make a fantastic living in this industry. Former assistant to Mario Testino, Alexi Lubomirski, has created one of the best videos I've seen describing the persistence and tenacity required to succeed. If you are looking for a dose of motivation I highly recommend giving this a watch.
If you frequent this site, there's a pretty good chance you love photography. But how much do you actually know about its origins? Most of us rightfully jump to the camera obscura when thinking about the beginnings of photography, but how did we get from there to today's modern cameras? Have you ever wondered what the first photo ever taken was of? Or what the world's first color photo was of?