I surround myself with creative and inspiring visionaries. One of them is a conceptual photographer and illustrator named Elena Ohlander, whom I am happy to call my best friend. Her focus is in conceptual self-portraiture and illustration that deals with identity, gender issues, space, individuality, and pop culture. Her main influences are Taiyo Matsumoto, Gregory Crewdson, Paolo Roversi, Cindy Sherman, and Japanese aesthetic.
For those of you may not know, we recently created a 20 hour photography tutorial with the incredible Joey Wright on all things swimsuit photography and retouching. We've been posting a weekly behind the scenes series of the creation of this tutorial. This is Episode 4.
Birth photography has become a popular sub-genre of documentary photography that shows the raw, real, and beautiful journey of bringing new life to the planet. It seems fitting to spend a few minutes on this Mother's Day remembering how your mom earned the right to exclaim: "Hey, I brought you into this world, so [insert personalized threat]!"
I’m sure most of us have been there before: standing on a street corner, your “camera bag that doesn’t look like a camera bag” slung casually over your shoulder. Your camera is in hand, its strap hanging loose, dancing in the summer breeze. You raise the rangefinder window to your eye and snap: the perfect shot of a homeless man! He looks really sad; this will finally change everyone's mind — straight to Instagram. But there’s a fine line between biting social commentary and “Poverty Porn,” and sometimes, it's hard to see which side you’re on.
After recently buying 200 tintypes from the deep archives of estate sales, eBay, and Etsy auctions, I became transfixed by seeking out if there was still anyone making imagery using this 160-year-old process. I found a wide range of Instagram accounts ranging from those just starting out to those with thousands of followers. These are the top 10 tintype photographers that stood out with their compelling visuals and dedication to keeping this lost art alive.
I recently posted an engagement photo in a Facebook group and immediately got a comment on it. The comment said: "Awful expression on her face... would not keep this picture." Although I have pretty thick skin when it comes to snide comments and CC on my images, this comment really got under my skin.
After receiving almost 300 submissions to my previous raw file challenge (inspired by Dani's post last year), I decided to cap the entries at 200, because why not, and also put out a second raw file and an all new challenge. This time, with a shot of model Anna Truett, shot inside the Union Station Hotel convention area in St. Louis.
Recently I babbled on and on about shadow and highlight recovery using raw data in Capture One Pro, something I still fully endorse and recommend you do in your post production work when recovery is needed or wanted. However, feedback and practical thinking made me create a simple Photoshop Action that sets up one of my more common methods for simple shadow recovery, but in a refined and manual way.
You don’t need the best gear to take good photos, but it sure doesn’t hurt to have them. RGG EDU just dropped the covers on their latest tutorial featuring one of world’s greatest, two-time winner of the esteemed “International Photographer of the Year Award”, Sandro Miller.
I’m a nerd. There, I said it. It’s out there now, and it’s never coming back. I’m adamant that all facets of life are infinitely improved by statistics. I paw over numbers, percentages, and graphs for academia, sports, science, films... the list rolls on. Even reeling off the sort of stats I like makes me want to forge some sort of Excel spreadsheet to identify the stats for which areas benefit the most from stats. Sorry, I digress. The point is fewer things are richer in information than statistics. We often use this approach to compare lenses and cameras, but what if we could apply it to something far more subjective: portraiture?
On one side, we have advertising photography, where everything is contrived and meant to look a certain way. It might as well be a painting with how planned out each step is. On the other, we have photojournalism. As the opposite, true photojournalism should never be staged, posed or "created." The idea is to capture what is and has happened. Unlike a painting, photography has the power to show real time exactly how it is with no artistic interpretation. What captivates me is when those two worlds collide to create art with purpose, and that is exactly what Clay Cook has done with his portraits of impoverished youth in Ethiopia.
I am calling this the "Dani Diamond Experiment", because he has done this before, and I thought the end results were fascinating. See, Dani's been known to offer a totally unedited raw file of an image he shot as a free download, asking photographers and retouchers to have a go at finalizing the shot however they see fit. Rather than specifically ask anyone to retouch the image in any particular style or use any particular workflow, the idea is to simply offer the raw file with no instructions beyond "Edit it!" and see what happens.
Think for a moment about the Tolkien-inspired visions flashing though the mind of Robert Plant as he penned the mystical lyrics to “Ramble On.” Vast landscapes with wandering figures, uncertain of their destination, but driven by their journey. Now get ready to scroll down and get the same feeling.