I haven’t seen much on this topic, but a brief conversation with another photographer recently illuminated to me the fact that photographer anxiety is not at all uncommon. One of the reasons I believe it isn’t discussed a great deal is the general image of today’s top photographers.
Articles written by Robert K Baggs
Image sharpness is, for the most part, a false economy. It is mistakenly believed to be synonymous with image quality; that isn't the case. One major difference is that image quality has a ceiling and once reached (if that's even possible), the image cannot be any better in terms of quality. However, with the sharpness of an image, you can far exceed the perfect amount (again, if there is such a thing), and it begins to cost your image dearly.
You are going to fail because you cannot fight the chaos. I don’t believe that, but this article is very sensible and the real first line of this piece wasn’t catchy enough: structure, organization, and discipline are the foundations of being successful and self-employed. If my formative years were anything to go by, I was the antithesis of all three. Thankfully, determination and maturity seeped in and I became obsessed with how I could be the most productive, organized, and disciplined without a boss or a separate office building and with the constant lure of Netflix.
Beauty and fashion retouching has been controversial for so long that some of the argument's ground has been conceded. For example, skin retouching is rarely debated anymore and it's merely a "given" that someone in an advert or magazine will have had their skin corrected. However, criticizing body manipulation in Photoshop is very much still in vogue (if you'll excuse that glorious pun).
For years, I enjoyed cinematography and photography as almost non-overlapping magisteria. I was fully aware that they played by many of the same rules, but I didn't entertain the idea of extracting elements of cinematography and inserting them into my images until much later.
Photography changes year after year, but it's a gradual evolution. However, one area of photography that has been accelerating faster than the others has to be time-lapses. The videos have been getting longer, the shots more dynamic where a dolly is more common, and the quality is getting to the point of staggering. It seems that every frame could be pulled and used in a landscape portfolio. Adding to this trend is photographer Joe Capra with his 12K-resolution time-lapse of Los Angeles.
I remember, way back when I first started trying my hand at portrait photography, the cold realization that I didn't really know how to direct a shoot. I wasn't horrible at it, but I lacked confidence due to a lack of experience and I made a mental note to work on it. It's now years later and I'm still working on it and I will keep working on it until I stop picking up a camera. If you haven't already, you will quickly realize that how you act during a shoot is of the same importance as your technical ability.
Light painting is one of the rights of passage photographers have to try at some juncture. I enjoyed playing around with it in the early days, but what surprised me is I have used the techniques commercially on several occasions; from creating better backgrounds to my portraits in dark locations to capturing English Heritage sites. The importance of knowing how to light paint isn't necessary per se, but it does help you understand how light works and how your camera exposes a scene.
I'm not sure how many more times I can read the repugnant merging of two disparate words without writing a furious letter to someone, but I'll do my best to soldier on through. For any sentient being, the last few days have been filled with the word "Brexit," more so if you live on this little angry island I inhabit. The reach of the impact of this momentous event is both wide and largely unknown. That said, there's a very real chance it will affect many of us camera folk.
As much of a Game of Thrones fan as I am, the scene in Sunday's episode that has had everyone talking, "Battle for Winterfell" or "Battle of the Bastards," resonated with me for two reasons. The first is the same as most people who watched it: the scene was epic — not epic in the way kids these days use the word, but in the sense of it being truly gargantuan and awesome. The second reason was the curiosity of the photographer in me on how something of that scale could be shot.
Any time there is a case of nepotism in photography — like with Burberry and the oldest spawn of the Beckhams earlier this year — there is a colossal backlash and insatiable rage. In a time prior to refreshing social media four times an hour, although I could see the motivation for nepotism in fashion photography, it was tantamount to indefensible in my books. Now, however, I have a harder time working out why companies wouldn't favor their elite friendship circles for recruiting photographers.
Where studio portraiture often lacks in external interest and bokeh, it makes up for in image quality, clarity, and full light control. However, always shooting on a black or white backdrop is wildly limiting but having a whole host of different backdrops and changing them can be a pain in the proverbial. There is a much easier way to change your background completely in camera using only light and the right shade of gray.
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.
This is an article I've been on the cusp of writing for some time. I was first jolted into this area of discussion when I heard someone refer to the photography of poorer cultures and communities as "white middle-class photography." I say jolted because — perhaps naively — I had drawn no parallels between types of photographer and types of subject before that day. Unlike most criticisms about photography, this comment didn't glide past me; instead, I found myself plunged into an internal debate. Are the loose motivations of "raising awareness for" and "the documentation of" these communities disingenuous and moreover, are they doing more harm than good?
Light painting is a rite of passage in photography these days, like landscapes, macro, or starting a shoot with your lens cap on. In fact, it has become such a trend in the photography world that it has already become jaded and stale to a large extent. That's not to say there aren't still fantastic light painted images, but rather that it has become so easy to do that there's an abundance of very similar results. A natural consequence of this is people trying to forge a derivation that's fresh and unique, which is exactly what FilmSpektakel has done.
I'm always drawn to behind the scenes videos. I can't decide whether it's seeing how other photographers work or gazing at the equipment I now want to buy. It's probably a little from column A and a little from column B. This behind the scenes video is by Studio NEXT-IMAGE and shows photographer Sails Chong creating world-class shot after world-class shot in Japan using the Hasselblad H5D and Broncolor Siros L.
I remember seeing this video when it first came out and it stuck with me. Then, while planning a shoot with some lion cubs this coming weekend (you may launch jealousy fuelled insults my way for that), I looked it up again. When photographer Chris McLennan attached a DSLR to a remote control 4x4 car and then drove it across the plains of Botswanna in to prides of lions, it yielded — rather expectedly — unique and beautiful results.
There are few shoots where everyone involved gets to have a great time, but this is one of them. Sony Electronics teamed up with Tony Hawk and Aaron "Jaws" Homoki to conduct a photo shoot of skateboarding in zero gravity. I had to take a moment when I first read the video's description to quash my simmering jealousy at how unthinkably enjoyable some people's lives are. The official press release doesn't hold back on inciting jealousy of both the content of the shoot and the tools at hand (for both Sony shooters and camera nerds with less allegiance).
As a British person, I have an innate talent for moaning, queuing, and observing humour about our ever-changing weather. One spring morning last month, while wiping the snow off my sunglasses and mopping the sweat off my brow with my thermal gloves, I began to ponder the first of this talent trifecta. One rich vein of moan material is mistakes, and being conscious of my miserable inner monologue, I attempted to shift the focus to something more useful.