Articles written by Maximilian Benner
Modern digital cameras produce an almost impeccable representation of what is in front of the lens. Since the camera has been invented, the industry strives to recreate reality as accurately as possible. People oftentimes judge photo and video based on its technical accuracy. But who established that this would be the ultimate goal?
Platon is a widely acclaimed British portrait photographer. His portfolio includes, among others, images of the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, former president of the United States, Barack Obama, and the chilling portrait of revolutionary chairman of Libya, Muammar al-Gaddafi. His book "Power," shows portraits of more than 100 famous and infamous, past and present heads of state.
I have been struggling with my bad filing hierarchy for years. An inefficient, inconsistent, or straight up bad folder structure not only robs you of of your hard-earned time but it can also sabotage entire projects, hiding your files in the deepest, darkest corners of your hard drive, nowhere to be found ever again. I recently came up with a system that enables me to easily and efficiently store files as well as retrieve them. Follow along to hopefully also put an end to your digital storage struggles.
Usually, people preach long lenses for portraiture. They can give you strong bokeh and they don't distort faces. But what makes an appealing portrait? Perfection? Admittedly, you can't rule out anything. Perfection in portraiture is desirable, but mostly as a base requirement. Perfection can only take you so far. What is certain is that when looking at portraiture we are looking for something to hang on to. We are looking for something that we can relate to and engage with.
In order to evolve as photographers, we need to keep making pictures and push our personal and professional boundaries. Stagnation can be one of the most demotivating situations to experience, as a photographer and as a human being. On a day off, AKA the freelancer's life, with nothing more to do than reading, watching tv shows or browsing the web, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to get up and do something productive. (Of course, slow times are important, but I'm sure you know what kind of days I am talking about.)
If we find somebody to be a genius, we tend to put them on a pedestal. We worship them in their own little Pantheon and are always trying to find out what makes them special. Richard Avedon, Steven Meisel, James Nachtwey, and countless others are adored and followed by many. But what makes a genius?
Barry Harley, an editorial photographer from Northern Virginia, took whatever tools he had at hand to create an image reminiscent of nothing less than Annie Leibovitz's Vanity Fair group portraits. The difference: Harley was using two Yongnuo YN-560 II speedlites and a Canon 5D Mark II whereas Leibovitz usually uses Profoto strobes together with a Hasselblad and Phase One back or a Nikon D810.
The times of oversaturating and selective coloring might be over, but clarity is here to pick up where those post-processing horrors left of. Now don’t get me wrong, I think that clarity is an amazing effect that can do wonders on your images… just not if you use it on the whole image and crank it to the max. I realize, that seeing this sudden increase in drama and grittiness might feel satisfying to some but too often has it used in attempts to turn uninteresting photos into something that they are not.
Deciding if you should go to photography school takes more than looking at its perks. First, you will have to realize who you are, where you are coming from, and where you want to go. Looking at the outrageous amount of money you will have to spend in order to attend university, the answer should be based first and foremost on what your needs are and what the school can offer you in order to satisfy those needs. Our society is pushing the belief that college education is intrinsic to a successful career, but modern facilities and prestigious professors won’t be justified as long as they are not essential in achieving your personal goal. Once you realized that, the decision is actually not that difficult.