Last night, National Geographic Traveler announced the winners of their 25th annual photo contest, and as you can imagine, the images are nothing short of amazing. The prizes weren't bad either - the winning photographer received a 10-day Galápagos expedition for two - so one could assume there would be a lot of competition. The contest received over 15,500 entries. Of those, here are the top 11...
Articles written by Chris Knight
Nick Suarez is a beauty and fashion photographer based out of New York City. Early in his photographic career, he has already developed some pretty impressive skills. It’s that visual competency combined with his high level of photographic literacy that give him an edge with the next generation of photographers.
"40 years ago [William Eggleston] dragged color, kicking and screaming, into the world of art photography." In this fascinating documentary from BBC's Imagine, we get a small glimpse at a photographic icon. William Eggleston was born in Tennessee in 1939 and raised in Mississippi. Inspired by Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eggleston is credited with being the first photographer to give serious artistic credibility to color film.
It’s very easy to get used to the option of being able to “spray and pray” – shoot a nearly obscene amount of photographs and hope for a few that meander over the line to above average. I know I can be guilty of this sometimes – modern shutters are both a benefit and a crutch. So I issued myself a challenge: go out and shoot without looking.
In what is another phenomenal documentary from the BBC program Imagine..., we are given the chance to view the world and lives of iconic photographer William Klein as he is preparing for a retrospective of his work. Klein is one of the pioneers of street photography (more raw, up-close and personal than Henri Cartier-Bresson) as well as the creator of some of the most iconic fashion images of the 20th century. He is an artist and a filmmaker - making over 20 films, including the first ever documentary of Muhammad Ali.
Rolling Stone magazine is receiving a sizable amount of backlash over their decision to use a "selfie" of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the accused Boston Marathon bomber, on the cover. One of the more shared opinions is that this is glamorizing and creating a celebrity out of an [allegedly] horrible individual; Rolling Stone is typically fond of using musicians and actors on their covers. Perhaps, though, the more troubling complaint is that the cover was "uninspired."
We've featured Lindsay Adler before - and with good reason. At 26, she is already an accomplished photographer and has been published in magazines like Popular Photography, Professional Photographer, Shutterbug and others. She's also a great educator, and this video is no exception. In this episode of [FRAMED], Lindsay talks about her 11 year progression as a photographer - everything from how she started to the specific steps she took to get where she is.
In what may be one of my favorite 30(ish)-minute commercials ever, Canon 'introduces' one of the greatest living photographers, Don McCullin, to the world of digital photography. McCullin is old-world; he's charming and sweet and sad-eyed and every bit as British. McCullin's shaman into the digital realm is Jeff Ascough - Canon Ambassador and all-around stellar wedding photographer.
One of my favorite 'old school' photo tricks is the macro reversing ring. When you turn your lens around - literally having the mount pointing at your subject - you will notice a pretty interesting effect. The lens (whatever focal length it is) becomes a macro. Of course, holding a lens over an open camera body is a pretty terrible idea. This is where the reversing ring comes in.
It's easy to overlook just how powerful the RAW processing engine can be. It's also pretty easy just throw an image into Photoshop and deal with it there, but RAW is where all the information is - and a dynamic RAW file is the most important aspect of developing your image. You will never have more information to work with than what is in your RAW, so it is important to draw every bit of tone out of it that you can - especially when it comes to maximizing the tonal range in the shadows and the highlights.
Andreas Poupoutsis is a fine art photographer based in New York City but originally from another small island on the other side of the world. His work is a little mysterious and even somewhat odd. His figures and faces often emerge from shadows, allowing for the objects to be (sometimes literally) painted with light. The work often speaks to a search for personal identity - something all artists struggle with; the faces in his images are often not integral to the image itself.
Iconic photographer Bert Stern has died at the age of 83. Stern, probably best known for his images of Marilyn Monroe, passed away at his home in Manhattan on Tuesday. He is survived by Shannah Laumeister, a longtime friend, who has said that she and Stern had been secretly married since 2009. Laumeister is also the director of a recent documentary featuring Stern, “Bert Stern: Original Madman.”
"Set up in 1936, Life magazine believed that pictures could change the world."
America in Pictures: The Story of Life Magazine is a fantastic documentary from the BBC about the life of one of the most important magazines in American history. Narrated by acclaimed photographer Rankin, it follows the people who told the 'story of America' through its most dynamic decades - the 40s, 50s and 60s - and documented its growth into a world superpower.
Photographer Rob Grimm has posted a nice little BTS of his 'Micro Brewery Project' - where the photographs feature some various beers from the United States based on "unique bottle design, label, and/or flavor profile." The video starts out with a great, little trick for creating an even pour in a photo. The bottle itself is clamped in place, but by using twine, nail polish remover and fire, you can cleanly remove the bottom.
There's no denying the growing popularity of Lomo photography in recent years - especially if you've ever visited an Urban Outfitters. The motto for Lomography is, "Don’t Think, Just Shoot," - which is kind of ironic considering their newest offering requires quite a bit of thinking. The Konstruktor is a $35 build-it-yourself camera that should give hipsters a better understanding as to how their 'antique Instagram machine' actually works.
PBS' Idea Channel poses an interesting question, "Is a tagged Instagram more than just a photo?"
There is and has been a lot of discussion going on about Instagram. Does it cheapen photography, or is it the best thing to ever happen to photography? I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle, but I also think it has changed the fundamental approach toward what photography is and what it represents in the modern world.
First 5 is a government agency in California aimed at - among other things - curbing obesity in children. It's a great cause, no doubt. They are, however, getting a little bit of backlash over a campaign that is currently featured on posters around California. The ad features an overweight, little girl drinking from a bag of sugar with the caption, "Sugary drinks like juice, sports drinks and soda can cause obesity. Choose milk and water instead." But some people are a little upset over the fact that the girl in the image isn't actually overweight - she's been photoshopped.
It's nice to see that Beatles drummer, Ringo Starr, didn't waste all of his talent on drumming. He did, however, completely forget that he took a lot of photos of the Fab Four during the 1960's. Starr's new e-book, Photograph, features over 100 never-before-seen images of John, Paul, George and Ringo - some of them taken during their first U.S. tour, some from their first trip to India, and even some from their last days together as a band.
Do you ever feel like you're not hanging around enough celebrities? Maybe you wish you were court-side at a Laker's game sharing an emotional moment with Kobe, or maybe you'd rather be wrapped around Kim Kardashian like couch upholstery? If any of these things are true, you might be Peeje T - a pretty creative guy with a pretty good sense of humor and a knack for photoshopping himself into pictures with the likes of Jay Z, Beyonce, Rihanna, Alisha Keys and Kobe Bryant, among others.
Finding a great retoucher (if you use one) can be a pretty daunting task. Most photographers end up doing their own - picking up techniques and tricks along the way. Ashlee Gray is a beauty and fashion photographer and [primarily a] retoucher based in New York whose clients include Tresemme, Starbucks, Rebecca Minkoff and Gatorade. As a photographer, her images are beautiful, feminine and even delicate. It's that same underlying aesthetic that she applies to her retouching- yet still managing to retain the unique style of the individual photographers she works with.