In Austin, Texas for South by Southwest, and I got to say that I’m really enjoying being back in this city. So many people to see and things to do, and to think that it’s only going to get more popular and crowded — I don’t miss the traffic, though. Luckily I got in early enough to catch a really informative and inspiring interview with Brandon Stanton. In case you don’t know, he’s the guy behind the Humans of New York project. I was amazed by his humility, but, even more, I was impressed with his internet know-how.
And I know many photographers wouldn’t agree, but his ideas on working with the internet (meaning: worrying less about your copyright and more about distribution) are worth listening to. It’s surprising to hear him explain why doesn’t care if his images get pulled from his site without his permission and how that has made his work more popular and profitable. You should watch the whole interview. Also, as a side-note, I make a cameo (alas, only as cough though).
Now, this is a story I couldn’t not share. According to Forbes writer Jeff Bercovici, a penniless photographer, on the brink of losing his apartment and with no job, has just made $15,000 in one day — off Instagram. Yes, that’s right. Off that social app just bought from Facebook. If you’re not wide-eyed with wonder, then you’re failing to see something important right now. The world has evolved, and this change doesn’t look like a bubble. If you have talent and social media pluck, it looks like Instagram may be your way forward.
If a headline on Huffington Post, or Cracked, or FStoppers, or PetaPixel, or Aeon, has anything remotely related to skyscrapers in it, I immediately, suddenly, and joyfully, click it. I love skyscrapers. Although I know that without us they’ll never last longer than a rusty car stuck in a junkyard, they still make my tiny hairs tingle.
And this video is one of my favorites so far. It’s a BTS look into how a panorama was made atop One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the United States. If you’re afraid heights, you should watch it more than anyone else. It’s a pain-free way to get over your fear, I would think. But if you love skyscrapers and shooting photography off them, then this video is golden.
If you’ve ever shot a street photograph, you probably would have believed that it was something new, something barely realized, because it seems so exciting and contemporary. But street photography is hardly new. It’s been with us since at least Henri Carter-Bresson. Yet something that goes even further back is polemic writing. That has been with us for centuries, and I would have never thought these two things would merge and that I would write about it. But it has and here I am writing about it.
But I’m also being dramatic. Alex Coghe’s recently released Art of Seeing: A Guide to Street Photography isn’t polemic, completely. I just think it could be. And it almost is, but it’s really a training ebook. Street photography doesn’t have many, so it’s great having another one. Still, it’s much more exciting to call it a street photography polemic manifesto than anything else. Not doing so would ignore what it’s about. This ebook is about understanding and declaring what street photography stands for — and shredding what isn’t.
The beginning steps to seeing light is seeing shadow, and I’m not trying to be clever with this. I just think it’s true. When you first start putting the world to your lens, you’ll notice that shadow creates tension. And you’ll crave that darkness — to put it as dramatically as possible. Some photographers just know how to tame it. Fine art photographer Caitlin Teal Price is one. She makes high-key lighting seem so easy to control.
It might be because her images are sparse. She withholds much. Using as much space as possible to isolate what’s being said in the image, Price creates through subtraction. Sometimes what’s said is unclear, sometimes barely heard, but it’s still all gorgeous. You’ll feel like you’re watching a classic film slashed into many tiny pieces. You’ll sense the story but only get the mysterious — shadowy — instances of what’s going to happen next.
In this interview, Price talks about her style, explains how she approaches her fine art, and reveals why guerrilla style photography is still necessary.
Okay, so you go out shooting and come back with a sizable amount of good images, but you also have some really bad ones. Ones that don’t catch your eye at all. What do you do with those? Yes, you could just thrash them and never think about them again. But that’s a waste. Why not turn them into really great ones while at the same time practicing your editing skills?
Well, that’s what this tutorial is about. In it, you’ll learn how to enhance detail, spot-edit, and add lighting effects to make a dull image a better one. Still, the images you work on can’t be too hideous. You can’t save everything. And, as always, it’s best to try to get everything right in-camera before you click. But, either way, this is a good video to help bring borderline images into the good.
I’m a sucker for double-exposure photography and danceably good music, although I don’t dance. Music cuts through the traffic in my head, and this song — though not the most energetic — has a great beat to it. So I wanted to share this unique music video with you. Take it as inspiration or take it as stress relief, but give it a complete listen. It’s not that long, and it has some great juxtapositions and French New Wave-inspired edits and shots. It’s a solid source to realize what can be done with some simple creativity.
One of the most imaginative and epic portfolios we’ve ever featured has been Benjamin Von Wong‘s. There’s fire. There’s water. There’s action. It’s Hollywood stuffed into a Jpeg — you should really check out the interview! So I was really excited to see him in DigitalRev‘s always fascinating Cheap Camera Challenge. Spoiler alert: he succeeds. Even one of the most technology-passionate photographers in the world can still force a not-so-advanced point-and-shoot into getting some really nice images. It’s further proof that skill comes before gear. Also, after seeing him in it, I can now clearly see why his images are as explosive as they are — he seems like a blast to hang around with.
You’ve watched The Social Network by now — right? It’s a great movie. If you haven’t seen it, go and see it! It’s about facebook and evil twins and greed — and about the contemporary obsession with obsession. Anyway, in that film, there’s a great scene featuring tilt-shift. When I first saw it I gasped and knew that that effect was my favorite. So if you want to learn some introductory tips about achieving the perfect tilt-shift, check this video out. It’s short and to the point, and in no way comprehensive, but you can learn more on their website.
You know you’re passionate about something when you wake up at 4 am to continue doing it. Not only that, but you actually get excited about it. That’s how landscape photographer Matt Kloskowski felt when he first started going outdoors to shoot. He was energized and motivated to leave at that unholy hour for the chance to capture the land in its most magical light.
And now as Director of Training and Education for the Kelby Media Group, he’s fortunate enough to spend much of his time focused on helping others find their own passion. And it’s easy to see why he’s sharing his insights. Kloskowski’s landscapes are so beautiful that you know they must have taken great pains to achieve. Simple and elegant, they are picture-perfect landscapes and great examples of what passion can achieve.
In this interview, Kloskowski talks about how he got his start in photography, explains his approach to landscapes, and reveals three tips every landscape photographer should know about shooting during the golden hours.