SXSW, or any music festival, brings many energy-depleting things. Loud music, loud voices, and many, many late-night adventures to name a few. Still, SXSW is a wonderful event, and alongside all the thrills comes the need for rest. But rest is precious and comes too little, too late. That’s why this tutorial is necessary. It’s sort of a do-over for your worst photogenic times. With it, you’ll learn how to edit away that tired look and erase those baggy eyes. It’s a lifesavior, of sorts. And will be personally used by this writer, this weekend, for sure.
Street photography is one of those things that cut into you. It has a razor-sharp bite that can’t be shrugged away. If you shoot it, you’re bound to commit full-heartedly to it. Maybe because of this, it’s also a genre that produces loud opinions and even louder proclamations. That’s why we wanted to review Italian photographer Alex Coghe’s Art of Seeing: A Guide to Street Photography.
It’s a training ebook that doesn’t act like a training ebook. It’s more like a turn-of-the-century manifesto — but you can read what I wrote over here. Right now, we’re here for his work. After reading page after page about the history and aesthetics of the genre, we figured the least we could do is speak to its author about his photography and why he’s unimpressed with street photography at large. And his thoughts are definitely worth checking out.
In this interview, Coghe explains how he got his start in photography, talks about what street photography can be, and speaks about what Mexico City means to him.
Because I love Jimmy Fallon and because I’ve been seeing a lot of photobombs lately, I wanted to share a quick and hilarious video from the Tonight Show. I mean, the show’s killing it if you don’t know already. It’s got plenty of buzz, and this video is right up our alley here at PhotoWhoa. It’s celebrity photobombs featuring that grizzly-bear-of-a-man, Jon Hamm. And it’s really funny, especially the parts with hoagies. If you’re a celebrity and have time to waste, go do photobombs, now!
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 he 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 a 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.