Ira Chernova Interview: Elegant Monochrome Portraits of the Fashion World

You won’t meet many people like Ira Chernova — unless you already know a heavily tattooed Russian who’s both a well-known model and a highly talented fashion photographer. Named by Complex as one of 25 young photographers to keep your eye on, Chernova’s been gaining attention for her moody, highly intuitive, and largely black-and-white portraits.

Based in New York, Chernova has already worked with some of the biggest names in the fashion industry — both behind and in front of the camera. And being a music lover, she’s even toured with one of the most popular experimental metal bands in the entire world: The Dillinger Escape Plan (that video above is hers). She’s excellent proof that you can find success doing what you love.

In this brief interview, Chernova talks about how she got her start in photography, explains how she made a couple of her photographs, and reveals why she shoots in black-and-white.

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Quick and Painless iMo Strap Giveaway


Update: Winners are Kasia M, Elizabeth Scott Pool, and Joaquim Ribeiro – email to claim your prize

iMo Strap approached us with a quick and painless giveaway for one of their straps. For those of you that don’t know, iMo Strap is a producer of really cool unique straps for photographers who want to show off their individuality.

Here’s how to win:

Step 1) Like iMo Strap on Facebook

Step 2) Like us on Facebook

Step 3) Comment on this blog post with which strap you like the best. Go here to search for your favorite strap here. We’ll choose 2 people to get a free iMo Strap.

UPDATE: Deadline has been extended 3 days.

We’ll choose a winner on August 20th, 2014 and announce it here and on our Facebook page.

(NSFW) Betty Tompkins Interview: Photorealistic Paintings Made from Photos Your Dad Used to Hide

Betty Thompkins

Sex Grid #10, pencil on paper, 17×14″, 2009

In 1969, the Supreme Court ruled that possession of obscene material — porn, if you’re of the Xvideo generation — was protected as a right. Around that time, artist Betty Tompkins, recently graduated from art school, had her first two showings. She called her work Joined Forms, then later Fuck Paintings. The latter title described exactly what was displayed. The art world had never seen anything like it — except, wait, that’s incorrect. The art world never noticed her then.

You see, after her first two showings, the Fuck Paintings weren’t seen by anybody, anywhere, for the next two decades. These large scale paintings of photorealistic intercourse, of sheer explicit sex — of anus, of cock, of vagina, equally – were taken off their stretchers, rolled up, then stored underneath a pool table in Tompkins’ living room. They idled in the dark for nearly thirty years until they were given a second-life.

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Need Some Street Photography Inspiration? Check Out This Doc

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 7.16.24 PM

Going through Fstoppers today, I ran into a really great doc that I knew I had to share. It’s short, less than 10 minutes, and about street photography. Considering the lack of educational products out there about street photography, I’m beginning to realize that these docs and sites like Eric Kim’s might be the best way for street photographers to learn and get inspired. That’s why I wanted to share this one.

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Photoshop Tutorial: How to Create Vintage Effects Using Textures


If you’ve never used textures in Photoshop before, then you’ll need to see this video. It’s a great introduction into using textures to create eye-catching effects. Specifically, you’ll learn how to create an authentic vintage effect that looks more than a pasted-on filter. And when you can achieve that, you know you’ve got yourself a great technique.

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Photoshop Tutorial: How to Remove Noise from Your Photographs


If you like shooting at night, like I do, noise can be an issue. But if you thought there was nothing you could do about it, you’re wrong. Because in this video, you’ll learn a short-and-sweet (oh jeez that’s how I do it!) method to removing and hiding noise in your digital photographs. It only takes a few steps using Photoshop’s Camera Raw filters. In fact, it’s so simple and uncomplicated that telling you more would make the video unnecessary. So watch it for yourself. It’s really great.

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20 Minute Tutorial: How to Create Double Exposures in Photoshop


Double exposures have always been one of my favorite tricks to do with photography. I love having a tried-and-true method to making the mind associate one thing with another. Easy juxtaposition, cool effect. Though, with film, it was even better because you had to go outside and shoot both frames right after each other. No preview. Just imagination. Yet that doesn’t make it better than using Photoshop. Only different.

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Emily Berl Interview: The Way the Last Lights Fall

Emily Berl

Every Friday before the last lights have fallen, there’s a prayer beginning in Texas. It’s in the football locker room where everyone’s gone quiet, even those you’d never want to meet alone. The prayer begins with a hush, slowly it builds, then soon all the team — from the big uglies who’ve never prayed to the coaches, the trainers, and the few family allowed in — everyone, soon suddenly yelling holy to the high heavens. “Lead us,” we all say. “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil,” then nothing, silence. Everybody on their knees looking down, there was always knowledge that some of us wouldn’t finish the game.

In Texas, football swerves in and out of your life whether you wanted it to or not. In high school, you already knew the legends: Friday Night Lights. Explosions in the Sky. Clear eyes, full heart . . . all that. On the field, all the pain and the blood motivated us. Still young, we were caught in the imagination of glory. That was Texas and Texas is football. And that’s why I was drawn to Los Angeles photographer Emily Berl’s work. Her two projects Our Boys and Along the Way, TX sent me back to those nights in the fall. But this isn’t about those nights, though it seems like it is.

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Amy Lombard Interview: Flashy Portraits of Unordinary People

Amy Lombard

“I don’t believe in giving up. That’s not in my DNA,” New York photographer Amy Lombard told me when I asked if she’s ever felt unsure about her work. “I’ve had gallery owners tell me no one would hang my photos on their walls because they weren’t ‘pretty’. I’ve had professors and peers make me feel like my work wasn’t commercially, or editorially viable. I know it’s partially delusional, but I’ve always felt it’s all a matter of the right timing. You can’t force things.”

Yet Lombard could have easily given up. Before finding her voice, she hated her photography, thought her eye was horrible. She was convinced that she was no good. She decided, however, to give herself more time and enrolled in a class at the Tyler School of Art. There, she learned the importance of telling stories and committed to building her life around photography. At 16, she even made a list of places she wanted to work for, things she wanted to accomplish. Seven years later, having worked with New York Magazine, TIME, and many more, Lombard, at 23, says that she has now checked every single item off that list.

In this interview, Lombard talks about how she persisted with photography, explains why she’s attracted to shooting the unordinary, and reveals why she loves using flash.

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