Miguel Gutierrez Jr. Interview: 6000 Miles on Motorcycle to Capture the Beauty of Latin America

Written by Freddy Martinez

Miguel Gutierrez Jr

On June 14th, Austin photojournalist Miguel Gutierrez Jr. and four friends began a six thousand mile journey from the United States to Mendoza, Argentina. Travelling up to 250 miles a day, they’ve been riding on motorcycle, stopping only to shower, drink, then photograph. Gutierrez says that he started this journey hoping to capture the diversity and the beauty of Latin America. He wants to dispel notions that this vast region, home to as many rich cultures as the writers it’s famous for, could be written off as violent and chaotic.

Nearly halfway to his destination, Gutierrez responds to our questions from a tiny hotel in Pisté, Yucatan. He writes that this small town is peaceful, the sun already set and the warm weather cooling. Gutierrez also notes that, aside from the seldom heard car, the only real sound is that of cicadas and crickets. And I imagine that, for a photographer, there could be no greater feeling in the world than travelling day after day to complete a sketch of a land you know has yet been fulfilled. To show, through your own lens, the wonder that might have never been seen without you.

In this interview, Gutierrez takes time from his journey to talk about how he started shooting, explain the risks involved with the trip, and reveal what he wants to accomplish in Latin America.

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Jeff Hamada Interview: Booooooom Creator Explains How Instagram Will Help You Get Noticed

Written by Freddy Martinez

Eddie Lago -- @eddielago

For the first time ever, all the following photographs you’ll see in this interview weren’t made by the person interviewed. In fact, the one above was made by New York photographer Eddie Lago (@eddielago). Of course, Eddie Lago isn’t the person interviewed. That’s Vancouver artist Jeff Hamada. But Hamada isn’t really a professional photographer, either. Though he does shoot and is good at it (@jeffhamada), that’s not why you’re reading this interview. You’re reading it because Jeff Hamada is the founder and curator of Booooooom.

Launched in 2008, Booooooom has become one of the most popular art blogs in the world. And when I write art, I mean the entirety of it. Booooooom is where any writer, painter, filmmaker, musician, designer, and, yes, photographer can find something, or someone, to inspire them. It’s not Art Forum. It’s decidedly accessible. It’s a site that reassures you that you’re sane, healthy even, and that other people are just as obsessed with art as you are. It’ll point you to movements you’d have never noticed, illuminate an artist you’d have never seen. And for emerging photographers, it provides a chance to get noticed. Continue reading

Summertime Retouching Tutorial: How To Remove Tan Lines With Photoshop

Written by Freddy Martinez

It’s summertime. Besides being the best time in the year for basking in as much light as possible, it’s also the worst season for skin damage. So what’s the worst sunburn you’ve had? Although I’m dark, probably darker than all my friends, I’ve had one of the worst sunburns in my life a couple years ago. Like any mistake in life, this one resulted from pride. I had imagined that, being as tough and invincible as my inner self had me believe, I’d never get sunburn. But floating down a river in the middle of Texas, with more than enough booze to kill three grown men, shirtless for three hours, I realized the sun will burn anyone.

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David S. Allee Interview: Finding the Unreal and Strange in the Buildings Seen Every Day

Written by Freddy Martinez

David S. Allee

In 1997, before completing his M.F.A. at The School of Visual Arts, and even before quitting his day job as an urban planner, New York photographer David S. Allee published a photo essay he’d been working on during his spare time outside work and school in Esquire. Since then, Allee has been continually featured in more than twenty publications, including the New Yorker, The New York Times, and New York Magazine. His work has also been exhibited across the US and is housed in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress and Foundation Cartier in Paris, among others.

And although he transitioned from urban planning to photography, his interest in built environments endured. Allee explains that images of these forms, “usually require people to look closely, study, interpret, and infer. If a viewer is drawn into an image of a built environment, they’re forced to use their imagination to understand it, make sense of it, and in effect complete the image.” Through photographing the built environment in ways unseen, or never imagined, Allee’s able to uncover a strange and unreal facade city-life can sometimes call home.

And if you’re in New York City, the Morgan Lehman Gallery is exhibiting Allee’s newest project Kill Your Darlings. The exhibition will open on July 9th with a reception for the artist from 6-8pm, and will be on view through August 22nd, 2014. More information can be found here

In this interview, Allee explains how he got his start in photography, explains how he captured his unique project Dark Day, and reveals how he’s able to make cityscapes look so unreal.

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Brian Higbee Interview: Capturing the Force of True Beauty

Written by Freddy Martinez

Brian Higbee

See yourself walking alone through whichever city you live in, near its core, through its streets. It’s night. You’ve already experienced your first love, felt the sinister contradictions that one brought, and have since known the twin nature of beauty — already deciphered the many symbols it wears. But despite your experience, on this walk, you then see the face of a person so beautiful you’re at the point of fainting, at pains for staying still — never has something captured your attention as intensely until now. You wish you were closer, so you go. When you’re finally close enough to reach out, you see that it’s only another advertisement for another summer blockbuster.

Celebrity photographers like Brian Higbee know exactly how to stop the eye and pull you in. They understand that the celebrity portrait is mythmaking in the highest order, and that this mythmaking puts you in a moment beyond yourself. Having worked with Interview, considered the first magazine published for the cult of celebrity, Higbee goes for the weakest part of you. He tantalizes your eyes. He makes work that confidently understands that the everyday experience we live for is not always what we want to see. His portraits trade in the pull and repel of a beauty seemingly close but always out of reach.

In this interview, Higbee talks about his work with Interview magazine, explains why he loves woodwork and snowboarding, and reveals his approach to natural lighting.

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George Elder Interview: Photographing the Most Fashionable People in NYC

Written by Freddy Martinez

George Elder

Above is a Roberto Cavalli two-piece suit. I’ve never worn one. In fact, I’ve never held one between my fingers. Even better, this Cavalli’s probably worth more than my crap car. And although this photograph of it could fit in any high-end fashion editorial, it isn’t a fashion photograph, nor is it a celebrity portrait. It’s a street photograph, one stranger being photographed by another, made for the sake of fashion. It’s a genre of photography about those who actually have the time and confidence to wear a two-piece mustard yellow Cavalli suit.

And it’s street fashion photographer George Elder’s job to find these people. Getting his start with Four Pins then Complex, Elder walks block-by-block, neighborhood-by-neighborhood, looking for New York City’s most fashionable. It’s easy to see the appeal. You still get the thrills of meeting new people and the inspiration of seeing what the most stylish are wearing. And it can also get you noticed. Besides Complex, Elder has also shot with other top fashion magazines like Vogue and GQ.

In this brief interview, Eldermann talks about how he got his start in photography, explains his approach to photographing strangers, and reveals his ideas on fashion.

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Anna Wolf Interview: How to Impress Clients with a Clean and Modern Aesthetic

Written by Freddy Martinez

Anna Wolf

Since graduating from Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design, fashion photographer Anna Wolf has shot with more than seventy of the biggest names in fashion, advertising, and print. They include industry giants like Cosmopolitan, New York Magazine, Levi’s, Microsoft, L’Oreal, and Yves Saint Laurent — to name only a few. She also has shot in some of the most beautiful places in world, including Italy, Thailand, and Argentina, and even spent a year living in Mexico City to learn Spanish. Currently, Wolf spends her time between New York and Los Angeles.

When I asked her what have been the greatest lessons photography has taught her, she insightfully compared photography to life therapy. “It is such a challenging path,” she says, “It really makes you look at yourself and your place in the world. Each shoot is so different and you get kind of thrown into the mix with all of these incredible and sometimes crazy people and situations.” And although she knows photography has taken much out of her, she continues because she believes it’s something she was always meant to do.

In this interview, Wolf talks about what photography means to her, explains her approach to portraits, and reveals what it takes to make clean and consistent work.

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Day XIX Interview: Two Thrill Seekers Explain How to Find More Adventure in Your Photography

Written by Freddy Martinez

Jeremy & Claire Weiss Photography

Whichever genre you choose to shoot reflects the majority of who you are. It’s hard to imagine a street photographer suddenly turning coat for a glamour portfolio mid-career — or vice versa. It’s an obvious point, I know, but I’d say it’s what probably divides all the genres into their respective photographers. If you’re cerebral and free-associative, your photographs might lean toward being moody and dramatic. If you’re analytical and fastidious, you might be attracted to geometric design and abstract form. If you’re easy-going and energetic, your photographs might look like these captured by Day 19.

Day 19 makes photographs that look like advertisements for the most thrilling life ever lived. In some of their very best, I’ve actually shook my head and wondered if I’m missing out on some cinematic adventure. The thrills are that contagious. Jeremey and Claire Weiss, the artistic and romantic partners behind Day 19, must have a serious grip on fast-living. And although they were both late bloomers to photography, having started studying in their early twenties, they’ve now collected a impressive resume, having worked with, among many others, Nike, Rockstar Games, Vibe, and Rolling Stone.

In this interview, Jeremy Weiss explains how Day 19 started, talks about their adventures with photography, and reveals how they’re able to create such energetic photographs.

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How to Tell a Story in a Portrait: 6 Fashion Photographs & 6 Real Fictions

Written by Freddy Martinez

Yumna Al-Arashi

In the world’s greatest short story, written like something Jorge Luis Borges would tell, there exists a sentence which captures the entire universe in the image of a single word. The reader, once encountering it, would see a world thereto entirely unknown open up, and, within it, she’ll finally remember what the ancients called life’s essence, what poets describe as light within light, and what a photographer once called our atomic instances. Out of all them, it’s the photographer, she’ll say later, that comes closest to explaining what she saw. Eventually, this reader would become a photographer, and the story, now taking her part, would repeat itself, for infinity.

When you sit down and stare at your favorite photographs, what do you see? What do you feel? Are you sure that what you are perceiving truly existed? Most photographs are taken within a short burst of light. If we average it out, I’d say it’d be 1/100th of a second. 1/100th of a second is quicker than the quickest glance. 1/100th of a second is shorter than shortest memory. 1/100th of a second is the slightest twitches, the tiny instances that build larger worlds. When I look at photographs, when I’m asked to write about them, the only help, the only context, the only voices I hear are illusionary. How could I trust that moment? What am I seeing?

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XTRAPOP App for iOS: Put More Panache in Your iPhone Photos

Written by Freddy Martinez

Image-3

What happens when the PhotoWhoa office gets a brand new iOS app to play with? Puro magic, that’s what. Above is co-founder Kevin Tang — the wizard behind the veil finally revealed! — looking like a cross between a fashion-minded viking and a debonair bandit. The photo was made using XTRAPOP, available now at the Apple App Store. Besides being incredibly easy to use, it’s a great new way to accessorize and glamourize your every iPhone photograph. Get it now!

Click below for two more pics (including one of me)!

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