‘The Salt of the Earth’ – ‘Shattering’ Documentary on the Life of Photographer Sebastião Salgado

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I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again:  Documentary photography has been one of my foremost artistic influences and fascinations since I was a child.  Telling stories about real people and real moments that can never be recreated.

Sebastião Salgado is a fascinating photographer and has amassed a body of work that would take a whole team of photographers a lifetime to create.  Now, his story is being told in the documentary The Salt of the Earth, a film that Rotten Tomatoes calls “a shattering, thought-provoking testament to Sebastião Salgado’s career.”

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I’m Sorry, but I MUST Disagree

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I am not a female photographer.

I am a photographer…who happens to be female.

Together, in this industry, in the year 2015, we are simply “photographers.”

We are not defined by our gender.

I, for one, want to be defined by my talent and ability, not by the fact I have a uterus and my kids call me “Mama.”

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Humor: This Diagram Shows The Creative Fear Of Committing Work

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Committing work is not an easy task. Hitting that save button for the last time and shipping your work may be frightening. Your work is leaving your hands and it no longer under your control. Whatever greatness or mistakes that you’ve put in are there forever now.

I guess, this is why committing to a final version of a file is so hard and creatives go back to editing their files again and again. This phenomenon should probably have an entry in the DSM next to GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). Maybe something like RCS (Re-editing Compulsion Syndrome).

This funny diagram by @akshar (Akshar Pathak) and @theyashbhardwaj perfectly illustrates this fear of commitment (and also a shocking lack of file versioning system).  While originally for designers, this applies to any photographer too. Can you relate?

 

How Destroying My New $1600 L-Lens Made My Month

THE MOMENT OF HORROR

No. No. Please, no. A moment of terror for every photographer out there. I opened my photo bag, took out my cam to take a picture of the street filled with warm sunset light and then it happened. Imagine this moment in slow-motion. While listening to music with my noise-cancelling headphones I raised my cam in order to look through the viewfinder. Surprised by the incredibly bad auto-focus I realized with cheery music in my ears how the lens had suddenly unhooked from the cam and fallen all the way down to the ground in the worst way possible. BAM!

Overwhelmed by the moment I slowly looked down while holding the 5D Mark II body in my hands. I looked over to my friend who was making a phone call next to me on the bench with question marks in my eyes. That just didn’t happen. The exclamation marks in her wide-open eyes begged to differ. It did happen. I had just smashed my brand new $1600 L-lens, which is the only one I own: a Canon EF 24mm 1.4.

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After going through all sorts of psychological troubles the last years, all the ups and downs and the rocky way up the fearful mountain of self-employment, after only 10 seconds my Dutch “bright side enzyme” kicked in to turn this negativity-ridden moment into something positive. “Het komt wel goed” (it’s gonna be fine) is what we always say when something bad happens. Challenge accepted!

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Selfiology: the Story of the Selfie

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More than once I have succumbed to the pressure to be in one and together with me, only few have been able to escape the phenomenon of the selfie. 

Selfies seem to have become just another part of life. Over time the wonderment about people striking the strangest of poses in front of their telephones has vanished. Younger generations will even find themselves in selfies that exceed their memory. We have simply learned to see upon the selfie as a part of modern day society and the debate surrounding it slowly fades away.

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Photographer Captures Strength of Wounded Veterans in Powerful and Erotic Series [NSFW]

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So frequently within society, whether by conscious decision or not, we tend to look upon wounded veterans with pity, if for no other reason than to satiate our on insecurities.  But many of them simply want to retain their dignity and show the world that they are still powerful, viable humans beings and that not even the voice of death can stop them.

That is exactly what Los Angeles-based photographer Michael Stokes set out to do when he conceived the idea for Always Loyal.  The image series and upcoming photo book is a rather unique way of paying tribute you to those who have literally given of themselves in the defense of others.

(Warning:  Potentially-offensive images after the jump.)

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Photographer Spends 12 Months Creating a ‘Never-Ending’ Panoramic Story

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In the photography world, we’re pretty familiar with 52-week projects, although some of us have yet to ever start or complete one. Beamused Magazine wanted to encourage all artists to take up a 52-week challenge called an “endless book.”  The premise is that artists create one page of their “book” per week, constructing them in such a way that one page leads to another for a seamless mega-panorama.

Creative still life photographer Dina Belenko decided to undertake the project, composing a giant, story-rich (and, sometimes, humorous) panorama over the course of twelve months.

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Creativity Personified – Behind the Scenes With Walk Off The Earth – Rule the World

Walk Off The Earth Behind the Scenes Rule the World

When you depend on creativity for your livelihood – you can’t help but be inspired by other artists.

One of my favorite bands is Walk Off The Earth.

These guys leveraged the exposure from one viral video into a full blown career as rock stars – which is pretty amazing – but they are also phenomenal artists in every sense of the word.

Their latest video for the song Rule the World directed by 28 year old Canadian director John Poliquin features a “little planet” 360 degree GoPro rig, stop motion animation, colored smoke, pigment powders and of course, their trademark Walk Off The Earth style.

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Tom Cruise, ‘Scared Sh!tless,’ Hangs Outside a Plane During ‘Mission: Impossible’ Filming

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I have never been a fan of Tom Cruise.  From mediocre acting to control-freak tendencies, he’s never really left much for met to get excited about.  Until now…

In the upcoming installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise, which hits theaters at the end of the month, Tom gave his stunt double the proverbial finger and decided to risk his own life to accurately play his character.

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Photo Darwinism: Things Your Mother Never Told You

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They lost me at the “Cost of Doing Business” calculator.

You know, the formula everyone starts you out with: Your overhead expenses + desired salary = your total annual cost ÷ number of billable days = your CODB.

No matter how many times I played with it, the number of billable days that I desired was never as high as the number of days I actually worked. My desired salary never approached by my actual salary. So the calculator failed me. Lots of stuff they taught me in those photo business seminars failed me. I had to find a better way to price my work and survive as a new photographer.

I had a marketing and sales background that I could use as an advantage. If you don’t come to photography with my background, I suggest that you start by learning as much as you can from the established pro-photo business blogs and forums. Most are free and probably just as good as paying a lot of money to sit through a seminar. On the other hand, paying for a seminar might be worth it if you tend to drift into “multitasking” while reading at a computer.

In this series of short posts I’ll deconstruct what they tell you in those seminars and give you some of you guidance on how to survive as an independent freelance photographer in the 21st Century.

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