Okay– so, let’s be clear about something. He’s not actually MY cat. We happen to coexist in the same house, thanks to my wife and son convincing me in ways only they know how that it was time for a new pet and that he was just the pet we needed. Personally, I’m a dog person. Seamus and I, however, seem to have a love-hate relationship. As in we love to hate each other. Call it a restless detente. That may be overstating things just a bit, but this cat spends quite a bit of his time pissing me off. I actually believe he schedules it in some sort of kitty tablet (there’s an app for that). It wasn’t until recently, though, that I realized this havoc-wreaking creature that my son loves so dearly might actually be able to teach a thing or two about photography.
It’s summer once again and the fortunate among you will be hitting the road, hopping on planes, maybe even boarding a ship or two, and getting the hell out of Dodge for some hopefully stress-free rest and relaxation. Regardless of whether your travels are taking you around the world or just a day’s drive from home, it’s important to not only pack your camera gear carefully, but to also spend time putting some safeguards in place to make sure that you and your gear not only make beautiful travel photography together, and that you both get home safe and sound.
German photographer Klaus Leidorf (Flickr) has a unique point of view on the world. It may be connected to the fact that he looks at it from above, riding a Cessna 172.
What started as a primarily archeological photography business, i.e. conducts archaeological surveys, turned into a passion when Leidorf joined Corbis as a contributing photographers and started selling photograph to academic publishers, newspapers, and a major insurance companies.
350 years ago, Johannes Vermeer once painted a piece (pictured above) called The Music Lesson. What you’re looking at is something many people have considered impossible up to today; the light that shines through the windows in the painting is painted with exactly the same color that it has in real life when viewed through a projected image. It wasn’t being painted using a normal vision – it was being painted like it was a hand-made photograph. While many artists were indeed famous for implementing realism into their work even centuries ago, a painting this photorealistic has been though impossible to achieve up to even today. But for some reason, a painting like that exists, and Tim Jenison is a man who had a drive to find out how that was possible.
One thing I love implementing in the work that I do is surrealism. When it comes to music production, for example, I like throwing in noises that catch me off guard. I might take samples of speeches and alter the voice of whoever’s speaking, and fit it into something as an introductory cut; vocoders are something I have too much fun with, if I don’t abuse them while experimenting with different sounds and figuring out what works best with what I’m writing.
Similarly, that form of surrealism is something I experiment with in photography to the point where it’s becoming something I generally implement into my work. One way I tend to mess with some of my photos is by giving them glitch distortions. If you’ve heard of this before, you’ve probably heard it referred to as “glitch art”. Glitch art’s gained a good amount of popularity since the turn of the millennium, around the time when digital photography started becoming popular. In the same way film has its imperfections illustrated through the little cracks and marks you see flashing by when a movie’s being projected (the “cigarette burn”, for example), digital work has its imperfections as well. The pixelization of a JPG, the compression of an uploaded mp4, or the complete chaos done to a video when it’s converted to an incompatible format – the digital age now has its own unique form of flaws, and it’s arguably a part of our culture up to today just because of the familiarity each of us have with the imperfections.
Why do I focus on Vision so much? It’s because I believe that Vision is what makes an image great. It’s what makes the difference between a technically perfect image and one with feeling. It’s what makes your images unique.
Great images do not come about because of equipment and processes, but rather from Vision that drives these tools to do wonderful things. What good are great technical skills if you don’t have an idea worthy of them?
If I had to choose between the best equipment in the world and no Vision or having a Kodak Brownie and my Vision… [Read more...]
Last year, House of Cards received an Emmy Award in recognition for its cinematography, beating out Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and Mad Men.
Making its first appearance in 2013, House of Cards is the show that proved what Netflix is truly capable of, and its production was as different from everything else out there as Netflix was to other studios itself. I started watching this show a bit late, but right from the first scene of the pilot episode, I could point out how much David Fincher this show was running on; to my surprise, the director’s name greeted me twice in the opening credits.
So at the time of at release, this was almost downright unusual. Who could have guessed that a guy like David Fincher would be working as a producer and director for a show by a streaming service? Not only did this project have fincher on board, but it reunited him and Kevin Spacey, who served as a producer for the show as well as the leading role.
Whatever grabbed both of their attention was no big surprise. House of Cards has a story that’s right up Fincher and Spacey’s alley, and it’s exactly the kind of show that fans of Fincher’s past work could get into. Going into the cinematography of the show, I mention David Fincher for a reason: although he was mainly an executive producer, directing only the first two episodes, the tone that he set with them basically became the precedent for how the rest of the series would end up being filmed. The first person hired as the show’s cinematographer was Eigil Bryld, who filmed eleven episodes from the show’s first season.
Graphic designer and illustrator Alon Avissar is putting a new twist on double exposures. Avissar was inspired by the dieing winter and wanted to experiment with seasonal portraits:
With it being the dead of winter and having been snowed in for the past couple days now, I starting thinking about what designs I could create based on the theme of ‘seasons
The result is a series of wonderfully delighting double exposure portraits each made to a season theme, with colors to match. [Read more...]
Cory Richards is now an athlete for North Face and a photographer for National Geographic, but he was once a homeless high school dropout as well. When he set out to find out how he was meant to make his way in this world, his path took him to the Himalayas in Pakistan. There, him and his crew nearly died from an avalanche on his descent from the mountain. But while for one moment he truly thought it was over, the next he realized he was still breathing. Right then, he took a self-shot that ended up putting him on the cover of National Geographic.
This is a video done by Blue Chalk in cooperation with the photographer; it’s almost a moving portrait of Cory himself, utilizing his ambitions, his voice, his experiences, his photography, and his humor. It’s a story of a man’s experiences, and why he shot what he shot; it’s his message, as a professional photographer, of why his job is important to him in the first place. With the experience of traveling to every continent in the world, meeting people who hold history most of us may never hear about, and managing to show a few of them to the world, I think we could all benefit from watching this short video. Check it out after the break.
Marc Hauser is a legend when it comes to photography. He shot for the Rolling Stone magazine, Pepsi, Playboy and a bunch of others that you have most probably seen (even if not recognized as his). So when Marc gives advice about style, it is a good idea to listen.
Not surprisingly his advice has nothing to do with gear or lighting or any tech at all. It is purely about passion. Director Chris Cascarano had a 82 seconds feature with Marc in which he shares his ideals: Don’t be afraid of your ideas…. …. If you can’t do it right, do it big!