Before ISIS: Hot Air Balloons Over Syria

Copyright Liberty Movie Ballooning

Copyright Liberty Movie Ballooning

Entering Syria these days as a foreigner poses a serious risk and is hardly a recommended travel destination.

With over 300,000 estimated casualties since the Syrian Civil War began in 2011, along with millions of others displaced, fleeing the country or left without sufficient food and drinking water, the war is the first and only thing that comes to mind these days when one thinks about Syria.

Back in April 2007, however, things were quite different. Foreigners were welcome in the country and hot air balloon teams were invited from all over the world to decorate the Syrian skies as part of the mayor of Homs’ birthday celebrations.

German balloon operator and photographer Michael Spar shared with us the photos from his once-in-a-lifetime trip to Syria, when instead of fighter jets and aerial strikes there were hot air balloons and aerial photos.

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5 Tips For Marketing Your Photography Business For Less Than $50


Self-employement can be great, but one of the worst parts about being in business for yourself is…well, being in business for yourself.  So much more responsibility rests directly on you, and you almost literally hold the key to your success or failure.  You are salesman, accountant, receptionist, customer service representative, coffee fetcher…and, somewhere way down the list is the actual service you provide.

Many of us dislike or perhaps loath some of the other hats we must wear.  We’d rather be shooting the covers of magazines than spending time cold-calling, trying to land that next magazine cover shoot.  But, one area where many well-meaning and driven photographers lack expertise is in actually marketing their services and bringing in new clients.  Sure, there are plenty of divas who simply think if they shoot what they love that the masses will blaze a trail to their door, but most photographers are simply intimidated by the prospect of marketing or at a loss as to where they should begin.

And then, there’s always the cost factor.  Many of us don’t have large marketing budgets.  We can’t afford to launch TV campaigns the are synchronized with print and online advertising pushes and reach tens of thousands of people in a short time.  We are stingy with our money, not because of a dark, miserly side, but simply because we know the value of the money we earn and always seem to have a million other areas to which we could apply it.  However, marketing your photography business doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  Fashion and editorial photographer Jeff Rojas is based in New York City.  He has competition on every street corner and a budget that doesn’t come to close to rivaling the GDP of even the world’s poorest nations.  (I mean, which of us really does, right?)  So, with a little time and creativity, Jeff has done his best to maximize the budget that he does have.

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Photographer Crafts Elaborate and Funny Photo Sets From Paper

adriana-napolitano-11There is absolutely nothing that says you have to stop playing with paper and scissors when you become an adult. I mean, heck, you can now legally buy your own scissors, so why not!

Adriana Napolitano is pretty much the Edward Scissorhands of set design. “I started to create sets for stop motion videos,” she says. “I always loved to create stuff with my hands. I think it’s a family thing.” But, regardless of her genetic predisposition, Adriana truly has a natural talent for creative flare. So, when her boyfriend, who is a photographer, started teaching her more about lighting and how to best capture her projects, she set about developing a portraits series with elaborate props and costumes – all made out of paper.
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How To: Create Dynamic Water Splash Images

If you’re looking for a fun photography project this weekend, great times can always be had with lights, camera, and a little water splashing around your studio.

Photographer Mark Richardson gives us a fairly simple tutorial for creating water splash images, particularly those involving a wine glass. Using AlienBees monolights with fast flash duration (not to be confused with high speed sync) and a wireless trigger for his camera, Mark was able to almost effortlessly freeze the liquid in mid air and then composite it with a frame of the empty glass for a final image.
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Experimental Nude Photos Explore The Subconscious Movements Of Models (NSFW)


A side project from his typical work as a high end editorial photographer, French artist Julien Vallon has created a series of nude art photographs that deviate from the more traditional posed portraits that dominate the genre. In Vallon’s Pre-Conscience/Conscience (or, for the sake of brevity, PCS/CS), the photographer has formed a way to capture “the free movement beyond logic, will, thought and conformity, to release the beauty.”

Inspired by the psychology of Carl Jung and his studies of the human psyche and collective unconscious, Vallon explains his own effort as a “a long reflection on subconscious movement”. [Read more…]

Humor: This Video Helps Explain Why Office Stock Photography Always Looks So Cheesy

Almost everyone who has had the misfortune of sifting through stock photos of office life has the same exact same question mind: “Why is there a doctor in the office flipping through charts?” Well, ponder no longer my friends. The creatives behind YouTube channel Nacho Punch have released a video that explains this ages old conundrum, along with explaining several other notable cliches like why are there always women eating salads with cherry tomatoes on their forks and what about that stressed out guy who’s always frantically shouting into two phones at once?

And don’t you worry, they didn’t forget about the notorious group of workers standing in a V-formation with ridiculously puffed up chests and far away stares. All this and more in the quick 2 1/2 minute long clip, take a look… [Read more…]

Couple Has Wedding Video Stolen From Photographer’s Car

Whenever I’ve shot weddings, I’ve had nightmares about things going wrong, from malfunctioning equipment to missing important shots to losing the images I captured. However, for one couple and their wedding videographer, those nightmares became a reality.

Los Angeles couple Alejandra and Brian received a call from their videographer a day after their wedding stating that the memory cards containing the footage from their special day were stolen. According to KTLA5, the cards were with the photographer’s cameras and other gear inside his parked car when it was broken into sometime overnight.
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Microsoft Bent Backwards To Document The Windows 10 Wallpaper. Too Bad You’ll Only See It Once


With windows 10 release just around the corner, Microsoft made a huge celebration about its upcoming new default wallpaper.

The video below describes how the team created that photos and trust me no effort was spared. It has special glass made, haze, projection and camera mapping, and even special Lasers. The process actually is quite fascinating.

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I switched from Canon to Nikon To Medium format to Canon Again


I love Canon cameras, I really do and it was with great regret that I moved away from Canon last year after being an EOS system user my entire life. I started when I was 5 years old on my fathers EOS 300 film cameras and have then enjoyed every camera up to and including the 5D MK3, but there was a problem.

I’m sure it wasn’t just me, I’m sure a lot of other pros felt like Canon wasn’t listening. The fact that it felt like I had been abandoned by the system I’d bought ito throughout my career hadn’t come at a great time – I was at a crossroads in my career and wanted to make the jump into medium format, I couldn’t then still have my Canon cameras as they weren’t a viable backup with the vast difference in resolution – to me the only option looked to me to jump over to Nikon and use their D800 bodies as backups for my Mamiya Leaf & Credo system that I had bought into. I wasn’t the only people thinking about the switch, it was a conversation that was becoming more and more common when I caught up with other photographers, there seemed to be a general feeling of frustration at Canon.

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