Many people have asked me about the DIY softbox I made a year or so ago — lovingly nicknamed “the ghettobox” — so here it is, finally: The ultimate guide to making your own 30” softbox (that’s about 76cm, you could make it even bigger, though!), that — very important — is solid and portable. Yes, you heard right, you can fold it flat but it’s still solid. Plus: As a bonus you can also hang it from somewhere to save floor space.[Read More…]
The other day someone left a comment on my Facebook page, an astute observation about this constant gear chase – the pursuit of new, better, shiny – some of us wrestle with so much on what we hope is a path to something like mastery. It’s had me thinking since then, bouncing around the Maasai Mara, making photographs and considering my own process and the place gear has within it. The comment was along these lines: that the more we chase gear, upgrade to new cameras, etc., the less chance we have at mastering our tools.
“Isn’t it possible we’ve passed the point of diminishing returns and our hunger for gear is outpacing our hunger for beauty, compelling stories, great light, and amazing moments?”[Read More…]
Consider the United States where everything is transformed into images. Only images exist and are produced and consumed.
—Roland Barthes. Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography
Use of Speed Bump courtesy of Dave Coverly.
One of the surprises that comes with getting old, I mean older and wiser, is having lived much of my life during what is now “history.” When I was young I read about it and studied it, but hadn’t lived it. It was abstract. Now it is more than just a memory. Some events have affected my life today. Growing up, Pearl Harbor was “book history.” September 11th was very real.
Recently, I had cause to reflect on this as I listened to three photographers, Elaine Mayes, Steve Fitch, and Robbert Flick, talk about their work, all done in the 1970s and 1980s. I was shocked to realize that was 30 to 40 years ago. It seemed like just yesterday. I reflected on time past and passed. What were contemporary photographs and ideas are now locked in their own time. And, like any other history, how we look at and interpret them is based on the present.[Read More…]
So, the holidays have rolled around once again, and sometimes we like to look at your old, but memorable, pictures from years gone by. But, having converted my photographic efforts to a digital, I continue to postpone (again) the inevitable, and disagreeable job of converting the old negative or slide collection into an acceptable digital format. This universal reluctance to bring your photos into the 21st Century is usually the caused after finding out the apparent complexity of the project or, more oft than not, the cost of the equipment.
For the past 12 years, I’ve been happily using digital photo equipment, forever clinging to the distant hope that someday I would be able to view my photographs and slides on the TV or the computer screen. I well remember how it used to be fun to drag out the slide projector and display the slides. It has, unfortunately, become less and less convenient that without clear wall space to project on, it’s just not worth the effort as the old 6ft. “pull down” projection screens just don’t cut it any more. Besides the set up of projection equipment, darkening the room and the other rigmarole one has to go through to look at slides, has driven the ‘fun’ right out of the effort so that I almost never look at them anymore. I took thousands of pictures during my travels and a lot of them were quite good.
During my talk for Lancaster Photographic Society recently, I was asked a question that I’m also going to answer here. I’m paraphrasing, but it went something along the lines of…
“Is getting the right exposure in camera really all that important? Can’t we just nudge it in Photoshop?”
Before I start, I want to clarify a definition here, and a difference between “right” and “technically correct”. It is perfectly possible to make an exposure that is “right”, but not “technically correct” when you shoot with your post processing in mind in order to maximise the capabilities of your camera’s sensor.[Read More…]
One of my favorite lighting accessoris that I use on almost everyone shoot, is simple piece of white foam board. You can get them at an art supply store or even the dollar store sometimes.. So a 30 x 40 inch white board can cost between a $1 and $5 depending on where you shop. Not a bad deal for all you can do with it. Whenever I can bounce light vs. setting up a fill light, I’ll always use that option.. it adds nice fill light without being “sourcey”
Ukranian photographer Ilya Varlamov has been covering the uprising in Kiev, Ukraine over the last few weeks. He shared his experience along with an incredible series of photographs and allowed us to post them on the blog to increase the spread of the story. The post below describes two days in Kiev: January 22 and 23. Some of the photos may be hard to watch. Aside this post, Ilya has an ongoing coverage of the uprising on his livejournal account (some in Russian, some in English).
In the last days I received multiple requests to translate my posts for foreign readers, as they have very limited information about the happenings in Ukraine. This material describes events which took place in Kyev on January 22 and 23.
Sharing and distribution is appreciated.[Read More…]
G-technology is no stranger to mass storage. The company is leading the market when it come to high performance storage for creative people. The G-Dock ev with Thunderbolt is one of those storage devices. It’s has everything you’d expect from a device aimed at creative professionals and also those who see themselves as such; It’s extremely well built, looks “pro” and works as it should – fantastically. (I guess you can tell where this review is going to go… we love it!)[Read More…]
It has been said many times before, the eyes are one of the key elements that photographers try and capture.
Here is a little video showing a technique that I picked up from Scott Kelby. The book was called Professional Portrait Retouching.
If you want to follow along. I have have made a few little notes.[Read More…]