Everyone is a photographer, and that includes celebrities. But some celebrities take their photography more seriously than others, investing both significant time and money into developing their craft. Here’s a small sampling.
Donald Trump presents an interesting case for portrait photography and its use on magazine covers. Prior to his presidential run, he was known as an outspoken businessman and reality television star whose bombastic style brought in yuge ratings for “The Apprentice.”
Prior to the presidency, photographers and photo editors played to that persona with covers like these from 2011 and 2004 respectively.
When it comes to taking photos of stars, the best camera/lens combos are the ones that capture the most light.
Some photographers like to use the earth’s rotation to create star trails, but many other photographers like their stars to appears as points of light. For enthusiasts who haven’t invested in tracking hardware (systems that counteract the rotation of the earth) or want to keep terrestrial elements sharp, the “500 Rule” provides basic guidance about the exposure duration. The wider the lens, the longer the usable exposure.
The importance of presidential photography cannot be understated in today’s visual world. Although the bulk of photography since the inception of regular presidential photography in the 1950s still consists of “grip and grin” photo ops, White House photographers have sought to capture a more intimate look at the leader of the free world. Press access to the President varies by administration (a criticism that dogged the Obama administration), but White House photographers have access to private or top secret moments that are a vital part of the historical record – from 9/11 to the assassination of Osama bin Laden.
“I’m going to document every meeting that you have. It’s for history,” said Pete Souza, Chief White House Photographer under President Barack Obama, in an interview with National Geographic. “This job is about access and trust, and if you have both of those, hopefully you’re going to make interesting and historic pictures.”
Eyebrows were raised in the photojournalism community yesterday when World Press Photo – an industry stalwart – announced the creation of a new contest that would “not have rules limiting how images are produced.” The contest would allow staged and manipulated images – dubbed “creative documentary photography” – in support of contemporary storytelling.
One the one hand, this is outrageous. It’s more than a matter of semantics to reappropriate the meaning of “journalism” and “documentary.” Lives have literally been lost in the pursuit of the ideals espoused by these words.
But let’s take a step back and acknowledge that the contest is still unnamed and that “creative documentary photography” is, perhaps, a working title for an unfinished product.
Since 1932, vaunted Swiss watchmaker Omega has served as Official Timekeeper at the Olympic Games 26 times. This year at the Rio Olympics, Omega is once again providing finish line cameras to provide officials and the public with the most precise view of the athletes.
The current generation of cameras, dubbed the Scan ‘O’ Vision debuted at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. The current version, Myria, is now capable of taking 10,000 scans per second; a dramatic improvement from 2,000 sps at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. But the camera isn’t the only improvement.
In an April 2016 interview, Mark Zuckerberg told Buzzfeed News, “I wouldn’t be surprised if you fast-forward five years and most of the content that people see on Facebook and are sharing on a day-to-day basis is video.” Given the proliferation of video features available on millions of smartphones – from image stabilization to incredible 240fps slow mo – it’s no surprise that more and more people and brands are experimenting with moving pictures. Even the venerable portrait is moving away from being strictly medium into something more dynamic.
On April 3, The New York Times Magazine photography critic Teju Cole penned a piece largely dismissing the work of renown photographer Steve McCurry. The piece caused a minor ruckus in photography circles with people (like myself) writing in his defense, while others castigated his imperialist eye and amplified whispers of staged scenes.
Just when the news cycle was waning, a badly Photoshopped print appeared at a McCurry gallery show, and yet another vigorous debate ensued replete with name calling, more allegations of staged photos, and a wholesale call to re-examine McCurry’s entire ouvre.
None of this matters.