The Photography Of Stephen Shore
Friday, October 17, 2014
In honor of the new release of his 30-year-old monograph, Uncommon Places, photographer Stephen Shore is the feature of this interesting article at Another Magazine. Shore is an icon of the late 20th century art world as a pioneer of bringing color photography from the status of snapshot to high art. Shore also become only the second living photographer to have a solo exhibition at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Much is known about the photographer and his work, but this article includes ten things most of us probably don't know about this art world icon. For instance, when Shore was just 14 years old he called MoMA's director of photography, the master photographer Edward Steichen, with an offer to show him his work. And wouldn't you know it, Steichen purchased three pieces. Read more about this fun fact, along with nine others, at http://www.anothermag.com/current/view/3982/Ten_Things_You_Might_Not_Know_About_Stephen_Shore
Behind The Scenes Of A Creative Commercial
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Here's a pretty cool commercial for a high-tech device that relies on simple low-tech creative problem solving. It's a commercial for new Motorola Moto smartphones produced by ad agency Droga5 and their particularly creative team. The spot has eschewed digital trickery and computer graphics in favor of hand-built sets and props that delivered a really clever finished product. I love it when simplicity and creative thinking rule the day, particularly in the current creative environment where everything seems to be about boosting production value with digital wizardry even if it doesn't aid in telling the story. This team told the story of this product really well, as evidenced via the behind-the-scenes videos and stills linked below. It's the kind of thing that inspires me to try to create interesting work with creative problem solving.
Photographing Rare Frogs
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Robin Moore has a new book documenting his amazing quest to photograph the rarest types of frogs in the world. "In Search of Lost Frogs," available now at Amazon.com, is full of stunning images of amazing frogs and salamanders that, in most cases, have not been seen by human eyes in more than 100 years. "These Lazarus frogs," writes Moore on his blog, "appearing against all odds years or decades after they were believed extinct, could hold vital clues to help us stem the hemorrhaging of life on our planet." See a great gallery at his blog, then visit insearchoflostfrogs.com to watch a tremendous BBC documentary about Mr. Moore and his project, which takes you along while he gets to work with his tiny little subjects.
Instagrammers On Assignment
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Even smartphone photographers are now getting paid. In its search for "official Instagrammers," movie and television streaming service Netflix is offering commercial assignments that will take three hired shooters across the continent. These aren't gigs for any old snap shooters, though. Netflix is looking for three particularly accomplished Instagram users—what it calls "Grammasters." To apply, photographers simply append the hashtag #Grammaster to their three best shots and they're in the running. Those selected will be hired for $4,000 and a two-week trip to several iconic film and television locations, including, potentially, the sets of Netflix original productions. Judging just closed, and we'll have to wait until next month to see who got the gig. Until then, we can browse the ever-growing gallery of submissions simply by searching for the hashtag #Grammaster. Get inspired by what these folks are doing with just their smartphone point-and-shoots.
Activist Photographers And The Fight For Civil Rights
Monday, October 13, 2014
It's the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and still civil unrest has been in the news lately. So when I saw this story about the photographers who fought for civil rights in the 1960s, it immediately piqued my interest. Collectors Weekly has published an in-depth article about activist photographers who decades ago documented the struggle for equality in the United States. These include photographers both known and unknown, such as Matt Herron, Bob Fitch (Martin Luther King Jr.'s personal photographer) and the iconic and inimitable Gordon Parks. The powerful images they made in middle of the last century bear a striking resemblance to images made in Ferguson in recent months. It's an issue we'd all do well to continue thinking critically about, challenging our own assumptions with the assistance, of course, of the photographers who risk life and limb to show us the struggle in black and white. This is a timely, must-read article about photography and issues so much bigger.
Fighting The Lost Generation
Friday, October 10, 2014
If you can't find an image, it's worthless. That's the message of Kevin Gilbert's TEDx talk. Kevin is a photographer who made his name in the newspaper business, and worked his way up through the press corps in Washington D.C. to become the president of the White House photographers association, and eventually moving on to documentary photography for some of the most popular reality television shows of the last decade. Well now he's spending his time teaching others how to take better pictures, and he does this through a variety of workshops and lecturing opportunities. He recently gave a TEDx talk that isn't about taking better pictures, per se, but rather highlighting the importance of preserving the pictures we take. In effect, Kevin says, we're in danger of becoming a lost generation—one in which our memories, our digital photographs, are too intangible and ultimately transient. The talk isn't so much about finding a specific solution to the permanence problem, so much as it's designed to inspire us to think differently about not protecting our digital images. It's a worthwhile 15 minutes. Watch online at
The Ridge By Danny Macaskill
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Here's a beautiful bit of adventure sports filmmaking. These days, that description often conjures visions of first-person perspective videos made with GoPro HD cameras. Yes, this film does involve a GoPro, but the bulk of the footage is so very much more. The production value is tremendous, and the effect is a gorgeous, heart pounding, moving adventure. It's called The Ridge, and it's the newest short from Danny Macaskill, a Scottish cyclist and filmmaker who returned to the Isle of Skye in Scotland to ride the Cuillin Ridgeline, a feat among mountain bikers that you don't need to be a mountain biker to appreciate. Trust me: this is an amazing film. It's unbelievable what this man can do on a bike, and the visual quality itself is reminiscent of the best landscapes and adventure photography you've ever seen. Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ_IQS3VKjA
A Dirt Cheap Macro Lighting Fix
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
I love D.I.Y. photo projects, so when I see something this simple and smart, I'm excited to give it a try. This one is courtesy of the education site Lynda.com and author Joseph Linaschke, who suggests a fix for macro photography lighting. Anyone who's ever tried using on-camera flash for a closeup macro photograph has probably produced a badly overexposed image with ugly lighting. But Linaschke's fix means you'll get beautifully diffused lighting on every closeup, whether you're working with on-camera flash or bright sun. I don't want to give away the secret completely, but let's just say it involves a cheap, translucent plastic drinking cup. The picture tells a lot, but to find out exactly how to put this easy trick to work, and to sign up for macro photography tutorials, click below to visit Lynda.com.