Happy Labor Day!
Monday, September 1, 2014
I hope today you're able to sit back, relax, and enjoy your day off. While you're doing that, check out this article on the origins of the Labor Day holiday courtesy of History.com. Be sure to click through for some other neat TV documentaries, and then take a photo gallery containing important images in the history of America's labor movement. Mostly, though, make sure you don't work too hard today.
Optimize Your Digital Workflow With DP Best Flow
Friday, August 29, 2014
When it comes to photography, it's the stuff that takes place outside of my office that's a lot more compelling than the stuff that keeps me glued to my computer. But that said, there's nothing I love more than constantly refining my digital imaging workflow. When it comes to my workflow, every little improvement that saves me a bit of time, or allows me to produce a better, more consistent finished product, or that allows me to track down that image file when I need it years down the road, well that gives me a thrill. As you might imagine, I'm a big fan of the DP Best Flow program published (online and in print) by the American Society of Media Photographers. DP Best Flow, short for "digital photography best practices and workflow") is the culmination of years of research and refinement on the part of ASMP and a team of experts who made use of a Library of Congress grant designed to establish best practices for digital image files to ensure that they can achieve a level of long-term permanence akin to archivally stored film and paper photographs. The point is, DP Best Flow is a really powerful tool in the modern photographer's arsenal. If you're looking for a way to refine your own workflow, one of the best places to start is the official web site, dpbestflow.org. Linked below is a neat overview of an ideal commercial photographic workflow. If you don't already, start spending some time at www.dpbestflow.org.
A Roundup Of Free Online Photography Courses
Thursday, August 28, 2014
As I prepare for another semester teaching photography, I've got photographic educational resources on the brain. I stumbled across an interesting post at PetaPixel that I think is the perfect thing to share with you here today. It's a guide of educational guides—a list of great free online photography courses and tutorials. Of course, the first place you should look is right here at dpmag.com, as well as our sister publications Outdoor Photographer and Digital Photo Pro and their respective web sites. But the wide, wide world of the world wide web is a tremendous place to learn all about a technical and artistic endeavor such as photography. Broken up into sections for beginners, advanced photographers, post-production tutorials and even theoretical studies of the medium and its place in society, this list is a great place to find inspiration and information for your own free online photographic education. It includes sources as esteemed as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as other colleges and universities and even online training provider Lynda.com. These classes won't come with course credit, but the knowledge itself is the real payoff.
Learn About The Wet Collodion Photographic Process
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
The more examples I see, the more I think I absolutely must learn to do wet collodion photography. After seeing it on the Snapshot TV show recently, it again caught my eye when I saw a popular item on the Humans of New York blog in which photographer Brandon Stanton was photographed by wet plate master Jill Enfield in her own portable studio and darkroom. Linked below is a time lapse video of Ms. Enfield at work, which has actually been mentioned in this blog before, but it's so fascinating I have to include it here. Any roundup of wet collodion videos would be incomplete without it. More important, perhaps, is that it's followed by a couple of links to some other great wet collodion "how to" info. Of these, Frederick Avery's demonstration on mixing chemistry, coating the glass negative, exposing and developing it is particularly interesting for being especially detailed every step of the way. The video of a B&H online lecture by Ellen Susan is more than an hour long and along with the basics of the chemistry it also covers the history of the process and some reasons behind its recent resurgence. Ultimately, the collodion process may not be exactly efficient and expedient, but those one-of-a-kind images are amazing. In the hands of an artist like Jill Enfield and the other photographers who have generously shared their techniques online, the look really is unparalleled.
Help With Wedding Photography Pricing
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Attention wedding photographers, this post is for you. Snapknot, a web site all about wedding photography, has compiled a national survey of the cost to hire a wedding photographer in a variety of cities across the country. What are the results? Well the national average for photographing a wedding is $2814. Overall, the range goes from a high of nearly $4000 in San Francisco (on average) to the relative bargain price of just over $2000 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The site also includes a guide for brides and grooms to help them understand what different things go into wedding photography and how one photographer's higher price may actually be a better value than another photographer's lower one. The bottom line is simple: there's no standard for wedding photography pricing, and this guide can help you figure out where you should be if you want to be in line with your competition. In the highly competitive world of wedding photography you need every advantage you can get. To ensure you're not undervaluing your work and undercutting the local competition, this guide just might be invaluable.
Isabella Vacchi’s Monochromatic Food Photography
Monday, August 25, 2014
I've been thinking about the beautiful monochromatic food photographs of Isabella Vacchi ever since I first saw them. A commercial photographer who specializes in still life, Vacchi seems to have a meticulous passion, and a real natural knack, for color combinations and palettes. Many of her images come with their own color palette swatches, as evidenced by many of the images on her web site. But it's this series of meticulously arranged monochromatic still life images that makes me gasp and smile at the same time. Vacchi is a very talented photographer with a strong sense of design, and the simplicity of her idea, as well as the light touch with her lighting and compositions, has really inspired me to want to make some meaningful still life photographs of my own.
Kim Kardashian, Published Photographer
Friday, August 22, 2014
It's not everyday I find fodder for this blog via US Weekly, but it turns out that there's about to be some crossover between the worlds of photography and celebrity gossip. Kim Kardashian, who is most famous for simply being famous, is about to publish a photography book. Will it be studied black and white landscapes she's made during her many hours of free time, or perhaps thought provoking portraits of the people she encounters while traveling the world? Well, not quite. When she was on vacation in Thailand earlier this year, Kardashian made more than 1,200 portraits. Self portraits, actually. Selfies. Made with her phone. Rizzoli Publishing is going to release a book of her selfies, called "Selfish," early next year. Further proof that, these days, everybody's a photographer. Only time will tell if she's a good one. Read all about it at http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/kim-kardashian-set-to-release-selfies-book-in-2015-201488.
Ultraviolet Photography Is Fighting Skin Cancer
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer, and melanoma, a type of skin cancer, is one of the deadliest. In an effort to help convince more of us to use sunscreen in order to prevent cancer and keep our skin healthy, Thomas Leveritt has produced a really interesting video of people applying sunscreen to their faces. What makes it so special is that Mr. Leveritt has employed ultraviolet videography—through a process that he has not been particularly quick to explain on his Twitter or YouTube feeds, but which presumably involves removing the IR/UV filter from a DSLR sensor and applying some form of UV filter in front of the lens—to show us not only how damaged our skin usually is already, but how it reacts when sunscreen is applied. Ultraviolet light (which does all the damage to our skin during exposure to the sun) doesn't pass through glasses and they, in turn, turn black on the ultraviolet camera. UV light doesn't pass through sunscreen either, and so it also turns black on the video and elicits some powerful reactions. It's a tremendous use of photographic tools for a good cause and I'm sure it's going to have an impact. Whether you're interested in the science of sunscreen and our skin or just the neat photography, take a look at the video via Upworthy at http://www.upworthy.com/what-happens-to-your-face-when-you-wear-sunscreen-might-shock-you-it-did-for-these-people.