Ashley Roberts for Fault Magazine
Sat, 21 Apr 2018 01:27:00 ZSmugMug snaps up Flickr, promises 'the future is bright'
Photo-sharing site Flickr has been acquired by photo hosting service SmugMug. According to USA Today, SmugMug CEO Don MacAskill is committed to 'breathing new life' into the once market-leading service, and will maintain it as 'a standalone community of amateur and professional photographers'.
One of the most important and popular services of the digital photography boom of the mid 2000s, Flickr was acquired by Yahoo more than a decade ago, but in recent years the site has been in decline as once-loyal users abandoned the stagnant platform in favor of competitive services. Flickr loyalists had hoped that Yahoo's then-new CEO Melissa Mayer would be able to 'make Flickr awesome again' when she took over in 2012, but the once industry-leading photo site never regained its former relevance.
Following Verizon's acquisition of Yahoo and Flickr in 2017, it looked possible that the service might be shuttered, but it seems that with the SmugMug acquisition, this one-time giant of the digital photography landscape may have a brighter future than some users had feared.
Fri, 20 Apr 2018 19:55:00 ZMeyer Optik is reviving Dr. Rudolph's APO Plasmat 105mm F2.7 lens
Meyer Optik has announced its new APO-Makro-Plasmat 105 F2.7 lens, a modern version of one of the classic Plasmat lenses developed by Dr. Paul Rudolph 105 years ago. As with previous Meyer Optik revivals, the company is funding its product on Kickstarter, where it explains that the new Plasmat 105 "offers natural sharpness, unbelievable color reproduction, and a glowing bokeh united at every step of the aperture."
The name Makro, Meyer Optik explains, was chosen by Rudolph in reference to the Makro-Plasmat's suitability for 35mm, not macro, photography. The company says that while its revamped version of the lens offers performance that's "in the spirit of the Plasmat lenses," it created the model with modern camera gear in mind.
The APO-Makro-Plasmat 105 has a 105mm focal length, 60mm width, an F2.7 - F22 aperture, 1.1m / 3.6ft minimum focusing distance, manual focusing, 6 elements in 5 groups, as well as 15 steel aperture blades with an anti-reflex coating.
As with the original Plasmat lenses, Meyer Optik says its remake offers a unique combination of glow, bokeh, plasticity, and sharpness, explaining:
The lens is sharp but it takes away the razor cut, sterile, microscope like sharpness and replaces it by an even sharpness around the subject that flatters it and pleases the eye of the spectator. Thus the lens fills the whole space with amazing depth and at the same time with a smooth transition from focus to softness.
The company plans to offer APO-Makro-Plasmat 105 for 35mm cameras in the following mounts: Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony E, Fuji X, and Leica M. A model will also be released for medium-format mirrorless cameras in both Fuji GFX and Hasselblad X1D mounts.
The lens has already reached nearly three times its funding goal on Kickstarter, where backers who pledge at least $1,050 USD (offer expires in the next 17 hours) are promised an early bird lens with a serial number that matches where they fall on the backers' list—the first person to pledge will receive serial number 001, the second person will receive 002, and so on. Once this first early bird offer is gone, backers will be able to get the lens for $1,100, $1,150, and eventually $1,300 when all early bird deals are gone.
Initial shipments to backers are expected to start in February 2019; shipping costs depend on region. To learn more or secure your own, head over to the Kickstarter campaign page.
Fri, 20 Apr 2018 18:24:00 ZSony's updated 3D Creator app can use your smartphone's front camera to scan your face
Sony's 3D Creator app with its 3D-face-scanning function was first introduced with the Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact last year. Now the Japanese manufacturer is rolling out the update to version 2 of the app.
The most important upgrade of the new version is the ability to create 3D models of your face with your smartphone's front camera. This means, unlike with the previous version, you don't need the help of another person to create a 3D-model of your face and head. Of course, the option to use the main camera and get someone else to do the job is still available.
The updated app also lets you share the results straight to Facebook or order a 3D-printed copy of your model. And version 2.0 also comes with "post-scan cloud processing," which allows you to render 3D models with 4K resolution textures for better detail and realism.
3D Creator 2.0 is compatible with the Xperia XZ1, XZ1 Compact, and XZ Premium. If you're lucky enough to own one of these devices, you can download the newest version of the app from the Play Store now. If you are an iPhone X user, check out the Bellus 3D app for similar face scanning capabilities.
Fri, 20 Apr 2018 18:15:00 ZMeike announces full frame 85mm F1.8, its first autofocus lens
Chinese accessories brand Meike has announced it will introduce an autofocus 85mm F1.8 lens for Canon and Nikon full-frame DSLRs. In addition to adding another (very likely) affordable third party option to the mix, this will be the company’s first AF lens.
Details are a little thin on the ground, but early marketing materials suggest it will be a lightweight and compact lens with an all-metal body construction. The optical formula will use nine elements in six groups, and all elements will be multi-coated on both sides. Close focus will begin at 0.85m with a maximum magnification of 1:1.8. The lens will be 79.5mm long and will accept a 67mm filter.
In addition to the Nikon and Canon full-frame mounts, Meike will release the MK-85mm F1.8 lens for Sony APS-C models as well. No price has been announced as of yet, and the company hasn’t said when we should expect the lens to go on sale.
For more information visit the Meike website.
Fri, 20 Apr 2018 16:25:00 ZThese are the winners of the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards
2018 Sony World Photography Award Winners Announced
After first revealing the shortlist and later the Open category and National Award winners, the World Photo Organization has finally unveiled the overall winners of the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards. This includes the coveted Photographer of the Year, Open Photographer of the Year, Youth Photographer of the Year, and Student photographer of the year awards, as well as the 10 winners of the Professional categories.
This year's winners vary greatly in both style and substance: from stark portraiture, to dreamy landscapes, to an ecologically-minded photo project that sheds light on the problem plastic pollution.
The overall winner and 2018 Photographer of the Year accolade goes to British photographer Alys Tomlinson, whose project Ex-Voto:
The winning work encompasses formal portraiture, large format landscape and small, detailed still life images of the ‘ex- votos’ (offerings of religious devotion) found at pilgrimage sites of Lourdes (France), Ballyvourney (Ireland) and Grabarka (Poland).
Tomlinson's project was selected as the best from the 10 Professional category winners, where she also took home top prize in the Discovery category. The title comes with $25,000 worth of prize money.
Open Photographer of the Year was awarded to IT specialist and self-taught photographer Vaselin Atanasov for his photograph Early Autumn; Youth Photographer of the Year was earned by 16-year-old Megan Johnson for her image Still; and Student Photographer of the Year went to Canadian student Samuel Bolduc for his series The Burden, shot on behalf of College de Matane, Quebec.
Scroll through the slideshow to see the Overall, Open, Youth, Student, and all 9 remaining Professional category winners, then head over to the World Photo Organization website to see all of the 2018 winners and runners-up.
Overall winners revealed for 2018 Sony World Photography Awards
- British artist Alys Tomlinson named Photographer of the Year
- 10 Professional category winners and finalists revealed
- Overall Open, Youth and Student winners announced
London, April 19, 2018 – The World Photography Organisation today names the overall winners of the prestigious 2018 Sony World Photography Awards at a London ceremony.
The coveted Photographer of the Year title was presented to British artist Alys Tomlinson for her series Ex-Voto, winning the photographer $25,000 (USD). The work was praised by the jury for its beautiful production, technical excellence and sensitive illustration of pilgrimage as a journey of discovery and sacrifice to a greater power.
Tomlinson was selected from the 10 category winners of the Professional competition who were announced today alongside those in 2nd and 3rd place in each Professional category. The overall winners of the Awards’ Open (best single image), Youth and Student Focus competitions were also revealed.
All winners were flown to the London awards ceremony and received Sony digital imaging equipment, publication in the winners’ book and their work will be shown as part of the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London.
Outstanding Contribution to Photography recipient Candida Höfer was also at the ceremony to collect her prize.
Produced by the World Photography Organization, the Sony World Photography Awards is the world’s most diverse photography competition. The 11th edition saw a record breaking 320,000 submissions by photographers from more than 200 countries and territories, presenting some of the world’s finest contemporary photography captured over the past year.
The Awards' annual London exhibition brings together the best established and emerging talent from around the world, providing winning and shortlisted photographers the opportunity to showcase their work on an international stage.
Photographer of the Year - Alys Tomlinson, British
Ex-Voto is a personal project by London-based photographer Tomlinson (age 43). The winning work encompasses formal portraiture, large format landscape and small, detailed still life images of the ‘ex- votos’ (offerings of religious devotion) found at pilgrimage sites of Lourdes (France), Ballyvourney (Ireland) and Grabarka (Poland).
The photographer mainly explores themes of environment, belonging and identity. She recently completed an MA (Distinction) in Anthropology of Travel, Tourism and Pilgrimage and has been recognized by a number of photography prizes.
Open Photographer of the Year – Vaselin Atanasov, Bulgaria
Selected from 10 category winners as the best single image in the world, Atanasov is recognized for his work Early Autumn and receives a $5,000 (USD) prize. An IT specialist, Atanasov is a self-taught photographer who began shooting in 2014. The winning photograph captures autumn in the Central Balkan National Park.
Professional Category Winners and Finalists
From insightful documentation of worldwide cultural and political events to showcasing the natural world, the photographers below were selected by judges as the best series of photographs in the world.
- Architecture: Gianmaria Gava, Italian with Buildings
2nd Edgar Martins, Portuguese / 3rd Corentin Fohlen, French
- Contemporary Issues: Fredrik Lerneryd, Swedish with Slum Ballet
2nd Margaret Mitchell, British / 3rd Alfio Tommasini, Swiss
- Current Affairs & News: Mohd Samsul Mohd Said, Malaysian with Life Inside the Refugee Camp
2nd Luis Henry Agudelo Cano, Colombian / 3rd Rasmus Flindt Pedersen, Danish
- Discovery: Alys Tomlinson, British with Ex-Voto
2nd Antonio Gibotta, Italian / 3rd Maria Petrenko, Ukranian
- Landscape: Luca Locatelli, Italian with White Gold
2nd Rohan Reilly, Irish / 3rd Tomasz Padlo, Polish
- Natural World & Wildlife: Roselena Ramistella, Italian with Deep Land
2nd Mitch Dobrowner, American / 3rd Andrew Quilty, Australian
- Sport: Balazs Gardi, Hungarian with Buzkashi
2nd Behnam Sahvi, Iranian / 3rd Matteo Armellini, Italian
- Still Life: Edgar Martins, Portuguese with Siloquies and Sililoquies on Death, Life and Other Interludes
2nd Tristan Spinski, American / 3rd Werner Anderson, Norwegian
Youth Photographer of the Year – Megan Johnson, American, Age 16
Open to photographers aged 12-19, Johnson was awarded for her image Still.. Shot on the cliffs near her house in Connecticut, the black and white image captures the complex and intricate solitude the photographer faces in everyday life.
Student Photographer of the Year – Samuel Bolduc, Canadian, Age 20
Bolduc was chosen by the judges from students worldwide for his photographic series The Burden. The work beautifully illustrates the physical burden of plastic waste in the environment to highlight the urgent need to half plastic pollution. Bolduc represented College de Matane, Quebec and has won 30,000 Euros worth of Sony photography equipment for the institution.
Outsanding Contribution to Photography – Candida Höfer
As one of the world's foremost contemporary photographers, German artist Candida Höfer is renowned for her precise methodology and technique. Her powerful portraits of vast, empty interiors are held in collections around the world. The Awards recognize the artist for her contribution to the medium.
The news of the overall winners joins the March announcement of 2018's 10 Open competition category winners and 63 National Awards winners, to complete the announcement of 2018's awards. All winning, shortlisted and commended images can be seen at the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London from April 20 - May 6th www.worldphoto.org/2018exhibition.
Sony World Photography Awards
The objective of the Sony World Photography Awards is to establish a platform for the continuous development of photographic culture. The Awards do this by recognizing great advancements in photography through the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize as well as finding and promoting new talents of the future, whether this be in the Professional, Open, Youth or Student Focus competitions. Sony is committed to supporting global photography. This is demonstrated not only via the Awards, but also by its significant grant program which offers winners of the student competition $3,500 USD and professional competition $7,000 USD to develop personal projects.
The 2019 Sony World Photography Awards opens for entries 1 June, 2018. All entries are free at www.worldphoto.org.
Photographer of the Year and 1st Place, Discovery
Photo © Alys Tomlinson, United Kingdom, Photographer of the Year and Winner Professional Discovery category, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards
Image Description: Untitled from the series 'Ex-Voto'
Series Description: A handwritten note neatly folded and hidden in the crevice of a rock, crosses etched onto stone, ribbon carefully wrapped around piles of twigs. These are all offerings of religious devotion, known as ‘Ex-Votos’ and found at Christian pilgrimage sites worldwide. Often placed anonymously and hidden from view, pilgrims leave ex-votos as expressions of hope and gratitude, creating a tangible narrative between faith, person and the landscape.
Taken at the pilgrimage sites of Lourdes (France), Ballyvourney (Ireland) and Grabarka (Poland), the project encompasses formal portraiture, large format landscape and small, detailed still-lifes of the objects and markers left behind.
Shot on 5x4, large format film, the images evoke a distinct stillness and reflect the mysterious, timeless quality present at these sites of great spiritual contemplation. People and landscape merge as place, memory and history entwine. NB all images untitled and taken in 2016/2017
Open Photographer of the Year
Photo © Veselin Atanasov, Open Photographer of the Year, Open, Landscape & Nature (2018 Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards
Image Description: The autumn has begun to decorate with its colors the woods of the Balkans. National Park - Central Balkan, Bulgaria.
Youth Photographer of the Year
Photo © Megan Johnson, United States of America, Youth Photographer of the Year, Youth, Your Environment (2018 Youth competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards
Image Description: This image was shot on October 22, 2017 on the cliffs right near my house. It was taken on an iPhone 7 for the following: life, to me, has more detail in black and white.
The image represents my current state at home and school. Despite having a social group and a caring family, I often find myself alone, left to watch what goes on around me, all the while being caught up in the very center of it. This glimpse through the trees of the figure on the cliff represents the courage it takes to be one’s self in today’s society, and how even when you’re on the inside, you can be pushed out.
Student Photographer of the Year
Photo © Samuel Bolduc, Canada, Student Photographer of the Year, Student Focus, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards
Series Description: My photographic series for this second brief are staged poetic photographs illustrating people bearing the burden of plastic wastes in the environment. With these images, I want to show the actions we have to take regardless if pollution continues at this speed or not. Through commitment of my characters, I also want to evoke the hope of changes about the accumulation of plastic wastes in the environment. The vast winterly territories reveal the contrast between their magnitude and the small place humankind has.
My creative process was guided by the three guidelines of AIR strategy: Avoid by the awareness of what should be done to counter this pollution, Intercept by the involvement of human in a realistic and durable solution and Redesign by the characters' collaboration in the production of the staged photographs.
These images were created in the Lower Saint-Lawrence region in Quebec, Canada, in February 2018. The characters represented in the photographs are friends, acquaintances and people from the recycling milieu who agreed to collaborate to this project. At each encounter, I explained the issues of the project and the impacts plastic wastes have on the environment.
1st Place, Architecture
Photo © Gianmaria Gava, Italy, 1st Place, Professional, Architecture (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards
Image Description: November 2017. Vienna, Austria. Because the building had the right criteria to be photographed for my project "Buildings". Shot on tripod.
Series Description: The project Buildings is a research about the archetypical forms of architecture. When functional elements have been removed, the constructions appear as pure geometrical solid shapes. As such, they seem uninhabitable. Nevertheless, these buildings arise questions about the function and accessibility of architecture in both the public and private space.
1st Place, Contemporary Issues
Photo © Fredrik Lerneryd, Sweden, 1st Place, Professional, Contemporary Issues (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards
Image Description: Lavenda and Wendy are rushing into the classroom where the ballet is held after changing clothes around the corner of the house
Series Description: Every Wednesday at Spurgeons Academy, a school in the middle of the indecipherable maze of Kibera's narrow streets and alleys, students take the chairs and benches out of a classroom and sweep the floor. The school uniforms are switched to bright-coloured clothes. When teacher Mike Wamaya enters the classroom, the students get into position and place one hand on the concrete wall as though it were a ballet bar. Classical music plays out of a small portable speaker, and the class begins.
The Ballet class is part of Annos Africa and One Fine Days charity activities in slum areas around Kenya. In Nairobi they work together with two schools in Kibera and one school in Mathare, another slum closer to the city centre. The dance is a way for the children to express themselves and it strengthens their confidence in life, and a belief that they can become something great.
Some of the children are now dancing several days a week in a studio called “Dance center Kenya” in a upper-class area of Nairobi and living in a boarding school, so thanks to their talent they have taken themselves away from the harsh conditions in the slum.
1st Place, Creative
Photo © Florian Ruiz, France, 1st Place, Professional, Creative (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards
Series Description: In the snowy landscapes of the heights of Fukushima, I have captured the invisible pain of radiation. Inspired by the drawings of Japanese engravings, I hoped to capture the fleeting moments, the ever-shifting perceptions of nature, where radiation accumulates the most.
The title is the measure of contamination of landscapes in becquerel (Bq), a unit that expresses atom disintegration and its mutation's number per second. By a process of staggered superimpression, I intended to show the atom’s alteration in my pictures. The transparency effects, the broken perspectives give rise to a shape that is in motion, an impermanent world. Then, I created a vibration, a departure from the reality of the subject that reveals the presence of radiation in the image.
The process reinvents and twists the very landscape, leading to a sort of vertigo, a threatening danger hidden behind the purity of the white of the landscapes.
1st Place, Current Affairs & News
Photo © Mohd Samsul Mohd Said , Malaysia, 1st Place, Professional, Current Affairs & News (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards
Image Description: Bangladesh military control the situation, as Rohingya refugees wait to receive food aid at the distribution point in Balukhali refugee camp, Bangladesh on September 28, 2017.
Series Description: Ethnic Rohingya in Rakhine state has taken a turn for the worse, where on Aug 25, more than 400 houses were burnt, and within this two weeks, nearly 125,000 Rohingya refugees left Myanmar for Bangladesh.
International organizations have reported claims of human rights violations and summary executions allegedly carried out by the Myanmar army. Now Over 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled from Myanmar into Bangladesh since violence erupted in the Rakhine state. This pictures show their life inside the Balukhali camp in Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh
1st Place, Landscape
Photo © Luca Locatelli, Italy, 1st Place, Professional, Landscape (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards
Image Description: A view of Torano’s "marble valley" in the Apuan Alps, one of Italy’s most marble-rich area, where the abundance is surreal. What we admire as pristine white stone was born hundreds of millions of years ago in overwhelming darkness. Countless generations of tiny creatures lived, died and drifted slowly to the bottom of a primordial sea, where their bodies were slowly compressed by gravity, layer upon layer, until eventually they all congealed and petrified into the interlocking white crystals we know as marble.
Some eons later, tectonic jostling raised a great spine of mountains in southern Europe. Up went the ancient sea floor. In some places they rise more than 6,000 feet.
Series Description: Rarely has a material so inclined to stay put been wrenched so insistently out of place and carried so far from its source. In Italy’s most marble-rich area, known as the Apuan Alps, the abundance is surreal. Hundreds of quarries have operated there since the days of ancient Rome and Michelangelo sculptured most of his statues from this stone. Now the trade is booming due to the demand in Saudi Arabia and other gulf states.
The photographs of this area's majestic quarries reveal their own isolated world: beautiful, bizarre and severe. It is a self-contained universe of white, simultaneously industrial and natural.
1st Place, Natural World & Wildlife
Photo © Roselena Ramistella, Italy, 1st Place, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife (2018 Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards
Image Description: Luigi a young Sicilian. The economic crisis, high unemployment rate is re-directing young Sicilians from small rural communities back to their lands and working in agriculture. Luigi helps his father cultivate small fields and take care of their farm animals.
There isn’t a day in which he doesn’t dirty his hands to try to save some money to assist his young fiance’, a Romanian national that he met while working in the fields and can now pay for her trip back to Sicily and start a new life together.
Series Description: Deepland is a personal journey that started on May 2016. I traveled on the back of a mule the old Sicilian trails, starting at Nebrodi, passing through the Madonie, Peloritani and all the way to the Sicani Mountains. The mule track is a rural road similar to a trail, but also suitable for the circulation of pack animals. Prior to the development of the modern road network itself, it represented the link and trade route between the towns and the farmland.
Until about fifty years ago, mules had a prominent role in Sicilian country life providing employment and assistance to the local farmers. Due to the economic crisis, many people are moving back to the countryside, especially the young, who have chosen to react to this difficult historical moment by working the land, planting local crops and breeding livestock, creating a new rural economy.
The project is divided into two parts, research of local communities still living in remote areas and the track of a new map, a document of what remains of the old mule tracks, the last update comes back to the 50's. Ongoing.
1st Place, Portraiture
Photo © Tom Oldham, United Kingdom, 1st Place, Professional, Portraiture (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards
Image Description: Colin Anthony, singer, in the back bar From the series 'The Last of The Crooners'.
Series Description: The Last of The Crooners is a portrait of what was. Long before Gilbert and George made art in the East End of London, in a corner of every pub at weekends you’d find pub singers crooning their way through a set of jazz standards, entertaining audiences all over Hackney and Bethnal Green.
These sharply turned out ladies and gentlemen entertained the throngs—and kept them in the pub. The audience for this form of entertainment has obviously changed over the decades, with only one notable venue still continuing to honour this tradition, with the rigid commitment of consistently hosting guest singers, three times every single weekend for over forty years, The Palm Tree in Bow, E3.
Rich in warmth and familiarity, The Palm Tree is world famous for maintaining its original East End atmosphere despite the impact of gentrification, land value, council pressures and independent pubs generally feeling the pressure of the shifts in habits of its clientele. It is a rich culture, though now sadly remains as a unique and lone stalwart. These really are The Last of The Crooners.
After several years of asking, this family-run pub has finally allowed me access to document the many great characters who still perform here, in a bid to capture this slice of time while it hopefully remains as it always has been—a beautiful and celebrated discovery, cherished by every visitor.
1st Place, Sport
Photo © Balazs Gardi, Hungary, 1st Place, Professional, Sport (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards
Image Description: Horsemen fight for a headless calf carcass during a buzkashi match on the day of Nawroz, or Persian New Year, in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan on March 21, 2017.
Series Description: In buzkashi, Afghanistan’s violent and ancient national pastime, riders battle for control of an animal corpse that they carry toward a goal. Sixteen years after the U.S.-led invasion that ousted the Taliban, the sport is dominated by rival warlords who will do anything to maintain power in a turbulent country that once again is up for grabs.
1st Place, Still Life
Photo © Edgar Martins, Portugal, 1st Place, Professional, Still Life (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards
Image Description: Letter of departure written on an academic notebook.
Series Description: Siloquies and Soliloquies was produced at the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (INMLCF), in Portugal. A significant number of the images produced at the INMLCF depict forensic evidence, such as suicide notes, letters and other objects used in suicides and crimes as well as inherent in the work of the pathologist. The images here included represent a variety of suicide letters written by individuals who took their own lives.
The work explores the tension between revelation and concealment questioning, amongst other things, the ethical implications of representing and divulging sensitive material of this nature. Edgar Martins’ decision to work in the National Institute of Legal Medicine stems from his interest in highlighting the historic and symbolic role of one of the places that, in the context of modernity, institutionalized—through scientific practice and judicial discourse—the representation, analysis and scrutiny of death and the dead body.
In this sense, the incursion of a photographic artist into a place so charged with scientific character (medical, judicial, ideological) necessarily calls on epistemological, psychological and semantic questioning: e.g. what distinguishes a documental image of a corpse or a crime scene from an image that reproduces the staged creation of a mental image of a corpse or a crime scene? What effect do these differences have in the viewer’s imagination? How do the retrospective and prospective horizons appear in the face of these different types of image?
The Suicide tool as Destinerrance proposes to scrutinize the tensions and contradictions inherent in the representation and imagination of death, in particular suicide, and, correlatively, the decisive but deeply paradoxical role that photography—with its epistemological, aesthetic and ethical implications—has played in its perception and intelligibility.
Digital Photography School
Fri, 20 Apr 2018 19:00:00 +0000Weekly Photography Challenge – Panning
Panning is a great way to add a feeling of motion and movement to your images. It works well with street photography to isolate your subject and add a little drama.
Need more help? Read these dPS articles:
- Panning and Tips for Adding Motion to Your Street Photography
- 6 Tips to Master Panning Photography
- Showing Speed: Using Panning When Shooting Action
- How to Have Fun with Shutter Speed and Added Motion Blur
Weekly Photography Challenge – Panning
Simply upload your shot into the comment field (look for the little camera icon in the Disqus comments section) and they’ll get embedded for us all to see or if you’d prefer, upload them to your favorite photo-sharing site and leave the link to them. Show me your best images in this week’s challenge. Sometimes it takes a while for an image to appear so be patient and try not to post the same image twice.
Share in the dPS Facebook Group
You can also share your images in the dPS Facebook group as the challenge is posted there each week as well.
Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:00:00 +0000Panning and Tips for Adding Motion to Your Street Photography
One of the things I teach people on my photography workshops and tours is how to do panning. It’s a great technique to add to your skillset for shooting great street photography. Panning helps to isolate a moving subject and freeze it while at the same time blurring a potentially boring or ugly background.
Tips for doing panning
Here is a video from Gavin Hoey and Adorama TV where he demonstrates how to do panning. He also walks through the camera settings to use to get started and how to adjust them as needed. Have a watch.
Street photography with slow shutter speeds
Here is a different approach to adding motion blur to your street photography, by photographer Doug McKinlay. In this video, he talks about the need for a neutral density filter if there is too much light, and using a tripod to blur moving subjects or part of your scene using long exposures.
Finally, here’s one more video that has a really good demonstration of how to execute panning, and what not to do as well.
I hope that gives you some ideas and starting points for adding panning and motion to your street photography.
The post Panning and Tips for Adding Motion to Your Street Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School.
Thu, 19 Apr 2018 19:00:00 +00007 Great Ideas for Group Photography Events and Projects
Photography can be a lonely business, but there is no reason why that has to be the case. Of course, there are many that enjoy the solitude. If you’re a photographer who enjoys more of a community there are some great ways to get together for group photography.
The reasons to join a group are varied, and even if you’re a lone ranger there are likely some ideas here for you. Linking up with others could just be about an online community, or meeting up in person. However you like to do group photography, here are seven ideas for you.
1 – Create a photo walk
One of the easiest and most informal types of group photography event is the photo walk. These are often organized by photography clubs, and there is a popular one run annually by Scott Kelby. The nice thing about a photo walk is each participant can go at their own pace. The general idea is to have a start point, a finish point, and a time limit. You may choose to walk together as a group, or split off individually.
There may be some members who pass on tips to other photographers, making this type of event an informal workshop. At the end of the walk take some time to get to know your fellow photographers by having a meal, or stopping for a drink somewhere. Finally, share the photos you’ve taken that day on an agreed social media platform of some description.
2 – Photography clubs
Joining a photography club is one of the best conduits for group photography. Through a club, there is the possibility to organize many of the other ideas mentioned in this article. Photography clubs typically meet at regular intervals of perhaps once a week or once a month, though lots of activity can occur online between meetings.
The best place to find these clubs is through searching social media, your local community center, or perhaps there is a school club near you. These clubs are a great place to learn new photography skills, with evening post-processing workshops being fairly typical. Are you having trouble finding the right club for you? You could always start up your own group!
3 – Group photography projects
These are projects that a number of photographers partake in together. The idea at the end is to have a body of work under a common theme taken by every member of the group. A project like this could well lead to a group exhibition or a collaborative photography book.
In most cases, you’ll work on the photography individually, though the leader of the project may seek to curate your work in a certain direction. The following are a few ideas that you could try:
- Subway project – Most big cities have a mass transit system, with many stations. The aim of this type of project would be to take one photograph per station. The larger cities usually have many stations, so dividing up the workload makes sense. In projects like these, it’s often a good idea to seek permission from the authorities before beginning to do any photography.
- 365 days or 52 weeks – Instead of working on your own project share it with others, and ask them to make photographs on the same theme as your own! The dPS weekly photography challenge could form the basis of this project.
- Food photography – Everyone loves good food, so combine this with your photography. Each photographer can pick a country. Then make food from that country, and photograph it. You could even make this into an international cookbook.
4 – A photography team
There are times when forming a photography team will give you the edge as a photographer. The more you move into the commercial world of photography the more this becomes a need, as you can’t be everywhere all the time. Think of events like weddings, sports, or festivals. The need to cover all your angles means teaming up with other photographers so they can be where you’re not.
- Event photography – Having more than one photographer allows one of you to concentrate on the wider scene, while the other covers moments closer to the action. Think of when tennis players go from singles to playing in pairs on a team. In doubles they have different roles and need to complement each other.
- Portrait photography – Another great example of when a team of photographers is needed is portrait work with strobes. In this scenario, there is one main photographer, but having other photographers or assistants there to help with lighting equipment is desirable.
5 – Create an association
Related to creating a photography team is making an association. In this case, you’re creating more of a guild, and indeed a photo team could be formed from members of that guild. A grouping of photographers like this will look to use each other’s strengths, to form a stronger unit when a client comes along.
Such an association might look to create a stock library of their images, albeit on a much smaller scale to larger firms such as Getty Images. Other models for such a grouping of photographers would be the Magnum organization, though of course on a smaller scale.
6 – Weekly challenges
Weekly challenges are a good way to do group photography on an individual basis, and you can decide to opt out of weeks that are not your style. There is a great weekly challenge run by Digital Photography School, and you’ll find other photography communities that run a similar program as well.
It’s of course, possible to organize these on a more local level, where perhaps you meet up in a coffee shop together once a week to make your own challenge.
7 – Enter a photo competition
A final way you can interact with your fellow photographers is through a photo competition. The weekly challenge is, of course, a competition, but there are many different types of competition. Among the biggest contests are those organized by National Geographic or Sony to name but two. These are annual competitions and often have themes for contestants to try and fulfill.
There are also photography contests that require you to tell a story through a sequence of perhaps 10 photos. Once again these contests can be adapted to you and your community. If you have a photography club, why not take a leaf out of the bigger company’s book, and make a competition. A little competitive edge within your group can often be a great way of pushing you out of your comfort zone to help you produce even more amazing results.
How will you do your group photography?
There are many good ways to collaborate with others and do more group photography activities. Have you tried any of the ideas in this article before?
Perhaps you have a new more novel way to make a photography community that can be shared here. As always I’d love to get feedback from you, so leave your comments and I shall endeavor to respond.
The post 7 Great Ideas for Group Photography Events and Projects appeared first on Digital Photography School.
Thu, 19 Apr 2018 19:00:00 +00005 Reasons Why Your Sunrise or Sunset Photos Don’t Look So Stunning
The holy grail of travel photography is a stunning photo looking into the vast distance taken at sunrise or sunset. It seems to just work as a blend of color, composition, and light to create something that often makes the viewer utter that famous word that any photographer wants to hear, “Wow!”.
But why is it then that so often when you look at your own sunrise or sunset photos they don’t look so stunning? Here are 5 reasons why your sunrise or sunset photos don’t live up to your expectations.
#1 – What’s the point?
I remember a picture editor once told me, “This might sound controversial, but a sunrise or sunset is actually pretty boring.” What he was referring to was the lack of compelling subject matter in a photo of a sunrise or sunset like for example an empty beach with just the setting sun.
While sitting on a beach and seeing a sunset can seem like a wonderful experience, unfortunately, the camera cannot replicate that. Most successful photos of sunrises or sunsets have a point of interest in them, in that there is a subject that is the main story and the sunrise or sunset is providing the light and the atmosphere.
That story doesn’t necessarily have to be a person or an object in the frame. The story could be the beautiful scenery or the crashing waves against the coast. But the key point is that there is something that gets the viewers’ attention. So, don’t just rely on the sunrise or sunset, try to build your composition using it as an addition rather than the story.
#2 – Clouds or no clouds?
For example, one element that can dramatically improve your sunrise or sunset photos is some clouds. Take your generic empty beach scenario from above, but this time add some dramatic clouds that the light can bounce off and suddenly you’ll go from something mundane to something that looks fantastic.
Of course, you can’t control the elements and no clouds in the sky means, there’s nothing you can do. In that scenario, you just have to work harder to frame your shot and give the viewer a point of interest.
While you generally want some clouds in the sky, too much cloud cover and you will often find the light seems flat and dull and the whole photo looks uninteresting (unless the sun can set below the clouds and light them up from underneath). So, in conclusion, while you ideally want some clouds, it’s important not to have a completely overcast day. You can, of course, plan your shoots around times when you will have the best conditions.
#3 – Are your highlights and shadows correct?
One of the big challenges in photographing sunrise or sunsets is the vast contrast you get between highlights and shadows. Your highlights are the light areas of your photo (such as the sky for example) and your shadows are the dark areas in the photo (for example your foreground).
If either is pushed too far you will get completely white areas for highlights and completely black areas for shadows. This means that these areas contain no pixel details and is something you want to avoid.
The problem you face when photographing sunsets or sunrises is that your sky will be bright, and your foreground will be dark (a high dynamic range). The way that you can ensure that your highlights and shadows are exposed correctly in this scenario is to use a graduated neutral density filter to balance out the difference in the highlights and shadows.
There are also other techniques such as exposure bracketing as well that can help you achieve this in post-production and actually just brightening or darkening these areas in a software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom. But whatever you decide, just make sure that your highlights and shadows are exposed correctly and fine-tune them if you need to in post-production.
#4 – The image isn’t framed correctly
One of the key elements in ensuring the final photo looks great is to frame your composition correctly.
The easiest way to do this and a good starting point for any photographer is the famous Rule of Thirds where you try to place key points of interest on the intersection of the lines. But the Rule of Thirds is also worth remembering for your horizon line. Usually, you will find that placing the horizon either on the top third or the bottom third will look better than slap bang in the middle.
But try to consider the whole picture when framing your shot. Think if there are any areas that are just wasted space where you can crop in tighter. Or if your camera angle is slightly off and you can benefit by just moving a little to either side.
The beauty of photography these days is that you can usually take as many photos as it takes to get your shot framed right. So, play around with your composition and capture a few alternatives that you can then review later in post-production.
#5 – You haven’t fixed mistakes
Usually, the first bit of feedback that I often give newbie photographers when I look at their sunrise or sunset photos is on elements that could easily be fixed in post-production. Whether you are an advocate of post-production or not there are certain things that you simply should not forego on any photo.
The two biggest of these are:
- Ensuring that your photos are straight, that means the horizon line needs to be dead straight.
- Making sure you have the correct white balance for the photo (if you haven’t already done so when taking the photo). Think about the scene that you are showing, is it a warm and golden scenario or is it a cool and crisp setting? Either way, tweak your white balance until it is correct.
If you do nothing else in post-production, just making sure these two settings are correct will immediately improve your photos.
Sunsets and sunrises are wonderful times in the day to photograph things. The soft golden light can transform an ordinary scene into an extraordinary one. When done well, they are often the photos that will be the “show stoppers” in any portfolio.
But always remember that a sunset and sunrise needs to work in combination with your composition and subject matter to create a wonderful photo. Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to capturing great photos of sunrise and sunsets.
Now it’s your turn to get involved. Share your great sunrise and sunset photos below.
The post 5 Reasons Why Your Sunrise or Sunset Photos Don’t Look So Stunning appeared first on Digital Photography School.
Wed, 18 Apr 2018 19:00:00 +00004 Ways To Make Better Street Portraits While Traveling
One of my favorite things about travel photography is the opportunities it provides to meet interesting people in the street and make portraits of them. Here are some of the things that I have learned that you can put into practice when you are traveling and make street portraits.
1. Ask people for permission
It’s surprising how you often get the best results when you ask people for permission to make their portrait. This doesn’t apply all the time – you might see somebody interesting who doesn’t notice that you are there and you get the opportunity to make a great candid portrait.
But more often than not you can get a better result by approaching people and asking permission. The good thing about this approach is that it gives you a great excuse to go up to somebody and ask if you can make their portrait. A good way to phrase it is to explain that you are undertaking a project asking interesting people to pose for you.
Problems can arise with this approach if you don’t speak the local language. But that doesn’t stop you communicating with good body language and a smile. You can point to your camera to indicate you are asking for permission to make a portrait.
It’s worth overcoming the challenges
An alternative approach is to work with a local person who can translate for you. This may be a local photographer who you have made contact with and who is interested in helping you out. Or it may be a fixer who you pay to help you communicate with local people and find photo opportunities that you are unlikely to come across by yourself.
Once you have somebody’s permission you have an immediate advantage that you can spend some time with them to work on creating a good street portrait. For example, let’s say you see an interesting person who is standing in the sun and as a result, the light is too harsh to make a good portrait. If you approach them to ask for permission you can then ask them to stand in the shade so you get the best light.
That’s the approach I took with the portrait above, created in a mosque in Delhi. The man approached us in the mosque and explained a few things to us about what we were seeing. When we met him he was standing in the sun. After a few minutes of conversation, we asked if we could make a portrait of him and he said yes. It was easy to find a shady place for him to stand.
2. Photograph character, not beauty
It may be tempting to look for beautiful or handsome people to photograph. And who could blame you? But you’ll create more interesting street portraits full of character if you find interesting people. This means people of both genders and all ages (except children, see next point).
For example, I made the portrait below in the town of San Antonio de Areco in Argentina. This town is famous for its atmospheric bars and gauchos. While taking photos in one of the bars somebody told me there was an elderly couple down the road who loved talking to people and having their photo taken. We went to check out the situation and found the couple sitting out on the street. We had an interesting conversation and I made this portrait.
This also shows how you should be open to opportunity. If people are friendly and make suggestions like this, go with the flow and see where it takes you. Interesting things often happen this way.
3. Don’t take too many photos of children
A few years ago I traveled to the town of Tupiza in southern Bolivia. We were walking through the town’s main square and noticed there was a lot of children. It turned out that it was a national sports day and as part of that event, local school children were in the square to participate in sporting activities.
Eventually one of the children noticed that I had a camera and started jumping up and down in front of me, asking me to take his photo. Of course, then other children joined in and soon I had a mob of kids in front of me who all wanted their photos taken. Which I did, and I have a nice memory because of it.
Luckily a teacher came along and shooed the kids away. The point of this story is that kids are often easy to photograph, especially in places where they get excited whenever they see a foreigner. But they are not likely to feature in your most interesting or memorable photos.
As a subject, they are too easy. Plus, you have to consider that in some countries local people may view strangers photographing children as suspicious. You’ll get better results by avoiding kids and finding interesting adults.
4. Look for interesting backgrounds
My final tip is to look for interesting backgrounds or places and wait with your camera to see what happens. Have you noticed how some photographers walk rapidly from one place to another, taking photos of anything that catches their eye? The aim of this exercise is to get you to slow down and become attuned to the rhythm of the place you’re in.
If the background is interesting enough, you can wait for somebody to pass by and add an element of human interest. People will usually think that you’re photographing whatever’s in the background and probably won’t even realize they are in the photo.
Here’s an example of that. I found this beautiful scene in Guatemala and waited to see what would happen. Eventually, a man cycled by and I was able to make this photo.
When you are traveling with the intention of creating street portraits it takes some work to get the best results. Following the tips in this article, and getting used to approaching people to ask if you can make their portrait will help you a lot with the process.
The Candid Portrait
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