Tuesday, November 16, 2010

“Invest in good photo shoots: a great photographer can add a fortune to your Web site’s business value.”

For the most part, photographic images on the internet are poor and cheaply done, and they look like it. But as the internet matures I believe the photography will to. Its like years ago when everyone was using a 35 mm film camera and all of a sudden a little 110 compact pocket camera became available and everyone bought one because of convenience. But we sacrificed image quality for convenience. Same thing with the web, its convenient now and cheap photography is accepted, but it will become more competitive and mature and really good photography is going to be required. Generic photographs done on white paper are not going to cut it.
Jakob Nielsen, a web site consultant has concluded that random photographs and stock images for internet use online are completely ignored by users, add more clutter to a page and does not help from a business standpoint. His eye tracking survey found that these filler images of stock photos or generic people photos are intentionally disregarded by the consumer, while actual photos produced for a specific intention ( an actual photo shoot, professional photographer = $ ) and a picture is specific and real, users will engage with the image for an extended period of time. Jakob Nielsen also states that "most sites are full of fluff - of which there's too much of that clutter already on the web." Bottom line is this study concludes that people ignore generic images online. See full story HERE at New York Times. See Jakob Nielsen's "Photos as web content" HERE. Mr. Nielsen concludes with advice to those using the web to hawk products, services or content, "Invest in good photo shoots: a great photographer can add fortune to your web site's business value." I guess you get what you pay for!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Photographer_Michael Kamber

Michael Kamber, a photojournalist for The New York Times has been working in Iraq since 2003. Many of his images have not been published because of censorship rules dictated by government, military, publishers and editors. " The reality of the war versus the war that people saw in the newspapers and magazines, it's a very different reality" said Kamber in this interview from BagNewsSalon. Michael Kambers website with a lot of great images HERE.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Horsetail Firefall

This interesting photo was taken on February 18th 2010 by Rob Kroenert. For only a couple of weeks in February, if the weather cooperates, the angle of the setting sun hits Yosemite's Horsetail Falls perfectly to make it appear as though they are ablaze with fire. Nice photo. Yosmite Horsetail Falls info for photographers HERE. Interesting story of how this shot was taken by Rob Kroenert HERE at his Flickr site.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pre-Dawn Shuttle Landing

On Jan. 18, 1986 LA Times photographer George Fry captured the landing of space shuttle Columbia at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert after a Florida touchdown was cancelled due to rain. Fry used Tri-X film and his plan was to push process the film to 1600 or even 3200 ASA. He shot one roll as a test of a NASA jet simulating the shuttle approach. After shooting the Columbia approach and landing he processed the test roll first to determine the proper exposure before processing the real deal. The Columbia disintegrated over Texas during reentry killing seven crew members on Feb. 1, 2003. Check it out HERE.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Shoot It Now...Light it Later

Actually you still need a well lit photograph, you can always make it better but you want to start with the best you can, with that said this program from Oloneo "HDR ReLight" is really cool. The program uses merged images to control settings of individual light sources within your image. The program automatically detects each individual light source within your photograph and allows you to change intensity, color, tint and temperature for each light source in your image. Great for indoor shooting and architecture where you run into multiple light sources producing different color temperatures. The program is in beta form and is still being developed but it is free for downloading now! Check it out HERE.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Photographer_ Julius Shulman

The modernism of Julius Shulman
A documentary film by Eric Bricker

Narrated by Dustin Hoffman this film celebrates the career of architectural photographer Julius Shulman whose images brought modern architecture to the American mainstream. He captured the work of nearly every modern and progressive architect since the 1930's including Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, John Lautner and Frank Gehry. Check it out HERE.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Worlds Largest Digital Camera_1,400,000,000 Pixels

Pan-STARRS - Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System (PS1) is operational and its goal is to look for asteroids that threaten earth while also investigating and mapping the universe and its biggest mysteries, dark matter and dark energy. It sits atop Hawaii's dormant Haleakala volcano.This sensitive digital camera was regarded as an unreachable dream just a few years ago, and was rated as one of the “20 marvels of modern engineering” by Gizmo Watch in 2008. Every 30 seconds PS1 snaps a 1,400-megapixel shot of a section of sky as large as 36 full moons—a view 3,600 times larger than the Hubble Space Telescope's main camera. One of these images would produce a 300-dpi print covering half a basketball court. The telescope gathers enough data to fill a thousand DVDs (nearly five terabytes) every night and maps a sixth of the sky each month.
Read more about PS1 HERE at National Geographic, and HERE at Pan - Starrs University of Hawaii.

Photographer_Andrew McConnell

I came across Andrew McConnell, an editorial photographer, but I really like the lighting and the interest generated by his technique, which seems to be a mix of editorial and commercial. Editorial subject matter posed and lit with a more commercial edge. End result is interesting and stunning. I thought I would share.
These images are titled "Last Colony", about politics and injustices of colonization in Western Sahara.
Check out more of his work HERE.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

BP= Photographers Not Allowed_Photographs They don't want you to see

Photographers say BP and government officials are preventing them from documenting the impact of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

British Petroleum, BP, a foreign company to the United States is now limiting access and totally in charge of our Gulf Coast beaches, airspace and our Gulf of Mexico water ways. They appear to be censoring our news coverage of their oil spill by not allowing photographers access to our public beaches and controlling the Gulf's airspace and water ways. They don't want us to see the destruction they have caused and the pictures like the ones here posted on my blog, you can see more HERE at the Boston Globe. News photographers are complaining that their efforts to document the slow-motion disaster in the Gulf of Mexico are being thwarted by local and federal officials—working with BP—who are blocking access to the sites where the effects of the spill are most visible. The ability to document a disaster, particularly through images, is key to focusing the nation’s attention on it, and the resulting clean-up efforts. For more read HERE from Newsweek. And another good article from Mother Jones about a first hand account of a journalist trying to access the oil spill area_When I tell Chief Aubrey Chaisson that I would like to get a comment on Barbara's intimations—and my experience so far—that BP is running the show, he says he'll meet me in a parking lot. He pulls in, rolls down the window of his maroon Crown Victoria, and tells me that I can't trust the government or big corporations. When everyone saw the oil coming in as clear as day several days before that, BP insisted it was red tide—algae. Chaisson says he's half-Indian and grew up here and just wants to protect the land. When I tell him BP says the inland side of the island is still clean, he spits, "They're fucking liars. There's oil over there. It's already all up through the pass." Read the Mother Jones article HERE. Oh yea, one last thing I forgot to say, fuck you BP, and get the hell off our property.

A New Way to Fund & Follow Creativity

Here's a site with a new idea that was brought to my attention by my trusted assistant (and very good photographer, and friend) Nick. This site takes people's creative projects and creates a funding format to fulfill their dreams. I love the idea, although it is not just photographic in nature. Theatre, writing, technology as well as photography is produced here, and you can become a part of these projects and follow along as they are produced, and receive gifts for your involvement and donation to fund these projects. Check out kickstarter.com HERE.

Create Advertising and Enjoy it!

II came upon this quotation from "Catch-22" by Joseph Heller. It made me think of advertising.

"He knew everything there was to know about literature, except how to enjoy it."

It seems that much of the problem in the world today is that we're too smart, too professional, too schooled and too scared.

Liking something--and responding with a gasp or a chortle or anger or a laugh is like a fart or a hiccup. Liking something is involuntary and a reaction. Such things are not meant to be controlled by our intellect. However, in the corporate world brains rule and hearts are something you use on the weekend when you're pushing your kids in a $500 stroller.

In short, how many people do you work with--including creative people--who know everything about advertising or marketing, except how to enjoy it.

Maybe the difference between good advertising and bad advertising is enjoyment. Good advertising should be enjoyable. You should feel enriched by it. It should elevate, educate or amuse. It shouldn't just lay there like a lox.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dennis Hopper_Photographer

He photographed most avidly during the 1960's. The self taught photographer again picked up the camera during the 1980's to capture mostly texture...the abraded surfaces of peeling walls and billboards. Read full story of: Remembering Dennis Hopper, Photographer, from the LA Times HERE. I also did a little searching for more of his photos on the web and did not find much, but a few did show up HERE at artnet.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Civil War Photos

A re-enactment of the civil war. These guys are serious and they look great with their civil war period clothing. I would highly suggest anyone to attend one of these re-enactments. Its interesting and educational and provides for a great photo opportunity. Enjoy...more to come.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

photographer_Filip Dujardin@Chazen Museum of Art, Madison Wisconsin

The Chazen Museum of Art (800 University Ave., Madison Wisconsin) will be featuring photographs of Filip Dujardin's "Imaginary Architecture" March 20 thru May 16. Filip is from Ghent, Belgium and is an architectural photographer. This show features photographs of buildings that are pieced together to form structures that are not possible in the real world of architecture. Its a really cool idea and the photographs are great, well worth checking out in that great little city of Madison, Wisconsin. Chazen Museum HERE. Filip Dujardin's Resampled Space blog HERE.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Still Image with Crash Taylor

Here is a web site set up by photographer Crash Taylor that features an image from different photographers and their story behind the photo. It's interesting and inspiring and the photographers talk about how they made each image, briefly covering what equipment was used, how it was lit and what was done in post processing, it doesn't go into great detail but there is a nice variety of images. Its nice to see what other talent is doing out there and the inspiration level is high. Check it out HERE. Also, this Crash Taylor guy is a really, really good wedding photographer and I would suggest checking out his site HERE.

Photographer_Louis Fabian Bachrach Jr.

This photographer, Louis Bachrach Jr. just passed away and his story is pretty amazing. His family has been photographing portraits for about 140 years through generations of Bachrachs. The family launched its business in a Baltimore studio in the late 1860s, about five years after a publication sent Mr. Bachrach's grandfather, David, to photograph President Abraham Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address. They have photographed presidents and celebrities ever since. The first time Louis photographed John F. Kennedy, Louis said in a 1985 interview "I worked like hell for an hour, but I didn't get anything; I bombed out". Great story at Boston.com HERE. Aso interesting, see Bachrach studio web site for additional portraits HERE.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Photographer_Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley

Wilson A. Bentley adapted a microscope to a bellows camera and became the first person to photograph a single snow crystal in 1885. He would go on to photograph over 5000 snowflakes during his lifetime making the discovery in his small rural town of Jericho, Vermont, that "no two snowflakes are alike". Not only is this interesting but appropriate for this time of year. See more of his collection HERE at snowflakebentley.com, and more here at the Buffalo Museum of Science.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Photographic Benefit for the Survivors of the Haiti Earthquake

The title Haiti: One Respe comes from a traditional Haitian greeting meaning "honor and respect." Several photographers including the iconic photojournalist Mary Ellen Mark, have donated the use of one or more of their works to help create this issue as a fund-raising photography magazine to benefit Haiti.

All proceeds go to the American Red Cross International Response Fund for Haiti relief.

A good way to help the people of Haiti and receive an interesting and beautiful collection of photographs in this Magazine.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Who Needs A Camera

CGI... Computer generated imaging. The movie Avatar has taken cgi to new heights, computer imaging is going nuclear and you will be seeing more of it even if your not aware of it. Take this video for example, it was produced by a guy in Spain on a single PC. All of it is computer generated. What else is amazing about this, well here is a quote from A PHOTO EDITOR, "We’ve all seen a lot of CGI over the years, but it’s usually just a bit off, or just too slick and most of it is really expensive, and requires a team of people to make it look right. But this is different — this is one guy and a PC. Low budget. And he’s not a photographer by training either. Photographers, especially ad shooters, are freaking out about this. (Read HERE) The video below includes composite breakdowns of the imaging process. To see the full video done by Alex Roman go HERE.

Compositing Breakdown (T&S) from Alex Roman on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Canon. 5200mm, f14 lens was for sale last month on ebay. Price: $45,000, No takers

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

World's Largest Nature Photo Competition Investigation, (Or Scandal)?

Evidence of a scandal?, it could be but I say it is still a great photograph. A tame wolf with some of the same markings as the supposedly wild wolf in the photograph has come to light. It does seem to be the same wolf with the exception of a difference in one ear that is being attributed to a possible fight the animal may have been in since the photo was taken. Also is a photo comparison of the actual spot where the photographer took the photo inside a nature preserve that holds the tamed wolves...UH -OH. Seriously this is a big deal because this is the largest and most respected nature photo competition in the world and the winning photographer inherits a huge merit for life. This information comes from Suomen Luonto, full story HERE.