Here’s a pretty cool idea: StudioShare.org is a website through which individuals can rent studio gear or space from each other. Members can either simply sign up to rent, or if they’re a studio owner, they can sign up to both rent and to rent out their studio space. All members can rent out their gear if they wish, though it’s probably a good idea to get equipment insurance first.
Photographers can also set up collaborations with each other using the site, as well as offer their creative services for studio shoots — and services aren’t limited to photographers, it could include stylists, makeup artists, and other creative talents.
The site streamlines all the prep for a photo shoot, from the creative services to the gear, lighting, and space. The site also emphasizes the human element of photo shoots, allowing users to network with each other and to share portfolios and resumes.
Membership starts at $49 and StudioShare takes a 20% commission on rates set by resource owners.
One drawback to the service is that it is relatively small right now, with less than 2,000 members in the United States with a rather thin distribution. Since the available stock and resources depend on that number and location of members, it might be a bit early to jump in as a renting member until the pool of studio and equipment owners grows.
French company Oloneo has just released a free beta for their product, PhotoEngine. The software is a straightforward HDR creator and non-destructive editor that allows you to quickly merge HDR photos. Additionally, it has features that can adjust specific light sources in the photo, to change the white balance or the exposure. This could come in handy when shooting HDR frames that have a variety of different light sources with different temperatures.
If you’re suffering from post-World Cup withdrawal, this might cheer you up: models frolicking on a soccer field. Actually, these women are doing much more than than that in fashion photographer Giuliano Bekor’s behind-the-scenes video of the Bebe 2010 World Cup campaign. Shooting and directing by example on the turf of the Los Angeles Memorial Stadium, Bekor pushes his models to the limit. These ladies are doing things I’d certainly never attempt in a dress and stiletto heels — running on grass, for one.
If you’ve got boxes of old prints and family photos you’d like to salvage from those awful sticky photo album pages, SnapHaven will scan them for free. For a limited time, the photo storage and backup service is offering free unlimited scans for customers with an active membership — though you’ll have to pay to ship your own prints.
SnapHaven is still the only dedicated photo backup and storage site. They also offer services for making prints, photo books, and other photo gift accessories.
SnapHaven originally launched last December, but has just re-launched with new membership options. Previously, the company had plans based on upload limits, but membership is now available at a yearly flat rate, starting at $49.99. Now, rather than paying more for more space, annual memberships are straightforward and include unlimited photo backup, protected by the company’s 99 year lifetime guarantee. SnapHaven also assures that even if the yearly membership is not renewed, customers can still have full access to the photos for viewing, printing, sharing, and downloading.
Project Einstein is a photo training group that started in Bangladesh and is now working with international youth in South Africa, Thailand, Haiti, and Guatemala. The group chose its namesake when one of its participants pointed out, “Einstein was a refugee but could still do great things.”
The current project in Guatemala is a two-month outreach to kids and teens, teaching them the art and techniques of photographing their own community. At the end of the project, their work is exhibited online and on site in their community.
According to Digital Democracy, the project’s goal is to give the youth a voice and to get the local and international communities involved in a dialogue about “education, indigenous rights and development.”
You can view more photos taken by Q´eqchi´ Maya kids in Guatemala’s rural Zona Reyne here.
Nikon President Makoto Kimura says that in order to keep its “top position” in Japan’s DSLR market, it needs to create an “entirely new domain” that may go well beyond its plans for a mirrorless, EVIL camera.
In an interview with Pen News Weekly, Kimura said:
“Nowadays digital cameras take movies, performance of cameraphones is rapidly advancing and demand for simple movie cameras for uploading video on the Internet is on the rise. Redefinition of photography may become necessary.”
Much of this comes at the heels of Canon’s revelation of their future plans at the Shanghai World Expo, with its Wonder Camera presentation. With the introduction of cameras like the iPhone 4 and other smartphones with HD video modes, both companies suggest that there is a lot of pressure to keep abreast of the improving technology in typically lower-end camera competition from camera phones, as well as in higher end DSLRs with video capabilities. It seems that Kimura hopes to reassert Nikon’s product by marketing EVIL cameras to consumers primarily for higher quality video and video sharing, perhaps through a built-in internet mode.
However, it sounds like Nikon may have more up its sleeve than simply adding better video and internet. Kimura also said:
“It will be a camera that may take photos of the world that the traditional SLR cannot reach.”
Fine art photographer Jane Fulton Alt has made a series of images commenting on the effect of the Gulf oil spill on Americans. The photos, in her collection “Crude Awakening,” are eerie and still portraits of swimmers and beach-goers drenched in oil. Some of her past work includes a chilling and intimate look at the devastation left behind by Hurricane Katrina in her book Look and Leave.
Also, like much of her work, Alt’s portraits aim to make a powerful statement. Alt says:
Living on the shores of Lake Michigan, I am acutely aware of the disastrous toll the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has taken on all forms of life, especially as our beaches opened to the 2010 swimming season. This environmental, social and economic catastrophe highlights a much larger problem that has inflicted untold suffering as we exploit the earth’s resources worldwide.
We are all responsible for leading lives that create demand for unsustainable energy.
We are also all responsible for the solution and we must work together to protect the balance of life.
When Hurricane Alex flooded Diego Huerta’s hometown of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, the Texas-based photographer sprang into action to document the aftermath and recovery efforts. The Category 2 Hurricane Alex pummeled northern Mexico with heavy rain, torrential floods and high wind, destroying infrastructure and taking out phones and electricity.
Huerta tells us:
On July 1, Hurricane Alex flooded my hometown Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. I was glued to my monitor reading Mexican newspapers and watching TV streaming from Monterrey but I didn’t see any media or news from the rest of the world. I now live in Austin, Texas and I didn’t want to stay at my home reading the news about how it was being affected. I wanted to help and let the world know what was going on.
Hurricane Alex devastated my city, it destroyed my hometown, buildings, bridges, factories and especially homes. I documented these photographs on my visit to Monterrey from July 2-July 7th. I shot them so I can post them in my blog and let the world know by the spreading of word how affected my neighbors are and how much we need everyone’s help.
I traveled along the state of Nuevo Leon wanting to bring hope and help by what I do best and what I love the most: photography.
The Sydney Morning Herald has an amazing collection of interviews with their photojournalists, sharing how they approach photography and the stories they wish to convey through their images. Each photographer has a different focus and style, but all of their images and narrations are very inspiring. It’s powerful to see so much emotion conveyed and art created through photojournalism.
Always wanted a manual Leica but couldn’t afford it? This Likea pinhole camera may not reproduce Leica-quality photos, or necessarily feel like a Leica (it’s made from card stock), but it looks like one! Though it may be more manual than you can handle: for $20, you just get the Likea MPH kit that you’ll still need to assemble. And you’ll have to make your own pinhole part out of a soda can. But after all, it’s not the camera that makes the photographer.