Posts Tagged ‘allenmurabayashi’

Do Good Stories Trump Good Photos? HONY, Selby and More

Photo by Brandon Stanton

Photo by Brandon Stanton

Photos have been historically considered as a means to record history. But the proliferation of digital devices and social media have turned photography into a visual language. Photos go viral for a multitude of reasons (e.g. humor), but it’s often stories that effectively communicate a story that resonate with our humanness and humanity. I’ve recently come across two examples where good stories arguably beat out better photos as shown by the viral spread throughout social media. Do you agree? Read more…

Photography, Authority and Race

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I am troubled by what I have seen.

In recent weeks, we have witnessed terrible, on-going episodes within our borders through photos and video that speak volumes about the tragedy of race. Racism is as old as human history, and there is a long, rich history of capturing race conflicts in the US by photographers like Charles Moore, Bruce Davidson, Gordon Parks and others.

But in this post 9/11 world, the balance of power has shifted towards authority — militarized officers outfitted with high-powered machine guns and body armor straight out of central casting for a Michael Bay film who seemingly police differently depending on the color of your skin. Read more…

We are Visually Sophisticated and Visually Illiterate

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Film blogger, Tony Zhou, recently published a video breakdown of Michael Bay’s signature style, which he hilariously refers to as ”Bayhem.” As a lover of cinema, I watched with rapt attention as Zhou broke down the technical elements that characterize films like Transformers – rotating shots, multiple moving elements, low angles, etc.

He’s not a fan because Bay’s belief that more is more runs counter to his own tastes. Bay doesn’t just rotate the camera around the subject. He has the subject counter rotate while standing up from a crouched position to emphasize movement and epic-ness. Creating an epic shot without reason (other than “because I can”) leaves us with a story devoid of substance and meaning. The piece had me nodding the whole time, but it wasn’t until 7:21 where things really clicked for me. Read more…

Why Do Photo Gear Reviews Have Crappy Sample Images?

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It took me many years to overcome the affliction known as gear acquisition syndrome. You see, I am a self-professed gear head, and I went through a period where I needed every new Nikon DSLR and I simply couldn’t get enough watt/seconds from a single strobe pack. Although there is no known cure, I have been able to curtail my purchasing habits, but not my voracious appetite for camera gear reviews.

A single review of the new 1D7s Mark 15 isn’t enough. I need to read them all. And while perusing the myriad of sites that offer gear-envious reviews of the newest 4K thingamajig with the phase detection hybrid focusing doodad and the retro-styled burled walnut tchotchke inspired by whatchamacallit, I couldn’t help but notice something that I’d like to run past you… Read more…

This Contest Winner Looks Like a Movie Poster (And That’s Good)

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John Stanmeyer of VII won the World Press Photo of the Year on Thursday with this magnificent image of migrants in Djibouti trying to get a cheaper cell phone signal from neighboring Somalia.

It looks like a movie poster, but not for the reasons that I complained about last year. Read more…

54 Reasons to Love Photography in 2013

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As a self-appointed pundit, I spend a fair amount of time criticizing the photography industry, but I have a little secret … I love photography! And 2013 brought yet another year full of strange, interesting and inspiring moments in photography. Let’s go on a little journey … in no particular order. Read more…

On Design: Searching for a More Visual News Site

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When the Chicago Sun-Times laid off its entire photo staff last year, I commented that one of the problems was the utter failure of website design to appropriately showcase photography. Above is an example of the current design and the way photography is displayed. Read more…

The Camera of the Future Isn’t From the Past

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In an insightful essay about the “graying” of photography, Kirk Tuck opines about seeing 50-year old men proudly displaying their huge DSLRs while hanging out at the counters at the Photo Plus Expo in New York last month. The generation that obsessed over pristine primes, low noise and 16×20 prints has been supplanted by a gaggle of Snapchatting millennials for whom photography is no different than a text conversation. Read more…

What the Photo Community can Learn from the Jasmine Star and Doug Gordon Ordeal

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Last Friday, WPPI Director Jason Groupp announced that Jasmine Star and Doug Gordon withdrew from next year’s conference in light of all the controversy surrounding allegations of plagiarism.

I advocated for this move with many others who saw their transgressions as a violation of trust that affected the entire industry. The outcome seemed proportional to the infraction, and I saw no reason to urge further action. I have no vitriol against either Jasmine or Doug, I just think we all have to own up to our mistakes, pay the piper, and move on. Read more…

Iconic Photos “Re-taken” with Instagram

I am not anti-Instgram, nor am I anti-cellphone photography. But there is a tendency to believe that the art filters that are readily available with many cellphone photo apps somehow “improve” reality. Many of the frequently used filters either significantly boost color saturation, or try to give the appearance of an antiqued, polaroid-esque photo.

But this doesn’t mean it’s better than a more true-to-life image. To prove my point, here are a few iconic photos “re-taken” with art filters a la Instagram. Do you agree?
Read more…