Here’s a tool you may not have heard about but may useful at some time in the future. It’s called Clipping Magic, and it’s designed to remove backgrounds from user-uploaded pictures.
The concept is rather simple, you upload an image, mark the areas in the background you don’t want in red, and mark the areas in the foreground you do want in green. The website’s algorithm takes over and (hopefully) produces a background-free picture. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But how does it fare when used for an image with a background you actually want to remove? Read more…
During Halloween a month ago, we shared a simple portrait idea by photographer Nick Fancher that involved firing a flash through fog and a perforated hardboard for a backdrop filled with beams of light. Since that initial experiment, he has taken the concept and developed it even more.
Fancher recently built a “white room” in his basement using sheets of white pegboard and hardboard. It’s essentially a white cube without side walls. Read more…
We’ll preface this by saying that this is very dangerous and if you choose to attempt it you do so at your own risk — we don’t recommend anyone try this at home. That being said, this is also one of the coolest “backyard” special effects we’ve ever seen, and one that would make for some kick-a photography backgrounds or slow-motion video. Read more…
The London Evening Standard has published a fascinating article on a photograph captured by Getty photographer Oli Scarff, which shows a near-fatal stabbing that occurred during London’s Notting Hill Carnival back in August. After being published around the world, the photograph changed the lives of the subjects seen it it. The fleeing man was identified from the photo and sentenced to 4.5 years in jail, the policeman was criticized for his apparent indifference (a claim he disputes), and the man trying to trip the attacker was hailed as a hero but subsequently named as an ex-Russian police officer who was dismissed over murder allegations.
The Fader has published an interview with Instagram founder Kevin Systrom that reveals how Systrom first got into photography, and how the service’s now-ubiquitous filters came about:
[...] my teacher handed me this plastic Holga camera and said, “You’re going to use this and learn to deal with imperfection.” I remember developing the first roll and the feeling I got from the vignetting and the light leaks that came from the blurry plastic lens. That transformed the way I looked at photography—from trying to replicate reality into taking a scene and creating some kind of interpretation of its mood.
Instagram started as a mobile check-in app, but after creating his first filter (XProII), Systrom realized they could do more with the concept. He then began creating new looks and spending a couple hours at a time trying to mimic the look of different photos.
Here’s a quick and easy tip from Scott Kelby for portraiture: reduce the number of distracting elements in the shot by positioning yourself with the background in mind. Sure it’s a simple and obvious tip, but those are usually the kind that come in handy most often.
This short film, found in Contacts, Volume 1, is a fascinating video in which photographer William Klein takes us beyond his iconic images to discuss the stories revealed in his contact sheets.
The picture is taken at 1/125 of a second. What do you know of a photographer’s work? A hundred pictures? Let’s say 125. That comes out to one second. Let’s say, more like 250 photographs? That would be a rather large body of work. And that would come out to two seconds. The life of a photographer — even of a great photographer, as they say — two seconds.
It’s always awesome listening to well-known photographers talk about their work.
For every iconic photograph that’s out there, there was likely a number of other photographs taken at the same time that many people probably have never seen. One such photo is Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange — an image that became one of the defining photos of the Great Depression. The woman in the photo, Florence Owens Thompson, had been travelling with her family when their car’s timing chain snapped. After setting up a temporary camp to wait while her husband and two sons went to town for repairs, Dorothea Lange drove up and spent 10 minutes capturing 6 photos. Read more…