Posts Tagged ‘book’
Here’s one of those “I could do that! Yeah, but you didn’t” things: a cat named Cooper recently published a book filled with his photographs, titled “Cat Cam“. Basically, a couple named Michael and Deirdre Cross decided to attach a micro camera to their cat’s collar, automatically snapping photographs every two minutes. The book has received pretty positive reviews from both critics (Good Morning America, People Magazine, etc…) and customers.
Nic Grobler and Stan Engelbrecht have a great photography project in which they examine the bicycling culture in South Africa.
[...] we are not photographing people who ride purely for exercise or recreation, but instead we are focussing on those who use bicycles as an integral tool in their day-to-day existence. We’ve noticed that in South Africa, especially in the major centers, very few people use bicycles as mode of transport. This is very strange since we have no proper public transport infrastructure, and that which does exist is expensive and unsafe.
The duo raised $15,000 through social funding website Kickstarter in 55 days, and traveled around South Africa meeting and photographing the cyclists they met. They’re currently working on raising an additional $7,500 to have 3,000 copies of their Bicycle Portraits book published.
Nice. The For Dummies series just added a Olympus PEN E-PL1 book to their extensive collection of digital photography instruction books, the first in the series for a Micro Four Thirds camera. Too bad they didn’t name the book “EVIL Photography for Dummies”, (though someone should write one with that title!).
Even if you haven’t heard of Roger Hagadone, chances are you’ve seen his work before.
Hagadone is a talented commercial photographer whose impressive portfolio includes advertisements for the Blue Man Group and the cover of the popular young adult novel series, Twilight by Stephanie Meyer.
PetaPixel: Can you tell us a little about your background, what you do, and where you’re based?
Roger Hagadone: I’m an advertising photographer, and I shoot editorial book covers and dabble in fine art. I’m based in New York City. I live here and have an office in LA where I work quite a bit as well. I moved to the City after college, and met several top photographers here, one including Annie Leibovitz, who became a big influence on how I shoot people.
PP: Where did you go to college at?
RH: Purchase college, just outside of New York City.
PP: When did you get started with photography?
RH: Professional commercial photography — probably 10 years ago now. I started with magazine editorial and eventually that turned into advertising.
PP: We notice from your portfolio that you’ve worked with a number of really interesting subjects. Do you have one particular portrait shoot that you find especially memorable?
RH: That would definitely have to be the shoot with Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs. It was a lot of fun to work with Mike. He’s a really awesome guy. For that shoot especially, he was really a trooper. It was about eight hours of photography.
We covered him with special ‘dirty’ effects. We layered the dirt, starting out very light and added more as the day went on. At the end, he was completely covered. A lot of people would be very cranky after that, but he was cool. He was having a laugh.
PP: How many people worked at the shoot?
RH: Around a dozen people including crew and client. There were three people just covering him with these different substances but in the end most of the crew pitched in. We covered him with grease and eggs, bubble gum, feathers, and all kinds of stuff.
PP: That alone sounds like a pretty dirty job.
RH: Yeah, actually he said that this may have been his dirtiest job ever. His only regret was that he didn’t have his crew there to film it.
PP: How would you describe your photography and style to someone who has never seen it?
RH: I would say it’s cheerful and sometimes surprising. Never boring — that’s the main thing, I can’t stand boring photography. I like to keep it positive and fun. There’s usually a narrative to the images, something of a story, or maybe a comment or a joke.
PP: Is there an example of an image that represents the general body of your work?
RH: That’s tough. One image that I like that comes to mind is the time bomb image. There’s a bomb squad guy defusing the bomb, and there’s his pal behind him, about to pop a bag to scare him. I just like that anticipation of the joke.
The visual effect in my images, the retouching and the lighting, are kind of two halves of the images that are both equally important to me. It’s not just the photograph and the concept, but it’s also the retouching aspect of it as well.
PP: What’s the single item in your metaphorical camera bag, aside from your actual camera, that you can’t go without?
RH: It’s Photoshop, well Photoshop and a dozen strobes! I prefer to get as close to the final image in-camera as possible but it’s in post processing where my images come alive. I have several techniques that I use and they are constantly evolving.
PP: What do you shoot with, currently?
RH: I have different cameras. I shoot with a Hasselblad with a Phase One back, mostly for advertising shoots. Other than that, I use a 1Ds Mark III.
PP: What was your first camera that you ever got?
RH: I think that I was seven (years old) and I had a Kodak 35mm camera, which I still have.
PP: Is that when you started getting in photography?
RH: Yeah, I still have images from that, too.
The actual camera is in one of my photographs in my Bigfoot story. In one of the images, Bigfoot has a camera, and he’s taking a picture from behind bushes. That’s my first camera.
PP: So we discovered your work because you did the covers for Twilight, and that imagery is evoked in a lot of fashion, a lot of types of advertising nowadays, that uses a very similar color scheme: black, white, red. How did you conceptualize and visualize this?
RH: It’s really a collaborative process. It begins with the publisher and they have some concepts in mind. And then I interpret these concepts into photographs. Sometimes, they have a pretty good idea of what they’d like to see in the image. It could be a background, an object, and then it’s just the interpretation of that into a final image. When I shoot a cover for a book, I usually take the basic idea and shoot several different variations of that one concept.
Things change very quickly in the publishing world. Once I receive the assignment to photograph a cover, by the time it’s complete, things may have changed, and the images that I shot might end up on the cutting floor.
Or, I may be asked to re-shoot it with a slightly different idea. It’s a collaboration, and it’s important to be flexible.
When it came to the Twilight series, the first image of Twilight, the hand with the apple, set the tone for the rest of the images in the series: simple graphic composition. The use of red, white, and a warm black background. That pretty much set everything else.
PP: When you see this style used in other images, it’s as if it’s become a part of cultural memory and become almost iconic. How do you feel about that?
RH: It’s kind of huge that it’s crossed over into what I guess you would call pop-culture.
The first time I saw an advertisement similar to the look, I was taken back, but I wasn’t really sure if I was seeing it correctly, if they were really using inspiration from the cover in their advertisement.
But now, as you say it, I do see it quite often and it’s fun to see. Artists borrow from each other all the time, and I’ve been on both sides.
Other images that I’ve shot I’ve seen similar advertisements pop up six months later, but it’s give and take.
PP: Do you enjoy the attention you’ve received from your work on Twilight, or would you rather be known for your other work?
RH: I get a lot of inquiries about Twilight.
I don’t mind it at all, really. It’s kind of nice. The Twilight fans are really great. I get a lot of emails from them.
The weirdest thing that I’ve seen is the original Twilight cover — the hands and the apple — I saw someone with a tattoo of it. That was really bizarre, to see the photograph I shot tattooed on somebody’s arm.
That was shocking. It’s too bad I didn’t get a picture of that.
PP: Let’s go back to you. What advice would you shoot to fellow photographers about interacting with their portrait subjects. From what your portfolio looks like, it seems like you’ve got a really good relationship with the people you shoot, or at least you know how to bring out their personality and emotion.
RH: The main thing is trust. They have to trust you. What I usually do is talk to the model before the shoot, before we start shooting to get that rapport going.
During the shoot, I keep it fun and fast-paced. Things are always moving, and I give them a lot of direction, so the model never gets bored or too distracted.
Also, I’m pretty silly when I photograph, so I think that element of fun brings out what I’d like. I also ask that from my crew, just to keep a really fun atmosphere.
PP: How long does it take you on average to do a photo shoot, for instance, the Bigfoot project?
RH: That one I shot in two days, and did all the post work within three days. So probably about a full week. They’re all different, though, depending on what’s involved.
A book cover may take one day to shoot and depending on retouching, it could take several days to finish up with revisions.
PP: And it gets bounced back and forth from you to the publishers too, right?
RH: Exactly. Like with the Twilight image, we got to the point where it was pretty much finished. And then there was a comment that the apple needed to be a little larger. So it was back to the drawing board, and we had tweak the apple just slightly.
PP: How did you think of these image concepts for a lot of your personal work?
RH: Well, I’m an avid note taker. I just take tons and tons of notes.
The cliché is the pad by the bed, but I use an iPhone by the bed.
I use essentially a digital notebook and I just write all of my ideas in there. Sometimes it’s a full, complete idea that’s ready to go and I can shoot it; sometimes it’s just a little piece.
I’ll add little things to that piece later, but as soon as it’s ripe I can shoot it.
Image Credits: all images by Roger Hagadone
Hullo y’all. We’re giving away 3 copies of travel photographer Trey Ratcliff’s latest book, A World in HDR. The book is filled with spectacular HDR photographs of scenes around the world, and also includes a solid tutorial in the back for learning how to create your own HDR images.
We’re going to be doing this giveaway a little differently: it’s going to be done completely through Twitter using a new system we developed. In the past we asked that you tweet certain keywords, and I used a custom-written program to collect all the tweets. The problem was that it wasn’t very transparent, and you didn’t even know whether we did in fact count your tweet as an entry.
So what’s our solution? Instead of using the behind-the-scenes program I wrote, I turned the system into a Twitter giveaway web app! Everything will be automated, and all you need to do is follow the instructions on the page and post a tweet through the app. When the giveaway is over, the application will randomly select and display the 3 winners using random.org.
To enter, simply post a tweet through the giveaway page!
You must tweet through the app in order to enter, since it tallies entries posted through the app rather than search on Twitter for matching tweets. You can also visit the giveaway through the following widget:
The application requires that you tweet http://j.mp/ppawihdr, which is a link back to this post. Unlike previous giveaways, you can say whatever else you want. You can even post a normal, everyday tweet through the app as long as the link is thrown in there.
The giveaway ends on the evening of February 21, which is this Sunday. Good luck!
P.S. If you run into any bugs in the app, please leave a comment here letting me know and I’ll get it fixed ASAP! This is the first giveaway ever through the app, but feel free to run your own!
Also, this giveaway is open to international readers as well!
Thanks to Trey for providing the books for this giveaway!
Images Without Borders features and sells donated images by international photographers and artists to benefit Doctors Without Borders:
Each print is offered from Images without Borders at a limit of ten before being pulled from the collection and returned to the artist. This long-term project aids Doctors without Borders in their efforts on the ground in Haiti and the world.
Prints can be purchased for $50-$100, and iPhone prints are $32.
Doctors Without Borders, which was founded by doctors and journalists, has a track record of recognizing the value of photography in spreading and supporting their international cause to provide free medical attention to countries in need.
Last year, Doctors Without Borders published a collaborative graphic novel, The Photographer, featuring the work of the late photographer Didier Lefèvre.
The book combines art with photography gives a unique narrative about the work of the organization since 1986.
Here’s a recent panel talk about The Photographer: