I’m in Cologne, Germany covering Photokina right now. It’s the day before the trade fair opens, and as I was walking through the exhibition center to a press event (which I’ll write more on soon), I passed by some of the main exhibition halls. Instead of the squeaky clean “photographer’s Disneyland” that guests enjoy when the fair is up and running, everything was a mess, as companies were working hard to set up their impressive displays.
Since this isn’t a view that most people who visit the fair see — after all, who wants to waste time walking around a day early? — I decided to roam around and snap some photos of what Photokina looks like the day before opening. Read more…
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to be a photographer covering New York City’s Fashion Week 2012. Racked writes,
Photographer Astrid Stawiarz regularly works for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, but when Fashion Week rolls around, she’s on full-time Getty Images duty, shooting front-row celebrities and pre-show atmosphere for the photo agency. We shadowed her earlier this week as she captured the action at Osklen and Badgley Mischka. Above, watch her dodge paparazzi and security guards in her quest for the perfect shot.
Stawiarz notes that, just as in many other types of photography, shooting photos deep inside fashion week often depends more on who you know rather than what you know. You could be the best photographer in the world, but if you don’t know the right people inside the venues, you may find it very difficult to get the shots you’re looking for.
Earlier this week, we wrote about a unique fashion show put on in NYC by DVF that extensively featured Google’s Project Glass camera glasses. Google released a video today that provides an interesting look at the show, as recorded by various people wearing the devices.
Experience the DVF Spring 2013 show at New York Fashion Week through the eyes of the people who made it happen—the stylists, the models and Diane von Furstenberg herself. All the footage you see here was filmed using only Glass, Google’s latest technology that lets you capture moments from a unique, new perspective. See what happens when fashion and technology come together like you’ve never seen before.
It’s interesting seeing what goes on behind the scenes at a fashion show, especially from the diverse perspectives see in this video (glasses were given to everyone from the designer herself to the cameramen at the back of the runway room). Read more…
Photographer Benjamin Von Wong recently traveled to the city of Bratislava (the capital and largest city of Slovakia) to photograph ballet dancer Ana Beschia and a number of dancers from National Slovak Theater. Using mostly natural ambient light, Von Wong captured the dancers leaping, dancing, and posing in various locations around town. Read more…
I was extremely nervous. Since they are gangsters, I thought I should be very careful, in case I shot something I wasn’t supposed to see. But this actually upset the gang. They saw my nervousness as disrespectful. I remember one time early on this guy pulled me aside and said, “You are here to take pictures. Act like a professional.” It turned out they respected me if I was really aggressive about getting a certain shot. To not take photos was a sign of weakness.
As his surname suggests, Kusters is not from Japan (he’s from Belgium). It took 10 months of negotiations before he and his brother were given an unprecedented access into the closed world of Japanese organized crime. Read more…
Ever wonder why Leica lenses cost so much? Among the many reasons are two big ones: the lenses are all handmade, and are produced in very small batches. Joe Minihane of Humans Invent has a great interview with Leica’s Director of Product Management, Stefan Daniel, who shares some interesting facts about how their manufacturing process works:
First of all, we do our production in batches, not in serial production. So, we do batches of 50 or 100 lenses and that requires a lot of work by hand. You cannot automate production of a single lens element, or the lacquering of the rim of a lens for only 50 lenses. It doesn’t make any sense. So we use hand work because it’s more efficient. Also, in doing it by hand, our skilled people know exactly what they’re doing and they can assure perfect quality. Doing it by machine, you have to do control checks afterwards and maybe that’s not getting the result that everybody wants.
Something else you might not know is that material used in lens production is also a bottleneck. The special glass that’s melted for Leica lenses is only supplied once or twice a year, limiting the number of lenses that can be assembled.
This fascinating behind-the-scenes video shows what it’s like to work as a sports photographer for the New York Times. It follows around Barton Silverman, a photographer who has been working at the Times since March of 1962. Over the past 50 years, he has covered many a championship game and has photographed many a legendary athlete. The New York Times writes,
When he started at The New York Times 50 years ago, [Silverman] worked as a lab assistant, a title he would hold for four years. But he wanted to be a photographer. So he volunteered to carry Larry Morris‘s camera bag to Madison Square Garden.
“As I was taking notes,” he said, “I basically figured out how to shoot a hockey game.”
In the meantime, he volunteered to shoot for the team, earning the program credit “Photos by Barton.”
Here’s a short interview he gave after photographing his 39th Super Bowl back in 2010. Also, be sure to check out this New York Times Lens piece that sheds some more like on the epic photograph of a leaping Joe Namath mentioned in the video.
Earlier this month, when we were exploring why the NASA Curiosity rover’s cameras are so lame, we mentioned that the total amount of data the scientists can transfer on a daily basis is only around 31 megabytes. As anyone with a restrictive cell phone dataplan can attest to, having a small data cap makes you think carefully about the data that you choose to download. Glenn Fleishmann over at The Economist has an interesting writeup that sheds some light on how NASA scientists make their Martian photo shoot decisions:
Every day Justin Maki faces a tricky balancing act. He is one of the boffins at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) responsible, among other things, for deciding what Curiosity photographs each Martian day, or sol, and which pictures it sends back home. “We can always take enough pictures to fill up the downlink,” Dr Maki says. The mission can currently beam at least 30MB a sol, including scientific measurements, engineering data and images, from Mars, via two satellites orbiting the planet, to Earth.
All of the rover’s 17 cameras, seven more than any previous exploratory vehicle, store images in a raw, unprocessed format and initially beam back tiny thumbnails (which NASA uploads as they come in). The scientists working on different aspects of the mission meet daily to determine which of the thumbnails to download in higher resolution. The “health and safety” of the rover takes priority. After the deliberations, which can last over an hour, instructions are dispatched to Mars.
Photographing apex predators on land is one thing, but do it in the ocean and it’s an entirely different ball game. This behind-the-scenes video follows underwater photographer Marc Montocchio of 36North on a trip he took to the island of Saint Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. His goal was to capture a photograph of a free swimming blue marlin, which required the fishermen helping him to “fish” with a lure and no hook. Read more…
Starting in 2007, Disney and portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz have collaborated on a series of advertisements called the Disney Dream Portrait Series. Each ad features a portrait of one or more celebrities dressed up as famous Disney movie characters. Along with the advertisements, Disney has also been releasing some behind-the-scenes glimpses showing how the photographs came together. The video above shows actress and model Olivia Wilde posing for Leibovitz as the Evil Queen from Snow White. Read more…