Posts Tagged ‘commentary’

13 Traits That Make a Photographer “Professional”

professional

This appears to be a big week for Yahoo! with their $1 billion Tumblr acquisition announcement followed by a number of changes to their Flickr service. Exciting stuff in the tech world. However, amid the Yahoo! hoopla, CEO Marissa Mayer managed to insult the entire professional photography community with her comments, being widely interpreted as “there’s no such thing as professional photographers” anymore.
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PBS Arts Takes a Look at How Photoshop is ‘Remixing The World’

It’s hard to fathom the effect that Photoshop and digital retouching has had on our world. Limitations placed on artists and photographers in particular have systematically been stripped away as terms like “‘shopped” made their way into our vernacular.

In this short video, PBS Arts examines that effect. From the artist, to the photographer, to the everyday citizen who has something to say, nobody has been left unaltered by Photoshop. Read more…

Photos of Trash Heaps Made to Look Like Chinese Landscape Paintings

trashpaintings-7

Take a quick look at Chinese photographer Yao Lu’s “New Landscapes” photos, and they may look to you like old Chinese paintings of misty mountains, green hills, and choppy brown rivers. Each one even bears a red seal stamp that artists use as signatures on finished works.

Look a little closer, however, and it becomes apparent that something isn’t quite right. “Those are some strange looking mountains, you think to yourself.” Well, they aren’t actually mountains, but rather mounds of garbage covered with green construction netting.
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What Famous Photos Would Look Like if Their Photogs Used Ugly Watermarks

Watermarks are commonly used by photographers these days to protect their work from unauthorized use and distribution. However, they’re not very popular among photo viewers, since they do a lot to detract from the content of the photographs. Photographer Kip Praslowicz was thinking about this earlier this week, and writes,

[…] it seems like many amateur [photographers] spend more time putting elaborate watermarks on their images than they do making images worth stealing […] I don’t really recall ever seeing the photographs of famous art photographers with a gaudy watermark.

He then decided to see what famous photographs would look like if the photographers behind them had slapped obnoxious watermarks onto them.
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Digital Photography is Exploding, But Where Exactly Are We Going With It?

Everyone is a photographer these days, and it is estimated that 380 billion photographs were taken last year, with a huge percentage of them created with the 1 billion+ camera-equipped phones now floating around. The New York Times’ James Estrin has some interesting thoughts on where this radical-shift in the practice and definition of photography is taking us:

Just as access to pens and paper hasn’t produced thousands of Shakespeares or Nabokovs, this explosion of camera phones doesn’t seem to have led to more Dorothea Langes or Henri Cartier-Bressons. But it has certainly led to many more images of what people ate at lunch.

[…] A photograph is no longer predominantly a way of keeping a treasured family memory or even of learning about places or people that we would otherwise not encounter. It is now mainly a chintzy currency in a social interaction and a way of gazing even further into one’s navel.

He thinks the strengthening torrent of digital images will have one of two possible effects: a culture that is more aware and appreciative of photography, or a society in which it’s impossible for any photo to rise above the flood of images.

In an Age of Likes, Commonplace Images Prevail [NYTimes]


Image credit: Lunch by churl

What Makes a Great Photograph Great?

Scott Lamb of BuzzFeed created this exceptionally moving video that asks the question, “what makes a great photograph great?” Lamb’s voice narrates a slideshow of some of the most powerful photographs captured throughout history — photographs that capture life, love, death, sacrifice, joy, and suffering. Captions accompany the images, so we recommend watching the video twice and pausing on each photo to make sure you catch all of them (otherwise it may be hard to know what’s actually happening).

In case you’re wondering, the background track is “Hypnagogia” by Andrea Rossi.

Photographs of Deep Fried Gadgets

Brooklyn-based photographer Henry Hargreaves teamed up with food stylist Caitlin Levin on his project “Deep Fried Gadgets”, which — as its name indicates — shows various electronics deep fried. The purpose of the project is to highlight the wastefulness of consumer culture and its rapid consumption of the latest gadgets.
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Still Life Photographs of Various Foods Crammed into Bottles

For his project titled Maet (“Full”), photographer Per Johansen shot still life images of various foods packed tightly into plastic bottles. His aim is to draw attention to the issues of gluttony, greed, and consumerism.
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Photos Showing the Bewildering Array of Choices on Store Shelves

Choices is a Warhol-esque (or Gursky-esque) project by photographer Richard Stultz, who visited various stores to document the mind-numbingly large number of choices consumers are faced while shopping. He states,

When we shop, we are presented with aisles of thousands of different products. There are shelves with an endless variety of similar items, often just a variation on the ones next to them. Other shelves display large quantities of identical products. We may find 50 types of beer, hundreds of jars of bleach, or graphic displays of soap. There are cans of dog food with descriptions that sound as appetizing as anything we might cook for ourselves. There are so many shades of hair coloring that we can’t distinguish between many of them.

Beyond the astounding quantity and selection, retail displays are often visually interesting with striking design elements, color, and repetitive patterns. But as we shop and try to find the perfect product, we often don’t see the perverse beauty of these choices.

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Requiring Captions Might Keep Pinterest From Getting Sued Into Oblivion

Photo-sharing site Pinterest, the new darling of social media, has a copyright infringement cloud hanging over its head. The fact that anyone can upload and share copyrighted photographs through the site has prompted many sites — most notably Flickr — to ban “pinning” for copyrighted works. Up to this point, Pinterest has tried to avoid legal trouble by having a Terms of Service that places all the blame for copyright infringement on its users, but a new solution may be on the horizon: mandatory captions. Requiring users to comment on pinned photos may cause the sharing to be protected under “fair use” because it becomes the subject of “commentary”.

This Tiny Feature Could Keep Pinterest From Getting Sued For Massive Copyright Infringement [Business Insider]