With the recent camera releases (or maybe Spring fever) I’ve been rather amazed watching various photography forums have major melt downs during the last few weeks. I said something about cameras and lenses just being tools, not life and death, and got immediately annihilated. They aren’t just tools, I was told, they are the means to make a living for some people, and the passionate hobby of others. That got me thinking, though: I have friends who make their living as carpenters, and others for whom woodworking is a passionate hobby. I got to thinking how silly their forums would seem if they acted like we do. Read more…
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.
While a number of countries are taking steps to ban the unrealistic Photoshopping of models, Israel has gone a step further: the country has banned the use of underweight models themselves. Additionally, ads that are Photoshopped to make models look skinnier must also now carry a disclaimer. With the new law in place, all models appearing at photo shoots for ads geared toward the Israeli market must provide an up-to-date medical report proving that they aren’t malnourished by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) standards. WHO states that a body mass index below 18.5 indicates malnutrition. By these standards, a woman 5’8” tall must weigh at least 119 pounds.
The Pink & Blue Project by South Korean photographer JeongMee Yoon started seven years ago after she photographed a portrait of her 5-year-old daughter sitting next to her beloved pink possessions. She then began creating portraits of other girls who loved pink things, and then other boys who loved blue. Read more…
Toys are getting fancier and cameras are getting weirder. Mattel is set to launch a new camera barbie called Barbie Photo Fashion that’ll upgrade many a dollhouse with a human-shaped 5-megapixel digital camera. Unlike the soon-to-be-outdated Video Girl Barbie and its chest-cam, this new photography doll features a camera built into her back with the LCD screen moved to her frontside. She can store 100 photos, features a mini USB port on her lower back, and comes with 15 built-in photo “filters” — a must-have for toy cameras and apps these days. It’ll cost a cool $50 when it hits store shelves in the near future, though availability hasn’t been announced yet.
Now here’s an absolutely bizarre statistic if it’s actually true: 76 percent of Facebook photos with tagged Britons show the subjects in some state of drunkenness. Photo book service MyMemory.com surveyed 1,781 Britons over the age of 18, asking them to estimate the percentage of their pics that showed them under the influence of alcohol. A quarter of those respondents also said that their privacy settings allowed the general public to view their tagged images.
Consumer affairs blog The Consumerist caused a stir earlier this week by offering the following advice to people looking to earn some extra cash for the holidays:
Become a photographer. Most photographers will tell you that persistence is at least as important as skill in creating great work. If you know people who are looking to take portraits or holding a social function, offer to shoot it for free and sell them the pictures if they like them.
Needless to say, the suggestion caused quite an angry response from actual photographers, who equated the tip with telling people to buying a hammer in order to become an independent contractor. Stan Horaczek over at PopPhoto has also written up a lengthy response. It looks like people are taking Missy’s advice quite seriously.
Japanese camera ads are sometimes very different from those you might see in the US. We’re still trying to figure out whether this is a commercial for the Fujifilm X10 or a trailer for an upcoming horror movie…
Here’s another sign of the changing times: so many camera shoppers are turning to the Internet for deals that some cameras shops are now charging fees for customers who want to test out their cameras. The Daily Telegraph writes,
Camera House Caringbah owner Craig Mackenzie charges a $30 “explanation fee” to customers looking to test out his high-end cameras.”I’ve got to pick the people who won’t screw me over,” Mr Mackenzie said.
“If I pick the wrong one, he’ll waste half an hour of my time and will then ask me to write it all down.”
A survey conducted by the paper of more than 1000 people also revealed that 61% had tried out products in local stores before actually buying them online, and half of those people had done so more than five times.
Social Lights is a project by photographer Seymour Templar that’s like a nighttime version of Joe Holmes’ Texting series that we featured earlier this year. Templar documented social life in NYC by snapping portraits of people interacting with others through their cell phones. Each individual unwittingly helps out by lighting their own faces with their phone displays. Read more…