The Photo Society has published an interesting article in which Kent Kobersteen, the Director of Photography at National Geographic magazine from 1987 to 2005, shares thoughts on what he looks for in photographers:
[The required] attributes are intellect, passion, maturity and drive.
Reading this, you may say “What about the photography?” Of course any person under consideration must be a great photographer. The National Geographic needs photography that is strong aesthetically and has a sophisticated use of color, photography that is poetic, journalistic, memorable, and comes from unique and intuitive seeing. But, that’s obvious, that’s a given.
All four of these attributes – intellect, passion, maturity, drive — ARE about the photography.
Kobersteen also states that he would choose “a photographer whose eye was not the best, but who worked very hard, rather than the person with the best eye in the world, and who was lazy.”
For Valentine’s Day this year, Samsung created this short film that features custom bokeh shapes shot with Samsung NX gear. They come up with some pretty creative ideas for various shapes: pop a balloon filled with glitter to create a firework look, or shoot out of a car window at night to capture spaceships flying through space! If you’re interested in learning how to customize your own bokeh, check out this video tutorial or the tutorial Samsung published alongside this video.
Do you feel like the quality of your photography falls short of where you want it to be? Don’t worry: every creative goes through a period in their growth in which there’s a disappointing gap between their “taste” and their work. Here’s an inspiring video in which Ira Glass encourages people going through this to push through and to not give up.
After her “Back to the Future” project went viral last year, photographer Irina Werning is back with a second set of time-bending photographs. Like in the first set, Werning finds decades-old photographs and recreates them as accurately as she can with the original subjects. Read more…
This behind-the-scenes video shows Montreal-based photographer Von Wong doing a photo shoot with a tango dancing duo. The shoot was spontaneous, with none of the locations preplanned, which gave Wong the opportunity to explore the environment.
“Idea Mine” is an upcoming iOS app by Canon that helps photographers save and generate ideas. The idea is that photo ideas can always be broken down into four components: location, subject, feeling, and technique. Provide the app with these four things, and it will store your idea for you to come back to later on. If you need some inspiration, hitting the “randomize” button will fill in the fields for you — kinda like a photographic mad libs. Read more…
If you’re looking for a photo idea, try this: grab a friend, find some sloped ground, and have them lean for a photo. Photographer Paul Octavious snapped these beautiful photographs of two of his buddies using this idea. Read more…
Australian college student Nathan Grant created this stop-motion music video for the song ‘Minister’s Daughter’ by the band The Good God Damned. After recording footage of the band playing using a Sony XDCAM, Grant printed out 3,433 photographs from stills in the video. He then spent six months turning the prints into this stop-motion video, capturing the new photographs with a Canon 600D.
If you think you can’t compete as a photographer because you’re past a certain age, think again. Here’s a fantastic quote by National Geographic Editor-in-Chief Chris Johns from an interview he gave back in 2005:
There are a lot of exciting photographers out there. Our new director of photography, David Griffin, and assistant director Susan Smith are making a much stronger push than we have in the past to identify young, emerging talent. They’re not necessarily age-specific either. Often photographers start to find their traction in their 50s.
Johns also says that photography’s transition to digital has also helped photographers develop more quality; getting feedback is easier than ever, and many of the prohibitive costs are no more.