Here’s an uber-inspiring video in which National Geographic photographer Sam Abell discusses the difference between “taking” and “making” photographs through his experience of shooting one particular photograph for a story on painter Charles M. Russell. He explains that taking an image is shooting a photo as a reaction, without any preparation, while making a photograph is a process.
Abell spent one-and-a-half years hunting for and making the perfect photograph of bison skulls, and shot 25,000 frames for the 8 photographs that appeared in the story. Now that’s commitment.
When Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980, photographer Robert Landsberg was documenting the changes in the volcano from just a few miles away. Realizing that he couldn’t possibly outrun the approaching ash cloud, he kept shooting for as long as he could before using his body to preserve his film:
He managed to rewind the film back into its case, replace his camera in its bag, put the bag in his backpack, and then lay himself on top of the backpack in an attempt to protect its contents. Seventeen days later, Landsberg’s body was found buried in the ash with his backpack underneath. The film could be developed and has provided geologists with valuable documentation of the historic eruption. [#]
We love sharing about photography-related movies that you might want to add to your “films to watch” list, and today we have a great one: Marwencol. It’s a documentary about Mark Hogancamp, a man who was beaten nearly to death back in 2000 outside a bar (leaving him little memory of his previous life), and how he turned to photographing action figures in a miniature world as a form of “art therapy”. The photographs — which you can browse here — are incredible in their realism and creativity, and attracted the attention of magazines and art galleries.
Photojournalist João Silva lost his legs to a land mine in Afghanistan at the end of last year, but — after months of intense rehabilitation — returned to work in July, landing a photo on the front page of the New York Times. On August 2nd, Silva visited the Bronx Documentary Center and gave a talk on his thoughts and experiences. Read more…
Here’s a pretty inspiring video that poses a simple question: “how bad do you want it”? It’s from motivational speaker Eric Thomas’ “Secrets to Success” talk, meant to help people accomplish their goals, whether it’s “academically, financially, relationally”, etc… Definitely applicable to those passionate about improving their photography as well.
Here’s an interesting video in which Jack White — singer and guitarist of The White Stripes — shares some thoughts on work ethic and restriction, and how they relate to creativity:
Deadlines and things make you creative, but opportunity and telling yourself “you’ve got all the time in the world, all the money in the world, you’ve all the colors in the pallete you want, anything you want” — that just kills creativity.
For photographers, this means you should keep on shooting even if you feel dry and devoid of fresh ideas — “maybe something good will come out of it.”
Transform is a short film by photographer Zack Arias that offers encouragement to photographers who are going through a slump and hard times. It’s an incredibly powerful piece that everyone interested in photography — pros and enthusiasts alike — should see at least once, though you might find yourself coming back to it again and again in the future.
“Vector Portraits” is a series of candid portraits of passing motorists shot by photographer Andrew Bush between 1989 and 1997 in the Los Angeles area. After making 66 of these portraits, he published a photo book with them titled “Drive“. Read more…
Back in 2006, Flickr user André Rabelo submitted the above photograph to the group pool of DeleteMe!, a group whose members vote on photos to weed out any photos that aren’t “incredible pictures, amazing, astonishing, perfect”. Sadly, the photograph was very quickly removed by popular vote. Read more…
Street photographer Eric Kim generated some buzz last month by recording himself shooting on the street with a GoPro mounted to his Leica M9. Now, he’s back again with an even cooler point of view: through the Leica M9′s viewfinder itself. This 10 minute video of Kim doing street photography in Santa Monica was recorded using a HTC EVO 4G smartphone stuck to the back of his camera.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if this kind of footage existed for all the iconic photographs taken throughout history?