Last week we featured some “sound painting” photographs by Martin Klimas, captured by using a speaker to vibrate paint. Here’s a video tutorial by some Arizona State University Polytechnic students demonstrating how you can do your own “sound painting” photos. They use a thrift store speaker covered with a garbage bag and some Crayola poster paint.
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.”
If you’re relatively new to Photoshop, you might not know that it’s possible to highlight and/or remove the various options in dropdown menus. All you need to do is play around with the Edit->Menus screen to make your commonly used options more visible and to reduce clutter by hiding options that you’ve never touched in your life.
If you’ve ever tried shooting in a dark location without using flash or a tripod, you probably know how difficult it can be to remove camera shake from your photos. Alex Jansen — a photography enthusiast who’s an officer in the US Army — has written up an awesome tutorial on how you can apply some of the tricks used by rifle shooters to shooting with a camera:
I am by no measures a “pro,” but I understand my fundamentals very well, and this specific set has been drilled into my head so many times that it is now second-nature. I am going to teach you how to “shoot” your camera like a high end rifle because at the end of the day, the fundamentals stay the same in every aspect.
If you’re a fan of learning things through Khan Academy, then you might enjoy learning about how ISO works in this similar-styled tutorial by Dylan Bennett. Bennett might not have Salman Khan’s soothing voice, but he does his best to break down the magic of digital camera sensors into easy to understand ideas. For a more detailed and comprehensive understanding of how things work, check out Cambridge in Colour’s excellent tutorials.
So I’ve been shooting some shows for some of the choral groups on campus at my school, and I’ve started to notice a trend: people make some stupid faces when they are singing. They can range from an approaching sneeze to a full-on O-face. Read more…
Here’s an excellent video tutorial by photographer Peter Hurley on how to improve your portrait photographs by focusing on the jawline of your subject. It’s a simple technique that can drastically improve the quality of your images.
Here’s a clip from the bodybuilding documentary “Bigger Faster Stronger” in which photographer Rich Schaff spills the beans on some industry secrets for how those unbelievable before-and-after photos promoting bodybuilding products are made. He shows how both shots can be of the same model on the same day, with various tricks and image manipulations used to achieve the drastic differences you see. Read more…
For those of you who are interested in the fine art of studio lighting, here’s a video in which American celebrity photographer George Holz talks about how he went about photographing Beyonce for the cover of Spin magazine.
There’s nothing wrong with not being any good at photography. Everybody started out bad and none of us does all aspects of it well. But it’s a crying shame to want to be good at it, to spend time and money trying to be good at it, and not getting any better.
This isn’t like teaching a child to read. Positive reinforcement is your enemy. Your Facebook friends, your Twitter followers… hate you. Instead of taking ten seconds to say. “This doesn’t work. You need to do better”. They readily push that “like” button, because it’s easy and they hope to get the same from you, but also because they’re cowards.
His advice? “Seek out great photography. Devour it, and be suspicious of any undue praise.”