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.”
Ever wonder how the photographs found on the pages of National Geographic come together? Here’s a fascinating behind-the-scenes video showing how the images of the 1992 cover story titled “The Sense Of Sight” — photographed by Joe McNally — were shot, edited, and arranged. McNally writes,
And changes. Man, is that an understatement. High res digital cameras have replaced film cameras. Hard drives store pictures, not little yellow boxes. Kodak’s stopped making carousel projectors. Photographers go to the magazine far less often, given digital transmission. Ties and jackets are seen less frequently.
But, the main mission, over time, has remained. Tell a good story in pictures. The major components–photographer, picture editor, designer, magazine editor–are all still in place, and the interplay among them is ongoing and largely unchanged.
The next time you pick up an issue of National Geographic and are tempted to flippantly flip through the images, consider these crazy facts: the 40 page/40 picture story took roughly a year to create from idea to completion and required 1200 rolls of film shot during 6 months of field work!
Ever wonder what National Geographic photographers go through to get the beautiful shots that appear in the yellow-bordered magazine? The Photo Society — an interesting new website created by the magazine’s Photographer’s Advisory Board — recently surveyed 45 Nat Geo photographers about hazards they’ve encountered while on assignment. All the incidences were then counted up and turned into a fascinating table showing how “glamorous” the photographers’ lives are. You can also read short vignettes of these experiences here.
Between 1903 and 1917, photographer Alfred Stieglitz published a quarterly photographic journal called Camera Work featuring the work of important photographers around the world and promoting photography as an art form. Called “the most beautiful of all photographic magazines”, 50 issues containing 473 photographs were published before Stieglitz could no longer afford to continue the publication. Individual issues now sell for thousands of dollars each, but you can view the entire collection of photos for free over at Photogravure.
It features the industry’s top experts on photography lighting, studio lighting, small camera flash, portrait lighting, location lighting and more. Readers will also find plenty of lighting tips and tricks, a section just for beginners, interviews with the pros, and news about the latest gear. Light it is for photographers of all skill-levels who use lighting or want to explore lighting concepts.
The first 50-page issue is free, and subsequent issues — published 8 times a year — will cost $3 each. Hopefully they’ll start making it available on Android tablets in the future.
In the past week or two there has been an interesting controversy regarding the use of stock photography: vegan blogger quarrygirl.com published a post on April 13th accusing the nations leading vegan magazine VegNews of using non-vegan stock photos to illustrate its vegan recipes. An example presented is a “Vegan Spare Ribs” article that uses a Photoshopped iStockPhoto image of actual barbecue spare ribs (shown above). Read more…
When PetaPixel reader David Anderson opened up the April 2011 edition of Shutterbug magazine, he was shocked to find a terrorist in one of the advertisements. Someone should alert the TSA to this, since they published a poster warning us of this type of terrorist back in 2010.
Quick, does anyone recognize the back of this guy’s head? Oh wait, this guy might.
Deal alert: There’s a special offer on Popular Photography magazine over on Amazon. You can get a one-year subscription of the magazine (12 issues) for $5 flat with free shipping. The annual subscription normally costs $14 (or $54 if you believe Amazon), so if you’ve been thinking about doing your part in keeping print from going extinct, here’s a chance to test the waters. The special price lasts until August 21st, 2010.
Companies that help you print and make things with your photographs are a dime a dozen, but Photozini‘s super easy magazine creation process caught our eye.
Their goal seems to be to take all the work out of turning your photographs into a nice magazine, and allow even those who are utterly computer-challenged to do so. Here’s a diagram found on the website showing how the service works:
After purchasing the Photozini kit for $40, they send you a Photozini USB card on which you can put up to 150 photographs. You then mail it in using their prepaid return envelope, and receive a photo magazine in about 3 weeks.
So much of the work is done for you that you don’t have a say on how the resulting magazine will look, but this could be a great way to quickly turn your vacation or event photographs into a nice magazine without spending hours on designing the pages yourself.
Outdoor Photography Canada magazine’s latest cover features a photograph that’s pretty unique. It’s not the subject matter, but rather how the image was captured: photographer Paul Burwell captured the photo on his Canon 5D Mark II at ISO 3200.
It’s my shot of a Kermode “Spirit” Bear and there is an accompanying article inside about a trip I lead last fall to photograph these wonderful and uniquely Canadian bears. This isn’t my first cover shot on a magazine, but it is one I’m particularly proud of as I believe it may be one of the first cover shots ever published that was made at ISO 3200.
He was using a 500mm lens wide open at f/4, with a shutter speed of 1/400th of a second. The composition works quite well, but the high ISO is noticeable in the desaturated colors and noisiness of the image.
What do you think of this cover shot? Do you know of any other covers that featured high ISO images?