Here’s a beautiful short film by Arden Oksanen titled “Pictures of a Cowboy”. It’s about the life and work of Carl Oksanen, a cowboy-turned-photographer who documented the beauty of Wyoming through stunning landscape photographs. Prepare to be inspired.
In No Great Hurry – 13 Lessons in Life with Saul Leiter is an upcoming documentary film about influential American photographer Saul Leiter, who was a pioneer in the use of color photography in the 1940s and 1950s. Despite his accomplishments, Leiter — who is 89 this year — has never been driven by “success”, preferring instead to live and photograph his own quiet way. One of his notable quotes is,
In order to build a career and to be successful, one has to be determined. One has to be ambitious. I much prefer to drink coffee, listen to music and to paint when I feel like it.
Directed by British filmmaker Tomas Leach (who spent 1.5 years trying to get Leiter to agree to the film), the film is currently going through post-production and raising funds to cross the finish line.
Editor’s note: This post contains graphic photos that some readers may find disturbing.
Javier Manzano is a freelance photographer currently based in Afghanistan — no stranger to documenting conflict. He received a 2011 World Press Photo award for an image from his 2010 work in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. The border city has been embroiled in a drug war since 2008 when the Sinaloa cartel moved to take over Juárez — located just over three miles from El Paso, Texas. Violence broke out between warring cartels, gangs and police. In 2010, Juarez recorded over 3000 homicides.
PetaPixel: Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Javier Manzano: I was born and raised in Mexico and moved to the United States at the age of eighteen. Soon after graduating from college I landed a job at an advertising agency where I worked in for several years. The events that unraveled early on the morning of September 11, 2001 would change our lives forever. For me, it meant quitting my job and returning to school for what I believed was my calling in life – journalism. After completing several newspaper photography internships y became employed at the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, CO. The paper folded in 2009 and over 200 people were laid off. Since then, I’ve worked as a freelance photographer producing a wide range of material, from editorial and commercial photography, to news and documentary films. Read more…
Say you’re shooting a wedding, and say for some reason you’re taking a food break, and say for some other reason you happen to be taking that break while the father is giving a toast you should probably be taking pictures of. You’d think that given all of that, you’d at least keep a low profile…
Columbus, Ohio-based photographer Nick Fancher works as the lifestyle photographer of Men’s online shopping club JackThreads, a job that has him shooting lifestyle photos for 8-12 brands every single day. The behind-the-scenes video above shows what a typical day for Fancher looks like as he hurries around to different locations in the city to photograph his models wearing different clothing items from different brands. It not only shows the process of shooting the images, but also lighting diagrams and final results as well.
Here’s a video in which renowned portrait photographer Nadav Kander discusses his approach to photography and portraiture. One thing that’s interesting about Kander’s method is that he tries not to connect with his subjects prior to photographing them:
I really like the connection that human beings have when there isn’t a great knowledge, like when you first meet people. I would find it very, very hard to photograph a friend well, or to photograph somebody that I knew well. I think that that tension when you first meet people allows you to communicate without speaking
He does, however, make it a point to get to know their appearance… for the purpose of knowing who they are when they walk into the studio.
A French photographer who goes by the pseudonym Mani was recently in Homs, Syria documenting the urban warfare between government forces and rebel fighters. The video above, broadcast by Channel 4 News in Britain, shows the amazing footage Mani was able to capture by fearlessly putting himself in the midst of skirmishes.
While the world has become used to grainy shaky and gruesome footage and images from Homs fed through whatever Internet connection is available, Mani’s crystal clear and incredible footage gives perhaps the clearest and most frightening account of what Homs has been like for the past three weeks.
Perhaps inspired by the vintage camera nightlights we shared last year, photographer Laura Merz decided to upcycle her old Kodak digital camera by turning it into a nightlight for her house. She writes,
I took out all the tiny screws and gutted the camera very carefully as to not crack the exterior case. Be careful — some of the parts are pretty sharp. Removing the lens is the last step, and allows you to insert a small round night light through the opening. I had to crack off the exterior casing on the night light, but with a little force, it snapped right off.
It’s a creative way to breathe new life into an outdated or broken digital camera.