Bellamy Hunt over at Japan Camera Hunter has a fascinating account of what it’s like to attend a photography workshop taught by famed street photographer Bruce Gilden, a “famously outspoken photographer who does not mince his words”:
[Gilden] has no love for camera geeks and when he was told I am one he was not overly impressed, as he said “it is merely a tool, a box” [...] Gilden tests you, and when he asked me a question that I was unsure of the answer and tried to bluff my way through to he called me out as a bullsh*tter (true though, my fault really). Gilden likes to ask direct questions, and one of his first was “Do you want to be a photographer?” I replied in the affirmative, to which he said “why?” I was not really able to explain why in a direct manner and he pounced! “So why did you bother coming?” [...] He then told me that if I was looking for inspiration or a kick up the ass then I was in the wrong place as I would not get it from him, it must come from me (which is actually a fair point).
At this point Gilden asked to see my work [...] I had not really been able to put together a coherent selection of my work and Gilden pointed out that fact. In fact I think his words were something to the tune of “Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t. What were you thinking? This is no connection. You are lazy”. At first I was hurt and offended, but after a few minutes of thinking about this (while he tore into someone else) I realised that he was right. I have been lazy and I have not thought out my work properly in the past. I have been coasting along and not putting the effort into it that I could be [...] So after tearing myself and the other students a new one I was set a task by Gilden.
In daguerreotype photography, the first commercially successful photographic process, a positive image is recorded directly onto a silvered copper plate. Although mercury is traditionally used to develop the plate, there’s a way of creating daguerreotypes called the Becquerel method that eschews mercury in favor of non-lethal ingredients. According to Contemporary Daguerreotypes,
A polished silver plate is sensitized with iodine vapor. After the sensitized plate is exposed to light in a camera, the image will develop if the plate is further exposed to bright light through a red or amber filter. He called this the action of “continuation rays.” The curious aspect is you can watch the image form much like a Polaroid. Depending on how the subject of the image, how the plate was prepared and the development time, Becquerel images can be indistinguishable from mercury developed plates.
Did you catch that? The mysterious process uses sunlight to magically develop the images. In the video above, photographer Jerry Spagnoli shows how the Becquerel method is done, from start (polishing a piece of metal) to finish (a great looking photo). Read more…
Here’s an idea: find a bunch of photography-lovin’ friends, borrow their DSLR cameras, and shoot your own Matrix-style bullet time videos from home! The above video shows a workshop where they were able to bring together 24 cameras for this awesome purpose.
This video by FotoTV features “microstock king” Yuri Arcurs leading a workshop and imparting all sorts of useful tips that you’ll find useful even if you have no interest in doing microstock — things like working with models and capturing emotion. Get out your pen and paper and start taking notes!
A good majority of news and documentary photographers tend to shy away from capturing video footage on DSLRs, owing to the cameras limited HD clip length. However, here’s a really fantastic example of a documentary-style story shot with a 1D Mark IV, directed by photographer Austin Walsh in Kansas City.
Interestingly, Walsh and his creative team normally do advertising work, but the resulting piece has the feel of a New York Times One in 8 Million project. Walsh, who created the piece for a PhotoShelter lecture on passion projects, also produced every component of the video from scratch, including its own soundtrack. Read more…
Photographer Cosmin Bumbut was given the opportunity lead a photo workshop in one of the least likely places — in a women’s penitentiary in Romania. Bumbat furnished 14 women with six Canon PowerShots plus cards and batteries, and taught them basic photography. The photo workshop began meeting weekly, and within two months, the class had produced some 14,000 images.
The participants achieved what so many professional photographers strive to do: they wove together a very compelling visual story that also has a back story that is just as raw and captivating.
Bumbut has a small batch of additional photos on Punctum (be aware, there is some nudity in a few photos). The photos portray a very intimate portrait of the women and their daily lives from a refreshingly straightforward and honest perspective.
Earlier today, photographer Chase Jarvis announced his partnership with creativeLIVE, a free, live online class site. Each class presentations is filmed live, to an in-person audience in Seattle, and streamed on the creativeLIVE website.
“The goal here is to help democratize creativity,” Jarvis wrote on his blog.
Jarvis said that he had been working on the site for the past year, in order to create a live, interactive classroom. As an innovative model, Jarvis is offering the actual live, streaming footage for free, but the recorded versions of past classes must be purchased. The revenue goes towards supporting the site and the instructors.
The growing list of instructors boasts some pretty big names: Vincent Laforet tweeted that he will be leading a live three-day HDSLR workshop at the end of the month, and Zack Arias said he will be leading a studio class.