artistic

Which is More Important: Technical Photography Skill or an Artistic Eye?

Photographers have always endured an internal debate about the relative importance of learning either technical or artistic aspects. Most lean toward the technical, feeling they have a handle on the artistic side but lack the technical proficiency or expertise to produce really good photographs.

Histogram or Artistic Expression: What Matters Most?

How literally should you interpret a histogram? Where do the lines intersect between artistic expression and photographic technicalities? It’s important to first recognize that a histogram is nothing more than a mathematical representation.

Great Photos Don’t Need to Be Technically Perfect

Do photos always need to be technically perfect? In this 10-minute video, landscape photographer Thomas Heaton discusses whether photographers worry too much about the technicalities of a photo, forgetting about what's actually in the image.

Instagram and Anxiety of the Photographer – Part I

Over a half a billion Apple iOS and Android systems have been sold, which means that there are now an unprecedented number of cameras in the world. This monumental increase in smartphone cameras has allowed for the dramatic increase of photos uploaded to social media sites.

I’m often overwhelmed by the fact that I can upload photos to Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr, 500px, VSCOcam, Artflakes, Snapchat, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, EyeEM, and on, and on, and on. Through such apps, a half billion photos are uploaded to the Internet each day. The sheer scale and accelerated growth of mobile photography and social media integration, which I’ll call the new photography, has quickly changed photography in just a few short years.

Photographer Captures Abstract Photos Showing Lava Up Close

Want to see what lava from a volcano looks like up close? Photographer Daniel Fox has spent a number of weeks this year photographing lava near Kalapana on the Big Island of Hawaii. Rather than photograph the lava in the context of its surroundings, he decided to get in close and create abstract images showing its intensity.

Drift: A Soothing Short Film Shot Out of an Airplane Window

There are a few reason why some of us fight over who gets the window seat on airplanes, and the view that Tim Sessler captured in his mesmerizing short film "Drift" tops that list. While on a flight from San Francisco to Philadelphia (with a layover in Salt Lake City) Sessler pulled out his 5D MarK III and shot some of the stunning vistas outside his airplane window.

The 5 Most Artistic Satellite Photographs of Earth Captured by NASA

Satellite photographs of Earth are often abstract and artsy, filled with strange colors, shapes, and textures. Some resemble the paintings of old masters, while others look like microscopic slides studied in biology classes. NASA's LandSat has snapped images from space for 40 years now, with many of the images going into a special collection by the U.S. Geological Survey called "Earth as Art". NASA recently decided to run a photo beauty contest to find out which of the satellite images in its collection are the most artistic.

Over 14,000 people ended up voting on the collection of 120+ images. The image above came in at number 5. It's titled "Lake Eyre Landsat 5 Acquired 8/5/2006".

A Girl Searches for Her Invisible Horses

The Girl With 7 Horses is a creative project by photographer Ulrika Kestere that shows a girl traveling to various landscapes in search of her "invisible horses":

Once upon a time there was a girl who had 7 invisible horses. People thought she was crazy and that she in fact had 7 imaginative horses, but this was not the case. When autumn came the girl spent a whole day washing all her clothes. She hung them on a string in her garden to let the gentle autumn sun dry them. Out of nowhere, a terrible storm came and its fierce winds grabbed a hold of all her clothes and all seven horses (authors note: since they are invisible they obviously didn't weigh much). The girl was devastated and spent all autumn looking for each horse spread around the country, wrapped in her clothes.

City Silhouettes: Skylines Seen Through Portraits of City Dwellers

City Silhouettes is a beautiful project by Beijing-based photographer Jasper James that consists of portraits of city dwellers blended with the cityscapes in the background. There's no Photoshop trickery involved -- James uses reflections seen in glass and the images are composed entirely in-camera.

Photographs That Resemble Traditional Chinese Paintings

Don Hong-Oai was a San Francisco-based Chinese photographer who created beautiful images that resembled traditional Chinese paintings.

The photographs of Don Hong-Oai are made in a unique style of photography, which can be considered Asian pictorialism. This method of adapting a Western art for Eastern purposes probably originated in the 1940s in Hong Kong. One of its best known practitioners was the great master Long Chin-San (who died in the 1990s at the age of 104) with whom Don Hong-Oai studied. With the delicate beauty and traditional motifs of Chinese painting (birds, boats, mountains, etc.) in mind, photographers of this school used more than one negative to create a beautiful picture, often using visual allegories. Realism was not a goal.

Hong-Oai was one of the last photographers to use this technique, and was also arguably the best.

Light Painting Poetry into Photos

Math major and photo enthusiast Kris Hollingsworth created this beautiful photograph in which he light-painted an entire poem! It took patience and perseverance: practicing the technique took 15 hours, while the actual light painting took another two hours. The image is actually 9 separate photographs in one -- eight lines of poetry and the self-portrait of Hollingsworth.

Make Your Wall Magnetic for an Awesome Way to Show Off Photos

Did you know that you can turn any wall magnetic by painting it with magnetic primer? Communications company M Booth did this with one of its walls, then sent out employees onto the streets of NYC with Fujifilm Instax cameras. The result is this impressive wall displaying 800 instant photos!

Ghosts Captured Using Light Painting

These ghostly figures you see in these photographs weren't Photoshopped in, but are purely done through light painting. If you remember the creative 3D light painting technique using an iPad that we shared a while back, Croix Gagnon and Frank Schott took it a step further and put a slightly morbid twist on it. For their project "12:31", they "painted" using a laptop and an animation showing cross-sections of a human body!

Giant Spheres Created with Light Painting

Photographer Denis Smith creates photos giant balls of light without any digital trickery, relying instead on light-painting. His technique is to spin a light around while slowly turning his body, creating spheres of light when seen in a long exposure photo.