October 2008 Archives
The series "How to look good in pictures" created by Nikon is simply brilliant! This little online show focuses mainly on the models: expression, clothing, poses etc. and contains all kinds of neat and easy tricks to look good in good portraits. But it also gives the photographer a lot of hints to how he or she can get a good shot.
The host of the show is Carson Kressley, who is just perfect for the role as an instructor. Carson used to be one of the hosts in the surprise hit show "Queer eye for the straight guy", which started back in 2003. In this show five gay men helps a straight guy get some style in his appearance, home, cooking and other things in order to impress a girl.
Carson's manners are, eh... manners... A bit exaggerated, maybe, but close to perfect for the concept. He is very nice and engaged and does indeed "strike a pose" every time the camera points at him. But no matter what, he gets the message over, talking to celebs, pro photographers or just people in the streets of New York.
We see celebrity pictures all over the place, all the time, and mostly too many of them if you ask me. But it's not often we see pictures shot by the celebrities themselves.
Famous people, usually spending their time in front of the lens, can be great photographers too.
Dennis Hopper has been my all time favorite celeb-shooter. I saw some of his images at Photokina recently, where they were shown in large copies. His fame comes primarily from his acting - Easy Rider, Apocalypse Now, Blue Velvet, Red Rock West and many more - but his stylish shots of artists like Bill Cosby, Andy Warhol, and David Hockney as well as his shots from the sixties' civil rights demonstrations in the US have proven him quite accomplished behind a camera. It almost makes me forgive him for Waterworld... almost.
If you think that any of those many great press bureau pictures that you saw from the Olympics in Beijing were just lucky punches, think again. This little video from Reuters shows with all possible clarity that it's hard work and tonnes of resources that gets the photographers 80% of the way towards the great pictures - the last 20% is skill and some luck.
Reuters brought 40 photographers and 25 people to edit, process, transfer etc. to the games, and the video illustrates some of the efforts and preparations made to grab the right shot of the right person in the right moment. Impressing!
I have always liked photo books from the publisher Rocky Nook. The titles, the format, the layout. It just talks my language, and this book entitled Practical HDRI by Jack Howard further enhances that feeling. Like other Rocky Nook books on my shelves it's concentrated and right to the point, and manages to get a lot of practical information over in a fairly compact number of pages.
Jack Howard focuses on the practical side of shooting high dynamic range (HDR), and covers both gear selection, seeing an HDR-option, shooting and the critical post processing. Continue reading Practical HDRI book.
When I first started producing the On Location podcasts, I created Nikonians image galleries for each with the most important images from the shoot. But that was honestly quite a bit of work on top of shooting, post processing, recording, producing and all the other tasks, and since I already create a kind of gallery in the slide show, I thought it would be easier to draw the images from there.
Enter my day job skills as a web developer. A bit of programming and VoilĂ ! We have a set of "On Location" galleries. Each episode is listed, and when you click on it, you see all the images from that week's slide show.
Sometimes it it pays off to be a nerd!
I stumbled over these lists on the web site Film in Focus - different visual artists, photographers included, who listed their five most influential films. Gregory Crewdson, Larry Sultan, Amy Stein and many more reveal their favorite films with regards to imagery.
That made me think: being a movie buff, from which movies did I pick out photographic inspiration? Several of Film in Focus' guests mention Charles Laughton's The Night of the Hunter. Can't remember having seen that, so it's now on my to-see list.
But making my own top-five list was way too easy, and I had to expand it to ten. There are many more when I start thinking, but I have to limit myself.
Here they are in no particular order: Continue reading Ten movies that inspired my photography.
The Nikon folks in Swiss have been climbing mountains (literally) to get a D90 video online, and now it's there. Unfortunately it's on YouTube where the compression does little good to anything, but there will most likely be a higher quality version ready soon - if anybody dares host a large file like this.
Canon has had bad experience with Vincent Laforet's D5 MkII video "Reverie", which became so popular that Canon took it down.
The D90 video isn't quite as elaborate in its use of expensive glass, light and models, but still quite convincing. Laforet was scooting about in a helicopter over a big city with a full staff (and most of Canon's expensive lenses). The Nikon D90 was after all carried to the top of the Eiger by mere humans.
One of my absolute favorite photographic blogs is iheartphotograph - like in I love photograph with the heart symbol. Iheartphotograph is a daily dose of different photography gathered and published by New York based art curator Laurel Ptak.
And when I say different I really mean it. This huge collection of photographs and display of photographer's works is quite far from what I shoot myself (and then again, see later), and quite far from the type of photos I mostly look at in galleries, on the web, in books or in magazines.
Continue reading iheartphotograph.