Wounded The Legacy of War — Q&A with Bryan Adams

I saw some new pho­tog­ra­phy work by Bryan Adams a short time ago ago where he pho­tographed wounded sol­diers. The images of wounded sol­diers were stark and I wanted to ask Bryan a few ques­tions about the new work. What fol­lows is a quick Q&A about Bryan’s new work called Wounded: The Legacy of War.

Wounded - Karl Hinett © Bryan Adams

Wounded — Karl Hinett © Bryan Adams

 

Wounded: The Legacy of War — Q&A with Bryan Adams

Ph.ca - I’ve been fol­low­ing your pho­tog­ra­phy for a while and this lat­est work is the ‘rawest’ work of yours I’ve seen thus far. Can I ask what drew you to this sub­ject matter?

ba: I felt com­pelled to do some­thing for these guys as I was never happy that we went to war in the Mid­dle East. I was for­tu­nate to have meet a jour­nal­ist called Car­o­line Frog­gatt who wanted to do some­thing and she was acquainted with some of the sol­diers already, so the project started from that.

Ph.ca - Why pho­to­graph wounded soldiers?

ba: I want to cre­ate pho­tos of the time and doc­u­ment as many peo­ple as I could that had incurred these severe war injuries in order to raise aware­ness to their plight and also show peo­ple a side of the hor­ror of war that is often con­cealed from every­day media. The long term idea was that per­haps it could maybe be an exhi­bi­tion or maybe even a book down the road. All of that hap­pened thank­fully in part to my pub­lisher Steidl who saw the beauty in the pho­tos and agreed to make the “Wounded — The Legacy of War” book with me. It’s now its tour­ing the world as an exhibition.

Wounded Mark Ormrod © Bryan Adams

Wounded Mark Orm­rod © Bryan Adams

 

Ph.ca –How long did you pho­to­graph each veteran?

ba: For an hour at the most, then we would sit and have a chat and film that, I’ve not even looked at the inter­view footage, it’s just archived. Some­times these guys would stay over at my house as they had come great dis­tances from the North of Eng­land and even Scot­land to be involved and it was too much to travel there and back in a day.

Ph.ca - How long did this project take from start to fin­ish and where were the pho­tographs taken?

ba: sched­ules were always being sorted out, I sup­pose the whole thing took nearly 5 years, it was very on and off. Ini­tially it wasn’t easy to find sub­jects that would agree to being pho­tographed, but once a few sub­jects had agreed and par­tic­i­pated, rec­om­mend­ing their friends became nor­mal and the word got out.

Ph.ca - All of the pho­tographs that I’ve seen from this series high­light the vet­er­ans’ wounds, ver­sus play­ing them down through pos­ing tech­niques as other pho­tog­ra­phers have often done. Was the pos­ing of the sub­jects a col­lab­o­ra­tive process or solely under your direction?

ba: it was all ulti­mately under my direc­tion, how­ever they were wel­come to show as much as they liked and I always hoped they would show as much as possible.

I would show them what I had done with other sol­diers, and usu­ally once they saw what was going on, the shirts would come off and the wounds became very apparent.

Wounded Rory Mackenzie © Bryan Adams

Wounded Rory Macken­zie © Bryan Adams

 

Ph.ca - Did some vet­er­ans have trou­ble expos­ing their wounds so boldly?

ba: Only one as I can remem­ber who didn’t want to take off his pros­thetic limb. I never asked why.

Ph.ca - Was it an emotional/cathartic process for some veterans?

ba: I think they were curi­ous that some­one like me was doing some­thing like this, but I’ve had a lot of pos­i­tive con­ver­sa­tions with them since and the reac­tions have been incred­i­ble. Too many to men­tion here.

Mostly to do with see­ing them­selves as a vehi­cle to help other peo­ple, the unselfish­ness was hum­bling, let me tell you.

Wounded Rick Clement © Bryan Adams

Wounded Rick Clement © Bryan Adams

 

Ph.ca - Our read­ers will want to know - Can you describe the cam­era gear and the light­ing gear you used to cre­ate these photographs?

ba: It’s all shot in my day­light stu­dio using nat­ural light which I would drape off to cre­ate the amount of light for each guy. Occa­sion­ally if the stu­dio got too dark in the late after­noon, I would bounce a light into the wall to give me a stop or two and mix it with the day­light. There was never a direct source of light it was always dif­fused. I used a Mamiya RZ cam­era with a Phase One back.

Ph.ca - Given that the legacy of war will con­tinue, and there will be no short­age of future wounded vet­er­ans, will you be adding to this body of work, or is this a closed project?

ba: it’s closed for now, espe­cially now that the book is done.

Ph.ca - What addi­tional pho­tog­ra­phy projects are on the horizon?

ba: another book of sub­jects I’ve worked with is being planned, but it may be another year before it’s ready.

—————————–

I’d like to thank Bryan Adams for tak­ing the time to answer this Q&A.
30 images of Bryan’s new work are on exhibit at Som­er­set House from 12th Novem­ber 2014 – 25th Jan­u­ary 2015. The pho­tog­ra­phy book Wounded: The Legacy of War, Pho­tog­ra­phy by Bryan Adams, Edited by Car­o­line Frog­gatt is avail­able here.

Fuji X-T1 — A Fine Camera for Almost Everything

Thanks to our part­ner­ship with The Cam­era Store (The largest cam­era store in Cal­gary Alberta Canada), I recently tested The Fuji X-T1 w/the Fuji XF 18-135mm f/3.5–5.6 lens. The Fuji X-T1 is a solid, retro-looking mir­ror­less cam­era that I’ve been want­ing to test for a few months as it has been get­ting seri­ously good reviews and some pros have even touted it as a DSLR killer. Although I love my DSLR (Nikon D800E replaced by the D810), it’s heavy and a pain to carry around for hours and hours at a time. I’m always inter­ested to test smaller cam­eras that can give my DSLR a good fight for its money in the hopes that one day I can just bury the DSLR beast.

Fuji X-T1

Fuji X-T1

 

For those that want the con­clu­sion at the begin­ning, I really liked the Fuji– XT1 and I’ll talk about why in a few para­graphs, but let’s get that DSLR killer thing out of the way.

Straight off the bat this is one of the best mir­ror­less or point and shoot dig­i­tal cam­eras I have tested. It goes head to head to with my DSLR on many lev­els. That said, it can­not kill my DSLR or even lower priced DSLRs built in the past cou­ple of years because it can’t track and cap­ture mov­ing sub­jects with the same ease. I’m NOT a sports pho­tog­ra­pher but I reg­u­larly want to shoot a bird, squir­rel, fast mov­ing dog, or run­ning baby. For me, a DSLR killer must be able to track and cap­ture a mov­ing sub­ject with the same ease and effi­cacy (and ratio of keep­ers) as a DSLR. The X-T1 can­not eas­ily do this and admits to being unable to do this on page 68 of the man­ual. It’s the one big thing that’s miss­ing for me in this (and every other mir­ror­less or point and shoot on the mar­ket today) cam­era. It does a bet­ter job at this task than all the other mir­ror­less or point and shoot cam­eras I’ve tried, but DSLRs cost­ing the same or less money as this cam­era will get you sharper results with greater ease. If you accept this lim­i­ta­tion and you have the bud­get for it ($2100. for the cam­era and lens) it’s the best non-DSLR cam­era that I’ve tried.

Here’s a check­list of the main things I really liked about the Fuji X-T1

1 — Solid feel and size — The Fuji  X-T1 is a solid feel­ing metal cam­era and I like that. I’m sick of pla­s­ticky feel­ing devices. This cam­era is VERY rem­i­nis­cent of my old Nikon FM2 film cam­era in terms of shape, size and weight. One of the main advan­tages of this cam­era is that it is much smaller and weighs less than most DSLRs. The FUJI X-T1 weighs 440 grams with the cam­era and card. My D800E with bat­tery and card weighs more than dou­ble (994 grams)!

Comparison between the new Fuji XT-1 and the 30ish year old Nikon F3. Hat tip and © Wendy Kennedy for this image.

Size com­par­i­son between the new Fuji XT-1 and a 30ish year old Nikon F3. Hat tip and © Wendy Kennedy for this image.

 

2 — Over­all sharp­ness — Aside from sharp­ness on fast mov­ing sub­jects, you will love the sharp­ness of this camera!

The XT-1 gives you lovely natural colours. Images are sharp straight out of the camera.

The XT-1 gives you lovely nat­ural colours. Images are sharp straight out of the cam­era. Exif — ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/100. Note:  I did NOT try to get the birds sharp in this image, I was fram­ing the peo­ple on the bench and the mov­ing birds were a happy coincidence.

 

3 — Auto­matic elec­tronic viewfinder  - You can frame your scene by look­ing at the back of the LCD screen or through the viewfinder. The cam­era ‘knows’ when you bring the viewfinder to your eye and all inte­rior con­trols become instantly vis­i­ble — It’s very cool.

4 — Hori­zon line — This appears auto­mat­i­cally in order to let you know if your cam­era is par­al­lel to the sub­ject for dis­tor­tion free images. I really like this but you can shut it off if you don’t.

5 — Shoots in RAW for­mat, Jpeg and RAW/Jpeg

6 — Although I already ragged on the aut­o­fo­cus being infe­rior for mov­ing sub­jects when com­pared to a DSLR, it does a bet­ter job than all other non-DSLR cam­era that I’ve tried. In addi­tion it has focus points that you can move around your screen fairly eas­ily to allow the aut­o­fo­cus to focus where you want. I use these focus points all the time when I’m fram­ing a scene.

In order to assure sharp eyes (or sharp anything) I am always moving the auto-focusing square to exactly where I want the most sharpness to be. In this case, I moved it right over my boy Baci's eye. The Fuji XT-1 does a decent job at this! (Not as good as most DSRs mind you, but MUCH better than most mirrorless/point and shoot cameras I've tried). As an aside, this was a relatively low light shot with EXIF data at ISO 6400, f/4.7 at 1/80.

In order to assure sharp eyes (or sharp any­thing) I am always mov­ing the auto-focusing square to exactly where I want the most sharp­ness to be. In this case, I moved it right over my boy Baci’s eye. The Fuji X-T1 does a decent job at this! (Not as fluid as most DSRs mind you, but MUCH bet­ter than most mirrorless/point and shoot cam­eras I’ve tried).
As an aside, this was a rel­a­tively low light shot with EXIF data at ISO 6400, f/4.7 at 1/80.

 

7  - Low light shoot­ing. This cam­era does a killer-good job in low light!  It’s a low light maven! This image below was shot/pushed at ISO 12800. I never shoot at this ISO because nor­mally you get tons of noise (pixelization/grain) at this speed. But look how accept­able this image is! I have even included a 100% crop of a por­tion of the image with shadow detail as noise is most vis­i­ble in the shad­ows. Yes there is noise in those shad­ows but it’s accept­able noise, it’s not a hail­storm. Most mirrorless/point and shoot cam­eras (and most DSLRs) on the mar­ket today are infe­rior to the Fuji X-T1 with regard to their low-light and low-noise performance.

This image was shot at f/3.5 at 1/110 at ISO 12800! Look how acceptable the noise level is.

This image was shot at f/3.5 at 1/110 at ISO 12800! Look how accept­able the noise level is.

Here’s a 100% crop from the same image.

Noise is its nastiest in the shadows but look at how well the noise is handled at ISO 12800 - Very, very impressive!

Noise is its nas­ti­est in the shad­ows but look at how well the noise is han­dled at ISO 12800 — Very, very impressive!


X-T1 Gripes

As hinted at pre­vi­ously, my main gripe with the X-T1 (and every other point and shoot/mirrorless cam­era that I’ve tried) is that it can­not aut­o­fo­cus fast enough to cap­ture fast mov­ing objects as sharp as I like them. Here is a shot of a squir­rel. I admit it’s very good for cam­eras in its class but my DSLR and most oth­ers I’ve tried does better.

This is a 100% crop detail of a squirrel. I focused on the eye for about 15 images and the eye is good but it is not tack sharp. My DSLR has a much better ratio of keepers for difficult shots like these. EXIF data was ISO 800 f/5.6 1/850

A 100% crop detail of a squir­rel. I focused on the eye for about 15 images and the eye in this image is good but it is not tack sharp. My DSLR has a much bet­ter ratio of keep­ers for dif­fi­cult shots like these. EXIF data was ISO 800, f/5.6 @ 1/850

 

The main other gripe would be the price as $2100. for a mir­ror­less cam­era and lens is quite a chunk of change when DSLRs with lenses can be had for many hun­dreds of dol­lars less. That said, we should be used to pay­ing more for devices that are phys­i­cally smaller; it’s the trend across so many con­sumer prod­ucts. To tem­per the price blow a bit, this cam­era is very ver­sa­tile and can accom­mo­date many dif­fer­ent lenses of vary­ing focal lengths. It’s solidly built and it seems like it will last.

In con­clu­sion, if you have the bud­get for this cam­era you will love its size, shape, feel and its weight. The qual­ity and sharp­ness of the files are superb and as long as you don’t expect tack sharp eyes from mov­ing sub­jects, you will love this cam­era. To date, it’s the best non DSLR cam­era I’ve tried.

132 — Rust Photography — Interview with Bryan Davies

Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast #132 fea­tures an inter­view with Cana­dian pho­tog­ra­pher Bryan Davies. Dur­ing the inter­view we dis­cuss Bryan’s rust pho­tog­ra­phy. We cover what inspired the series, how it was shot, how it was post-processed and Bryan’s plans for the future.

Thanks to The Cam­era Store (The largest cam­era store in Cal­gary, Alberta, Canada)  for spon­sor­ing the Photography.ca podcast.

Click the player at the end of this post to lis­ten to (or down­load) the 13ish minute podcast.

Fargo Mania by Bryan Davies

Fargo Mania by Bryan Davies

 

Artful Rust image by Bryan Davies

Art­ful Rust image by Bryan Davies

 

Artful Rust image by Bryan Davies

Art­ful Rust image by Bryan Davies

 

Artful Rust image by Bryan Davies

Art­ful Rust image by Bryan Davies

 

Links /resources men­tioned in this podcast:

Bryan Davies Rust pho­tog­ra­phy
Bryan Davies’s work on fineartamerica.com
Face­book Rust art group
Con­traste Art Agency
Photography.ca forum reg­u­lar assign­ment — Frozen action images
Photography.ca forum level 2 assign­ment — Sounds

If you liked this pod­cast and want to review it on Itunes, this link gets you to the main page

If you are inter­ested in writ­ing for our blog please con­tact me photography.ca ( A T ) G m ail Dot co m (using stan­dard email formatting)

Please join the Photography.ca fan page on Facebook

My Face­book pro­file — Feel free to “friend” me — please just men­tion Photography.ca
My Twit­ter page — I will fol­low you if you fol­low me — Let’s con­nect — PLEASE email me and tell me who you are in case I don’t rec­i­p­ro­cate because I think you are a spammer.

If you are still lurk­ing on our forum,
feel free to join our friendly :)  Pho­tog­ra­phy forum

Although ALL com­ments are appre­ci­ated, com­ment­ing directly in this blog is pre­ferred. Many thanks to Teddy Naimus for his com­ment from the last pod­cast. Thanks as well for the emails and wel­come to all the new mem­bers of the bul­letin board.

If you are look­ing at this mate­r­ial on any other site except Photography.ca — Please hop on over to the Photography.ca blog and pod­cast and get this and other pho­tog­ra­phy info directly from the source. |Sub­scribe with iTunes|Sub­scribe via RSS feed |Sub­scribe for free to the Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast — Photography.ca and get all the posts/podcasts by Email

You can down­load this pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast directly by click­ing the pre­ced­ing link or lis­ten to it almost imme­di­ately with the embed­ded player.

Thanks for lis­ten­ing and keep on shooting!

131– The Lensbaby Composer Review

Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast #131 reviews a Lens­baby lens. Lens­baby lenses are spe­cial in that they have a sweet spot of sharp focus in the cen­ter of the lens and blur out toward the edges. In addi­tion to this (and where the magic truly lives), you can actu­ally bend the lens to move that sweet spot of focus around the frame. The par­tic­u­lar lens I tested was a 50mm Lens­baby Com­poser with dou­ble glass optic. It’s great fun and fairly easy to use though you need to know in advance that it’s a man­ual lens. It will still help you fig­ure out expo­sure based on your ISO and aper­ture ring you select, but you’ll be going old school and man­u­ally focus­ing this bad-boy. It’s worth it though as you can make some really cre­ative in-camera images with this lens. It’s a fab­u­lous lens to juice up your creativity.

Thanks to The Cam­era Store (The largest cam­era store in Cal­gary, Alberta, Canada)  for spon­sor­ing the Photography.ca pod­cast and for allow­ing me to test this lens.

Click the player at the end of this post to lis­ten to (or down­load) the 11ish minute podcast.

My hairless cat Baci with the Lensbaby Composer. Note his sharp central eye while everything else fades to blur

My hair­less cat Baci with the Lens­baby Com­poser. Note his sharp cen­tral eye while every­thing else fades to blur

 

Lensbaby Composer

 

This is an image of the Jacques-Cartier Bridge in Montreal, Quebec. It was very easy to see and capture this effect in camera.

This is an image of the Jacques-Cartier Bridge in Mon­treal, Que­bec. It was very easy to see and cap­ture this effect in camera.

 

This is an image of the Jacques-Cartier Bridge in Montreal, Quebec. Because the bridge was not centered in the lens, I had to physically move the sharp sweet spot of focus by actually bending the lens.  This image took a little longer to compose.

An image of the Jacques-Cartier Bridge in Mon­treal, Que­bec. Because the bridge was not cen­tered in the lens, I had to phys­i­cally move the sharp sweet spot of focus by actu­ally bend­ing the lens and thus the image took longer to compose.

 

Norco Bicycle shot with the Lensbaby Composer

Norco Bicy­cle shot with the Lens­baby Composer

 

Links /resources men­tioned in this podcast:

Lens­baby Com­poser user guide
The Lens­baby Com­poser  and other Lens­ba­bies at The Cam­era Store
Tilt shift lenses for land­scape pho­tog­ra­phy
Lens­baby 3G review

If you liked this pod­cast and want to review it on Itunes, this link gets you to the main page

If you are inter­ested in writ­ing for our blog please con­tact me photography.ca ( A T ) G m ail Dot co m (using stan­dard email formatting)

Please join the Photography.ca fan page on Facebook

My Face­book pro­file — Feel free to “friend” me — please just men­tion Photography.ca
My Twit­ter page — I will fol­low you if you fol­low me — Let’s con­nect — PLEASE email me and tell me who you are in case I don’t rec­i­p­ro­cate because I think you are a spammer.

If you are still lurk­ing on our forum,
feel free to join our friendly :)  Pho­tog­ra­phy forum

Although ALL com­ments are appre­ci­ated, com­ment­ing directly in this blog is pre­ferred. Many thanks to Bare­foot, Troy Borque and Terry Babij for their com­ments from the last pod­cast. Thanks as well for the emails and wel­come to all the new mem­bers of the bul­letin board.

If you are look­ing at this mate­r­ial on any other site except Photography.ca — Please hop on over to the Photography.ca blog and pod­cast and get this and other pho­tog­ra­phy info directly from the source. |Sub­scribe with iTunes|Sub­scribe via RSS feed |Sub­scribe for free to the Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast — Photography.ca and get all the posts/podcasts by Email

You can down­load this pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast directly by click­ing the pre­ced­ing link or lis­ten to it almost imme­di­ately with the embed­ded player.

Thanks for lis­ten­ing and keep on shooting!

André Kertész

André Kertész

André Kertész (1894–1985) is another pho­tog­ra­pher whose work you should (re)discover in this blog post series on pho­tog­ra­phers you need to check out. Kertész was born in Budapest, Hun­gary and started mak­ing pho­tographs as a teenager. In 1925, while in his early thir­ties, he moved to Paris France where he worked as a free­lance photographer/photojournalist for him­self and for photo mag­a­zines. He gained noto­ri­ety for his fresh style and inter­est­ing com­po­si­tions, was pub­lished in mul­ti­ple mag­a­zines and self pub­lished mul­ti­ple books of his pho­tog­ra­phy. In addi­tion, he had sev­eral exhi­bi­tions of his work.

About a decade later he moved to the USA where he spent the rest of his work­ing life work­ing as a pho­tog­ra­pher. He was on exclu­sive con­tract with Condé Nast mag­a­zine for many years and he always devoted time to his per­sonal work and projects. In his later years he spent a lot of time exper­i­ment­ing with Polaroid pho­tog­ra­phy.

I’ve always admired Kertész’s work because of his atten­tion to the ele­ments that make up a good pho­to­graph. For Kertész, the story of a pho­to­graph is crafted from every­day peo­ple and objects but he man­aged to make what­ever he pho­tographed stand out. He used light, angles, com­po­si­tions, jux­ta­po­si­tions as well exper­i­ment­ing with alter­na­tive pho­to­graphic tech­niques to cre­ate inter­est­ing moods and tell inter­est­ing visual stories.

 

André Kertész - The Fork - 1928

André Kertész — The Fork — 1928

 

André Kertész - Pont des Arts, Paris - 1929

André Kertész — Pont des Arts, Paris — 1929

 

André Kertész - Distortion #40 - 1933

André Kertész — Dis­tor­tion #40 — 1933

 

André Kertész - Melancholic Tulip - 1939

André Kertész — Melan­cholic Tulip — 1939

 

André Kertész - Self portrait - Martinique - 1972

André Kertész — Self por­trait — Mar­tinique — 1972

 

André Kertész  - Polaroid - August 13, 1979

André Kertész — Polaroid — August 13, 1979

 

Addi­tional André Kertész resources and links:

Wikipedia -  André Kertész
Kertész on Photography-now.net — (click the grey link that says Selected Work — over 30 images)
Kertész on Art­net
Kertész’s port­fo­lio at The Stephen Bul­ger gallery in Toronto, Ontraio

130 — The Big Stopper Filter Review

Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast #130 reviews the Big Stop­per by Lee fil­ters. The big stop­per is a 10 stop glass fil­ter that slows down shut­ter speeds in order to accen­tu­ate move­ment. Both clouds and water are clas­sic sub­jects for use with this fil­ter and the result­ing pho­tographs tend to be ethe­real and dreamy. Aside from review­ing the fil­ter, I offer up 6 tips on how to use it effectively.

Thanks to The Cam­era Store (The largest cam­era store in Cal­gary, Alberta, Canada)  for spon­sor­ing the Photography.ca podcast.

Click the player at the end of this post to lis­ten to (or down­load) the 18ish minute podcast.

This evening image of Rue Laurier in Montreal is a long exposure image using the big stopper. You can see movement in the clouds, and in the cars. The people look 'ghostlike' because they moved (somewhat) in place while waiting for the traffic light. Notice the traffic light has all 3 colours lit because the traffic light cycled during this 30 second exposure. Exif data -  ISO 100  f/11 30 second shutter speed.

This evening image of Rue Lau­rier in Mon­treal is a long expo­sure image using the big stop­per. You can see move­ment in the clouds, and in the cars. The peo­ple look ‘ghost­like’ because they moved (some­what) in place while wait­ing for the traf­fic light. Notice the traf­fic light has all 3 colours lit because the traf­fic light cycled dur­ing this 30 sec­ond expo­sure. Exif data — ISO 100, f/11, 30 sec­ond shut­ter speed.

 

Fast moving water at Chutes Dorwin in Rawdon, QC. Canada. In the top image I used my lowest ISO (50) with my smallest aperture (f/32) and this yielded a shutter speed of .4 seconds. The water does look dreamy. But when I used the big stopper, I was able to get much slower shutter speeds and the lower image was exposed for 15 seconds. It's much dreamier and more ethereal looking. If you look at the top of the bottom image you can see where flare entered my camera. This is easily solved with a hat (or postprocessing).

Fast mov­ing water at Chutes Dor­win in Raw­don, QC. Canada. In the top image I used my low­est ISO (50) with my small­est aper­ture (f/32) and this yielded a shut­ter speed of .4 sec­onds. The water does look dreamy. But when I used the big stop­per, I was able to get much slower shut­ter speeds and the lower image was exposed for 15 sec­onds. It’s much dreamier and more ethe­real look­ing but the fil­ter must be used with care. If you look at the top of the bot­tom image you can see a rain­bow­ish arc and this where flare entered my cam­era. As dis­cussed in the pod­cast, this is eas­ily solved with a hat (or postprocessing).

 

Fountain at Parc Lafontaine in Montreal, QC., Canada - The slowest shutter speed I could get without a filter was 1/60 in this light.  When I put the big stopper on, It extends the available shutter speeds big time. The image on the right was a 15 second exposure using the big stopper and look how dreamy the water looks.

Foun­tain at Parc Lafontaine in Mon­treal, QC., Canada — The slow­est shut­ter speed I could get with­out a fil­ter was 1/60 in this light. When I put the big stop­per on, It extends the avail­able shut­ter speeds big time. The image on the right was a 15 sec­ond expo­sure using the big stop­per and look how dreamy the water looks.

 

How the lee filter system works

How the Lee fil­ter sys­tem works

 

Links /resources men­tioned in this podcast:

Pod­cast 77 - On Neu­tral den­sity fil­ters and grad­u­ated neu­tral den­sity fil­ters
Pod­cast 84 - Back But­ton aut­o­fo­cus
The big stop­per at The Cam­era Store
Reg­u­lar forum assign­ment — Rep­e­ti­tion
Level 2 pho­tog­ra­phy assign­ment — Forced perspective

If you liked this pod­cast and want to review it on Itunes, this link gets you to the main page

If you are inter­ested in writ­ing for our blog please con­tact me photography.ca ( A T ) G m ail Dot co m (using stan­dard email formatting)

Please join the Photography.ca fan page on Facebook

My Face­book pro­file — Feel free to “friend” me — please just men­tion Photography.ca
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If you are look­ing at this mate­r­ial on any other site except Photography.ca — Please hop on over to the Photography.ca blog and pod­cast and get this and other pho­tog­ra­phy info directly from the source. |Sub­scribe with iTunes|Sub­scribe via RSS feed |Sub­scribe for free to the Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast — Photography.ca and get all the posts/podcasts by Email

You can down­load this pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast directly by click­ing the pre­ced­ing link or lis­ten to it almost imme­di­ately with the embed­ded player.

Thanks for lis­ten­ing and keep on shooting!

Photography forum image of the month — July 2014

Hi Photo lovers!

Every month on our pho­tog­ra­phy forum mem­bers nom­i­nate images that they like. Then at the end of the month I choose an excel­lent image and talk about why it rocks. The photo I choose is not nec­es­sar­ily the best one of the month. I’ve come to real­ize it’s not really log­i­cal to pit images from totally dif­fer­ent gen­res against each other. That’s why there are cat­e­gories in photo con­tests. I just choose a photo that has extremely strong ele­ments that we can learn from.

This month’s choice goes to Lizardqing for cap­tur­ing Sun­set on the Blue Ridge Parkway

I chose this image for sev­eral reasons:

1. Composition/Framing — This sun­set image has many strong com­po­si­tional ele­ments going for it. The lay­ing of the fore­ground trees, midground hills and back­ground clouds/sky and sun works really well for me. My eye really enjoys the lines and curves in the moun­tains and hills. There are also no major dis­trac­tions on the edges in this scene for me. My eye goes straight to the sun, then straight below it to the midground sun patch, and then it explores the rest of the pho­to­graph with delight.

2 . Exposure/lighting — The light is just plain lovely here due to the par­tial cloud cover. That said, shoot­ing into the sun is often chal­leng­ing and often yields under­ex­po­sure. Cor­rect­ing it often leaves lots of shadow noise but this image looks clean and the tones in the fore­ground and midground have lovely shadow detail.

3.  Colour and post pro­cess­ing — The colours are warm and bright in the sky but not too over­done. Sharp­ness works well for me and looks very natural.

For all these rea­sons, this is my choice for image of the month. Since we all have opin­ions, some mem­bers may dis­agree with my choice. That’s cool but THIS thread is not the place for debate over my pick, NOR is it the place to fur­ther cri­tique the image. The pur­pose here is to sug­gest strong ele­ments in the photo that we may learn from.

Con­grats again to Lizardqing for cap­tur­ing this fab­u­lous moment!

Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin

I’m start­ing a new cat­e­gory in this blog for pho­tog­ra­phers that I think are worth check­ing out. I’ll start off with pho­tog­ra­phers that have been around awhile and I’ll write a few para­graphs, show a few pics and offer addi­tional links to whet your pho­to­graphic appetites. Let’s start off with Nan Goldin.

Nan Goldin is a con­tem­po­rary Amer­i­can pho­tog­ra­pher born in 1953 cur­rently liv­ing in NYC, USA and I’ve been fol­low­ing her work for a over 2 decades. If I were forced to describe her work I’d write that Goldin is a ‘moment-photojournalist’. She both cap­tures and cre­ates inti­mate moments of the peo­ple in her life and it’s hard not to have an opin­ion about her pho­tog­ra­phy. If you have never heard of her, research her two most famous photo books (The Bal­lad of Sex­ual Depen­dency, Aper­ture, 1986 and The Devil’s Play­ground Phaidon 2003) in order to form your own impres­sions. One thing you will notice pretty quickly is that a lot of the work breaks the rules. A lot of images are out of focus. A lot of the images are not safe for work.

What I really like about Goldin’s work are the moods she cre­ates in her images. She real­ized early on that like life itself, ’ life’s moments’ as cap­tured through the lens don’t always need to be sharp to be pow­er­ful. The moments of life that Goldin cap­tures, like life itself are often imperfect.

 

Greer and Robert on the bed, NYC 1982

Greer and Robert on the bed, NYC 1982 © Nan Goldin

 

Nan and Brian in bed, NYC, 1983

Nan and Brian in bed, NYC, 1983 © Nan Goldin

 

Misty and Jimmy Paulette in a taxi, NYC 1991

Misty and Jimmy Paulette in a taxi, NYC 1991 — © Nan Goldin

 

Bruno smoking a joint (valerie's legs) Paris 2001

Bruno smok­ing a joint (valerie’s legs) Paris 2001 © Nan Goldin

 

Swan-like embrace, Paris 2010

Swan-like embrace, Paris 2010 © Nan Goldin

 

Addi­tional Nan Goldin resources and links:

Wikipedia -  Nan Goldin
Nan Goldin inter­viewed by Adam Mazur and Paulina Skirgajllo-Krajewska
Goldin’s Years By Lisa Lieb­mann, orig­i­nally pub­lished in Art­Fo­rum, Octo­ber, 2002
Nan Goldin: ‘I wanted to get high from a really early age’ — Inter­view with Sean O’Hagan — 2014

129 — How to Photograph Strangers

Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast #129 talks about how to pho­to­graph strangers in pub­lic so that your images are stronger and more inter­est­ing. I offer up 4 easy tips on how to make this process eas­ier so that your shots have more punch at the end. These pho­tographs were mostly taken over a period of 1 week. In the pod­cast I dis­cuss the dif­fer­ences between when the sub­ject is aware and unaware of the photographer’s presence.

Thanks to The Cam­era Store (The largest cam­era store in Cal­gary, Alberta, Canada)  for spon­sor­ing the Photography.ca podcast.

Click the player at the end of this post to lis­ten to (or down­load) the 11ish minute podcast.

Tens of thousands of cyclists lining up to start the Tour de L'isle. All it took was me waving my hand, and cyclists did the same. There is much more engagement than if I had not waved my hand and all the cyclists were looking in random directions.

Tens of thou­sands of cyclists lin­ing up to start the Tour de L’isle. All it took was me wav­ing my hand, and cyclists did the same. There is much more engage­ment than if I had not waved my hand and all the cyclists were look­ing in ran­dom direc­tions. I was not an offi­cial pho­tog­ra­pher for the event. I had the same access as every­one else.

 

I shot Raphael Aubry from the band Waiting Game at the Montreal Jazzfest. I had the same access as everyone else. I just waited patiently for this moment of eye contact while I was framing the scene.

I shot Raphael Aubry from the band Wait­ing Game at the Mon­treal Jaz­zfest. I had the same access as every­one else. I just waited patiently for this moment of eye con­tact while I was fram­ing the scene.

 

Every Sunday in Montreal, thousands of people gather at Mont-Royale for drumming, dancing etc. This image has no eye contact, but a strong gesture which for me, carries the image.

Every Sun­day in Mon­treal, thou­sands of peo­ple gather at Mont-Royale for drum­ming, danc­ing etc. This image has no eye con­tact, but a strong ges­ture which for me, car­ries the image.

 

I asked 5-6 people walking down the street if I could take their portrait. 100% of them said yes.Take a deep breath if you feel shy about this, people are flattered and tend to agree.

Just as a test for a group of adults i was giv­ing a course to, I asked 5–6 peo­ple walk­ing down the street if I could take their por­trait. 100% of them said yes. Take a deep breath if you feel shy about this, peo­ple are flat­tered and tend to agree over 90% of the time when I sim­ply ask them for permission.

 

The boy in this image never knew he was being photographed. The second I saw him engage in this behaviour I saw a story.

The boy in this image never knew he was being pho­tographed. The sec­ond I saw him engage in this behav­iour I saw a story. (click to enlarge this image)

 

Links /resources men­tioned in this podcast:

Pho­tog­ra­phy forum assignments

If you liked this pod­cast and want to review it on Itunes, this link gets you to the main page

If you are inter­ested in writ­ing for our blog please con­tact me photography.ca ( A T ) G m ail Dot co m (using stan­dard email formatting)

Please join the Photography.ca fan page on Facebook

My Face­book pro­file — Feel free to “friend” me — please just men­tion Photography.ca
My Twit­ter page — I will fol­low you if you fol­low me — Let’s con­nect — PLEASE email me and tell me who you are in case I don’t rec­i­p­ro­cate because I think you are a spammer.

If you are still lurk­ing on our forum,
feel free to join our friendly :)  Pho­tog­ra­phy forum

Although ALL com­ments are appre­ci­ated, com­ment­ing directly in this blog is pre­ferred. Many thanks to Nuno C., Bare­foot and Christo­pher Steven B. for their com­ments from the last pod­cast. Thanks as well for the emails and wel­come to all the new mem­bers of the bul­letin board.

If you are look­ing at this mate­r­ial on any other site except Photography.ca — Please hop on over to the Photography.ca blog and pod­cast and get this and other pho­tog­ra­phy info directly from the source. |Sub­scribe with iTunes|Sub­scribe via RSS feed |Sub­scribe for free to the Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast — Photography.ca and get all the posts/podcasts by Email

You can down­load this pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast directly by click­ing the pre­ced­ing link or lis­ten to it almost imme­di­ately with the embed­ded player.

Thanks for lis­ten­ing and keep on shooting!

 

Photographing Strangers — Teaser (podcast to follow)

Many pho­tog­ra­phers love to pho­to­graph peo­ple in the street but they are shy to put their cam­eras in front of people’s faces to take a portrait.

For our next pod­cast I set up a pho­tog­ra­phy exper­i­ment with com­plete strangers and I’ll share it (and other tips for pho­tograph­ing com­plete strangers) with you within a week. I give tips for cases when the sub­ject is aware of you, and tips for when sub­jects are unaware that they are being photographed.

For now, if you are feel­ing brave try break­ing your com­fort level; approach com­plete strangers and pho­to­graph them. Tips and the actual pod­cast to fol­low next week.

Stranger meditating in Parc La Fontaine in Montreal, QC.

Stranger med­i­tat­ing in Parc La Fontaine in Mon­treal, QC.