78 — Winter photography gear

Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast #78 talks about how to enjoy win­ter pho­tog­ra­phy. Many pho­tog­ra­phers avoid shoot­ing in the win­ter because‚ it’s too cold and they feel uncom­fort­able. What a huge mis­take. There are so many spec­tac­u­lar win­ter scenes to pho­to­graph and the cold can be tamed with the right gear. The major­ity of the pod­cast is ded­i­cated to how to keep your entire body warm on a cold win­ter day. We talk about shoot­ing at dif­fer­ent lev­els of cold­ness includ­ing very cold tem­per­a­tures like –20 degrees C (-4 degrees F) and colder. We also touch on tips like avoid­ing con­den­sa­tion and pre­serv­ing bat­tery power.

Winter photography gear

Win­ter pho­tog­ra­phy gear

Links /resources men­tioned in this podcast:

Le Baron — Awe­some camping/fishing store in MTL. Great prod­ucts.
SSG Silk Win­ter Glove Lin­ers at Ama­zon
Fox River Four Layer Glomitt on Ama­zon
Polar Ex Glomitt Fleece Mitten/Gloves — Medium-Gray
Gor­dini Da GORE-TEX-‚« Goose II Mit­tens Mens
Heat Max Hot Hands hh2
Lor­pen Hunt­ing Extreme Pri­maloft Socks on Ama­zon
Toe-sters bat­tery pow­ered foot warmers

February’s song title to pho­to­graph assign­ment on the Photography.ca forum

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Thanks to JAS_photo, Micheal van der Tol,‚ jack­la­bel, Zenon5940, f8&Bthere, Bambi, Jason, and Fortytwo who posted a blog com­ment about our last pod­cast. Thanks as always to every­one that sent com­ments by email about our last pod­cast. Although ALL com­ments are appre­ci­ated, com­ment­ing directly in this blog is pre­ferred. Thanks as well to all the new mem­bers of the bul­letin board.

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February 2010 forum assignment — Photography and Song Titles

This month we have one of the best assign­ments we’ve ever had in our pho­tog­ra­phy forum; images that sug­gest a song’s title. There are already many extremely cre­ative and well done images in this thread. If you are still lurk­ing on the forum but have a cre­ative idea, now would be a great time to join. Click here to reg­is­ter for free.

Here’s 2 images from the thread. First one is by mem­ber BambiSun­rise, Sun­set (Fid­dler on the Roof Cast). Sec­ond one is mine; Hazy Shade of Win­ter by Simon and Gar­funkel. Who is the cutie in the frame? That’s yours truly taken in the early sev­en­ties when the song was still popular.

Sun­rise Sun­set by Bambi (T. Alexander-Arab)

Hazy Shade of Winter by Marko Kulik

Hazy Shade of Win­ter by Marko Kulik

Photography forum image of the month — Jan. 2010

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 The Con­ver­sa­tion is by casil403.

I chose this image for sev­eral rea­sons.
First and fore­most, I was drawn in by the unusual angle and point of view of this shot. This angle works very well for me! I love how just above the left statue’s head the office win­dows are nicely lit. This gives me the feel­ing of a well-told story, bet­ter than the sim­i­lar story told by the straight on shot seen many, many times. The story is office politics/or work talk etc.

I very much like the lines of the building’s roof and the lines cre­ated by the win­dows. I’m lov­ing this inter­est­ing com­po­si­tion. The way that ‘roof-line’ cuts out of the scene to cre­ate an isosceles-like tri­an­gle at top left (hey I dug geom­e­try) is fan-friggen-tastic. It adds inter­est to this scene and makes it dynamic.

The sky is beau­ti­fully con­trolled here. It adds flavour to the shot with­out over­whelm­ing it in any way.

The black and white is very well con­trolled here and works for me with this sub­ject mat­ter. If I had one teeny nit, I might bring up the high­lights in the stat­ues’ faces and hand.

Thou­sands of peo­ple pass these stat­ues every day and scores of tourists are likely snap­ping away daily… and none of them are likely to lie down on the ground or get on their knees to get this superb angle.

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 casil403 for cre­at­ing this beau­ti­ful image!

Fed Up With Fake Photography ?

Whether an image is “too” pho­to­shopped, or overly retouched is a huge issue for both pho­tog­ra­phers and non-photographers. We’ve talked about it many times on our forum. It’s an issue for pho­tog­ra­phers because our medium is in the midst of a dra­matic change. Pho­tog­ra­phy has gone dig­i­tal. Every­one has a dig­i­tal cam­era. Every image is fod­der for manip­u­la­tion. Many pho­tog­ra­phers over-manipulate.

The prob­lem is that there is no con­sen­sus on how much manip­u­la­tion is too much. Some pho­tog­ra­phers say over manip­u­la­tion occurs with any­thing over and above basic edit­ing (con­trast and tonal con­trol, crop­ping and some dodg­ing and burn­ing). Oth­ers say we are crafts­man and that Pho­to­shop is a tool like any other tool, so there is no limit. (Per­son­ally I don’t buy this for a second).

Cer­tainly when you look at a photo, you often can­not tell what level of manip­u­la­tion was done and nowhere is the level of manip­u­la­tion revealed. Some­times though, you can EASILY tell when an image is over-retouched or manipulated.

This is less of a big deal when you are cre­at­ing a pho­to­graph for artis­tic rea­sons, but it’s damn seri­ous when young girls want to look like mod­els that don’t exist. The mod­els exist of course but their images are over manip­u­lated to the point of fraud. Impres­sion­able girls want to look like these mod­els hawk­ing beauty-cream. They feel bad/sad when they can’t look like these mod­els. Here is just one recent Newsweek arti­cle on this over-manipulation (hat tip to AcadieLi­bre from our forum). If this trend con­tin­ues, it won’t be long till we’ll be sell­ing anti-wrinkle cream to ten year olds or freckle remover for red headed babies.‚ All it will take is a cou­ple of‚ before and after pho­tos show­ing the ‘improve­ment’ in their appear­ances. Even babies and ten year olds want to feel ‘bet­ter’ about themselves.

But peo­ple are catch­ing on, they are get­ting fed up with this manipulation/fraud/cheating. This week in Lon­don Eng­land, Con­ser­v­a­tive party leader David Cameron was blasted for a cam­paign elec­tion poster where he looks 20 years younger than he does. Here’s the orig­i­nal poster, a spoof poster and what Cameron looks like on a nor­mal day.

Over manipulation in photography

Over manip­u­la­tion in photography

So what say you? Are you fed up with fake pho­tog­ra­phy.….….?‚ Or am I just whin­ing because I have no Elvis hair to style?