If indeed you must be candid, be candid beautifully.--Kahlil Gibran
The Candid Frame (http://thecandidframe.blogspot.com/index.html)
is an online podcast where you can meet image-makers from the world of photojournalism,
fashion, landscape, documentary, sports, wildlife, travel, and commercial photography.
Some of the photographers interviewed include fine art photographer John Siskin,
photographic genius Pete Turner, and nature shooter William Neill, among others.
Recently Jefe Ibarionex R. Perello interviewed me for The Candid Frame and if
you've already heard me jabber about photographing cars the interview
may be old news. If not, check it out if you have the time.
Lovers of nature photography will find nirvana at John Hyde's website.
The splash page says it all; this is a showcase for Hyde's 20 years experience
in still and motion picture photography. The site's classic design includes
translucent drop-down menus that, on the Portfolios menu, can occasionally be
difficult to read, depending on what's in the background, but you should
be able to see a list that includes 15 collections, ranging from bears to whales.
Clicking on a collection opens a large window with a scrolling column of thumbnails
on the right-hand side.
All of the bears, even the cubs, are real-life carnivores--not Yogi--and
are captured in sharp focus with Hyde's striking compositions. One black
and white shot of a brown bear in a driving rainstorm that was originally shot
on film is especially notable. There is only one word to describe the "Whales"
collection--Wow! Want to see more beautiful seagoing mammals in all kinds
of spectacular lighting and scenery? Check out the sequel, "Whales 2."
Here you'll also find some remarkable monochrome images. Unlike most sequels
this is better than the original, if that's possible. There's even
a partially submerged shot showing an Orca swimming with mountains visible in
the frame above the waterline.
Hyde is not only a great photographer but he is also ready to go above and beyond
to get the shot, and not just any shot. Just when you think you've seen
everything, click on the "Eagles" collection and be prepared to
be amazed. His photo of two eagles, one sitting on an ice flow and the other
just taking off, left me speechless and out of superlative to describe it. While
exploring this site, look, learn, and enjoy wildlife photography created by
Hyde, a modern master of this oh-so-difficult discipline.
© 2007, John Hyde, Wildthings Photography, All Rights Reserved
Christian Stepien is a renaissance man. He is a musician, poet, filmmaker, and
photographer with an emphasis on black and white landscapes. His well stocked
website offers five photography collections, including nature and manmade landscapes.
Before you go there, check out some of Stepien's short films, including
Day Trippin'. (Remember skateboarding is not a crime.) What you'll
discover in Stepien's still photography is just the opposite of his loosey-goosey
filmmaking style. His architectural photography in the "Buildings"
gallery is tight, controlled, and elegantly formal. Surprised, huh? Similarly,
"Objects" that revolve around architecture and buildings are an
important component of images such as "La Porte et la Bicyclette."
What is striking about Stepien's landscape photography is his sense of
space and a Last Year at Marienbad sensibility that shows somebody or something
was just there, but now they're not. Proving that great photographs are
often made in bad weather, his foggy landscapes are extremely powerful and a
lack of detail emphasizes the overwhelming sense of emptiness or loneliness.
The "Nature" and "Animals" collections, while occasionally
displaying an interesting and even color photograph, lack the power of Stepien's
other work, but include "audio comments" on how some of the images
were made. I can't be too hard on the guy about these other collections;
he's only been making still photographs for a short time. In 2006 he entered
his first photography contest and won the top prize. Big surprise, huh?
© 2007, Christian Stepien, All Rights Reserved