Pro Techniques

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Suzanne Driscoll  |  Apr 04, 2014  |  First Published: Feb 01, 2014  |  0 comments

Vincent van Gogh once said, “Stars are the souls of dead poets, but to become a star you have to die.” Vivian Maier (1926 - 2009) was an amateur photographer who had no desire to share her work with anyone during her life, and kept a treasure trove of over 100,000 prints, negatives, and films in five storage lockers in Chicago. By several twists of fate, they ended up in the hands of a few collectors who recognized their unique quality, and are now shown in books, documentaries, museums, and galleries throughout the world.

Maria Piscopo  |  Mar 21, 2014  |  First Published: Feb 01, 2014  |  0 comments

As technology changes so do methods of presentation. In this article I set out to discover what type of portfolio photographers have found work best and, from the buyer’s perspective, what type or types they prefer. As I conducted the interviews among art directors, photo reps, and photographers it all began to boil down to this: how do you get your work seen by potential clients and how do you craft an effective portfolio that makes sense to them and represents your craft and passion?

Jim Corbran  |  Apr 07, 2014  |  First Published: Feb 01, 2014  |  0 comments

The idea for Phil Pantano’s photographic series, “The American Worker,” walked into his office at a local steel mill in Lackawanna, New York, where Pantano holds a day job as a computer analyst. The man who came through the door was Jay “Elvis” Borzillieri, a fourth-generation steelworker whose father died in the mill. It doesn’t matter to the story what Elvis stopped in for that day, but when Pantano looked into his face a flash went off in his mind.

Gregory Heisler  |  Mar 25, 2014  |  First Published: Feb 01, 2014  |  1 comments

Widely regarded as “a photographer’s photographer,” Gregory Heisler has been described as having “the mind of a scientist, the heart of a journalist, and the eye of an artist.” Known for his candor, humor, and generosity as a teacher, he is able to convey the most complex photographic concepts simply and elegantly. In the long-awaited Gregory Heisler: 50 Portraits (Amphoto Books, October 22, 2013, $40) he takes us on a guided tour of his innovative editorial images and iconic portraits, engagingly illuminated by his insightful and highly personal perspective.

Rich Sheremeta  |  Jan 17, 2014  |  First Published: Feb 01, 2014  |  0 comments

Wildlife photographers with any interest in photographing big Alaskan brown bears should certainly consider the McNeil River State Game Sanctuary, professed to have the highest concentration of large adult brown bears in the world with over 70 bears having been seen at any one time. The sanctuary is located on the Alaskan Peninsula about 100 air miles west of Homer and is only reachable by floatplane.

Lorin R. Robinson  |  Apr 11, 2014  |  First Published: Feb 01, 2014  |  0 comments

It is probably true that a photographer, through almost single-minded devotion to a place, can help make it known, understood, and appreciated. But the converse is also true. A place can make a photographer. Its beauty, its landscape, its human dimensions, its impact on the creative spirit can mold or shape a photographer—both as artist and person. That’s been the experience of fine art photographer William Davis in his 45-year symbiotic relationship with Northern New Mexico and the small town of Taos.

Blaine Harrington  |  Mar 07, 2014  |  First Published: Jan 01, 2014  |  0 comments

I’ve seen my share, and I expect you have too, of people who basically spray the area hoping to get a keeper. I’ve also seen photographers who wait…wait…and wait some more to catch that decisive moment. I’m neither of those types. I think of what I do as mindful shooting: I know what I want the photo to look like; I preconceive and previsualize the moment; I control the situation as much as I can to get that moment; and I’m prepared to work with what I’m given and what I can’t control in order to get a good result.

Josh Miller  |  Feb 11, 2014  |  First Published: Jan 01, 2014  |  0 comments

Sunstars are a great way to fill an otherwise boring, cloudless blue sky with a feeling of drama and excitement. They are often a way to add a compositional element that helps draw a viewer into a scene. Technically, any light source can create a “sunstar” as long as it is a tiny point of light and the camera is set correctly. We often see the star effect in shots of buildings with their lights twinkling at dusk, or the moon in the night sky. Most commonly we see star patterns when the sun is setting on the horizon, but in this case we only see half of the sunstar because the other half is being blocked by the horizon.

David W. Shaw  |  Mar 11, 2014  |  First Published: Jan 01, 2014  |  0 comments

The arctic sun was just about to make its brief dip below the mountainsto the north when I arrived at a cluster of strange monolithic rocks on the ridge. I cursed myself for not carrying my tripod on the evening hike, but I hadn’t expected to stumble on something quite so strange and photogenic. I braced myself on a tussock of soft tundra and began snapping images of the glowing rocks. I clicked the shutter, recomposed, then clicked again. As I made images, it occurred to me that I was quite possibly the first person to photograph these rocks. They weren’t marked on any map, and the nondescript ridge was just one of many in this part of the range. That, I thought to myself, is one of the great things about photography in the Brooks Range, it was unlikely that anyone had made the same composition before.

James Patrick  |  Feb 21, 2014  |  First Published: Jan 01, 2014  |  0 comments

There I was, 20 years old behind the sideline barricade of an arena football game clutching to my now outdated Canon EOS 20D with a 200mm lens slapped on it. I raced back and forth behind the separating wall with a cluster of other photographers—feverishly snapping off images as the players sprinted up and down the field and crashed into one another and off the barriers. It was my first sporting photo assignment.

Barry Tanenbaum  |  Mar 14, 2014  |  First Published: Jan 01, 2014  |  0 comments

Currently a lecturer, teacher, and writer, Sam Abell’s celebrated career includes positions as a contract and staff photographer and photographer-in-residence at National Geographic magazine. This 1959 photo of his father at the Painesville, Ohio, train station is the homepage image of his website, samabell-thephotographiclife.com.

Jeff Wignall  |  Jan 24, 2014  |  First Published: Dec 01, 2013  |  0 comments

One of the primary differences between a photograph and the real world is that reality has three dimensions: height, width, and depth. Your photos, of course, only have two—height and width. Any depth that exists in a photograph is purely an optical illusion. Even if you were able to create a print that was the exact same size as the scene (and wouldn’t that be fun) it would still pale beside the real thing because of the lack of that third dimension.

Stan Trzoniec  |  Jan 28, 2014  |  First Published: Dec 01, 2013  |  1 comments

When photographing animals on an African safari, sharp photos are a gift to bring home and it all centers on proper technique. Use the “sweet spot” on the lens; with both of my shorter lenses it was around f/5.6 or f/8. On the longer zoom, I found f/5 or f/5.6 gave me needle-sharp and distortion-free images. With the animal at rest, always put that focusing spot on the eye. On longer distances or perhaps with the animal moving, place that spot on the shoulder or flank to keep a decent depth of field throughout their length.

Jack Neubart  |  Jan 14, 2014  |  First Published: Dec 01, 2013  |  0 comments

“The first questions I ask myself, after receiving the layouts from the art director, are: how can I make this my own, what can I add to it?” Active lifestyle photographer Rod McLean continues: “When we select the final locations and talent, the ideas become clearer. During a tech scout, we’ll shoot various views of the location, create rough comps, and talk about the possible scenarios: the best time to shoot, the props and wardrobe, etc. We all have to have a clear idea what we’ll be shooting and how the final images are going to look because we’ll be setting up the first shot in the dark, waiting for the morning light.”

Lorin R. Robinson  |  Feb 04, 2014  |  First Published: Dec 01, 2013  |  1 comments

Photographers who also love to travel are probably most prone to this collecting imperative. High on my list was Peru. For those who have traveled there, Machu Picchu was probably a primary destination. And why not? Machu Picchu is one of the few Incan sites to remain essentially intact following the 16th century Spanish conquest of the Kingdom of the Incas—for the simple reason that the invaders never found it.

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