All articles by Chris Gampat
Creating More Effective Street Photography Through Editing
The idea of capturing great street photographs is one that sometimes forgets that the photo capturing process doesn’t end when the camera records the information. Instead, it continues into the darkroom or on your computer. Editing can also make a drab photo into one that is incredible–but this really happens only if you’re more experimental and embrace the idea of having fun with and playing with ideas to create something different.
Seascape photography can help you create captivating imagery well worth hanging on your wall. One of the biggest tools that photographers use to create these images are Neutral Density (ND) filters. Essentially what they do (in layman’s terms) is cut down light in a scene. For many photographers, they’re very useful–and sometimes they’re a big staple in their camera bag.
“I always felt when travelling that the most interesting part was roaming in the streets, without any directions or goal.” says photographer Martin U Waltz. “So it was actually a small step to street photography.” Based in Berlin, Martin describes his signature style as high contrast black and white. Last year, he was voted as one of the 20 most influential street photographers and he’s won a number of aways including solo exhibitions in many big cities.
There was a time when all photographers shot black and white film. For the most part, the decision to shoot in black and white had very little to do with choice or preference for black and white photographs. In most cases, it was because black and white film was more convenient to develop, when compared to color film. And in case you’ve forgotten what develop means, it’s not when you drop off your film at the local photo-mat. It means going to the darkroom and developing it yourself.
I am currently working my way towards my MFA in Photography. The first year was spent trying to figure out a sense of direction for my thesis work, and it was a stressful time, enlightening, but stressful. I touched on all of these different facets of my life, but nothing quite clicked. Night Owl slowly surfaced out of all these explorations. In all of these little projects I began to pull out photographs that seemed to be part of an overarching series, and when I finally made that connection,, that’s when Night Owl was born.
Yes, the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED is a real lens. How many telephoto lenses beyond the 85mm focal length with an f1.4 aperture have you seen? The answer is probably very few, and if anything we’ve seen 200mm f1.8 lenses from Canon years ago. But the new Nikon 105mm f1.4 E lens is quite an interesting one. With 14 elements in 9 groups, 3 ED elements, 9 aperture blades, fluorine coatings and an 82mm filter size this is a very interesting and different lens from what’s been available and out there.
One of the most popular looks that many photographers showcase on the web is the high contrast black and white look.The growing popularity has to do with the fact that it obscures everything else in a scene to a certain point and forces people to focus on the most simple parts of the scene that they really want you to pay attention to. Black and white strips out of the color to make people really focus on the important details. Of course, it wasn’t always this way–but it’s seen a major resurgence in the digital photography world.
“Black and white also helps with this as it strips the photo from unnecessary and distracting information.” says photographer Chris Leskovsek about his love of black and white street photography. “We live in an over informed society, so I try to keep it as simple as possible it is to me.”
“I’ve always been a people voyeur but I think films maybe planted the seed.” says Josh Ethan Johnson about his project Endangered Species. The name comes from the fact that the project itself explores cultures and impermanence in our fast paced daily lives. The images, which have been taken over 16 years were mostly taken in America and explores human behavior.
Street photographers are numerous on the internet–there are famous ones, up and coming ones, little known ones, and the ones that everyone immortalizes. Over the years, we’ve interviewed a number of excellent street photographers that you’ll want to check out right after the jump.
Travel photography and capturing the best moments is sometimes best left to your phone lest your big camera looks intimidating to people around you. As it is, modern smartphones have very capable cameras that do a great job as long as you use them just right. On top of that, when you’re traveling you don’t need a load of gear like 24-70mm lenses or 300mm primes all the time. Instead, you can create photos that you’ll love with whatever is in your pocket.
“In a mad dash to outdo the rest of the photography world, it seems to me that landscape photographers are learning to do whatever it takes to an image to make theirs stand out in the quest for popularity, especially online.” says photographer Antony Spencer. So many of the images we see on a day to day basis are of the same locations over and over again.” When you look at his work, it’s easy to see how he’s doing a pretty good job of holding himself to that statement.
The idea of a companion camera isn’t a new one, and in the digital age it isn’t tough to have one with a high quality sensor, lens and pocketability. Just think, whenever you want it, it’s possible to have a small, high quality picture snapper in your pocket and ready to use.
For generations, what photographers have tried to do to get society to change its minds about social and political issues is showing exactly what happens. We, as in most of society, are behind a safety of sorts: there are screens, editors, warnings etc that the most graphic photojournalism and documentary stories that can really change a person’s mind about an issue. These censors have made the public immune to so many things–so much so that we continue on to other stories like those of some kid blaming Pokemon Go for them walking into traffic.
Getting the photos you really care about at a concert can be an ordeal if you’re in a dark venue. Just naturally, most concerts are in dark venues and the lighting there can make it difficult for a camera’s sensor to be able to focus due to it changing so quickly. Years ago, many photographers used to use the zone focusing method, and that’s still an option if you want. However, if you don’t want to manually focus your lens, then try these tips to ensure that you’ve always got the image perfectly captured.
One of the essential tools of any party photographer is an on-camera flash. It’s important when it comes to dimly lit situations or when there just isn’t enough light on a subject’s face. For the person trying to get into it, doing this can be tough and intimidating because they have no idea how to use a flash and simply pointing it forward and shooting isn’t always the best idea either.
While there are loads of award winning photographers in the best agencies, newspapers, and wires the future of photojournalism seems to be changing more and more to where quite honestly, the photographer has the least amount of importance in most of history. Just recently, a photo of a woman in a dress being arrested by well armed police men made the rounds like wildfire online. Part of getting this shot involved access that working with those big companies can get you. It also comes with publication after publication using the image without permission or licensing for their own reasons. It’s theft–and part of this has to do with how the social web works.
If you’re a film photographer, then chances are that you’re very particular about your camera bags. You probably don’t need to tote along a laptop with you but you need film, a camera or two, lenses, filters, flashes, light meters, etc. You surely do need different things and often in a smaller package.
All images used with the permission of the photographers in our interviews. Landscape photography is pretty tough to get right–but some Landscape Photographers tend to stand out more amongst the rest. In our almost eight years of doing this site, we’ve come across the work of many incredible Landscape Photographers. The artists after the jump will inspire
We’re looking to feature portrait photographers for the month of August and if you’ve got a portrait project, a kick ass portfolio, or really amazingly stunning single portraits, we’d love to interview or feature your work right here on the Phoblographer.
Hey folks, we’ve finally got the winner of our Natural Light Portrait mission with EyeEm! Before I go on, I recommend that you download their app and give it a bit of exploring. You’ll find that you may like it more than Instagram when it comes to working with actual creatives.
Generally speaking, I’ve never been a fan of small light modifiers–but the Lastolite Ezybox Speed-lite 2 is giving me a solid reason to say that I’ve been wrong. The mini softbox folds up to a very compact size that fits into the same messenger bags that can hold a 13 inch laptop. Additionally it has a silver interior and two layers of diffusion that can help soften the light output from the otherwise pretty small softbox.
When doing street photography, no photographer wants to get into any sort of confrontation. Though what you’re doing isn’t illegal by taking pictures of someone in public, it can offend or creep someone out. That’s easy to do too!
“I always try to keep shooting personal work, and coming up with new ideas (of stuff) I’d like to shoot…” says photographer Rey Demski about his Fireball photo project. “Sometimes just throwing out crazy, often impossible ideas until something sticks.” For Fireball, he put some thought into how he could take freestyle football (or soccer as we call it in the US) to the next level. Then he thought about using a fireball.
The winners of the 2016 Urban photography awards have been posted. The selections in street, nature, sports, projects and portfolios all contain elements that surely make them award winning images. I served as a judge for the competition; and below what you’ll find are images from the winners.
If there is any company that’s been pumping out medium format lenses as of late, it’s Phase One. Today, they’re announcing two Schneider Kreuznach Blue Ring Zoom lenses for their XF camera system. With that said, they offer full frame 645 format coverage.
Few cameras will make a photographer’s mouth water like the Hexar AF. When it comes to some of the best point and shoot cameras that use 35mm film, it’s tough to get anything better (though there arguably are other options.) The Hexar AF is often said to be one of the best available for street photographers and has a fixed 35mm f2 lens stated to be a copy of a Leica Summicron. Everything about it is designed to be low profile.
Street photography isn’t obviously the act of documenting every day occurrences in public as they happen–but one of the biggest challenges that everyone who calls themselves a street photographer faces is getting their work out there. Photographer Jonathan Higbee never let that slow him down.
When it comes to cityscape photography, I truly believe that every city has a unique “soul” to it that you have to find and visualize. Let’s begin by talking about your mindset when approaching a new city. Sometimes it takes a little time to acclimate to a certain place in order to really get the “vibe”.
Some photographers go through the world simply looking at scenes and only capturing what looks interesting to them at the time–and in attempt to capture a scene just the way that they see it. That’s fine–and it works out pretty well most of the time. In contrast, have you tried something new?
When using your camera phone there is a statement that cannot be any more true, it goes something like “It’s not the camera, it’s just in the way you use it.” This is the Gospel that so many photographers have based their work off of and still adhere to today. A smartphone is very capable as a photographic tool and in the hands of the photographer that thinks a bit out of the box and instead just focuses on the basics, it can become a tool that captures photos that will impress even the editors at big publications.
“…I always knew that what I was shooting was not for me. It was for others.” says photographer Jennifer Judkins about a documentary photography project she completed about her father’s passing. “So I looked at everything objectively. When someone would say oh, your dad looks sick here, I’d think, well look past that.” You see, Jennifer’s father isn’t just any passing–he was one of the workers that helped to clear debris from the World Trade Center after 9/11.
There are times and moments where even the best autofocus from the most advanced cameras won’t be able to deliver the image that you really want from them. In a situation like this, more advanced photographers often opt for a different method: zone focusing. Way before autofocus was even a concept, this is the method that was tried and true from many photographers out there. Lots of the world’s most iconic images were taken using this method and what you’ll find overall is that this old way of doing things can greatly help you out.
Mario Palufi is a 22 year old photographer from Indonesia living in Sydney. He’s a street photographer and absolutely loves the medium due to the inspiration he’s gained while shooting. He works light with minimal gear and instead focuses a lot on geometry and colors.
Cleaning your camera lenses are an important part of ensuring that they keep working flawlessly and that your picture taking devices are always delivering the best images that they can. Just like a car, computer, television, or mostly any other electronic item your camera needs maintenance–and so too do your lenses. The reasons why are because your camera lenses in particular tend to pick up dust, grease, and other contaminants that can make it not work as well as it did right out of the box.
With all the excitement about the Hasselblad X1D, we all know that despite it’s very good price, many of us won’t be able to afford it. But for those of us who have been shooting it for a while are well aware of how awesome medium format film is overall. Lucky for many of us, there have been many mirrorless medium format cameras available over the years that are still quite highly regarded.
“The reason I began photographing these expanses at night came from a curiosity to see if I could capture that sense of lost time that occurs during these sprawling drives.” says South Dakota photographer Seth Harwood about his series Highway Hypnosis. “,,,I think that by blurring the scene just enough to obscure the finite details only helps the viewer to focus more on the relationship of color and light.” Raised the son of a repo man, Seth spent his youth playing in old, broken down vehicles that had been left behind. As such, he developed a particular fondness for this abandoned aspect of the highway culture throughout the American Midwest.
A lot of us have been waiting for some of these changes for a while now; and today Adobe has brought some very big and really cool changes to their Lightroom Mobile app. iOS users are getting the ability to edit RAW images–something that we’ve been waiting for for a while now since finding out
Today, Red Bull is announcing a brand new contest for their famous Illume contest. For the first time, they’re holding one specifically for smartphone camera users. The contest is giving those that use their phones extensively a chance to have their images join the Red Bull Illume Exhibit Tour as it makes its way across the US. The winner’s photo will be displayed on a special light box that will travel around the US in the tour.
360 Photography and Virtual Reality are some of the areas where photography seems to be evolving, becoming cool, fun, and fulfilling the human need to constantly be entertained. Like a dog that sees a squirrel run across a field, there are some of us in the industry that simply just go for it because it’s the cool thing to do. But in all honesty, it doesn’t have a lot of major uses for the professional photographer. Instead, it’s just a way for people on social media and other platforms to be engaged. To that end, it could become the ultimate Behind the Scenes Tool for a photographer’s life.
“The concept comes from exploring the notion that we spend so much of our lives working, why do we do it if even the process of us getting there makes us so vacant and miserable?” says Photographer Lester Jones about his project Their Grind, Not Mine. “For me the message is to observe commuting as an integral part of inner-city life, but to look at the human condition that it generates…”
Lots of landscape photographers love shooting wide–but they also don’t like to pack too heavy. With the maturation of mirrorless cameras have also come the further development of great lenses from those companies. At the same time though, no photographer wants to spend way too much money. In all honesty, most modern optics are so good that you don’t really need to.
Hasselblad and DJI are today announcing something that sees your puny 5D in a drone and scoffs at it. The companies took their M600 and A5D, then put them together into a package for the serious aerial landscape/cityscape/creepy prowler photographer. That right–50MP in medium format above the skyline.
When I was pitched on Creatic, I was told about how it offers a social sharing experience not only with your images, but also with your editing settings. That latter part really struck me. Imagine a photo editor on your phone where you can make custom presets, share them and also share your images within an internal community–and then sit there wondering why it took someone until 2016 to actually do this.
I often discuss with my friends about the tips and tricks in all kind of photography fields. It is good to share your knowledge within a group of photographers. “Let the envy go away and act like a true member of a growing family of photographers”, I say. Each one has its own vision and original concepts and it is very profitable to share some of the techniques you have, based on your own experiences, which most of them were acquired on a trial and error approach. We often make our own mistakes, even if we were taught about them in the first place. It is good to make mistakes in photography – this is the most powerful way to learn, for good, the correct ways.
Just like the pros, getting “that full-frame look” is a growing desire among enthusiast amateur photographers. The topic is a trend in gear-obsessive online discussion and a bug in the brains of those who feel that only a larger sensor will allow them to fully express their creative visions. And while many have taken advantage of the fact that buying into the full-frame DSLR and mirrorless camera market is less expensive than ever, still others will find that the upfront cost of a modern full-frame camera body and compatible lenses is still a significant and insurmountable barrier to entry.
During a recent Sony Press trip, I had the opportunity to test out the new Sony WRM1M and WRR1 Radio flash transmitter and receiver. The units were pre-production models and demonstrate that Sony is serious about the whole wireless flash game. Interestingly enough, Canon is the only other company to have developed their own radio
When you consider a camera system, one of the most important lenses to look out for is a 70-200mm equivalent–and Sony has been working on delivering that in the form of the Sony 70-200mm f2.8 OSS G Master lens for full frame E mount cameras. With weather sealing, a white body, 18 groups with 23 lens elements, and a constant f2.8 aperture throughout the zoom range coupled with a small size overall–there is a lot of love about this lens.
The release of the Sony Zeiss 50mm f1.4 for full frame E mount cameras begs the question “just how many 50mm lenses does one need?” In truth, just one–but the strategy is a smart one for the company. You see, years ago camera manufacturers used to offer loads of different lens options. You’d get a 50mm f1.8, f1.4, f2, etc. Leica still does this and to some degree, Zeiss does too. But with Sony, you’re getting something different.
The full frame Sony E mount lineup of lenses already has two 50mm offerings in the form o the 50mm f1.8 and the Sony Zeiss 55mm f1.8–and today they’re getting a third in the form of the Sony Zeiss 50mm f1.4 for full frame E mount cameras. This latest offering boasts dust and moisture protection, 11 aperture blades (like the 85mm f1.4 G Master before it), advanced aspherical elements, extra-low dispersion elements, and the Zeiss T+ coating that minimizes flare and gives your images lots of punch–just like standard Zeiss glass does.