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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon PIXMA iP2850 printer review product photos (4 of 10)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 3.2

Rights grabs, payments, and more have been the talk of the town for the past couple of days. But this all brings up an even bigger question that deserves a very big answer:

Why, in 2015, with the prevalence of so many images being taken each and every minute, should someone pay for your images?

Now, let’s put some specific emphasis on this sentence and get right to the meat of the problem:

Why should someone pay for your images?

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The fox that has the soaked tail

The fox that has the soaked tail

All images by Youngho Kang. Used with permission.

Photographer Youngho Kang has one of the most beautiful stories that we’ve ever heard on how he started out as a photographer. His college girlfriend asked him to shoot photos of her, and he did it as an escape from his anxiety and to simply spend time with her. But the images were so good that they were pitched to ad agencies. Based in South Korea and born in 1970, he was a commercial photographer turned Fine Art photographer that got the nickname “The Dancing Photographer.” This is because he communicates with his subjects through dancing or with music in the background and acting as a conductor.

In 2009, he started the 99 Variations project, which is a complicated series of self portraits featuring him facing into a mirror and dressed as many different characters. But even more interestingly, Youngho tells us that there is no retouching to the images.

We talked to Youngho about the project; which we find incredibly fascinating.

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mhall_holga-13

All images by Matthew Hall. Used with permission.

Photographer Matthew Hall was an English teacher for 13 years before closing up shop and starting to work as a photographer. Today, has has been shooting for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News, first as an intern and then as a regular freelancer, on the Advisory Board for the Department of Photographic Imaging at Community College of Philadelphia and a contributor and editor for 35 to 220. But in his line of work, he eventually became bored as many photographers do.

“As you might be able to tell, I kind of got sick of taking critical sharp images and wanted to explore the other end of the spectrum.” he tells us about his Holga project using Portra 160VC and Ektar 25.

We talked to Matt about his project involving complete creativity.

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401_24mm_Art-150dpi

It was bound to happen eventually. Today, Sigma is announcing something that has us very, very excited. The new Sigma 24mm f1.4 DG HSM Art lens is their latest prime offering for full frame DSLRs (Canon, Nikon and Sony) and joins the 35mm and 50mm art lenses as the trinity for street photographers.

So what’s got us so excited? According to the summary of the press release, “The lens achieves a maximum magnification of 1:5.3 with a minimum focusing distance of 9.8 inches.” Additionally, the 24mm incorporates both “F” Low Dispersion (FLD) glass and Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass, has an optical formula 15 elements in 11 groups which the company claims to help to minimize chromatic aberration of magnification especially in the edge of the image field, and has aspherical elements placed near the rear of the lens. Finally, the lens has manual focus overrride even when the autofocus is activated.

There is no official word on pricing yet, but all of Sigma’s primes have won Editor’s Choice awards from us.

And that’s not all that Sigma is announcing today.

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Fujifilm Astia 100F with Canon 85mm f1.2 rendering

Fujifilm Astia 100F with Canon 85mm f1.2 rendering

Portraiture is an art form not only within photography, but in drawings and paintings. Years before photography, artists were commissioned to make people look their best in drawings and oil paintings. Photography is different in that we can capture a much more true likeness–which is a blessing and a curse. Taking a portrait of someone requires planning, attention to details, and overall a vision. If the person has an idea of how they want to look, then you need to bring that to pixels. But otherwise, you should have a vision and follow a step by step process.

Here are things to remember before you take a portrait–from a guy that’s been doing it for years and years.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer CES 2014 MeFOTO phone adapter (7 of 10)ISO 8001-60 sec at f - 3.2

Dear iPhoneographers,

You create compelling work. I know you may hear this all the time, and I know that you’ve got all the art buyers in the Upper East Side, Chelsea and Bushwick around your fingers. So I want to tell you something: congratulations. You’ve seriously done a terrific job of showing the world that art is what comes first. It absolutely does come before gear, and a creative vision will always win out over someone toting around a 5D without a creative vision. As a creative, I want to thank you for making the world realize that don’t need the best gear in the world to create compelling imagery.

But at the same time, I want you to be well aware of your placement in the art world. Your prints in the galleries are beautiful, and I don’t think that I can say that enough. I want you to know, however, about what I’m actually capable of doing with a dedicated camera. I’m a creative with a creative vision and I will express my creativity in nowhere near as fast a pace as yours. What you’ll get from me, however, is work that took time, in which I debated whether I should crop in just a bit more, flip the image, or edit it a completely different way.

Beyond that, I want you to know that if I ever get back into shooting weddings, engagements, events or into fully shooting fashion campaigns again that I will never show up to a shoot with my Nexus 5 or the latest victim of Bendgate. I will do everything I can to work with a client to create my own lighting, deliver the vision and product that they want, and in the end, I will push my art over the fact that I’m using the latest camera from Sony.

I think that as much as you’ve become entranced with not needing a dedicated camera to create excellent images, you’ve instead become so enthralled by the other type of technology: your phone. If we switch equipment for a month, can you deliver the same work that you did? Does that make you truly an artist or some person that shoots an image, applies a filter, and wins over the hearts of curators everywhere.

In closing, what I’m saying is that you’re a creative and that I’m a creative, but that creativity should be the main priority. In the same way you can wow art buyers with your efficient and affordable way to capture an image, I can give a bride and groom photos that they’ll cry over years from now.

Maybe we can talk about it one day over coffee–which we will both then attempt to photograph beautifully.

Sincerely,

A photographer