Sit down with a group of photographers and the conversation immediately revolves around gear. It’s about the piece of kit we just bought and the gear we’d like to buy. It’s about rumors about what the next best thing will be. It might not lead to anything that helps to improve our photography, but admittedly the conversations are so much fun.
However, it’s often been those conversations that have to do with process, which delve into the why of what we do which has left me inspired to pick up a camera and make photographs. It’s a conversation not often found in books, which are largely dedicated to deciphering the gear we lust over. But when such a book comes out, it can be a refreshing and enlightening alternative to what’s out there.
Effortless Beauty by photographer Julie DeBose explores a way of seeing, rather than dedicating time to a camera’s bells and whistles. Instead, she delves deeply into our unique way of seeing the world and how that can translate into effective and beautiful photographs.
Every photographer goes through it, but sometimes we are reluctant to admit it. The lack of creative productivity seems to come with equal doses of frustration and shame. Such feelings hardly leave us inspired to pick up the camera.
Some will feel further frustrated waiting for that elusive spark of inspiration to strike. But the truth of it is that she rarely pays a visit when you or I find ourselves in this muck of non-creativity.
The great artist, Chuck Close been quoted as saying, “Amateurs look for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work.” His comments speaks to the truth of any creative effort which is that it’s often the work itself that draws us out inactivity and puts us into the heart of our expression and creativity.
Here are some tips for getting out and doing just that.
Essentials is a brand new series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend.
After taking a short break, we’ve decided to head right back into the Essentials for what we think an environmental headshot photographer would use. So what exactly do we mean by this? Well, here in NYC, lots of photographers like using a combination of natural/ambient light and blending it with flash. And due to the fact that they’re on location and sometimes without assistants, they tend to try to pack as lightly as possible.
While we often recommend using monolights, they aren’t as portable as a couple of hot shoe flashes placed in the absolute right positions to give the right amount of kick.
I love films almost as much as I love photography. Put both of them together and it can make for a great time at the movies. Admittedly, a lot of films that feature photography get a lot wrong. They make mistakes that completely take me out of the movie and leaves me fidgeting in my seat. However, there other movies which are just a pleasure to watch even if they get a few things wrong, I happily go along with the ride.
Here are some feature films that I’ve always had a fondness for. Each features photography in some way. Sometimes, photography is a prominent element in the narrative, while in others it’s just secondary. But regardless of that, they are films that I have and won’t hesitate to watch again and again.
If you’ve ever tried to photograph a protest, you’ll know that it isn’t exactly the easiest things to do with both police and protesters sometimes giving you their worst sides. There are currently protests happening in the Medellin area of Colombia and recently a photographer was struck in the face by a police officer while trying to do his job.
According to a Google Translation of an article, at first the police moved in and threatened to break the journalists camera–when the journalist stated that he was doing his job he was punched in the face and then smacked in the cheek.
But the story doesn’t end there: another photographer apparently had a stun bomb (possibly a flashbang or something of more non-lethal force) thrown at him and shrapnel from the canister cut his face.
If photojournalism is the prime discipline of photography, then war photography is most definitely the prime discipline of photojournalism. And certainly the most dangerous, life-threatening and psychologically challenging. There’s nothing beautiful about war. And while pictures from seemingly victorious troops are often used propagandistically to both rectify and glorify a war, the fact of the matters is that war is probably the ugliest thing there is in this world. Nevertheless, there are those that are drawn to conflict zones, who put themselves in harms way time and again, in order to show the world what is really going on.
One of these brave souls is Goran Tomasevic, who has been documenting war zones for Reuters for twenty years now. The video below showcases some of his work, and features Tomasevic explaining why he does what he does. But be aware: it contains some strong imagery, and may not be suited for the faint-hearted.