Magnum Photographer Stuart Franklin Shares an Important Message

All images by Stuart Franklin. Used with permission from Mr. Franklin on behalf of Magnum Photos.

“I wish, but I think it’s unlikely,” replies photographer Stuart Franklin to us when asked if he thinks his image will inspire action against Global Warming. “John Piper’s beautiful painting of the destroyed church at St Mary Le Port didn’t stop World War Two.” Mr. Franklin’s stunning photo of a glacier in the Alps is part of the latest Magnum Square Print sale called Works of Imagination. It’s a solid choice for the sale considering its ethereal look. The photo was shot over a decade ago on Fujifilm Astia. Those of us who’ve been around for a while know how magical slide film like Astia was. Anyone purchasing this photo who knows the story behind it will probably be filled with nostalgia. And from there, the imagination will run wild. So we talked with Stuart more about this photo.

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Phil Penman Shares the Challenge of Putting on a Photo Exhibition in 2020

All images by Phil Penman. Used with permission.

Phil Penman is a seasoned street photographer. His works dare to cross the line between fine art and raw, candid imagery. Like most photographers, 2020 has been a difficult year for Penman. Restricted by quarantines, it has been a challenge working to his usual workflow. But, COVID-19 hasn’t stopped him. He worked on a personal project that focused on the homeless in New York City. And now he’s ending 2020 on top, closing it out with his own solo exhibition with Leica, at the famous Harrods store in London.

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Katarina Premfors’s Photos of the Middle East Make Us Swoon

All images by Katarina Premfors. Used with permission.

My name is Katarina Premfors, I am Dubai based freelance photographer covering the Middle East since 1992. Born in Sweden, raised between Pakistan, Turkey and North America before I moved to Dubai in 1992. I work across a multitude of editorial and commercial genres and have delivered multi-national campaigns for a broad spectrum of world-leading private and public sector enterprises. My clients include global advertising and branding agencies, major corporations and the governments of the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Jordan, Yemen and Afghanistan. My work has been published in The New York Times, Fast Company, The Guardian, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Greenpeace etc.I exhibit personal and editorial work and love mentoring young photographers. I am a Fujifilm X Ambassador and a member of the global group Women Photograph whose mission is to shift the gender makeup of the photojournalism community and ensure that our industry’s chief storytellers are as diverse as the communities they hope to represent.

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Some of the Most Annoying Things about Cameras and Lenses

We’re sure you can relate to some of the most annoying things about cameras and lenses that we’ve found over the years.

Short product cycles have given us progress and innovations that camera and lens manufacturers sometimes screw up. Every so often, these misses make us wonder what the engineers were thinking. At best, they’re annoying quirks that leave us scratching our heads. At worst, these quirks are so egregious the camera or lens becomes too infuriating to use. Photographers pick up a specific piece of gear because they want to shoot with it, not chuck it across the room. Here are some of the most annoying things about cameras and lens that really grinds our gears.

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Photographer Ali Choudhry Hilariously Uses Donuts for a Special Message

All images by Ali Choudhry. Used with permission.

“It’s actually inspired by The Simpsons and was probably what started this whole idea to be honest,” explains photographer Ali Choudhry in an email interview with us. Ali is referencing the bright pink donut that you’ll see in this blog post. But the idea is tackling a bigger issue: that of intersectional feminism. We’ve featured Ali’s work on the site before, but DONUT Come For ME really stood out to us. Looking at the images, you’d think they’re ordinary donuts. And this plays a key part of it all. They’re a fun metaphor for all of us being unique.

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Are Street Photographers More Unethical Than Paparazzi?

As a street photographer, I feel conflicted about the paparazzi and how they go about their work.

I believe a photographer should have the right to create images freely in a public space. For almost a decade, I’ve argued with non-street photographers about whether or not the art form should be allowed. Paparazzi certainly crosses over into the world of street photography. The only difference is the subject with paparazzi remains the same – celebrities. But while I’ll fight for the right to make the candid frame, I can’t say I’m entirely on the side of those who photograph celebs.

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Photographer Vs. Nude Model: Who’s Right in This Situation?

A photographer is coming under fire for a photobook he plans to publish.

Nude photography is a polarizing topic. Whether it’s arguing about objectification or questioning a photographer’s motives, nude photography is seldom free from negativity. In the latest case, photographer David Paul Larson is being accused of acting inappropriately, even if what he’s doing falls in line with the law. He’s looking to publish a photobook which contains images of him and models he has worked with in the past. While his subjects consented to the photos, some models are not happy with the photographer publishing them. This brings us back to the topic of law vs. ethics pertaining to photography.

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PSA: Please Don’t Use Images from Workshops in Your Portfolio

You probably didn’t do much work for that shot, and it’s tacky.

The longer I’ve worked in the photo industry, the more I’ve been able to see photos within a photographer’s portfolio and put together a scene. Lots of photographers use images from workshops and tradeshows in their portfolio. The intent is to make them seem better than they really are. But it’s wrong and a smoke and mirrors game. I feel the same way at press junkets. You know, the ones where we, other journalists, and YouTubers photograph the same models. It’s why we at The Phoblographer try very hard to get exclusive images. We wouldn’t encourage you to use a cookie-cutter shot that someone else has. Your portfolio should be specifically about showcasing who you are as a photographer and not your ability to copycat or rip off of someone else’s work.

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My Dream Lens: I Want a 35-85mm F1.8 Zoom Lens

A 35-85mm f1.8 full frame zoom lens would be an absolute dream to own!

You can talk all you want about how big and bulky the Canon RF 28-70mm f2 USM L lens is. But it satisfied the needs and wants of so many photographers. I think the industry is overdue for a 35-85mm f1.8 zoom lens. The wider end would satisfy the needs of many photographers who don’t like shooting super wide. The telephoto end would be perfect for every photographer who also shoots portraits. Just imagine how useful a 35-85mm f1.8 could be for photojournalism? The extra light hitting the sensor would truly be something special!

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Opinion: I Want More Cameras with Brass, Because It’s Beautiful

In a world where cameras are becoming less and less needed, they should become objects of lust.

The big problem with cameras today and reaching the more prominent consumer market is that they’re not products of lust. They are in some ways when it comes to image quality, but camera manufacturers can do so much more with their aesthetics. For example, there is an entire cult of photographers who wants their cameras to look worn. And even more important is that cameras last a really long time. People buy older ones because it’s all they need. So why not find a way to develop more lust around your own brand? One way of doing that is by implementing more brass into cameras. Brass, for years, was a standard. It looked good, gave great patina, and the cameras were still very well built.

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Photographer Ryan Noltemeyer Reflects on Waiting for the Right Light

All images and text by Ryan Noltemeyer. Used with permission.

My name is Ryan Noltemeyer. The people around me got me into photography. In high school, my friends and I started making dumb little movies and photo projects on the weekends and during the summer. That mixed in with my dad was always taking pictures of myself and my brother growing up kept piquing my interest in making images. After high school, my dad gave me his old Nikon FE film camera when he saw I had an interest and I went crazy. I was photographing anything and everything. I invested in an entry-level DSLR and started shooting for my university’s magazine and eventually a few local lifestyle magazines. One thing led to another and I kept chasing the photography rabbit hole. The Phoblographer’s readers would want to see my work to see that photography is not all about grand vistas and moody portraits. Photography (for me) should be a reflection of self and if I can make you feel something through my images I did a good job. I’m pitching a small group of black and white images that have resonated the most with me and the direction I am moving with photography. I strive to capture simple beautiful moments during everyday life. Capturing emotion in an image and then transferring that emotion I feel to my audience is the goal.

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Why the Photography World Needs More 43mm Lenses

The 43mm lens is the most perfect standard focal length.

More and more photographers hate the 50mm focal length. It’s been the standard in the industry for such a long time, but it’s so overdone that many of us are sick of it. Manufacturers have realized this and typically gone a bit longer or wider. But for the life of me, I don’t understand why we don’t have more 43mm lenses. Why this focal length? Well, we’re going to hearken back to one of the best things Pentax did in the 35mm photography world. 43mm is the diagonal of a piece of 35mm film. Full-frame digital sensors have stayed around the same size, so a 43mm lens would be the real normal. In this case, it’s not necessarily about distortion or anything, but more about the field of view.

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Adam Coco Proves Dating Apps Offer More Than Hook-Ups (NSFW)

Tryst Pic is a personal project by Adam Coco that aims to bring deeper connections within the gay community through the medium of photography.

“My desire was to connect with people through gay dating apps without hooking up,” says photographer Adam Coco. He adds, “I wanted to tell their stories and combat the toxic culture dating apps were creating within our community.” Coco’s project aimed to smash the status quo that’s synonymous with dating apps. While people will have their own thoughts on hook up culture, Coco aimed to show it’s possible to create meaningful relationships with people who use apps like Grindr, Scruff, and Tinder. Tryst Pic provides an intriguing concept while offering some beautifully assembled portraiture.

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In 1987, Darren Lewey Documented a Photo Therapy Class

All images and text by Darren Lewey. Used with permission. 

I’m a photographer based in Morocco running tours and workshops in the region. I’m also behind a new website called Creative Camera which offers innovative online courses for building creativity. I place a high value on photographers who can make sense of more ordinary locations rather than those who can shoot photogenic zones really well. I use a Pentax 645z with a range of lenses as well as a Toyo 45A 4×5 Field Camera with 180mm and 300mm lenses. I process my Pentax files in Capture One and home develop and scan my black and white LF images. I orientate towards and encourage project based work rather than single one-off images. Often locations or scenes can be recorded in more than one way and working to a series allows that. A project can also reinforce a way of seeing that’s unique to the photographer.

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Street Photographer Jonathan Bernheimer Puts Color in the Spotlight

All images by Jonathan Bernheimer. Used with permission.

“For example, a well-placed light pole that creates an interesting shadow can be really valuable,” explains street photographer Jonathan Bernheimer. “And I don’t think there is any harm to include the light pole in the photo.” I remember days where I’d sit with street photography collectives who complained about little things like this. They didn’t focus enough on the moments. And quite honestly, the work of Jonathan Bernheimer doesn’t either. But his use of colors are entrancing. You can stare at his images all day and be lead around the scenes. Jonathan credits it to the specific type of light that he’s looking for. And he explains all about it and being a minority amongst people of color in our interview.

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How Society Accepted Bad Photography And Never Learned

Your photography being judged by Instagram interactions started with mobile photography getting better and better.

If you know any better, you can look around the web and see pretty awful images absolutely killing it on social media platforms and in other places. And I’m not really saying this as an opinion, but it’s more of a fact. Photography has gone from something that required care and practice and turned into “content.” It’s now just a part of a package, and that’s all in some cases. This hasn’t been all bad. It’s opened and democratized photography for the masses while giving ultimate control to your Instagram dictators. And as much as I’m blaming Instagram for this, I’m also blaming technology. Apple, Google, Samsung, and others have had a big part of it. So too have the people. We ultimately are just sheep that keep going back to the toxic relationship with social media–grazing what we want only to return when we wish or when we’ve beckoned to do so.

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The BlackRapid Camera Sling Has the Female Photographer in Mind

The BlackRapid Camera Sling was designed by Nicole Elliot with the female photographer in mind, but it can be enjoyed by everyone!

Transporting heavy gear can be a struggle. That’s why a durable camera strap is an absolute must! The latest offering from BlackRapid aims to provide a durable camera strap that allows photographers to conveniently access their kit. Pro photographer, Nicole Elliot, came up with her concept for a camera sling back in 2016, while on a trip in Ecuador. As a woman, she wanted to create something from the female perspective, using a centuries-old concept as the foundation of her product.

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This Zorki Rangefinder Has the Heart of a Panasonic XS1

This Zorki rangefinder frankencamera would undoubtedly turn some heads.

The level of innovation, vision, and skills of craftsmen and craftswomen never ceases to amaze us. While browsing the web recently, we came across an incredibly unique Zorki Rangefinder camera that will certainly get some attention. Zorki cameras are 35mm Soviet-era Rangefinder cameras that are copies of Leica cameras. The particular Zorki we are talking about will already grab the attention of passers-by because of its bronze finish, but its digital heart will wow even more. Let’s talk about it after the break.

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Maren Klemp and Her Powerful Story Show the Strength of Photography

All images by Maren Klemp. Used with permission.

“I’m sure every parent is or has been worried about their children, it’s part of being a parent,” says photographer Maren Klemp. She was faced with one of her biggest challenges in life. In 2013, her daughter became unwell, resulting in a complex febrile seizure. The seizure shook Maren and her family to pieces. Although her daughter survived, the consequence, for Klemp at least, was a world of worry, anxiety, and PTSD. As life got darker for the Norwegian photographer, she turned to photography to help her heal. Born out of her pain was her latest project, Scenarios.

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On the Myth of the Leica Photographer Who Doesn’t Have a Ton of Money

Despite how folks like to jeer at Leica photographers on the web, you don’t have to be rich to own one.

I bought my first Leica camera when I was in college, and I wasn’t rich. I then sold it because I needed the money, and only in my 30s did I really start buying into their cameras again. But, I’m not rich. I purchased used cameras. I bought film cameras. I bought third party lenses. The system is easy to get into if you just go third party or used sometimes. Sure, there’s the idea and the pride with having the Leica badge on your camera. But if you’re passionate about the cameras and photography, then the badge won’t mean a thing to you. Why you’d buy a Leica in the first place isn’t all about the tech, it’s all about you.

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Your Camera Sucks. Your Lenses Suck. But How Is Your Creative Vision?

Creative vision outdoes the best camera gear any day of the week.

I’m writing this blog post fully admitting that I haven’t done a truly creative project or even image in a little while. It’s been well over two years since I’ve given myself a project and a few months since I created an image. When I say create, I don’t mean document. I don’t mean put a light in front of a model and just shoot. I mean full set creation, manually controlling every aspect of the scene, an original idea, etc. What I’ve known for many years is that new cameras don’t make you a better photographer. They help you do new things that you couldn’t do before if you use certain features, but at the end of it all, you’re the one who creates the images. And a solid creative can shoot sports with a pinhole camera in a very unique way that only they can do.

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