“I’d come to the conclusion that I’d like to build my own camera.” This is how it all began–the urge to build something unique and personal with his own hands. Soon after this thought formed in his mind, Eirik Russell Roberts stumbled across pictures taken with a 6×17 camera in the Torres del Paine in Chile. He was immediately hooked. And suddenly, he knew what kind of camera he was going to build: a 6×17 panoramic medium format camera. But that’s easier said than done.
Photos Used with Permission from Photographer Bill Gekas
Bill Gekas is an award winning photographer out of Australia and a recent piece that he did tips the scale in terms of portraiture and fine art. Bill found inspiration in paintings from the old masters, and while perusing through their work got the idea to recreate the works through photos. Now, this has been done before, but once someone considers how much set design (or masterful Photoshopping) goes into this, then you begin to understand why these images are just so much more beautiful.
With that said though, they do quite the job of standing out on their own. Take a look at some selects after the jump.
Via Fashionably Geek
Every now and then, a creative director is given some extra leeway and some extra budget money to actually do something cool and creative. In this case, Matthias Clamer photographed famous music album covers using athletes. Among the covers are those from Nirvana, Beyonce, RUN DMC, Michael Jackson, and more. But perhaps my favorite is the one remake of a Bob Dylan cover. There is something just so humanly romantic to it yet as a photographer who has spent lots of time behind the lens photographing weddings and engagements, I can see many photographers creating nearly the same image while making viewers want to be either the man or woman in the photo. That’s not to say that Matthias’s work can easily be duplicated necessarily; but that the concept is simplistic and works very well for the image.
There is a full round of on If It’s Hip, It’s Here. Sadly, Dave Chapelle wasn’t used as Rick James.
PS: Did anyone see Katy Perry’s Dress last night at the Grammy’s? Man, oh man.
Three years ago, I walked into the International Center of Photography for the first time before I was due to meet a friend. It was a chilly February afternoon in 2010 as I was working my way down from Central Park, where I had been taking some photos. I hadn’t heard of ICP before, but given my family roots in photography (you can see a truncated version of that in my staff bio), I felt compelled to enter. The major exhibition on the main floor was that of Miroslav Tichý, a reclusive Czech photographer who, among other things I learned, made his own cameras, cut his own glass, and paid no mind to the quality of his images. There’s more to be told, and I will tell it to you as it shook the foundation of my then-nascent practice and understanding of photography.
Recently, there was a documentary on Steve McCurry’s last roll of Kodachrome done by National Geographic. But thanks to the clever pointing out of On Taking Pictures, we now have a view of nearly ever single photo that Steve shot on the last roll. When you really get down to it, you start to not only see a culmination of all that he’s shot, but you get to study his mentality a bit more. For example, Robert DeNiro is the only celebrity to grace the roll twice. But then you get into the Bollywood stars and lots of the special people in India that Steve loved to photograph. A lot of these photos are posed portraits using lots of soft lighting that also seem very natural.
Keep going through the images though, and you’ll see a return to Steve’s documentary and street photography work. They’re quite nice and McCurry is an inspiration to nearly anyone out there.
Exorcisms, at least on television and in the movies seem like quite the scary occurrence. But when we see them, they’re usually done by the Catholic Church. We never really see them done by any other culture. Being of Indian descent, looking at this recent blog post on the Photographer’s Blog from Reuters is particularly troubling. Danish Siddiqi (whom the above photo was shot by) had quite the time photographing the occurrence it seems. According to him, the person perhaps became possessed when she turned emotionally weak. The exorcism process involves being beaten with a broom, hair pulling, and other physical forms of violence. At one point, a priest even says that if the demon returns, he will make it drink water from a lower caste.
The caste system, for those of you still new to Indian culture, is a form of hierarchy dating back to the days before Jesus. There were the priests (Brahmins, which my family belonged to), the warriors, the artisans and more. But at the bottom is the untouchables–and these people are still very highly discriminated against for the sole reason that it is part of their culture. Think of it as racism in America, which still happens every day.
Head over to the Reuters Photographer’s Blog to read more of the account and view Danish’s photos.
If you’re used to creeping around 4Chan or Reddit, you’ll know the story about furries. For the rest of us, they’re a meme of a sort that started at a Sci-Fi con as a drawing and then went viral. At the heart, they’re personified animals–and they digg sexy time the way humans do. We’ll stop right there.
Tom Broadbent recently did a project documenting people who cosplay as these characters, but wanted to show them doing daily everyday tasks. This is similar to the project documenting superheros during daily life that was done previous.
Head over to Tom’s site for the best web viewing experience.
Going back to the early days of photography is not always enjoyable. The oldest photographs of mankind are dark, undetailed, monochrome pictures that seem to show hardly anything. Only at a fifth glance and with an explanation provided by an expert will you be able to see anything in them. However, humans’ first forays into color photography were pretty amazing from the start — like these ‘Autochrome’ color photographies from early 1900’s Paris.
Maxim Grew is quite the tinkerer, after being inspired by wooden cameras, he decided to put together his own polaroid camera using popsicle sticks. The camera is complete with a lens, bellows, sticks, and a polaroid back holder where he is currently using Fuji 100C–one of my favorite films. After the jump is the video of how he put it together and sample images.
Via DIY Photography
Katie Thompson is a fashion and portrait photographer that works between Chicago and New York, and is someone that understands the importance of good light in an image. In this series, she wanted to explore the ideas of self-perception and body-image, topics which has said she finds fascinating. By using strategically placed mirrors she was able to create the distorted image of her model, which she said she found to still be beautiful, but carried the darker undertone of the topic she was exploring.
This work isn’t new to Katie though, most of her portfolio has a fantasy-like feel behind it that makes it more unique than other photographers’.
(Via Profoto Blog)
Recently, reader Iulian Marcu sent us a couple of photos from his recent trip to Spain. As we’ve discovered in photographing and large cities, a fisheye lens can be very instrumental and give you loads of creative effects and views that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Mr. Marcu did just that as he travelled throughout the city of León. Originally from Romania, he spent eight months in Spain where he documented the photogenic city as an enthusiast photographer. Iulian’s photos also help to prove that it’s the photographer that creates the images, not the gear–as his modest setup includes a Nikon D90 and a fisheye lens. Black and white photos seem to be his favorite. Take a look at his photos after the jump or feel free to peruse his Flickr, 500PX, Google + and blog.
Madison Square Park in NYC is known for its awesome art work, its friendly squirrels, and currently for this awesome Buckeyball surrounded by awesome and comfortable benches. Photographer Shawn Hoke recently took to the area to try something new and awesome. Loading up his 8×10 camera with Fuji HR-T X-ray film, he went about trying to photograph this recent installation in the park. The problem: the film wasn’t clearly labelled to tell what sensitivity it was. Taking a chance, Hoke went for ISO 80-100. One pack of the film new goes for around $92 on Amazon. According to a Fujifilm PDF brochure, the film is high contrast and good for overall radiology use. But some of the film can go up to ISO 800.
He also talks about some of the other crazy things working against him–such as the emulsion being on both sides, how they render green and blue, and that’s only a bit on top of the rigors that come with focusing a large format camera and metering the scene accurately with a handheld light meter plus taking into consideration reflections and more.
Take a look at the photos and story from Hoke.
Anyone else remember when the original digital Pen camera came out? It was beautiful, and everyone raved about it wildly. Remember the leaks that came out and how everyone finally got super excited about Micro Four Thirds? Well then how many of you remember Kevin Spacey’s Olympus Pen Commercials? If you don’t then you may want to check them out down below after the jump. They were pretty awesome and in a convenient playlist that will play the videos back to back for you.
Jordan Matter pulls off some really awe inspiring and jaw dropping photos almost every time I visit his site–and today is no exception. He’s managed to get two dancers to play the part of Peggy and
that asshole Pete, but make them dancers. As a huge fan of the show though I need to say (and here comes the constructive criticism) that the dancers, Sara Antkowiak and Karl Maier, don’t really look the parts of Peggy and Pete. Pete always sports a power suit, always. And Peggy is usually much covered up than this. Hoever, the theme, overall office, and look does say Mad Men minus the dudes just hanging out on the right.
You can see exactly what I’m talking about over on Jordan’s Blog post. But also be sure to go through his other work; I’d kill to assist him.
In other news, I can’t wait for the show to come back on. It’s already starting to look awesome.
It’s one of every photographer’s nightmares: finding that all your gear is suddenly gone. Unfortunately, it seems that the TSA/JetBlue may have given themselves some early Christmas gifts–or at least that’s what Fine Art Photographer Jess T Dugan claims according to his blog post.
The story is really quite thrilling and in a nutshell, Dugan checked in her camera bag (something we all dread doing) and it came back empty once she got off the plane. Jess has insurance (as do I, and I personally recommend State Farm) but she’s only insured for a certain amount of the gear. She sent their customer service an email and also CC’d a bunch of the big wigs over at Jet Blue about it. The kicker is where they respond, “We certainly do not allow or promote any type of disrespect toward our customers’ belongings.” and continue to say that if she has evidence, it should be reported to the police. JetBlue also very nicely seems to say that they don’t care.
Personally, I’ve yelled at many TSA agents about manhandling my gear. But this just seems like gross disrespect; and I hope those thieves pay for holding up an artist’s work progression like this.
Adam Voorhes was recently doing a shoot for Men’s Health when he decided to have a little bit of fun. The fun translated into a creative spark that exploded; and that big bang created a really cool shoot.
One of the assignments was to blow up chili peppers. So they stuffed the peppers filled with firecrackers, set the ablaze, and documented the entire thing using a sound sensitive trigger hooked up to a camera.
The results are pretty explosive, and can be seen on Adam’s blog.
Vice recently did a short documentary on Zeng Han, a photographer living in one of the more modernized and liberal parts of China that has been documenting the current modernization period as the nation has really begun to rise. The modernization process is sometimes at conflict with the country’s numerous traditions; and the country has been trying to perfect a balance of getting up to speed with the times and holding onto their identity. It’s something that many places face as Western culture starts to creep in. It happened in Japan, Korea, and even is seeping into the Middle East in some ways.
The documentary is really quite good and includes some of Han’s Soul Stealer project; which includes lots of fine art portraits that I would kill to see in person and in a gallery here in NYC. Check out the documentary after the jump. For the absolute best experience though, I’d recommend watching it on a full television via HDMI cable or YouTube via Apple TV. The experience is just so much better.
At the end of every year it seems fitting to look back and see what has changed and take account of what has been accomplished in our midst. Photography culture is no different. Allen Murabayashi, the Chairman and Co-Founder of Photoshelter took this time to put together a brilliantly introspective look at the whole of photography in the year and highlight some really great points. Here are two of the highlights that stood out from the roundup, which you should surely go take a look at.
The New York Times’s Lens Blog has a wonderful mini book review of Instant: The Story of Polaroid. The book recounts how Edwin Land decided to create Instant Film because his daughter was impatient and wanted to see her images immediately; she didn’t want to wait for the development time that typical slide and negative film need. He went on to do lots of research, trial and error, and eventually founded the Polaroid company; which apparently Steve Jobs modelled Apple after.
Land’s creations are numerous; I own a Polaroid Land Camera 185; and love it to death. News Editor Peter Walkowiak was recently staying in NY and I was able to open his eyes to the beauty that instant film can deliver. However, one of his benchmark success stories is the SX-70; a camera very highly valued even now. Editorial shoots are still done with this camera, with famed photographer Emiliano Granado being one of the users. The article, even goes on to talk about the Impossible Project, and how Land would have been horrified with their unpredictable results. It’s very much worth the read.
One of the users over at FilmWasters Forum has created an awesome 4×5 film back. According to user Damland, it’s easier to do than we think. Damland used bass wood, a knife, ruler, and fast drying wood workers glue. The photos in the lower section of the photo below were shot with the camera back, and exposed on Ilford direct positive paper; which can be tough to work with to begin. Ilford paper is very popular for this type of stuff, and I’ve interviewed another photographer that used it as well when I worked for B&H Photo.
Of course, this can’t always be done by everyone. It needs very careful analyzing and ensuring that the back is light sealed with no issues at all.
Check out more over at FilmWasters Forum.