The Phoblographer’s Official Statement on Racism, BLM, and the Industry

We do not condone racism. And if you think that we should keep our mouths shut and stop talking about it, then please don’t come back to my website.

“I always thought Phoblographer was run by a white man,” is still a sentence that echos through my head. The world seems to be taking different stands right now on all that’s happening. Many of you will probably go out and document protests because you love documentary porn. You’ll do it for a self-serving reason and maybe not do a thing about the fact that not only African Americans are grievously mistreated, but that it’s been a systemic thing. It’s ingrained even in the photo industry. If you’re not sure how, I’d like you to take a few minutes to listen to me.

Continue reading…

Isabella Tabacchi’s Astrophotography Under Namibia’s Surreal Night Sky

All photos by Isabella Tabacchi. Used with permission.

The night sky has always fascinated bright minds for the mystery and stunning imagery it brings, making it a popular subject among artists and photographers. Bologna-based landscape photographer Isabella Tabacchi, for example, found it her favorite part of everyday life and a potent source of inspiration for her work. If you are drawn to photographing landscapes against the night sky, you’ll definitely find her snaps in Namibia nothing short of surreal.

Continue reading…

Dance Photographer Tatiana Wills Has Deep Roots in Medium Format Film

All images by Tatiana Wills. Used with permission. Follow her @tcwills and check out her website.

“I pay attention to my dreams and ideas that pop up into my subconscious around 3AM,” says Tatiana Wills about where she draws inspiration from. “…foregoing some of the luxuries pre-COVID afforded me, I’ve gone back to an idea I had 15 years ago to put my work into public spaces, once again playing and experimenting while the outside world feels chaotic. It’s all I know how to do.” Indeed, her sense of experimentation comes through in her work, at least when it comes to working with her subject matter. On the technical side though, we can all agree that it’s clean and vibrant–with a unique look amongst much of the more painterly styles that are out there and the street scenes we see. And part of that comes from Tatiana’s work in medium format film.

Continue reading…

Nudity Pertaining to Photography: Is It Really Necessary? (NSFW)

Nudity in photography is sometimes an overused tool to make a statement.

I’m not a prude. I love nudity — too much, some may say. But when it applies to photography, I’m more analytical about the use of nudity and its purpose in the overall message. The Phoblographer was recently sent a press release highlighting the work of Spencer Tunick. The work looked at isolation and togetherness, and all his subjects were nude. Tunick is a seasoned photographer; his credentials speak for themselves. But while reviewing the project, I kept asking myself one question: why.

Continue reading…

Wes Eisenhauer’s Curious Double Exposures of the NASA Facility

If you’re into creative photography techniques, you might get some good ideas from some NASA Facility double exposures by Wes Eisenhauer.

We typically see double exposures being used to merge two different ideas or subjects into a surreal or eye-catching imagery. However, it’s not the only way to create something interesting through the creative technique. Wes Eisenhauer shows us how he used it to make a visual summary of how awesome his visit to a NASA facility turned out. If you’re looking for more ideas for your next double exposure project, this is certainly worth your interest.

Continue reading…

Travel Photography: How to Keep the Dignity of Your Subjects

As exciting as travel photography is, there’s a way to approach and protect the dignity of your subjects.

I’ve been exploring the world for the better part of four years. Being able to combine photography and travel is a dream come true for me; discovering new lands, cultures, and experiences is fantastic. But as I leave my world and invite myself into the world of others, there are certain measures I take to be respectful – especially in countries less privileged than mine. Sadly, I see many photographers fail to apply the same approach, and whether they realize it or not, the dignity of their subject is often lost.

Continue reading…

The Sony a9s and Other Possible Thoughts on the Camera Industry

If the camera industry wasn’t hit by the effects of COVID 19, I think that a whole lot could have happened.

The year 2020 was lining up to be one of the most innovative in the camera and photography world until the effects of COVID 19 pretty much tanked the economy around the world. There was so much riding on this. Canon has a new 1DX ready for the Olympics. Sony had the Sony a9 II prepared for it. Nikon had the Nikon D6. But in addition to that, it’s also an even year. Traditionally, this is a Photokina year. But let’s be honest, if Photokina happened this year, no one would have cared because of when it was specifically taking place. So instead, the industry went silent. But I’d like to take some time to think about all the things that could have happened.

Continue reading…

PSA: If You’re Going to Shoot Street Photography, Please Wear a Mask

To those who shoot street photography during this time, please distance yourselves and wear masks.

Testing cameras has made it apparent that many of the traditional tenets of street photography need to go out the window right now. The best solution possible is to just not do it right now. But I sympathize, empathize, and relate to folks not wanting to stay in all day. They want to go out and shoot. So if you do, I urge you to please be careful. COVID-19 is real. Nothing Trump says will help, and here in the US, we are far behind most of the world when it comes to recovery. If you’re going to do street photography, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Continue reading…

You Need to See These Powerful Documentary Projects That Focus on COVID-19

Photographers are doing some solid documentary projects right now, and we want to show them to you.

Here at The Pholographer, we love sinking our teeth into some good documentary photography. We appreciate the vision, time, and execution photographers put into sharing the world’s most important stories. And while some projects fail to hit the mark, many hit the sweet spot and make a substantial impact on society. With everything that’s going on the world, a deadly virus and quarantines, some photographers are capturing the moment wonderfully. So, while we could wax lyrical about our love for the genre, let’s move on to this round-up of fantastic documentary projects that you all need to know about.

Continue reading…

OP-Ed: Street Photography Has Lost Its Soul. Here’s How to Find It

Let’s take a look at how street photography can remain fresh and relevant in the future.

I’ve been consuming a lot of street photography of late. Partly because that’s my job, and also because I’m stuck at home. Through my Instagram, I’ve been able to connect to many street photographers I’d not come across before, while also being introduced to some fantastic work in the process. But as I scroll through hashtags and feeds, I see many of the same styles and approaches, most of which offer very little substance. Right now, those styles are popular, not just on Instagram, but throughout the community as a whole. But like most styles, they have a lifespan, and here’s what I feel street photographers need to do to keep the scene nice and fresh as we move into the future.

Continue reading…

5 YouTube Channels Perfect for Learning About Landscape Photography

If you want to develop your skills in landscape photography, these YouTube channels are a good source of education.

Landscape photography takes a lot of time, dedication, and patience. Endless scouting for the perfect scene, long hikes to the ideal spot, and a deep understanding of light are all parts of creating an amazing photograph. But what makes it so tricky also makes it so enjoyable, especially if you love the great outdoors. If you’re struggling to create the same magical landscape photos as the photographers who inspire you, you need quality tutorials — below we share exactly what you need.

Continue reading…

A Checklist for the Photographers of the Graduating Class of 2020

Congratulations, photographers, you’ve been thrust into one of the oddest economic situations the world has seen since 2008/2009.

There are two ways of thinking about situations like this: sink or swim. I founded this site in 2009 at the height of the last great economic recession. And we’re here a decade later due to transparency and consistently leading with goodwill. Oh, networking helped. And finding the right people. And a slew of other things. But you’re graduating into a different world than I did. Yet in some ways, it’s very alike. In recessions like what we’re going through now, lots of great businesses and ideas are formed. And lots unfortunately collapse. So now that you’ve got a photography degree let’s go through a checklist.

Continue reading…

I Miss the Canon 5D Mk II: An Ode to Canon’s Most Perfect DSLR

The Canon 5D Mk II was a pretty perfect DSLR that changed the entire industry.

Her name was Dahlia–and she was my Canon 5D Mk II that I adored in so many ways. This is the camera that I really, truly forged my career with as an Editor in Chief and camera tester. It served its need and purpose for a long time and I ultimately miss this camera. Despite how much grief I’ve given Canon over the years, the Canon 5D Mk II is something that will always stand out to me as something that they did right. There were complaints about it based on how the industry was evolving, but the camera was still a fantastic one in the hands of a photographer that knew how to work with its quirks.

Continue reading…

Looking Back: Samsung’s Fantastic Mirrorless Cameras of Yesteryear

If Samsung had just kept trying, they probably would have used their better technology to go after a new generation of photographers and could have rivaled Sony.

Samsung, like Sony, faced a pretty rough hill getting the respect of many a photographer. But after a while, they earned the respect of the press because they were making genuinely good products. Unfortunately, as soon as they really started to take off, Samsung pulled the plug. The company presented ideas that were very ahead of its time, such as putting Android into a camera, their specific interface for touch navigation, etc. While we can attest to the quality of their phones, I can also still testify to the quality of their cameras and their lenses.

Continue reading…

Canon or Sony: Which One Is Better for Shooting a Party?

We shot the same party with both Sony and Canon in an informal test. Guess which did better?

When I used to shoot weddings and events, I reached for Canon. But as I changed as a photographer, Sony started to suit more and more of my own personal needs. Today, there isn’t a single camera system that’s bad or that can’t accomplish a lot. They’re all good. And they can all do a whole lot of various things very well. To each their own for sure. But a while back, we had the opportunity to play with both the Sony and Canon systems for a party. The results? Well, they’re both good. And they both have pluses and minuses over each other.

Continue reading…

On Creativity: Refilling Creative Juices for Photographers

Creativity is a finite resource that needs to be replenished — hence the term creative juices feels accurate, even for photography.

Creativity is a big part of our craft as photographers. It’s what fuels our best ideas, defines our personal style, and sets our work apart from random snaps and throwaway photos. It’s so crucial for both professional and personal work that we find ourselves restless whenever we feel we’re not being creative enough with our concepts or execution. I’ve lost track of all the ideas or projects I abandoned the moment I realized they were mediocre or not creative enough. I swoon at projects — photography related or otherwise — brought to life by creativity and originality. However, I also concede that creativity is a highly subjective construct, and our notions of what makes something creative also tend to change with time. So, it only follows that we eventually formulate our own ways of coping with creative blocks. For those who are yet to figure it out, however, getting unstuck from a creative rut can be frustrating.

Continue reading…

The Flying Darkroom: A Traveling Container for Children in Need

Serbest Salih has been helping Syrian refugee children creatively express themselves with the Sirkhane DARKROOM.

“Seeing children learn photography and getting the chance to express themselves motivates me to continue this workshop and make it bigger,” says 26-year-old Serbest Salih. Currently based in Turkey, he is the Director of Sirkhane DARKROOM, a photography school in an impoverished neighborhood in the city of Nusaybin. “It gives young people the opportunity to develop life skills such as group dynamics, adopting universal values, improving coordination and concentration, therefore developing a healthy personality and healthy social communication skills.” Now, he’s trying to turn this into a bigger project with the Darkroom. Sometimes called the Flying Darkroom, it’s a giant shipping container that has been converted for educational and Darkroom usage. The vessel will travel every three months to serve underprivileged communities–or at least that’s the goal. For Serbest, this project is all about helping children express themselves.

Continue reading…

A Love Letter to the Discontinued Fujifilm X Pro 1, and Why I Still Love It

fujifilm lenses

I still love and adore my Fujifilm X Pro 1; it continues to be my backup.

Almost a decade ago, Fujifilm introduced the Fujifilm X Pro 1, the first interchangeable lens camera with a hybrid viewfinder system and a rangefinder-style camera body. When it was announced at CES, many photographers went wild. It reminded so many of the Contax G2 series of cameras. With its gorgeous looks and retro styling, it and its predecessors are still hard to deny. Even though I own the Fujifilm X Pro 3, I still adore my X Pro 1. It’s showing its age, but continues to deliver images that always amaze me. In fact, I find that it’s a camera that creates images that are hard to not find charming.

Continue reading…

EXCLUSIVE: RNI Films is Working on Infrared Film Simulation Presets

We got an exclusive look at the next big project from RNI Films: Infrared Film Simulation Presets.

Photographers have been enamored with the look of Infrared films like Kodak Aerochrome. It spawned things like the creation of Lomochrome Purple and a few other emulsions. But, photographers have wanted it digitally for a while, which hasn’t been easy to create, and in fact, it still isn’t. But, RNI Films is working on a project to bring those to life. A film like this is pretty difficult to duplicate because of what it does–like turning greens into a red, purple, or pink. Granted, Aerochrome has been long gone for years, but photographers still pick it up on eBay or have some that’s frozen in their fridge. If you’ve been looking to find a way to get this look with ease, RNI films is arguably the best company to do so. They use a lot of science, studying, and time to figure out how to make just the right tweaks to images. So, we talked to Oliver on the company’s support team to discuss how this is all happening.

Continue reading…

5 Street Photographers Highlighting the Power of The Fujifilm X100V

The Fujifilm X100V is a fantastic street shooter, and these photographers prove it.

The X100 series has long been a popular choice amongst the street photography community. The sleek design, fixed lens, and rangefinder-style are perfect ingredients for a reliable, well-performing camera for street photography. But, of course, a good camera is only part of the battle: it has to find the right hands to really fulfill its potential. Thankfully, there are some super dope street photographers that have been able to do the X100V the justice it deserves.

Continue reading…

COVID-19 Proves How Invaluable Street Photography Is to Society

Street photography is seldom free of criticism, but during a global pandemic, we should be grateful it exists.

Tired, cliche, easy: these are just some of the words used to describe street photography. Those who practice candid shooting are often labeled as voyeurs, loners, and creeps. I believe no other community in the industry has to defend itself more than street photography. But, when a global epidemic comes along, and the world as we know it gets flipped on its axis, it’s not portrait or landscape photography people turn to for visual documentation — it’s street photography.

Continue reading…