Truth Bomb: Cameras Aren’t to Blame for Poor Photos

Bad cameras haven’t existed for many years, but poor technique and a lack of knowledge prevails.

We hear statements like, “That camera from (insert company here) is terrible. I tried it, and I couldn’t get a good photo from it, and I’ve been using cameras for decades,” and “Those cameras are terrible in low light; they’re worthless,” all the time, but the fact is that there is no such thing as a bad camera. For over a decade, digital cameras have been capable of producing glorious images. Now, with improved sensor technology, advancements in autofocus systems, and even AI, cameras are more powerful than ever, yet they still get blamed for poor images. Let’s talk about this and why you need to take responsibility for your pictures.

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Black Photographers Share Their Challenges in the Photo Industry

I spoke to black photographers to learn about their experience in the photo industry.

As February was Black History Month, my focus was predominantly on black photographers. Most people welcome that, and some don’t. My pieces celebrated black photographers and the work they produce. My pieces also highlighted some of the issues the black community is facing within the industry, which got me thinking, “Who am I, a white man, to tell people to care?” Of course, my voice is valid, but it’s far better to let black photographers share their experience.

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After 187k Followers, I Deleted Instagram as a Professional Photographer

All images by Charlie Naebeck. Used with permission.

I topped out at 187k followers on Instagram – I spent day and night constantly checking numbers, likes, comments, and often lost time that would have been better spent on things that actually matter. I once had dreams of becoming a popular photographer in New York City – A photographer called upon to photograph the who’s who of the fashion and commercial worlds. Enter a “real” photography career – people don’t really call you. You have to call them and often times hope to get through to someone that cares, let alone someone that actually hires you for what you are worth. 

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Boundaries Are Essential When Making Photos of Family and Friends

You should approach photos of family and friends like any other client.

Making photos of family and friends is part of being a photographer. Once your nearest and dearest find out that you know how to use a camera, they’ll be inviting you to everything and anything. For many, myself included, that’s a good thing. Because although I may not always want to make photos, most of the time, I will. And it’s nice to be able to give something to the people you care about while knowing it’s something they’ll enjoy. But photographing friends and family should be done with the same standards as any other client. That doesn’t mean, however, that they’ll act as a client. You must set boundaries, and in this piece, I’ll tell you how I did it.

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Lynsey Weatherspoon Shares Her Strong Feelings on Photographing BLM

All images by Lynsey Weatherspoon. Used with permission.

“I feel pain and grief,” says Lynsey Weatherspoon when asked how she feels while photographing the BLM movement. She adds, however, “There’s always joy in seeing people come together to protect our hearts as we navigate a better and more equal and equitable world.” Weatherspoon is a black female photographer. Photographing the events over the past year has been difficult, but she’s strong, and the evidence of that shows up in the quality of her work. It’s impressive. We caught up with Weatherspoon to see learn the full extent of her experience during these challenging times.

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Understanding the Computational Photography in Alice Camera

The Alice camera is targeting a different type of creative and camera user.

“By applying computational photography to the Micro Four Thirds system we want to give people image quality more like that of a full-frame camera, at the price, size, and weight of an MFT camera…” states Liam Donovan, CTO of Alice Camera in an interview with us. In my 12 years of journalism, I can say that’s a very big claim. For the future of the camera market, I’m hoping Alice Camera can hold themselves true to it. Alice Camera is being funded on IndieGogo and promises to be completely different. 

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Support Black Photographers and Enjoy These Awesome Products

It’s an excellent time to support black photographers and invest in their work.

It’s not easy making ends meet when you’re a creative. The art world has notoriously been underpaid compared to other sectors. That’s why hard-working photographers need to do all they can to earn income. Beyond making photographs (which is hard for everyone right now), artists can make photo books and sell prints. As it’s Black History Month, we kindly ask you to support black photographers by investing in the work you see below. We’re certain you won’t do it out of pity, as below are some exceptional products for you to own.

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Jamel Shabazz Takes Us on the Fascinating Journey of His Illustrious Career

All images by Jamel Shabazz. Used with permission.

“The creative in me still burns and is very much alive,” says Jamel Shabazz. After 45 years of working in the photo industry, we’re pleased to see that passion has yet to die. During his career, Shabazz photographed the people of New York, released several photo books, and had dozens of exhibitions. Aside from his personal success, it’s what he’s done for others that we find most impressive. Shabazz regularly volunteers with large organizations, helping to inspire young people with photography. If anyone has given their all to the craft, it’s this man. And we’re thrilled to be able to speak to him about his illustrious career.

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Reflection: 10 of the Best Black Photographers We’ve Featured

We’re reflecting on the best black photographers we’ve featured over the past decade.

It’s Black History Month. A time where we take a look at photographers from the past, as well as the present. But our representation of the best black photographers doesn’t last for only 28 days. It’s a constant. And we’ve been committed to fair representation for over 10 years. We certainly don’t do it to “even things out.” We’re just very aware of the fantastic photographers in our game that happen to be black. We are happy to be able to give them a platform. And in this piece, we reflect on the best black photographers featured on The Phoblographer over the years.

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How Noir Zy Does Very Unique Boudoir Photography

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Hi Chris & Phoblographites,

Is that the right way to say it? It’s taken a fair bit of time for me to work up the courage to submit this to you, but I think I might have just what you want! I’m Noir Zy, no affiliation to Noiz, a photographic alter ego to an Australian photographer based in Melbourne. The anonymity is intentional and a part of who I am. I’ll do my best to write as Noir Zy, but for a moment, let’s hear from the creator. 

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Why Frank Jackson Probably Likes Photography More Than You Do

All images by Frank Jackson. Used with permission.

My name is Frank Jackson. My first photography job was in 1975 as a staff photographer for New York City Summer Work Program; it was all Disco Music, Sun Dresses, Music Festivals, and Block Parties that went on till the next day. I moved to Los Angeles in 1976 to work for IBM for three years; I quit IBM and started photographing for an architect after showing a portfolio of some houses with my 4×5 camera. 

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Photographer Sudhir Ramman Uses Daylight to Get His Edgy Photos

All images by Sudhir Ramman. Used with permission.

“Many people find this incredibly difficult because it involves fully creating a scene and not just capturing it,” explains Sudhir Ramman. Indeed, Sudhir is a bright star shining at night while you’re at sea. You can’t help but not stare at his work. And a part of it is because he’s actually, truly creative. There isn’t a whole lot like the work he produces. He’s into concepts and not gear. However, Photoshop and Lightroom are very important to Sudhir. So too is natural light!

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Gundula Blumi Achieves This Stunning, Surreal Look Without Photoshop

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“Sometimes it feels like something in me is taking the pictures and not really myself,” expresses photographer Gundula Blumi to us in an interview. “…I use photography to put my impressions and emotions from everyday life in order.” Gundula is based in Berlin and does several positively fantastic images. When we found them, they were unlike anything we’ve seen before. Gundula uses the analog format to get her photos, and she connects her creativity to her emotions.

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Justino Lourenço Created In-Camera Magic Without Photoshop

All images by Justino Lourenço. Used with permission.

First of all – my congratulations on the quality and resilience of your website. I decided to send some of my photos: some photographic work is on 35 / 120 mm film—my first experiments on photography started with my grandfather’s impulse. I was a teen near to an old medium format Kodak in the ’80s. My grandfather was an outdoor family shooter, always using direct and natural light. Perhaps that is the reason why I still shoot daylight, always running away from flash or any artificial lighting.

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7 Legendary Black Photographers we Want to Show Love for

It’s Black History Month, so let’s go back in time to focus on legendary black photographers.

History can not ignore the contribution black photographers have made to our industry. Of course, legendary black photographers will inspire today’s crop of black photographers. But their work should also inspire anyone that cares about the craft. Rather than showing the odd photo of the below selection, we’ve turned to YouTube. This way, we can show you in-depth content, allowing you to appreciate the effort put in by those that paved the way for today’s generation.

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Are Photographer Booking Apps Really Worth it For You?

Are photographer booking apps good for the photography industry?

The internet changed almost every market we have. As technology advanced, the way we purchase and consume products has changed with it. Uber changed the way we book a cab. Tinder changed the way we date. And now, apps are changing the way photographers find gigs. The likes of Uber and Tinder have come under great criticism for the way they operate. Do photographer bookings apps need the same level of scrutiny?

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6 of the Best Black Photographers on YouTube You Need to Watch

Let’s look at the best black photographers with dope YouTube channels.

Last week I wanted to do a round-up of the best black photographers on YouTube. The piece became something else. Because YouTube struggled to show me black photographers using the platform, I had to ask if the platform was holding black photographers back. In closing the piece, I promised you all I would be back to show you the best channels hosted by black photographers. I never go back on a promise, so let’s take a look!

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Oli Schuehle Doesn’t Worry About Photoshop, He Shoots Film!

All images by Oli Schuehle. Used with permission.

My name is Oli Schuehle. Everybody is a photographer nowadays. It’s rather easy to take technically good pictures. Someone recently said, “It’s getting harder and harder to take bad pictures.” I agree. Looking for the sharpest lens, the highest megapixel, and the best picture quality film photography never crossed my mind until I saw a picture with a crazy swirly bokeh shot with a Helios 44-2 lens. So I bought one on eBay and it came with a Zenit-E camera attached to it. I ran a couple of rolls of film through the brick-like camera just for laughs but was instantly intrigued by the process that came with it. Two years later, I call four analog cameras my own and almost exclusively shoot film.

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Photographer Robert Claus Is Inspired by Old Paintings

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My name is Robert Claus. As a kid, I wanted to be an artist—a painter or composer, or preferably both. Life has a funny way of redirecting and planing down these creative (and potentially very expensive) impulses. When I returned to photography as an adult, it was the perfect means of self-expression for me. I could then bring my other passions to bear, from lighting a still life like a 17th century painting, to thinking about sequencing images in a portfolio or collection like a piece of music.

Which photographers are your biggest influences? 

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Is YouTube Holding Back the Best Black Photographers?

I wanted to show you the best black photographers on YouTube, but it wasn’t as easy I thought it would be.

I’ve had the privilege of showcasing the best black photographers during my three-plus years writing for The Phoblographer. Whether it’s in round-ups or interviews, I’ve enjoyed every minute of working with those I’ve featured. And I don’t do this at a certain time of year; it’s a constant. But in line with Black History Month, I pitched to my editor the idea of doing a round up of the best black photographers on YouTube. Once approved, I set out to begin my research. My findings were both saddening and frustrating.

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