Dirk Wüstenhagen Transports Us to the Stars Through Magical Photos

“My images offer a kind of escape from everyday life–a departure into a fantasy world,” the photographer and digital artist Dirk Wüstenhagen tells me. Up In Smoke, created in the fall of 2020, wasn’t directly inspired by the pandemic, but he admits that perhaps the mini-series does speak, in some ways, to the collective longing for freedom and adventure we all felt after months of travel restrictions.

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David Osborn Uses a Rare Method to Make His Painterly Photos

My name is David Osborn. I always I wanted to do ‘something’ artistic after school, so I spent my first year at art college studying fine art, however, combined with an inability to draw, fine art as a career seemed a bit optimistic and risky. The starving artist image never appealed. Studying graphic design was my compromise but spending weeks working on one project behind a desk was too slow. I’m an impatient personality. As result, I spent my time shooting photo-stories. Photography provided a more instant result, while being out and about in life with real people. This evolved into wanting to do news photography as a career.

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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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Why Live Composite is One of the Best Things to Happen To Cameras

The Live Composite feature is so incredibly fun to play with.

Unless you’re shooting with Olympus and Panasonic, you’ve probably never heard of Live Composite. In our constant search to move away from editing, this is a feature we adore. It means that a photographer needs to think about something beforehand. They need to be very careful. And best of all, they need to not rely on Photoshop. When someone says, “Photoshop it later,” a part of me dies inside. It’s awful. But with Live Composite, a photographer can stay out in the field creating. If you’re a hobbyist or a professional who really just wants to shoot, we encourage you to try it.

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How Carl Schultz Shot an Environmental Portrait of a Chief Flight Instructor

Creating the Photograph is an original series where photographers teach how they created an image with lighting and minimal use of post-production. The series places a heavy emphasis on teaching how to light. Want to be featured? Here’s how you can submit.

Based out of Scottsdale, AZ, photographer Carl Schultz has been shooting editorial work for magazines in his area since the mid-2000s. His “Chief Flight Instructor” image is an example of one of the many commercial editorials he’s produced. Schultz began his journey in photography through his previous life working in the gaming industry during the ’90s, where he took images in order to create texture maps for 3D models. Remarking about his start in photography, Carl added, “I got the first digital camera ever made and loved the instant gratification of having the image instantly without having to get film developed. I’ve been getting better digital cameras ever since that day.” The rest, as they say, was history.

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Creating the Photograph: Jason Lindsey’s “Cabin Fever”

Creating the Photograph is an original series where photographers teach how they created an image with choice of lighting and minimal post-production. The series has a heavy emphasis on teaching how to light. Want to be featured? Here’s how you can submit.

Photographer Jason Lindsey first began his career as a photojournalist prior to becoming an agency art director. After five years, he followed his passion and became a photographer and director. Leo Burnett, Subaru, Adidas, Belize Tourism, and Wyoming tourism are just some of the clients Jason has worked with. His accolades include being selected for the Communication Arts Advertising Annual 2019 and being named one of the 200 Best Ad Photographers Worldwide for 2018/2019 and 2020/2021 by Archive Magazine.

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Holger Pooten and Recom Farmhouse Stage the “Fireman” in East London

All images by Holger Pooten in collaboration with Recom Farmhouse. Used with Creative Commons permission.

We’ve seen a fair number of projects that combine photography with digital art. It’s tricky territory to tread but a good number of the projects are pretty interesting. Now, we add to that number a project by German-born, London-based photographer Holger Pooten, done in collaboration with international CGI and Creative Retouching team Recom Farmhouse.

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This 50 Image Composite of Hong Kong’s Sunset Looks Like a Gorgeous Painting

Image by Lucan Coutts. Used with permission.

Photographer Lucan Coutts is quite obviously a fantastic photographer. This is not only proven by his beautiful vistas, but his conceptual work as well. It’s not often that we see conceptual landscape or cityscape photography, but when we do it’s often absolutely jaw dropping as the process involves the skill of both capturing and creating instead of one or the other. That’s what Lucan created when he shared this image of Hong Kong as it transitioned to sunset.

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Creating the Photograph: Fernando Gallegos’s “Night Sky Over the Chaparral”

Final image

Creating the Photograph is an original series where we interview photographers about a photo that they shot and how it was achieved. The results are some knowledge passed on to you. Want to be featured? Email chrisgampat[at]thephoblographer[dot]com.

Fernando Gallegos is a photographer that hails from San Jose, California and operates Lemurian Grove Studio. He’s also quite well travelled and enjoys photographing all manner of things. Mr. Gallegos tells us that his aim is to capture people with unique traits and who create their own style, no matter how different or bizarre. “As of recently I’ve been experimenting more with artistic photography using Photoshop/Lightroom manipulation and enhancements to create atmospheric, historic, and mystical interpretations.” says Fernando.

When we found his image “Night Sky Over the Chaparral” on Reddit, we were completely fascinated by the amount of compositing and work that he put in to create it. The image otherwise looks lit with a combination of a slow shutter speed and a softbox. But that wasn’t how it was created.

Here’s his story.


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Natalia O’s Conceptual Images Play Off of Real Life Experiences

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All images by Natalia O. Used with permission.

Natalia O is a photographer who recently had an image selected as a finalist in the EyeEm awards last month. She has a focus on surreal and conceptual images for her artistic side, but she didn’t always shoot like this. Natalia moved to Canada from Russia at the age of 12. After finishing her Art degree at University of Toronto, she started working part time at a bank, meanwhile growing her photography business by shooting weddings and family pictures, as well as expanding her conceptual portfolio.

“Apart from work, I actually enjoy looking up Photoshop tutorials and getting the satisfaction out of finishing my own little photography projects. I also have a soft spot for old cameras, chocolate and French accents.” says Natalia. And some of that has influence over her surreal photography.



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