Ryan Ochoa Explores Identity and Mental Health Through Film Photography

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

My name is Ryan Ochoa and I am a photographer based in San Francisco. I work mainly with film, specifically 35mm since I believe it adds a rawness that reflects my hyper-sensitivity to the world — both the pain and the beauty within it. My go to camera is the Canon AE-1, and all photos in this series were shot on this camera. Topics I like to explore in my work include gender and identity, the illusion of the American Dream (a nightmare), as well as the distortion of image through light and color. I am a young queer boy who deals with Borderline Personality Disorder (which causes my hands to shake leading to the blurriness of some of my images) and these aspects of my identity heavily influence how I view the world behind the lens. Continue reading…

How Photographers Can Use Hard Light for Beautiful Portraits

Screenshot image from the video by Adorama on hard light

In some of the previous video tutorials we shared, we were told that a soft light setup is the best for portrait work, especially if you’re working with female models. If you’re curious about how hard light can be used to make beautiful portraits, even for female models, this quick Adorama tutorial by Daniel Norton shows us how.
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I’m Unashamedly a Photographer Suffering from Gear Acquisition Syndrome

I’m an amateur photo-hobbyist living in Tokyo, Japan. I picked up photography around 3 years ago, thinking I could jump into a new realm of the world that I’ve never understood before. Prior to picking up a camera, I was a normal college undergrad who put studying first before most of my hobbies; however, photography taught me that I should cherish the people and the moments around me and try to remember them especially as a foreigner living in a wonderful place like Japan.

I am unashamedly a man “suffering” from G.A.S., and I shoot with whatever I find interesting within my range of affordability. This came in the forms of Nikon D810 (and D800, D750, Df etc.), Canon 5D Mark III (and IV), Fujifilm X-Pro2 (and X-T1) all the way to Hasselblad 500C/M, Pentacon Six TL, Nikon F3 and many other cameras.

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Sample Images: Rokinon SP 85mm f1.2 (Canon EF)

We’re in the middle of reviewing the Rokinon SP 85mm f1.2 lens–which is one of the company’s new high end lens offerings. Rokinon’s build quality has never been the greatest in comparison to many other brands out there but with the SP line, they’re looking to change that. Not only are the optics top notch, but the build quality is too. They’re making metal exteriors with rubber rings. In some ways, you can liken them to Zeiss. Two of their first lenses are the 85mm f1.2 and the 14mm f2.4 for full frame cameras. Unfortunately, these don’t have autofocus. But that doesn’t seem to affect the image quality at all.

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Tom Bradley’s Surreal Portraiture Explores His Relationship with Dhaka

All images by Tom Bradley. Used with permission.

My name is Tom Bradley. I was brought up in London, where I’m generally based, but I spend much of the time abroad. I’ve been pretty lucky these last eight or so years and traveled quite extensively across west and Central Africa, Southeast Asia, and one or two other places in the world. I suppose most of my work would be referred to as documentary, but as in the case of this particular work here (which I wouldn’t describe as documentary at all), I go wherever I’m drawn. The common (and very general) theme is that I tend to photograph life around me without setting things up or posing people. I’ve done projects on Syrian refugees, prisoners in Armenia, stone miners in Bangladesh, a small LGBT community in Bangladesh, and perhaps most extensively leprosy.

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Go For Broke: Telling the Story of Japanese-American WWII Veterans

All images by Shane Sato via Go For Broke on Kickstarter

While war and conflict remain some of today’s most commonly documented and explored topics, there are still a lot of stories that remain untold. Through his fascinating photo book project on Kickstarter, Los Angeles-based photographer Shane Sato wants to tell a wartime story that is probably still unfamiliar to many.

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Vikas Vasudev Shows the Faces of a Forgotten Land

All images by Vikas Vasudev. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Among the travel advice that we are often told is to make a genuine connection with the locals for unique experiences. It can be pretty intimidating at first, especially when you travel to big cities or set out on your own for the first time. But if you’re a photographer, overcoming your shyness and apprehension can set you up for an interesting project and keepsake of your trip. Today’s travel and portrait snaps by Mumbai-based Vikas Vasudev proves to be an inspiring example.

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Evelyn Bencicova’s “artificial tears” Puts a Beautiful Spin on Mundane Life

All images by Evelyn Bencicova. Used with Creative Commons permission.

We hear the phrase “art imitates life” every now and then, but I think sometimes we see “imitations” that make us wish life can be just as artful in the real world. I was recently reminded of this as I browsed through the beautiful set by Bratislava-based photographer and art director, Evelyn Bencicova.

Entitled artificial tears, Evelyn’s set lets us follow a lone subject who appears to be going about her days, which seem mostly hushed and unhurried. Many of the scenes we witness are relatable and familiar. Stressful days at work, solo walks around town, daily chores we sometimes don’t want to be bothered with, an occasional visit to the local museum or art gallery, random Instax-worthy moments, and sometimes just doing nothing but staying still. Everything feels so everyday that I can almost hear many of you say, “Yeah, been there, done that.”

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