Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hart Worx and his studio Magic

Best Blogger Tips His works are utterly mind blowing. Code named Hart Worx and coming from Germany his real name is Hartmut Nörenberg. Master of studio photography with a unique touch below are some of his most watched photographs from the web. You can visit his official site here and deviant art profile here. Don’t forget to take a look at the artistic nudes while you’re at it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Stunning nature by National Geographic

Best Blogger Tips Check out some awesome nature photographs presented by National Geographic. Sadly I don't have the reference of whom shot these. If you know of any just drop me a note. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Through the lens of James Nachtwey

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James Nachtwey grew up in Massachusetts and graduated from Dartmouth College, where he studied Art History and Political Science (1966-70). Images from the Vietnam War and the American Civil Rights movement had a powerful effect on him and were instrumental in his decision to become a photographer. He has worked aboard ships in the Merchant Marine, and while teaching himself photography, he was an apprentice news film editor and a truck driver.
In 1976 he started work as a newspaper photographer in New Mexico, and in 1980, he moved to New York to begin a career as a freelance magazine photographer. His first foreign assignment was to cover civil strife in Northern Ireland in 1981 during the IRA hunger strike. Since then, Nachtwey has devoted himself to documenting wars, conflicts and critical social issues. He has worked on extensive photographic essays in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, Israel, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, South Africa, Russia, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kosovo, Romania, Brazil and the United States.

Nachtwey has been a contract photographer with Time Magazine since 1984. He was associated with Black Star from 1980 - 1985 and was a member of Magnum from 1986 until 2001. In 2001, he became one of the founding members of the photo agency, VII. He has had solo exhibitions at the International Center of Photography in New York, the Bibliotheque nationale de France in Paris, the Palazzo Esposizione in Rome, the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, Culturgest in Lisbon, El Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles, the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, the Canon Gallery and the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, the Carolinum in Prague,and the Hasselblad Center in Sweden, among others. 

He has received numerous honours such as the Common Wealth Award, Martin Luther King Award, Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award, Henry Luce Award, Robert Capa Gold Medal (five times), the World Press Photo Award (twice), Magazine Photographer of the Year (seven times), the International Center of Photography Infinity Award (three times), the Leica Award (twice), the Bayeaux Award for War Correspondents (twice), the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award, the Canon Photo essayist Award and the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Grant in Humanistic Photography. He is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and has an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Arts.

Here are some of his photographs. You can see more at his official site here.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

JUST DO IT by Michael Helms

Best Blogger Tips There are a few things I hear over and over again in the comments on my photos:

1) I wish I could do work like yours but I just don't have a good enough camera.
2) I wish I could shoot images like yours but I don't have a studio or lights.
3) I wish I had access to models so I could do what you do.

Here is my answer to all three of those "I wish" comments. YOU CAN.
I want everyone who is reading this to understand something VERY CLEARLY. The ONLY difference between those of us who are doing photography and those who are not is, that we are DOING IT.
Those three "I wish" comments are born of two feelings ... ignorance and fear. Ignorance, because many aspiring photographers don't understand all the equipment available to them at VERY inexpensive prices. Fear, because we all have a fear of failure, and if you are like me, you are your own worst critic. I can go through my own gallery and rip the images to shreds with,"Damn, I wish I had done this or NOT done that".
I would suggest when an image or piece of art we have created or are in the midst of creating, doesn't live up to our expectations, we should call it "learning" instead of "failure". Art is not about right or wrong. Most of us have an idea or an image in our imaginations and when the result of our endeavors doesn't match that preconceived notion, we feel we have failed. Learning what does NOT work is as valuable as learning what DOES work.

I have been a photographer for over 30 years here in LA. Just yesterday I was doing some head shots for an actor here in my studio. I shot about 25 frames and then I looked at my camera.... crap....I had TOTALLY overexposed the images. They were completely unusable. You'd think after all these years I would LEARN!!! LOL. But - trust me - it NEVER EVER ends. And it shouldn't. Photography isn't about relaxing and saying, "Ah, finally, I'm REALLY good!" As an ex of mine used to smile and say, "It's not about arriving, it's about the journey!" Of course, it was easy for her to say that when I screwed up but she was less patient of her own "learning" experiences!
I know I am better than 95% of the photographers in LA. So what. It also means there are 5% who are kicking my ass and THOSE are the ones whose work I look at, try to figure out how and what they are doing, and try to improve MY work. No matter how long I have been doing this, how good other people (or myself) think I am, or how "successful" my business becomes, there is ALWAYS someone doing it better. In my opinion, I'm pretty good at taking an existing idea and embellishing it and taking it to a new level. BUT, I'm not very good at having ORIGINAL creative ideas.

In my younger years, I poured over fashion magazines, looked at the work of Helmut Newton, Arthur Elgort, Bill Brandt and many others to learn how they were lighting, what lenses they were using, and what angles they were shooting from. There was no "exif" data to look at and I couldn't call them up. I just experimented and asked everyone and anyone I knew, who had a camera, how they thought the images were accomplished.

My point is, if you love photography, then DO photography. Don't talk about WISHING you could... DO IT. I shot a series with my camera phone, another series with those little throw away cameras you get at the drug store, and lots of images with very expensive equipment. The equipment does not make the image.
You don't need lights. 90% of the images I shoot are natural light. You don't need a studio...I shoot most of my images in and around my house. Ask your friends to model. Shoot images of yourself. It's all about learning by DOING.
When you shoot an image, shoot it from higher than eye level, shoot it from knee level, shoot it wide angle if you can, shoot it with a longer lens. Crop it tight, then leave too much room on the left, then the right. The point, learn, and make "mistakes".
And remember what one of my mentors told me, "The first million frames are the hardest!"

Shoot what you love and love what you shoot everything else will take care of itself.

And then...have a Heineken to celebrate your accomplishments!

Written by Michale Helms. He has been a successful photographer in Los Angeles for 30 years. He has photographed some of Hollywood's most notable celebrities, including Kate Hudson, Tim Curry and Angelina Jolie.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In Memorium: Photojournalism of Chris Hondros

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Chris Hondros, a New York-based photographer for Getty Images, was killed by a rocket-propelled grenade in Misrata, Libya today. Hondros, 41, has covered conflict zones since the late 1990s including Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, and his work has appeared in major magazines and newspapers around the world. His awards include World Press Photo honors and the Robert Capa Gold Medal, one of the highest prizes in war photography.

 It was reported on April 20, 2011, that Hondros had been gravely wounded in an RPG attack by government forces in Misrata while covering the 2011 Libyan uprising. Photojournalist Tim Hetherington was killed in the attack, which wounded two other photographers. According to The New York Times, Hondros died from his injuries as a result of severe brain trauma.

Below are some of his photographs taken from USA today. You can visit the article and find more here

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