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

If any rights violated pls write to 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stefano Unterthiner Photography : Animals Face to Face

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You must have seeing quite a lot of animal photographs. But I'm sure this will be some thing new. Enjoy!
Pics belong to Stefano Unterthiner

Monday, April 11, 2011

Silent Eater

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Silent Eater, originally uploaded by Priyantha Bandara.

Just thought I should share this picture. Hope you like it

Freedom at last

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Freedom at last, originally uploaded by Priyantha Bandara.

hmm after a long break. Here start the flow..


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