May 1st, 2015

Why TIME Chose an Amateur Photographer’s Image for Its Cover

The May 11, 2015 cover of TIME Magazine, with an image by aspiring photographer Devin Allen.

The May 11, 2015 cover of TIME Magazine, featuring an image by aspiring photographer Devin Allen.

Yesterday TIME Magazine released the cover of the May 11 issue bearing an image of the Baltimore protests made by a 26-year-old amateur photographer named Devin Allen, who first picked up a camera in 2013. It is just the third time the magazine has used amateur images on the cover. It’s generated a lot of publicity for TIME, which issued a press release about Allen’s photo the day the issue came out. “[Allen’s image] was just beautifully composed and it was compelling, and it caught my eye immediately and summed up the story in a really interesting way,” says TIME deputy director of photography Paul Moakley.

Since Monday, Allen, who has a job working with autistic children and is an aspiring photographer, has covered the protests of the death of Freddie Gray, who died after his spinal cord was nearly severed while he was in police custody. (The state’s attorney for Baltimore, Marilyn J. Mosby, announced this morning that she has filed homicide, manslaughter and misconduct charges against Baltimore police officers). The cover text ties Allen’s black-and-white image of a protester running from a line of riot police to scenes one might have seen during the Baltimore riots in 1968, implying little has changed for black communities.

Allen brought an insider’s perspective to his coverage of the protests of Gray’s death. He is from West Baltimore, where protestors have clashed with police and riots have erupted into looting and arson. His images went viral on Monday when he published them on Instagram. They were shared by actor Michael K. Williams and singer Rihanna, and caught the attention of editors at several news organizations, including TIME. Read the rest of this entry »

April 30th, 2015

Marcus Bleasdale Wins 2014 Robert Capa Gold Medal

Body parts on the road after a lynching by FACA (les Forces Armées Centrafricaines, the military of the Central African Republic) soldiers.

Marcus Bleasdale has won the 2014 Robert Capa Gold Medal Award for his coverage of the religious violence in the Central African Republic, the Overseas Press Club (OPC) has announced. The images were made on assignment for Human Rights Watch, Foreign Policy and National Geographic.

The Robert Capa Gold Medal Award is bestowed annually for the best foreign photo coverage “requiring exceptional courage and enterprise,” according to the OPC. As tales of the Islamic State’s brutality dominated news reports around the world, Bleasdale covered the brutality unfolding in the Central African Republic, as Muslims and Christians battled in the streets. In a brief description of the work, the OPC said “His menacing, unnerving images of chaos had a profound impact on the judges. The images place the viewer in the moment in a way that demands and holds attention.” Bleasdale has been honored by the OPC before, winning the 2013 Feature Photography Award for “The Last of the Viking Whalers,” which the OPC called “completely original photographic storytelling executed perfectly.”

Other winners of OPC photography prizes for work completed in 2014 include: Jerome Sessini of Magnum Photos, who won the Olivier Rebbot Award for his photos of the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines jet shot down over eastern Ukraine; Bulent Kilic of Agence France Presse, who won the John Faber award for his photos of the Euromaidan Revolution in Kiev, Ukraine; Rodrigo Abd of the Associated Press, who won the Feature Photography Award for his photos of Peru’s illegal gold mining industry.

Bleasdale, Sessini, Kilic and Abd, along with several other journalists, will be honored at a banquet at the Mandarin Oriental New York later today. The event will be livestreamed here.

Related:

Tyler Hicks Wins Robert Capa Gold Medal Award

David Guttenfelder Wins Two Overseas Press Club Awards

April 29th, 2015

What Photographers Need to Know Before They Go Pro

Sponsored by NYIP

HossamElDinMostafa2-hr

Photo by Hossam ElDin Mostafa

What do you need to know before you go pro? Robyn Selman, general manager of The New York Institute of Photography (NYIP) aims to answer this question through curriculum for photographers.

Selman works with experts in the field, such as Patrick Donehue, to ensure NYIP’s curriculum is “forward-looking and serves students well,” she says. Donehue, who has worked as a photographer, educator and director of photography at Getty and Corbis and is now a consultant working with Apple, offers these tips for budding pro photographers:

1) Study what has already been done. Successful photographers know how to stand out from the crowd. They create images that haven’t been seen before.

2) Thrive on the process of improving. Focus and development aren’t just photographic techniques, they’re attitudes. Continually scan the horizon for what you’d like to do, focus your inspiration, make choices, and persist so you are always enhancing your vision and craft.

3) Edit, then edit again. Start by selecting dozens of favorite images from a shoot, then cut them down. Then do it again (and again). This is how to build a portfolio. Be a ruthless editor of your own work.

4) Handle adversity and be optimistic. Learn how to rebound from difficulties, whether personal or professional. Being able to dust yourself off and get back up is the mark of a determined and inspired professional.

5) Listen. Then ask your client, editor, curator, colleague, etc. questions, and don’t leave a topic or a meeting until you know what’s being asked of you.

6) Speak a global visual language by looking at things from a global perspective. Do research; find out what things look like in Singapore, Shanghai, Rio, Dubai and elsewhere around the globe, so you get a more rounded impression of the world.

7) Get funding. In order to grow, learn and put the necessary time and energy into refining your craft, you need to be properly funded. Choose gear you can afford—or find a way to afford the gear you need—and take a financial risk when it seems appropriate.

8) Be an early adopter of technology. Use new tools to help set you apart and gain an edge on other photographers. Monitor and be aware of what’s coming and choose what you need to embrace to enhance your image-making.

NareshKumar-hr

Photo by Aspenashfotons

NYIP offers a Professional Photography Course that covers technical know-how, business acumen, personal vision, professional practices and techniques, and specialty areas of focus, providing a solid, smart and comprehensive foundation for your growing professional business. And while NYIP’s courses are online and self-paced, the program pairs every student with a professional photographer as a mentor for personalized support throughout your studies.

Additionally, NYIP has partnered with Wedding & Portrait Photographers International, WPPI, to launch the first ever industry certification for wedding and portrait photographers. Like NYIP’s courses, the certification program is offered asynchronously, fully online, giving you tremendous scheduling flexibility. The program covers technical details relevant to photography, exposure, lighting, and composition, as well as business knowledge. Those photographers who successfully complete the program will be WPPI Certified photographers.

Visit www.nyip.edu to learn more about its courses and WPPIC.

April 28th, 2015

U.S. Copyright Office (Once Again) Studying Copyright Struggles of Photographers

The U.S. Copyright Office has published a call for comments from photographers and visual artists about how their works are “monetized, enforced and registered” and about “obstacles” artists face protecting their copyrights “when navigating the digital landscape.” The U.S. Copyright Office announced the research initiative April 24 in the Federal Register. The written comments are due by July 23.

What action, if any, the U.S. Copyright Office takes as a result of its research remains to be seen. “We just want to get an overview of the landscape,” says spokesperson Catie Rowland. “We’re just researching it, to see where it leads. There are a lot of concerns. We want to see if we can address them.” Read the rest of this entry »

April 27th, 2015

Follow the 2015 PDN’s 30 Photographers on Tumblr, Instagram

An image from “Lumière,” a series by Sarker Protick, 2015 PDN's 30.

Photo © Sarker Protick

PDN’s April issue included the annual PDN’s 30 feature, in which we profile 30 new and emerging photographers to watch. As we’ve done in years past, we’ve put together a list of links to their Tumblr blogs. This year we’re also throwing in links to their Instagram feeds.

Social media serves as an important marketing tool for many photographers—not just those in the early stages of their careers. Increasingly, clients who hire photographers for social media-based campaigns pay attention to the way photographers engage with their audiences on platforms like Tumblr and Instagram. Following these photographers not only allows us to see the great images they’re posting to social media, it also provides insight into how they are using these platforms to promote themselves and their work. Read the rest of this entry »

April 22nd, 2015

PDN Video: How to Take Your Career to the Next Level

At a turning point early in his career, veteran celebrity photographer Brian Smith had a brazen (and slightly cringe-worthy) encounter with John Huston, the famous movie director. He got away with it–just barely. At the time, Smith was a staff photographer on assignment for the Orange County Register. He was trying to take his career to the next level, and the shoot with Huston was an object lesson in how to do that, as he explains in this video. (Smith is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and author of Secrets of Great Portrait Photography.)

Related:
PDN Video: Photographer Brian Smith on How to Get a Striking Celebrity Portrait

PDN Video: Gregory Heisler on How to Relate to Portrait Subjects

PDN Video Pick: Miller Mobley’s Tips for Landing Clients

How Top Photographers Shoot Great Portraits

April 21st, 2015

Adobe Intros Lightroom 6

facialrecognition

Adobe has rolled out a new version of Lightroom — version 6 for standalone users or the newly renamed Lightroom Creative Cloud for existing subscribers — delivering several new features and an under-the-hood retuning to make it run faster, including on older CPUs and GPUs when using the Develop module.

Among the highlights:

* You can create HDR images by merging multiple exposures, creating a DNG RAW file with more dynamic range.

* You can stitch multiple RAW images together to create panoramas using Photomerge.

* Lightroom Mobile is now available for Android tablets and Android users will also get the ability to edit images stored on microSD cards. If your Android phone snaps DNG images, Lightroom can edit those too.

* The slideshow feature has been enhanced to allow multiple songs clips to be used, among other improvements.

* Smart folders can be created on any device and synced across multiple platforms.

Also new is facial recognition, which lets you tag certain individuals and have Lightroom’s algorithms scour your images to tag other instances when those people appear. Those tags will not travel with the images in metadata, unless you select that option.

The update is available now for CC subscribers or for $149 standalone.

April 20th, 2015

South African Photographer’s Images of Attack on Immigrant Lead to Arrests

© Sunday Times/timeslive.co.za

© Sunday Times/timeslive.co.za

James Oatway, a photographer with the Sunday Times of South Africa, managed to capture a mob of men fatally attacking a Mozambique man on April 18 in Alexandra township. Oatway’s photos, published on the front page of the Times yesterday, lead to the arrest of three suspects, according to the newspaper. Another suspect is still being sought, and local police have offered a reward of 100,000 Rand for help finding him. Oatway, a veteran photojournalist who has covered stories in Central African Republic, Congo, Haiti and South Africa, had gone to Alexandra to cover the looting of immigrant-owned businesses that broke out two weeks ago.

Though Oatway sought medical attention for the victim, Emmanuel Sithole, the photographer has had to answer questions about his actions in the midst of the attack.

Oatway told the BBC that he saw a man wielding a monkey wrench knock Sithole to the ground and beat him. Oatway ran closer to get photos. When Sithole managed to stand, a man with a knife ran up and stabbed him repeatedly.

Oatway says the attack lasted “two minutes.” After Sithole collapsed, Oatway got the bleeding-but-still-conscious man into his car and drove him to a nearby clinic where he was told they couldn’t treat him. According to the Times, the clinic’s only doctor, a foreigner, had stayed away out of fear of xenophobic violence. When Oatway reached a hospital, medical professionals tried to perform CPR on Sithole but “they declared him dead,” Oatway says. “I really wish we could have saved him,” Oatway told the BBC.

Sithole was identified by the cellphone found in his pocket.

The government of South Africa has reported that over 300 people have been arrested in connection with the looting and violence against immigrants from across Africa.

April 20th, 2015

PDN Video: Photographer Brian Smith on How to Get a Striking Celebrity Portrait


Nothing is more important on a celebrity shoot than engaging your subject, says photographer Brian Smith. “The lighting, the locations, and the props all matter, but if you’re not actually making a connection with the subject, the pictures really fall flat.” Smith, the author of Secrets of Great Portrait Photography and other books, has been photographing celebrities, athletes and executives for more than 30 years. In this video, he explains one of his best strategies for connecting with a celebrity on set.

Related:
PDN Video: Gregory Heisler on How to Relate to Portrait Subjects (Even If You Are Shy and Bumbling)
PDN Video: Brian Smith on How to Take Your Career to the Next Level
How Top Photographers Shoot Great Portraits

April 17th, 2015

Steady As She Goes: Two Cool Stabilizers at NAB

ronin m

DJI made waves last week for their new Phantom 3 flying cameras, but the company brought another head-turner to NAB, a new Ronin brushless gimbal.

The Ronin M is a slimmed down, less expensive and more approachable model than the original Ronin. It weighs just five pounds but can support cameras up to eight pounds thanks to a new magnesium frame. You mount your DSLR or video camera and the gimbal balances itself, ensuring that your camera stays steady even as you move about.

The M offers three modes–briefcase, upright and underslung–for framing a variety of shots. The battery is good for up to six hours of use. When you’re done, you can twist off the top handles to shrink down the M for transport.

The Ronin ships next month and is expected to cost around $2,000. You can pre-order it now.

Freefly Mimic

Freefly Systems Mimic

Freefly’s Mimic isn’t a stabilizer, but an innovative remote for the company’s MoVI gimbal.

The Mimic controller connects to the MoVI and to a separate gimbal that acts as a master controller for the camera on the MoVI. Rather than move the camera through a joystick or knobs, the Mimic instantly translates your movement into camera movement, positioning the MoVI-mounted camera in whatever direction you desire.

Here’s a video showing how it works.

The Mimic will be released at the end of this month for $495.