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March 4th, 2011

PDN Video Pick: A Bridge Delivered

Photographer Stephen Mallon directed this time lapse video showing the delivery and installation of the new Willis Avenue bridge linking Manhattan and the Bronx. The 2,400-ton steel structure was assembled near Coeymans, New York, then transported 136 miles down the Hudson River by barge. Mallon directed 9 camera operators working from the barge, other boats on the Hudson, and vantage points onshore along the route. He assembled the final video from more than 30,000 still images. The video will be screened at FPS Fest, which starts this evening in Brooklyn and runs through tomorrow. Other photographer/directors whose films will be screened at the festival include Danny Clinch, the Wade Brothers, Alexx Henry, to name a few.

February 21st, 2011

Howard Stern Buys a Nikon D7000 at Adorama

The self-proclaimed King of All Media Howard Stern has added another medium to his media arsenal: digital photography. Stern, who hosts a show on Sirius Satellite Radio, just tweeted thanks to “the good folks” at Adorama Camera in New York City for helping him purchase a Nikon D7000 digital SLR.

Contrary to what some Stern critics might say, the controversial radio host has good taste (at least when it comes to DSLRs). We named the D7000 camera of the year for 2010.

Happy shooting Howard and looking forward to seeing your pics! (As long as they’re not of your private parts!)

February 18th, 2011

Friday Fun: Amateur Wedding Photos FAIL

No, just because you own a Canon Digital Rebel doesn’t mean you should become a wedding photographer. To wit, check out these horrendous amateur wedding photos and try to understand why any self-respecting bride or groom would settle for paying less when booking a photographer.

Some wedding pros we know might do well to link to this page on their website to prove to clients how bad it can get if they decide to go the cheap route.

January 17th, 2011

Here’s Some “Stuff” Photojournalists Like

In the spirit of the popular blogs “Stuff White People Like” and “Stuff Journalists Like,” someone has started a little Tumblr blog called “Sh*t Photojournalists Like.” Seemed inevitable, right?

So what do photojournalists like, according to this blog? Well, there are a couple of things we like as well such as “Coffee Mugs that Look Like Lenses” and “Shooting Wide Open.”

What else? See for yourself and add your own suggestions here.

January 4th, 2011

Some of the Best of the Best of 2010 Photo Roundups

The New Year is finally here, and you know what that means: An end to the “best of 2010” blog posts! Lists like these are staples for any publication because they are always popular conversation starters and they are relatively easy to produce when editors are weary over the holidays. In that spirit, we compiled our own list of some amusing and enlightening year-end lists on photography, in case you missed them in the holiday rush.

Ad Age’s 10 Best Magazine Covers of 2010
Not all of these covers are photographic, but we were pleased to see the Cleveland Plain Dealer get a shout out for the year’s most photographically elegant take on the LeBron James defection.

Fashionista’s Best Covers of 2010
Ah fashion photography. There are  puzzling, audacious and startling photos here from Numero, Love, V, Vogue Paris’s 90th anniversary issue, and Craig McDean’s lovely photo of actress Marion Cotillard for Another Woman.

Fashionista’s list of Best Covers  is more fun than its Best Editorials of 2010, which features some surprisingly ho-hum spreads. It does include the de rigeur Terry Richardson dominatrix- with-whip photo, and a couple of photos  in which female models feel up their own crotches, a fashion motif we first noticed in 2010.

Jezebel’s Best of the Year’s Worst Photoshops
Includes some crazy mistakes (Hey, Christina Hendricks: Where’s the rest of you? ). Photographers viewing the bloopers here might never leave their retouchers’ side. However, Jezebel gets overwrought about things like smoothing wrinkles in a sweater.

Women’s Wear Daily’s Best Selling Celebrity Covers
This is a list about quantity, not quality. WWD tallied the newsstand sales reports and found that Lady Gaga is a sure fire hit. Taylor Swift often disappointed.  Rihanna’s cover sold well, and she was half naked.

Vince Aletti’s Top Ten New York Photography Shows in 2010
This discerning list compile by the New Yorker reviewer highlights one of Moma’s most intriguing reflections on photography, the Zwelethu Mthethwa show, civil rights photos and more.

The Big Picture’s Best Animal Photos of 2010
Animal photos always drive web traffic, and for good reason. Big Picture’s list includes a surfing alpaca, a skateboarding bulldog and a monkey doing a handstand on a goat’s head.

Who doesn’t love a picture of a monkey doing a handstand on a goat’s head?

Related stories:
PDN’s 2010 Photo Gear of the Year

Top Photo Blog Posts of the Year

December 17th, 2010

Friday Fun: Most Influential Photographers, Revisited

A year ago, we asked PDN readers to nominate the 30 most influential photographers of the decade, and then stirred up a hornets’ nest when we posted the results: The voting put popular bloggers such as Becker and Jasmine Star well above photographic pioneers like Robert Frank and William Eggleston. Passions ran so high that we had to shut down reader comments after a few days.

So why would we want to stir things up again? Because Google Labs has posted an amazing and addictive tool–called “Books Ngram Viewer”– that allows you to search for phrases (and names of people!) published in millions of books over the last 500 years, and plot how often those phrases (or names) appear in books over time. (Keep reading to see the charts…) (more…)

December 10th, 2010

Friday Fun: How A Picture Agency Worked, circa 1978

“Moving Stills” (1978) by Behnam Attar from David Burnett on Vimeo.

Photojournalist David Burnett has posted on Vimeo “Moving Stills,” a film Behnam Attar made about the workings of the Contact Press Images photo agency in 1978. It has inspired both nostalgia and giggles here at PDN. The film is long and sometimes stilted but it’s well worth watching for such vintage artifacts as a telex machine, slide film, lightboxes, five-week photo assignments, cigarette smoking in the workplace and men with very big hair.  The video features Robert Pledge, Guy Cooper as well as Burnett who, in one scene, wears a nightshirt we’re pretty sure wasn’t in style in the Seventies, or any other decade for that matter.

The film reminds us that  once an agency could have a photographer shooting a story on spec for weeks because when he brought home the film there were numerous magazine to pitch it to. But one thing hasn’t changed: Photographers still complain about how photo editors run their images.

December 1st, 2010

Call for Entries: What’s the Best Thing in Your Workspace?

In preparation for PDN and PDNOnline’s Studio issue (February), we want to find to find out: What feature of your workspace, office or studio do you like best? Is there something in it that makes it attractive, convenient, versatile, family friendly, cozy or in some other way appealing?

We’ll be posting readers’ photos and descriptions of their studios or workspaces from now until the week of February 1, when we’ll ask readers to vote on the best submissions. The photographer whose workspace feature wins the most votes will be featured on our Web site—and receive a $50 gift certificate from a photo retailer.

If you’d like us to consider your workspace’s best feature, please submit 1 to 3 jpeg images to: editor@pdnonline.com. Include a short description (up to 100 words) of your workspace and why you like its best feature. Be sure to tell us the kind of work you do there, and who else uses the space (including kids, pets, partners, etc). Be sure to put “Best Thing in My Workspace” in the subject line of your email.

Please note that you don’t have to have a spectacular studio to win over PDN’s readers. When her San Francisco office-slash-apartment was the top vote getter in our Cramped But Cool Studio contest, photographer Nicole Hill Gerulat noted, “I think the space may have appealed to PDN readers because it’s just my living room—proving that great shots can be taken anywhere and that a studio isn’t necessary (until the client calls).”