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May 13th, 2016

Great Weekend Reads in Photography & Filmmaking

Rosmarie Voegtli | Flickr

Rosmarie Voegtli | Flickr

“Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.”
John Locke


Renting a Darkroom in TokyoJapan Camera Hunter

How I Became the Subject of My Own Boston Bombing PhotosBill Hoenk

The International Center of Photography’s Brave New World Christies

So, What Is a Video Essay Really?Filmmakers Magazine

Under Pressure at the Bloomberg Picture DeskCreatives Go!

I am Lucy Wainwright and This Is Why I Shoot FilmEmulsive

Paris Attack Photo Sparks Press Freedom CaseNY Times

The Polaroid Reborn, But Will It Survive? – Financial Times

Kids Photography Grows UpPDN

Anatomy of an Unnerving Ad CampaignBBC

What It Takes to Be a Good Street PhotographerEric Kim

Exposing Hollywood’s Age-Old Achille’s HeelNo Film School



Weekend Audio

May 6th, 2016

Obituary: Advertising Photographer John Welzenbach, 64

John Welzenbach, a commercial photographer and a founder of the Chicago chapter of Advertising Photographers of America, died April 28 in Arlington Heights, Illinois. He was 64

Born in Port Huron, Michigan, Welzenbach attended the University of Michigan. He launched his studio, Welzenbach Productions in Chicago in 1974. His advertising clients included Hilton, Visa, Nestle, Kellogg’s, Miller and United. He was a founder of the Chicago chapter of the Advertising Photographer of America and, after serving as chapter president, served as the vice president of APA National. Welzenbach wrote a column on photography for the Chicago Sun-Times, contributed to Photo Technique and other publications, and gave seminars on lighting and production at PhotoPlus Expo and through the Dean Collins Fine Art workshop program. His commercial assignments and personal projects took him around the world. In 1996 he published The Magic of Puerto Vallarta (Editorial Mardeki), a collection of his travel photos of the Mexican city.

Welzenbach is survived by his wife, Amy, his sister and mother, his two children and one grandchild. A funeral will be held May 7 in Arlington Heights.

May 6th, 2016

Great Weekend Reads in Photography & Filmmaking

Mark Dries | Flickr

Mark Dries | Flickr

“Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.”
Edmund Burke


The Polaroids of a Cowboy PoetWashington Post

I’m Calling It: Social Networking Is Over Computerworld

Iwo Jima Photo Questioned Again By Photographer’s SonNY Times

Why Filmmaking Is Now a Game of Drones London Evening Standard

4 Trends Shaping Wedding Photography Right NowRF

Creating Value Around Women ArtistsThe Art Newspaper

Netflix vs. Vimeo vs. YouTube, et. al.: Where Will Your Video Thrive? PDN

Origins of a Viral PhotoThe Proof

Digital Storytelling Meets Humanitarian Crisis Univision

No, You Can’t Have My Unedited PhotosMedium

Is GoPro the Next Flip Camera?The Verge



Bonus weekend video!

Enjoy 100 years of (mostly) American cinema in 100 iconic cuts.


April 29th, 2016

Great Weekend Reads in Photography & Filmmaking

Jens Schott Knudsen | Flickr

Jens Schott Knudsen | Flickr

“The problem with a life spent reading is you know too much.” ― Josh Lanyon


The Revolution in Film FestivalsStephen Follows

Lean Photography: A Manifesto Eric Kim

The Outdated Model Hurting Independent FilmNew Yorker

When Science and Photography CollideSlate

As Money Flows to Online Video, Content Makers Hold SwayBuzzFeed

The Life of Book Cover PhotographerCreatives Go!

10 Nat Geo Photos That Explain Earth to AliensProof

The Frustrated MP Who Invented PhotographySpectator

Don’t Play with Your Food, Unless You Shoot It RF

5 Groundbreaking Ways to Tell Your Story in VRNo Film School

I Want My Instagram in Black & WhiteThe Verge

The Challenge Facing Documentary Mini-SeriesIndieWire


Bonus Weekend Audio

Learning how to create an independent film around your limited budget.


April 28th, 2016

Bassam Khabieh Wins Robert Capa Gold Medal for Syria Coverage

The body of a dead man is seen next to blood stains at a field hospital, after what activists said were air and missile strikes, in the Douma neighborhood of Damascus, Syria December 13, 2015. Douma in Syria, an area controlled by rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad, has been shelled continuously for the past three years. The injured are taken to basements and shelters transformed into field hospitals run by medical staff who have stayed in the battered neighborhood of Damascus.

The body of a dead man is seen next to blood stains at a field hospital, after what activists said were air and missile strikes, in the Douma neighborhood of Damascus, Syria December 13, 2015. © Bassam Khabieh / Reuters

At an event this evening in New York City, The Overseas Press Club of America (OPC) will award the 2015 Robert Capa Gold Medal for photography to Reuters photographer Bassam Khabieh for his coverage of the Syrian civil war, the organization has announced. The award is given for “photographic reporting from abroad requiring exceptional courage and enterprise.” In grisly images that depict dead and injured men, and wounded children, in a makeshift field hospital in Damascus, Khabieh’s images show the brutal reality of the war in Syria, now in its fifth year.

The Overseas Press Club statement about the story, “Field Hospital Damascus,” notes the danger of living and working in Syria as a journalist. A Syria native who left an information technology career to photograph the war, Khabieh began working for Reuters in 2013. “Further setting this entry apart from the others was the courage and enterprise required not only to cover but live day in and day out in one of the most hostile and unpredictable environments on the planet,” the OPC said in a statement. More than 100 journalists have been killed in Syria since the start of the civil war in March, 2011.

Stephen Dupont will receive The Olivier Rebbot Award, which honors “photographic reporting from abroad in magazines or books,” for Generation AK: The Afghanistan Wars, 1993-2012 (Steidl, 2015).

The John Faber Award, which recognizes “reporting from abroad in newspapers or news services,” will go to Mauricio Lima, Sergey Ponomarev, Tyler Hicks and Daniel Etter for their coverage of the migrant crisis for The New York Times. The photographers recently won a Breaking News Photography Pulitzer Prize for the same work.

Another New York Times-published story, Daniel Berehulak’s “High in the Himalayas, A Search After the Nepal Earthquake Yields Grim Results,” will receive The Feature Photography Award for “photography published in any medium on an international theme.”

The OPC will livestream the awards event here beginning at 7:30 EST.

Marcus Bleasdale Wins 2014 Robert Capa Gold Medal
Tyler Hicks Wins Robert Capa Gold Medal Award

April 27th, 2016

Heidi Swanson and Eater Honored in 2016 James Beard Foundation Awards


A screenshot from Eater’s “One Night: Kachka” feature, which earned the publication the Visual Storytelling honor in the 2016 James Beard Foundation Awards.

The James Beard Foundation announced the winners of its annual Books, Broadcast and Journalism awards on April 26. Cookbook author and photographer Heidi Swanson won top honors for the Photography category for her book Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel. The publication Eater was also honored in the Visual Storytelling category for its online feature “One Night: Kachka.”

Swanson was one of three nominees in the photography category.  Also nominated were Fire and Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking, photographed by Stefan Wettainen, and Root to Leaf: A Southern Chef Cooks Through the Seasons, photographed by John Kernick.

Eater’s Visual Storytelling honor was awarded for the feature’s excellence in photography and graphic design. Other nominees in the category included “How to Make the World’s Best Cheeseburger, Using Magic” from Epicurious and “Smells the Same” from the food blog Lucky Peach.

The James Beard Foundation is a non-profit based in New York City that organizes lectures, workshops, events, and other educational initiatives around the country to promote the exploration of American culinary history and culture. All the James Beard Foundation honorees can be found at

Related articles

Good Food: Romas Foord, Ditte Isager, Food & Wine Honored in 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards

Katie Quinn Davies and Gather Journal Win 2013 James Beard Awards for Food Photography

April 26th, 2016

The Incredible Macro Photography of Microsculpture

Macro photography requires a certain discipline and patience, but even the most redoubtable macro shooter has to marvel at what Levon Biss has done.

In a project dubbed Microsculpture Biss created 3 meter prints from 10mm insects–insects sourced from the second largest collection in Britain, at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

As the behind-the-scenes video below details, creating these images was a painstaking, exacting enterprise. Biss used a 36-megapixel Nikon body and a microscope lens attachment with an incredibly shallow depth of field. To get the entire image of the bug properly in focus, he had to shoot thousands of images, varying the focal length by as little as 10 microns with each shot, and composite the final together. Each final image is composed of between 8,000 and 10,000 individual photos.

Biss also lit individual portions of an insect differently, using one type of lighting for the eye and another for a wing to highlight the unique textures. It took about three weeks to create a single image from capture to post.

The final results are on display through October 2016 at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. You can also take a nice interactive tour of each insect here, where you’ll gain a whole new appreciation for beetles.

Microsculpture from Levon Biss on Vimeo.

April 22nd, 2016

Asghar Khamseh Named Photographer of the Year in 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Iranian photographer Asghar Khamseh has been named the Photographer of the Year in the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards. Khamseh was also the first place winner in the Contemporary Issues category, which is one of the 14 competition categories in two divisions (art and documentary).  The winners were chosen from a total of 127,098 images from countries all over the world, according to the World Photography Organization.

The violent act of acid throwing is primarily against women and children.  These attacks are committed with the intent to disfigure, maim and destroy the social life and future of the victim.  The motivation to commit this type of violence is cultural destitution, intolerance and happens in situations such as family conflicts, rejected marriage proposal, revenge and divorce requests. In addition physical and psychological damages, victims are faced with the experience of social stigma ,blame and social unpleasant tags.

Acid attack victim Shirin Mohamadi from “Fire of Hatred.” © Asghar Khamseh.

First place winners in the documentary categories were:
Contemporary Issues: Asghar Khamseh for the portrait series “Fire of Hatred,” about acid attacks against women in Iran.
Campaign: Jetmir Idrizi for the black and white project “TransBrasil,” about gender identity issues in Brazil.
Current Affairs: Angelos Tzortzinis for the series about Middle Eastern refugees, “In Search of the European Dream.”
Environment: Kevin Frayer’s project “Eagle Hunters of Western China.”
People: Kevin Fryer’s project “Nomadic Life Threatened on the Tibetan Plateau.”
Daily Life: Espen Rasmussen for the series “The Curse of Coal,” which documents the dwindling coal industry in West Virginia.
Sport: Nikolai Linares’s series “Second Best” about silver-medalist boxers.

Winners in the Art genre include:
Architecture: Amelie Labourdette for documenting the impact of the financial crisis in southern Italy in her series “Empire of the Dust.”
Julien Mauve for the staged series “Greetings from Mars.”
Maroesjka Lavigne’s project “Land of Nothingness” that captures the barren landscape of Namibia.
Marcello Bonfanti’s work capturing portraits of Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone.
Alberto Alicata’s series “Iconic B,” which re-examines some of photography’s most iconic images using a Barbie doll as the model.    
Still Life:
Franceso Amorosino’s series “Migrant Tomatoes,” which depicts dirt-covered tomatoes from immigrant-crop pickers.
Kirstin Schmitt’s “Waiting for Candymen,” a portrait of Cuban idiosyncrasy.

The winning, shortlisted and commended images from this year’s competition will be on display at the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at the Somerset House in London until May 8.

Greetings fro Mars

From Julien Mauve’s series “Greetings from Mars.” © Julien Mauve.

April 22nd, 2016

Great Weekend Reads in Photography & Filmmaking


Rob Oo | Flickr

“Salvation is certainly among the reasons I read.” ― Roxane Gay

Will High Frame Rates Change Filmmaking?IndieWire

From Filmmaker to YouTube Star and Back AgainFilmmaker

What We Learned from Chris Hondros and Tim HetheringtonTime

Facebook Is Winning the 360 Degree Photo WarMedium

The Social Media FallacySebastian Jacobitz

Photographer You Should Know: Liz Von HoeneRF

A New Frontier for PhotographyAperture

Failed It! The Fine Art of Making MistakesCreative Review

Why Does Photography Have to Be About Anything?CP

When a Photographer Steps Up PDN

Bonus Weekend Video!

Documentary photographer Billy Weeks explores the moment where photographer and subject intersect with a single point of view.

April 15th, 2016

Great Weekend Reads in Photography & Filmmaking

Daniel Wehner | Flickr

Daniel Wehner | Flickr

“To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” ― W. Somerset Maugham

The Photographer Who Exposed North KoreaGo Further

Why Working for Free Isn’t a Bad ThingThe Filmmaker’s Process

The Ugly Side of Wildlife PhotographyLive Mint

10 Random Questions for Jerry Ghionis Rangefinder

The Long Collusion Between Photography & CrimeNew Yorker

Photoshopping the Pain Out of MemoryThe Atlantic

What It’s Like to Shoot the Most Exclusive Golf CoursesPDN

Why Do We Share Viral Videos?Scientific American

The Accidental Pioneer of Street PhotographyVogue

War’s Been Paying My Rent Since I Was 16ABC

Bonus Weekend Audio!

Portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman on how her big break was a big picture of Allen Ginsberg.