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.

April 16th, 2015

Kevin Frayer Wins Fourth Annual Getty Images & Chris Hondros Fund Award

©Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

©Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Kevin Frayer has been named winner of the 2015 Getty Images and Chris Hondros Fund (CHF) Award of $20,000, and Diana Markosian has won the $5,000 emerging photojournalist award, the photo agency announced today. Both photographers are represented by Getty. They will receive their awards April 30 at a reception in New York City.

CHF was established to support the work of photojournalists whose work reflects the legacy and vision of Hondros, who was killed in 2011 while on assignment covering the Libyan civil war. The three previous CHF Award winners were Daniel Berehulak, Andrea Bruce, and Tomás Munita.

Frayer, a Canadian photojournalist based in Beijing, has documented conflict throughout the Middle East, and currently covers stories in Asia. “I aspire to use this opportunity to create meaningful photography that would move Chris in the same way his images reached me and so many others,” Frayer said in a prepared statement.

Markosian, a Moscow-born photographer and 2014 PDN’s 30, has shot assignments for National Geographic, The New York Times and other publications. She has completed several long-term projects, including “Inventing My Father,”  a widely acclaimed work about reconnecting with her estranged father.

“Chris encouraged me to take a chance on myself, to find my own way,” she says in a prepared statement.

Jurors included Getty Images Vice President for News Pancho Bernasconi, New York Times photographer Todd Heisler, freelance photojournalist Jeff Swensen and CHF Board President Christina Piaia.

Related Articles
Daniel Berehulak to Receive Getty Images  & Chris Hondros Fund Award

Tim Hetherington, Chris Hondros: Remembering Them as They Lived

April 15th, 2015

Åsa Sjöström, Amirtharaj Stephen Win 6th Annual Activist Awards

From "The Secret Camps." ©Åsa Sjöström

From “The Secret Camps.” ©Åsa Sjöström

Åsa Sjöström has won the $15,000 Activist Award for professional photographers, while Amirtharaj Stephen has won the $5,000 award for emerging photographers, Catchlight has announced.

Formerly known as PhotoPhilanthropy, Catchlight sponsors the Activist Awards to recognize photographic excellence in service of NGOs addressing a variety of social issues.

Sjöström’s winning essay, called The Secret Camps, explores the issue of domestic violence through her images of women and children taking temporary refuge in summer camps operated by the Women’s Rights Association of Malmö, Sweden. “I want to create awareness and also to induce a genuine situation between me and the people in my photographs,” the photographer told Catchlight.

In a prepared statement about this year’s award winners, jurors praised Sjöström’s project for a “visually distinctive approach” that captures a transformational time for victims of domestic violence and that “brings attention to an issue that affects women and children all over the world.”

Finalists for the professional prize were Annalisa Natali Murri and Sergi Camara. Read the rest of this entry »

April 15th, 2015

The Drones of NAB 2015

Flying cameras were big at NAB 2015.

The show’s dedicated aerial pavilian played host to a frequently packed audience of onlookers straining their necks skyward as drone vendors flew their wares in an enclosed cage.

Some are calling it “the drone rush.” Whatever you choose to call it, there will be plenty of air craft to choose from this year. Here are some highlights from the show.

Solo_Black_Low-3500x2180

3D Robotics Solo

The Solo is the first drone to support full remote control of GoPro cameras while also delivering live-streaming HD video to mobile devices. The drone can deliver a video stream to iOS and Android devices up to half a mile away. You can record the stream directly to your device’s camera role or use the HDMI output in the camera controller to output it to broadcast devices for live-streaming.

Thanks to a pair of Linux computers (one in the drone, the other in the controller), the Solo boasts a number of “intelligent” features that give the drone greater autonomy–enabling it to fly predesignated routes automatically or handle camera controls without user intervention. A Smart Shot, that lets you set up a shot in real-time which the Solo will execute on its own.

A Cable cam and Orbit setting allow you to create a flight path along a “virtual track” in space which the Solo will then fly while you focus strictly on the camera. You can also tell the Solo to fly the route and work the camera. A “Follow” mode programs the Solo to track the camera operator’s movements by locking into your mobile device. Solo also features a one-touch aerial selfie, because of course it does.

Its flight time is 20 minutes with GoPro and the included 3-axis gimbal attached.

Solo ships in May and is available for pre-order now for $999.

ALTA

Freefly Systems

The company’s latest professional drone, the Alta, can mount professional cinema cameras up to 15 pounds in weight to either the top or bottom of the quadcopter. It boasts a flight time of 15 minutes and Freefly says it can be assembled and ready to fly in 15 minutes.

The Alta is a mostly Freefly-engineered affair. The company is now using its own flight controller instead of a third party system. The drone ships in June and is available for pre-order now for $8,495.

Dangling overhead in the Freefly booth, still in prototype form, was a Movi gimbal capable of holding a payload of 50 lbs. It was attached to an unannounced prototype drone that, presumably, will be able to carry a such hefty payload.

Yuneec_Drone

Yuneec Typhone

Yuneec showed off new Typhoon and Tornado drones.

The Typhoon series is aimed at hobbyists as well as pros. The new Typhoon Q-500+ ships with the ST-10+ Personal Ground Station that can maintain a control link with the drone from up to 800m away and a video stream from up to 600m. The ST-10+ has been updated to offer a larger 5.5 touch screen running an Android-based interface.

The Typhoon’s onboard camera sports a microphone and16-megapixel image sensor capable of 1080/60p video capture. The  fixed lens has a 130 degree field of view. It is mounted to a 3-axis gimbal. The drone’s camera can be detached and mounted to the company’s ProAction Steady Grip.

 Flight time is 25 minutes on a fully charged battery.

The Q500+ is available for pre-order now for $1,295.

Yuneec also unveiled the Tornado H920 hex-copter system designed for mounting a Panasonic GH4. The H920 has a flight time of 24 minutes and ships with a 24-channel transmitter with video link.

unit_800x600-crop-u7027

Fotokite

As the name implies, the Fotokite is a drone that stays tethered (kite-like) to the operator. The physical tether is meant to offer a safer, more reliable solution to prevent fly-aways, where a drone loses contact with a ground controller. The tether also has other virtues–it sends 1080p HD video down to the user and power back up.

There’s shoulder-worn battery back with interchangeable batteries so you could theoretically fly the Fotokite for hours, unlike conventional drones that tap out after 20 minutes.

Pricing and availability weren’t announced.

April 14th, 2015

Tips for a Thriving Photo Business in the Insta-Era

Sponsored by Zenfolio

 

PDN-ad-digital-download
In the year 2000, a large framed print of a traditional family portrait was a photographer’s best seller. Fast forward to 2015, and things are a little different. Facebook and Instagram feeds have created an entirely new market because people enjoy the instant gratification of sharing photos online with family and friends.

While digital photography and social media platforms are nothing new, you may not be taking full advantage of this market with up-to-date technology that provides a seamless experience for your clients. And it’s not something you can afford to miss out on—according to Zenfolio reports, the demand for digital files is still growing:

  • Revenue from digital downloads in the past two years have doubled.
  • In 2014, digital products accounted for almost 50 percent of the revenue photographers made in post-session sales, compared to only 31 percent in 2012.
  • In 2014, 35 percent of all orders placed were digital downloads.

PDN-ad-mobile

Here are three things to build or improve upon to give your potential and established clients the best digital experience: Read the rest of this entry »