March 31st, 2016

New Lightroom Mode Turns Any Image into an Ansel Adams Masterpiece

Earlier this month, we shared a brief video homage to photography icon Ansel Adams. If you watched it, you learned how Adams spent years of time and effort learning how to make the image he saw in his mind appear before him in the darkroom.

That kind of work isn’t for everyone. For one thing, it involves hiking.

Fortunately, this being the 21st century, you don’t have to work hard to achieve Adams-level results. You just need to know what buttons to click.

In this edition of Lightroom Coffee Break, Adobe’s Benjamin Ward shows you just how easy it is to turn even the most mundane image into an Adams-esque masterpiece. It’s a must-see.

And yes, this is a day early.

March 30th, 2016

Berehulak, McIntyre Win NPPA Photojournalist of the Year Honors

Bishnu Gurung (C) weeps as the body of her daughter, Rejina Gurung, 3, recovered from the rubble of her earthquake destroyed home, lays covered by cloth during her funeral on May 8, 2015 in the village of Gumda, Nepal. Neighbours discovered the body of the small girl in the rubble of the entrance of the family home, ending a 13 day search for Rejina in the remote mountain side village of Gumda in Gorkha district. On the 25th of April, just before noon local time, as farmers were out in fields and people at home or work, a devastating earthquake struck Nepal, killing over 8,000 people and injuring more than 21,000 according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Homes, buildings and temples in Kathmandu were destroyed in the 7.8 magnitude quake, which left over 2.8 million people homeless, but it was the mountainous districts away from the capital that were the hardest hit. Villagers pulled the bodies of their loved ones from the rubble by hand and the wails of grieving families echoed through the mountains, as mothers were left to bury their own children. Over the following weeks and months, villagers picked through ruins desperate to recover whatever personal possessions they could find and salvage any building materials that could be reused. Despite relief teams arriving from all over the world in the days after the quake hit, thousands of residents living in remote hillside villages were left to fend for themselves, as rescuers struggled to reach all those affected. Multiple aftershocks, widespread damage and fear kept tourists away from the country known for its searing Himalayan peaks, damaging a vital climbing and trekking industry and compounding the recovery effort in the face of a disaster from which the people of Nepal continue to battle to recover.

Bishnu Gurung (center) weeps as the body of her daughter, Rejina Gurung, 3, recovered from the rubble of her earthquake destroyed home, lays covered by cloth during her funeral on May 8, 2015 in the village of Gumda, Nepal. Photo © Daniel Berehulak.

The National Press Photographer’s Association (NPPA) has named Australian photographer Daniel Berehulak the Photojournalist of the Year (Large Markets) and Scott McIntyre, a Kentucky native, as the Photojournalist of the Year (Small Markets).

Berehulak, who has been shooting since 2000 and was named Photographer of the Year by POYi last year, is based in New Delhi though he has worked in Nepal, Liberia, Antarctica, and was more recently on assignment in Brussels to cover the aftermath of the terrorist bombings. “I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to connect with people and to share their stories to the world,” Berehulak told News Photographer magazine.

McIntyre has been working in Naples, Florida since 2011 and credits the variety of the stories in his portfolio for his win. “This year’s portfolio was a very ‘Florida’ portfolio, different than the ones I’ve entered before,” he told News Photographer. “It’s got Florida’s colors, its beaches, its characters and senior citizen love… it’s unique compared to my portfolios of the past.”

Photojournalist of the Year (Large Markets) runners up were Marcus Yam of the Los Angeles Times, and  Christoffer Hjalmarsson of Expressen. Runners up for Photojournalist of the Year (Small Markets) were Rachel Mummey of The Herald in Dubois County, Indiana, and Gerry Melendez of The State in Columbia, South Carolina.

In other categories, Al Bello of Getty Images has won 2016 Sports Photojournalist of the Year. Photographers from Getty Images swept the category, with Patrick Smith taking second, and Matthias Hangst taking third place.

Mary F. Calvert of ZUMA Press won Cliff Edom’s “New America Award” for her long-term documentary project “Missing In Action: Homeless Women Veterans.” Runners up were Brian Cassella of the Chicago Tribune (whose work was recently covered in PDN), and Jim Lo Scalzo of European Pressphoto Agency.

A full list of winners has been posted by the NPPA and can be found here.

Judges for the competition were  NPPA past president Clyde Mueller; Harry E. Walker, visuals director of Florida’s Naples Daily News; John Agnone, a former senior editor for National Geographic; and Brooke LaValley, a staff photojournalist for the Columbus Dispatch.

Olga Riano wipes tears from her eyes as she and her fellow newly naturalized American citizens sing along to the song, "Proud To Be An American," by Lee Greenwood during a Naturalization Ceremony for 51 people from 20 different countries at Hodges University in Naples on Thursday, November 12, 2015. "It's my big day," said Riano, who's originally from Colombia, "I'm happy to be in this country. I'm free."

Olga Riano wipes tears from her eyes as she and her fellow newly naturalized American citizens sing along to the song, “Proud To Be An American,” by Lee Greenwood during a Naturalization Ceremony for 51 people from 20 different countries at Hodges University in Naples on Thursday, November 12, 2015. Photo © Scott McIntyre.

 

March 29th, 2016

Instagram Videos Will Soon Be Longer

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With a vocal segment of its user base still smarting over changes to its feed, Instagram announced a new feature update that should be a bit more welcome: longer videos.

Coming “soon” Instagram will support videos up to 60 seconds in length. For iOS users, Instagram is also restoring the ability to make videos out of multiple clips from your camera roll. (Here’s how.)

The iOS update with multi-clip functionality is available now. Longer videos are available for some accounts today and will be gradually rolled out to every user in the coming months.

Read More:

How Many Hashtags Should You Use on Instagram?

Using This Instagram App? Delete It

How Photographers With Huge Followings Grew Their Social Networks

This Is the Most Liked Photo on Instagram

The Colors Prized By Instagram’s Top Photographers

March 25th, 2016

Eli Durst Wins 2016 Aperture Portfolio Prize

Photographer Eli Durst has won the 2016 Aperture Portfolio Prize for his series “In Asmara.” The prize, which includes $3,000 and an exhibition at Aperture Gallery in New York, is intended to identify trends in contemporary photography and highlight artists whose work deserves greater recognition, according to Aperture. Past winners include LaToya Ruby Frazier, Michal Chelbin, and Bryan Schutmaat.

From Eli Durst's series, "In Asmara," Aperture Portfolio Prize winner.

From Eli Durst’s series, “In Asmara.” Photo © Eli Durst.

“In Asmara” documents Durst’s time visiting the capital city of East African country Eritrea. The city is renowned for its large collection of intact modernist buildings, however, Durst’s series documents the life going on around the buildings—a trash dump, a table set for dinner, the backseat of a car.

Runners up for this year’s prize are Bill Durgin, Sean Thomas Foulkes and RaMell Ross. Their work will be featured on Aperture’s website. They will also have the opportunity to participate in the Aperture Foundation limited-edition print program.

Durst grew up in Texas and graduated from Wesleyan University in 2011. After college he assisted photographer Joel Meyerowitz and worked at the fine-art printing studio Griffin Editions. He is currently pursuing an MFA in photography at the Yale School of Art.

 

March 25th, 2016

Great Weekend Reads in Photography & Filmmaking

Amanda Tipton | Flickr

Amanda Tipton | Flickr

“We read to know we’re not alone.” ― William Nicholson

We Need to Talk About This Picture – Huffington Post

This Photographer’s Minimum Price Is Zero PhotoShelter

It’s Time to Give Up on FlickrWired

Why I’m Sticking with FlickrThomas Hawk

From Short Film to Depression to Feature FilmNo Film School

The Brain Science Behind VRThe Daily Dot

The Photographer Who Traveled the World Looking for WaterVice

What Jose Villa Can Teach You About InstagramRangefinder

My Camera Is My PassportSide Story

Photography and IdentityThe Economist

Why I Shoot with Other PhotographersSenen Llanos

The Next Picasso Is a RobotThe Daily Beast

Why the iPhone SE Will Revolutionize PhotographyEric Kim

Bonus Weekend Audio!


From NPR: In 1993, the photojournalist Paul Watson took three photographs of Somali dragging the body of an American soldier through the streets of Mogadishu. As he took the shots, he thought he heard the soldier, William David Cleveland, whisper: “If you do this, I will own you forever.” The moment and its aftermath is the subject of a play, “The Body of An American”, on through March 20 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Brooke speaks with the playwright, Dan O’Brien, and with Watson about the photographs, the play, and their friendship.

March 24th, 2016

Nik Software Is Now Free

nik_google_600_261Google announced today that it was making the Nik Collection desktop software plugins available to users for free.

The bundle includes Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine. If you purchased the Nik Collection in 2016, you will receive a full refund.

Google bought Nik software in 2012 with an eye toward honing its mobile editing capabilities.  It wasn’t immediately clear whether the move to make the Nik Collection free meant the end of software updates and users have complained about a relative lack of updates to the suite (we’ve reached out  to Google for more information).

UPDATE: A Google spokesperson tells us that the software will continue to be updated “to ensure compatibility with Operating System updates and host updates, such as Photoshop and Lightroom.” No word yet on whether users can expect new features.

The Nik plugins used to cost around $500, a price that was later slashed to $150.

 

March 24th, 2016

How Alfred Hitchcock Blocks a Scene

Blocking a scene–harmonizing the movement of actors in relation to the camera–is the core of a director’s job. In the hands of a master, this on-camera choreography is a powerful, yet subtle, storytelling device.

Few did it better than Alfred Hitchcock.

In this video, Evan Puschak (aka the Nerdwriter) artfully deconstructs a scene from Hitchcock’s classic Vertigo and shows how the motion and positions of the actors set the plot in motion.

March 23rd, 2016

Magnum Foundation Announces 2016 Emergency Fund Grants

Just Like Us, Ghana. Emergency Fund grant photo. Photo © Eric Gyamfi.

Henry visits Jay, Ghana. Photo © Eric Gyamfi.

Eighteen photographers from around the world have been awarded the 2016 Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund, a grant that helps independent photographers produce in-depth and creative stories on underreported issues.

Grantees were selected by an independent editorial committee from a pool of 140 photographers nominated by 26 international editors, curators, and educators.

The grantees are:

Poulomi Basu, Endia Beal, Injinaash Bor, Alejandro Cegarra, Chien-Chi Chang, Joana Choumali, Jordi Ruiz Cirera, Nadege Mazars, Thomas Dworzak, Danny Wilcox Frazier, Ziyah Gafic, Brigitte Grignet, Eric Gyamfi, Yael Martinez, Showkat Nanda, Katie Orlinsky, Prisiit Sthapit and Angelos Tzortzinis.

A total of $138,000 will be dispersed among the grantees, the highest amount given in a single year in the Emergency Fund grant’s seven-year history. This year, the grants are made in collaboration with the Prince Claus Fund, which “channels support where cultural expression and creative production are limited or restricted,” according to the Prince Claus Fund.  The collaboration has allowed the Emergency Fund to support more projects.

The issues this year’s grantees are covering include teen culture and generational shifts within Mongolian society; the refugee crisis in Europe; the LGBT community in Ghana (above); and experiences shared by African-American women in the workplace, among other topics.

“I anticipate this group of visual artists will produce transcendent and extraordinary photography in 2016 and well beyond,” said photo editor James Wellford, editorial committee member, in a statement about the grant.

To see last year’s list of Emergency Fund Grant winners and descriptions of their projects, click here.

Related:

Two-Minute Interview: Katie Orlinsky on Subtle Emotion vs Shocking Violence

PDN Video Pick: Office Scene (“Today, I’m going to let them touch me”) by Endia Beal

Alejandro Cegarra: PDN’s 30 2015

Katie Orlinsky: PDN’s 30 2013

Ziyah Gafic: A Forensic Documentary of Genocide (For PDN subscribers; login required)

March 22nd, 2016

500px Guts Royalty Rate on Non-Exclusive Images

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Photographers can expect to earn less money from 500px going forward. The company is preparing to substantially lower its royalty rate on non-exclusive images effective April 4, bringing the commission from 70 percent to 30 percent. Images that are exclusive to 500px will also get a haircut, albeit smaller, dropping from 70 to 60 percent commission.

The online marketplace defended the move as a capitulation to the “reality of running a stock marketplace” and the need to fund further growth.

500px has been emailing its customers in advance of the change. The full text was reproduced here. The pricing shift won’t be abrupt and will be tested over the course of several months, 500px said.

The service also plans to unbundling Multi-Seat and Unlimited Print license add-ons from the standard license that applies to both Core and Prime collections. There are also new license add-ons and an increase in the size of the Web Ready license from 1500 pixels to 1800 pixels on the longest side.

Photographers with exclusive images on 500px should begin marking those images as such to ensure they earn the highest rate possible.

March 21st, 2016

Civil Rights Photographer Bob Adelman: Interview by Photographer Matt Herron

Bob Adelman (left), Steve Shapiro, Charles Moore, and an unidentified LIFE magazine film courier at the Selma march in 1965.

Bob Adelman (left), Steve Shapiro, Charles Moore, and an unidentified LIFE magazine film courier at the Selma march in 1965.

Civil Rights photographer Bob Adelman, who died over the weekend at the age of 85, was profiled recently in an essay titled “Shooting Civil Rights” by photographer Matt Herron. A friend and colleague of Adelman’s, and a fellow Civil Rights activist, Herron wrote the essay for a traveling exhibit called “This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement.” The exhibit, which Herron curated, is currently at the Allentown Art Museum in Pennsylvania through May 15, and will open next in Cincinnati. The following excerpt is reproduced with Herron’s permission.  

Bob Adelman was working in New York in the early 60’s as a darkroom assistant at Reader’s Digest. “When the sit-ins started, it seemed to me the country was paralyzed as far as dealing with discrimination was concerned, but I saw the sit-ins as a way an average person could do something about an insoluble problem, so I volunteered with New York CORE.” As a teenager, Adelman had had no contact at all with black people, but he loved jazz and used to sneak out at night to Birdland, one of New York’s principal jazz clubs. “I didn’t think of black people as oppressed, I thought of them as from some other planet, with this fantastic talent. Because I was Jewish, I had my own problems with discrimination, so I identified with black discrimination. My college thesis was on slave breeding farms in the upper South.”

Shooting for CORE, Adelman covered attempts to integrate eating establishments along Baltimore’s route 40. Eventually magazines began asking to see his contact sheets, and from this beginning Adelman gradually found his calling as a magazine photographer. He continued shooting for CORE in the deep South, handling magazine assignments on the side and documenting life in remote black communities in Louisiana and Alabama. But he is best known for his incredible pictures of Birmingham police attempting to hose down demonstrators in Kelly Ingram Park.

. . . . .

Most of us had our personal strategies for staying safe while staying in action. But one overriding principle governed us all: our job was to get the pictures and get them out into the wider world, not to collect glory or jail time as some civil rights hero. As photographers we worked fully exposed and if we got arrested and/or lost our film, we had failed at our job. Consequently, any tactic or ruse that kept us going, no matter how cowardly, was perfectly acceptable. On occasion we lied, used fake press credentials, toadied up to police, or pretended to be someone else — all in the service of our cause. Mostly, we never admitted we were working for or with the Movement. Simply being there was tough enough.

Bob Adelman is a big man and a charming one, and he often used his charm on the Powers That Be. He remembers shooting in Sumter, South Carolina during a CORE voter registration drive.

“When I wasn’t busy I would wander around town taking pictures. A city official asked me what I was doing. I told him I was a service man from the nearby Air Force base and had pleasant memories of the town, so I was taking some pictures for memory’s sake. He was so won over that he took me on a personal tour of the town. In the courthouse I saw blacks lined up to register and I asked him, ‘Do those people actually vote here?

“I had the reputation in the movement of being rather fearless. I thought I was doing the right thing and that I had a right to photograph. It was probably a stupid idea, but that was the way I felt. I was routinely arrested. They’d feed you some turnips and when the demonstration was over, they’d let you go. I wasn’t bound by non-violence because I wasn’t a demonstrator, so occasionally I would use my Leica as a weapon, whipping it around when I felt threatened. Toward the end of 1965 driving through Mississippi and Louisiana I got so paranoid I carried a gun in my car. And everywhere I went both blacks and whites had guns.”

Related:
Bob Adelman, Civil Rights Photographer, Dies at 85