Munroe Bergdorf Wants You To Love Yourself This Valentine’s Day
Lingerie companies are finally taking the hint that inclusivity is what’s in demand and that not everybody shops for lingerie to please someone else. “If you don’t love yourself how the hell are you going to love anyone else!?” a wise Ru Paul once philosophized.
Bluebella just launched their Valentine’s Day collection #LoveYourself with trans model and LGBTQ+ activist Munroe Bergdorf as the face, and we are LIVING for it. The collaboration came naturally, as Bergdorf had worn their linger…
Ariana Grande’s Tattoo Typo Pays Homage to Japanese BBQ
Ariana Grande took to Twitter to show off some new ink she got on her left palm to commemorate the release of her single “7 Rings”.
The tattoo consisted of two Japanese characters that were supposed to translate to 7 rings. The characters “七輪” appeared on Grande’s palm in an image posted to Twitter. Fans on twitter were quick to point out that it actually translates to “Shichirin” and definitely not 7 rings. Grande was quick to acknowledge the error and the fact that Shichir…
Crash Test Photography: An Inside Look at Shooting Car Safety Tests
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a US nonprofit that researches vehicle safety on behalf of car insurance companies. Here’s a 5-minute behind-the-scenes video showing how the organization photographs its respected and widely publicized crash tests.
The crash tests (and shoots) are carried out in a giant crash hall that was designed with photography in mind. There are high ceilings and a massive custom-built lighting array that puts out 750,000 watts of soft diffuse light.
“It’s important that our light doesn’t cast hard shadows and reflections,” says IIHS VP Pini Kalnite, “and it has to be very bright for our state-of-the-art digital imagers, or slow-motion cameras.”
In addition to shooting the crashes from multiple angles with high-speed cameras for super-slow-motion footage and with car-mounted cameras for in-cabin views, the IIHS also brings out high-resolution Hasselblad cameras for still photos of crashed cars.
All the footage and photos are used to understand exactly what happens in each crash test and to communicate the findings to the media and public.
Image credits: Video and still frames by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
3 Lessons in Photographing People I Learned from My Favorite Shooters
I like to be very aware of my influencers and the effect they have on my work. When I find that I particularly like an image from another photographer, I will give it a lot of thought before I try and apply any of my analysis to my own images.
Photographing people is one of the trickiest things I deal with, especially when making an image with “soul” that features character and energy rather than a simple candid portrait snapshot, as many of my earliest attempts were.
This year, I’m going to hopefully be working more on expressive portraiture as well as improving my candid photography of people, so I spent some time making notes on some of the approaches and methodologies I admire from a few of my favorite contemporary street photographers. I did this so that I can work on incorporating those into my own approach.
Walter’s photographs of people (and cats) almost always feature fantastic energy of movement and emotion. But despite the often fast pace of the motion, you can tell that these images would not be possible if he relied simply on “luck of the draw.” Instead, by studying the way that subjects interact both with each other and light, Walter is able to intuit to a certain extent the possibilities for a photograph before a frame even starts to take form.
In order to apply this to my work, I’m going to be looking a lot into sociology and also at researching new places before I go and shoot. For example, I wouldn’t go to a protest expecting to shoot the same images I would at a beach, and I wouldn’t go to a museum expecting for people to behave as they would in a crowded marketplace.
Benji’s portraits, candid or otherwise, are built around the eyes of the subject. When interacting with a subject for a portrait, there are a few methods to engage them while waiting for them to drop their guard and reveal themselves through their eyes. For a long time, I didn’t quite understand what it meant to have expression in the eyes in a portrait, and any example I have of it so far is a happy accident rather than something I worked towards.
By engaging his subjects as a person first, and then introducing the agenda of street-portraiture Benji is able to generate trust, which really shows in his images. His subjects are all relaxed but engaging with his lens.
David Babaian: Don’t Just Photograph Out of Convenience
Although I will wait a while for a strong street composition when it comes to photographing street portraiture, I will usually work on a classic approach to approaching a more contextual portrait. This can mean waiting for specific moments to happen, or finding a scene, which works as a good background for an atmospheric portrait featuring a specific character.
This is something I think David does really well in a lot of his photography, really paying a lot of attention on what specifically fits a character and which character fits a scene, and then leveraging those factors for an emotive image. Rather than waiting for characters to come to him, he actively seeks out people with specific stories and points of interest about them in order to really make the most of every frame.
About the author: Simon King is a London based photographer and photojournalist, currently working on a number of long-term documentary and street photography projects. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can follow his work on Instagram and you can read more of his thoughts on photography day-to-day over on his personal blog. Simon also teaches a short course in Street Photography at UAL, which can be read about here.
WikiShootMe Shows You Local Wikipedia Spots In Need of Photos
Interested in contributing your photographic talents toward the collective knowledge base of humankind? Check out WikiShootMe. It’s a tool that can show you locations near you where Wikipedia is lacking photos in.
A project of the Wikimedia Foundation, WikiShootMe features a map-based interface that’s littered with circles that represent different types of objects. Larger green circles show Wikidata items that already contain photos.
If you’d like to find photo ops to shoot as a volunteer, look for the larger red circles, which show Wikidata items (which are used in Wikipedia articles) that are still in need of a photo.
The different types of objects are on different overlay layers that can be toggled on and off.
Clicking a circle brings up information about that object (including the coordinates where it’s located) and provides a way for you to upload your own photo of it.
Users can even create new objects on the map for other people to contribute photos to as well.
You can find more detailed instructions on how to contribute your images here.
Head on over to WikiShootMe if you’d like to start browsing for nearby spots to visit and shoot.
How to Make a DIY Foot Pedal Remote Shutter Release
I have been looking into shooting other sports outside of the motorsport world, and I have been particularly interested in soccer, basketball, and baseball. After doing some research, I found that some sports shooters covering these type of events use different remote trigger setups such as foot pedals and cable release buttons.
When I setup remotes, I usually have the PocketWizard with me and one mounted to the remote camera, and I press the test button on the PocketWizard to fire the remote camera. But these guys take it a step further and use something like what I am about to show you to have complete control over your remote cameras while still having two hands on your main camera.
Here are the steps I took to build my foot pedal remote shutter release, I also included links to the products I used.
Once you have the parts together, assembly and testing are pretty easy.
Connect the Sustain Pedal to the 3.5mm to 6.3mm Adapter.
Connect the Adapter to the first PocketWizard. You can use an extension cable like this one if you need more reach, but the pedal comes with a good length of cable.
Connect the Shutter Release Cable to the second PocketWizard.
Here’s the finished product:
Connect the shutter release cable to the camera, and test it out! (Excuse the cell phone video.)
In testing, I did notice that when pressing the foot pedal, it instantly fires the camera, but when releasing the pedal, it does take a second or so to stop firing. This is probably for the best, so you don’t miss the shot when first firing the camera.
This setup is extremely useful for shooting from the sideline such as soccer, basketball, or baseball. Also, if you swap in a Female to Female adapter, then you can connect it directly to your camera without the PocketWizard. This is useful for shooting DIY projects or time-lapse flat-lays as it lets you use both hands. It lets you start or stop the video or fire the shutter without reaching up to the camera between each step.
About the author: Andy Noggle is a professional commercial and automotive photographer based in Madison, Wisconsin. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Noggle’s work on his website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This article was also published here.
Street photography is hard to do well. Really hard. Even if you are great, most of your shots will not be.
The Internet is filled with boring street photography. The biggest problem is people thinking any photo taken on the street is now street photography. There is so much more to street photography than that, so how do you capture more in your street photography?
One way to strive for great street photography is by avoiding some of the habits of boring street photography.
Here are 7 of the most common habits of boring street photography.
Habit #1. Nothing of Interest in the Photo
If a photo has nothing interesting in it then odds are it won’t be an interesting photo. This should be obvious, but judging by the millions of street photos online, it’s not. A random picture of a street or group of people probably won’t have anything interesting in it, even if you add a black and white filter.
Looking for something of interest before you snap the photo is the first step towards avoiding boring street photography.
Habit #2. Too Far Away
Many people like to stay at a far distance when they take the shot. The problem with this is that the distance becomes part of the feeling of the photo, even if you’re using a telephoto lens.
So if you’re far away, it will look and feel like you’re far away. Usually, this translates to a boring a photo because the viewer doesn’t feel like they are part of the scene. If you can’t feel, or sometimes even see, what’s going on, then it’s hard to grab anyone’s interest.
Habit #3. Street Performers and Homeless
Among the most popular subjects shot in street photography are street performers and the homeless. Why? Usually because it’s easy. They stay in one place and rarely mind (or even notice) if you take their photo.
The problem also is that it’s easy. If you take a simple shot of them then it will look like millions of other photos of the same subject. That same street performer has their photo taken hundreds of times a day by everyone and every photo looks identical. Identical is boring.
Personally, I’m against photographing the homeless unless you’re actually going in-depth and personal into their world. For me, it just looks like you’re exploiting them unless there’s a personal side to it. There are some photographers who do it well, though, but they get more personal with it and treat the people with care. It’s not a simple snapshot while they walk by them on the street. They spend more time and energy into bringing out some genuine feeling.
If you really like shooting these subjects, trying to add more to the photo than a simple shot of the person will help make it stand out from the sea of other identical shots.
Habit #4. Too Much Bokeh
Everyone loves bokeh and that look where the background is all creamy smooth and the subject is crisp and pops out at you. In street photography, unless you’re doing street portraits, bokeh can also be a bad thing, though.
Say you have a photo of a whole scene, but only one small subject in the scene is in focus. Everything else in the scene, some of which might add interest, is turned into blurred, empty space. You can end up losing out on everything the scene had to offer, making it more boring.
Bokeh in street photography can also run you into the trap of looking cliché, tacky or losing some authenticity.
It all depends on what you’re going for, though. Bokeh isn’t all bad in street photography, just make sure it adds to the strength of your photo instead of taking away from it.
Habit #5. People Doing Nothing Special
Everyone’s seen a man sitting on a bench or a person waiting at a crosswalk thousands of time before. If there’s nothing special about it other than that, then it’s probably going to be boring.
If you’re going to take a photo of a person in the street, make sure they either have something interesting about them or they are doing something interesting.
Look for gestures, character, lighting, or something unique. If they have none of this, then it won’t capture anyone’s attention. It will just look like another person on the street. Boring.
And then there’s the most basic and trendy street photography technique of all. See a wall and wait for someone to walk by.
Even if Picasso himself painted the wall, it’s still just a person walking by a wall. There’s nothing unique or interesting about that.
Habit #6. No Composition
Many photos, especially in street photography, look like someone just quickly pointed their camera and clicked without even thinking about the frame. They even have a term for this technique, “Spray and Pray.” This might come from rushing to take the photo out of fear. Or maybe the photographer just didn’t care enough to frame and compose the scene.
You don’t always have to have perfect composition, but you should try to put some thought into it. What do you want to include and what don’t you want to include in the frame. How do you want to compose everything and how do you want the framing to look. It all affects the photo’s interest.
If you don’t put any thought into the composition, it will probably show in the photo. Leaving composition to chance doesn’t leave you with great odds of capturing an interesting photo.
Habit #7. Over Edited
There’s so much you can do with a photo today because of editing. This is great, but it can also be a trap for editing too much. Crazy edits might look cool to you at first, but when that wears off, it can look plain ugly.
In street photography, you also have to be careful not to lose some of the authenticity of the photo. If the editing adds to the feeling you are trying to portray, that is great. If it turns it into something that looks more like CGI than real life, then it’s probably not.
Bonus: Using Black & White For Interest
This is just to add onto these 7 common habits. One thing I notice is that many photos that fall into these habits like to apply a black and white filter to help make it more interesting. Black and white does not fix a boring photo. A boring photo is a boring photo.
If black and white is your choice of medium, you should be thinking in black and white when you take the photo. Don’t use black and white to make the photo work, use the photo to make the black and white work.
If you find that you do some of these, don’t worry about it. We all have and probably still do sometimes. The main questions you want to ask yourself is “Why are you taking the photo?” and “What are you trying to show or say in it?”. Just by looking to say or do more than clicking a shutter, you’ll already put yourself ahead of most street photography out there.
Focusing on making it interesting is the best habit to make it not boring.
About the author: Forrest Walker (AKA f.d. walker in the photography world) is a street photographer from Portland, Oregon, who works and teaches workshops worldwide. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Walker runs the street photography website Shooter Files. You can also find of his work on Facebook and Instagram. This article was also published here.
Apple’s New iPad Pro Ads Were Shot and Made Entirely on the iPad Pro
Apple recently released a new series of ads for the iPad Pro that shows how the tablet computer opens the doors to new ways of doing things. What’s neat is that Apple is “eating its own dog food”: as the 2-minute behind-the-scenes video above reveals, the ads were shot, edited, animated, designed, and composed entirely on the iPad Pro.
“We’ve been using this amazing video app called Filmic Pro that lets you have really fine grain control over things like shutter speed, ISO, frame rate, white balance,” says director Erik Lund. “And it’s really versatile. It’s simple to go from shooting to editing all on the same device.”