Nicki Minaj Brought “Chun-Li” to Rolling Loud
This past weekend, music fans showed out to the Rolling Loud Festival at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, and boy was it worth it. The three day festival hosted the likes of J. Cole, Travis Scott, Cupcakke, Saweetie, Jaden Smith and more, but the event came to its peak when Future brought out the queen of rap during his set, in all of her reigning “Chun-Li” glory.
Nicki Minaj made a grand entrance, accompanied by the vengeful beat of her newest single blaring through the speakers, and stunning in …
Small details can make or break the effectiveness of a pose when photographing couples. Here’s a 6-minute video in which wedding photographers Sara Byrne and Phil Chester share 5 simple spot corrections that take poses from plain to pro.
Here’s a quick rundown of the 5 tips (watch the video for the explanation of each one):
#1. Ol’ Stiff Legs. A tip that solves the problem of locked knees and standing too stiff.
#2. Sitting 101. A tip that solves the problem of people (mostly guys) not knowing how to sit on the ground.
#3. Missed Connections. A tip that solves the problem of hands being hidden instead of used.
#4. The Ol’ Choke Hold. A tip that solves the UFC choke hold when one person is standing behind the other.
#5. Get Tangled. A tip that solves the problem of the prom gap.
Google Photos’ Object Removal is MIA Because It Got Deprioritized
Google wowed attendees at its I/O developer conference last week with a number of AI-powered photo technologies, including automatically colorizing black-and-white photos with one tap. But there’s one impressive feature teased at last year’s event that hasn’t arrived yet: object removal.
The demo can be seen at 10:40 in this video of the 2017 keynote:
But that feature has yet to arrive in Google Photos, and there was no mention of it at all when the latest impressive AI features were demonstrated last week.
“Is this a case where the company’s vision-based machine learning powers finally ran into a wall?” wrote The Verge last week. “Maybe AI isn’t as good at filling in the missing pieces as Google initially expected it to be. Perhaps the results are lackluster compared to a human diligently working with the Clone Stamp tool.”
But XDA-Developers sat down with David Lieb and Ben Greenwood (Google Photos’ product lead and product manager, respectively) and asked them about this MIA feature. Their answer: the feature simply got deprioritized as other more important features showed up.
“While the technology is certainly available and can be deployed, the team approaches building their product by prioritizing what’s most important for people,” XDA-Developers writes. “Hence, the Photos team prioritized other applications of machine learning above this feature.”
There’s still no word on when or if Google plans to release object removal in Google Photos.
Meghan Markle’s Dad Faked Paparazzi Photos Sold for 0K+, Report Claims
A photography scandal has erupted leading up to this week’s royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Markle’s father is accused of staging a series of paparazzi photos that were sold for an estimated $130,000+.
The Daily Mail reports that Thomas Markle was caught on CCTV collaborating with Los Angeles-based paparazzi photographer Jeff Rayner on a series of photos that were sold to publications around the world for up to £100,000 (~$136,000).
The 73-year-old can be seen in the March 27th footage walking with Rayner at an internet cafe in his town of Rosarito, Mexico. The manager of the cafe tells The Mail that the shoot was staged.
Shortly after that day, outlets began publishing Rayner’s “paparazzi” photos showing the elder Markle getting measured for his wedding suit and reading a book on Britain.
It turns out Meghan Markle’s estranged dad has been staging all those ridiculous paparazzi photos of himself https://t.co/EANoDfoABO
“In all of them Mr Markle appears to be unaware they are being taken,” The Daily Mail writes. “But we can today reveal they were in fact contrived and shot with his co-operation. It is not known if he was paid to take part.”
The Daily Mail reports that the photos of Markle being measured by a tailor were actually shot at a nearby party goods store after Markle and the photographer arrived at the tailor shop and found that it was closed that day. The party store employee in the photo was reportedly paid $15 to pose as the tailor.
Both Mr. Markle and Kensington Palace had in recent weeks been urging photographers and publications from shooting and sharing photos of Mr. Markle, saying that he has been harassed by paparazzi in recent days.
Megan’s half-sister Samantha Markle has since taken responsibility for the staged paparazzi photos through Twitter and in a TV interview, saying that the goal was “positive photos” of her father and not profit.
“I have to say I am entirely the culprit. I said, “‘you have to show the world you’re getting in shape.’ It was my suggestion,” Samantha said in an appearance on the British talk show Loose Women. “I don’t believe he was paid and if he was it was a pittance. I can understand it’s awkward for Kensington Palace.”
How to Edit Photos like Steve McCurry: The Art of Removing Distractions
We’ve got a fun article today in which we post-process photojournalistic-style photos and polish them in an artistic way. Much like Steve McCurry did to his photos, but without the heaping pile of backlash.
If we’re not using our street or travel photos for photojournalism or to represent things exactly how they are, we are free to retouch them as we would a fine art photo. By the end of the article, you’ll know exactly what to adjust to have your own Steve McCurry-inspired photo. Let’s get into it!
Ethics in Photography Genres
Photojournalism is held in high regards and is supposed to represent real news stories in the form of photos which haven’t been manipulated. We can apply this style to our street or travel photos in a way that tells an equally compelling story. The only difference is that a photojournalist gets paid to present the truth within photos, while street or travel photographers (especially those that are not paid) are free to do what they wish with their photos.
Some street photographers follow the ethics of street photography and present things exactly as they were, while others choose to manipulate things. Most of us, myself included, are guilty of manipulating street photos when we were just starting out, but once understanding the ethical side of things, we learned how to embrace the imperfections we captured.
Steve McCurry now labels himself as a “visual storyteller” so he’s no longer held to the ethics of a photojournalist. If we are defining ourselves as street photographers or photojournalists, while presenting photos that were heavily manipulated, we should perhaps label ourselves as fine art photographers to avoid any confusion.
Elevating Photos to Fine Art Status
Most of Steve McCurry’s photos are portraits, but we’ll pull inspiration from his landscape photos. He usually includes a small human element and has a very polished end result. This means, the photo has nice exposure, some toning, is well composed, and is mostly free of distracting elements.
Most of us understand how to get a proper exposure, and Instagram is teaching us all about toning, but how do we eliminate distractions? To do this, we basically have to look for edge flicker, which is high contrast near the edge of the frame. This should be done in-camera, but in post we can use a subtle crop (snip) or reduce the contrast of the area. We also want to be on the lookout for elements that can be cloned out to simplify the image and story.
First, we have to start with a well-composed image, then we’ll polish things from there. No amount of post-processing or cropping will save an already shabby image. Admittedly, all of my photos below are shabby in comparison to the amazing imagery that Steve McCurry captures, but they will have to work for now.
Most of Steve’s landscape photos have a nice figure-ground relationship, the overall balance is nice, beautiful linear designs, and the edges are mostly free of high contrast. Some photos seem to have a muted tone within them, which could be a result of shooting with film. Results vary, depending on the type of light within his photos (cloudy vs sunny). Either way, we’ll add that muted tone, along with some color saturation to our Steve McCurry recipe.
In this first example, taken in Waikiki, HI, we see a surfer getting ready for the morning waves (8:18 am, 5/10/18), but we also have many distractions for this to be considered a fine art photo. The sunbathers laying on the beach, the sign, the rock, someone in the ocean, and high contrast on the palm tree branch.
A Hue adjustment layer in Photoshop was used with selection masks to add more color to the sky and change the color of the surfboard. The color red is seen in many of Steve McCurry’s photos for a reason. It grabs the attention of the viewer and helps complete the color palette most of us seek to capture (a hierarchy of red, blue, yellow, green). We can see how it makes the image pop a little more.
Once the distractions are removed, the attention goes back to the landscape and the small human element. The viewer knows exactly what the story is.
Here’s a look at the adjustment and editing layers in Photoshop. A gray layer was added to the top of all layers to mute the photo, similar to what we see in McCurry’s photography. The hex code for the gray used is #eff0f1 and the layer mode was set to multiply with an opacity of 50%.
The other images are edited in a similar fashion, with an emphasis on eliminating distractions. To help with eliminating distractions for the purpose of fine art, it’s a good idea to use a zoom lens when photographing. This way you can cut things out of the frame with the twist of your wrist.
For instance, this next image had tourists in front of the statue, and other distracting elements, so I zoomed in and ensured the statue had a nice figure-ground relationship. One small step to the right or left and the statue’s arm would be overlapping onto the palm tree.
Now that I mentioned “zoom lens,” I guess it’s appropriate to talk about gear real quick.
For all of these photos, I used the Canon EOS 6D, with my favorite travel lens, the Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM. It doesn’t have a red ring around it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not capable of capturing some keepers. It’s really inexpensive, has a great range, image stabilization, and is lightweight. Perfect for traveling with one lens. The Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM is similar, but much heavier and way more expensive. But, enough about gear. As long as it serves it’s purpose and doesn’t impair your creativity, break the bank or your back, it’s perfect for your needs.
This image of the Duke Kahanamoku Statue was cropped in a little on the right to even out the palm trees, and the distractions were eliminated. The lei meeting the bottom of the photo was cloned out and reshaped.
Now that we’ve got the gist of how things were edited, we can run through these a little quicker. Just keep in mind the distractions that were eliminated in order to present a polished image.
The cone was way too distracting in this next one, especially since it was near the edge. The background surfers in the distance were manipulated to reflect two on the left, one on the right, just as the foreground subjects.
This one was a bit more difficult because the beige building on the right side needed to be cloned out. Even the smallest areas of contrast near the edge must be removed. If your eye keeps being pulled to the same spot, which is away from the subject, then it should be removed or subdued (contrast lowered in the area).
This photo captured several people in the water, who were distracting from the two ladies on the beach. Once they are cloned out, the image looks cleaner.
In this one, the horizon line needed to be straightened a little, but doing so clipped off the top of the sign, and also made the flotation device (bottom right) too close to the edge. To remedy this in a fine art kinda way, I fixed the horizon line, and just cloned in more sky where it was transparent at the top. I also moved the flotation device in from the edge.
The color palette needed a little splash of red, so I changed the hue of the flotation device; completing the color harmony. The glare on the sign was reduced as well.
This is a simple shot with a nice design in the clouds, and reflections. The image was composed with a slight gap on the right, so this area needed to be snipped off. The other distractions (people laying on the beach) were removed or subdued to keep the attention on the skyline.
Removing distractions is one of the best ways to keep the attention on your subject, and polish an image to fine art status. Have you ever polished a street or travel image in this way? Do you consider yourself a visual storyteller like Steve McCurry, with the flexibility to edit what you choose, or do you present things as pure as possible?
If you’ve ever asked your friends to pose for a photo shoot before, you may have found that it can be difficult achieving high-quality poses when your subject doesn’t have modeling experience. In this 5-minute video, photographer Sheldon Evans shares solid tips for how to overcome this hurdle.
“One of the things I struggled with most when I started photography was figuring out how to pose the people in front of my lens, because when you first start out it’s difficult to find professional models to work with who know how to strike a new pose with every click of the shutter button,” Evans says. “So, what ends up happening is you use your friends as models, but the only problem with that is… that they aren’t actually models so it’s up to you to know how to pose them.”
Here’s a quick rundown of the main tips Evans shares (watch the video for a more thorough explanation of each of them):
Pose then Build. Provide a base pose to start with, then slowly build it up through moving one body part at a time.
Awkward Hands. Non-models often don’t know what to do with their hands. You can give your model something to hold or interact with.
Actions and Emotion. Give your friends something to act out so they act rather than pose.
Communicate. Direct your model vocally throughout the shoot. Your job is to communicate in an encouraging way.
Wardrobe. Have your model wear something they feel comfortable and confident in.
Family Runs from Cheetahs After Leaving Car for Photos
A French family with a child was caught on camera narrowly escaping a group of cheetahs after they got out of their car to take photos at a safari park.
Global News reports that the family was driving through the Beekse Bergen safari park in Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands when they pulled up near several cheetahs resting in the shade.
After exiting their car to take photos, the family got back in and drove to a nearby hill. That’s when the first group of cheetahs approached and began threatening the family, forcing them to flee back to their vehicle.
The cameraman in the trailing car looked on in horror as a woman hurried back into the safety of her car with the child in her arms.
No one was injured in the close call. The safari park instructs visitors to stay within their cars and warns of the dangers of the animals in various languages at different points in the park.
An Exclusive Look at Alexa Chung’s Bespoke Met Gala Jewelry
With the Met Gala’s launch of the Costume Institute’s spring 2018 exhibition Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, attendees to the event showed out in their finest, as per usual. Alexa Chung gave us some insight to her bespoke design for the evening, an exclusive ALEXACHUNG look perfectly accessorized with Buccellati jewelry.
The founder and creative director of ALEXACHUNG states of her look, “I wanted a dress that I could wear rather than one that would be wearing me…