Insensitive Photos

Society would prefer that artists produce material that is ‘politically correct,’ or to put it another way, to not produce material that is considered insensitive to local, regional, or national mores.

Within our own industry, critics of your editorial stock photography will often wave the banner of “ethics,” claiming that you have overstepped certain boundaries in photographing wildlife, or natural objects. Or that you’re intruding into the private lives of individuals or government officials.

What does “ethics” have to do with art? Or don’t you consider yourself an artist? If you think of yourself as an engineer, or a technician, maybe ethics plays a role.

What society calls unethical today, can change tomorrow. Not unlike the fashion industry, or our own industry.

For example, a couple of decades ago, photographers were wringing their hands over the possibility that digital photography would disrupt the ‘ethical purity’ of a photograph by allowing the manipulation of the contents to create an altered image from the original. Today, the voices of protest have subsided and society accepts a digitized image.

This seems to be a cultural question. I don’t think that before digitizing, or before film for that matter, artists ever thought of “ethics” in their art. Before film and digits, there were sketches, oils, pastels, watercolors, engravings, lithographs — and no one ever asked the artist if he or she were being ‘ethical’ by manipulating a scene to change it or improve it.

Sutherland Dragon Fly

Dawn Sutherland dragon fly photograph is one of the amazing pieces of photography that I have ever managed to come across. Sutherland’s dragonfly photograph seems to be so natural that it gives the impression of dragon fly springing to life any moment. The color composition and the details in the Sutherland dragon fly snap are so eye catching and left me wondering about the various shades in the lap of nature. The clarity is unmatched and the focus is really defined. It’s virtually impossible to get such a clear portfolio of these insects because of the fact that the moment you decide taking a shot, they simply take off.

The austere background of the Sutherland dragon fly photograph brings the amazing color of the dragonfly to the fore front. I am one of the frequent visitors on this site who come looking for some of the beautiful works of Dawn Sutherland. And he has never disappointed me. Apart from Sutherland dragon fly photograph, his portfolio has are some of the most awe inspiring photographs that you will never get to see anywhere. The minor details that usually go unnoticed by the people around do find a place in his works. For beauty enthusiasts, Sutherland’s dragon fly picture features in the latest book published by photolaureares.org. It won’t be an exaggeration if I say that Dawn Sutherland dragon fly photograph is a real treat for eyes.

Compare Digital Camera Features

So you may start by asking what are the features you want are or need that will help you take great looking photographs. One important factor you might want to consider is the amount of pixel that is offered on the various type of digital cameras.

Of course if you want to compare digital camera features like this you might want to have a buyer’s guide that will list all the various features for each camera model. For example you will be able to compare the amount of pixels for each camera model you consider buying. Always keep in mind that the amount of pixels will usually determine what will be the quality of your pictures. The more pixels you have the greater the quality.

Another factor you should consider when you compare digital camera features is: What will you do with your camera. Is the camera you are looking at is for amateur photographer, semi-serious or serious photographers? Determining this will bring you one step further from buying the camera you need.

When you start to compare digital camera features you will soon be submerge by more info that you were actually looking for. They key is to look for the one you want instead of being overwhelmed by features you don’t need. Some of those feature apart form the pixel amount could be your picture options. Do you want your pictures to turn into sepia, black and white or soft pictures with the use of your filter?

One point I strongly suggest you look into when you compare digital camera features is the shooting modes you get with your camera. You should find indications about various features like the focusing or flash capabilities of various digital cameras. Whether it is Canon, Nikon, Olympus or any other brand of digital camera, make sure you don’t overlook this aspect.

Of course the information you will gather to help you compare digital camera features will mostly be of technical nature. Make sure you look at various sources of information. Another great place to look for information is to buy photography magazines. They will help you compare digital camera features that allow you to take picture with special effects.

These special effects could be special zoom capabilities that allow you to take pictures from a totally new angle or focus capabilities enabling you to crop some of the surrounding areas of you subject.

Of course if you want to take great picture (who doesn’t want to) it helps to have many different helpful features in your camera. It is up to you to find what features you want in your camera by gathering the right information and doing research in magazine, internet articles and digital camera buyer’s guide to help you compare digital camera features.

End of the Film Era

In the nineteen fifties the large studio cameras were still in use but the film holders were downsized to five by seven and even split five by seven in order to save costs. The Speed Graphic cameras used by many newspaper photographers held four by five inch sheet film.. It’s sensitivity boasted speeds of four or eight hundred ASA without affecting the appearance of grain to any extent. The holders were unwieldy with only two pieces of film in each, except for the film packs that held a thinner film pack of twelve.

Color film had been invented in the forties, but the color appeared weak and tinted with shades of orange and aqua green. Kodachrome gave the best color but was affordable only in 35mm size for slides. There was Agfacolor and Ektachrome in four by five sheets but the color left something to be desired. Candid weddings became popular in the fifties but the case of thirty film holders weighed over forty pounds.

In the sixties, the twin lens cameras using 120 roll film were the rage. Finer grained film duplicated the quality of the four by five film holders and the cameras weighed one quarter as much. Twelve exposures and later 24 exposures made candid photography much more convenient. Only the German lenses passed the critical eyes of the professional photographers. Rolleiflex and the single lens reflex, Hasselblad, made the grade.

By the seventies, better quality film by Kodak and Agfa allowed the use of 35mm single lens reflex cameras for most journalistic work. The larger sizes were still used for magazine publications, producing stunning detailed perfectly colored photos. The new multi coated, multi element lenses from Germany and Japan contributed much to the quality. Some camera manufactures experimented with half frame 35mm, 16mm and even 8mm film but one had to sacrifice some quality for compactness and weight savings.

The next two decades saw many improvements in camera automatic functions like the Minolta Maxxum with its built in motor drive, LCD readouts and program exposure but the film remained virtually the same. One hour film service reigned and custom labs could produce sharp grainless photographs in wall sizes.

If you didn’t mind seeing little squared in your three by five snapshots, digital cameras were available in the mid nineties but the year 2000 saw massive changeover to digital ‘film” with full size sensors and six to eight mega pixels of smooth detail.. The cost of changing from film to digital was daunting, but the benefits were irresistible to the professional photographer. No more hand coloring, hand retouching, waiting for proofs, smelly chemicals, space eating darkrooms and large storage facilities for storing the spent film. But we’ll never forget the amazing one hundred year reign of film.

Need A Commercial Photographer

Photographs for the Brochure

A brochure is the introduction of the company and its offerings to the potential customers. Not just the customers, a brochure has the vital role to impress even those who influence the thinking and buying decisions of the customers. And therefore the photographs required in a brochure, have to be compelling enough. It is not only about impressing the clients abuot the services, but also informing them about the company and what all it is into. A brochure acquaints the world at large with the organisation, the management, the mission and the vision of the company. Therefore the photographs have to be all encompassing. They have to give an overall picture of the company and its values to the consumers. Only a thoroughly professional commercial photographer can do justice in such times.

Photographs for the Advertisements

A print advertisement is one such place, where commercial photographer rules the roost. The product or service can be something very small one or a rather big one. It can be a fast moving consumer good or something that is used in industries and factories. Different products / services – different customers. And different customers – different viewpoints. All in all, the person who would take the picture for the advertisement, has to understand the psyche of the people about to view the ad. And that is where comes the requirement of an experienced commercial photographer.

Shooting the Minds Eye

If someone where to bring up the topic of “Depth of Field” to these people, they probably wouldn’t care; as long as their subject was in focus they could still capture the memory they were after. If each member of this family only had a point and shoot camera where all the decisions are made for you; each member would have to settle for a picture that wasn’t quite the way they remember it.

On the other hand, if they had a few more options and wanted to take the time, they could each create the memory they envisioned to begin with. They may all be looking at the same exact scene before them, but that doesn’t mean that they all saw it the same way. If they chose to use a narrow depth of field, each person would be able create a memory of what they saw.

In the scene that we’ve already described, let’s call Jimmy – the foreground. For the sake of visual placement, we will call the field of corn – the midground. Of course, we can call the red barn what it all ready is – the background.

If the mother took her shot with a narrow depth of field using a small f-stop like f-2.8, Jimmy and his little truck would be in focus, but both the cornfield and the barn would appear gently out of focus. They would not distract the viewer from her main subject. Jimmy would be in focus, and for her that is what is important.

If the father focusing further back used a narrow depth of field, part of his corn field would be in focus and part of it would not. He might want to consider using a mid range depth of field, like using an f-stop of f-8. This way, most of the corn should be in focus, but both Jimmy in the foreground and the barn in the distance will appear gently out of focus. If someone looked at his shot, the corn field would be the first thing they noticed. To Dad that is what’s important.

Now when Grandpa goes to take his photograph he realizes that the barn is important, but so is Jimmy and the cornfield. After all, he’s been here since the beginning; so when grandpa takes the shot, he wants to make sure it’s all in focus. He will be using what we call a wide depth of field, probably using an f-stop of about f-22. Because his memories involve everything in front of him; to grandpa everything is equally important.

To correct what I said earlier; grandpa may have actually been satisfied with a snapshot from a point and shoot camera. Both mom and dad would look at that picture and feel something just wasn’t right. It’s not that his picture was a bad picture; it just didn’t match what they had in mind. By using depth of field you can make people see what you saw, not only with your natural eyes, but in your mind’s eye too. If every photograph tells a story, it becomes important to get the shot just right. You can do that when you learn more about the creative process and the concept known as Depth of Field.

Photography Clubs

This is the basic question asked by all the budding photographers. The amateurs and professionals dwell on this question as they feel little hesitated or fearful to share their clicked photographs. The answer is very simple that sharing photos on the club’s page gives the desired recognition by the people. All members of the club watch and spread the photos by sharing them on social media and download for their personal use. The more photos get downloaded and shared, the more recognition a photographer gets.

Gradually a photographer builds his or her own fan base. That is how uploading and sharing photos over club pages could prove very useful.

Aren’t their photo galleries which can showcase photographer’s work?

Definitely, there are a number of photo galleries in the city, but they usually give permission to showcase a photographer’s work if they already have some kind of fan base or photographers can pay a huge sum of money to these galleries. Both of the situations don’t suit well for an amateur or fresher. Therefore, the photography club acts as free photo galleries for photographers. These clubs can be a huge launch pad and if not, then surely it can be a nice platform to start the work at least.

Importance of Photography Clubs

  1. They have permanent members – As said above clubs have their own circles where the uploaded photographs are shared and downloaded by members. They appreciate good work and the photographer’s motivation goes up. Uploading photographs free of cost and getting recognition is a win-win situation for photographers.
  2. Sole focus on photographs – Photographers always have this guilt that their work does not get appropriate attention and reputation, especially the freshers do think that. The photography clubs are solely dedicated to showcasing good and excellent work to the world. Their determination, dedication, and focus, always make the photographer proud of their work and profession.

Photographic Exhibition

I was immediately drawn to the pigmented ink-jet prints of Dawoud Bey, which present themselves in the form of portraits of high school students in their classrooms, accompanied by a few lines of the student’s own verbal self-description. The photographs, though richly colored and saturated, remain stark in their documentary style shooting and presentation. The verbal statements help to further the subjects’ expressive demeanors, although sometimes confusing the viewer by offering two conflicting positions. The self-description that the high school students attribute to themselves is not always reinforced through their actual expressions, which gives the work another layer of meaning that is less about a specific residential spirit and more about traits that are universally human. Even still, the subjects of these portraits serve to represent the future of Eatonville as its most potential-filled residents.

Although the subjects of these portraits are specific to the town of Eatonville, I felt that their youthful naivety could transcend geographic location and therefore, I could relate to the subjects without having knowledge of the importance of the town itself. This work alone could represent various towns or cities, but combined with the other three artists contributed to a unique spirit of the Eatonville that I was constructing for myself.

Lonnie Graham’s photographs, also pigmented ink-jet prints, contrast Bey’s photographs by embodying spontaneity, which for me is then transformed into a certain type of sentimentality. The photographs depict the people of Eatonville during a several day town festival. The photographer includes a range of age groups, depicting Eatonville’s present a useful addition to the future that Bey represents. My “imaginary” Eatonville is coming together.

Carrie Mae Weems’ silver gelatin prints are the only works to directly reference Hurston, offering historical re-enactments of some of the writer’s days: jotting down some observations in her notebook, walking beneath willow trees, washing her feet in a basin, among other daily rituals. I was not immediately interested in Weems’ photographs, perhaps because my unfamiliarity with Eatonville’s historical roots causes me to reject the town as a historical real place in favor of something that I am able to construct on my own, something more imaginary, immediate, and contemporary.

Returning to the medium of pigmented inkjet prints, the photographs of Deborah Willis embody the timelessness of Eatonville, as well as representing social sites and gendered places that maintain historical importance by transforming it. Willis photographs socially charged locales: a high school football field, the view from a preacher’s pulpit, and perhaps most notably in this series, the beauty salon. This specific location speaks of a site of female power, which has replaced other gendered spaces of Hurston’s era, like the storefront porch which is a social site of male power.

The approach of this exhibit is not an uncommon one: an embodiment of the spirit of a place. The wonderful thing about this type of exhibit is that the viewer can extract the elements of his or her choice to construct his or her own imaginary place with its own personal significance. What’s important is the photographic embodiment or encapsulation of the importance of place and home, both real and imagined.

Aerial Footage Photography

Background

Aerial footage can be taken above any place in the world from an airborne location, whether inside an airplane, balloon, satellite, paraglide or from other flight vehicles. The history of aerial photography goes back to 1858 when French airman, Nadar, introduced it for use it in war. During World War II, airborne footage was used extensively to locate enemy troops and to spy on their locations. This type of photography was also used to assess ground situations during battle, topography, and other circumstances around the world. Today, aerial spying has increased in its tactical prominence for helping on strategic battle grounds.

Advantages of Aerial Photography

Pictures taken from overhead locations can be very helpful in producing topographic maps for various locations in cartography, planning how to use a particular parcel of land, movie productions, international espionage, and environmental studies, just to name a few.

The proliferation of technological advances have paved the way for airborne footage as an important niche of photography. Progress in photographic capabilities has also enabled the use of aircraft models to gather terrain information through radio controlled aircraft that can fly at low altitudes. It is even used for something as basic as real estate advertising. The reason for using radio controlled aircraft for advertising is because aircraft piloted by people are not authorized to fly at low altitudes in populated centers It doesn’t hurt the decision-making process that these radio controlled aircraft handle this responsibility very well.

Public Domain

Pictures taken from the air are normally considered as public domain because they are snapped in airborne locations which are viewed as public places. Such aerial photographs can be seen online.

One of the major search engines to provide an aerial view of locations is Google’s earth.com site. It zeros in on targets from satellites orbiting the planet. The service can be used to see places such as landmarks, water beds, and hotels. Best routes can be tracked down to specific locations all over the world. You can tap into 3 dimensional views of specific structures as well as tilt and rotate a building image, for example, by the click of your mouse. A person is also able to measure the distance between one city and another. If a road between two cities is under construction, browsing Google earth to identify an alternative means of travel to the desired location is an option.

Raising the Bar of Excellence

Centuries ago, Greek artists discovered that the eye tends to focus on certain points in any given image. If you divide your picture into thirds both horizontally and vertically, the points at which those lines intersect are the points where most people focus comfortably. You don’t have to draw an arrow, in most cases this is where they will look without any coaching from you or anyone else. This is commonly referred to as the “Rule of Thirds”.

By placing your subject (or point of interest) at one of these natural focus points, you have greatly increased the odds that the viewer will indeed be captivated by your work. As you do this more and more; people will notice that for some reason your work seems more interesting than their “Bull’s-eye” type snap shot. They won’t understand it, but they will be drawn to your work just like a magnet.

The Greeks and Egyptians were great mathematicians. I on the other hand; am not great at math, but I do understand the concept of 1/3rd in from the left or right and 1/3rd up or down. Those who know the formula will argue that it’s not exactly 1/3rd, but that’s OK. One of the things the rule of thirds does for your image is to give it movement. But wait a minute; you’re asking what if my subject isn’t moving? That’s fine, but it gives your mind somewhere to go with the image. When your subject is dead center, your mind takes one glance and says, “Ok, next.” Remember: “It’s kind of hard to experience a photograph, if there’s nothing left to the imagination.”

Even when doing extreme close-ups it is possible to use the rule of thirds. Think of a beautiful models face, what’s the first thing you look at? Do you immediately look at the nose? No, I doubt that very much. Usually you either look at the eyes or the lips. Both of these happen to be located where? Both of these heart stopping subjects are located 1/3rd up or 1/3rd down from dead center. Since the nose is usually located dead center; that’s why I tend to doubt that it was the first thing that would catch your attention. I’m not saying a person can’t have a cute nose, but where it’s placed in the picture will determine just how much attention it will get.

Most girls are self conscious about their looks, that’s why they tell you to back up. But in reality, that’s exactly why you should NOT back up, in fact, you should probably get closer. If you shoot full body on a regular basis, what is usually at 1/3 from the bottom? If a girl is thinking she’s fat, you don’t want people staring at her waist. Force the viewer to look at her strength’s. Draw his attention to her dreamy eyes; or her wonderful smile, not a few extra pounds at her waist.

This same concept works for other subjects besides people. Let’s say you have a beautiful stream coming down a mountain side. If you shoot horizontally with the stream dead center, you cut the photo in half. Now in this example, we also have to consider leading lines. If you shoot the stream diagonally and it ends somewhere in the lower left third of the picture, you have still taken advantage of the rule of thirds. This is one of those “professional photo tips” that allows your viewer to experience your photo and not just glance at it.

When you can guide someone into an image and allow them to have an emotional response, your work is much more likely to be remembered. When you use the rule of thirds on a regular basis, you have raised the bar of excellence in such a way that people can not help but to be refreshed and invigorated by your work. If they feel that good just by experiencing your photo once, think how much better they will feel when they start buying your work and enjoying it everyday.