Photography and art news, reviews, and views. I'm the author of the Complete Idiot's Guide to Canon EOS Digital Cameras and a long-time photographer, writer, and amateur sketcher.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
For years magazines have been using retouching methods - now Photoshop, but once using inks, dyes, brushes, and razor blades - to remake the physical appearance of people. One of the top jobs has been to make models and actresses look skinnier. Now things are on the rebound, and the directive is to make sure that no one looks too skinny, according to the Telegraph in the U.K.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
World Pinhole Photography Day
Ever hear about pinhole photography, where a tiny opening replaces a lens and you use incredibly long exposures with virtually unlimited depth of field? Well, seems that there's a Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day coming up April 28. There are workshops being held all around the world. Time to strike a blow for obsolescence. I might just have to dig out one of my view cameras, get a pinhole attachment, and shoot some B&W, though you can make a pinhole camera out of an old oatmeal box.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Rules of Thumb on What You Can Legally Photograph
Kim Komando's column had a good rundown on general rules of when you can and cannot take photos:
- Public spaces are fair game. If something is out in a public area or on view from a pubic area, it's generally legal to take a photograph.
- You can photograph people in pubic places or visible from public places.There are exceptions, however. For example, you can photograph the outside of someone's house, but you cannot photograph someone in his or her bathroom or bedroom, even if the blinds are open, because they have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
- You need permission to photograph in a private space. You have to have permissions to take photos. so a museum, for instance, can restrict photography while you are inside the building.
- You may not be able to photograph all public facilities, even if on public land.There are times you can be prohibited from photographing sensitive locations, such as a power plant or military base.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Two Early Photography Exhibitions in Washington, D.C.
In the Wall Street Journal, Richard Woodward, a New York-based art critic, gives an overview of two exhibitions currently at the National Gallery: Impressed by Light: British Photographs From Paper Negatives, 1840-60 (through May 4), and In the Forest of Fontainebleau: Painters and Photographers from Corot to Monet (through June 8). The former "examines photography in the context of Victorian science, industry and colonialism" though waxed paper negatives. The latter has examples of painting and photography side-by-side. Passes are not required for either. Both sound fascinating and make me wish that the nation's capital were a bit closer.
Monday, April 14, 2008
DIY High-Speed Photography
Friday, April 11, 2008
Profile of a Museum Photography Curator
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Big International Photography Show in New York
If you're near New York and want to catch some of the best in art photography this weekend, head to the Association of International Photography Art Dealer (>AIPAD) show, running from today through Sunday. As New York Art News notes:
More than 75 of the world’s leading fine art photography galleries will present a wide range of museum quality work by contemporary, modern and 19th century masters at the Park Avenue Armory at 67th Street and Park Avenue in New York City.Admission is $25 a day or $35 for the run of the show, and you get a catalog (which itself would cost $25, if you weren't attending). Show hours are 11AM to 7PM today, 11 to 8PM Friday and Saturday, and 11 to 6PM Sunday.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
Go To Composition Extremes and Opposites
It's easy to get stuck in taking the same sort of shots, over and over. This is different from having your own "eye," in which you express things visually in a certain way because it comes naturally from your own upbringing, education, personality, and inherent tastes. I'm talking about being in a rut. When you find that each picture seems like the last, it's time to shake yourself loose. Here are a couple of things that might help.
OppositesFind a few of your habits and deliberately work against them. If you usually take photos from above, try from below. Like wide angle? Go for a telephoto. Shoot color? Move to black and white. When you force yourself out of your habits, you temporarily lift yourself out of the rut. This can become as much of a habit as what you are used to doing, of course, but used judiciously, it can help broaden your view of the world around you.
ExtremesInstead of doing the opposite, you can push your habit to a degree you normally wouldn't use. If you like a tight focus on the face in a portrait, you might push in on just one feature: eyes, nose, mouth, a wrinkle, a freckle. If you realize that you're responding to a texture in an image, then drive in the center on just the texture. If you find yourself always far back from a subject, you could pull back even more and see if the former subject can become one part of a bigger pattern.
In either approach, you don't have to like the resulting images. The point isn't to come up with a substitute, but to jar your perceptions enough to open your eyes to new possibilities. This can be a useful exercise to do on a periodic basis, even when you aren't feeling particularly stuck. It's the essence of why experienced photographers will often move all around a subject, getting at different heights and distances, just to see if there is something that they haven't been noticing.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Washington Post Photoshop Express Review
I haven't bothered trying Photoshop Express, not only because of the potential rights I'd have to give up, but, owing to being in a rural part of the country, there's no broadband in them thar phone wires - and no cable connection to even miss broadband. And if you're going to edit photos over the Internet, dial-up is the last thing you want to contemplate. However, Washington Post writer Rob Pegorano has a review on the product. From what he says, it seems that while there are some basic abilities, this is not really close to being Photoshop, and is slow, clumsy, and buggy, at least as of early April. If you want real photo editing without spending a lot of money, here are some choices that I've covered.