Wilderness Idea: The Environmental Photography of Ansel Adams

In brief:

  • Ansel Adams is possibly the best known landscape photographer to have lived in the 20th century.
  • Before becoming a full-time photographer, Adams studied music and contemplated seriously on becoming a classical pianist.
  • Ansel Adams is a co-creator of the Zone System which allows photographers to precisely determine the exposure of their photographs.
  • Besides being a famous photographer, Adams was known for his environmental work. His photographs and writings were part of a successful campaing to designate the Sequoia and Kings Canyon areas in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California as a national park.

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5 Reasons Why Photography Is Bad for You

No, this is not a tongue-in-cheek article. Well, not completely.

As a photographer, you obviously see yourself as creating something valuable that the world will want to share.

You may also firmly believe that what you’re doing with your camera – and what you’re dreaming about day and night – will make you a better person as a human being.

But, first and foremost you have an urge to create. You were born to make pictures of the world.

Photography is freakin’ awesome.

Well, no it’s not, and here’s why.

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On Fame and Photography: The André Kertész Story

In brief:

  • Fame can be a fickle thing: sometimes the ones who would deserve it the most go without it in their life and only get recognition posthumously. For André Kertész, acknowledgement did come during his life but he felt under-appreciated regardless.
  • The photographic career of André Kertész is usually divided into four periods: The Hungarian period, the French period, the American period and the International period.
  • André Kertész’s first camera was a 1912 ICA box camera. He also photographed with a Goerz Tenax folding camera before switching to a 35mm Leica camera. At the end of his career, in the 70s, Kertész was donated a Polaroid camera by the Polaroid Corporation itself. He used the camera to make remarkable images that were a continuation of the themes he’d explored all his life: simplicity and distortion.
  • André Kertész was the first photographer ever to have his own solo exhibition at an art gallery. His show at the Sacre du Printemps gallery in Paris in 1927 was received favourably by critics. Throughout his career, Kertész’s photographs were exhibited in dozens of galleries all over the world.

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Ten Ways You and Your Camera See Differently

In brief:

  • The human eye and the lens of a camera have similar components to them. The iris of our eye represents the glass in the lens. The retina, on which the image is focused inside our eyes, can be seen as the film or the digital sensor in the camera. The brain that makes sense of the images projected onto our eyes compares to the computer algorithms used to manipulate images in modern cameras.
  • Despite the similarities, the eye and the camera system differ in some fundamental ways, which I’ll be listing in this post. The main difference between the two is the level of complexity: the human vision is light years ahead of even the most advanced camera technology.
  • Understanding the dissimilarities between the eye and the camera, and trying to imagine how the camera sees the world, helps us hone our skills and vision as photographers.
  • Some of the differences between our eyesight and the way the camera sees the world have to do with the limitations in our biology; while others stem from the superior technical capabilities of the human vision.

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Three Ways to Remove an Object from Your Photo with Photoshop

In brief:

  • Removing objects and people from images with Photoshop is a routine task for photographers. Even before digital photography, images were often manipulated in the physical darkroom.
  • Commercial photography, as well as art photography, is rarely concerned about replicating reality. In the first instance, images are edited to reflect the vision of an art director, or a client. In the second, the artist will endeavour to materialise his inner vision – which may or may not match the outside reality.
  • Jesús Ramirez runs a popular Youtube channel called Photoshop Training Channel. In this article, we will follow along on his Photoshop tutorial on object removal.
  • In Photoshop you can do almost anything using multiple methods, which also applies to object removal. The methods learned in this article, and in Ramirez’s video, utilise the lasso tool, patch tool and the clone stamp tool.

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DSLR vs. Mirrorless: Why I Haven’t Switched Yet and Why You Should

In brief:

  • Many photographers, especially men, suffer from GAS – Gear Acquisition Syndrome. This photographic ailment causes you to constantly dream of and lust for new cameras, lenses and other photography equipment.
  • Mirrorless cameras and advances in algorithms have made it possible to manufacture smaller cameras capable of taking just as high-quality images as their larger counterparts.
  • DSLRs are still widely used in sports photography because they allow very fast shooting. This advantage is rapidly diminishing, however.
  • DSLR cameras are a dying breed which will most likely be superseded by mirrorless cameras within five to ten years.

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The Decisive Moment: The Life and Photography of Henri Cartier-Bresson

In brief:

  • Henri Cartier-Bresson is one of the most important photographers in the 20th century. He practiced ‘humanistic photography’, based on the ideals of the Enlightenment
  • Cartier-Bresson’s term ‘Decisive Moment’ refers to the fleeting meaningful instant captured by the camera
  • The photo cooperative Magnum Photos was founded in 1947 by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa and other travelling photojournalists. It is possibly the most prestigious photo agency in the world and currently represents about 90 international photographers
  • Henri Cartier-Bresson was the first Western photographer to be allowed to photograph somewhat freely in the Soviet Union. His photographs capture the moods of Soviet citizens at a relatively free period immediately after Stalin’s death

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Can You Read Photography?

In brief:

  • A photograph portrays the world but it’s also a depiction of the person who made it. If you know how to read it, a photo can tell you a lot about the photographer’s experience, interests and character.
  • Bad photography is a reflection of the person behind the camera. Good photography transcends the photographer and shows us something essential of the world.
  • Like Marcel Duchamp’s famous Fountain, photography at its core is concept art. It is created by removing an object or its representation from the natural world and transferring it into a man made environment.
  • All creation is transforming chaos into an order. The original creator, God, worked on a much deeper level than even the most celebrated human artists. God’s order has become our chaos, the raw material which we attempt to convert into a unified whole.

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How to Take Charge of Your Photography Lighting

In brief:

  • Light is made up of tiny straight lines moving in wave motion. These waves are measured in nanometres. Human eye can see wavelengths ranging from 400 to 700 nm
  • When light comes in contact with a surface, it is either reflected or absorbed by it, or transmitted through it. Translucent surfaces allow part of the light to pass through them while blocking some of it
  • The purpose of diffusing light in photography is to make the light source larger in relation to the object it is used to illuminate. In some types of photography, light absorbing black cards are used to take away light from certain parts of the composition. This is a common practice in food photography
  • Some of the methods of diffusing light in a studio environment include using diffusion paper, shoot-through umbrellas and softboxes. At home, you can place your model in front of a window to create beautiful diffused lighting. Outdoors, position your subject under a tree or an awning.

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How to Create Intentional Photography

In brief:

  • Like people, buildings have their better sides, and they benefit from beautiful light. The worst time for photographing a house is when the sun is shining from behind the building. The best times are overcast days and sunsets or sunrises
  • What you see with your eyes hardly ever matches what your camera will record. The camera doesn’t capture bright highlights and dark shadows very well within the same scene. The camera will also emphasise the foreground at the expense of the background
  • All good photography has a clearly defined subject, whether it’s a person or a detail of the landscape
  • When lighting foregrounds, you can use the BESTOW method devised by the late mountaineer and photographer Galen Rowell

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