David duChemin’s “Ten” is free

David duChemin has made his first eBook, titled Ten free. He describes it as:

The premise is simple, if photographers could cut through the noise and work on their craft without being bombarded with the need to buy more gear, and the newest and shiniest, we’d become better at our craft and create more compelling images. TEN is exactly what it says it is, an exploration of ten techniques and ideas that can improve any photographer’s work.

It’s a great book and a great introduction to Craft & Vision for those that haven’t purchased an eBook from them before.

The Throwable Panoramic Ball Camera

The Throwable Panoramic Ball Camera by Jonas Pfeil looks amazing. It’s a ball that holds “36 fixed-focus 2 megapixel mobile phone camera modules”, it’s padded with foam, and has an accelerometer to help it determine the highest point. The explain it as:

The camera is thrown into the air and captures an image at the highest point of flight – when it is hardly moving. The camera takes full spherical panoramas, requires no preparation and images are taken instantaneously. It can capture scenes with many moving objects without producing ghosting artifacts and creates unique images.

Check out the site and watch the video, it shows the ball camera and has a few examples. I’d like to get my hands on one of these.

via: John Nack

Technology was supposed to do all the work

I posted this on my other website a few days ago. But since it’s photography related, and pretty entertaining, I thought I’d post it here as well. The whole interview is interesting, but this quote from photographer Jake Chessum on APhotoEditor is brilliant:

I remember very clearly as a kid how everyone said that in the future technology was going to do all the work for us. How we were going to be down to a 3 day work week and have loads of leisure time. Turned out to be complete bullshit…

All photographs from my Project 365 are now CC


Out for a stroll, originally uploaded by gabrielponzanelli.

I just updated the license for all my photographs in the Project 365 set in Flickr to an Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives (by-nc-nd) Creative Commons license. That means, anyone is free to use them for any non-commercial activity as long as they don’t change them in any way and they link back.

Let’s see what happens.

Bigger versions are in project365.gabrielponzanelli.com, a Posterous blog I created just for this project.

Oivind from Norway, shot for People of the Globe


Oivind. From Norway., originally uploaded by gabrielponzanelli.

This is just a quick post to test posting directly from my Flickr account. I’ve neglected Flickr lately and I want to get all my online stuff (Website, Blog, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, Model Mayhem, Posterous, etc.) to start working together. Probably the main reason why I haven’t done it is because I haven’t found a good way to manage everything without spending a ton of time. I have a bunch of images everywhere and I don’t really know where I’ve posted what, so I’m trying posting everything I intend to be in Flickr into Flickr first and then blog and embed from there.

I’m also playing with the new Labels in Aperture 3 to help me organise this mess. Right now I’m thinking I’ll assign labels depending on what I’ve done with the photograph. For example, if posted to Flickr I’ll give it a grey label. Not too sure if that’s going to work, but we’ll see.

Speaking of Aperture 3 and Flickr, I just posted a bunch of photos directly from Aperture and I have to say I’m not too impressed with the in-built Aperture to Flickr export. It’s the first time I’ve used it, so I may be wrong, but it seems it doesn’t read what’s already there on Flickr so you can’t post photographs into an existing Flickr set. The old plugin seems much better, but I’ll reserve my final judgement until I’ve played with it thoroughly.

Shooting in black-and-white mode

In an article a few weeks ago on embracing the grain in your black-and-white photography, I suggested you “put your camera in black-and-white” for the specific exercise I wrote about. Shortly after I published it, some of you have asked me why I don’t shoot in color and then convert to black-and-white afterwards, and a handful also stated the benefits of doing so.

Well, that’s exactly what I do most of the time as it gives me far greater control on the greyscale tones of final the image. As described in the Think about Color post, I consider color one of the most important things to understand when doing black-and-white photography. So just to clarify, I only set the camera to capture in black-and-white mode on certain rare occasions, like for a particular excersise as in the post mentioned above. I also do it when I’m playing with my LX3 at high ISO’s, where I shoot JPEG in Dynamic black-and-white (which was what I did for the mentioned exercise).

As for converting to black-and-white in post-production, I use a variety of methods depending on factors like the image itself, the desired output, and the amount of time I have or want to spend in post-processing. I personally shoot mostly in RAW and use Aperture with some plug-ins and sometimes Photoshop CS3.

There seems to be interest in this, so I’ll work on a series of articles about how to convert colour images to black-and-white using different methods and software. I already posted a couple of videos on how to do this using Apple’s Aperture (links below). More to come on this topic soon.

Too much editing to do

Monique; Sydney, Australia; 2009 ©Gabriel PonzanelliI’m so far behind on my editing that I’m feeling a bit anxious. I just never seem to find the time to sit down at the computer for a significant amount of time in one single session and just plough through stuff. Today I sort of did that, but I’ve also been thinking about this whole editing thing. I think I just don’t enjoy it as much as I did. What I really enjoy is the planning a shoot and being out there shooting, then coming back and importing my files. I like seeing them in the big screen for the first time and I actually like sorting through them and rating them. But when it comes to actual Photoshop time, it’s so time consuming sometimes that it’s a pain. I’m pretty happy working on the first 2 or 3 photographs from a shoot, but once I open the 4th my brain gets bored and I with they were all done. I think a lesson from this is to shoot less. I don’t mean go out less, I mean shoot less photographs in each shoot. All I really want is 2 or 3 great shots from each, so why get trigger happy? Anyway, just a thought.

Photographer showcase: Jason Langer

Flags from SecretCity by Jason LangerI first heard about Jason Langer while listening to an interview on the Thoughts on Photography podcast by Paul Giguere a few weeks ago. The interview was quite fascinating and it got me interested in his work, so as soon as I got home I visited his website and spent some time checking out his photography. Man, am I glad it did it. His work is truly exceptional.

Since I discovered him I’ve been so fascinated by his work that I just had to share it. Jason Langer is a remarkable black and white photographer with a very distinct style that I particularly like. His “Secret City” series is fascinating, a supberb combination of story and composition with an undeniable mastery of the art of black and white.

The series Figures is a beautiful study of human form, but quite different from anything I’ve seen before. The interplay between the figure and the environment is almost magical. And then there’s a series you can only see in a gallery called The Vedas which I can only assume would be fascinating.

Derriere Notre Dame from Secret City by Jason Langer

I’m now on a mission to see his work in the flesh and have ordered the book. I’ll also be on the lookout for an opportunity to see a gallery exhibition because, given his background, the prints will undoubtedly be spectacular. This is the kind of work that I would love to own.

I can’t think of a better way of presenting him and his work that the bio on his website, so here’s an excerpt taken from it. I encourage everyone to go take a look. If you like black and white photography it will be worth your while.

Jason Langer is a masterful black-and-white photographer who has learned the importance of self-expression and following his own path. In high school, he decided he wanted to pursue photography as a career. He was inspired by the beautiful black-and-white images of Michael Kenna, and had the opportunity to meet this renowned photographer.

As an undergraduate at the University of Oregon, Langer stayed in touch with Kenna, and sent images to him on a regular basis. After graduation, he jumped at the chance to work for Kenna as his first assistant at his studio in San Francisco. “I learned more in four months from him than I did in four years as a photography student,” states Langer, who was an apprentice for this accomplished photographer for five years. When Langer finished his apprenticeship with Kenna, he began to balance commercial and personal work and found that doing his personal work was much more satisfying than commercial photography. Soon Langer made contact with art gallery owners, dealers and collectors, and began showing his fine-art images.

He describes his photographic style as “poetic, contemplative, noir, symbolist, and open-ended in interpretation.” Langer says that symbolists are less interested in naturalistic interpretation and details than they are in creating allegory for mental and emotional states of being. “I feel that people prefer to create their own story and find their own meaning, instead of having it spelled out for them,” he points out. “I’m also interested in emotional states—but in a way where a viewer finds his or her own emotions.” His subjects are usually portrayed in a somewhat anonymous manner, with faces turned away from the camera or blurred. Conversely, Langer seeks to do the opposite with inanimate objects. He portrays the expressions of statues and mannequins as being “emotions frozen in time.”

By Lynn Eodice, Double Exposure, 2006

A sincere thank you to Paul Giguere for introducing me to Jason Langer’s work. Paul’s podcast is one of my favourites: personal, candid, and always interesting. Strongly recommended.

To find out more about Jason Langer: 

 

Figure No 22 from Figures by Jason Langer

New website and blog finally done!

Jessica; Sydney, Australia; 2008 ©Gabriel PonzanelliJust a quick note to get an image out there and let everyone know that I finally finished messing with the new site and blog. They’re now both under a single site/installation so it’ll hopefully be much easier to manage from now on and I’ll be able to update more often instead of spending hours trying to perfect the site.

Anyway, now for the really difficult part… adding content. I did a quick upload of a few images I had ready for the People of the Globe and the In Motion projects. And I threw in a few random shots into a section called Fashion, but I’m not too sure about that one. We’ll see how it evolves.

For now, I have a ton of editing to do. Four shoots to be exact that I’m half way through and I’m shooting again this week a couple of times. I need a good solid 3 days of nothing but sorting, rating, and post processing to catch up but just haven’t found the time. Life seems to never slow down. Which is probably a good thing, but it just feels overwhelming sometimes.