Thursday, January 31, 2019

New UMFA gallery shows how photography and transcontinental railroad merged in the 1860s - KSL.com

New UMFA gallery shows how photography and transcontinental railroad merged in the 1860s  KSL.com

As Utah celebrates the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad in May, a new gallery at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts at the University of Utah campus ...



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Understanding Stock Photography and How to Succeed in Microstock Business (Part 2) - Business 2 Community

Understanding Stock Photography and How to Succeed in Microstock Business (Part 2)  Business 2 Community

Photography is being present. Photography bears witness, it captures a moment in time, focuses on a message, shares history as it unfolds, unveils hidden ...



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A photographic journey - Lone Peak Lookout

A photographic journey  Lone Peak Lookout

Ryan and Angi Turner celebrate a milestone in Big Sky this year: the 20-year anniversary of Ryan Turner Photography. “Lots of thanks to all of the companies ...



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The Complete Lightroom and MIDI tutorial – My MIDI2LR Setup (final installment)

In the final part of this series, I am giving you my configuration for the Behringer X-Touch Mini that I’ve shown you in the previous part. Of course, everyone has different workflows and the biggest advantage of generic MIDI controllers is that you can personalize all functions. So have a look at my configuration, play […]

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The Complete Lightroom and MIDI tutorial – MIDI Controllers (second installment)

One of the biggest challenges, when trying to use a MIDI controller with Lightroom is to find a controller that works well for Lightroom. As already said in the first part of this series, MIDI controllers are optimized for sound production, not for photo editing. So when you start you will face a chicken-egg problem: […]

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The Complete Lightroom and MIDI tutorial – Introduction (first installment)

Editing images with Software like Lightroom typically involves changing parameters like exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, and so on for more than 90% of your work. These parameters are controlled using sliders that you have to drag with your Mouse – sliders that emulate physical controls. Why not use such physical controls like sliders or control […]

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Leica goes on safari with the new M10-P and Summicron-M 50mm f/2 “Safari” limited editions

Leica Camera has released a new Leica M10-P camera and Summicron-M 50mm f/2 lens. They’re a lot like the old M10-P and 50mm f/2 lens, except these are limited “Safari” edition. Leica says that the release of these items “reopens a beloved chapter in Leica Camera’s ongoing tradition of special olive green camera releases”. There […]

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Solar protective glass gives the iceberg-like Hercule home a mirrored finish

gray home with mirrored wall

Modern, monolithic and minimalist, Hercule is a single-family home designed like an iceberg — the bulk of the building is hidden while the visible portion emerges out of the ground like the tip of an iceberg. Named after local hero John “Hercule” Gruen for its “robust strength,” the house located in Mondorf-les-bains in the south of Luxembourg is the recently completed work of local architecture practice 2001. Embedded into the sloped terrain, the concrete dwelling further immerses itself into the landscape with a massive wall of solar reflective glass that mirrors the surroundings.

On the left, glass door opening onto a patio. On the right, gray home with mirrored wall.

Located on residual land between an old farmhouse and a suburban villa, the project site had a sloped terrain that the architects decided to turn into a design attribute rather than an obstacle. The natural context determined the layout of the home’s three floors, which step down the slope from west to east. Covering a built footprint of 446 square meters, the home appears deceptively compact from street level because of the spacious basement level.

yellow couch in a gray room with a wood-burning stove

gray room with yellow couch opening to patio through sliding glass doors

The main living spaces as well as the technical rooms are all located on the basement floor, which includes a two-car garage, a fitness and spa area, a wine cellar, storage and the open-plan living room, kitchen and dining area that open up to an enclosed outdoor courtyard through full-height glazed sliding doors. The dimensions of the open-plan living area — measuring 14 by 6 meters — is repeated on the two floors above ground that house the bedrooms and bathrooms.

Related: Mirrored pavilion all but disappears into nature

gray room with chevron wood floors and large windows

bathroom with large white sink on a light wood pedestal

Minimalism is stressed throughout the design, with the main structural elements visible and enhanced through formwork and sanding. Solar protective glass clads the east and west facades, which are oriented toward the street and the garden. To the south, a blind béton brut wall serves as a beam for the upper two floors to ensure a column-free living area below, while the north side is punctuated with garden-facing openings.

+ 2001

Photography by Maxime Delvaux via 2001

gray room with yellow couch and black dining table open to an outdoor patio



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Brilliant home made out of cascading concrete planter boxes grows more than 40 types of edible plants

concrete home with greenery on multiple levels

Built for a retired couple who loves to grow their own food, this home design by Kuala Lumpur-based firm FormZero is comprised of several concrete blocks planted with more than 40 types of edible plants on every floor. With various patio spaces that double as mini home gardens, the Planter Box House oscillates between garden, farm and living space.

aerial shot of concrete home with greenery on multiple levels

The home’s overall design was heavily influenced by Kuala Lumpur’s vernacular. Being that the area is a tropical region, the homes are often built with split bamboo, a practice that goes back to the area’s indigenous people. By using bamboo as form work for the concrete cladding, the architects not only paid homage to the local history and culture, but ensured a durable design that would last years. Using the two durable and low-maintenance materials added extra resilience to the design so that the three-story home could withstand heavy rain storms and local pollution.

concrete home with greenery on multiple levels

interior home home with two levels

Related: Giant bamboo planters protect a Ho Chi Minh City home from the sun and rain

In addition to the home’s resilient features, the architects worked closely with the homeowners to create a design that would enable the couple to grow their own food. Accordingly, the design is a 3,650 square feet building that spans over three stories, with every level outfitted with various concrete planters that provide ample space for growing a variety of plants. A custom-made irrigation system, a joint endeavor between the couple and the architects, enables the boxes to store and reuse rainwater.

light filled home with metal stairs

large kitchen with man at table

The cascading design was a strategic feature that helps each box enjoy optimal natural light, but also adds a system of natural air ventilation throughout the interior. On every floor of the home, large sliding glass doors that lead out to the balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows create a strong connection to the exterior. All-white walls and minimal furnishings, along with the abundance of greenery, will allow the homeowners to enjoy a healthy, self-sufficient lifestyle as they age.

+ FormZero

Via Archdaily

Photography by Ameen Deen via FormZer

man planting in pots on open-air porch with glass doors



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Judging a Photo Contest: My Experience with FOCUS Photo L.A.

It began with an email one morning. The link in it led to the work of one hundred fifty photographers. I had 1,500 images to judge for Focus Photo, a s**t ton of looking to get it right. It wasn’t going to be easy to hold it all in my mind, to remember why I was making the decisions I was making.

To help me as I worked I made notes to keep my priorities straight, and those notes eventually became this story. So here’s how I judged Focus Photo L.A.

Geisha, from Fugue State 2017 © Aline Smithson Window Reflections and Clouds 2018 © Stephanie Sydney

To start with, consistency. To get into the second round your work as a body had to score high enough to move you forward. One ten and three fives get you twenty-five points, four sevens get you to twenty-eight, got it? So I was looking for a body of work that was all headed in the same direction, with the same intention and skills shown each time.

A great lucky picture may live forever but it doesn’t make you a great photographer. Show me you aimed at the same bullseye for all the pictures so I can see how close you came to it.

Secret Message 2018 © Richard S. Chow Mid-City, Los Angeles 2018 © Sinziana Velicescu

Second, craft. I’m not looking in a vacuum. You are up against a hundred and fifty other photographers. Many have spent years refining their skills, learning how to guide the viewer’s eye where they want it to go, learning how to make images that can’t come out of a phone filter. When I look at your work, I’m thinking about theirs too.

Maybe you need more woodshed time, maybe more staring at the work of others in galleries or museums or books. The good news is this is the part that can be learned.

Valentine’s Day, from Dúos de Oaxaca 2018 © Sally Ann Field House on the Hill 2017 © Bob Avakian

Content. What are you making pictures about? I understand you probably made your pictures as part of your journey and so in some sense, you had to. But having made them, they are now being looked at by others. What is the impact of your pictures on others? In some ways, this may be the hardest part that is under your control.

It’s not easy to put yourself outside of your work — in fact, it’s very difficult. But unless you are hugely dispassionate, it’s necessary to show your work to others and then listen hard to their feedback. The more you feel defensive, the more it’s time to pay attention. If you are lucky enough to have someone tell you why they didn’t fall in love with your work take their words into your heart and see what you can learn from them. F**ked huh?

L.A. River #10 2017 © Alberto Mesirca Round Peg 2016 © Reed Hearne

Where does it fit in the world? When I’m looking at your pictures I’m asking myself “Would I have it on my wall”? “Would I look at this in a magazine or online”? “Could I imagine this in a museum”? If the answer is no then I’m going to have a hard time giving it high marks. Pictures don’t exist in a vacuum, they live in the world, in some specific place in the world. If they live mainly in your head that doesn’t make them less valuable but that’s a small audience.

The next time you are making selections, ask yourself, where would I see this picture if someone else had made it. Wander through the pages of a magazine you like or your favorite curated photography website and see if you can imagine your picture in there among the others.

Circles 2014 © Ave Pildas Hay Bale 2018 © Michael Knapstein

Make me feel something dammit! If you want to get to ten, stir my emotions. This is me now, not everyone but if you want to get my top scores your picture will have to connect with both my intellect and my emotions.

Intellect is easier I think. The well-formed picture, the use of light, the organization of the elements, I see that and I respect it and I give you points for it. That thing that stirs emotion, it’s not so easy to entice into your image as I well know. Nonetheless, the pictures we collectively remember and applaud have something that causes a direct visceral response in others. I look for it in my own work and I look for it in the work of others. It’s not easy to find and it’s easy to mistake your own emotional response to a picture you have made with the feelings of others but if I give a picture a ten you can be sure it stirred me.

Been there, done that. Not me but others. If you are working in a genre know that you will be judged by what has come before you. It can’t be helped…

Present Tense 2016 © Charles Volkens Golden 2017 © Marcela Angeles

Here’s what I didn’t judge on: categories. Architectural, Street, Landscape, Portrait — that’s not what this contest was about. I also didn’t judge them in the context of the whole history of photography that has come before. That’s not what we were judging here, only the best of this year’s submissions. So I voted for the pictures I thought best and newest regardless of category. The ones that astounded, or amused, or awoke something in me.

Great Blue Courtship 2016 © Cheryl Medow Looking West 19 2003 © M. Robert Markovich

I have my biases, I can’t help it. I’ve been looking at and making pictures for sixty years. I do my best to appreciate work unlike my own and your good news is that I like a wide range of styles and subjects. Nonetheless, I’m sure I missed something while I was doing my looking and if it was your work, I’m sorry. That’s why the competition had three judges. So that there were enough eyes and opinions to make sure every picture got seen from multiple angles.

Progress 2016 © Erin Tengquist The Coffee Shop 2018 © Larry Brownstein

And as proof the system works, here’s a story about how things went. In the first round of judging all three judges looked at the work of all 150 photographers. We judged ten pictures from each one, giving each picture a score from one to ten. I spent days on this part, making a first pass then going back a second time after I had some knowledge of the whole field, then a third time a few days later to see if my feelings had changed.

When all that was done, I sent off my results and the other judges did too. Then the scores of all three judges were compiled to choose the twenty semifinalists we would judge for top honors. To my complete astonishment, the other judges didn’t totally agree with me! Although we agreed on many choices, they picked some pictures I had left behind and they left behind a few of my very favorite pictures. How could that be? Taste, opinion, a predilection for one kind of photography over another, who knows?

And that leads me to my final observation…

Kittens, Cigarettes, and Gucci 2018 © Jamie Johnson Mursi Women 2018 © Kelly Fogel

In the end, it’s entering that matters, not winning. It’s nice to win, of course, we all like validation and maybe a few bucks but it was always in the cards that 149 of you were not going to get that top prize. What you did get was the chance to look at your work from outside, to pick and choose with an eye to what the rest of the world sees and to reflect on your work and where it’s headed. The contest is a moment in time, a chance to put a pin in the map that marks where you are right now. The next time you enter a contest it will be an opportunity to put another pin in the map and between them, maybe you can see where you are headed.

Pinetop Perkins 2008 © Jérôme Brunet Havana, Cuba 2018 © Kasia Trojak

The contest is the organizing impulse, the moment for you to take stock and see your work afresh. That’s valuable every day, win or lose. Good luck next time!

Focus Photo L.A. is a venerable competition sponsored twice yearly by Photo L.A. and A & I Fine Art + Photography. Hundreds of photographers vie to have their work printed, framed and hung at Photo L.A. where it is seen by thousands of visitors.

The illustrations in this story are the twenty semi-finalists from which the three winners were chosen. All of them will be on display at the show. Congratulations to every one of them!

Photo L.A. takes place this year at the Barker Hanger, Santa Monica, CA from January 31st to February 3, 2019

This article was also published at L’Oeil de la Photographie.

About the author: Andy Romanoff is a photographer and storyteller. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Romanoff is also a correspondent at L’Oeil de la Photographie. You can find more of Romanoff’s work on his website.



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Film vs Digital in Music Photography: I Shot the Same Show With Both

Film is very rarely used in music photography anymore. The reason for this is primarily because of social media and instant news. There’s no time to go home and start pouring chemicals onto film to develop it or wait until the morning until a lab opens to do it for you.

For festivals or stadium gigs, we would bring our laptop with us and start sending out photos minutes after the artist stepped on stage. This is what people expect with modern technology.

Secondly, film can be difficult to work with, especially for music photography. Venues are generally very dark, and high sensitivity color film is difficult to find and is expensive.

When there are lights, they tend to strobe making it even more difficult to get the exposure right. On top of that, if you have a good film camera, it was probably built in the 1970s. The auto-exposure technology wasn’t great back then and it may not have aged well.

Film (left) and digital (right)

However, film still has a charming quality to it and shouldn’t be put in the obsolete bin with the Walkman and DVD player just yet. A few years ago I compared film vs digital cameras for music photography. Since then, I’ve managed to track down two identical rare film lenses from around 1973.

On one of the lenses, I removed the old Canon FD mount and replaced it with a modern Canon EF mount so that it can fit on my Canon digital camera. I used ISO 400 film and set my digital camera to ISO 400. So this is a direct comparison between a chemical film sensor and a modern digital sensor.

Canon A-1 film camera (left), Canon 6D digital camera (right)

Music photography is the toughest environment to compare film vs digital. The dark venues, fast-moving artists, massive contrast by artificial stage lights, even the eye-wateringly expensive modern cameras can struggle in such surrounds.

Film (left) and digital (right)

Technical details: I used Fujifilm Superia X-tra ISO 400 36 shots film on a Canon A-1 with a Canon 55mm f/1.2 SSC. Everything was shot at f/1.2, and the shutter speed was set by the camera’s auto exposure. The film was developed and scanned in Gunn’s Camera shop.

For digital, I used a Canon 6D with a Canon 55mm f/1.2 SSC Aspherical. Everything was shot at f/1.2 at ISO 400, I varied the shutter speed from 1/80 to 1/250 based on the light. Both images had normal edits in Lightroom.

Film (left) and digital (right)

Below are a selection of photos comparing film and digital images (film on the left, digital on the right):

What I’ve found by using both mediums is that with film you are forced to slow down, make sure the composition is right, watch the artist, and predict how they are going to move next, because I know I only have 36 shots on my roll and I don’t want to waste any of them. With digital it’s the complete opposite.

Modern cameras don’t have the split prism focusing screen that helps you nail focus like the old film cameras (I bought a split prism for my digital camera but it turned out to be useless). With the tiny depth-of-field of the f/1.2 lens, focusing becomes a game of trial and error in which I ended up with 20 times as many photos.

About the author: Owen Humphreys is a professional music and event photographer based in Dublin. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Humphreys has been featured in Goldenpec, The Irish Times, Stereogum, Hotpress, among many other publications. You can find more of his work on his website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This article was also published at Goldenpec.



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