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Photo Finds – Week of April 30, 2012

BL News Photographers
Tim Wallace

Tim Wallace

Welcome to Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web.

UK-based photographer Tim Wallace was brought to my attention through Scott Kelby’s awesome KelbyTraining.com. It took little more than a few seconds of browsing Tim’s work to turn me into an instant fan.

I’m not a big car guy. My Saturn is nearly 9 years old, and is rickety to the point where my girlfriend calls it “the Jalopy.” I’ve never been into cars – couldn’t tell you the difference between a carburetor and a cam-shaft. Sure, I admire good-looking cars, but I don’t salivate over them like some folks.

Tim’s photography makes me want to change that.  (more…)

Photo Finds – Week of April 23, 2012

Photographers
Colby Brown

Colby Brown

Welcome to Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web.

This week, we’re pretty excited to bring you the work of travel, landscape, and humanitarian photographer Colby Brown.

Colby is based out of Denver, Colorado, but for the last eight years or so, he’s blended his love for travel and adventure with his passion for photography. From Australia, to the Himalayas, to Hawaii, New Zealand, and back, Colby has played multiple roles centered around his photography. He has led workshops for National Geographic, worked as a freelance photojournalist, and collaborated with multiple NGOs on humanitarian projects. (more…)

Photo Finds – Week of April 16, 2012

Photographers
Steve Simon in Africa

Steve Simon in Africa

Welcome to Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web.

On this week’s Photo Finds, we take a look at the work of editorial and commercial photographer Steve Simon.

This Montreal-born and New York-based photographer is no stranger to those of you who follow the This Week in Photo podcast. Steve is a regular guest there, in addition to being a prolific writer and instructor. He’s the author of “The Passionate Photographer: Ten Steps Towards Become Great,” a book that has gotten rave reviews and has helped many photographers bridge the gap between the photos that they think they got, and what they actually captured.

Steve’s curriculum vitae makes for some impressive reading. From covering Winter Olympics, to Presidential elections, to shooting at the very edge of the American-Canadian border, Steve Simon’s photography encompasses an impressive and powerful spectrum. It ranges from soaring images taken at the height of political drama, to gritty, even uncomfortable images from the fringes of society. (more…)

Photo Finds – Week of April 9, 2012

Photographers
Nicole S. Young

Nicole S. Young

Here’s the test I always apply to food photography: does it make me hungry? If the answer is “no,” chances are, the photographer isn’t doing something right. The issues are typically minor; the lighting is off, or the food isn’t styled properly, or the angle doesn’t flatter the dish. Either way, the photo is missing that essential spark that makes you go, “Mmmmm…”

It’s therefore a supreme compliment to photographer Nicole S. Young that her food photography invariably makes me hungry. This is a photographer who made clams look good to me – a hard thing to do, since I don’t like seafood. Exquisitely styled, meticulously prepared, and perfectly shot, her images jump off the screen and have, more than once, made my stomach growl. (more…)

Photo Finds – Week of April 2, 2012

Photographers
Alex Koloskov

Alex Koloskov

Welcome to Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web.

This week, we bring you the work of another photographer who was born and raised in the former Soviet Union. Kiev-born Alex Koloskov first came to my attention when BorrowLenses.com alum Josh Norem pointed his website out to me. Since then, I’ve followed his work on his website, AKEL Studio, as well as on Google+.

Milk and chocolate, frozen in mid-air

Milk and chocolate, frozen in mid-air

Alex is one of those photographers whose work immediately makes you go, “Hey, how’d he do that?” The first image I ever saw of his was a shot he did of Godiva’s Chocolate Liquer, where two intersecting streams of liquid – one made of milk, the other of chocolate – were frozen in midair and wrapped around the bottle of liquor. My first thought was, “it’s CG.”

Turns out, it is a composite, but the frozen mid-air liquid? That’s real. There’s a behind the scenes shot of him actually tossing chocolate milk into the air and photographing it on his blog.

That made me groan. My girlfriend would never let me try something like that at home.

The cool thing is, Alex is very open about his tools and techniques. Take a look at the video below, on how he created a beauty shot with a model and a frozen ball of water, as an example.

His website and his Vimeo channel are full of examples like this one, and if you want to go really in-depth, you can check out his Masterclass on Mastering Splash, or one of his ebooks and video tutorials.

Alex is also very active on Google+. That’s where I found out that he’s also passionate about HDR photography, and even has a book on it, called “Realistic HDR for Landscape and Architectural Photographers.” To me, that’s the best kind of HDR, where, rather than crazy halos and impossible skies, you bring out the natural dynamic range that your eyes truly see. There’s also a really neat before/after tool for HDR images on his website that you should check out.

Alex is also going to be published in an upcoming issue of Scott Kelby’s Light It! magazine, where he shows off some of his techniques behind a new image. To find out more about him, visit his Google+ profile, which has links to the everything he’s working on right now.

Photo Finds – Week of March 26, 2012

Photographers
Park Pobedy Station, Study 1

Park Pobedy Station, Study 1

NEW UPDATE! The winners of the free copies have been picked! Congratulations to Laura Michna and Kyle Reynolds! You’ll get an email shortly with details on how to download your copy.

UPDATE: We’re giving away two free copies of the Plus One Collection’s eBook version, which has the combined work of all 500+ photographers that contributed to the book. 

To win, leave a comment on this post and tell us why you want a copy. We’ll pick two comments at random as winners on Friday, March 30, 2012.

Welcome to Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web.

This week on Photo Finds, we have a photographer and a fantastic bit of collaborative work that he was instrumental in creating.

Some of you may already know Ivan Makarov, especially if you’re a photographer who spends any amount of time on Google+. His work on the Plus One collection (more on that in a second) has brought together a huge number of photographers from the Google+ community to contribute their photographs for a book that is being sold for charity. Ivan’s own work is featured in this book, and with good reason; his photography speaks to a lot of folks. (more…)

Photo Finds – Week of March 19, 2012

Photographers
Jay and Varina Patel

Jay and Varina Patel

Welcome to Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web.

This week, we bring you a husband and wife team of landscape photographers whose work has been spreading like wildfire around the community on Google+. Meet Jay and Varina Patel.

Their work is equal parts inspirational and frustrating. Inspiring, because it’s quite simply fantastic in its scope and majesty, but frustrating because it makes you want to yell at your camera and ask why it won’t produce similar results.

The answer, however, is pretty obvious – these are photographers that have worked hard at their craft, and it shows. (more…)

Monday Photo Finds, March 12, 2012

Photographers

Welcome to Monday Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web.

This week on Photo Finds, it’s all about Dubai – more specifically, about the Gulf Photo Pro expo in Dubai, where some of the industry’s biggest names congregate for a week of education, networking, and fun in what is quickly being referred to as the “City of Gold.”

David Hobby writes about the GPP shoutout

David Hobby writes about the GPP shoutout

The Shootout

Each year, GPP ends with a photo shootout between three photographers. Three photographers have 20 minutes to come up with an idea for a shot, then shoot it and process it into a final image. The photo is based on a subject provided by the conference organizers.

David Hobby, of Strobist fame, has been a regular at these shootouts, and photographers Joey L and Zack Arias have also been past shootout participants. Last year, one of the titans of the industry, Gregory Heisler, went from being the official heckler in the audience, to doing an impromptu shoot. This year, he participated in the shootout as one of the three photographers. David Hobby and Martin Prihoda completed the triumvirate. (more…)

Monday Photo Finds, March 5, 2012

Photographers

We’re kicking our usual Cool Stuff feature to the curb this week for a different feature. Today, we’re going to focus on the end result of all this awesome gear we rent – great photographs. From an ad campaign in Argentina by Sebastian Faena and the sun-bleached images of Antonella Arismendi, to the gritty underpass of a pedestrian walkway in Baltimore, we take a look at some standout imagery that caught our eye this past week.

The Ay Not Dead campaign by Sebastian Faena

The Ay Not Dead campaign by Sebastian Faena

Sebastian Faena for Ay Not Dead

A combination of video and still black and white imagery make up this slightly edgy urban campaign for Ay Not Dead, a boutique house with locations in Argentina and Chile.

Faena, who is represented by the Art + Commerce agency, seems to have gone for simple and elegant with the Ay Not Dead campaign. His portfolio on Art + Commerce, however, is a good deal more risque, in intent if not in actual execution.

(more…)

Pros You Should Know: Juan Pons

Photographers
Wildlife and Nature Photographer Juan Pons

Wildlife and Nature Photographer Juan Pons

“Pros you should know” is an ongoing Q&A series with photographers that the folks here at BorrowLenses.com admire and follow.

Juan Pons has been a photographer for more than 20 years. Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Juan is a fantastic nature and wildlife photographer and educator. An avid conservationist, Juan’s passion for the environment is evident through his images, many of which he donates to non-profit organizations focused on nature conservation. He leads workshops in Yellowstone, Bosque Del Apache, and many other locations around the world, and is co-host of the Digital Photo Experience podcast, which is definitely worth a listen for photo enthusiasts.

We asked Juan to take a bit of time from his busy schedule and answer a few questions for us, and he was kind enough to acquiesce, and to provide us with some of his amazing photography (more of which can be found on his blog) for this piece.

1. How did you get started in photography?

I was very fortunate that the high school I attended had an excellent photography teacher and program. Ms. Solorow was incredibly inspirational and taught us not just the basics and mechanics of photography, but that we should always be experimenting and stepping out of our comfort zones photographically.

Bohemian Waxwings in Yellowstone

Bohemian Waxwings in Yellowstone

2. How has photography changed the way you see the world around you?

The primary reason I decided to concentrate on wildlife and nature photography is because it allows me to slow down and examine wildlife and nature much more intimately than I would have otherwise. I am a firm believer that you must know your subject well in order to capture their essence photographically and since i have always been very drawn to wildlife and nature, photography gave me the perfect opportunity to explore those subjects much more carefully.

3. What is your favorite subject, and why?

It’s probably obvious by now but my favorite subject is wildlife, and although I do have my favorite species I like photographing anything that moves, from large mammals like Bison in Yellowstone National Park to insects in a local park or botanical garden. As to why, I would have to say that I never cease to be amazed by natures handiwork, wether its the beauty of a delicate flower, or the cunning of a red fox.

4. Is there a market that you want to break into or simply just try?

Coyote near Gardiner, MT

Coyote near Gardiner, MT

I have been very deliberate in what I like to do with my photography so I feel like I am doing what I like to do best. However I have been wanting to try outdoor action sports photography. My problem right now is finding the time.

5. What client/project are you most looking forward to shooting next year?

I have recently moved to Maine, and although I am very familiar with Acadia National Park and the island it’s located in, there are incredible wildlife opportunities in the interior of the state. So I am very much looking forward to exploring and getting to know some of these areas with the goal of putting in place a number of wildlife photography workshops closer to home.

6. What do you derive inspiration from?

This one is easy, most of my inspiration come from nature itself, however I very much enjoy looking at other photographer’s work, certainly the work of other professional photographers, but I specially enjoy seeing the work of amateur photographers. The reason is that amateurs work is almost completely driven by their passion and oftentimes you can see this in their work. In addition, the work of amateur photographers can sometimes be equated to seeing thru a child’s eye, meaning that they will have a different and new perspective than those of us with more experience and I find that very refreshing.

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

7. Where do you go for inspiration when you reach a creative plateau?

Outdoors, I do not necessarily have to visit a National Park like Acadia, although that is nice, but sometimes inspiration can be gleaned from some of the simplest scenes and subjects. I find that trying to capture a different perspective on ordinary and everyday subjects can get my juices flowing.

8. What’s your favorite piece of gear? Why?

It would definitely have to be my tripod. I often say that I feel naked when I go out shooting without a good tripod. I find that the tripod slows me down and makes me more deliberate in my photography.

9. Where do you see the future of photography technology taking us? How will the next generation take photos?

The sky is truly the limit, I believe we are living in the golden age of photography. At no other time have we enjoyed the choices we have in photography, and not just in terms of gear, but also in terms on how we share our work with the world.

10. What do you do when you’re not shooting?

Most people think that being a professional photographer means you are out shooting all the time, and while that may be true for some, for most of us photography is a business and as with any business there is a lot of other work you need to do to be successful. Things like logistics, accounting, marketing, interfacing with clients, selling, etc.

However beside my photography business I very much enjoy Kayaking, Downhill skiing, biking, hiking and camping. But most of all I enjoy spending time with my 7 year old son.

11. What is the biggest challenge you face currently in your photography that you are trying to overcome, and what are you doing to overcome it?

For me it’s always marketing and selling of myself. This is my least favorite part of my photography business, but without it I know I would not have a photography business so I do it. Eventually I will want to hire someone to help tackle my marketing much more effectively.

Bass Harbor Lighthouse, Acadia National Park

Bass Harbor Lighthouse, Acadia National Park

12. What’s the best piece of advice you can give someone just entering the photography business?

I get this question all the time, and the best thing I can tell someone wanting to get into this business is to think long and hard about what photography means to them. Most amateur photographers do it for the passion, the release that photography gives them as well as a way to relax and put aside, at least for some time, the stresses of their regular life and daytime job. There is a real danger of taking something that you do to feel better and relax and make it your primary source of income and apply to it all the stresses of having to make a living at it. As I said above, being a professional photographer does not mean you are taking pictures all day every day, the vast majority of the time will be spent taking care of the business side of photography.

If after reflecting on this you determine that you still want to be become a professional, then go for it! Work hard at it, be tenacious, be determined to succeed. I believe that there is still a lot of opportunities out there, you just have to be creative and resourceful and most important remember that this is a very rapidly changing field, so you need to be flexible and always be learning. Best of luck!

 

You can learn more about Juan at his website, at http://juanpons.org. The Digital Photo Experience podcast that Juan co-hosts can be found at http://dpexperience.com.

 

All images Courtesy and Copyright © Juan Pons.

5 Photographers’ Blogs You Should Read

Photographers

If you’re reading this blog, chances are that you already have bookmarks or RSS feeds for some of the leading photographer blogs out there like Joe McNally, Scott Kelby and Chase Jarvis.

But as engaging as they are (and as much as we tend to read them every day), there are other, less-famous photographers who are nonetheless doing a stellar job in their fields and whose blogs are incredibly stimulating and interesting. In this piece, we introduce you to five of them. (more…)

Pros you should know: Syl Arena

Photographers

“Pros you should know” is an ongoing Q&A series with photographers that the folks here at BorrowLenses.com admire and follow.

Syl Arena at Rayko Photo in San Francisco, at a recent workshop.

Syl Arena at Rayko Photo in San Francisco, at a recent workshop.

Welcome to the first in a series of articles talking about some of the professionals in our field that the folks here at BorrowLenses.com think you should know. Today, we’d like to introduce you to Syl Arena. (more…)