‘WESTERN’ Filmmakers on Creating Context, Condensing Time & Being Real With Your Subjects

Bill and Turner Ross' new film WESTERN turns their curious vérité gaze into the border tensions between Texas and Mexico. In our interview from SXSW they talk about form, the brother/filmmaker relationship and decidedly not being "answer people."

Awarded at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival with a Special Jury Award for Vérité Filmmaking, celebrating "the restraint of filmmakers letting image and sound speak for itself," the Ross Brothers are filmmakers that immerse themselves fully into their subject matter in an attempt to discover a unique context for their stories to exist within. I was drawn to the Ross Bros' work and decided to sit down with them at SXSW to chat about their process.

"We are presenting neither the problem nor the solution. We are presenting the context."

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This Week In Photography Books: Andy Freeberg

by Jonathan Blaustein

I got a lot of good feedback on last week’s review. Honestly, I wasn’t that surprised. Who doesn’t love to read the ramblings of a slightly deranged mind?

It was as if I were Raskolnikov for a few moments. Fleetingly crazy, only without the menace. Who knew what I might say? I could have written the whole thing stark naked, having a laugh at everyone’s expense, and no one would have been the wiser.

This week, however, I’ve moved past the pain-killer phase of this particular illness. As two of my students correctly predicted, it migrated from my throat to my chest. Now, I have bronchitis, which is less painful, but more annoying.

All day long, I’ve been hocking up phlegm.
Cough. Cough. Chest boogers.
Cough. Cough. Chest boogers.

Not. exactly. sexy.

And yet, as I said last week, the trains must run on time. Books must be reviewed. Content must be produced. It is the way of the 21st Century, and who am I to question reality?

(Were I still in the Dostoyesvky-impersonating phase, I might do just that. “The world. It is bleak. People. They are dark, miserable animals. Happiness is an illusion. We are all capable of murder. Why go on living? What is the point? I really should kill myself. Or better yet, someone else. They don’t deserve to live. I hate them. I love them. I am thoroughly confused.”)

Are you confused? Shall I make things less complicated for you?

How’s this? Andy Freeberg’s new book “Art Fare,” published by Sojourn, is awesome and hilarious, in a dry, insider-kind-of-way. He laughs at the type of powerful, humorless people that normally intimidate the shit out of regular folks like us: Contemporary Art Dealers, and their bespectacled minions.

This book requires little explication, which is why it is perfect for today. The pictures below will amuse you, for certain, and allow me to wrap this column up quickly, so I can go back to my obnoxious, Russian-level suffering.

Cough. Cough. Chest boogers.

The pictures were made in the Miami Art Fairs, and feature gallery owners and workers in front of the goods they buy, sell and trade. Not much to figure out.

There are connections between the people and the art, occasionally. Like the guy in front of his own painting, with his wiener hanging out.

But what I really loved was the fact that almost all of these people have adopted the kind of affected, bored-of-the-world, I’d rather check my Iphone than stare at a wall, I’m-better-than-you-are kind of postures. It makes you want to punch them in the face, collectively, but then, not really. They’re just flawed human beings, as are we.

Everyone gets bored, I suppose, and if you stare at the art too long, perhaps your mind will explode.

I’m sure they’re secretly insecure, these Art World Denizens, and trying to fit in, like the rest of us. So they wear faded black T-shirts, like their buddies do, and pretend not to care. (Like their buddies do.)

Bill Hunt, who writes an essay, is also featured in a photograph, at his former gallery Hasted Hunt Krautler. In fairness, his pose affects no such ennui. (Which really ought to be a Russian word, instead of French. Don’t you think?)

He ends with Chuck Close, in his wheelchair, looking at an Andy Warhol “Soup Can” on the wall. What a great way to “close” a book. Perfect, really.

Blaustein out.

Bottom Line: Hilarious, well-observed investigation of the Art-World-Gorillas in their natural habitat

To Purchase “Art Fare” Visit Photo-Eye

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Books are provided by Photo-Eye in exchange for links back for purchase.

Books are found in the bookstore and submissions are not accepted.

This Weekend Only – 25% OFF Prints from MPIX!

THIS WEEKEND ONLY – 25% OFF ALL PRINTS!
Our friends at Mpix are here to help you clean out your camera just in time for spring with a 25% off all prints sale you can’t afford to miss. From now, Friday March 20, through Sunday March 22, fill up your cart with whatever prints you’d like to purchase, then enter the promo code kelbyspringcleaning at checkout to receive the discount!

Maybe it’s time to freshen up your home with some new photos for your walls, give that special someone a way to remember that amazing day you shared recently, or it’s just time you treated yourself to some new prints for your portfolio. Whatever the reason, why not do it now when you can save 25%? Head over to Mpix.com now to get started.

Please note: This sale is valid for all photo prints. Additional services applied to prints are not discounted. This offer is not available through ROES and no refunds will be issued for orders placed prior to the sale. Offer expires at 11:59 p.m. (Central) on March 22nd, 2015

Priime, The Best iPhone Photo Editor I’ve Ever Used

Priime is Liive -- Get It While It's Hot

Disclosure, I am an advisor to Priime and have styles included in their style marketplace.

Boom. Just a few hours ago Priime went live in the Apple iTunes App Store and already on launch day Apple is featuring it in their best new apps section.

What is Priime?

Priime is the best mobile phone editor I’ve ever used. I’ve been using it behind the scenes for the past few months and am blown away by how much better it is than anything else out for mobile editing today. The free app features a powerful suite of editing tools allowing you to enhance a lot of the basics around your photos: brightness, structure, contrast, warmth, tint, saturation, sharpness, highlights/shadows, vignette and fade. The app can also save photos up to 50 megapixel in size! I don’t know of any other app that can let you output such high res photos.

In addition to these tools, Priime has currated some of the best mobile photo styles available. These are styles developed by photographers for photographers. I have two styles for sale in the Priime marketplace — Americana and Neon. Neon can be a particularly tricky thing to shoot sometimes. I’ve taken over 10,000 photos of neon signs and this is my best attempt at an overlay that works especially well for signs.

The app gives you some great free starter styles. It will also make suggestions for what styles may work best with your photo after analyzing it.

In addition to my styles, Priime features styles developed by 30 other insanely talented photographers, each with their own unique way of processing the world through their iPhone.

Daniel Krieger, who shoots for the NY Times, is probably the best working food photographer in the world right now. If you are going to

:)
My Styles in the New Release iPhone App Priime
Priime Featured in the Best New Apps Section of the iPhone App Store
Continue reading "Priime, The Best iPhone Photo Editor I’ve Ever Used"

Replay the Light Iron Focus event

light-iron event fcpx

Couldn't make it to Los Angeles for the recent Light Iron event where the the directors and editor of Focus talked about how they made the film on Final Cut Pro X? The recordings from the sessions are now online.

How Do You Know if a Film is Going to Be a Hit? Just Take a Look at the Stock Market

What factors influence the financial success of a film? Star power? Marketing? Humongous budgets? Sure, maybe. But one of the biggest factors is the state of the Stock Market.

What? What does Wall Street have to do with the entertainment industry. (Everything?) Well, in this short excerpt from the documentary History's Hidden Engine, which chronicles the science of socionomics (the study of "how social mood motivates social actions"), Robert R. Prechter, Jr. explains why certain genres of films perform the way they do depending on market trends.

If you've been through the ups and downs of the economy, chances are you've noticed certain trends forming up on the Big Screen. Studies have shown that action/family films tend to fare better in bull markets, while horror films tend to fare better in bear markets. That is, in times of prosperity, audiences go to see action/family films, while in economic crisis and social unrest, audiences flock to horror films.

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How Do You Know if a Film is Going to Be a Hit? Just Take a Look at the Stock Market

What factors influence the financial success of a film? Star power? Marketing? Humongous budgets? Sure, maybe. But one of the biggest factors is the state of the Stock Market.

What? What does Wall Street have to do with the entertainment industry. (Everything?) Well, in this short excerpt from the documentary History's Hidden Engine, which chronicles the science of socionomics (the study of "how social mood motivates social actions"), Robert R. Prechter, Jr. explains why certain genres of films perform the way they do depending on market trends.

If you've been through the ups and downs of the economy, chances are you've noticed certain trends forming up on the Big Screen. Studies have shown that action/family films tend to fare better in bull markets, while horror films tend to fare better in bear markets. That is, in times of prosperity, audiences go to see action/family films, while in economic crisis and social unrest, audiences flock to horror films.

Read More

How Do You Know if a Film is Going to Be a Hit? Just Take a Look at the Stock Market

What factors influence the financial success of a film? Star power? Marketing? Humongous budgets? Sure, maybe. But one of the biggest factors is the state of the Stock Market.

What? What does Wall Street have to do with the entertainment industry. (Everything?) Well, in this short excerpt from the documentary History's Hidden Engine, which chronicles the science of socionomics (the study of "how social mood motivates social actions"), Robert R. Prechter, Jr. explains why certain genres of films perform the way they do depending on market trends.

If you've been through the ups and downs of the economy, chances are you've noticed certain trends forming up on the Big Screen. Studies have shown that action/family films tend to fare better in bull markets, while horror films tend to fare better in bear markets. That is, in times of prosperity, audiences go to see action/family films, while in economic crisis and social unrest, audiences flock to horror films.

Read More

Best Video Monopod Sirui vs Benro vs Manfrotto

When you have to shoot video and move fast, the last thing you’re thinking about is a Tripod. If you have to move fast with some type of stability, maybe you’re thinking more along the lines of a good Video Monopod. In this video i’m showing you why I personally think the latest version of Sirui Video Monopods are at the top of my list, and how it offers more than other Top Brands.

Sirui video monopod 129 sale[Update] The Sirui P-204S Aluminum Video Monopod Shown In Video is Just $129 + FREE SHIPPING (HERE)

[NOTE:] Because we have readers from around the world, we often provide various links to products. For USA buyers purchasing a SIRUI Product from an Authorized USA Retailer qualifies the product for a 6 YEAR WARRANTY. USA buyers purchasing overseas products will not qualify for the 6 Year USA Warranty.

The moment you pick up a Sirui Video Monopod you’ll notice the build quality. Every moving part is precision made and the feature set is well thought out. The monopod can be detached from the feet for more compact travel, yet you can still use the Monopod without the feet, and you can use the Feet without the Monopod (as a small Tripod | Hi Hat).

A locking base prevents the Sirui Video Monopod from swiveling and panning, and a variable drag adjustment at the base allows fine tuning to the operator. Panning can be achieved from the fluid column, or you can lock down the panning feature. Check out the variety of Sirui Video Monopods.

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find-price-button Sirui Aluminum and Carbon Fiber Photo|Video Monopods

Other Products Mentioned in this Article

Benro Video Monopods
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Manfrotto Video Monopod
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Manfrotto Video Monopods

Sirui Monopods Also Available At:
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find-price-button Sirui Photo|Video Monopods via B&H USA

Sirui Photo Video Monopod Amazon
find-price-button Sirui Photo|Video Monopods via Amazon USA

DSLR Guide for Beginners: The Best Entry Level DSLR Tips

So, you’ve purchased your first DSLR camera, have you? You most likely read the manual, watched tutorials, asked your fellow photographer friends for tips. And still, you are reluctant to experiment with your new purchase. Do you find it easier to just use the Auto function? You don’t even take the camera out with you because you find it too difficult and somewhat embarrassing to fiddle around with various settings? This guide on the best entry level DSLR tips for photographers just starting out. Continue reading "DSLR Guide for Beginners: The Best Entry Level DSLR Tips"

ARRI Will Give You More Control Over Lens Flares with Their New Master Anamorphic Flare Sets

In addition to the new ALEXA SXT cameras, ARRI also announced the Master Anamorphic Flare Sets, which consist of replaceable front and rear glass elements that give specific lens flare effects, and gives you more control in-camera. Here's a video showing what they can do:

Here's a little bit of info on them:

Each of the seven Master Anamorphic focal lengths has its own specific flare set, comprising easily replaceable front and rear glass elements with a special lens coating that encourages flaring, ghosting and veiling glare. The flare elements can be used individually or in combination to provide the lens with three additional looks for enriched on-set creativity.

By using the ARRI Master Anamorphic Toolkit, the front and rear glass elements can be exchanged with the regular Master Anamorphic elements in a matter of minutes, since each flare element is pre-aligned in a metal frame. A set of Master Anamorphics effectively becomes four different anamorphic lens sets, each suitable for different flaring requirements while maintaining the famously distortion-free optical performance.

Read More

ARRI Will Give You More Control Over Lens Flares with Their New Master Anamorphic Flare Sets

In addition to the new ALEXA SXT cameras, ARRI also announced the Master Anamorphic Flare Sets, which consist of replaceable front and rear glass elements that give specific lens flare effects, and gives you more control in-camera. Here's a video showing what they can do:

Here's a little bit of info on them:

Each of the seven Master Anamorphic focal lengths has its own specific flare set, comprising easily replaceable front and rear glass elements with a special lens coating that encourages flaring, ghosting and veiling glare. The flare elements can be used individually or in combination to provide the lens with three additional looks for enriched on-set creativity.

By using the ARRI Master Anamorphic Toolkit, the front and rear glass elements can be exchanged with the regular Master Anamorphic elements in a matter of minutes, since each flare element is pre-aligned in a metal frame. A set of Master Anamorphics effectively becomes four different anamorphic lens sets, each suitable for different flaring requirements while maintaining the famously distortion-free optical performance.

Read More

ARRI Will Give You More Control Over Lens Flares with Their New Master Anamorphic Flare Sets

In addition to the new ALEXA SXT cameras, ARRI also announced the Master Anamorphic Flare Sets, which consist of replaceable front and rear glass elements that give specific lens flare effects, and gives you more control in-camera. Here's a video showing what they can do:

Here's a little bit of info on them:

Each of the seven Master Anamorphic focal lengths has its own specific flare set, comprising easily replaceable front and rear glass elements with a special lens coating that encourages flaring, ghosting and veiling glare. The flare elements can be used individually or in combination to provide the lens with three additional looks for enriched on-set creativity.

By using the ARRI Master Anamorphic Toolkit, the front and rear glass elements can be exchanged with the regular Master Anamorphic elements in a matter of minutes, since each flare element is pre-aligned in a metal frame. A set of Master Anamorphics effectively becomes four different anamorphic lens sets, each suitable for different flaring requirements while maintaining the famously distortion-free optical performance.

Read More

The Art of the Personal Project: Dennis Stevens

As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is: Dennis Stevens

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How long have you been shooting?
I have been shooting for close to eight years now with three of those being professional.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I am completely self taught through experimentation.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
Growing up, I always had a strong fascination with firefighters. Last summer I took the initiative to speak with the local fire chief about my photography and he granted me the privilege of working alongside his firefighters. I spent nearly a week trying to get a sense of how I was going to capture such a powerful subject, but in the end it turned out fantastic.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
This project began last July, and I released the first set of images in mid-august.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
It truly depends on the subject that I am capturing. Traditionally, I will spend around three days to determine if I connect with the subject, if not I normally abandon the idea until a later date.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I am very selective in the work I choose to publish in my portfolio. Portfolio work for me has to be perfect in quality, while my personal projects don’t have too high of standard since I am just expressing myself.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
I present my work on different venues depending on the subject matter. For example, I posted this project nearly everywhere I could including the firefighting sub-reddit.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
My work with first responders has gone viral within the firefighting community. As of January 2015, my series had received over half a million views as a result of social media sharing. Although with a lot of viral images out there, only a couple thousand of viewers knew that I was the photographer.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
At this point, I have not. Although, I plan to create multiple promotional pieces that I will distribute to agencies this summer to introduce my brand.

—————-

Dennis Stevens is an eighteen year old photographer based in Orlando, FL. He specializes in lifestyle, advertising, and performance photography with a hard focus on first responders. He is network driven and loves to create work with new clients. He has been shooting commercial photography freelance for the past three years while attending high school. He has been regarded by the greats of his industry as ambitious and someone who will make his mark.

His work with first responders has been widely recognized in the first responder industry. His continuous series highlighting the Winter Park Fire Department has been viewed by nearly half-a-million people worldwide as a consequence of social media sharing. His most recent campaign with Honeywell International received the attention of nearly twenty-thousand viewers within the period of a work week.


APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

Unpacking ‘The Look of Silence’ with Oscar-Nominated Director Joshua Oppenheimer

The man behind the silence-breaking exposé on the Indonesian genocide of 1965 (The Act of Killing) follows up his discoveries with the equally powerful companion film The Look of Silence.

Few films leave you changed upon viewing them, but the weight, power and grace of these two films signal their impact as unignorable. I had a chance to sit down with Joshua in his hotel room at SXSW to discuss how his latest film compliments The Act Of Killing. The film delves into the personal quest of Adi (a man whose brother was slain in genocide) as he strives to uncover remnants of humanity after 50 years of silence.

Watch the trailer for The Look of Silence:

Formally the films are very different, but for me equally powerful and really are both must-sees. Have you seen either film? Let's talk about them below.

Read More

Unpacking ‘The Look of Silence’ with Oscar-Nominated Director Joshua Oppenheimer

The man behind the silence-breaking exposé on the Indonesian genocide of 1965 (The Act of Killing) follows up his discoveries with the equally powerful companion film The Look of Silence.

Few films leave you changed upon viewing them, but the weight, power and grace of these two films signal their impact as unignorable. I had a chance to sit down with Joshua in his hotel room at SXSW to discuss how his latest film compliments The Act Of Killing. The film delves into the personal quest of Adi (a man whose brother was slain in genocide) as he strives to uncover remnants of humanity after 50 years of silence.

Watch the trailer for The Look of Silence:

Formally the films are very different, but for me equally powerful and really are both must-sees. Have you seen either film? Let's talk about them below.

Read More

Unpacking ‘The Look of Silence’ with Oscar-Nominated Director Joshua Oppenheimer

The man behind the silence-breaking exposé on the Indonesian genocide of 1965 (The Act of Killing) follows up his discoveries with the equally powerful companion film The Look of Silence.

Few films leave you changed upon viewing them, but the weight, power and grace of these two films signal their impact as unignorable. I had a chance to sit down with Joshua in his hotel room at SXSW to discuss how his latest film compliments The Act Of Killing. The film delves into the personal quest of Adi (a man whose brother was slain in genocide) as he strives to uncover remnants of humanity after 50 years of silence.

Watch the trailer for The Look of Silence:

Formally the films are very different, but for me equally powerful and really are both must-sees. Have you seen either film? Let's talk about them below.

Read More

Blackmagic 2.1 Firmware Update Gives 2.5K Cinema Camera Lossless Compressed RAW

Blackmagic has finally added compressed RAW to the original 2.5K Cinema Camera in the newest 2.1 update.

While all of the other cameras had gotten some form of compressed RAW up until now, the oldest of the bunch finally joins the club. Just like the other cameras that have it, the lossless should look identical to the uncompressed RAW, but will save card space and let you shoot longer (since it's basically compressing like a ZIP file instead of removing information). They've also added some new functionality with both the BMCC and the BMPCC by letting you bypass the dashboard and go straight into the settings. Something else that annoyed many people was the fact that the camera wouldn't remember that you'd turned on peaking when you shut it down, but that's now been fixed, and they've also added more frame guide options.

Here are the changes in 2.1:

Read More

Blackmagic 2.1 Firmware Update Gives 2.5K Cinema Camera Lossless Compressed RAW

Blackmagic has finally added compressed RAW to the original 2.5K Cinema Camera in the newest 2.1 update.

While all of the other cameras had gotten some form of compressed RAW up until now, the oldest of the bunch finally joins the club. Just like the other cameras that have it, the lossless should look identical to the uncompressed RAW, but will save card space and let you shoot longer (since it's basically compressing like a ZIP file instead of removing information). They've also added some new functionality with both the BMCC and the BMPCC by letting you bypass the dashboard and go straight into the settings. Something else that annoyed many people was the fact that the camera wouldn't remember that you'd turned on peaking when you shut it down, but that's now been fixed, and they've also added more frame guide options.

Here are the changes in 2.1:

Read More