On ‘Making It’ as a Photographer, or: What if Your House Burned Down?

What if your house burned down? Have you still “made it” as a photographer? 3 weeks ago I was sitting, much as I do now, winding down on a Saturday evening, finding some time to write a newsletter and blog post. I had just released an image shot for Kohler, a company whose advertising I had wanted to be a part of for a long time, and wanted to write something around this image and the process to create it. Earlier in the day, I had listened to comedian Bill Burr being interviewed on Tim Ferriss’ podcast. A good laugh,
Continue reading "On ‘Making It’ as a Photographer, or: What if Your House Burned Down?"

These Architectural Photos Are Optical Illusions That Will Confuse Your Brain

German photographer Max Leitner has published a project titled “Misleading Lines.” It’s a series of architectural photos shot in Warsaw, Poland. They’re not standard architectural images, though: Leitner photographed an urban gymnast from unusual angles perspectives to create mind-bending optical illusions. The project was done in collaboration with Nikon, the company behind the wide-angle lenses Leitner used for these images. He was shooting with a D850 DSLR. “Max photographed Warsaw’s most beautiful structures while incorporating urban gymnast Benni Grams to create optical illusions and make the viewer question what’s happening in the images,” Nikon tells PetaPixel. Many of the
Continue reading "These Architectural Photos Are Optical Illusions That Will Confuse Your Brain"

Photographer Projects Portraits Onto Pieces of Trash in Los Angeles

Photographer Philippe Echaroux wants to spread an important message about the problem of trash littered on streets. His new photo project After the Dream is a creative series designed to raise awareness about this issue. Echaroux visited Los Angeles and started by capturing portraits of random people he met on the streets. Next, Echaroux collected pieces of trash scattered around the streets and combined them into larger trash surfaces. He then projected the portraits he captured onto the trash in front of popular landmarks. Here’s a 3-minute behind-the-scenes video showing how the project was done:
The project goes beyond just
Continue reading "Photographer Projects Portraits Onto Pieces of Trash in Los Angeles"

This Photographer Burned Photos by Igniting Gunpowder on Them

Salt Lake City-based photographer Dewey Keithly recently came up with an unusual way to edit the look of portraits: he creatively burned them by igniting gunpowder across the surface of the giant prints. Kiethly originally came up with the idea after watching the documentary Sky Ladder and seeing the work of Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang, who’s known for creating art with controlled gunpowder explosions. To create the portraits for an event put on by SilencerCo, a manufacturer of firearm silencers, Keithly shot digital photos and then printed each portrait in both color and B&W using a large format Epson printer.
Continue reading "This Photographer Burned Photos by Igniting Gunpowder on Them"

Photo Salon in SF Turns Phone Photos Into Fine Art Prints in 30 Minutes

Neomodern is a new startup in San Francisco that turns smartphone photos into fine art prints while giving owners a memorable, educational, and inspiring experience along the way. Located on Union Street, Neomodern was founded by Michael Rubin, previously a Senior Innovator at Adobe. “This idea had been nagging on me and I just gave in and did it this year,” Rubin tells PetaPixel. There are two components to Neomodern: a printing side and a gallery side. For printing, Neomodern invites anyone to walk in with their smartphones. The staff consists of experienced professional fine art printers who will
Continue reading "Photo Salon in SF Turns Phone Photos Into Fine Art Prints in 30 Minutes"

This Layer-Lapse of NYC Combines Different Times of Day in Each Frame

Back in 2014, time-lapse photographer Julian Tryba released a “layer-lapse” of Boston that showed different times of day in different parts of each frame. That video went viral and received over a million views. Now Tryba is back with another layer-lapse, this time of New York City in the 3-minute short film above. “Traditional time-lapses are constrained by the idea that there is a single universal clock,” Tryba writes. “In the spirit of Einstein’s relativity theory, layer-lapses assign distinct clocks to any number of objects or regions in a scene. “Each of these clocks may start at any point in
Continue reading "This Layer-Lapse of NYC Combines Different Times of Day in Each Frame"

Tip: Use a Mannequin Head to Practice Portrait Lighting Without a Model

Want to learn portrait lighting but don’t have a model you can spend hours and hours with? Here’s a 4-minute video in which photographer Ed Verosky offers a simple suggestion: Buy a cheap mannequin head to practice your skills. Using a real model to fine-tune your skills can be uncomfortable and boring for the subject. By using a mannequin, you’ll have a simple test subject that won’t mind getting blasted by studio lights all day. You don’t even need a full-body mannequin. A Styrofoam mannequin head is cheap and can serve you well. Just stick it on a spike in
Continue reading "Tip: Use a Mannequin Head to Practice Portrait Lighting Without a Model"

Building a Custom Wood Surface for Product Photos

A few days ago, my girlfriend, Victoria was trying to take some photos of a bridesmaid gift she received the night before. She was trying to take these images on her phone and was not having any success. After a few unsuccessful attempts, she gave into my suggestion of taking these photos on her X-T10. She then ran into the issue of having a couple of photos that were poorly framed and somewhat noisy. After some more convincing we had her camera mounted on a tripod. We spent the next few minutes rearranging the objects in the photo and adjusting
Continue reading "Building a Custom Wood Surface for Product Photos"

Photoshop Turns Rock Climbing Photos Into Rock Worshiping Photos

Here’s a strange and hilarious idea that the Internet has spawned: if you Photoshop rock climbers out of bouldering photos and leave the spotters in the frame, the resulting images look like photos of rock worshipers. @allmightystone is a new Instagram account dedicated to collecting and sharing these Photoshopped creations.
Just for reference, here’s what unaltered bouldering photos look like when they contain both the spotter(s) and the rock climber:
Photo on left by Jarek Tuszyński
Here are some more examples of Photoshopped rock worshiping
Continue reading "Photoshop Turns Rock Climbing Photos Into Rock Worshiping Photos"

How to Shoot Double Exposure Concert Photography

I recently shot a series of double exposure photos of the band I Don’t Know How But They Found Me at The Knitting Factory, and they’ve received a great response. So, I thought it would be worth explaining how I took them! If you also have a Nikon D750 or similar Nikon camera, here’s how you can experiment like I did:

1. Visualize your final image

This can be difficult to do in an unpredictable live music setting – your subject might be bouncing around the stage! But if you can see in your mind how you’d like the
Continue reading "How to Shoot Double Exposure Concert Photography"

Photographer Recreates the Iconic Photo ‘Dali Atomicus’

The 1948 photo ‘Dali Atomicus’ by American portrait photographer Philippe Halsman is regarded as one of the most iconic photos of the 20th century. It’s a surreal image showing surrealist artist Salvador Dalí in midair with three cats, a bucket of thrown water, and a chair. Photographer Karl Taylor recently decided to try his hand at recreating the photo.
“Dali Atomicus” by the late photographer Philippe Halsman
“This iconic image has been a favourite of mine for as long as I remember and it is probably the root of my own interest and specialisation in photographing fast moving liquids and
Continue reading "Photographer Recreates the Iconic Photo ‘Dali Atomicus’"

I Photographed the ISS Crossing the Full Moon at 17,500mph

This image was taken on November 4th, 2017 at 4:19 am in Titusville, Florida. It shows the International Space Station (with a crew of six currently onboard) transiting the full “Beaver Moon.” As the ISS orbits Earth at 17,500mph, or roughly five miles per second, the transit lasted just 0.90 seconds. This transit was visible from a narrow path stretching from the middle of Florida to the east coast. I was stationed in a very specific location, as being just several tenths of a mile can throw off a planned transit photo. Given that the transit occurred
Continue reading "I Photographed the ISS Crossing the Full Moon at 17,500mph"

Photos of People Matching Paintings in Museums

Photographer Stefan Draschan visited museums across Europe and spent hours looking for curious coincidences in which other visitors matched the paintings they were looking at. The series is titled People Matching Artworks. After spotting a good match, Draschan patiently waits for an opportune moment to frame the museum-goer with the artwork, often in a space bustling with people. The resulting photos are visual treats that are artworks in and of themselves. You can follow along with this ongoing project on Draschan’s Tumblr site People Matching Artworks (via Stefan Draschan via Colossal)
Image credits: Photographs by Stefan Draschan and used
Continue reading "Photos of People Matching Paintings in Museums"

Photographer Recreating Instagram Photos from Around the World

Project ReCognition is a new project by LA-based Iranian photographer Reza Bahrami in which every photo is based on a picture that was found on Instagram. Bahrami and his wife first scoured Instagram for images, searching through over 5,000 public accounts before selecting roughly 100 photos for the project. The duo is now recreating and reshooting the photos in Los Angeles, posting the new versions to the Project ReCognition Instagram account. “This project is my way of questioning our behavior on social media,” Bahrami tells PetaPixel. “The people we chose are different. I admire their bravery and ability to express
Continue reading "Photographer Recreating Instagram Photos from Around the World"

This Guy Shot a Car Commercial to Sell His Girlfriend’s 1996 Honda Accord

Director Max Lanman‘s girlfriend recently needed to sell her 1996 Honda Accord. To help her out, Lanman put his skills to use and made this amazing car commercial that’s fit for TV — except, it’s for a single used car. The project required an entire creative team: in addition to Lanman writing and directing the spot (as well as piloting the drone, editing, and creating foley sounds), there was a cinematographer, actress, voice artist, stunt driver, composer for an original score, and sound designer. “A huge thanks to Carrie for letting me do this, even though it took me
Continue reading "This Guy Shot a Car Commercial to Sell His Girlfriend’s 1996 Honda Accord"

These Colorful Landscapes in Jars Are In-Camera DSLR Double Exposures

Photographer Christoffer Relander has released a series of beautiful photos showing colorful landscapes inside glass jars. The photos aren’t the result of Photoshop — each is an in-camera double exposure captured with a Nikon D800E. The work is part of Relander’s ongoing project titled Jarred & Displaced. His first viral set, which we featured last year, consisted of black-and-white jarred landscapes captured entirely in-camera with medium format camera double exposures. For this second set, Relander switched to a digital camera and color photos. For the past 3 years, Relander has been revisiting the locations of his childhood and collecting
Continue reading "These Colorful Landscapes in Jars Are In-Camera DSLR Double Exposures"

This Music Video is a Weird Photoshop Editing Timelapse

Here’s the new official music video for the song “Do I Have to Talk You Into It” by Spoon. If you’re a photographer who has watched post-processing tutorials online, the concept of this music video will be strangely familiar to you: it’s a Photoshop editing timelapse. The 4.5-minute video shows the band’s lead singer, Britt Daniel, being edited in Photoshop in all kinds of strange ways, from having his sunglasses edited out and face Liquefied to having his skin and muscles removed to reveal the skeleton within. And if you’re wondering how any of the edits are done, just
Continue reading "This Music Video is a Weird Photoshop Editing Timelapse"

Incredible Chemical Reactions Caught on Camera

Beauty of Science is a project that wants to engage people with science through stunning macro photos and videos of chemical reactions. Photographer Wenting Zhu of Hefei, China, captures the incredible sequences of chemistry in action. Here are two videos show gas-generating reactions taking place. Each clip is annotated with the relevant chemical reaction, which will be interesting for any chemists reading.
Another shows electrodeposition occurring, creating “metal structures” of incredible design. The clip shows copper, tin, zinc, lead, and silver.
Metal displacement shows crystal growth as one reactive metal displaces another from a salt solution.
Precipitation reactions occur when
Continue reading "Incredible Chemical Reactions Caught on Camera"

These Cleverly Composed Photos Play with Shadows, Lines, and Space

Photographer Denis Cherim has an eye for creative composition. His Coincidence Project is filled with cleverly framed photos containing interesting relationships between light, shadows, and the lines of objects. Cherim started the project 5 years ago and has been adding to the ongoing series ever since. Whenever he finds an interesting “coincidence,” he pulls out his camera and captures it using his Fuji X-T2. Many of the photos force you to look more closely to understand what’s actually going on. Cherim was born in Romania, moved to Turkey at the age of 10, and then lived in Madrid for 14
Continue reading "These Cleverly Composed Photos Play with Shadows, Lines, and Space"

Shooting Portraits with a Giant Moon Using a 1120mm Lens

Photographer Eric Pare recently went out into the desert and shot a set of photos showing a model sitting next to the moon. And the size of the moon in the photos wasn’t faked. Pare managed to capture a gigantic moon by using a 1120mm lens and having his model sit very far away. Pare was shooting with a Canon 5D Mark IV DSLR using a Canon 400mm f/5.6 mounted to a 2x extender (Mark II), which in turn was mounted to a 1.4x extender. The teleconverter stacking gave the resulting setup a focal length of 1120mm. To
Continue reading "Shooting Portraits with a Giant Moon Using a 1120mm Lens"