Music Visualized with Light Painting Photography

visualizemusic How do you go about capturing music in a photograph? Photographer Stephen Orlando has an interesting answer: light painting. By attaching LED lights to the bows of violin, viola, and cello players, Orlando is able to capture a creative representation of the sounds created by musicians. Orlando was inspired by the work of light painting pioneer Gjon Mili, who shot a series of experimental light painting photos of a violinist in 1952. By attaching a light to the bottom of Jascha Heifetz’s violin in a darkened studio, he was able to show the path of the violin over time with long-exposure photography:
Gjon Mili captured this photo of violinist Jascha Heifetz in 1952.

Gjon Mili captured this photo of violinist Jascha Heifetz in 1952.

For his modern remix of the project, Orlando attached multiple LED lights along the length of the bows. To capture movement over time, Orlando had to introduce movement between the performers and his camera, so he
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10 Winning Shots from the 2015 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Whale whisperers After receiving nearly 18,000 photo submissions, National Geographic Traveler magazine has selected the winning shots for this year’s Traveler Photo Contest. It’s a series of images of our world that dazzles your eyes and stirs your imagination. The grand prize winner is Anuar Patjane Floriuk of Tehuacán, Puebla, Mexico, who captured a magical underwater photograph of divers swimming near a humpback whale.

Grand Prize: “Whale Whisperer”

Photo and caption by Anuar Patjane Floriuk/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. Diving with a humpback whale and her newborn calf while they cruise around Roca Partida ... in the Revillagigedo [Islands], Mexico. This is an outstanding and unique place full of pelagic life, so we need to accelerate the incorporation of the islands into UNESCO as [a] natural heritage site in order to increase the protection of the islands against the prevailing illegal fishing corporations and big-game fishing.

Diving with a humpback whale and her newborn calf while they cruise around Roca Partida … in the Revillagigedo [Islands], Mexico. This is an outstanding and unique place full of pelagic life, so we need to accelerate the incorporation of the islands into UNESCO as [a] natural heritage site in order to increase the protection of the islands against the prevailing illegal fishing corporations and big-game fishing. Photo and caption by Anuar Patjane Floriuk /National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.

“The photo wasn’t planned,” says
[This] gravel-crush working place remains full of dust and sand. Three gravel workmen are looking through the window glass at their working place. Chittagong, Bangladesh. Photo and caption by Faisal Azim/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Photo and caption by Ahmed Al Toqi /National Geographic Traveler Photo ContestCamel Ardah, as it called in Oman, is one of the traditional styles of camel racing ... between two camels controlled by expert men. The faster camel is the loser ... so they must be running [at] the same speed level in the same track. The main purpose of Ardah is to show the beauty and strength of the Arabian camels and the riders' skills. Ardah [is] considered one of the most risky situations, since always the camels reactions are unpredictable [and] it may get wild and jump [toward the] audience.
The night before returning to Windhoek, we spent several hours at Deadveli. The moon was bright enough to illuminate the sand dunes in the distance, but the skies were still dark enough to clearly see the milky way and magellanic clouds. Deadveli means "dead marsh." The camelthorn trees are believed to be about 900 years old, but have not decomposed because the environment is so dry.
2 boys are trying  to catch a duck at the stream of the waterfall
Kushti is the traditional form of Indian wrestling. Wearing only a well-adjusted loincloth (´†langot†ª), wrestlers or ´†Pelwhans†ª enter a pit made of clay, often mixed with salt, lemon and ghee (clarified butter). At the end of a workout, wrestlers rest against the walls of the arena covering their heads and bodies with earth to soak up any perspiration and avoid catching cold. This relaxation ceremony is completed with massages to soothe tired muscles and demonstrate mutual respect.
The night before this photo, we tried all day to get a good photo of the endangered white rhino. Skulking through the grass carefully trying to stay 30 feet away to be safe, didn't provide me the photo I was hoping for. In the morning however, I woke up to all three rhinos grazing infront of me.
A sauna at 2.800 mt high, in the heart of Dolomites. Monte Lagazuoi, Cortina, eastern Italian Alps.
Traditional haymaking in Poland. Many people continue to use the scythe and pitchfork to sort the hay.
Whitefrost over Pestera village in Romania
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This Guy Managed to Shoot a Self Portrait with the ISS

issshot Photographer Trevor Mahlmann has a knack for capturing light trails showing the International Space Station zipping across the sky. Back in June, he made headlines by photographing the ISS from the seat of airliner as he cruised at 40,000 feet. Now he’s back again with another neat feat: he shot a self-portrait of himself staring up at the ISS as it zipped by overhead. Mahlmann writes that he started thinking hard about how to photograph the ISS creatively after finding out from online resources that it would be making a pass over his area at around 10PM on July 31st. After a bit of brainstorming, an idea came to him. “I thought, why don’t I pull out my grandpa’s little Cessna 150, position it just outside the hangar in the grass, have the runway lights shine through behind, and maybe stand next to it and watch the ISS flyover,” he
A crop of the photograph.
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This Insane Motorcycle Surfing Shoot was 2.5 Years in the Making

11_big Surf photography doesn’t usually feature motorcycles, but this crazy shoot did. For its latest project titled “Pipe Dream,” DC Shoes partnered with Australian stunt bike rider Robbie Maddison for dirt bike surfing. The team spent 2.5 years working on making the idea a reality, creating a modified bike that has boasts special fins for hydroplaning, a waterproof engine, and custom rear tires. It all came together as this: an amazing 4-minute video that has racked up over 3 million views in the first 24 hours after it was released: Maddison took his modified Honda 250 dirt bike to the massive waves of Tahiti to give motorbike surfing a trial by fire. The resulting shots were spectacular: 12_big 9_big 9k= 7_big 1_big 16_big 13_big 8_big 14_big Finally, here’s a short behind-the-scenes trailer that offers a few glimpses into the creation and testing of the surf bike: You can learn more about “Pipe Dream” over on its webpage at DC
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You Need More than ‘Natural Talent’ to Make it as a Photographer

Movies on the big screen sometimes have valuable nuggets of wisdom that can be applied to photography (and life). We recently shared one such clip from the movie “The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty.” Here’s another one from the movie “Boyhood.” In this 3-minute clip, the main character, Mason, has a conversation with his photography teacher, Mr. Turlington, in the class darkroom. It turns out to be a fatherly lecture about the importance of adding hard work and other qualities on top of natural talent. Here’s a snippet of what is said: Mr. Turlington: The images you’re turning in, they’re cool. You’re looking at things in a really unique way. Got a lot of natural talent. Mason: Thanks. Mr. Turlington: Yeah, but that and 50 cents will just get you a cup of coffee in this old world. I’ve met a LOT of talented
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Portraits of Babies in Camera Bags

babybag When photographer Alessandro Della Bella‘s son Claudio was born in December 2014, he shared the happy news of the new family member by shooting a picture of Claudio sleeping in the main compartment of his camera bag. Photojournalist Tom Pennington shared a similar photograph several years ago. It’s a shot that has been shared in photography forums over the years: babyincamerabag When photographer Drake Busch photographed his baby Grayson, he not only placed Grayson in a camera baggrayson …but he gave Grayson a photographer press access pass as well! grayson2 If you’re a photographer, a new parent, and the owner of a large camera bag, give this cute portrait idea a shot, and be sure to share your results with us! (We’ll add new submissions in updates to this post).
Image credits: All photographs used with the permission of their respective owners

Is Your Camera Keeping You From Experiencing Life’s Precious Moments?

Yesterday we shared a cringeworthy short film about how photo sharing has altered the way we experience the special moments in our lives; instead of being in the moment and enjoying it, it’s easy to get caught up with making sure it’s caught on camera (and perhaps shared on social media). The 2-minute movie clip above shows a different outlook on life and photography. It’s from the film “The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty,” and features actor Sean Penn as photographer Sean O’Connell. snowleopard After searching high and low for the elusive snow leopard, O’Connell finally spots one of the “ghost cats” through his viewfinder. But instead of snapping all the frames he can, he simply sits and stars in wonder. Walter Mitty (played by Ben Stiller), is confused by this. “When are you going to take it?,” Mitty asks O’Connell. “Sometimes I don’t,” he replies. “If I like a
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Photographer Giles Penfound on Storytelling with the Art of Photography

Giles Penfound is a photographer with an engrossing past and a story to tell. Penfound began his journey as a professional photographer over 25 years ago and spent most of his time documenting military operations from within the British Army. Documentary photographer Neale James approached Penfound to produce a short film about his life and work, and the result is the inspirational 30-minute video above. (Note: the video contains some strong language.) Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 3.47.10 PM copy Penfound explores the images he created around the world while bringing the individuals and emotions within each frame to life. After leaving the military, Penfound began commercial work for prestigious clients, including the National Maritime Museum and the British Museum. Currently, he maintains his website “Pictures on a Page,” which showcases his work from cities around the world. His original wartime work from Bosnia, Iraq, and Fallujah can also be viewed on it.

This Singer Recreated 28 Iconic Album Cover Photos in a Creative Music Video

Canadian singer Kalle Mattson just released a music video for his song “Avalanche” that creatively recreates some of the most famous album cover photos in the history of music. Over the course of 4 minutes, Mattson steps into 28 different sets to show what his album cover would look like as other iconic albums. The Ramones, Jay-Z, the Backstreet Boys, and Michael Jackson are some of the artists referenced. Brownie points if you can name the others. Here are some still frames showing several of the recreations: Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 12.46.50 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 12.47.12 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 12.47.33 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 12.47.58 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 12.48.08 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 12.48.31 PM (via Kalle Mattson via Co.Create)

Interview: Photographer Quintin Lake on Walking 10,000km Around British Coast

Quintin Lake by Oldbury Nuclear Power Station, Severn Estuary. P Quintin Lake is a fine art and architectural photographer based in Cheltenham, England. He has been working on an ambitious photo project titled The Perimeter, which involves walking 10,000km (~6214 miles) around the British coast in sections at a time. The journey started back in April, and Lake expects that it will take him 5 years to complete the challenge. In this interview, we chat with Lake about his life, photography, and current project. routemap PetaPixel: Can you tell us about yourself and your background? Quintin Lake: I’m an architectural and fine art photographer for the last 15 years, but I started out as an architect – which is why there are lots of straight lines in my photos! I’m married to artist Mila Furstova and live in Cheltenham, England with our two children.
Dover Patrol Memorial, WW1 naval group tasked with preventing German shipping entering the channel. Conney Burrow Point, St Margaret's at Cliffe.

Dover Patrol Memorial, WW1 naval group tasked with preventing German shipping entering the channel. Conney Burrow

Thames Barrier and central London from Woolwich
St Mary's Church, Reculver.
Camber Sands, East Sussex.
Channel Tunnel ventilation facility, Samphire Hoe, Dover.
Shipping Marker IV, Dungeness.
Sunset, Lydd-on-Sea.
Dover from Shakespeare cliff.
Shopping trolley in the Thames, Greenwich
Horses by the Thames, Hoo Peninsula.
Maersk Labrea, Hong Kong. Tilbury Docks.
Liquified natural gas plant, Isle of Grain II.
Pylons from Kingsnorth Power Station.
Quintin Lake by Oldbury Nuclear Power Station, Severn Estuary. P
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Photographer Makes 6-Foot-Long Print of Every Single Person at Wedding

6footprint Photographer Liam Hennessey runs a wedding photography studio in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Recently he was hired to shoot a wedding at a hotel that was extremely close to his studio. Wanting to do something unique for the couple, an ambitious idea popped into Hennessey’s head: “Why don’t we have every guest come to our studio and get their photo taken?” he thought. So they did. Inspired by the dance scene in Taylor Swift’s music video for the song “Shake It Off,” Hennessey invited all 111 people at the wedding to his tiny studio for individual portraits. Everyone was “dancing for the camera, drinking our beer, and having a great time,” Hennessey tells PetaPixel. everyperson _AHD9536 _AHD9587 _AHD9550 _AHD9677 _AHD9690 Once he had the giant collection of studio portraits, Hennessey then turned the photos into a very special keepsake for the bride and groom: a 6-foot-long print of everyone who was there
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Photographer Finds Beautiful Medium Format Beach Photos in Thrift Store

11693947_10204229566050348_4614869791318766604_n Photographer Meagan Abell from Richmond, Virginia, was browsing a thrift shop a few weeks ago when she stumbled across 4 sets of medium format negatives, sitting in plastic sleeves among other vintage photos. After purchasing them and scanning them, she was amazed at the beautiful photos that emerged. The photographs show what appears to be two different women posing on a beach, staring out into the horizon at dawn or dusk while waves crash around their feet. Neither woman’s face is fully visible in any of the shots. 11822311_10204229566770366_4629787237916670382_n The thrift store was in Richmond, Virginia, and Abell believes that the photos are from the 1940s or 1950s based on the style of the dresses worn by the subjects. 11822720_10204229565850343_3462628565309172793_n 11822598_10204229566730365_1060906382268126712_n 10986662_10204229566410357_6651206017947716371_n 11817270_10204229565530335_3038384047813419400_n 11822303_10204229565450333_2465636147340934050_n 11811529_10204229566610362_4083458859076959230_n 11828757_10204229566530360_3033056113409847464_n Abell is now turning to the Internet for help in finding the subjects and photographer of the photos. Since posting this set of photos on her Facebook page in hopes of them
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Unreal: An Entire Mountain Biking Run Captured in a Single Shot

This amazing 4-minute video is the world’s first full mountain biking segment to be captured in a single continuous shot. Titled “Unreal,” the film shows top slopestyle mountain biker Brandon Semenuk tackling a custom trail while the camera seemingly-magically follows his tricks down the hill. stillframe The film is a collaboration between Teton Gravity Research and Anthill Films, and was made possible by a special, state-of-the-art gyro-stabilized camera system called the GSS C520. gs5 Instead of being fixed to a drone or helicopter, as you might expect for this type of project, the camera was actually mounted to a truck. A custom road was built alongside the custom trail that was created over three weeks for this film. truck customroad Inside the truck was a crew of four: a driver, a camera operator, a focus puller, and a guy in coordinating timing and positioning. interior Here’s a 6-minute behind-the-scenes video showing how the whole
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7 Essential Marketing Tips from Rich Clarkson, Alison Zavos, Ben Lowy & More

What’s the best way to get the word out about your photography and attract your ideal client? In our guide, The Inspiration Handbook: 50 Tips from 50 Photography Trailblazersget advice from Rich Clarkson, Hamidah Glasgow, Emiliano Granado, Alison Zavos, Ben Lowy, and John Keatley on how to market you business better once and for all.
1. Rich Clarkson, NCAA Sports Photographer 
Photo by Rich Clarkson

Photo by Rich Clarkson

“There were times in the past when, to market your photos, you needed an agency or someone to do it for you. But today, you don’t need that nearly as much. Instead, you need to attract potential buyers and commissioners of your photography directly to you. And that’s a matter of introducing yourself. But more than anything else, the best way to market your business is through word of mouth and having other people recom- mend you. And that’s something you can accumulate
Photo by Emiliano Granado
Photo by Ben Lowy
Photo by John Keatley
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This is How Photoshop Artist Erik Johansson Creates His Mind-Bending Images

headerretouch Swedish photographer and retoucher Erik Johansson is well known for his mind-bending photo-manipulations and optical illusions, which are all made with careful photography and Photoshopping. If you’re wondering how the images are actually created, Johansson has been regularly release behind-the-scenes videos showing his techniques. Here are a number of his photo-manipulation artworks accompanied by short but fascinating BTS videos:

Cut & Fold

cutandfold Post-production for this project took 15 hours.

Drifting Away




Endless Stories

endlessstories An image created for The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation.

Closing Out



You can find more of Johansson work on his website, and you can follow along with future videos by subscribing to his YouTube channel.
Image credits: Photographs and videos by Erik Johansson

Are Personal Projects Worth It? Why David Burnett, Ami Vitale & David duChemin Say Yes

How important are personal photography projects to distinguishing your voice? And will a project on the side help catch the eye of your dream client? In our guide, The Inspiration Handbook: 50 Tips from 50 Photography Trailblazers, we got advice from David Burnett, Ami Vitale, David duChemin, Dixie Dixon, Scott Strazzante, Dianne Debicella, and Jonathan Gayman who share why personal projects really matter. 1. David Burnett, Photojournalist 
Photo by David Burnett

Photo by David Burnett

“As an emerging photojournalist in the early 70s, my focus was on trying to create stories for magazines to the exclusion of almost everything else. I wish someone had told me then that the most personally important pictures you’ll ever make are those about you and your life. I’m glad I had the chance to work for some great magazines, but I re- ally miss those little everyday images, the ones that take place in and around your own
Copyright Dixie Dixon, Disney, Lifestyle, band, dallas string quartet
The Macrobiotic Lunch Tray
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How to Shoot Portraits of Strangers on the Street Like a Ninja

While teaching a street photography workshop in Chicago recently, photographer Chuck Jines saw an opportunity to teach his students how he’s sometimes able to shoot portraits of strangers from extremely close distances without them noticing. “I had the opportunity to demonstrate just how much a photographer can get away with when people are lost in thought or occupied with a task,” Jines says. His unusual demonstration is seen in the 1.5-minute video above. Here’s the gist. After noticing a woman staring intently at her phone, Jines walked right up and knelt down just a few feet in front of her. When she looked up to see what he was doing, Jines diverted her eyes by staring up at the side of a building. diversion After the woman looked back down at her phone, Jines immediately pointing his camera at her and shot a portrait from up close. She was aware
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My McNeil River Experience

DSC_3250-12 My trip to McNeil River, Alaska actually started in November of 2014 when I read this PetaPixel article describing it. In the article they mentioned that, due to the tremendous interest in McNeil River, the Alaska Department of Fish & Game has instituted a lottery system. In a typical year, thousands of applications are received and only 185 are granted. They are given to groups of ten for four-day stays. They also mentioned that you will be closer to the bears than anywhere else in the world (the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website says you will average between 75-200 feet). Having now applied and won a coveted permit, I can assure you, as this video attests, there is nothing “average” about this experience. We came upon this momma bear and her cubs first thing on our second day. As the guides always work to make sure the bears
A picture of me at the “Cook Shack," the only enclosed structure (other than the outhouses) that the campers can go into.  For safety, all food is stored in there and that is where all meals are cooked and eaten.
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The Story Behind Steve McCurry’s Iconic ‘Afghan Girl’ Photo

afghangirlheader Want to hear the story of how the iconic Afghan Girl photo was shot? NPR’s All Things Considered interviewed renowned photojournalist Steve McCurry to find out the background behind the famous National Geographic cover picture. Here’s the 4-minute-long segment that aired this past weekend: McCurry was in an Afghan refugee camp in Pakistan in December 1984 when he came across the girl in a makeshift classroom. “I noticed this one little girl with these incredible eyes and I instantly knew that this was really the only picture I wanted to take,” he tells NPR. The photo he took went on to become one of the most popular images ever to grace the front of National Geographic.
P.S. You can also read a text version of the story over on NPR’s website.
Image credits: Header photographs by Steve McCurry

Photos of a Surfer Riding a Giant Wave… While on Fire

Jamie O'Brien - Action How do go about making photos of big wave surfing even more extreme? Here’s one way: add fire to the mix. Surfer Jamie O’Brien recently tackled some of the world’s heaviest and dangerous waves while wearing a wetsuit that was set on fire. Photographer Tim McKenna was on hand to capture the stunt. O’Brien says he originally got the idea after a fan sent him a message through Instagram, suggesting that he should light himself on fire and “get barreled at Teahupo’o.” Teahupo’o is a village on Tahiti, French Polynesia, that’s known for having huge, heavy waves that break on extremely shallow (and dangerous) coral reef. So, O’Brien teamed up with Red Bull, assembled a team of 20 people, and attempted the stunt. Here are the photos that resulted:
Spraying flammable substance onto the wetsuit. Photo by Tim McKenna/Red Bull Content Pool

Spraying flammable substance onto the wetsuit. Photo by Tim McKenna/Red Bull Content Pool

Photo by Tim McKenna/Red Bull Content Pool

Photo by Tim McKenna/Red Bull Content Pool