PhotographyBB Online – Best issue ever

Here’s a link to your free copy of PhotographyBB Online.  This the Vancouver-based magazine’s 26th edition and it’s terrific. I’d go so far as to say I think it’s their best issue ever.

Why? Well content of course. The PDF magazine’s editors have outdone themselves when they picked this month’s lineup of articles. The first article is on how to use Facebook if you’re a photographer who wants to sell or just display your images. Next up is Wayne Patola’s Tanzania Photo Safari story. GREAT images. Then for the newcomers is another article on RAW vs JPGs. If you don’t know the answer already, then read this article. Jon D. Ayres has a great article about how to travel with your camera. And there’s tons more including shoot portraits outdoors at night, better landscapes, an article on how to go pro and a great review of what’s new in Lightroom 3. Finally there’s a “how-to” article on creating those photos that look like toy models. This is cool as I always wondered how photographers created those images.

And the articles don’t end there. Harold Davis (this guy’s written 30 books so you can guess he’s an expert and he can write in a clear concise style) has another fabulous article on night photography. His images are worth the time to download the whole magazine. The feature interview is on John Gasca who talks about his growth as a photographer.

There’s lots more great reading here and best of all it’s free. Cool stuff. Great writing and amazing photos. Read it. Get inspired and go out and shoot.


The Great Camera Shootout 2010

Just how good are the new high end DSLR cameras when it comes to video?

The good folks at Zacuto Films has put up a video that will amaze you. They compared the best real film 35mm movie cameras against the likes of the Canon 5D Mark II, 7D, 1D, Nikon D3s and the tiny Panasonic GH1. There’s a lot of talk about dynamic range and the experts explain what you’re seeing on the video. Prepare to be astounded.

Street Photography

New York City’s street photographer Jeff Mermelstein takes “remarkable and exceptional” images that focus on the absurdity and visually arresting moments that flow by the rest of us. Armed with a film-based Leica rangefinder camera (looks like my old M4 which I wish I still owned) he brings back moments from the street.

(c) Jeff Mermelstein

Here’s a short video on Jeff.

30 years of work = 60 images

David Fokos shows us how and why to use a large format film camera. He is one of the great photographic artists working today. I love his work.

Unlike the digital photographer who may easily shoot 500 images or more per session, David has 60 images he thinks are his best and these are the ones he shows. This after 30 years of work! Makes me think I should go clean up my SmugMug and Flickr sites where I’ve got tons of images (some good – some not so much). Best 30. Yikes!

Here’s a great video about David’s work along with some of his wonderful images.

Note for new photographers:

David get’s that lovely smooth look to his images by shooting long time exposures from 20 seconds up to several minutes. You can do the same thing with your DSLR or even digital point and shoot if you use a tripod and some sort of remote shutter release (cable or wireless release). Shoot later in the evening so that the light in the sky isn’t so bright as to mandate too high a shutter speed. Set your ISO (the sensitivity of your sensor) to as low as it will go (if you’ve got a polarizer filter that will help to reduce the amount of light hitting the sensor) and shoot in colour. If you want a black and white image, desaturated (turn off) the colour in software. If your camera has a manual setting, you maybe able to force it to take really long exposures (which you can determine either by using a light meter or experimentation using your LCD playback screen to help you judge the exposure).

David’s large format camera is merely a lens on a lens board affixed to a bellows box with a single-sheet film holder (which has a slide that blocks the light from hitting the film which the photographer removes to allow the light to reach the film and then slides back into the holder to remove the film safely from the camera. Such cameras can still be purchased for less than the price of a DSLR. Really great lenses however can cost in the thousands of dollars.

Bob Skeoch from Burlington, Ontario sells large format cameras and runs workshops for enthusiasts.

How to shoot studio portraits

David Ziser, who IMHO, is one of the best wedding photographers shooting today has posted a terrific video on how to shoot a portrait using simple studio lighting which anyone can afford and figure out. I hope David doesn’t mind but I grabbed this shot from his Digital Pro Talk Blog (this is a “must” read by pros and amateurs alike. I never miss what David has to say on his blog.) Called Summer Mrmories this is a typical David Ziser wedding photograph. David always finds interesting ways to portray his subjects. The backgrounds are squeaky clean. The skin tones are absolutely perfect. He tends to use colour sparingly and his subjects always exhibit some emotion into the image.

If I had a daughter and she was getting married, David Ziser would be a the top of my list.

The video is on YouTube and is from the Westcott booth at WPPI 2010. Warning: The audio is awful BUT this is live demo at a massive trade show and the content makes up for the technical faults which aren’t David’s fault. This video was done by somebody which a camcorder (You can tell as the light adjusts automatically and the camera is on autofocus. A pro video camera wouldn’t do this. A pro camera starts around $4,000 and a decent camcorder $500.) and unless you know how to use a camcorder it can be troublesome especially in tough shoots like this one.

David has a wonderful way about him. He works really well with his young model and using one flash into an inexpensive umbrella he gets great results which you can see on a monitor he has setup at the show.

When you’ve finished viewing David’s presentation have a look at the other videos listed below that come from WPPI.

Also, David’s got a new book out on wedding photography that’s probably the best one out there right now. Called Captured By the Light it’s available at local book stores or from David directly.

Captured By The Light

David Ziser is one of the most generous photography teachers you’ll ever meet. Why do I say this?

I met David in Buffalo last year when he was doing his Digital Wake-Up Call tour. It was GREAT.

Now David’s got a new book out called Capture By The Light and to celebrate this launch he’s put up a 2 1/2 hour online webinar that you can watch right now. It’s called Captured By The Light – Encore Presentation.

Here’s what Photoshop guru Scott Kelby has to say about the book.

So go listen to the webinar and then go buy the book. Here’s a link to David’s blog. Worth the time to check it out.

BTW David is one of the best wedding and portrait photographers working in North America today.