Plenty has been written about the slippery slope side of Photoshop — how its use in fashion and advertising promotes unrealistic body images, how it messes with truth curves along with tonal curves. We’ve even contributed a few lines to the canon. But Photoshop (Wizard? Troll? Gadfly? Artist?) James Fridman has done us all one better with his ongoing social media series, run from his site, Facebook page, and Twitter account. Followers send in pictures with requests for Photoshop enhancements, and Fridman responds in careful-what-you-wish-for fairy tale fashion: granting the wish, but with unexpected – and usually hilarious – results. But as lowbrow as the humor can get (‘make my boobs really big’, for instance, yields something with steel cables and a construction crane, you get the picture), Fridman’s work has the hold-up-a-mirror-to-society edge of legit satire. The underlying theme: this currency of digital imagery we all trade in now has created some serious narcissism, and it needs some gentle mocking to keep it in perspective. Emphasis on gentle, though: Fridman’s series implicitly undermines the dishonesty of Photoshopped images, but it’s never mean, and includes the occasional dose of almost parental reality checking. A woman who asks that her Vitiligo… Continue reading This Photoshop Expert Hilariously Skewers our Social Media Madness
Our Story: My wife Caroline and I run Quiver Tree Photography, based in Washington, North Carolina. We weren’t always in the photography business – we were doing missionary work in Scotland when we got married, then moved back to my native South Africa to start a non-profit. That’s when taking pictures started being more than just documenting our growing family: when you run a non-profit, you’re the CEO, you’re the Secretary, and unless someone else steps up to do it, you’re the photographer, too. By the time we moved back to North Carolina, we were, to be brutally honest, struggling financially. I needed to make something work to put food on the table for my family. Fortunately, a professional photographer invited me to second shoot a wedding, and on the strength of that experience, my wife and I decided to start Quiver Tree. We jumped in with both feet, opening a gallery, and offering lifestyle sessions — basically chasing two- and three-year-olds around in the humidity, trying to capture something. (Being from South Africa, I’ve had plenty of practice shooting wildlife in the heat. This was a lot like that). Things were tight at first. If you’d asked me then… Continue reading How Mylio Helps Keep This Photographer’s Work and Life Balanced
Welcome! I’m photographer Matthew Jordan Smith, and I’ve worked as a celebrity/fashion and beauty photographer for the last 29 years, capturing subjects from Samuel L. Jackson, to Britney Spears, to Aretha Franklin, to the Future American Presidents. Part 4: Preview: Photography Lighting Course — the Next Level I hope you’ve enjoyed the first three videos, and learned a lot in the process. As promised in video #3, the video below offers a preview to the next level of training. If you’re ready to take your photography to a higher place and really learn how to master using photographic lighting, this video will open the door to endless possibilities — including some incredible bonuses along the way. See you inside video 4! Always dream big, Matthew Sign up for the course
Welcome! I’m photographer Matthew Jordan Smith, and I’ve worked as a celebrity/fashion and beauty photographer for the last 29 years, capturing subjects from Samuel L. Jackson, to Britney Spears, to Aretha Franklin, to the Future American Presidents. If you’d like to discover how I’ve created a career working with some of the top celebrities, advertising and fashion clients, come check out this FREE 3-part photography training series. I guarantee you will learn something new that can help you on your journey of being a photographer. If you’ve ever wondered if you can make a career as a photographer, or worried about the competition, then this video series is just for you. Happy holidays! Part 3: Tools to Help You Excel in Photography If there’s one question I get more than any other, it’s about the tools I use. People often want to know which camera I use, or which lens is my favorite, or even what’s in my camera bag when I travel. In this video, I go deeper into the tools I use, and explain why each is critical in helping you have a better life as a photographer — and become more productive. You definitely don’t want to miss this informative video.… Continue reading Secrets of the Pro Photographers: Video Tutorial Series, Part 3
We’ve featured artists before who produce fascinating twists on this whole painting-with-light thing — projecting portraits on the rainforest canopy, for instance, or growing them from living walls of grass. But French artist Thomas Mailaender took the practice to an entirely new, wince-inducing level with this performance art piece, Illustrated People: using pale skin as stand-in for photo-sensitive paper, he deployed a strong UV lamp to literally burn in a camera negative image. Like Victorian-era sun prints, only pre-cancerous. Sunburn photos. No darkroom, we can assume, required. The negatives were borrowed from the enigmatic Archive of Modern Conflict, a London-based organization as opaque as its collection is eclectic. These sunburn pictures, which Mailaender published in a book alongside other non-dermal images from the Archive, are so meta you may need a whiteboard to map everything out: photo portraits of photo portraits, subjects ‘printed’ onto other subjects, then printed onto paper, here now ‘printed’ into pixels. And then…healed. And gone.
There’s something really…clarifying about objects organized in a single view. It brings a sense of peace that can elude us in our fast, over-thingified lives. We can see an appetite for this peace of mind in the decluttering movement popularized by Marie Kondo, and in the success of Austin Radcliffe’s Tumblr. Paula Zuccotti, an ethnographer, trends forecaster and designer with the creative consultancy the Overworld, has tapped into this impulse through her book Everything We Touch: A 24-hour Inventory of Our Lives. The project captures, in a single frame, every object a person has touched – chronologically — within a day. Zuccotti’s intent, in part, was to play archaeologist for future generations, documenting our relationship to objects (including those she started to notice were becoming extinct, like calendars, alarm clocks, and cash money). She writes: “from a toddler in Tokyo to a cowboy in Arizona, from a cleaner in London to a cloister nun in Madrid, Every Thing We Touch is their story told through the objects they own, consume, need, choose, treasure and can’t let go.” “I was amazed at the honest X-rays from our everyday lives that emerged from the photos. As a result, the participants find the exercise very… Continue reading If You Organized Everything You Touched in a Day, It Would Look Like This
Our Story: I’m an outdoor photographer who heads up a small business called Natural Exposures. We take small groups of people on photo tours in some of the most spectacular places on earth – from the Arctic to Antarctica, South Africa to South America, Croatia, to Madagascar, to New Zealand. Up to 18 trips per year. As you can see from some of my own pictures, we’re known for bringing our guests up close to amazing landscapes and wildlife; along the way we also help them learn more about conservation, how to take great photographs, and maybe even something about themselves. We promise memories you’ll never forget – and the pictures to prove it. (We must be doing something right – in 2014 the World Travel Awards, an organization that acknowledges excellence in global travel and tourism, named us the World’s Leading Specialist Holiday Company. We were pretty proud). Why Mylio? I use Mylio for finding images quickly via the rocket-fast search tool, and the super simple calendar tool. I recommend it to any small business for three reasons: volume, speed, and support. Volume. Our heavy travel schedule gives us a lot of stamps in our passports — it gives us… Continue reading How Mylio Helps Natural Exposures Manage a Million (!) Images
In 2014, French photographer and street artist Philippe Echaroux staged a project in his native Marseille entitled Painting with Lights. The technique: video projection of images on infrastructure and landscape. The concept: monumental, guerilla public art that leaves no footprint. Echaroux dubbed the process ‘Street Art 2.0’; the project went viral within days. Really viral: Echaroux was contacted by a gentleman in the Amazon rain forest to see whether he’d be interested in creating a similar project. The man’s name was Almir Narayamoga Suri, Chief of the Suri tribe, an indigenous people teetering on the brink of extinction due to illegal logging. In a bit of cultural ju-jitsu, the Chief was using modern-day technology to wage his fight; he’d already been named to Fast Company’s ‘Most Creative People in Business’ list in 2011 because of his eyebrow-raising partnership with Google — though his isolated tribe had made first contact with the outside world only in the late 60s, Narayamoga was working with Silicon Valley to use YouTube, smart phones, and Google Earth mapping to fight the deforestation. So Echaroux’s zero-impact, mega-reach art was the perfect match. And the artist’s message is as clear as the work is powerful: “When I first met the Suri, I promised them… Continue reading Could These Colossal, Haunting Portraits Save an Amazon Tribe?
There’s just no way around it, so it’s probably best to just get it out of the way and say it up front: Henry Hargreaves likes to play with his food. The food artist and photographer often juxtaposes edible stuff with biting (Man! Unavoidable, I tell you) commentary on popular culture, and our sometimes fraught relationship with what we eat. In a meditation on our national sugar fixation, for instance, he’s filled a pig piñata with pork products (and yes, then smashed it open, ew). Other times, he just has fun. To wit: the series Jello Submarine (yes, literally), and Bacon alphabet (exactly what you think it is, only better). Deep Fried Gadgets, which was shot by Hargreaves and styled by Caitlin Levin, falls somewhere in between: a commentary on disposable, consumer culture served up hot, greasy, and probably not too healthy — just like our fast food nation likes it. And it’s fun. I like to play with food and the juxtaposition of different worlds. I found a video of some japanese kids trying to deep fry a PSP and eat it, it didn’t work and they made a mess of it, but I loved the idea and thought… Continue reading Here’s What You Get When You Put Your iPhone in a Deep Fryer
Ready for more smart phone photo app deliciousness? We know you are, so let’s get right to it. (And if you haven’t checked out Part 1 of this series with apps 1-12, you can see it here). 13. Snapseed Platform: iOS, Android Price: Free What it is: Snapseed by Google simply is a robust, professional photo editor with features like a healing tool, brushes, filters, frames, HDR effects, structural and perspective edits, vignette, lens blur, “glamour glow,” and focus enhancement. What’s cool about Snapseed is it opens both JPG and RAW files for editing. 14. Photo Editor by Aviary Platform: iOS, Android Price: Free, with in-app purchases What it offers, what’s special: This app allows you to enhance and stylize your smartphone photos using filters, stickers, overlays, vignettes, a sharpening tool, a focus tool, a blemish removal tool and a teeth whitening tool, as well as apply editing tools like crop, rotate, straighten, contrast, brightness, and shadows. Aviary tells us that some of these effects are even “made by artists around the world.” The app also lets you draw your own photo captions and doodles. One differentiator here: you can sync your photos to Adobe Creative Cloud (requires Adobe ID) to access filters and tool packs… Continue reading 24 Juicy Mobile Photo Apps You May Never Have Heard Of (Part 2)