Tuesday, August 21, 2012


The visual tug photographers feel on where to travel next for a shoot is a good place to be. I'd much rather be in this position than wondering where and what I explore next. We all have favorite places to go. Those locations that consistently produce memorable moments, visual rewards that motivate us to return. Let's face it, if we are not gifted images that mean something to us, its tough to return to them.

I had such a wonderful time covering Burning Man in the Nevada desert that I really wanted to make it an annual event. It is a remarkable and challenging place to make photographs. It is rapidly becoming one of the nation's most iconic alternative adventures anywhere. And, the beauty of Burning Man is how it is so different each year. Its tough not to make powerful photographs on the playa.

But, the call of the wild also possesses a powerful pull to photograph Iceland......for the sixth time, so I'll miss Burning Man this year. I have always been moved by the landscape of Iceland. The ecosystem seems to change dramatically every 50 kilometers. Iceland is a landscape that is alive. The land of fire & ice energizes the shooter. The weather is always challenging and the winds can simply piss you off after a while. But, its worth it.

So, off to Iceland we go. Stay tuned for a visual report in a few weeks of this marvelous island in the
North Atlantic.

Monday, August 6, 2012

More iPhone Chatter.....

I am constantly amazed with the rise of the iPhone imagery being created today. This was sent to me by a good friend, a fellow shooter, and thought I'd pass it along.


Most of story from Wired link. 


For a lot of professional photographers, iPhone photography is kind of like masturbating. They do it all the time, but they’re too embarrassed to talk about it.
And that’s a shame because the debate over whether iPhone and/or Instagram photos are real photography is stale and pointless. As pointless as whether one needs to use a certain type of camera or lens to make a photo worth looking at.
We’ve moved beyond the argument about slapping a filter on something and calling it art. Everyone knows that if it’s piss-poor, it’s gonna stay that way with or without a filter. Before that there were doomsayers about toning and Photoshop. Instagram is no different. At Raw File we’ve always respected a good photo, regardless of what it’s shot on.
Last week, however, there was some movement towards openness and professional pride in these unique tools.
Sports Illustrated decided to run six — yes SIX — pages of iPhone photos by the famed sports photographer Brad Mangin (most of us would kill for one).
Meanwhile Ben Lowy, a photographer we have great respect for, started publishing his iPhone photos from Libya (shot with his very own Hipstamatic lens) on Storyboard.
Photo: Ben Lowy
iPhone photography is here to stay. And not only

that. Photographers like Mangin and Lowy are proving, in real time, that this kind of photography has value and contributes to the richness of the contemporary photographic world.
If you don’t want to use these tools (the haters call them “gimmicks”), that’s fine. But when great photographers are producing interesting work, we should all be cheering that they’re out there, using their cameras, recording the world and contributing to the visual narrative that enriches everyone who sees it.
Just like that zoom lens in your bag, or just like that tripod in your car, photographers are using the iPhone as a new way to tell stories, capture moments and make compelling photos.
But enough from me. Here’s what Mangin and Lowy have to say about using the iPhone and Instagram.
“I started looking at everything with a fresh set of eyes from the moment I walked onto the fields in Oakland and San Francisco about three hours before each game,” writes Mangin on his blog about his iPhone and SI‘s decision to publish the photos. “It was like I was a newborn photographer seeing things for the first time.”

Photo: Ben Lowy
How many of you have had points in your careers where you’ve desperately needed a new way to see things? A new angle to approach the story? For many people that’s a daily battle, and if the iPhone pushes you to make better pictures because you’re seeing things differently, that’s great.
Here’s Lowy from the Tumblr blog:
What can you capture on an iPhone that you can’t on a regular camera?
The tool itself is a lot smaller and inconspicuous and can be a bit more subtle. I think it engenders a greater sense of intimacy with subjects because you’re not putting a big camera in their face.