Monthly Archives: August 2008

What’s Your Photo-Sharing Frequency?

This poll is aimed at those of us who share our photos on the web via the various photo-sharing websites. I’ve noticed that people tend to have their own habits for the number of photos they post over a given period of time. Some people post a certain number each day, others post all their photos as they shoot them, and others post only their best work.

Personally, I try to post 3 new photos each day — but only those that are from the “better” of my shots. I don’t limit my postings to my absolute best, but I don’t post every photo I take. I often process and choose photos in large batches, then release 3 each day so I have a steady stream of photos being published in between shoots.

So what do you guys do? One a day? Three a day? One every so often? Every photo all at once? Do you have a set strategy? Or do you just post images as you make them? I’m curious to hear your reasons in the comments too.

{democracy:52}

And if you can’t fit into any of these categories, drop a comment below.

PhotoDump 08-17-2008

More great stuff this week from the Epic Edits Flickr Pool! Once again, it’s great to see some photos from the newest members of the group.

Green Camoflage by EJP PhotoMonkey boy by bestgrampsNacala - Bay Diving by Stig NygaardWhere the Palm Trees Gather by Brian Auerswing... by ojoyous1Grazing by Stina StockholmZ by kajatlThe uniform.  by the_wolf_brigade has GASour happy home by springtree roadwindow cat by poopooramaRiga Retro 2008 by Kate FerraraCamille by sebastian.yepes.inParrots on the wire by davebcohenLainey by peachy177Wavehouse Surfer by Brian AuerIn the weeds by jrodgersart72 frames, coming your way. by the_wolf_brigade has GASGerbera Satellite Dish by j-dotfinally here (in fla.) by life0graphy™Boreno Kids by bestgrampschair on carpet by xgrayWatching over You by Avelino MaestasRetro by Tasha || As The Picture FadesClusterbomb II by Taylor Hainmono by s-t-r-a-n-g-eAlien Thought Bubble by PatriciaPixsaiscinci de lei by lettertwelveMy Daughter Playing With A Pool Ball by udijwPatience (219/366) by bryanvillarinTaj Mahal by tyt2000Opera House by Lee Weiner PhotographyKostya And Laila by cyoungNo title #12 by Lucas BernalDay 174: hard drive repair by vandyll.netbudding artist by su3h3nryhands of worker by s-t-r-a-n-g-e by earmerriganRegenbogenschauer by Chris Mc RobertsThe Greeting to the Sun, Zadar by deymosDSunset Saturation by Brian Auer~ by ojoyous172: When one man's obsession went too far. by the_wolf_brigade has GASFerris Wheel At Dusk II by Daniel Hellermansand monster by bestgrampsJust Hanging Around by PatriciaPixsuch a sweet little boy by ryan loucks photographyBelAir Hoodie by THEjdawgPiratePhotographer by Jayde WoffordDog Beach by Brian AuerThe Romanian player by Salvatore Falcone300 Eyes by deymosD{truck} by ojoyous1These Boots Are Made For Walking by TimTim74together by s-t-r-a-n-g-eit's a long way by pawoliLifeguard Tower by Love For PunkWaiting by Tasha || As The Picture Fadesthe weather up there by vandyll.netChameleon by LightBinAustin-Healey 3000 by kajatlBetween the Veins by Chica-XHoly Trinity Church by Zozmanawesome randomness by peter.dkcamera storyboard by jessica.erinMoulin Rouge by marvinnetBCNPh - Encuentro 2/8/2008 by sebastian.yepes.in

Link Roundup 08-16-2008

As always… really cool things happening around the web this week.

Book Review – Night Vision: The Art of Urban Exploration

Some weeks ago, a fellow by the name of Troy Paiva contacted me about his new book that would be coming out soon — only asking if I’d like a copy of it. So of course I jumped all over the offer and told him that I could do a review of the book on the blog. He replied “Well, sure, but there is no real obligation.” Once I got the book and started diving into it, there’s no way that I could pass up the chance to let everybody else know about it.

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a paid review, nor has it been reviewed or edited by the book’s author or publisher. The book was sent to me by the author, free of charge, out of his own goodwill. I am in no way affiliated with the book or the publisher of the book. The author has also granted me permission to post his photos in this review. The following review and commentary is my honest editorial opinion.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

To understand this book, you have to know a little bit about the author and his experience with photography and urban exploration. Troy Paiva began exploring the decay of the American west as a teenager during the 1970′s, driving the deserts in search of abandoned places and objects. By the end of the 80′s, he had incorporated night photography and unique lighting effects into his urban exploration, creating a style of photography that is quickly identified as his own. Through the 90′s and into the turn of the century, Troy wandered the West seeking out long forgotten places that were once bustling with activity. After releasing his first book, Lost America, in 2003 Troy began to shoot digital and the Internet had pulled him closer to other photographers sharing his love for urban exploration. The photos in this second book, Night Vision, are primarily from this era of Troy’s career. The book contains years of work, and decades of passion, experience, and artistic ability.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Night Vision is a book about urban exploration — or the investigation of man-made places ignored and largely unseen by the public. This includes old military and industrial installations, “ghost towns”, and any other sites that have been left to decay out of sight. Troy is a master of urban exploration, and he shares his thoughts and feelings on the topic throughout the book. In fact, he does this so well that he can get you excited and otherwise emotional about it. He has a very strong connection with this genre and it enables him to show you the world through his eyes.

The book is filled with brilliant photos of Troy’s adventures as he explores the historic monuments of the past. His photos appear to be impossible and purely imagined post-apocalyptic scenes like something from a movie. The work presented is both sad and exciting at the same time, with visions of towns and businesses that were once a part of everyday life for many people, reduced to nothing more than ghostly shells of a structure and decaying heaps of rubble. As I made my way through the book, I began to wonder what the landscape will look like 50 years down the road. Will the towns I know today be nothing more than a thing of the past, waiting to be demolished, salvaged, or completely forgotten?

There are 144 pages in this extraordinary book, most of which are filled with photos (115 to be exact). This may sound like a lot of photos, but as you read the book it feels more like a teaser. Just as you begin to gain some interest in the subjects, Troy sweeps you off to the next location, leaving you craving more of his imagery. For me, the book was a “one sitting” read — I couldn’t put it down once I started the journey. It’s a truly captivating work

MY FINAL THOUGHTS

I can honestly recommend this book to anybody with any background. The photos are outstanding and appealing to the eye, the writing is informative and educational, and the message is inspirational. It’s presented in such a way to let your imagination run wild with thoughts of days gone by in the American West. And on top of all that, this is a standing piece of history — as several of the sites photographed in the book are no longer in existence.

If you’re looking for a good photobook, this one is 100% worth buying. The photos presented in the book take on a completely different appearance versus those you can see on this page or on Troy’s Flickr Set. There’s a story being told, and that story is done justice in Troy’s book, Night Vision.

Four Prints For Sale on eBay

I meant to do more of these after I posted my first photo on eBay, but I completely lost track of things. So I finally found some time to post four new photos to eBay. These ones are posted a bit differently than the first one — there’s a low starting bid plus an unknown reserve amount. What reserve did I use? I guess you’ll have to place a bid to find out.

The photos will be printed, signed, and numbered by me (only one of each will be sold through eBay). This will be the only time these particular photos are offered via eBay — after this, the regular price will go back to the $500 neighborhood. So if you’ve had your eye on these photos, now’s the time to move on them!

The Exponential Photo Collection

As I was doing some overdue DVD backups, I realized that my collection of photos has been growing at an exponential rate. Earlier backups (from 2002-2006) only required a couple of DVDs to hold all the photos. Then, each month in 2007 and 2008 has been progressively larger and larger, thus requiring more discs. So I began to take a look at the amount of data I’m producing over time.

The charts below show the amount of disk space I’m using for each month, quarter, and year in my archive. This isn’t total disk space — it’s just the amount of space for each time block.

The chart below shows the cumulative disk space I’m using over time. So each new value along time is the sum of existing disk space used plus new disk space used for that time block. In other words, this is my hard drive filling up.

Scary, isn’t it? I’m willing to bet that this trend is not completely uncommon among many photography enthusiasts. You start off with your little point & shoot, creating jpegs as you go. Then you get into it and you decide to upgrade your camera. Now you’re shooting more because the camera has more capabilities and your skills are improving. Then you upgrade the camera again, resulting in larger and larger file sizes. Then you decide to shoot raw format, and the file size skyrockets. Throw in some monster Photoshop files, film scans, and all of the sudden you’re producing many gigabytes per outing.

As far as I can tell, there are 2 reasons for exponential disk usage: improvements in technology and an increased passion for photography. Newer cameras are producing some massive files, and there’s still no end in sight for the megapixel war. Not only that, but as you shoot more you learn more… and in turn you shoot more… then you learn more… etc.

So basically, what I’m saying is that if this trend hasn’t happened to you yet — it will. Most photographers in their first or second year of shooting don’t realize what’s coming. Then all of the sudden, they’re neck deep in tens (or hundreds) of thousands of photos and several hundred gigabytes of data to keep track of.

If you’re really into photography and you find yourself shooting more, start planning ahead. Get yourself a good organization scheme and stick to it. And save a little money every so often to put down on some new storage space when you fill your hard drive.

PHOTO PROJECT: The $50 Film Camera

Alright! It’s time for another super-fantastic photography project here at Epic Edits! This project is truly shaping up to be of epic proportions. The theme will be film photography, and we have a couple of big-league sponsors and experienced judges rooting us on. This one will require a little more effort on your part, but I’m hoping that we can all get excited about this little adventure we’re about to take on.

[UPDATE] The results of this project have been posted — be sure to check out all 80 film camera reviews that we received.

Those who have been following the blog are aware of my recent love for film photography — so this project should be of no surprise! The project will be open through mid-September due to the requirements I’ve set forth. Be sure you read through this announcement and if you plan on participating, you’d better get moving!

THE SPONSORS

I’m so excited to announce that we have not one, but two really awesome sponsors supporting this project! Lomography and ILFORD Photo have decided to pitch in some goodies for a few lucky contest winners at the end of the project.

Lomography will be contributing 3 Diana+ cameras! Dating back to the early 1960ʼs, the all-plastic Diana camera is a cult legend – famous for its dreamy, radiant, and lo-fi images. The brand new Diana+ is a faithful reproduction and a loving homage to the classic Diana – with a few new features tossed in. This is an amazing addition to any film photographer’s collection. Lomography is a globally active organization dedicated to experimental and creative snapshot photography. Boasting more than 500,000 active members across the world, the idea of Lomography encompasses an interactive, democratic, social, cultural, vivid, blurred, and crazy way of life. Totally cool people in my book!

ILFORD Photo

ILFORD Photo (part of Harman Technology, ltd.) will be contributing 6 bricks of 120 format black & white film to go with those Diana+ cameras! That’s 30 rolls of pure gold my fellow photographers! We’ll be splitting up 10 rolls each of their HP5 Plus, XP2, and Delta 3200 between the three contest winners — which also happen to be 3 of my favorite black & white films (Coincidence? I think not!). For over 125 years ILFORD Photo has set the standard for the highest quality photographic products and achieved legendary status throughout the worldwide photographic community. Today, ILFORD Photo offers a wide range of exceptionally high quality black and white photographic materials all featuring very high image quality, ease of use and consistently reliable results.

In total, we’ve got over $300 worth of prizes to split up between 3 contest winners! So if I’ve piqued your interest with these snazzy prizes, read on and find out how you can get some for yourself!

THE CONCEPT

This project has many different intents, and all of them revolve around learning and exploring new mediums. First and foremost, this project should be fun and exciting for any photographer to participate in. For those who have been brought into photography after the start of the digital age, this is a great opportunity to learn a little about the history of our hobby and pick up some new skills by shooting film. For those already familiar with the days of film, this is a great opportunity to get back to your roots and rediscover the magic of film photography. And for those already shooting film today, this is a great opportunity to share your knowledge with others and maybe pick up a new toy!

My main objective for the project as a whole is to show other photographers that film photography can be very inexpensive and exciting. For whatever reason, there’s a popular belief that film photography is expensive and tedious. But through your participation in this project, we can disprove that point and show everybody just how great film can be.

THE REQUIREMENTS

If you’re planning on participating in the project (and especially if you want to participate in the contest), pay careful attention to the following requirements. This is a multi-part project, and it’s going to require self-publication of a little writing and a little photography. Also – the links scattered throughout these requirements will prove to be useful.

  1. Find a Film Camera for Under $50
    That’s right, I’m asking you to spend money on this project (gasp!). Actually, you have two options here: 1) go buy a film camera, or 2) use one that you already have. I would encourage everybody participating to pick up a new camera, but if you’re strapped for cash and you already have a cheap camera, go ahead and use it. You can use any type of camera as long as it’s a film camera (and under $50).
  2. Shoot Some Film With Your New Camera!
    Go grab a couple rolls (or packs) of film and run ‘em through your new toy! Get acquainted with your camera and make note of the ins-and-outs of your particular equipment and film you’re using.
  3. Write a Review of Your Camera
    Once you’ve gotten comfortable with your camera, I want you to write a review of it. The purpose of this is to educate other photographers on that piece of equipment. Tell us where you got it, how much it cost, some of the cool features, some of the not-so-cool features, how to use it, what you love about it, etc. The sky is the limit here, and what you write is totally up to you.
  4. Publish a Photo of Your Camera
    To go along with your mini camera review, I’d like to see a photo of your camera. The photo can be taken with any camera of your choice — I just want to see what it looks like. This part is important, because your camera photo will be the link to your project entry when I post the final results (so make sure we can actually see your camera!).
  5. Publish an Entire Roll of Photos
    Hey, this is a photography project right? So let’s post some photos! Along with your review, I want to see an entire roll of film that was taken with your new camera (and it doesn’t have to be your first roll). Why an entire roll? Because it’ll be neat to see any mistakes along with the gold nuggets.
  6. Submit Your Link Here
    I know, it may seem like I’m asking for a lot here, but there’s really not too much work involved. To enter the project you will need to have a single URL link that will take me to your review, your camera photo, and your roll of film. There are plenty of ways to go about this — so no excuses!
  7. DEADLINE: SEPTEMBER 12, 2008

Based on our project history here at Epic Edits, I’m expecting some very high quality project entries!

THE CONTEST

All project entries will be automatically entered to win one of three prizes from our sponsors (and all three prizes are the same). Two judges will each choose their favorite project entry based on the quality of the review and on the photos presented. The third winner will be a “people’s choice award” decided by a poll when I post the final results. Here are your two judges:

Jim Talkington is a professional photographer of 20+ years, has had experience with advertising, photojournalism, editorial, catalog, darkroom technician, retail photo sales, writer, and many more facets of photography. He also has a strong history with film photography.

Udi Tirosh is a fellow photography enthusiast and photography blogger. He’s got a DIY attitude and he’s all about cheap and affordable photography equipment. Since this project is based around cheap old film cameras, I thought he’d fit right in as a judge.

So like I said, these two guys will each be choosing one winner to receive a Diana+ camera from Lomography and 10 rolls of film from ILFORD Photo. The third winner will be chosen by the blog readers. Good luck everyone!

THE ENTRY FORM

Before you enter your project, double check the requirements and rules posted above. If you don’t meet the minimum requirements, I’ll ask you to revise your entry. If you do meet them, I’ll send you a confirmation email.

[UPDATE: Here are five project entries from week 1 that stand out as good examples]

IMPORTANT: When submitting your project entry, please provide the link to the specific web page for your camera review (and be sure that the photos are accessible from your review). A link to you website, blog, Flickr stream, etc, won’t cut it. Please submit the page link.

[UPDATE] The results of this project have been posted — be sure to check out all 80 film camera reviews that we received.

PhotoDump 08-10-2008

More great stuff this week from the Epic Edits Flickr Pool! It’s getting difficult to keep the number of selections down to a reasonable amount — we have so many great photos being placed in the pool.

 by ★ Mathias Pastwa ★1967 Mustang by rohit.nairDemon by bassqeeBack in My Day...Chairs by Richard ParmiterRajasthani lady by robinn. by TyCElyse 7 by Jayde WoffordFirst Interview by hitkaiserCafe ItaliaThe Dark Side of My Mind by Marcus Libäckpray by pragnyanHouse on Purgatory Hill by DemiArtsMight as well jump.... 2bw by Adam MelanconWhen Starburst isn't enough (209/366) by bryanvillarinDown The Line by AuzigogVolleyball FieldsThe Thrill Is Not Gone by PatriciaPixBeautiful tribal lady by robinn.Matt Jones by Digital Kloc Photographyhold them by s-t-r-a-n-g-ePink Flower by Chris Mc RobertsPlease, do not disturb... by Salvatore Falcone1-up everyone else by bryanvillarin.carousel horse by ojoyous1Red Velvet by Tasha || As The Picture FadesA ruined city dreams as a city sleeps. by the_wolf_brigadethe eye of sunshine by poopooramaDay 167: i'll have your head on a stick by vandyll.net1977 Ferrari 308 GTB by THEjdawgNegotiations In Unusual Circumstances by Taylor Hainsinging-lessons-copy by rockhoppermediaSand in my eyes by henrikjInspecteur Gadget by Guillaume LemoineGoing...  by Tasha || As The Picture FadesMermaid WatchingDiving by javiy.wheel in the sky... by ojoyous1Blair Bridge by Gary SimmonsHorloge - Orsay by pawoliTea Kettle by j-dotLoneliness is not better when you are alone by henrikj08/04 by arlo_batesThat tree really stands out by mustanirLeading me ..... by RamNHave no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it by sharaffJarrah_0082 by BrianLartera certain sign of hope by IlletirresDriving Goggles by brdavidsWalking at the beaches, looking at the peaches... by Stina StockholmCam Gordon by Digital Kloc PhotographyExcercise Station.yoyo by ojoyous1In a black and white mood... by Tasha || As The Picture Fades

Link Roundup 08-09-2008

Great stuff around the web this week!

PROJECTS

  • Just A Second
    Neil Creek
    Neil is starting up a new project having to do with semi-long exposures. He’s looking for us to take 1 second exposure photos.
  • September Challenge Update
    PhotoChallenge.org
    Trevor gives us more information on the upcoming September Challenge having to do with portraits. He’s outlined a specific theme/subject for each week during the month.

READING MATERIAL

Take on a Long-Term Project

Day 17 (September 27th): Memories
Creative Commons License photo credit: blythe_d

I’ve spoken before about the benefits of shooting with purpose — taking on small themes or projects to keep your focus and sharpen your skills. So to expand on that topic, I’d like to talk about taking on a long-term project.

Not too long ago, friend and fellow film photographer Tom Webb wrote about his undertaking of a major project that would last for over 12 months. The idea being that he would focus on a single subject over a long period of time to create a substantial body of work. He chose to take on the Lithgow Blast Furnace as his topic. I fell in love with the idea and I began to look at my own photography in search of something that I could take on.

It hit me that I had already been focusing on beach town photography here in Southern California, and I started forming a plan that would take this concept a step further. I decided that I would make an effort to document the culture found in these beach towns near my home, and that I would stick with it for at least another year.

After some conversations with Tom, he talked me into a deadline of Winter, 2009. Between now and then, we would both pursue our project in creating this body of work. Once we approach that deadline, we’ll be working on presenting our work through various avenues. Some of the ideas he and I have had for this final presentation include gallery exhibitions, art shows, documentary films, photo flip-books, etc. So it’s kind of like a thesis in photography.

Why is it beneficial to take on something like this?

Focusing on a topic can give you extra inspiration and motivation. Short term projects are cool because you don’t have to commit for any substantial amount of time (in case you end up hating the topic). But long term projects can keep you running when you’re feeling all dried up and uninspired. These projects can be a great filler for the times when nothing else seems to be going on. Not only that, but if you stick with a project for any amount of time, the outcome of the project can be quite rewarding and a great source of pride in your own work.

So if you’re looking for a way to add some true meaning to your photography, consider picking up a long term project. Choose something that’s close to your heart and piques your interest. Stick with it, struggle with it, and turn it into something much greater than a single photo.