Monthly Archives: September 2009

Farmers from the Pyrénées

This guest article comes to us from Kiritin Beyer, a professional photographer recently featured as one of the “35 Undiscovered Photographers” here on Epic Edits. She wanted to share more of her thoughts and photos from a project of hers. You can see more of her work at kiritinbeyer.com

Photo by Kiritin Beyer

I spent my childhood growing up on a farm overlooking the valley of the Pyrenees in the southwest of France at an altitude of 3937 feet. My parents have about a hundred sheep and their principal income is the meat. I lived with the seasons and believed my future to be lived out as a shepherdess. That however, was not meant to be my destiny. Nevertheless, years later I went back to begin my project, taking portraits of the last remaining farmers of the Pyrenees, farmers I grew up with, and many that still live their lives in an antiquated style.

Photo by Kiritin Beyer

I want to commemorate the disappearing way of life of farmers in highland towns of the Pyrenees, France. This particular agrarian lifestyle fascinates us partly for the connection it suggests with the rhythms of nature, partly for the sense it gives of the continuity of life, partly for its implication that we consider cherishing simplicity in an increasingly complex world, and partly for what it tells us about not only where we come from but also where we are heading.

Photo by Kiritin Beyer

The high-top farms of France are among the last strongholds of a generational tension that has already played itself out in most other Western communities: a tension between the hardscrabble farming life and the siren song of industrialized urban centers; a tension between ancient techniques and modern technologies. Are the fathers—the farmers—merely dinosaurs; anachronistic vestiges clinging naively to the ways of times long gone? Or are they our potential boon-bringers; reminders of all that the new generations—both youngsters and oldsters living in the modern world—have forgotten but ought to revive?

Photo by Kiritin Beyer

For my project I used many different lights but I only used my old Yashica Mat camera.

PhotoDump 09-26-2009

More great stuff from the Epic Edits Flickr Pool! This selection of photos is from those entered in the pool between 8/30 and 9/26.

Tiger on the street by robinn.Countryside by Yury TrofimovHeadshots :: John by Tasha {Redwall Photo}That rose does not look or smell fresh at all! by Yury TrofimovAndrea [explored] by dannottiCoastal Falls by dedge555Piercing by Robnas Monsterbride preparing  by Victor BezrukovIMG_0359 by jrodgersartCOOL  SUMMER underwater by javiyHigh noon by Jason PaluckDo i look sick?? by robinn. by Ed_Z(_) by the_wolf_brigadeSigns of Fall by JonathanRobsonPhotography.comUnderEveryCondition by Selaphotoslurrrrp by llemonthymehangin in a Manhole by dannottiSt Thomas: Hillside Dam by CharleneCollins.Jamaicawall with outlet and grass by xgray by the_wolf_brigadebehind the green door by vandyll.netoptimismo reloaded by .f_}x{Slayer @ Mayhem Fest by Tasha {Redwall Photo :: Music}Boom. by Simply Doc? [filosofia analitica del linguaggio]Left-out by analoxThe umbrella crowd by robinn.chicken legs by lifeography®Double Window by belpo by the_wolf_brigadeControled Choas by iwaswiredMichigan's Adventure by Chris Mc RobertsJason & Kristyna by Jonathan EnnsCamera Shop by jk+tooAwkward Boy by iamronaldoBreaker #2 by sevennineGuards by belpoMiracle In The Eyes by robinn.square  and blue by ana.grIMGP9557 by I Take Faux ToesToledo b&w by hitkaiserdinner at lx 02 by .f_}x{earwig by Sabina R.Baby Bowl by RussHeathWanted for Stealing Covers by mathewmtie dye hands by sanctimoniusKayla-4 by benbender... by smiles4angelsSkegness by CdL CreativeStairs To Nowhere by Will FosterBlue fence and yellow lines by Lucy Williams Photography by rh89hi... please don't eat me by cjw333 by i_shoot_minolta

(WT)Duck Photo Contest Winners

Recently, I posted my review of the new What the Duck book and I offered up a few free copies of the book. The only thing you had to do was submit photos or links to photos (of yours) of ducks. I wasn’t sure what to expect for a turnout, but we had a good showing of participants with 23 photos submitted!

It was great to see the photos and the enthusiasm for the new book. I’m certain that Aaron was happy to see such support for his work. And how am I certain? Well, I asked him to choose one of the winners for the book giveaway, so he definitely looked through your comments and photos.

The two winners (and an honorable mention) are shown below. Anne-Laure and Jerry will both receive a free copy of the book… and the rest of you will just have to go buy one! Thanks to everybody who participated and everybody planning on buying the book!

WINNER 1: JERRY

Photo by Jerry

WINNER 2: ANNE-LAURE

Photo by Anne-Laure

HONORABLE MENTION: LAANBA

Photo by Laanba

The Best Camera

You may have heard the saying “The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You” at some point in your photographic adventures. I don’t know who coined the phrase, but I do know who is re-popularizing it: Chase Jarvis. And how is he doing it? With is phone, of course!

So Chase created TheBestCamera.com as a central hub for this whole thing. It’s a place for people to share their photos created using the iPhone app. The application looks really cool, and I’d expect nothing less from somebody like Chase. I’m only disappointed with two things: 1) No iPhone for Verizon customers, and 2) No awesome photo applications for Pocket PC phones. But, neither of those things are Chase’s fault, so I’ll just keep my frustrations bottled up for the time being.

But even though I can’t use the app, I still plan on buying the book that goes along with all of this. Chase put together a photo book of his iPhone images and it looks fantastic from what I can tell! The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You is 256 pages of lo-fi inspiration. If you’ve seen Chase’s iPhone work in the past, you know what to expect. If you haven’t… well, go take a look. You could almost convince yourself that these were taken with a toy film camera and they fit right in with the Lomography vision.

The website, the iPhone app, and the book are all quite impressive accomplishments for Chase. But I think he’s doing something much greater: Chase Jarvis is steering the direction of modern photography (at least one branch of it), and he’s driving it with his enthusiasm for art. He’s making the point that great photos can come from any camera and that having your camera in your pocket at all times is more important than having the most powerful gear on the market. And all of this started because he decided to start taking photos with his iPhone every day — in other words, a personal project of his that turned out to be much more (and on a related side note, our latest PhotoNetCast episode is on the topic of photography projects).

The concepts of using lo-fi equipment, shooting often, taking your camera with you everywhere, shooting from the hip, capturing every day life, and just getting the shot are not new concepts. Just look at the cult following of Lomography. Chase is taking these same concepts and modernizing them. Instead of shooting with a Holga or Diana, he’s shooting with an iPhone — not exactly the best cameras on the market. In both cases, the images produced are not technically outstanding, but they do have a certain artistic quality that can’t be found elsewhere.

At any rate, take all this as you will. I know these types of photos and ideologies don’t appeal to everybody, but I’m guessing that most of you will find some part of it interesting (and maybe even inspiring). For more information, check out the following links:

Link Roundup 09-20-2009

PHOTO PROJECT: Edit John’s Photo

Photo by John Huson

OK then, here we go! After a few weeks of photo submissions and voting, we’re finally kicking off another project here on Epic Edits. This project doesn’t require you to pick up the camera — instead, you’ll want to sharpen your post-processing skills.

The photo being used in this project is property of John Huson. Please see the bit at the end of this post for more information on usage rights.

THE CONCEPT

We’ve done this type of project once before, but the basic concept is to begin with the same unprocessed photo and have many people edit (post-process) as they wish. It’s an interesting experiment and the results are usually pretty exciting because everybody has a slightly different vision of what the final photo should look like.

If you haven’t heard of this type of project before, be sure to check out previous projects hosted by Epic Edits, LeggNet’s Digital Capture, CameraPorn, and Phill Price. And if you’re in need of some post-processing inspiration/education, make sure you look into my Photoshop Tips archive and my Delicious Photoshop bookmarks.

THE REQUIREMENTS

We’ll make this as easy as possible for you, but there are still a few steps you’ll need to take in order to participate correctly.

  1. GET THE PHOTO
    I don’t want to host a full-res unprocessed photo on the web, so head over to my Contact Page and shoot me an email asking for the file. Tell me if you want the RAW (7.5MB) or JPG (4.4MB) version, and be sure that your email can handle it.
  2. DO THE WORK
    Post-process the photo however you want. There are no limitations to what you can do (crop, composite, b/w, xpro, etc.). Just get creative and have some fun.
  3. SHARE IT
    Downsize your final image to 800px or smaller and publish it on the web somewhere — it would also be nice to see how you processed the image, so tell us a little about what you did. Be sure to give the John Huson credit for the photo (I’m sure he’d appreciate a link too). And don’t forget to tell your audience where they too can participate in such a great project. If you need instruction on self-publication, I’ve got you covered. And if you have absolutely no options for self-publication, you can send me the 800px file and I’ll post those together shortly before the deadline.
  4. WAIT FOR THE RESULTS
    Once the deadline passes and everybody has their entries in to me, I’ll pull things together and post the results. I should also add that it’s beneficial to get the project done sooner than later because entries will be posted in the order they are received (plus it helps to spread the word).

Let’s limit one entry per participant just in case we get a lot of people doing this. So if you do multiple edits, send me the link to your best one.

THE DEADLINE: OCTOBER 16, 2009

[UPDATE 10-17-2009] Time’s up for entries! I’m no longer handing out the file and/or accepting project entries. Stay tuned for the final results on 10-19-2009.

The photo being used in this project is property of John Huson, a wedding photographer out of Washington state. He submitted the image for use in the project, you guys chose it via a poll, and he provided the full resolution image file. John retains the full copyright to the image, but he has given permission for use in the context of this project — so long as resulting photos are published at no more than 800px on the long edge. So in other words, you can use it but you don’t own it.

Book Review: What the Duck

What the Duck

I think it’s safe to say that many of us have seen the “What the Duck” comic strips (and if you haven’t, I suggest you go educate yourself right now). The basic theme of the comic strip is about a duck photographer and his journeys in the business. But you don’t have to be a professional photographer to “get it”, since many of the strips are humorous to a wide spectrum of photographers.

In addition to the comic strip, Aaron Johnson (the author and artist), has been putting out a few books. “What the Duck: A W.T. Duck Collection” is the second book released, and it contains 128 pages of comic strips.

What the Duck: A W.T. Duck Collection (ISBN 978-0740780967) can be purchased directly from Andrews McMeel Publishing or through Amazon.com.

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. I am in no way affiliated with the book, the author, or the publisher of the book.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Well… it’s a comic strip book. Don’t expect to find any breathtaking photos or golden nuggets of technical advice. Of course, the theme of the comics are very much photography related and full of wisdom. As I said, the book is 128 pages. It’s soft-bound (which is suitable for a comic strip book) and the size is approximately 8.8 x 8.4 inches. A typical page has three 3-frame strips from top to bottom, but occasionally you’ll find a page layout like the image shown at the top of this post. Everything is also printed in color, and the humor contained within is quick and to the point.

In case you’re not already familiar with the comic strip, I’ll do my best to give an explanation. The main character (the one wearing white) is a photographer who happens to be a duck. In fact, all the photographers are ducks (of various other colors). Clients, editors, models, and pretty much everyone else is not a duck. The comic has a somewhat dark sense of humor — the duck is always getting the short end of the stick, he knows it, and he just keeps dealing with it. The most amusing thing about the comic strip is that the scenarios presented are true to life in one way or another, and as you become more involved with photography you tend to find the comic more amusing.

Some (maybe all?) of the strips in the book have been published on the website, but I want to say that some of them are unseen prior to the book. I’ve been following the comic strip on a daily basis basically since it started and I came across quite a few that didn’t ring any bells. I could be totally wrong on this point though, since my memory is less than stellar.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aaron Johnson is the creator and artist of the “What the Duck” comic strip, a fellow photographer, Photoshopper, and in a band. Other than that, I don’t know a whole lot about him. Obviously he’s very creative, has a great sense of humor, and the ability to create a cult following via comics. If anybody knows more than this about Aaron, please start a Wikipedia page about him.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS

If you’re a fan of the comic strip — definitely get the book. It’s going for about $10 on Amazon, which is ridiculously affordable. As is the case with photos looking 10-20x better on paper rather than a computer screen, the same is true with comic strips. In print, the strips are bigger (unless you sport the 800×600 res), cleaner, and less pixelated than what you’ll find on the website or rss feed.

If you haven’t been following the comic: go check out the website, laugh, become obsessed, THEN buy the book.

Either way, the book is scheduled to release on September 15, but Amazon has started shipping orders early for some folks — so go ahead and place your order now!

BUY THE BOOK AT AMAZON.COM
VISIT “WHAT THE DUCK” ON THE WEB

ABOUT THE FREE BOOKS!

Oh yeah! You guys didn’t think I’d leave you hanging, did you? Aaron told me he’s sending a few extra copies my way so I can hand them out to a few lucky winners. Not sure how many or if they’re signed copies, but I’ll let you know as soon as I know.

So how do you get a free copy? Let’s make this a little bit of a photo contest. Post a link or an image in the comments below to a photo (of yours) that is somehow related to ducks or the What the Duck comic. So it could be a photo of a real duck, a fake duck, a drawing of the comic character on the beach, a light painting of the letters “WTD”, or whatever else you can think of (and it’s possible that photos of other birds will be accepted for consideration, but I’d prefer ducks). If you don’t have any photos like this in your archives, get out there and shot something! Just keep it to a single photo or link to a photo.

I’ll finalize the deadline when I get the books, but I’d say it will be in about 1-2 weeks from now. After the deadline, I’ll pick out my faves and ship out the books to the winners.

[UPDATE] I just got the books in the mail today, and we’ve got 2 copies to hand out! I’ll pick out two of my favorite duck photos on Monday, September 21 — so get your duck photo in the comments before the end of the weekend!

35 Undiscovered Photographers… Discovered by You

I could say a lot about this article and the photographers featured in it… but I’m going to keep it short so you can start discovering some amazing artists. You nominated your favorite undiscovered photographer, then I chose my favorite photo from their work and contacted them about using it in this article. Now it’s your turn again — go check out their stuff! And by no means does the term “undiscovered” imply anything about the quality of their work or their “popularity” — nor do I want to argue about the meaning of the term… just enjoy the photos.

All copyrights of the photos displayed are property of the photographers, I’m only displaying them with written permission.

1. TODD HANZELKA

Todd Hanzelka
discovered by laanba

2. EMIN KULIYEV

Emin Kuliyev
discovered by Claus Jepsen

3. MANUEL LIBRODO

Manuel Librodo
discovered by Bobby Wong Jr.

4. MATTHEW BURRARD-LUCAS

Matthew Burrard-Lucas
discovered by John D

5. ERIK VAN HANNEN

Erik van Hannen
discovered by Matthijs

6. TED BYRNE

Ted Byrne
discovered by Andreas Manessinger

7. SHAWN DUFFY

Shawn Duffy
discovered by Gracie

8. JAN SCHOLZ

Jan Scholz
discovered by the_wolf_brigade

9. KATIA TRUDEAU

Katia Trudeau
discovered by Jason Jang

10. VALERIO BERDINI

Valerio Berdini
discovered by Loredana Spadola

11. SHIRLEY BITTNER

Shirley Bittner
discovered by David Kimmel

12. NICKI

Nicki
discovered by Mark Groves

13. JEREMY BROOKS

Jeremy Brooks
discovered by Trevor Carpenter

14. KUANYING

Kuanying
discovered by D. Travis North

15. THAMER AL-TASSAN

Thamer Al-Tassan
discovered by Sami Alharthi

16. BRUCE PERCY

Bruce Percy
discovered by jeremy

17. CHAD COOMBS

Chad Coombs
discovered by Drew

18. THOMAS JACK HILTON

Thomas Jack Hilton
discovered by Sarah

19. WYLIE MAERCKLEIN

Wylie Maercklein
discovered by Matthew

20. GAVIN HOLT

Gavin Holt
discovered by Russell Kipnis

21. JON THORPE

Jon Thorpe
discovered by Trevor Connell

22. IAN THOMAS

Ian Thomas
discovered by Gary

23. JOHN KEATLEY

John Keatley
discovered by Mike Fiechtner

24. KIRITIN BEYER

Kiritin Beyer
discovered by Matias Okawa

25. VINCENZO COSENZA

Vincenzo Cosenza
discovered by Kevin R

26. RICKY MONTALVO

Ricky Montalvo
discovered by Alexander Katzeff

27. MICHAEL KANG

Michael Kang
discovered by Bryan Villarin

28. GUIDO MUSCH

Guido Musch
discovered by Matthijs

29. YOUNES BOUNHAR

Younes Bounhar
discovered by Jack Thomas

30. HEIKE KÖLZER

Heike Kölzer
discovered by Thias

31. ERIN WILSON

Erin Wilson
discovered by Mike

32. WILLIAM GREENFIELD

William Greenfield
discovered by Linda

33. CHRISTINE MEINTJES

Christine Meintjes
discovered by Karin

34. RUADH DELONE

Ruadh DeLone
discovered by Pawn

35. JERRY GARNS

Jerry Garns
discovered by Tyler Garns

Of course, a huge “thank you” to the featured photographers for taking the time to work with me on this article and for showing support and enthusiasm for the concept. And thanks to everyone who participated in the last article by sharing your favorite undiscovered photographer with all of us.

I really would encourage you to visit each of the photographers shown above — they have a lot of great work in their portfolios and many of them can’t be properly represented by a single image. I can’t even begin to tell you how many hours I spent pouring through their work and trying to narrow my photo selection down to a single image… but I enjoyed every hour of it.

Digital WakeUp Call Tour Still Running Strong

Digital WakeUp Call

Just a quick reminder for the Midwest and East Coast folks — the Digital WakeUp Call Tour is on the final stretch and if you live in these areas, be sure you don’t miss out!

For $60, you get a huge amount of information packed into a single night. David covers everything from lighting equipment and techniques, portrait composition tips, post processing, workflow, final presentation, product ideas for wedding/portrait photographers, and tons of other great business tips. David Ziser has been in the business for quite some time and he has a huge wealth of information to share.

Again, if you’re located in the Midwest or East Coast regions, check out the city listings and dates to find the closest venue.

DIGITAL WAKEUP CALL
$20-OFF CODE: ZEEDWC09
DAVID’S BLOG

Link Roundup 09-05-2009