- The Three Main Challenges of Zoo Photography (and How to Overcome Them)
photography tips animal
- Complete Workflow, Storage & BackUp for Photography
photography workflow backup howto video tips
- 10 Landscape Photography Tutorials to Help You Shoot Like A Pro
photography tutorial resource landscape
- The Value of Photography Magazines
photography podcast magazine
- Amazing Bursting Balloons Photographs (Interview and Tutorial)
diy photography flash interview
- Cross Process Ektachrome for the Blues and Greens!
photography xpro kodak photo film
- “End Love” by OK Go Blends Stop and Slow Motion in Awesome Ways
photography video inspiration
- The Ultimate Beginner’s Introduction to Exposure
photography beginner tutorial exposure film
- DIY Digital Holga
photography digital diy holga camera tutorial film
- Street Photography By Robert M Johnson.
photography street portfolio photographer art
- Random Excellence: John Cyr
photography film darkroom
- Everything You Know About Concert Photography is Wrong
music photography tips concert
- 7 Reasons HDR is Here to Stay And Why That’s a Good Thing
- Examples of Camera Types
photography film camera video
- The Top 10 Photography Lighting Facts You Should Know
lighting photography tips
- The Photon Fantastic | Notable: Ed Verosky
photography interview photographer
- Top 10 Composition Tips in Photography
photography composition tips
- TimeShot | A photography post-production tool
photography online tools software
- These 22 Images Were Photoshopped – And We Just Don’t Care
inspiration photoshop photo photography
I just realized that it’s been a few weeks since I posted some links! So here are a few that I have in my list… I’ve got more, but I don’t like posting more than 10-15 links at a time.
- Polaroid peel-apart instant film types: Examples galore!
photography film polaroid photo
- Interview with Zoriah Miller
photography photojournalism interview photographer
- How to Use Lines in Photography Compositions
photography composition howto tips
- The 7 Deadly Sins of Indoor Photography
photography howto tips indoor lighting
- Another Impossible Project Update
photography film polaroid
- 33 Exciting Examples of Action Photography
inspiration photography photo action
- 5 Common Mistakes Aspiring Travel Photographers Make
photography travel advice tips mistakes
- The Stunning Faces of India: 25 Incredible Photos
photography photo india portrait inspiration
- What You Need to Know About Using Colour Filters
photography filter lens tips
- A Poor Man’s Guide to Budget Macro Photography
photography macro tips howto diy tutorial guide
- Big City Heat Maps of Local and Tourist Photo Spots
photography map reference resource
- Letter to George
photography funny humor advice equipment
- The Pros and Cons of Each Camera Type
film photography camera equipment
We recently started a discussion around the question “Why is Street Photography Dominated by Black and White?” and we had some great comments from the readers. Shortly thereafter, I got an email from the folks at TeNeues with regard to the “Elliot Erwitt Photo Caption Contest” I had talked about. They said that they would be interviewing Elliott the next day and wanted to know if I had any questions for him.
Well… I thought that it would be cool to have a master of street photography weigh in on the conversation. So I sent the “Why is street photography dominated by black and white?” question along with “Do you ever get anxious taking pictures of people in public?” Both questions were answered in their short interview — very cool! Here’s a link to the video that they posted on FaceBook.
Hop over there and check it out — they have a pretty good set of questions, and Elliott answers them in his usual humorous manner.
- 40 Classic Black and White Photos
photography b&w photo
- Is Digital Post-Production Killing Photography? Debunking the Purist Myth
photography philosophy discussion
- New Canon Scanner is Film-Friendly
canon film photography scanner
- Superfad Delivers the SuperDope for Sony "Eye Candy"
photography sony video
- 20 Sweet T-Shirts for Photographers
- 23 Perfectly Timed Shots
- Review: Holgaroid – A Happy Marriage
photography holga polaroid film camera review
- The Homemade Holgaroid
photography diy holga polaroid howto film
- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Photographers
photography tips business
- Interview with Jim M Goldstein
photography interview photographer
A few selected links from this week…
- Ambrotype Photography
If you think film photography is a pain-in-the-butt, check out this stuff! I think I found my next personal challenge!
- How to Photograph a Convention
digital Photography School
Conventions can be a great place to photograph some interesting characters — here’s a good set of tips for doing just that!
- Creativity Ideas for Photographers
My Camera World
We all hit creativity blocks from time to time. Here are some ideas for getting past those blocks and getting back on track.
- Four compact photo printers under $150
Printing is becoming a long lost art among photographers. So check out these four (inexpensive) photo printers if you want to actually see some photos on paper.
- Playing With Fire – How to Photograph Fire
digital Photography School
Fire can be a tricky subject in photography. Here are a few good tips for getting better fire photos in a variety of situations.
- Chase Jarvis’ 5 Tips for Exceptional Photographs
An Interview with Chase Jarvis as he gives out his 5 tips for exceptional photographs.
- “Share-a-Link” Saturday
LeggNet’s Digital Capture
Rich opened up the floodgates for people to leave comments with links to their favorite photography sites. Check out the list, and leave a few of your own favorites!
- City of Lost Carts
An interesting documentary on a photographer who primarily photographed a very specific subject for an extended period of time.
In the 24th episode of EXIF and Beyond, Jim Goldstein talks with Nick Dunmur of Pro-Imaging.org about the Bill of Rights for Photography Competitions.
This is a document that outlines the conditions for photographic competition organisers and sponsors to be guided by when constructing terms and conditions for their competitions. With so many online photography competitions out there, photographers sometimes forget to read the fine print. This has resulted in several contest organizers getting away with the “Rights Grab”, leaving photographers in a cloud of confusion when they realize they’ve given away the rights to their work.
If you’ve ever considered entering your photos in a photography competition, this interview is certainly worth a listen.
Episode #18 of the PhotoNetCast is now available for your listening pleasure. In this one, we talk with Tom Hogarty — an Adobe product manager for Lightroom. We talk to him about all kinds of things regarding the popular software, and he gives us some good insights to the “behind the scenes” work that goes into such software.
And as a special feature, Adobe gave us one copy of Lightroom to give away to our listeners! That’s a $300 piece of software! If you want a chance at the software, you’ve got until December 17th to enter the raffle.
You have two ways of entering: leave a comment (1 entry) or write a blog post (2 entries). In either case, we’d like to hear how Lightroom would change your digital photography workflow. Pretty easy if you ask me!
- Photographing the desert night with Troy Paiva
In this episode of PhotoNetCast we interview Troy Paiva, a well-established night photographer and urban explorer. The guy is such a riot, this is definitely worth a listen.
- Studying Light in Photography
An overview of the various aspects of light as it pertains to photography — quantity, temperature, direction, and quality.
- Goodbye George W. Bush!
A glimpse into the inner thoughts of soldiers, written on the walls of latrines.
- How to Improve Your Wedding Photography
digital Photography School
A few simple tips to help improve your wedding photography game… if that’s your thing.
- 5 Surprising Places to Sell your Photos
If you’re trying to sell your photos, here are a few venues you might want to check out.
- How to Photograph a Conference – 10 Tips
digital Photography School
If you ever attend a conference and you have the opportunity to bring your camera, here are some killer tips for getting the most out of the experience.
- Image Optimization For The Web, Part I
Digital Photo Pro
A quick rundown of some basic things you should be thinking about when producing images for web display.
- How to Shoot Super Macro Photos
digital Photography School
Here’s an old trick to getting WAY beyond 1:1 with your macro photography. I’ve tried this particular setup, and it does work, but it certainly takes some patience.
- Basic Travel Photography
Traveling to new places can present may great opportunities for photos — just don’t fall into the typical “tourist” mode! Here are some tips to keep your travel photos fresh and original.
The folks at National Geographic approached me about reviewing an upcoming book from master photographer Sam Abell. The book, The Life of a Photograph, draws on 40 years of fieldwork from Sam and presents readers with a unique view of his work and the life of his photographs. I was also given the great pleasure of speaking with Sam on various topics surrounding his book and photography in general (and that alone would constitute a blog post). So this article is a bit of a mix between a book review and an interview.
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 publisher free of charge. I am in no way affiliated with the book or the publisher of the book.
ABOUT THE BOOK
The Life of a Photograph is a collection of work from Sam Abell’s experience in the field as a National Geographic photographer. But the book isn’t about National Geographic or the stories covered by the photos — it’s about Sam Abell, his photos, and how they’ve taken on a life of their own. Sam has long been thought of as one of the most artistic photographers working for National Geographic, and this book is certainly filled with artistic photos — some having been previously published by National Geographic, and some being published for the first time ever.
The book is a hearty 208 pages filled with approximately 200 color photos (except for one). Each of the 11 chapters contains thoughts and anecdotes from Sam as he attempts to answer the question “What gives a photograph a life?” Sam has identified photos that have lasted through time and talks about the reason for this. The book was carefully designed by Sam and his editor to show each photo in a most truthful manner. No images were cropped or otherwise post-processed (except to preserve the image, not fix it). The photos are given plenty of room to be enjoyed, and no image bleeds up to the edge of the page or crosses the gutter of the book. The presentation of his work was of the utmost importance to Sam during the creation of this book.
One unique aspect of the book that stands out is the “two views” presentation seen on many of the pages within. Often times, a particular scene is photographed from multiple perspectives and the publication editors (such as those from National Geographic) have the task of choosing one that works best. The other photos are never seen by readers. Sam brings these photos back into the picture and opens up a whole new aspect of his work by showing “two views” from the same scene. This method of presentation has the effect of slowing down the reader because the visual relationship introduced. It also puts the reader in the shoes of the photographer and the magazine editor. All in all, the “two views” presentation is an amazing part of this book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sam Abell began his journey into photography during his childhood mainly thanks to his Father, Thad S. Abell. One of his first life-changing experiences was brought on by a photo Sam took of his Dad with his Dad’s Rollei in 1960. The photo went on to win a prize in a national contest in 1961, and this experience helped to shape Sam’s future. He also mentions that one of his major life-changing experiences was reading a simple book on the Great Depression by Dorothea Lange in the mid-1960′s. He was inspired by Lange’s ability to document the world in an artistic fashion, and Sam’s own work through his career has followed the same example.
Sam began his career with National Geographic in 1967, and has since contributed nearly 40 years of work in the field. Along the way, Sam has published several books of his own (The Photographic Life, Stay This Moment, and Seeing Gardens) in addition to several best-selling National Geographic publications (Lewis & Clark: Voyage of Discovery and The Mississippi and the Making of a Nation: From the Louisiana Purchase to Today).
Today, Sam has turned more of his attention to teaching and educating via seminars across the country. He’s also spending a great deal of time editing past photos from his body of work for use in possible future publications. But he certainly hasn’t put down the camera, and he still enjoys taking on side projects in the field and photographing for his personal diary using black & white film (which is the medium that is most dear to this lifelong photographer).
Though my interview with Sam Abell was quite informal, I learned a great deal from this man in just one hour. For a more formal interview with Sam, visit Photo District News for a verbatim discussion.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
Some books are flipped through, where the reader glances at the photos within. Others demand to be read and appreciated, but can still be knocked out in a single sitting. While few photography books require a detailed inspection and re-inspection over many sittings, The Life of a Photograph is definitely one of them.
I do believe that every photographer out there can learn much from this book while being inspired by its imagery. I would even go so far as to say that it’s changed the way I look at photos. Sam’s style is incredibly quiet and simple (just like his approach to photography). Upon first glance, the photos don’t appear to be incredibly special — but then they immediately draw you into them and hit you with a profound sense of interest and meaning.
I leave you with Sam’s favorite quote from the book, as he talks about that 1960 photograph of his father: “What I no longer remember is the day itself. It was in color wasn’t it? And the snow I knelt on to compose the picture in my dad’s Rollei — wasn’t it cold or wet or both? Surely we talked afterward — about trains or photography or what we’d do next. But all that has vanished. In its place is this photograph. The photograph is what I remember.”