Tag Archives: photographer

Link Roundup 06-27-2010

Link Roundup 06-14-2010

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.

Link Roundup 05-17-2010

Link Roundup 04-15-2010

Link Roundup 04-12-2010

Seeking San Diego Photographer With Studio Experience

I got an interesting email today from (Dave Urban) the co-owner of a company called “Green Man T-Shirts” here in San Diego. He’s renting a local studio and he wants me to photograph a bunch of models wearing their organic t-shirts. Pretty cool! Except for the fact that studios, artificial lights, and posed portraits are all forms of Kryptonite to me.

As much as I would love to do it myself, I simply can’t. But I figure that some of you might want to take the lead instead! I’ll still attend and take a few shots (and maybe learn something about studio equipment), but I can’t be the one running the session and providing the primary images. So here are the basics — if you’re interested, contact me and tell me a little bit about your studio experience.

  • WHEN: March, 2010 [updated… had put 2009 here before]. Date TBD, but it will be a Saturday from 9am to 5pm.
  • WHERE: dk3 Studios in Mira Mesa.
  • BUDGET: Pizza, beer, and loud music. This is not a paid shoot, and the models are also local volunteers.

And here’s more of the details for the shoot.

  • The studio is 1128 square feet and comes equipped with a bunch of monolights, modifiers, backdrops, a 16×16 cyc wall, and a changing room for the models. We’ll have it for 8 hours.
  • 8 models will arrive at 11am and local media (newspaper, TV, etc) will be invited to attend the event between 12pm and 2pm. By 3:30pm, we’ll be wrapping things up and get out of there by 5pm.
  • Photographer will retain copyright of all images taken, and the usage license for Green Man T-Shirts will dictate that credit must be given to the photographer.
  • Dave will also be putting together a video of the event, but I don’t know who will be shooting it. So if there are any cinematographers out there, drop me a line.

Since this is not a paid shoot, I don’t think Dave is expecting a Chase-Jarvis-type to show up and work his magic. But I do think the photographer in charge needs to have a good handle on studio lighting and working with models — you’ll have a bunch of people there relying on you to make it happen.

With the number of models and the size of the studio, I think 2 additional photographers would be a good number. Like I said, I’ll be there to take a few shots, help out with the setups, and grab some “behind the scenes” photos with my trusty rangefinder. So if you think you fit the job and you’re in the general San Diego area (LA folks are welcome too if you want to drive down) contact me and tell me a little bit about your experience.

And here’s how Dave ended his email to me: “I want the shoot to be fun, relaxed, and have a party type atmosphere to it. If things go well, and I see no reason why they shouldn’t, this will be an annual event. Each year I anticipate it would grow, and it could turn into a regular, paying gig for you. But this first year, with so many variables involved and never having done this myself, I’m keeping it on a smaller scale with volunteers and lots of enthusiasm.

Sounds like a good time and a great opportunity to gain a little more experience in the studio. So who’s up for it?

Book Review: Polar Obsession

Polar Obsession

Nature and wildlife photos are generally pleasing to the eye and viewed with great interest from the masses. The interest is even greater when the photos show remote locations and/or elusive animals that we typically don’t see in real life or in photos. Earth’s polar regions are perfect examples of such imagery.

Polar Obsession, by Paul Nicklen, is a stunning collection of photos from the northern and southern polar regions. But these are more than just pretty pictures of the landscape or some distant shots of animals through a 500mm lens — these are up close and intimate views of the animals, their behaviors, and the delicate environment they live in. Paul specializes in photographing the Arctic and Antarctica with an emphasis on underwater photography, and it would seem that no location is out of his reach.

Although the photos presented in Polar Obsession are quite beautiful on many levels, they convey a much heavier message. These fragile environments are changing rapidly, and terrible consequences to the animal inhabitants have already begun. Through his work as a photojournalist, Paul conveys the truth about the polar regions in a way that I’ve never seen before. His passion and drive are intoxicating and his message is impossible to ignore.

See the end of this post for a chance to win a free copy of the book.

Polar Obsession (ISBN 978-1-4262-0511-8) can be purchased directly from National Geographic or through Amazon.com.


Polar Obsession is a hardcover book containing 240 pages of text and photos (150 photos total). The book is quite large, measuring nearly 14 inches wide and 11 inches tall — definitely a lap book. I do like the size and shape of the book though, big enough to really make the photos come to life (and many of them are full bleed).

A young polar bear leaps between ice floes. Barents Sea, Svalbard, Norway

The book is broken into two major sections, preceded by introductory material: Arctic and Antarctica. The introduction gives you some important background information on Paul, sets the tone for the environmental message, and gives you a sampling of his portfolio. The Arctic chapters include “Ice and the Cycle of Life”, “Last of the Unicorns”, and “Svalbard: Polar Paradise”. The Antarctica chapters include “Leopard Seals: An Intimate Encounter” and “South Georgia: The Land of Kings and Elephants”. Each chapter begins with several pages of text that relate to the images.

Narwhals dive deep under the ice to feed on Arctic cod, then return to the surface to breathe and raise their tusks high in the air. Lancaster Sound, Nunavut, Canada

When I get any new book the first thing I do is flip through the pages to scan the photos. Upon doing that with Polar Obsession I thought “Hey, great looking photos! I wonder what all that text is for.” Once I started reading about Paul and his many adventures on the ice and in the water, the photos completely changed in my eyes. The surface beauty melted away and I began to appreciate them on a far deeper level… what they stand for, what they say about the environment, and what they say about humans in general.

Another major part of the book is the knowledge conveyed by Paul about the various animal species he photographs. Many of them are clouded with misconceptions and myths, but Paul reveals the truth about these animals and the places they live. The views presented come from his life experience and his many close encounters with the animals.


Paul Nicklen on assignment. Lewes Lake, Yukon Territory, Canada.

Paul Nicklen is an interesting individual. He mostly grew up in a small Inuit community on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, spending his childhood observing nature, traveling the land, and learning the ways of the Inuit people. During this time, he developed a strong connection with the animals and their environment — a connection that most of us will never experience. When it came time for college, he attended the University of Victoria, British Columbia in pursuit of a degree in marine biology. It was during his final years of study that he made the decision to do something amazing with his life. Paul worked his butt off to acquire his gear and drew up a plan to share his passion of the polar regions with the world.

Paul’s dream has taken him to some of the most extreme and remote corners of the Earth, and I’m confident that he loves every minute of it. This is a man who, as a child, would get excited about blizzards because it meant he could go lay in the snow and let himself be buried by the weather. This is also a man who puts his own life at risk so he can capture images that nobody else will. Truly an extraordinary individual who cares about the life on our planet more than most people can comprehend.

A leopard seal feeds Paul Nicklen a penguin. Antarctic Peninsula

I had the great pleasure to speak with Paul for about 30 minutes on various topics, and he came across as very down-to-Earth. He also came across as an extremely passionate individual when it comes to the well-being of our planet and all the life contained within. Paul is one of those people who dedicate their life to a noble cause — this stuff is his life. From his experience, the polar regions are warming 2-3 times faster than the rest of the Earth, and this means big changes in the very near future.

Some of our discussion revolved around what we can do to “right the wrongs of our past” and make a better world for tomorrow. I’m not going to quote Paul directly (mostly because I can’t write that fast while having a conversation), but he basically wishes that we (the human population) would wake up and realize what’s happening and do something about it. The actions required to make a major difference are far beyond changing our light bulbs and driving hybrid cars — we need a serious shift in our priorities. Paul believes (and I agree with him), that we need to teach our children to “get back into nature” and start caring more about our impact on this planet.

A large female leopard seal greets photographer Göran Ehlmé. Anvers Island, Antarctica

We also chatted about pure photography stuff… and as photographers, we’re all interested in such things! He put a gear list at the end of the book, and it’s freakin’ crazy! I can’t even begin to describe it. I asked him about the film vs digital thing… he’s 110% digital at this point. This makes sense when you think about changing film underwater — it doesn’t happen! I also popped the question “Do you shoot for fun?” The answer… nope. I figured this would be the case with Paul (as is the case with some other professional photographers). The camera is merely a tool that he uses to pursue his real passion. He’s obviously an expert at using that tool, but his true interest is saving the world.

I can’t remember for the life of me whether this was in the book or part of our conversation, but it was profoundly eye-opening. Paul said something along the lines of “we need to move from being consumers of the planet’s resources, to being it’s protectors.” This made a ton of sense to me — as the dominant species of Earth, we should be protecting our planet rather than destroying it. We have the technology and the ability — why aren’t we doing it?

If you want to see more of Paul’s work, visit his website at paulnicklen.com


I’ve only seen a small number of books that changed my way of thinking at a very basic level. This book was one of them. At a glance — beautiful photos. Upon deeper inspection — an emotional plea to the importance of our role on Earth. Definitely more than a simple coffee table book.

In the Arctic spring, meltwater channels drain toward and down a seal hole, returning to the sea.

Honestly, I would recommend this book to anybody — it can be enjoyed by both child and adult. Not only that, the photos contained within may be some of the last of their kind. The global climate is changing fast and we’re on the brink of losing many species found in these polar regions. Paul Nicklen is a name you’ll hear again, as I’m certain he will continue to document and fight for these animals (in addition to other struggling species all around the world).

Again, Polar Obsession (ISBN 978-1-4262-0511-8) can be purchased directly from National Geographic or through Amazon.com.


As always, the folks at National Geographic have agreed to handing out a few free copies of the book (thanks guys!). So what’s the requirement this time around? A contest, of course! We have two copies of the book to hand out, and we’ll have two methods for acquiring the books. You can do one of the following:

1) Submit a photo and/or link to a photo you’ve taken of an animal and/or landscape of a polar region. The photo must be your own, and it’s got to be pretty damn close to the Arctic or Antarctic Circle. Bonus points for supplemental descriptions.


2) Submit a Flickr Gallery of photos from the polar regions. Definitely a good option for those of us who haven’t been too far north (or south). Curate a gallery and pop the link in the comments below. Bonus points for supplemental thoughts within the gallery and/or comment.

OK, so get your entries in soon! I’ll choose and announce the winners on (or near) November 23, 2009 — one winner for a personal photo, and one for a gallery. If, for some reason, we happen to have no entries from one of the categories, I’ll choose two winners from the category that has entries.

[UPDATE 12/2/2009] You can view the winning entries here.

Oh… and be sure to say “hi” to Paul — there’s a very good chance that he’ll be reading this review and the comments. This guy is a hero, so let him know how awesome he is!!!

[UPDATE 11/16/09] Thanks John for pointing out this great video on YouTube:

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.


Todd Hanzelka
discovered by laanba


Emin Kuliyev
discovered by Claus Jepsen


Manuel Librodo
discovered by Bobby Wong Jr.


Matthew Burrard-Lucas
discovered by John D


Erik van Hannen
discovered by Matthijs


Ted Byrne
discovered by Andreas Manessinger


Shawn Duffy
discovered by Gracie


Jan Scholz
discovered by the_wolf_brigade


Katia Trudeau
discovered by Jason Jang


Valerio Berdini
discovered by Loredana Spadola


Shirley Bittner
discovered by David Kimmel


discovered by Mark Groves


Jeremy Brooks
discovered by Trevor Carpenter


discovered by D. Travis North


Thamer Al-Tassan
discovered by Sami Alharthi


Bruce Percy
discovered by jeremy


Chad Coombs
discovered by Drew


Thomas Jack Hilton
discovered by Sarah


Wylie Maercklein
discovered by Matthew


Gavin Holt
discovered by Russell Kipnis


Jon Thorpe
discovered by Trevor Connell


Ian Thomas
discovered by Gary


John Keatley
discovered by Mike Fiechtner


Kiritin Beyer
discovered by Matias Okawa


Vincenzo Cosenza
discovered by Kevin R


Ricky Montalvo
discovered by Alexander Katzeff


Michael Kang
discovered by Bryan Villarin


Guido Musch
discovered by Matthijs


Younes Bounhar
discovered by Jack Thomas


Heike Kölzer
discovered by Thias


Erin Wilson
discovered by Mike


William Greenfield
discovered by Linda


Christine Meintjes
discovered by Karin


Ruadh DeLone
discovered by Pawn


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.

Who’s Your Favorite “Undiscovered” Photographer

Over the past couple of years, I’ve mentioned some of my personal favorite “undiscovered” photographers (part 1 and part 2). I say “undiscovered” because these folks are not your mainstream hotshots known by every other photographer on the face of the Earth — but, you never know what the future holds (plus they’re still freakin’ awesome)!

So this time around, I’d like to give all of you the opportunity to highlight an “undiscovered” photographer. Simply leave a link in the comments to the website or portfolio of your favorite non-mainstream artist (please don’t link to just an image file). Limit your choice to ONE photographer — somebody who does outstanding work. Oh, and try to refrain from promoting yourself… this article is about promoting other people (but don’t worry, you’ll get credit for pointing them out!).

When the comments die down (maybe a week or two), I’d like to get in touch with some of these photographers and exhibit their work here on the blog. I can’t say that I’ll show the work from every photographer mentioned, the exact numbers will depend on the number of entries and the quality of their work. So dig deep and find that “diamond in the rough”!

Art From My Favorite Photographers

Day ??? - Frames
Creative Commons License photo credit: margolove

I mentioned a while back that Jim Goldstein was running a project that required participants to acquire artwork from other photographers. The deadline is today (November 2, 2008), and I’ve managed to pick up a few pieces for this project.

Not only did I acquire a few new pieces of art, I also found a long-term project for myself. In the course of this project, I determined that I’d like to start a collection of prints from photographers I associate with. For this collection, I’ll be gathering only black & white prints (preferably signed by the artist), all framed and matted in a similar fashion.

So here are the items I’ve acquired for Jim’s project…


Chase is one of the more “popular” photographers that I follow, and I’ve had some limited interaction with him in the past. He’s extremely good at what he does in his profession, but I admire him more as an artist than a commercial photographer. It was just plain luck that he released his first photo book during the course of this project, so naturally, I bought a copy. It’s a great book, filled with amazing photos.

You can find Chase Jarvis on his website, his blog, YouTube, and Flickr.


Bryan is a photographer who is very close to me. We’ve been hanging out and shooting together occasionally over the last year or so. His enthusiasm for photography is nothing less than inspiring. When he approached me about doing a print swap, I was all for it (in fact, I had planned on asking him to do a print swap). I had a hard time choosing just one photo from Bryan, but I knew that I wanted it to be a photo from the subways because this topic really reminds me of him. I ended up choosing the photo above, and it looks great on paper.

For the print swap, Bryan requested one of my paraglider shots — Wide Open. I had it printed up at my local printer, signed it, and delivered it to him on our recent Venice Beach photowalk.

You can find Bryan Villarin on his website, his blog, and Flickr.


I approached the photographers from the Fine Art Photoblog about doing a print swap for the project and Cody jumped right in. Cody has been a great friend to lean on during the startup of the photoblog, but we’ve kept in touch for things other than that over the course of the last year. He’s a great landscape photographer, and his photos do the Great Northwest much justice. Again, I had a very hard time choosing a photo from Cody, but I finally decided on the one shown above. It has a very simple elegance that I just adore. The swap hasn’t happened yet, because we both still need to have the prints made.

And for this print swap, Cody requested that I choose one of mine for him. This is a daunting task, but I believe that I’ve chosen something he’ll like — It’s Lonely Out Here. This one is an equally simple photo, but with a subject matter that represents my current location. It’s a film photo, so I’ll be printing this one for him with my recently acquired enlarger (thanks to my Dad).

You can find Cody on his blog and on the Fine Art Photoblog.