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Monthly Archives: December 2009
While the tips for the camera bag contest keep pouring in, and the judges continue with their evalutions, I wanted to point you to a cool little multimedia project about George de Paris, tailor to the last six or seven American presidents. This site not only gives you the behind the scenes stuff, but also has some clever interactive flash games where you can “dress the president” with different suits, etc.
This multimedia package is a project from a bunch of students in the American University masters program in Interactive Journalism, my middle boy Brian, who works as an online editor for documentaries, being one of them. He sure is having fun, and in his spare time, he’s trying to teach an old dog (me), new tricks (Final Cut!).
We’ll be announcing the bag winner on New Year’s Day, but not too early, so party hearty and have a good and safe one!
Okay, a number of emails came through about the Scrooge-like tone of my last post on photo careers (hey, all I can say is, “don’t shoot the messenger.”) and also about my Nutcracker post, questioning the Homer Simpson lookalike reference. You think I would joke about something like that????
So to quell any thought that I might be making this stuff up, I’ve posted the latest author portrait that will run with my next book for Lark Publishers, on the Power of Moment, just to prove that I wasn’t kidding about being more Homer than Nureyev. As far as the photo career stuff goes, well, just ask any recent j-school graduate (God speed Tiny Tim!). But I’ll be writing more about that stuff in the New Year. Let’s try to enjoy the holidays!
So I thought I run a contest of sorts. I’m going to send this bag to the poster with the best travel photo tip to show up in the comments section of this post by midnight EST, December 31st.
Second, it has to be a tip that concerns travel photography, not just travel. So all those cool ideas you have about finding cheap hotel rooms and good airline seats etc. you have to save for another blog contest.
If we actually get more than one entry To handle the onslaught of entries, I’ve assembled a panel of the judges who are fellow professional traveling journalist/photographer/video types of my acquaintance. (If I make them judges, then they can’t enter!)
They’ll stay anonymous so nobody knows who to get mad at if your tip doesn’t make the final cut! (And I’m staying out of it altogether). They’ll be looking for originality and real-world usefulness. In the case of similar tips, we’ll count the one posted first.
(Even though it may take me a while to approve posts, they’re all time stamped. And posts have to be approved to appear just to stem the huge flood of spam posts we get—with the effort these spammers put in, it’s pretty clear to me that selling counterfeit prescription drugs and pianofortes (?) are the growth industries of the coming decade)
So have a great holiday, and send us your best travel photo tip….who knows, you may start the new year with a cool new camera bag!
If you’ll excuse this post’s headline wordplay on the similar-sounding title of a well known play, I wanted to point you towards a post on the blog of editorial photographer David Wells. David is a consumate photo essayist, and although we’ve never met in person, I’ve been a longtime admirer of his work, and now of his really thoughtful, well-written blog and excellent podcasts as well.
Well, somehow we got talking via emails about the old days, and that’s a darn dangerous topic for guys of a certain age in our biz. Because it gets us thinking about the time when the print medium was not regarded as a geriatric basket case, clients had budgets, and photographs (not to mention photographers) couldn’t be crowd-sourced on Flickr and sold for pennies by the bushel on iStockPhoto.
But as David wisely points out, nostalgia is for creative sissies (and I’m paraphrasing here, because David is much more eloquent than yours truly!), and the Darwinian concept for survival as an editorial freelance photographer is the same in the 21st century as it was last century: adapt or die!
I think the problem many old timers and every newcomer is having at this time of flux is this: “adapt to what, exactly?”
Yes, there really is no clear-cut new model to replace the old paradigm. And that, dear reader, is the rub, if the dozens of emails I get from kids and late-career changers wanting to break into the business are any indication. It becomes very difficult to advise anybody getting into this business who doesn’t already have the thirty year headstart that I and many of my fellow dinosaurs currently enjoy.
There’s a movement gaining traction in the French Parliament to require advertisers who use Photoshop to enhance a photograph to disclose it in writing or face big fines!
Ooohh la la, wouldn’t that be a kick? Leave it to the French to shake the foundations of our culture to the very core.
(And those foundations are?)
2. The right to tart up advertising photos in Photoshop.
You know what this means, right? It means job growth in the photo industry!
I already have my application in for a position as a detective in the Photoshop Gendarmerie (“You airbrush it, we will crush it” is the motto I’m proposing for the force).
I can’t wait to say “step away from ze cloning tool and keep your hands where I can see them” in my New Jersey-accented French.
Um, and, I’d just like to say that I’m a people person and I’m willing to relocate, you know, move to Paris, wear a trenchcoat, smoke Gauloises, affect a world-weary shrug and sigh as I smite the offenders with huge fines, and do close examinations of the live model’s proportions compared to the photo of the model.
And you thought travel photography was a dream job? Mon Dieu! Not compared to this!
I just posted an audio slideshow about the Pennsylvania Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker in Philadelphia and boy, did working on this really put me in the holiday mood. You have to love the dedication and the skill levels of professional ballet dancers…if I ever get reincarnated with a body more like Rudolph Nureyev than Homer Simpson, I would love to move with such power and grace… but as far as this life goes, all I can say is, “D’oh!”
I was impressed with the talent and discipline of the kids in the cast as well….what a cool childhood memory they’ll have working in this gorgeous staging by the Pennsylvania Ballet at Philadelphia’s beautiful Academy of Music.
For tech stuff, It was done with 2 D90’s and a D300s, ISO 800-1600, Automatic White Balance, and 12-24mm f/4, 17-55mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8VR, plus a little 35mm f/1.8, 10.5mm f/2.8, and 85mm f/1.8. This show is running, in a smaller size, on National Geographic Traveler’s Intelligent Travel blog too.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go have a doughnut and practice my plies and jetes!