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Photography and the national parks centennial ...

JOHN R. HARRIS, EXPLORA:

"On August 25, the National Parks Service celebrates its 100th Anniversary, and we celebrate the parks and all that they have provided to photography over the years. From early photographers documenting natural wonders to persuade Congress of the value of a park system, to legendary landscape photographers such as Ansel Adams, to the countless tourist snapshots of Old Faithful, and even to Apple’s ubiquitous Half Dome wallpaper, photography and the National Parks have always been intertwined, and our guests understand this as well as anyone. Chris Nicholson is the author of Photographing National Parks, and Kerry Gallivan is the founder of Chimani, an app designed to help users explore and enjoy each National Park. Our discussion touches upon park protocol as it applies to photographers, gear and location tips, the ethics of nature photography, and we celebrate a national achievement and the gift that has been given to generations of photographers."

Read more, and listen to the engaging podcast, from here.

From fantasy to reality ...

JOSE "BUTCH" DALISAY, JR., PINOY PENMAN 3.0:

"It was a millennial geek’s fantasy come true, except that it happened to a doddering senior with the good luck to be in the right place at the right time.... You might say that at 62, I had no right to be there at all, and I wouldn’t have argued, even if I’d been a staunch DC Comics fan in the ’60s who battled the Marvel masses in lunchtime chalk fights."

Read more, here.

Finding your style as a fashion photographer ...

MARISSA ALDEN, FSTOPPERS:

"Style is one of the most important aspects of fashion photography. Having a consistent portfolio of images that reflects who you are and your creative vision is really important when it comes to clients viewing your work. Many fashion photographers (including myself), have struggled with making their work stand out from the crowd. Here are a few tips from what I have learned about finding your style and visual voice as a photographer. 

"Many of us are unsure of which direction we want to go in and feel that defining our style can limit our opportunities. Making money often dictates what images we take; many photographers fall into the trap of capturing images that are popular on social media, rather than what they are passionate about and enjoy photographing. A strong emphasis is put on developing your style quickly, but the truth is, style is something that takes years to develop. It is something that should evolve over time and progress as your technique improves. Style isn’t something that can be taught. No one can tell you what your approach to your work should be; it takes a lot of time and trial and error to figure this out for yourself."

Read more, here.

How to tell a story with portraits by using creative composition ...

ODED WAGENSTEIN, DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY SCHOOL:

"In this article, we will explore new ways of using composition and creative framing to tell a story in your portraits. We’ll do so by understanding the marvellous ways our brain (as viewers) construct a sense of story.

"The common principle of the techniques I will describe here, is that they are all based on our mind’s ability to fill in missing gaps of information. A skill that helps us survive in a world of uncertainty.

"Skill, is not just a talent: Just like working on the flexibility of a muscle, I believe we can work on our creativity, with the 'muscle' being our vision.

"Being creative for the purpose of being creative: Creative compositions should be a vehicle for a purpose – an emotion or a story you want to evoke in the image. If you choose to add creativity to your images, just to be more creative, it will be an empty gimmick."

Read more, here.

Photographer anxiety, why it's useful and how to deal with it ...

ROBERT K. BAGGS, FSTOPPERS:

"I haven’t seen much on this topic, but a brief conversation with another photographer recently illuminated to me the fact that photographer anxiety is not at all uncommon. One of the reasons I believe it isn’t discussed a great deal is the general image of today’s top photographers.

"People like Peter Hurley are what many of us view as the classic top photographer: confident, assertive, and a big personality. The truth is a great many creatives – perhaps even the majority of them – are far more introverted than this. I am probably somewhere between the two extremes, but I’ve had what I call 'photographer anxiety' since I first started. I never thought I'd tell anyone about it truth be told, let alone very publicly announce it. I was always embarrassed that I wasn't 'made of stronger stuff' or some similar falsehood, but this photographer anxiety I have become so well acquainted with as my career grows is not born of weakness; it's born of caring. I don't go into shoots anxious due to a fundamental lack of belief in myself, I go into the shoots anxious because I want to do the best work I can and to not let anyone down. I want to make my clients happy and I want to make myself proud, and that pressure evokes a response I no longer feel the need to turn away from. In fact, it's this desperation to bleed every last atom of quality from the shoot and into my clients' hands that drives me forward more than any financial incentive (there is definitely a breaking point for that statement) or inspirational quote."

Read more, here.

Website magically colorizes B&W photos using AI ...

MICHAEL ZHANG, PETAPIXEL:

"Want a taste of the future? There’s a new web app that uses advanced “deep learning” research to magically auto-colorize black-and-white photos.

"The app uses the Colorful Image Colorization algorithm that’s being developed by a team at UC Berkeley led by PhD student Richard Zhang. We first reported on the technology back in March 2016, and now there’s an online demo that anyone can try on any photograph.

"Simply paste a URL to a photo into the website and press the purple 'Colorize It' button. After some processing and a short wait, the page displays a side-by-side comparison of the B&W and colorized photos that you can switch between."

Read more, and see the sample images, from here.

30 things you never want to hear from a client ...

PRATIK NAIK, PETAPIXEL:

"'We love your style! So we’re going to hire you to do something completely different!' If that sentence makes you laugh, then the 30 statements in this post are going to hit home.

"Ah, the industry is a fun one! On one hand, we get to thrive creatively, on the other hand, all of us have to deal with the bad that sometimes comes with it. At least we can all laugh at it collectively! Let’s turn those negatives into positives ... so we can laugh at our own misery. Misery loves company, and so here we are. (I don’t know, just go with it.)

"No matter how long you’ve been doing this, chances are there are specific things you just never want to hear from a client. We’ve all been through some of these situations."

Read more, here.