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Photojournalists Using Instagram

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Benjamin Lowy's iPhone image of the destruction of Superstorm Sandy. © Benjamin Lowy/reportage by Getty Images

Benjamin Lowy’s iPhone image of the destruction of Superstorm Sandy. © Benjamin Lowy/reportage by Getty Images

There’s a trend forming. Photojournalists are now using Instagram and their smart phones to report everything from deadly storms to war to professional sports.

This brings up many questions. Photojournalism has long been about integrity, honesty and clarity. Will the one-click editing filters and ability to manipulate the images make them less believable? Is our world so hungry for quick information that we are willing to sacrifice quality? Is the job of a photojournalist becoming extinct?

There’s an intriguing article in American Photo Magazine about this situation. It’s worth the read. Benjamin Lowy, one of the photojournalists I curated into my exhibit “Wide Angle View” at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in 2011, uses an iPhone. He is giving a talk at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles on April 18, 2012. I am going and am very interested in what he has to say about the drastic changes in visual reporting.

Our world is speeding faster than ever. We need to keep up, but at what cost? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Send Your Best Images Competition

Hello Friends, Photographers, and Fellow Bloggers,

Just wanted to let you know that I am one of the jurors for the “Give Us Your Best Shot” competition. This photographic competition is hosted by the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art. OCCCA has been in existence for 32 years, and has a exhibition space of more than 6,000 sq ft in the heart of the Santa Ana Arts District in California. OCCCA is on the list of 10 Best Museums in California, and award given by CBS Los Angeles.

The OCCCA Building below.

Image

The other esteemed jurors are Susan Spiritus, of Susan Spiritus Gallery, Kirk Pedersen, fine art publisher, and Jeff T. Alu, photographer and curator.

If you have read my past blogs, you know I am wary of photography competitions. I will never list a competition that I do not believe in. I have had a lot of experience working with OCCCA in the past, and curated “Wide Angle View” there. You can rest assured every entry will be looked at and we, the jurors will choose the best, most interesting submissions for a strong show.

So give it a shot. Expose your work to curators, publishers, and gallerists. Even if you don’t make it into the show, your photography will be seen and possibly remembered for future exhibits. The deadline is November 10, 2012. Good luck.

 

Having Fun With Instagram

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The Things We Do For Beauty – Instagram Photo

I got my first iPhone 4s a few days ago. I don’t know which I love more, my iPhone or my camera. I find myself reaching for the dang contraption before my eyes even focus in the morning.

One of the things I am having fun exploring is the free Instagram app. If you are not familiar with Instagram, it’s like Twitter for people who think in pictures. You can take a photo and easily click your way to cool effects. Feeling retro? Try the 1977 effect. Want to go B&W? Click on Inkwell. All washed up? Use Toaster.

The selective focusing option is my favorite. You can choose to have a strip or circle shape, and manipulate how much of the image will be sharp, and what will be blurred. Just use your fingers to on the phone screen to pull the size of the circle or strip larger or smaller. In the self-portrait above, I decided to make fun of myself as I was getting my hair colored and sitting under a dryer. I used the Early bird effect and a circular selective focus on my face. Notice how my hair becomes more blurred as it moves away from my face.

Strand Beach – Instagram Photo, Inkwell effect and strip selective focus

The last step in your creation is to write a caption and upload it to the Instagram sharing site. It will automatically post to your other social media sites if you set up your accounts to allow it. You can like and comment on your friend’s photos and build a following, just like Twitter.

Be prepared to get hooked on Instagram because it is so quick and easy to do. If you are standing in line at the coffee shop, make an Instagram. Filling up your gas tank, take an Instagram. It’s an Insta-boredom cure.

The House Above The Harbor – Instagram Photo, Kelvin effect

A Day In The World – Participate In This Photography Project

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May 15, 2012, is designated as A Day In The World. This ambitious photo documentary project has been organized by Expressions of Humankind, a Swedish non-profit group. The purpose is to collect a world-wide visual database of daily life. Professional photographers to cell camera shooters are welcome to participate.

If you want to be part of the project, go to www.aday.org and register. On May 15th, shoot up to 10 photographs of your life. Upload them to a category that best describes the image.

I’m already thinking about what I will document. How about you?

Adobe Lightroom 4 Is Released

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Exciting news for Lightroom users. Adobe Lightroom 4 is here.

Product Highlights

  • Photo Organization And Management
  • RAW Conversion
  • Nondestructive Editing Workflow
  • Tethered Shooting
  • DSLR Video Support
  • Highlight And Shadow Recovery
  • Photo Book Creation
  • White Balance And Other Editing Brushes
  • Video Publishing
  • Enhanced Online Sharing, Email, Imports

Get yours at the following links:

Lightroom 4 – full version

Lightroom 4 – student & teacher version

Lightroom 4 – upgrade

Canon 5D Mark III Arrives

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The new Canon 5D Mark III

Great news for Canon junkies. The new 5D Mark III has arrived. What’s so great about this camera? Well, more speed, higher resolution, enhanced processing power, and added creative options for  stills and Full HD movies. This new beast provides the most creative freedom ever for those of us who need to shoot with our brains instead of a machine.

Here is a look at the body with lens kit.  Here is a look at the body only.

So what’s the damage to your wallet? The body only is $3,499. The kit with lens will empty you out to the tune of $4,299. An investment, yes, but one I am willing to make. I think about the shots I have missed in low light, the noise I struggle to remove, and think – yes, this is worth the great shots I will get once it is in my hands.

Read a full review of the Canon 5D Mark III here.

I am holding my breath until mine arrives. Hopefully I won’t turn blue.

 

 

Ernst Haas Quote #1

Ernst Haas, New York City Ballet, 1968

Don’t take pictures. Be taken by your pictures.

Ernst Haas – (March 2, 1921, Vienna – September 12, 1986, New York)

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