Archive | Guest Post RSS feed for this section

Top 6 Orchestra Flashmobs — Acts of Robust Hit-and-Run Culture in Public Spaces

There’s one thing about classical music that I’ve always believed: it is far better to see it performed than to hear a recording of it. While this is true for just about all kinds of music, the multi-layered nature of classical compositions (especially pieces that call for large orchestras) make it even more suited than normal for in-person performance.

And when those performances take place in public, the experience is all the more radical. Breaking out of the confines of concert halls with perfect acoustics and controlled environments into the chaos that is a flashmob, these are six of my favorite classical performances from all over the world.

Ode to Joy in Catalonia

One hundred people from the Vallès Symphony Orchestra, the Lieder, Amics de l’Òpera and Coral Belles Arts choirs came together in a square in Catalonia, Spain, to perform Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. The whole thing was beautifully filmed and as flashmobs go, ranks up there with the best of them.

Peer Gynt on a Metro

The Coopenhagen Philharmonic surprised metro passengers with a performance of Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt in a fairly crowded compartment. The looks of sheer pleasure on many of the passengers’ faces is just as entrancing as the music.

The CPHPHIL strikes again

The Coopenhagen Philharmonic apparently likes this sort of “art in the public sphere thing. Here they are again, with a performance of Ravel’s Bolero.

Tchaikovsky and Vivaldi in Indy

Lest you think all good things only happen in Europe, we present a string company from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, rendering a masterful performance of pieces from Tchaikovsky and Vivaldo in the Keystone Fashion Mall in Indianapolis. Classical music in the midwest? For. The. Win.

The Canadians Handel Business Too

North of the border, our Canadian cousins got a nice surprise when a bunch of vocalists jumped up in a mall food court and belted out Handel’s Hallelujah chorus.

… and back to Europe

Those Europeans may not have all the classical flashmobs, but they seem to have some of the best. We close this list in Vienna, Austria, where Solistinnen, Chor und Orchester der Volksoper Wien renders an absolute stunner performance at the Westbahnhof Wien. Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana has been performed often before, but I doubt those performances had dancers who went undercover as janitors or rail officials.

Do you have a favorite performance you’d like to tell us about? Sound off in the comments, let us know!

DSLR Killers — Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Best Mirrorless of Them All?

UPDATE: if you dig mirrorless cameras or want to find out why everybody else loves them, you’re in luck. creativeLIVE has courses on mirrorless cameras by the talented John Greengo. Go here to check it out, learn more, enroll, etc.
______
I like to shoot with the newest, biggest, baddest DSLR as much as the next guy. And I’m lucky enough to do so on the regs for my commercial work; however, when it comes to my day-to-day shooting (when I’m not snapping with my…ahem…iPhone) I’m having fun with Olympus OM-D’s and E-P3′s. I’m blown away with the images these little beauties put out. There are a whole gaggle of new cameras in this category that beg a look. So I called on my camera review pal who has used most of what is out there, Sohail Mamdani, to do a breakdown of the latest cameras in this category. Read on for what might be best for you in this category -Chase

Unless you have been living under a rock, you are aware of a new class of cameras. This class goes by many names – the Large Sensor Compact (LSC), the Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Compact (MILC), and Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens (EVIL) are a few of the labels that have been used to describe this generation of cameras, but most of them seem to fall short in one way or another. The collective refers to this category as “Mirrorless”, as that is the one thing they all have in common.

Today we’ll take a look at five cameras that are leading the charge in this category.

Olympus OM-D EM–5

The OM-D EM–5 from Olympus.

The OM-D EM–5 from Olympus.

Back in the film days, Olympus made a 35mm SLR camera called the OM–2. It was a neat little camera, and was pretty successful in its time. Looking at the OM-D, with its new Micro-Four-Thirds body from Olympus, it’s pretty clear that this little baby is of the same design pedigree as the OM–2. In fact, if you look at it from the front with a lens on, it’s not hard to imagine the OM-D as a film camera itself.

Flip it over, though, and the 3-inch OLED touch-capable screen dispels that notion completely. The OM-D may carry forward the retro look that Olympus pioneered for its digital cameras with the E-P1, when it brought back the venerable PEN moniker, but the insides are cutting-edge tech all the way.

DNG from Olympus OM-D, with Lightroom edits. © Sohail Mamdani

DNG from Olympus OM-D, with Lightroom edits. © Sohail Mamdani

Reviewers of the OM-D have been almost gushing about this little body – and with good reason. It seems to have breathed new life into a brand that’s been hit by scandal over the last several months. The image quality of the OM-D is superb, and I’ve taken to using this camera as my carry-round body with 12-35mm f/2.8 and 35-100mm f/2.8 lenses from Panasonic. (Chase shoots this body with the 12mm fixed 2.0…) With the OM-D’s in-body image stablization, I’ve gotten steady shots at down to 1/6th of a second, and the details captured by this compact body are downright impressive.

From its fast autofocus (Olympus claims it has the world’s fastest AF system at the moment) to its impeccable low-light performance, the OM-D hits enough hot spots that some pros are switching to this diminutive body as their primary camera.

The Good: Fast Autofocus, excellent low-light performance, fantastic in-body 5-axis image stabilization.
The Bad: Not much. Continuous Autofocus tracking is a bit on the unreliable side sometimes.
Who it’s Ideal For: Outdoor enthusiasts and photojournalists. You can use Panasonic’s 12-35mm and 35-100mm lenses and have an effective 24-200mm range covered. And in a package that is much smaller and weighs much less than, say, a Canon 5D Mark III body with 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses.
Buy it: $999 (Body only) from B&H Photo
Rent It: From BorrowLenses.com, starting at $44

Fuji XE–1/X-Pro1

The Fuji XE–1

The Fuji XE–1

Okay, this is really two cameras, but they’re such close cousins that you can go with either one.

Fuji began its foray into the mirrorless market with the highly-acclaimed (yet quirky) X100. This was a remarkable camera in many ways – it featured a large APS-C sensor, a fixed 23mm (35mm equivalent) f/2 lens, a leaf shutter system, and a fantastic retro design that was every bit as eye catching as the images it produced. Fuji eventually followed up that single-lens model with the X-Pro1, which, while suffering from many of the same quirks as its predecessor such as slow autofocus performance, was a sellout on launch.

The XE–1 is similarly back-ordered, and with good reason. It keeps the sensor of the X-Pro1, which has managed to wow many folks with its color and detail reproduction, but packages things into a smaller size. It ditches the hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder found in the X-Pro1 in favor of an all-electronic viewfinder. Like the X-Pro1, the industrial design drips with retro finesse, and it maintains full compatibility with all of Fuji’s X-Mount lenses. There’s also a Leica lens adapter, so your manual focus Leica lenses will work with the XE–1 as well.

Fuji X-series of cameras definitely have some kind of special sauce in them. Fuji packs in a number of effects that emulate their classic film stocks like Velvia and Provia. Photographers who have worked with the X cameras, like Zack Arias, have been repeatedly blown away. Here’s what Zack had to say after taking a particularly striking image with his X-Pro1.

And I was sold. I’m in. I got it. It’s worth every effing rupee, peso, penny. I don’t care. I’m not in Bombay any more. I went somewhere else and once this light was gone I woke up with the X-Pro1 in my hands and yes. Ummm… maybe? No. Ummm… Yes. I zoomed in on this image to check focus. “Hot Damn.” It was one of the greatest personal moments of my professional life.

Honestly, if you can handle the X-series’ quirks, there is something pretty satisfying about the images coming from these cameras.

The Good: Fantastic image quality, cool retro design.
The Bad: Weird sensor design means RAW compatibility with Lightroom/Aperture is slow to arrive and doesn’t work as well.
Who it’s Ideal For: Portrait and landscape artists will love the high image quality, rich colors and the Fuji film profiles like Velvia and Provia baked into the JPEGs. Street photographers will like the retro rangefinder look and feel, which seem to put people more at east than a large DSLR and bazooka-sized lens.
Buy it: $1399 (X-Pro1 body only) or $999 (X-E1 body only) from B&H Photo
Rent it: The X-Pro1 From BorrowLenses.com, starting at $59

Sony NEX–6

The Sony NEX–6

The Sony NEX–6

Sony’s NEX series has been getting a lot of great press, and with darn good reason, too. The company has been making good on its promise to commit to the photography market, and its NEX compact cameras have been extremely well-received.

What’s remarkable about these Sony cameras is that Sony isn’t afraid to throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks. That leads, interestingly enough, to features being included in mid-range models like the NEX–6 that aren’t in the higher-end NEX–7. WiFi is now included in the NEX–6, so you can do things like view the images on the card in the camera on your smartphone.

You also have improved autofocus performance due to the inclusion of a hybrid system that uses both phase-detection and contrast-detection sensors. Most of the time, mirrorless cameras use only contrast-detection sensors, which are slower than the phase-detection sensors used in DSLRs. Low-light performance is also improved over the NEX–7, and to my surprise, is pretty awesome for a camera this size. I expect to see angry red, green and blue dots at ISO 3200, but instead, the noise that is there is more reminiscent of the big, fat grain you’d see in ISO 3200 film.

High-ISO (3200) image with the NEX-6. © Sohail Mamdani

High-ISO (3200) image with the NEX-6. © Sohail Mamdani

There is an entire ecosystem of adapters that allows for the use of Canon, Nikon, Sony Alpha-mount and other lenses on the NEX cameras(I’ve written more about that here). The stable of E-mount lenses is still growing, but is doing so rapidly.

What’s Good: Great image quality, low-light performance, small size.
What’s Bad: Needs more native E-Mount lenses.
Who it’s Ideal For: Pros looking for a small, compact shooter with performance to spare. Also, anyone shooting Sony’s DSLRs who wants to leverage their existing lenses via adapters on a smaller body.
Buy it: $848 (body only) from B&H Photo
Rent It: From BorrowLenses.com, starting at $50

Panasonic GX1

The Panasonic GX-1

The Panasonic GX-1

Panasonic is the other primary partner in the Micro-Four-Thirds standard (with Olympus), and its cameras have received excellent reviews as well, including DPReview.com’s Silver Award. The GX1, released last year, marked a departure from the single-model lineup of Panasonic’s Micro-Four-Thirds camera into two separate lines, the GF series and the GX series. The GF series was marketed more for beginners stepping up form a point-and-shoot, whereas the GX series was intended more for advanced amateurs or pros looking for a more pocketable camera.

There’s a lot to like about the GX–1. It’s smaller and lighter than many of its competitors, and has a touch-screen for added controls. One thing I found was that due to fact that you can do things in more than one way (physical control or touch-screen), you often find yourself hesitating and wondering if you should use the physical knobs and buttons or the touchscreen to accomplish a task. This kind of sorts itself out as you keep using the camera, and the touchscreen is useful for some tasks.

Where Panasonic really shines is in their lenses. The standards for most photographers are the 24–70mm, 70–200mm, 50mm, and perhaps a Macro in the 90–105mm range. Panasonic delivers soundly with a 12–35mm, 35–100mm and a Leica co-branded 45mm Macro, as well a 25mm f/1.4 lens. Because of the smaller sensor, you experience a crop factor of 2x, so the 12–35mm f/2.8 becomes a 24–70mm f/2.8, and so forth.

What’s even cooler is that the 12–35mm and 35–100mm zooms have optical image stabilization, which neither Canon nor Nikon have included in their 24–70 f/2.8 zooms yet. Moreover, Panasonic also offers a 7–14mm (14–28mm equivalent) f/4 zoom, which is particularly useful for landscape users.

And of course, since Panasonic is part of the Micro-Four-Thirds consortium, it can use MFT lenses from Olympus, Sigma, and other manufacturers.

What’s Good: Excellent lens selection, small, relatively cheap.
What’s Bad: Controls are cramped and a bit clumsy, not the most innovative industrial design.
Who it’s Ideal For: Beginners looking to step up to a camera with room to grow. Also, given the plethora of adapters for MFT cameras to adapt everything from recent Nikkor lenses to ancient M42-mount optics, it’s a nice step up to give that old glass a new lease on life.
Buy It: $449 (body only) from B&H Photo

Leica M9

Leica M9

Leica M9

If you’re surprised to see the Leica here, don’t be. People tend to forget that before the trend towards mirrorless cameras started, Leica was already there with their digital rangefinders. The legendary camera of legendary photographers, the overall design of the Leica M series hasn’t changed much since the film days, keeping an emphasis on classic elegance that has become the German company’s trademark and has inspired at least three of the models I mention here.

Leica DNG, treated in Silver Efex Pro 2. © Sohail Mamdani

Leica DNG, treated in Silver Efex Pro 2. © Sohail Mamdani

In the digital world, Leica has really scored with the M9. It’s a big step up from the M8 (and the new “M”, with no number after it, is apparently even better), and adds some interesting features like a first-rate bracketing option (though it feels weird to try and shoot HDR with a Leica) and better high-ISO performance. Here’s what I had to say about shooting with a Leica for a few weeks a while back.

Using a Leica distils the experience of shooting down its very core elements, and when you’re used to the photographic equivalent of driving a loaded Lexus LS with all the amenities, being dropped into the equivalent of a 1970′s-era Porsche 911 is a shock.

A pleasant shock in many ways, but a shock, nonetheless.

Leica’s lenses are another reason for its reputation. I keep using the word “legendary” here, and with good reason; these optics have some kind of magic that, in the right hands, deliver an image that is almost three-dimensional in nature.

Is it expensive? Yep. But if you can get your hands on one (rent one, if you can), it’s worth experiencing this little bit of history.

Leica recently refreshed their “M” series line, introducing the “M” (no numbers now) and the “M-E”. The new “M” camera sports a CMOS sensor in place of the old CCD and adds a number of features that bring the Leica series further in line with modern-day cameras. These features include 1080p video, Live-View, an optional EVF, and improved ISO performance.

Those looking to keep the spirit of the old bare-bones Leica alive will love the M-E. The M-E strips the camera down to its essentials – no video here, or Live-View, or EVF. You also have the old CCD sensor instead of the new CMOS, which is not a bad thing at all.

What’s Good: Built like a tank, fantastic image quality, remarkable glass.
What’s Bad: It’s a Leica. I’m not allowed to say anything bad about it (but if I were, I’d say the high-ISO performance isn’t good and the buffer is tiny).
Who it’s Ideal For: Besides Henri Cartier-Bresson? Well, surprisingly, a number of types of shooters. From street photographers (natch) to landscape and portrait artists, to travel photographers and photojournalists, the Leica can work for just about anyone looking for high-end optics, tank-like construction, and a camera with a deep and formidable history.
Buy it: $6400 (body only for the M9), $5450 (body only for the M-E), $7000 (body only for the new M)
Rent it: M9 from BorrowLenses.com, starting at $225

Conclusion

Mirrorless cameras are coming on strong, and they are rapidly gaining ground as people stop thinking that a great camera with a large sensor has to look like a DSLR. The image quality from cameras like the Leica, the Fuji and the Olympus are allowing the classic manufacturers to come back with a vengeance, while the newer kids on the block, like Sony and Panasonic, are putting out some incredible technology into the field of photography.

Will mirrorless cameras become the predominant cameras out there? I don’t know. There may be certain types of photography that these diminutive devices will always be unsuited for (sports photography comes to mind). But for many of us, mirrorless cameras may well become de rigeur for all kinds of everyday shooting. Just as the iPhone and other phone cameras are slowly replacing point-and-shoots for many uses, so too might the NEX–6 replace the D7000 for many uses. The cameras listed above are just the start; the product pipeline in this class promises to be even more exciting in the coming years.

 

Gear provided by BorrowLenses.com - where still photographers and videographers can rent virtually everything.

Top 10 Tips for Success for the Fine Art Photographer — Exclusive Interview with a Collector

Elizabeth Avedon

Photo: Elizabeth Avedon

W.M. Hunt is a champion of photography – A collector, curator and consultant who lives and works in New York. He is the author of “The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the Unconscious,” published in 2011 by Aperture. He is on the Board of Directors of the Eugene Smith Memorial Fund and The Center for Photography at Woodstock, New York, where he was the recipient of their Vision Award in 2009.
Founding partner of the prominent photography gallery Hasted Hunt (now Hasted Kraeutler) in Chelsea, Manhattan, Hunt has been collecting photography for almost 40 years and has been profiled in The New York Times, PDN, Art on Paper, Modern Painters, The Art Newspaper, PBS’ “EGG, the Arts Show”, as well as BBC’s “The Genius of Photography”. Our good friends at the Photo Center Northwest sat down with Bill and he dropped some serious knowledge – including his Top Ten Tips on how to get in front of a curator, collector or dealer. My buddy Rafeal and the PCNW will be dropping by the blog from time to time to bring a unique perspective on fine art photography.

You have a rich history working with world-renowned photographers, many of whom you represented in your gallery. Many of these artists have walked the commercial and fine art routes simultaneously quite successfully. Can you give some examples of artists who have done this successfully?

I love this question because I love working with photographers who have successful commercial practices. There are a number of reasons. One is happiness. Photographers who have a financially successful career are a pleasure to deal with. They eat lunch regularly. When money is not an issue, we can do the show and make stuff happen. It can be a problem when a photographer is very, very, busy – but there is more of a problem if the collaboration and the dialogue isn’t respected. If I say I don’t like something, I won’t say it lightly so we should listen to each other. Absolute single mindedness doesn’t help either the artist of the dealer. I can really finesse an artist’s situation. That has value. The fuller a photographer’s practice is, meaning commercial, editorial, exhibition, publication, etc. the better the work will be. This imagined separation of church and state is blind. Get the money. Don’t whore yourself out, but make stuff happen. Also this kind of artist is a better editor without self-indulgence. They work coherently, they challenge themselves, and they keep moving. If I am asked if I would like to see someone’s personal work or their commercial work, I would rather see the latter because it’s hard to be your own client.

But also, what’s the difference? How many heads do you have? I am suspicious of someone’s work that is totally schizophrenic. Who are you? A successful contemporary example of this is Erwin Olaf, whose work is completely consistent, and the one practice feeds the other.

Photo: Erwin Olaf

Photo: Erwin Olaf

The commercial work challenges him technically, and the other work allows him to develop his eye and his imagination. Ed Burtynsky? Brilliant. He works like a corporation, and I mean that as the ultimate praise. He has vision and politics. He wants to change the world, and he is being effective.

Edward Burtynsky

Photo: Edward Burtynsky

Phil Toledano. The best. He has an imagination that is in overdrive, and he works as a completely contemporary artist, in an analogue and digital world. He works in project form with a beginning, middle and end. He is a total sponge for knowledge and experience, for life. I would have loved to have had a chance as a dealer with Steven Klein.

Photo: Phil Toledano

Photo: Phil Toledano

The example of Irving Penn is worth emphasizing, a singular artist whose style was unique and immediately recognizable, whose technique was virtuosic, and whose drive to constantly reinvent himself artistically was daunting. Brilliant.

Photo: Phil Toledano

Photo: Phil Toledano

Can you provide any insight as to how someone can make the most out of work they have been assigned commercially to pursue also an art path?
Erwin Olaf speaks about how technically the one practice informs the other. He gets to play with new tools when the client is paying, and the client gets to take advantage of Erwin’s genius, which he has been exercising with his personal work. I am still using terms I disavowed in the preceding paragraphs, these annoying genres and abstract vs. real. What is real anyway? The photograph is real but nothing in it is.A good trick though is to sell a photographer’s commercial work, which I have done. Great work is great work.

Photo: Erwin Olaf

Did any of your artists ever have an assignment that later became a successful exhibition, book or body of work?
Editorial, sure. Luc Delahaye was a huge success for me, and it was all work he had done while on assignment. I am sure the magazines might have some argument with him about whose clock he was on, but that’s not my concern.

Photo: Edward Burtynsky

Top 10 tips for photographers who are looking to get their work in front of collectors, dealers and curators like yourself?
Figure out why you want to meet me. Work out if you want to realize something from the meeting. It’s fine to be introduced, but don’t be a jerk. Be smart. I WANT to like you, so help me. Make it worth MY while too.

1. Be talented.

2. Be smart. Think. Don’t be a jerk. Be engaging. If you are determined enough, you can meet anyone at least once. Take the situation seriously; don’t blow it. Take stock of yourself. Is the work fully realized and are you ready to approach museums or dealers?

3. Be focused. Be single minded. Be ambitious. Think in terms of the long haul and the full arc of your career.

4. Be clear. Be able to articulate what you are doing, not so much why you are doing it but literally what it is. Rehearse what you are going to say. Keep impeccable records about your work.

5. Be ready. Have prints, have disks, have a resume, have business cards. Don’t tell me, ‘they’re at home’ or that you are ‘still working on them.’ Give me something to remember you by. Send a thank-you note, even consider mailing it.

6. Be full. Have a life. Teach. Get commissions, commercial work, stock, whatever. Get money, make love, be happy. It will inform the work positively.

7. Be active. Be your own primary dealer. Take responsibility for museum and magazine drop-offs. Approach collectors yourself. Develop a mailing list. Market yourself. Send postcards. Donate prints to charity auctions. Go to openings. Make friends with your contemporaries. Use them. Always ask to be referred. Publish or get published. Get patrons, mentors, advisors. Use them. Bear in mind that if you set your mind to it, you can meet anyone … once. It’s that second meeting that proves difficult. When you do meet that person, be prepared.

8. Be receptive. Take notes. Bring a pencil and paper to appointments. Do your homework. Know what sort of work galleries show before you approach them. Go look. Say hello, but be sensitive to a dealer’s time demands (unless you’re buying something). Have a sense of what’s out there.

9. Be merciless with yourself. Edit, edit, edit. Edit, edit, edit. Take out anything marginal. Make me hungry to see more of your work.

10. Be patient. Please.

Interview and additional reporting by: Rafael Soldi of Photo Center Northwest
The mission of the Photo Center NW is to strengthen the community by elevating the art an appreciation of photography. The Photo Center is a non-profit organization offering a nationally accredited photography program in fine art photography taught by many accomplished teaching artists. They also offer professional facilities rentals (studios, high-end printing, darkrooms) as well as emerging artist support in the form of scholarships, fellowship and artist-in-residency programs, exhibition opportunities, membership and networking events.

Emerging Talent: Niki Feijen’s Interiors of Intrigue [and What Pro Photographers Need To Learn From Non-Pros]

ChaseJarvis_EmergingTalent_NikiFeijen_AmyRolloI was first introduced to Niki Feijen’s work via Amy Rollo who helps me with the Best Photo Locations pieces on my blog. I saw his stuff and, naturally, poked around to learn more about him. Ironically, one of my favorite parts of Niki’s backstory is that he’s not a professional photographer. He has a day job, and photographs his passion – urban exploring. And then something occurred to me: while it may be unconventional thinking, I believe deeply that pro photographers have a lot to learn from those who are not professional. Remember when your next photo wasn’t an “assignment” for a “client”? There’s something healthy about his. The following is Amy’s interview with Niki. The simplicity in approach is eloquent and noteworthy IMHO. Enjoy…

Amy Rollo: Every one of Niki Feijen’s intriguing shots could be featured ANY Best Photo Locations list.  With Tim Burton-esque scenes, intrigue draws you into these realms, yet we’re all terrified of what we may find around the corner. He brings us on a tour of abandoned hospitals, mansions, and churches. At first glance many of his images seem filled with life, sunlight bouncing off of smooth surfaces. Upon closer inspection you notice the decay and rot in every corner.  ”Lonely” is certainly a word to describe some these settings, but that sense feels temporary.  Like the family who lives here just went to the movies, but they forgot where they lived and their stuff has been waiting a few decades for their return. Naturally, I had to ask Niki what exactly makes him tick…

Amy Rollo: I understand that you’re not a professional photographer. Do you want to become one?

Niki Feijen: Well to be honest, I don’t think that my kind of photography could work out to be a full time job. If I want to become a professional photographer and do this full time I will need to step away of doing just urbex [urban exploring] photography.  I will have to master other directions, too. I would have to take assignments and I think it would drive me further away from the whole urbex thing. Besides that, I have an awesome job which I love.  In the meantime I can fully practice my crazy hobby. I’m currently in progress of assembling and publishing my very own book. I do not think I have the time and opportunity to do that if it were a full time job.

ChaseJarvis_EmergingTalent_NikiFeijen_AmyRollo

ChaseJarvis_EmergingTalent_NikiFeijen_AmyRollo

Why is photography important to you?

Photography is a way to handle my urge to be creative. Since its a hobby I can do whatever I want. I have all the freedom in the world since I do not need to be here or there. I can make a crazy surrealistic shot or show the eeriness of an abandoned hospital. The tension and excitement of urban exploring is also a big fun factor. The rush you get when finding an entrance into a building that has been left behind for 20 years and is in a perfect condition is priceless.

ChaseJarvis_EmergingTalent_NikiFeijen_AmyRollo

What makes photography art?

Every photographer has their own creative vision. Every photo tells a story just like a piece of artwork. If I can capture a scene and I can transfer the atmosphere of that scene to an audience, I have succeeded. If I can move the audience with my photographs and trigger their emotions, I think that is art.

ChaseJarvis_EmergingTalent_NikiFeijen_AmyRollo

ChaseJarvis_EmergingTalent_NikiFeijen_AmyRollo

Talk to me about photo gear, your perception, and your approach

Technology goes so fast right now and there is still the big Nikon / Canon which-one-is-better “war” going on. I don’t think that there are any bad cameras anymore. It’s still the photographer that needs to make the photo and it really doesn’t make that much of a difference with what brand you use. I am very happy with my Nikon D800,  but if i did not have all the Nikon lenses I could just as well have taken the Canon 5D Mark III. I truly believe that mirrorless cameras will have the future though. The flipping mirror is from the 20th century and it is time to move beyond that. The mirrorless camera already has a lot of advantages.  Look at the FPS rate for example. Already they shoot more than 50 frames a second and the whole thing fits in your pocket. In a few years they will have larger sensors and the mirrorless camera will be mainstream. In 10 years we will buy a bulky retro DSLR on ebay to put on display.

 Who or what influenced you to become a photographer?

I have been photographing since I was a kid. Fascinated by the shots of the World Press photo and National Geographic photographers like James Standfield. I wanted to be like them.  When I got my first camera I tried many different directions like concerts, landscape, portraits etc. Many years later i discovered urbex photographty and nothing appealed to me more as that. Trey Ratcliff introduced me to HDR and when I discovered the combination of urban exploring and HDR by the works of Andre Govia, I was hooked. Even today there are a lot of photographers that inspire me. Lee Jeffries for example is a master in black and white portraits. No one can transfer the emotion and pain of a person as well as he can.

ChaseJarvis_EmergingTalent_NikiFeijen_AmyRollo

 What makes a good photographer?

I don’t think you can define “good photographer”. What is extremely good for one person can be the exact opposite for somebody else. It’s the same thing as Art.

ChaseJarvis_EmergingTalent_NikiFeijen_AmyRollo

ChaseJarvis_EmergingTalent_NikiFeijen_AmyRollo-02

ChaseJarvis_EmergingTalent_NikiFeijen_AmyRollo-01

ChaseJarvis_EmergingTalent_NikiFeijen_AmyRollo

Check out more of Niki’s work on his website and follow him on Facebook.

5 Things GoPro Nailed with the Hero3 and Why You Need To Care (NOW)

 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next

GoProHero3Hey friends – want to take a second to re-introduce Erik, my on-staff video guru. He’s been with us for a few years now and, as a film school grad and long time commercial shooter, his opinions are a great asset to my own. One thing we’ve both agreed to lately? That GoPro is an amazing company and–it’s becoming increasingly clear–they really understand what their consumers want. So I’m kicking this one to E-rock (affectionate nickname) for his opinion on GoPro and their increasing success…

Thanks Chase. Erik here folks. A few weeks ago when GoPro announced the new Hero3 cameras, we were lucky enough to be in attendance for the unveiling and even luckier to walk away from the event with a Hero3 Black Edition in hand – one of just a handful in existence.  To date, they have listened to feedback and made big improvements on each iteration of their Hero camera line and this is no exception.  The Hero3 Black Edition is a perfect example of their ingenuity.  Of course the image  quality has been improved and 4K is cool and all, but take a spin through the number tabs above this post and read about the 5 new features that I find most useful on the new Hero3.

Go Vote! Dont Cry, It’s Almost Over — Participate & Celebrate

Hi everybody — Jerard here with a guest blog post on election day in the USA! I sincerely hope you are voting today.

Many people are ready for this election to be over. And after today, hopefully without legal turmoil, it will be. It’s so easy to get disillusioned and discouraged by elections. The video above has been circulating the internet since last week and it struck a nerve with millions of people. A 4-year-old Colorado girl is crying to her mother because she’s “tired of Bronco Bama and Mitt Romney.” Abby is expressing how so many people feel. After months and months of posturing, advertising, stumping, speaching and generally blasting the world with the business-end of their political-winded pie-holes…we’re all a bit worn out by “Bronco Obama and Mitt Romney”.

But as an American, the Presidential election that goes down every 4 years is one of the times I actually feel most proud of our process. “WHAT?!” You might say, “Are you crazy? We all feel like Abby or worse!” So why do I feel proud of the process?

Because when I think about world history, and even current history in many parts of the world, the fact that we have a peaceful transfer of power is a beautiful thing. Yes – the election process is painful (just ask little Abby) – but there something admirable in our process here. Around the the world, millions have fought and died to preserve the right to vote. Men and women have marched and suffered countless indignities just so they can vote without persecution. People from across the world have come to America because they would rather live in a land that lets them participate in a process that provides some say in how they are to be ruled. It is by no means a perfect system. But today, the right to vote is worthy of celebrating by participating.

MacyNeighwander_AP

Photo: Macy Neighwander/AP

The scene of President-elect Barak Obama meeting President George Bush at the front door of the White House before the 2009 inauguration is one that has stuck with me. Two men and their wives greeting one another with smiles. All of them with very different views on how things should be done. In that moment, they greeted each other as countrymen. Call me patriotic or a sucker for a photo op – but it stuck with me. This tradition of the President-elect first meeting the outgoing President at the White House for a short meeting and then traveling from the White House together to the Capitol for the ceremony is over 100 years old. It began in 1877, with the inauguration of Rutherford B. Hayes. No bloodshed. No fighting (maybe some legal wrangling – eg: Bush-Gore 2000). Just the outgoing President handing the keys to the country to the new guy (hopefully someday a new gal) and saying, “Good luck. She’s all yours.” A nation of more than 300,000,000 people, the world’s largest economy and the world’s largest military moves from one elected leader to the next with ceremony, some level of civility and respect. Photo ops or not – the fact that Presidents from the 1970s to present gather to be in the same photo, despite massive differences in policy, beliefs and ultimately actions, is a testament to our process of a peaceful transition of power. And it starts with our right to vote.

SaulLoeb_AFP_Getty Images

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

So go do it. Whatever it takes. Whatever your politics. It’s worth waiting in line and braving any inconvenience to participate and exercise your right to vote.

Deliver with Style — 6 Tips for Delivering Files to Clients

chasejarvis_digitaldelivery

Hi folks, Megan here again, Producer at CJ Inc. We recently delivered a couple of big jobs to clients, and it got me thinking about file management, tracking + job wrap-up. As the producer, I’m responsible for creating + managing the post production schedule, sending files to clients for approval, then delivering final images once all files have been been given the thumbs up. I work closely with Chase and the digital artist to ensure that we’re delivering exactly what the client has asked for, which means cross-checking each image with both the creative brief AND the contract to ensure that our bases are covered.

Here are some things to keep in mind prior to arriving on set.

_File size:
What are the images going to be used for? A billboard or in-store signage? A web banner or e-brochure? Usage is usually defined at the contract stage, so it should be well documented and understood prior to shoot day. This will perhaps inform which camera you opt to shoot with and image resolution.

_File format:
TIFFs? Layered PSDs? JPGs? RAWs?

_Orientation:
Is shot #4 a horizontal or vertical? Be sure to have the creative brief handy if there’s no Art Director on set to advise.

_Naming convention + folder structure:
Has your client provided you with a specific naming convention or preferred folder structure? This is especially common on retail and catalog jobs, where each shot usually coincides with a garment SKU.
[If not, you may want to decide upon an agreeable solution before you start shooting.]

_Delivery:
How many files are you providing? Are you able to upload to an FTP fairly quickly? Or will you need to send a hard drive to your client?
[If you are sending a hard drive, be sure to label it with your name + contact info so it’s easily identifiable.]

_Description of files + thumbnails:
Along with the hard drive, we like to include a memo (or cover letter, of sorts) outlining the project name, shoot description, deliverables + usage terms. All of the pertinent info relating to the files is concisely captured in 1 document for the client’s reference.

I also include a page (or more, depending on how many images are being delivered) of thumbnails, so the client knows what he or she is getting at a glance. A copy of each of these documents gets saved in the project folder on the server so if there’s ever any question about what was delivered and when, it’s easily trackable. File delivery is usually the last step of a job, with the exception of final billing, and can leave a lasting impression on your client. You really want to nail it.

Feel like I’ve missed something important? Have anything to add? Feel free to leave comments below.

+++++++++
(Disclaimer: I’m no Digital Asset Manager, so if you want additional info on any of the items above, check out the Complete Workflow and Backup for Photo + Video here.)

Impossible Pictures of Pictures

Impossible Instant LabHey photo friends, Erik here with my quick 2 cents on a new product that has sparked some debate here in the CJ Studio. The Impossible Project has a Kickstarter campaign for their new “Impossible Instant Lab”, which will “transform your digital iPhone images into real instant photographs that you can touch, caress and share with friends.”   Take a look at the Kickstarter video for all the details:

I should love this thing.  I mean, it combines Polaroids with iPhone Photography with Kickstarter! What’s more hip and awesome than that?  The charm wears off for me quickly though when I realize that all of this is just taking pictures of pictures.  Is there any artistic merit here?  I respect the tangible nature of instant analog photography, but more than that I respect the difficulty, unpredictability, and commitment it takes to do it well.  In my opinion, all of that is lost when you’re using an instant camera more or less as a printer that connects to your iPhone. We LOVE our iphone dearly, but this gadget isn’t about that. Does an analogue printer of digital undermine instant analogue photography?

What do you think? Like I said, I should love this thing, but I don’t know

Creative Video Angles: Inspiring POV Surf Shots

The weekend is here my friends [almost].

I’m resolved to go do something fun. Something creative. Something active. The videos below inspire all three actions.

There has never been a more exciting time in the history to be a photographer. Technology in enabling accessibility (and usability) like never before. Hell, if you can imagine it, you can capture it. And you dont have to spend an arm and a leg to do it. Helmet cam footage, a long-time staple in action sports and adrenaline fueled photography, has helped millions share their stories and creative vision in extraordinary ways. And the quality of these little cameras is getting better all the time. Big leaps have been made in the last couple of years — and we assume there are more to come.

Have a great weekend.

Traveling for Photo + Video Shoots [10 Mission Critical Tips for Booking Photo + Video Travel]

Photo: Erik Hecht

So you’re going on the road to shoot photos/videos for fun or for a client? Kate here again, Executive Producer over here at Team Chase. I’ve been thinking a lot about shooting (for work or play) on the road. Whether you are traveling 100 miles or 10,000 miles, whether on a budget or with a budget, here are some tips I’ve learned over the past 10 years producing photo shoots away from home. This is part 1 of a 4 part series on Traveling for Photo and Video Shoots: Booking your Travel.

10 tips for booking your photo/video travel.
Everything can seem important when you decide that you are headed out on a trip, but nothing is more important than making sure you can actually get to where you are need to go. These tips will get you headed in the right direction:

1. Confirm that all travel docs are valid. Whether you’re traveling abroad or just to the next state over, certain docs are likely required… ID, driver’s license, passport, carnet (passport for gear) or other required documents. Make sure yours are up to snuff.

2. Research your destination. You can dive deep later, but initially you need to find out the essentials: how to get there, requirements for entry, vaccinations, and special considerations. A great source of info for traveling abroad is the US Department of State Travel Site.

3. Decide who will travel and how will you get there. If you’re a one-man or one-woman show, the ‘who’ is easy. But, if you have a small team traveling with you, make the call on who will travel, when, and if these people are available during your prospective travel window. For the how – weighing the pros and cons with respect to cost and efficiency will help you determine the best way to get to your location.

4. Apply for visas. If a visa is required, START THIS ASAP!

  • Gather information. how long will it take, where do you apply, what is required?
  • Gather the assets needed. the application, passport photos, letter of invitation if needed, travelers’ information.
  • Apply. To apply on your own, work directly with the embassy or consulate. If budget allows, you can explore two options for support:

-expeditors such as www.cibt.com can take care of the process for you.
-local production company where you will be traveling can help you gather documents if they are needed. (I’ll discuss more in part 2 of this series)

5. Get vaccinations and medications. If either of these are required, take care of that early. Some times there can be a wait period before they are effective. The CDC has helpful information: http://1.usa.gov/mg0vvE

6. Gather travelers’ information. For all travelers, you will likely need the names of each passenger, exactly as it appear on their travel ID (driver’s license, passports), ID number, date of birth, gender and mileage account information.

7. Book flights/trains/cars. If you are traveling by either plane or train, you can save tons by booking early, BUT make sure you know the penalties for changes or cancellations before booking. You’ll need to balance your savings with possible fees.

8. Book accommodations. You can often save money by booking early and paying a large deposit at the time of booking… this goes for small hotels, vacation rental sites, and longer term housing. Just be careful because these places usually come with hefty cancellation and change fees. Whenever I feel like the dates are likely to shift, I book through large hotel chains that have very flexible cancellation/changes policies. Some — like the Hiltons, Hyatts, Marriotts, Westins– will allow changes without penalty as late as the day of your scheduled arrival.

9. Book ground transportation. Even if you are traveling by plane or train, you will need to think about getting to and from the airport or train station. A ride from a friend, taxi, subway, booked car… all work, just make sure you allow enough space for the gear you’ll need to bring.

10. Research your Insurance Coverage. Think about what you will be doing and ask questions if you have new elements. For both your business and medical insurance, work with your provider to find out what is NOT covered. There can be lots of exclusions, such as, limited liability coverage for international travel. You can up your coverage for the duration of the trip or buy additional insurance. www.imglobal.com provides a ton of additional medical coverage for a great price.

Once you’ve checked these items off your to do list, you’ll know WHERE you will be, WHEN you will be there and WHO will be with you… the basic skeleton. That’s when I always feel like I can relax a tiny bit. But stay tuned for the next post of this series, I’ll have some production specific tips (ie – for shooting and making the arrangements to get your shots) at your destination. Until then, safe travels! Kate

Veteran NYTimes Photographer Arrested & Allegedly Beaten by NYPD [Interview]

You’ve probably heard about the New York Times photographer who was arrested and allegedly beaten by New York City police officers last Saturday night. There’s a lot of knee-jerk reaction going on out there on the internet about this story. We decided to take a look at it ourselves and go to one of the sources – the photographer himself – for more information. So far, the NYPD has not responded to phone calls and emails, directed in good faith at the Department of Public Information.

The photographer, Robert Stolarik, 43, who has worked regularly for The Times for more than a decade, is no stranger to intense photography situations. He has covered conflicts in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and South America, as well as general news here in the United States like the D.C. Sniper and Virginia Tech shootings. He was charged with obstructing government administration and with resisting arrest as he was taking photographs of a brewing street fight in New York that involved a teenage girl. Not exactly the civil war in Colombia (he covered that for the NYTimes too), but somehow things went sideways for Stolarik.

The incident was reported by the New York Times here:
“Mr. Stolarik was taking photographs of the arrest of a teenage girl about 10:30 p.m., when a police officer instructed him to stop. Mr. Stolarik explained that identified himself as a photographer for The New York Times and kept taking pictures. A second officer appeared, grabbed his camera and “slammed” it into his face, according to Stolarik. He said he asked for the officers’ badge numbers, and the officers then took his cameras and dragged him to the ground; he said that he was kicked in the back and that he received scrapes and bruises to his arms, legs and face.”

I tracked down Robert Stolarik this morning to ask him a few questions directly and get his side of the story. He sounded a bit tired and frustrated, but gave me an intelligent and lucid account of the events. He came off as a professional photographer, even forgiving, who has been in his fair share of tense situations. He was very quick to explain, and frame his situation as unique, and that our rights as photographers are not a free pass to “do whatever we want” when law enforcement or other officials are performing public service or otherwise doing their job. He has clearly experienced this firsthand many times as a veteran freelancer for The New York Times; however, the events of his arrest, and alleged beating, last Saturday night clearly took him by surprise and have left him shaken and appalled.

CJ: In your words, what happened?

RS: The arrest happened without warning. I was taking pictures of something that was really wasn’t anything shocking for them. There was no police line. Ive been doing this a long time and its frustrating. Im credentialed. They asked for the credential, I’m shooting, the next thing I know I’m in jail and my equipment is confiscated.

CJ: Do you feel your rights were violated?

RS: Of course, but you have to realize that each situation each different. Just because we have this constitutional right doesn’t give us a complete right to do whatever we feel like doing. This needs to be understood. You can’t just stand your ground, in the middle of a police scene, and say, “Its my right to shoot this.” You have to walk carefully every time you show up to a [police] scene. There’s a lot involved. These police officers are trying to do a job too. Everyone needs to understand that. I always try to respect that.

CJ: For the benefit of those photographers up in arms about your situation, can you explain what you mean by “respect”?

RS: You want to be respectful of the police officers space as well. We need to be conscious of our surroundings. Even as we’re protected by our constitutional rights – this is important [as photographers] to remember. However, in this case, there is no question that what I was doing was right. I’m never the one to say the picture is more important than everything else on the scene. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for “standing my ground”, and an officer is in the middle of doing his job and [because of interfering] and an officer gets injured as a result of what I chose to do. Just because I have the “right” do take photos. I would never do that. And that is kind of what the police are saying about me. That they have the “right” to charge me with obstruction of government administration. They are using that to say, ‘we can do whatever we want.’ It’s unfortunate because I’m the one who was totally abused. They fabricated these charges. And now it’s them standing their ground on the same kind of idea. I understand they want to protect their officers – but lets be reasonable. Im not saying that they are deliberately fabricating things – but this just didn’t happen. It’s absurd. And no one is trying to make it better. This is worst part of what they’re doing. No apology. They are just trying to cover their tracks. As an individual its frustrating. Forget being a member of the media or press. As a citizen it’s very frustrating. Its appalling to to my friends, its appalling to my family, its appalling to the next generation of journalists who are coming up to see that I’m not protected as a [NYPD] credentialed photographer who works for one of the largest newspapers in the world.

CJ: Is this an anomoly?
RS: Such an excessive force of violence, yes, it seems surprising. Im not blaming the force [NYPD] for this. I blame the individuals. And I blame the individuals who are willing go to bat for people who did the wrong thing. It’s upsetting. Im surprised by how extreme it was – but there does seem to be a tremendous amount of animosity toward us for being photographers. For the sake of being photographers. To be beaten up, like Im some guy who is a serious threat to their well-being is incredible. Its unbelievable. That’s the problem with this whole situation.

CJ: What would you like to see happen next?
RS: Im a freelancer at the Times. Ive been there 12 years. [The Times], my colleagues, editors and other reporters have been tremendously supportive. But my main concern is getting back to work. Drop the charges. Give me back my equipment. Even if it’s broken, I’d like the cards to finish the story I was working on. Maybe I can get my press credentials back. Let me go back to work. That’s my focus right now. Maybe I can get my cameras back when I feel better.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

What the Foap?! How to Sell Your iPhone Photos [But is it Worth It?]

The iPhone application Foap says $10. Actually…$5 after they take their cut. Here’s the rundown…
Foap is a micro stock photography app made exclusively for iPhone photography. You upload your photos for review using their app, and then when/if they’re approved they become available for purchase in their market for editorial or commercial use by third party companies. There’s no end to the number of times a single photo can be sold (at the fixed $10 rate), so there’s a lot of potential to earn money  ($5 per sold photo) if your work is popular enough.

 

So what do you think? Sound like a good deal? Personally, I’m torn about whether or not I like this concept. Photographers get an incredibly easy way to put their photos on the market, buyers get super cheap images, and Foap gets to split the profits. So who wins in this scenario? Have any of you used this or other micro stock photography services with any success?

If this sounds intriguing to you, check out the Foap site for more information, or better yet, take the app for a test drive.

15 of the Best Olympic Photos on the Internet Today

 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ...13 14 15 Next

Photo: Gregory Bull/ AP

Here, for your weekend viewing pleasure, are 15 of the best swimming, lifting,hammer throwing, volleyball, fencing, shotputting, gymnastics, track & field, diving, horseback riding, and kayaking photos currently on the internet. We’ve culled through hundreds (fun job) and these are our favorites.
Click through the image tabs above to see the stunning photos that demonstrate the exciting thrill of victory and the stunning agony of defeat (Egyptian weightlifter with weight bar on her face!).

Enjoy the Games!

Highslide for Wordpress Plugin