Created by Keith Loutit and Jarbas Agnelli (with music by Jarbas Agnelli), this time lapse compilation of tilt shift images taken at last year’s Carnival party in Rio is truly mesmerizing. The massive scale of the festivities and the grandeur of the Brazilian capital are somehow even more stunning when manipulated by the tilt shift effect to look like children’s bath tub toys. I’ve seen some darn fine tilt shift work over the past few years, and this definitely stands out among the best.
Photobucket today released the results of a survey taken over the 2011 holiday season that reveals a downward trend in digital camera capture. “Only 64% reported use of digital cameras for capturing the majority of their images throughout the season, down from 82 percent in the 2010 holiday survey,” Photobucket reports. The trend translates to video capture as well, with 80% reporting they shot video on a mobile device at least once and half of those people saying they used a mobile device to record video daily or multiple times per day during the survey period.
In other words, unsurprisingly, people are becoming more and more dependent on iPhones and the like, rather than dedicated photo gear, to capture daily life. Of course this wasn’t necessarily a survey of photography enthusiasts whose interests lie only in producing the best images, but rather, more likely, it reflects the habits of those concerned with capturing images most conveniently. Clearly, though, any of us could report from anecdotal evidence that among hobbyists and novices alike it is increasingly the custom to make use of both formats, depending on the shooting situation.
What about you? Do you find yourself using a camera phone most often for daily capture, or do you hold fast to the dedicated digital camera for all your shooting?
The NPR/Public Radio International program “To the Point” today invited photographer Eamonn McCabe on air to reflect on the news that Kodak just filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. I listened to the segment in my car, on the way back to the office from lunch, and as I did so I was struck by the irony that by the end of the show McCabe—who is the former Picture Editor at the Guardian newspaper and an award-winning photographer himself—ended up holding fast and proud to the idea that digital photography is inferior to film photography and that it is a dubious format both in process and after an image is captured. This, in the wake of the news that the company that once dominated the world of photography—Kodak—was brought to its knees after its own reluctance to embrace digital technology.
At the top of the segment, McCabe says that he is “just staggered that [Kodak] just couldn’t see this digital revolution coming and couldn’t invest in it,” and that “to be so arrogant and conservative not to change, I just find staggering.” Later on in the conversation, when host Warren Olney urges McCabe to discuss the “quality of the product” in terms of digital versus film, McCabe talks enthusiastically about his Kodachrome days and admits his concern that nobody knows how long digital output will last. “We assume it’s going to last forever,” he says, “but does anyone know?” These days, McCabe is a half film, half digital photographer, though he says, “The trouble with digital is that it’s very hard to fall in love with a digital camera.”
Here’s where things take a turn: “I have a theory,” McCabe says, “Everybody’s taking loads of pictures now on their iPhone…and their digital cameras, but who’s looking at the stuff that’s taken?…You’re taking these pictures, and you might show them to somebody in a bar or somebody at work, but you don’t ever print it.” He calls this “the great mistake of digital.”
He goes on to wax nostalgic about the family photo albums of his childhood—which is all fine and good—but he seems erroneously out of touch with the ways in which photography is viewed these days. It’s as if he hasn’t considered the fact that digital images are seen by millions of eyes every day around the world via the largest family photo album imaginable: the Internet. With these comments, McCabe seems to believe that all digital images taken by the average person are forgotten the moment after the scene is captured and then quickly relegated to the deep dark confines of a hard drive. Has this man never heard of Flickr, for instance? Nevermind Instagram or Facebook—which now has an image collection ten thousand times larger than the Library of Congress.
While McCabe is certainly entitled to his opinion that film cameras are preferable to digital (because right now that’s not even the issue), what ultimately struck me as ironic after listening to his remarks was how he ended his talk by decrying digital photography in a strikingly similar manner to that same “arrogant and conservative” reluctance to change that he first labeled as Kodak’s big failure. This made me wonder: can you really acknowledge and learn from Kodak’s mistakes while you still harbor your own digital reluctance?
Being residents of the Golden State, we may be a bit biased, but we think that California is the greatest U.S. state. After watching this epic time lapse film created by Ryan & Sheri Killackey, composed of over 10,000 photographs of California, you might also be convinced of the same. Surf, sun, stars, city lights! California has it all. West Coast pride aside, however, this short film composed of sprawling landscape shots and tilt-shift captures of miniature boaters is simply a pleasure to watch. Enjoy.
Thanks to photo apps like Instagram, and to our current culture of capture-and-overshare enthusiasm, I can no longer sit down to a meal without snapping a photo of the food. If you take a look at the various tags on Instagram related to the things that people consume throughout the day (#food #eats #noms) you’ll see that I am not alone in the habitual photographing of my meals.
But outside of the realm of iPhonography, there is also a thriving professional food photography world. Yes, this is an actual job that many fortunate (and talented!) folks have managed to carve out for themselves. While some great cooking glossies have gone by the wayside (RIP Gourmet), there is no shortage of outlets for professional photographers to showcase (and cash in on) their work online and in print.
Professional food photographers may make their deliciously-staged shots look simple, but the craft of capturing food is no easy feat. Even someone well versed in the other genres of photography will have to relearn the rules when shooting subjects as fickle as couscous or cheeseburgers. And reflective subjects like glasses full of bubbly can offer significant challenges in improper lighting.
So with those sorts of challenges in mind, I’ve asked Brooklyn-based food photographer, Nicole Franzen, to share her tips for shooting food, including advice on equipment, lighting, styling and composition. Nicole runs the gorgeous food and lifestyle blog, La Buena Vida, and her photo clients include Bon Appétit, Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn Magazines, and Gramercy Tavern, among many others.
Below are Nicole’s tips on the craft of photographing food. Grab a fork and dig in!