Time Lapse Everywhere

With the ease of assembling time lapse stop-motion videos on your computer from the bazillion still photos you can now effortlessly take, I predict we will all be sick of this by the end of the year. I’m still entertained:

Made by Tel Aviv photographer Eyal Landesman.

Found it on Bohemian and he’s got another cool video there too only this time with tilt-shift (here).

Here’s What I Think Of Your Pictures

I was looking at a photographers pictures recently trying to figure out what kind of advice I should give and having a difficult time of it, because I felt like they had perfectly decent pictures and they were a perfectly decent photographer, but I felt nothing for the images.

I recently re-watched the Johnny Cash movie, Walk The Line and even though it’s such a cliché for artists, it still sent tingles up my spine when the scene occurs where Johnny goes in to make his first record and runs into what must have been the most prescient record producer in the world, who delivers the mother of all lines to Johnny. Here’s how it  goes in the movie:

Hold on. Hold on. I hate to interrupt… but do you guys got something else?

I ‘m sorry.

I can’t market gospel.No more.

So that’s it?

I don’t record material that doesn’t sell, Mr. Cash… and gospel like that doesn’t sell.

Was it the gospel or the way I sing it?


Well, what’s wrong with the way I sing it?

I don’t believe you.

You saying I don’t believe in God?

J.R., come on, let’s go.

No. I want to understand. I mean, we come down here, we play for a minute… and he tells me I don’t believe in God.

You know exactly what I’m telling you. We’ve already heard that song a hundred times… just like that, just like how you sang it.

Well, you didn’t let us bring it home.

Bring… bring it home? All right, let’s bring it home. If you was hit by a truck and you were lying out in that gutter dying… and you had time to sing one song, huh, one song… people would remember before you’re dirt… one song that would let God know what you felt about your time here on earth… one song that would sum you up…

you telling me that’s the song you’d sing?

That same Jimmie Davis tune we hear on the radio all day? About your peace within and how it’s real and how you’re gonna shout it?
Or would you sing something different? Something real, something you felt?
Because I’m telling you right now… that’s the kind of song people want to hear.
That’s the kind of song that truly saves people. It ain’t got nothing to do with believing in God, Mr. Cash.

It has to do with believing in yourself.

I hear the train a coming, it’s rolling around the bend and I ain’t seen the sunshine since, I don’t know when…


That’s how I feel about photography right now. I want to see something real. I want to see something I haven’t seen a hundred times before. I want to look at pictures that make me feel something.

An Important Part of Having a Great Eye is Choosing Subjects

Elisabeth Biondi, visuals editor of the New Yorker magazine on photographer Pieter Hugo’s “The Hyena Men of Nigeria:”

‘Some people have said to me that Pieter’s subject is so dramatic that it would be hard to take a bad picture,’ says Biondi, ‘but, you know, a photographer chooses his subjects, and that, too, is an important part of having a great eye. Photographers go where their instinct leads them and then try and work out their fascination for the subject through the photographs they take. That’s what Pieter’s doing but in a kind of extreme way.’ She pauses for a moment. ‘He has a vision and he pursues it relentlessly. He has what it takes.’

Read it (here), Via, Subjectify.

One of the more underrated skills of great photographers.

Crappy Old Cameras

When I used to send Teru Kuwayama out on assignment I would marvel at the amazing images he would coerce out of a piece-of-shit Holga and how he was never afraid to rely on it for some of the most important shots in the story. And, I’ve always been a fan of imperfection in photography so when I find a photographer who does their primary work with old, unique and sometimes crap cameras I make a note of it because they always seem to bring something interesting to the page.

Here’s a site (Andreas Wolkerstorfer :: cameras) where the photographer runs film through all types of cameras so you can see what kind of pictures they take and although the general theme seems to be vignette with the older cameras, I still enjoy seeing images that aren’t perfect.

Of course, boring subjects still make for boring pictures no matter what camera you’re using.

Switching Categories

Portrait, Fashion, Fine Art, Photojournalist, Still Life, Lifestyle and Car Photographer. There’s more but this is just to illustrate something that happened recently. A photographer who’s top 3 for me in one of these categories tells me he also shoots in another category which I don’t have a problem with, I just don’t think he realizes that in the other category he’s number 54 on my list.

Photographer Tags

Unless you are a “named” photographer we use tags to describe how you shoot. Pick the tags below that best describe your photography to see how I refer to you.

  • color
  • black & white
  • film
  • digital
  • available light
  • lit
  • heavily lit
  • over lit
  • large format
  • medium format
  • 35mm
  • holga/junk
  • shoots men
  • shoots women
  • shoots children
  • studio
  • location
  • portrait
  • photojournalist
  • fashion
  • beauty
  • still life
  • fine art
  • advertising
  • outdoor
  • automotive
  • food
  • interior
  • sports
  • conceptual
  • travel and leisure-e
  • urban
  • gritty
  • nike
  • high production value
  • low production value
  • slick
  • raw
  • grainy
  • saturated
  • captured moment
  • americana
  • weird
  • stark
  • quirky
  • props
  • lyrical
  • painterly
  • high contrast
  • naked
  • cool
  • off moment
  • awkward
  • muted color
  • crunchy (super sharp)
  • great casting
  • tight
  • landscape
  • action
  • sets
  • real people
  • models
  • trashy
  • heroin
  • vintage
  • webberie
  • annieish
  • assisted for annie
  • lachapelleish
  • egglestonish
  • dan winters on peyote
  • meisel’s brother from another mother

I think there’s something insightful here like having a 2-4 word description is bad because there are so many people that have the same 2-4 words and over 12 is probably bad because then it gets hard to remember all the words.

You can tell me all the tags I forgot and I’ll add them in.

Those Photos Suck

I worked with an editor once who–fairly often when I brought him photos–would tell me the photos sucked. I would then try to tell him that no, you’re using the wrong words, you should be saying “I don’t like those photos” which is fine because you’re an editor and therefore you know nothing about photography. This is why I work here.

In the editorial and advertising world, photos are good when they do their job, but it all depends on where you’re standing.

I’m standing over here with other mainstream consumer magazines. My magazine has a specific agenda that involves overshooting our audience’s taste in photography to attract elitist advertisers, favorable press and awards from the NYC photo mafia.

If you’re standing over in corporate head shot universe there’s no need to get all Terry Richardson on their asses because that will get you fired because it’s bad photography.

So, when I think about who’s the best photographer in Canton, Ohio it has nothing to do with who’s the best at shooting things people in Canton actually need pictures of it’s who’s the best at emulating the NYC editorial style I need to do my job.

Usually, when my editor doesn’t like photos it means I’m doing my job.