Thursday, October 30, 2008

Making a Movie with a Canon 5D MKII

"Me and My Human," by Vincent Laforet/NY Times

I just viewed uber-photographer, Vincent Laforet's, short video, "Reverie," shot with a Canon 5D MkII. Obviously, a lot of skill and know-how was thrown at this video, from pre-production to production to post. But it's still amazing that this was shot with a small format DSLR. And even more amazing that the whole process, from conception to final cut, took place over 72 hours.

Here's a link to Laforet speaking about the video with PDN's correspondent, David Havlik.

Here's a link to Laforet's blog where you can see the video. After viewing, you might want to click on the behind-the-scenes link and take a look at that.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Camerapedia: A Most Excellent Resource

"Wave Swinger," By Photographer Aye Shamus from FlickR Canonet QL17 GIII Group

Lately, I've been watching rangefinder cameras on Ebay. Yep, I've decided my so-called career as a photographer would be incomplete without sampling the fruits of rangefinder photography.

As I perused the many rangefinders listed on Ebay, I quickly realized I knew next-to-nothing about rangefinders. So, I set out on a (re)search-and-destroy mission, i.e., to research rangefinders and destroy my ignorance in the matter.

One of the absolute best resources I found turned out to be a site already listed in my links: Not only does Camerapedia provide a simple interface enabling visitors to quickly find what they're looking for, it provides plenty of external links to great articles regarding whatever it is you're researching.

BTW, at this point I've decided to go with a 70s era Canon Canonet Q17 GIII as my first rangefinder. The Q17 GIIIs are relatively inexpensive (in "Excellent +" condition), have full manual overide and highly-touted glass.

The image at the top is one that caught my eye from FlickR's Canon Canonet QL17 GIII group. It was shot with a Q17 GIII on Kodak TMax 400 by photographer, Aye Shamus.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Photographer William Claxton Passes

Helina and Chet Baker, Redondo Beach, CA, 1955

William Claxton was best known for his candid portraits of jazz greats and other celebrities. He was considered, by many, the greatest photographer of the American jazz scene. Sadly, he is dead at 80.

Claxton's love affair with photography and jazz began when he was a young man. Learning the art of picture snapping with a Brownie box camera and wetting his appetite for music listening to his father's extensive collection of Big Band 78 LPs, Claxton began haunting Los Angeles' underground jazz clubs in the 1950s while a student at UCLA. Soon, Claxton and his camera were welcomed by musicians visiting Los Angeles.

Claxton became known for posing musicians in unorthodox outdoor settings, in a boat or emerging from the ocean with trumpet in hand. His work led him to snap equally candid photos of many of Hollywood luminaries.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Gordon Parks Featured at Delaware Art Museum

Parks' version of American Gothic

A new exhibit featuring the work of Gordon Parks, one of the premier documentary photographers of the 20th Century, is taking place at the Delaware Art Museum.

Gordon Parks, who passed way in 2006, was Life Magazine's first, black, staff photographer/writer. He is also remembered as a film director. 1971's feature film, Shaft, is one of Parks' best-known films.

Parks' career spanned many genres of photography. Although he was best known as a photojournalist, his portfolio includes images as diverse as photos of gang warfare and Black Panther meetings in Harlem to haute coutoure fashion for Vogue to landscapes and still life photography.

Here's a YouTube video celebrating Parks' work. I couldn't embed it as embedding is disabled, but here's the link. Enjoy!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Pix Channel

Untitled, By Jerry Uelsmann, 1982

Is it enough to know a photographer only by their work? Perhaps, but only if you're interested in feeding your artistic appetite with an order of art, hold the artist, that is.

John Cragin, a Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, photographer who specializes in family and lifestyle portraiture sent along a link to a very enlightening website: Pix Channel.

Pix Channel includes a number of intimate video portraits of a variety of celebrated photographers: From Eddie Adams to Arnold Newman to Jerry Uelsmann and beyond. If you hunger for more than the images, Pix Channel will help satisfy your appetite.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Nachtwey's Story

'Nuff said... for now.

Spread the word. Spread the story. Stop the disease. Visit

How's This for Photographic Prescience?

No. They're not who you might think they are. Leastwise, one of them isn't.

This Life magazine photo was shot in 2004 and it wasn't a McCain/Palin campaign photo. It is, in fact, Senator John McCain with actress and comedienne (and, more recently, Sarah Palin look-a-like and satirist) Tina Fey.

Who would'a thought? Someone at Life, back in 2004, must have had some precognitive abilities.

Read more about this prescient photo HERE.