Once you have been shooting for a while (and getting good at it), someone will inevitably ask you if you are interested to shoot something for a fee. Your first paid gig will certainly be very exciting, but there are a few things you should know before saying yes. So I am going to share with you 5 essential tips for your first commercial shoot.
Richard Avedon is one of the most prominent figures in the history of photography. With a distinctive style of portraiture and fashion photography, Avedon influenced generations of photographers with his trademark white background and portraits that revealed the souls of his sitters. Now you can download the Avedon app for free and inspire yourself with his works on your iPad!
Here are some of my images for my review of the Leica Monochrom. Select Full HD option for highest quality.
How should I describe the Leica X Vario? It was as if Leica engineers met at the cafeteria and decided Fuji wasn’t kicking their ass hard enough with the X100/X100s. “Hey, let’s challenge the Fuji XE-1 with a new camera. We will up the ante this time… let’s be double the price of Fuji, AND we will not have interchangeable lens!” Guffaws exploded across the cafeteria as the engineers outlined more specifications to make life living hell for the Leica sales team.
And then the engineers invited the Leica marketing folks to join in the fun. The head of marketing exclaimed, “Let’s do a teaser for the camera and call it a ‘Mini M’. Imagine the look on the consumers face when they try to change the lens on the new camera!” The laughter was so loud that the Fuji folks heard it halfway across the globe and wondered what Leica was up to.
If camera manufacturers were high-school boys, building super telephoto zooms would be their equivalent of a pissing contest to see who can shoot the farthest or most accurately. Sports photographers would arrive at the stadium packing the biggest lens to win bragging rights, acting like Arnold Schwarzeneggerslinging his Gatling gun in Terminator. But Canon’s super telephoto zoom – the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM is getting so long in the tooth, it’s time to say, “hasta la vista, baby”.
For the “Portraits of the Animal Kingdom” series, I wanted to capture photographs of animals with the same techniques that we normally use for people portraiture, such as shallow depth of field, high contrast lighting, foreground blur, side profile poses and painterly background. I hope to capture the essence of the animal kingdom just like we photograph the human soul in a portrait.
Here are some of the animal portraits I captured for this project…
Lust. Gluttony. Greed. Sloth. Wrath. Envy. Pride.
The last time I checked, cropping is not included in the list of the seven deadly sins. So why do photographers have this compulsive aversion to cropping their photos? Some say that shooting loosely and cropping in post-processing are signs of sloppy technique and a lack of discipline. And that cropping wastes precious real estate of film or digital pixels, degrading the quality of the final image.
When I started photography, digital was nowhere in sight. Around the turn of the century, digital cameras appeared and film was left for dead in less than a decade, shocking considering that film was dominant for eighty years.
Today, the dwindling demand for film has killed off many emulsions, leaving the selection of film stock limited and ever shrinking. However, there is a small renaissance of film by photography enthusiasts who appreciate the experience of shooting with film.
Digital offers a lot of advantages for the photographer, and like most I do shoot digital on many occasions and assignments. However in my spare time and capacity, I enjoy shooting film for my own pleasure, and here are some reasons why film continue to appeal to me…
I watched dumbfounded for 90 seconds, and I watched it over and over again. Five minutes later, I decided to sell my kidney to buy a Leica M8.
You see, I drank the Leica Koolaid – not just a cup, but an entire barrel of it.
It was 2008, and Leica just launched its revolutionary Digital M-series with the M8. It was as sacrilegious to the Leica Luddites as Buddy Jesus is to the Pope, so Leica wisely decided to take a preemptive strike by positioning the new Leica M8 as a evolution instead of a revolution. And oh boy did they get it right!
As a photographer and a marketing communication director, I must give Leica and their agency a standing ovation. Seldom have I seen such a brilliant and complete execution of a product brief. The treatment was sensitive, the mood was inspirational (great soundtrack!) and most importantly, the message was complete. And here’s why the commercial is so great…