Thursday, 14 November 2013

Dinosaurs among us?

Here is a great article on the state of photography and those of us over the age of 50. New photographers coming into the press world are more concerned with the final image and what it has to say, and could care less about the camera equipment it took to get it.

And that's the way it should be!

Case in point. I teach photography for a company out of Calgary, Mostly I teach a Digital 1 course in Vancouver to students just starting out and who want a better understanding of their cameras and the basics of photography itself. What I'm finding is students are thinking about photography in terms of their iphone, Samsung or mirror-less camera. As a teacher I have to find new ways of teaching photography and not be stuck in the old tried and true (or not) ways!

Past articles on my blog have touched on this before. The press world is changing.  I don't want the image in my mirror looking back at me to resemble the proverbial dinosaur.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Instagram and just good photography

Over the past year Instagram has become one of the most powerful players in the way for a company or just your average person to get their life on the web.
Along with Flickr, Instagram brings the viewer an insight into the daily interests and goings on. If your interest is photography ( like me ) it's an enjoyable process, it's fun. Here is one of my Intagram sites started last month. My company Instagram site is coming soon.


But this is not just reserved for your average person to enjoy, it's also now a very important way for leaders of countries to give an insight into the political process.
Pete Souza, one of the best political photographers in the world is the photographer for the President of the United States. His Instagram site is fun as well as very revealing. His photography is top notch.


On the other hand the photography ( in my opinion ) for Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada is ordinary and lacking in creativity. It's just plain boring. Some Media types might say, tongue in cheek, that the images match the Prime Ministers personality but that is very subjective. I'm not sure if it's the official PM's photographer shooting the images or just a handler for the PM with a their camera-phone but in my opinion Mr. Harper's office should have a look at Pete Souza. The PM's Instagram site has just over 500 followers as apposed to over 77000 followers for Pete Souza. Numbers aren't everything but when your site is lacking, it's usually the quality of the images. The PM's site will never have Justin Bieber numbers but I think they can do better than 500 followers in a country of thirty-five Million people.


Also on a related topic see the story below:

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Monday, 16 September 2013

41 Mega Pixels and press photography

All photographers carry phones along with all their camera equipment but how long before the phone is the only thing we will carry?

As well as Nokia, companies like Samsung are embracing the convergence of cameras and phones.

With Nokia's new 41 Mega Pixel camera / phone it's only a matter of time before a phone is the only thing we will use to shoot, sort, caption and upload our images to the web or agency.
The quality of the images coming from a phone like the Nokia is of course the determining factor.

Here is a link to the Nokia website and the possible future of 
media / press photography.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Saturday, 24 August 2013

The Imaging World is Changing

When Reuters, one of North America's largest picture agency, starts to let photographers go, you know the world of professional photography is changing.

Is it a creative change? Not quite, according to Toronto-based freelancer and Reuters photographer, Jon Blacker. It's a business decision made by Reuters. Strictly business.

While I can't argue with a business decision made by, and for Reuters, I can't help but feel for the photographers who have contributed their best work to Reuters, and who are now affected by this wonderful "business decision".

Even though professional photographers are resourceful, I can't see all of these sports-only photographers moving to strictly news. And that means Canadian jobs are lost.

Friday, 9 August 2013

The price of Twitter.

When a tornado drops down in Ontario, that's a news story to be sure. But when every single image posted in a slide show of that story is from a Twitter feed, today that's not much of a story. Or does anyone really care that all of the images come from Twitter?

I can remember as a young photographer coming across a fire at an apartment building. As the fire department had just started to get the fire under control, I felt it would be okay for me to take photos of the blaze. As soon as I had images that I thought the local paper might use, I headed out. My local paper did use two of the images and I got paid for both. That's right! I got paid to take pictures of a news event!

Now my point is, how many of those images of the tornado used from Twitter were paid for by the news source? Some of them? All of them? Or is it what I think the total money spent for these news images. Zero!

As long as people are happy just to see their images on the web and not get paid for them, and editors do not have to pay for images, your local photo-journalist is out of work.

Free is the best price I have ever come across to be sure...but it won't pay the rent.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Freedom of the press... kind of.

Here's an interesting link about freedom of the press in Canada. Even if the story is about anyone who holds a camera and feels the need to video a local news event.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

You're under arrest... for what?

Another troubling story about photographers just doing their jobs and getting arrested for doing so. Again, not a Canadian incident but this kind of thing is happening everywhere.
Click on the link and after read some of the stories at the side of the page.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

KISS and Sophie team up

When the Rock Band KISS calls a press conference to promote something, you know it's going to be good. But this presser had something different. As well as promoting their upcoming concert, KISS, with Gene Simmons and his family were also there to bring attention to Sophie's Place, a child advocacy centre in Surrey, BC.

In attendance in Vancouver were all four members of KISS, as well as Shannon Tweed, Sophie Tweed-Simmons and the mayor of Surrey, Dianne Watts.

And to top all of that, Kiss was signing autographs and selling KISS ARMY clothing at Tom Lee Music!

Only Gene Simmons can pull off three promotions and pressers in one!

Friday, 5 July 2013

The Pit

Not technically Canadian but a good example of  the changing face of fashion photography.Video from The Sartorialist / Scott Schuman / youtube.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

The crush.

I have learned over my 24 years in the Vancouver media that "the scrum" is not to be taken lightly. One photographer once called it "the media beast".

Everyone is trying to get the best shot, or scoop, or just get something before their deadline. The image that you see above was taken by me just a few years after 9/11. Canada's Public Safety Minister came for one event and ended up fielding questions from the media for half an hour on the the topic of the day, public safety.

As the cameras and microphones leaned in closer and closer I knew that the best shot was from above. I looked to my right and a staircase loomed above me. Perfect. My job at the time was to show what went on at the event, not what was said at the event.

For most news photographers, when the "crush" happens, your job, other than to show the viewer what happened, is to hold your position. Don't move around and don't get intimidated by the group pushing for the best shot.

The best shot waits for no one!