I was reading on Swissinfo.ch, the article The breathtaking photos that showed Switzerland to the world by Marguerite Meyer (Writer), Ester Unterfinger (Photo editor) I was impressed by this picture: The picture in itself is just a good documentary photograph but what I noticed is the dynamic range (or latitude of exposure as we called it before we were trendy…). We can easily see details in the dark areas inside the gallery and we can see the details in the panorama toward the arches. Some burning was made in the darkroom and the effect is visible, but all the details were in the original plate. This was for sure a large format plate made before the industrialization by Kodak, so there was no need to save on the quantity of silver in the emulsion. You can see the same latitude of exposure in almost all the old professional pictures well exposed and developed. If you are in Italy there are some good places to watch the impressive quality and dynamic range of old films the Alinari Archive is one of the best and has a lot of publications. The rule in film was to expose for the shadows […]
I read on PetaPixel an article by Roman Robroek, an “urbex” photogrpapher… if you wander what this means is a short for “urban exploration” basically taking pictures of abandoned buildings. He is from Nederland and when he traveled to Austria he entered an abandoned hotel and, few months later, received ~$2800 fine to pay for trespassing. Obviously he consider the fine too much etc. Read the article for the details. Now, I’m sorry for all you photographers but your camera is not a freaking pass that allows you to violate the private property. If you think so you are doing a lot of damages to the profession and reputation of serious photographers. Also if you have a camera, you still need to use proper manners and simply ask permission, to avoid fines, jail or bullets. It is that simple. As soon as I started to take photography seriously I did an assignment that can be called “urbex”, I always referred to the specific genre as industrial archaeology, less fancy and trendy but a little bit more clear. The subject was an old building where silk was produced, some friends of mine studying architecture were doing a project and […]
Today I found online a short movie that I really loved. “The boy with a camera for a face” directed by Spencer Brown. This 15 minutes short movie tells perfectly the problem of watching vs living. I consider this a must for every person in the image business. Enjoy it!
Today I read an article on PetaPixel abut the camera market compared to the smartphone market. You can find the original article here. From the article I took a graphic that was created by the photographer Sven Skafisk (I wanted to go to the source and link him, but I have not found a link in the article or his page on Google) who spent the time to put on a graphic the data of the camera production from 1933 to today, divided by typology and including the smartphone camera market. The article is very interesting and points the difference in scale between the camera and phone market. It’s worth to read. But what really impressed me about this graph is the comparison of the camera numbers before and after the digital revolution. How this can mean good news for professionals photogrpahers? We can see that after the end of the film era in 2005, anybody wanted to become a photographer and the sales of digital equipment (from compact to serious cameras) really increased exponentially. In those years we have seen crowds of people getting one good picture with a digital camera that decided to buy a D-SLR and become […]
Or… How to have some photographic fun without technology. Digital photography created a wonderful new world of opportunities but it also changed the way we photograph, instilling in us a lot of bad habits. One of the worse effect of digital photography is to make us shot too much and post process even more. It’s kind of strange, but also with a strong film background, when we use digital we forget to have a slow approach to our subjects. Sometime to remember what make me take great pictures I have to immerse myself for a day in some sort of cathartic experience that will force me to the basics of photography and forget the digital world and the infinite possibilities to post process my images. Those cathartic experiences are not intended to take great pictures, but simply to clear my mind and have some fun far from a computer. The most basic way to photograph is with a pinhole camera. I suggest to every beginner to try the pinhole to understand deeply the basic concepts of photography, I even created a full chapter about it in my book “Photography: The f Manual”. The simple idea is to […]
Su La Guida di oggi, giovedi` 12 gennaio 2017, e` apparsa una breve ed ottima recensione del mio libro “Pensieri Fotografici. Meditazioni politicamente scorrette di un fotografo in sciopero”. Il libro puo` essere acquistato su Amazon Buona lettura!
It’s Christmas, time to buy gifts and nobody deserve gifts more than photographers! So here my personal list of the 10 best gifts, from $0 to a lot of money. A free gift that you can give to your photographer friends is to give them time: your time as subject, patient partner to explore the world with them or simply time to review their pictures and be honest. Honesty is the key for the gift, tell them if their 5000 pictures of a yellow lemon are boring or exciting, tell them why you like or dislike an image and tell them why. For few dollars you can handcraft a visualizer. Years ago, in the film era, it was a very common tool, specially for view cameras, and was ready to buy in the shops. Now is not possible to buy it but very easy to build. Take a piece of black cardboard, cut a hole the size of the sensor in it and attach, close to the hole, a piece of measuring tape in millimeters. The visualizer can be used to evaluate the scene looking thru the hole and the distance between it and the eye will correspond to the […]
OVF vs EVF! Let’s the bloody war begin 😉 The world is divided in two… always, that is why there is people making a lot of money selling t-shirts for opposite points of view! The users of mirrorless camera are not different, photographers loving the optical viewfinder and photographers loving the electronic viewfinder and hating each other. Since Fujifilm introduced the hybrid viewfinder with the X100 and the XPro we can have the best of both worlds and decide what to use for every picture. It is surprising for me to see, on various blog posts and comments, Fuji users hoping to have a future release of those cameras without one or the other option when Fuji made the most intelligent move leaving the choice to us. But this is not the point of this article, here I want to concentrate on what I think is the philosophical difference between the OVF and EVF. Personally, on my Fuji XPro1 I use both but mostly the OVF. When we look at an EVF we look at the camera representation of the subject on a display, when we use the OVF we look at the framed reality. Basically people that […]
Photography is not rocket science and we need few simple essential tools to learn how to make good pictures. Few days ago I wrote an article on my blog, and it was kind of viral in the photography world. Many FaceBook pages and websites re-posted it and, out of curiosity, I went to explore who re-posted my article. Some of the pages were for beginners and others for a more general public and in both categories, and specially the beginner side, I noticed that most of the articles were about cameras, software and gadgets. The idea is “what a camera with what new tool and that software can do”. Nothing bad in this but I was attracted by the comments, specially from the beginners. A lot of people asking questions like “How do I expose for portraits?”, “How do I expose for weddings?”, “What lens is best for X or Y?”, ”I’m experimenting with manual, what settings I have to start with?” and so on. I learned photography with film, mostly large format view camera and medium format Hasselblad, and every time I read questions about how to expose for a particular subject I think in the digital […]
Today PhaseOne released the version 10 of CapturOne, I still have to test in deep the new version and I plan to do some tutorials about it in the next days (yes, Christmas time is perfect to work on more personal projects) but for now I want to tell why I switched from Adobe ACR (or Lightroom) to CaptureOne. As many photographers I never explored RAW converters before, everybody was using Adobe, I was using Adobe. Photoshop is really a standard in image editing and I used it to retouch my scanned images well before the digital cameras became the norm. When I got my first digital it was the normal choice to convert the RAW in ACR, and I continued for years with the same workflow. When I changed from film to digital I was stuck in photographic mental crisis. With film I used the Fuji Provia a lot for my commercial assignments, and that was meaning the need to be able to have perfect light and exposure. The tolerance of the Provia was a maximum of a third of a stop, and to be precise, when I used it in the view camera, I considered the tenth of […]