Five For Friday #101
In all the excitement about going to Portland, we forgot to share Five For Friday #101. We’ve got magical landscape photography by Dutch shooter Oer Wout, incredible street photography by ninety-five year old Bill Rauhauser and Magnum photographer Frank Horvat share fantastic images of the Big Apple in his series New York Up & Down. All this and more to kick off your creativity this week.
Going Deeper Than The Surface: Mark Mann
Photographer Mark Mann has a portfolio that is filled with some of the most recognizable faces in the world – actors, musicians, celebrity chefs, even presidents – but what’s almost more recognizable than the faces themselves is the way he shoots them. While Mann shoots a variety of different projects (one of my favorites is his Lucha Libre project, shot on a 4×5 instant film using a vintage Graflex) and styles of portraiture – conceptual, environmental, traditional, even experimental – it’s his close up work that really stands. Much like portrait photographer Martin Schoeller, Mann’s faces fill the entire frame. Although Schoeller shoots with a wide aperture, most of the details in his faces are sharply focused, whereas Mann shoots razor thin, creating massive depth of field. The eyes are sharp, but that’s pretty much where it ends. Then there’s the light. Gorgeous wrap-around light punctuated by tack-sharp ring-shaped catch lights. It’s not a look for everyone, but when it works, it really works. One of the aspects of Mann’s work that I find most interesting is that he doesn’t lean on one technique over another. His photographs work individually, but also as a cohesive whole, despite the varied stylistic approaches he takes with his subjects.
Molding New Realities With FreeD
Not that long ago, 3D was the big buzzword in the world of video and filmed entertainment. The promise was that 3D would change everything and directors and studios alike clamored to get 3D into their production pipelines. The reality is that it was really just another gimmick that has seemingly faded nearly as quickly as it appeared. The problem with it, in my opinion, was that it offered little to no benefit to the viewing experience. Sure you could have things appear to be floating in front of you, but so what. It just meant that most of the 3D content had to have tacked on scenes to remind viewers that it was in 3D – and don’t even get me started on the glasses. The latest “must have” technology in the realm of video is 4K and while 4K may actually improve the viewing experience of filmed entertainment (unlike 3D), it’s really just an evolution of current standards. Sure there are more pixels and thus a clearer picture, but it’s really not that much of a leap, not unless you’ve large enough screen to really enjoy it. A company called Replay Technologies has developed what may truly be a game changer for the way we watch video. They call it freeD™ and it will blow your mind. Think of it as Bullet Time from The Matrix, but in real time and entirely at your control. So how does it work? Well, according to Replay “Our technology works by capturing reality not as just a two-dimensional representation, but as a true three-dimensional scene, comprised of three-dimensional “pixels” that faithfully represent the fine details of the scene. This information is stored as a freeD™ database, which can then be tapped to produce (render) any desired viewing angle from the detailed information.” Watch the video below to see this amazing technology in action. Right now it’s being used mainly for sports, but the developers say that integrating freeD™ technology into more types of content is not far off. “It’s not about a representation of reality,” says Creative Director Diego Prilusky “but it’s reality itself.” He adds that users will soon be able to watch and use a tablet to move the virtual camera in real time and view the scenes from any angle they choose. What do you think, game changer or gimmick? Sound off in the comments below.
On Taking Pictures #99: Authenticity Complex
For this last double-digit episode, we talk about the entitlement of an artistic life. Should society reward creativity? Also, more on the seemingly endless question of whether social media works or is simply a distraction. Plus, we question whether photography has to be good to be important with our Photographer of the Week, Terry Richardson.
The Transformative Power Of Light In Photography: Marie Laigneau
One of the things I absolutely love about photography is that initial feeling of discovery in seeing the work of someone new for the very first time. Recently, I came across the portfolio of Chicago-based street photographer Marie Laigneau, whose work is absolutely terrific. In addition to her fabulous photography, her blog offers up some valuable insights into refining the craft of photography. One such post prompted me to email Marie and ask her if she would allow me to share it here on Faded + Blurred. In it, Marie offers some great observations on how light can affect not only the aesthetic value of a photograph, but also our emotional connection to it. Enjoy.
The Transformative Power Of Light In Photography
by Marie Laigneau
Light – and the absence of light – is inherent in all photography. But light is not neutral – it shapes your image, it emphasizes your story, and can ultimately transform the reality to create new worlds as mysterious and powerful as those found in our dreams. Knowing when and how to use light is key to creating greater impact with your photography. If we look at the impact of light as a continuum, light can transform your image in four different ways…
Five For Friday #100
It’s hard to believe we’re already at Five For Friday #100! This week, Sam Kaplan makes fantastic compositions with dental floss, light bulbs, chewing gum, and eggs, Trent Bell photographs portraits of inmates composited against letters to their younger selves and Robin Hammond spent seven years in nine African countries creating Condemned, a powerful award-winning photo essay about the mentally disabled that have been abandoned and forgotten by their countries. Get inspired and get out and create something cool this weekend.
Religion And Refineries: True Detective Opening Titles
Earlier this week, the superb HBO drama True Detective came to a close with a brilliant finale, ending the first chapter in what is easily one of the best detective dramas ever produced. A slow-burn storyline, taut, yet cryptic, writing and both Woody Harrelson and Matthew McCaughnehey at the top of their game (I actually think this is McCaughnehey’s best work to date) helped to create an incredibly visceral experience, anchored every week by the evocative opening title sequence created by Antibody.
“Story is always the most fundamental part of our design process…” – Patrick Clair
Set against the backdrop of the Gulf Coast in the 1990s, season one of True Detective tells the story of Marty Hart and Rust Cohle, two Louisiana cops on a 17-year search for a ritualistic serial killer known as the Yellow King. Refineries and religion collide and are used as a perfect visual introduction to both the landscape and the characters that make up “Purgatory, USA.” Antibody, helmed by Creative Director Patrick Clair used a variety of multiple exposure techniques as a metaphor for the conflicts, both internal and external that each of the characters goes through over the course of the eight episode story arc. ”Fragmented portraits, created by using human figures as windows into partial landscapes, served as a great way to show characters that are marginalized or internally divided,” Clair said in an interview with Art of the Title.
On Taking Pictures #98: Signal to Noise
Big show this week as we take a look at some of the latest art and photography news and how the stories may affect making a living as a creative. Content may be the new black, but who really wins if all of it is free? With no roadmap to navigate, we raise more questions than answers. How do you find your way? Lewis Hine is our Photographer of the Week.