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Archive for April 16th, 2009

Olympus Posts Finalist Images and Kicks Off Public Voting for ‘Photographer of Tomorrow’ Contest

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I will often publish media releases related to photography on this blog in order to help keep you informed. These media releases are created by the respective companies. I edit the releases for space as needed.

Olympus today unveiled the 20 finalist images for the second annual Photographers of Tomorrow contest, commencing the public vote portion – which is new this year! The contest is designed to inspire students enrolled in top photography programs across the country. This year’s theme is “YOUR WORLD: The Art of Technology Through Your Eyes” and all images were captured using E-System products. The 20 finalist images were chosen by award-winning Olympus Visionaries, professional photographers Larry C. Price, Maki Kawakita and Nick Kelsh.
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While many students participated in the contest, there can only be one (popular vote) winner. Through May 15, 2009 the public is encouraged to visit www.olympusamerica.com/yourworld to vote for the student who best captured the innovation or technology that had the greatest impact on his/her life.

“The Photographers of Tomorrow contest is a way for the next generation of pro photographers to showcase their work nationally, build their portfolios, and be recognized by their peers and critiqued by some of the world’s most accomplished photographers,” said John Knaur, senior marketing manager, Digital SLR, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “The online popular vote is a great way for fans to view unique photography and to support young, gifted photographers.”

In June, the winner of the public vote will be announced and will receive an Olympus E-520 kit. Additionally, one grand-prize winner chosen by our esteemed judges will receive a $5,000 scholarship and an Olympus E-3 camera, ED 12-60mm f2.8/4.0 SWD Zoom lens, ED 50-200mm f2.8/3.5 SWD Zoom lens and gadget bag. The Grand Prize winning student’s professor will also receive a matching Olympus E-3 outfit.

The Olympus E-System is designed with revolutionary features that expand the frontiers of digital photography. Based on the Four Thirds Standard, Olympus offers 100 percent digital lenses for edge-to-edge sharpness in a durable, yet portable design. Olympus pioneered Full-Time Live View, Dust Reduction and other technologies for DSLRs, leading where others have followed.

New E-System cameras provide easy-to-use Art Filters, Multiple Exposures and Multi-Aspect Shooting (built right into the camera) for capturing creative images on the go – without being tethered to a computer and editing software. Proof that Olympus technology combines innovative features with intuitive product design to enhance what you see and what you can do.

This year’s finalists include students from the Art Institute of Colorado, Hallmark Institute of Photography, Pellissippi State Technical Community College, Texas A&M University at Commerce and the University of Missouri. Complete rules and regulations are available at www.olympusamerica.com/yourworld.

About the Judges

  • Larry C. Price – A two time Pulitzer Prize Winning Photojournalist, Price has published photographs in Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, and National Geographic among others and has worked as an industry leading photojournalist and a photo editor at many of the country’s top newspapers and newswires.
  • Maki Kawakita – A rising star in the global photographic scene and known for her “Kabuki Pop” style, Kawakita divides her time between celebrity portraiture, commercial work and a personal series she calls “Makirama.” She has photographed numerous celebrities and pop and style icons including Beyoncé, Missy Elliott, Hillary Duff and many more. Kawakita’s Japanese, American and European influences shape her style and creativity, making her one of America’s most coveted fashion photographers.
  • Nick Kelsh – One of the world’s top photographers, shooting for many of the “Day in the Life” series of books, and a renowned family and commercial photographer, Kelsh has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and has written numerous best-selling books including Siblings with Anna Quindlen and How to Photograph Your Baby. Kelsh is best known for his radiant, engaging, black and white images of children and babies.

About the Olympus Visionary Program
Established by Olympus Imaging America Inc. in partnership with some of today’s most talented photographers, the Olympus Visionary program is dedicated to creating superb digital images with the help of Olympus’ digital cameras and lenses. Olympus Visionaries span all fields of photography and work in a diversity of styles and subject matter, but they are united in realizing their creative vision through digital photography. The Visionaries use Olympus digital cameras in their daily assignments and personal work; participate in speaking engagements and appearances; and provide Olympus with input into equipment development. The Visionaries include several Pulitzer Prize-winning and Magnum photographers, as well as internationally-renowned photographers who have photographed assignments around the world.

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Photographers You Should Know: Gordon Parks

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Information for this article came from Legends Online.

If anyone questions photography’s ability to shape opinions, views and to visually speak for the minority and oppressed, then that person has never viewed the images of Gordon Parks.

'American Gothic, 1942,' by Gordon Parks

'American Gothic, 1942,' by Gordon Parks

Born November 30, 1912, in segregated Fort Scott, Kansas, Parks became fascinated with photography at the age of 25. He purchased his first camera at a pawnshop and quickly got a job photographing a catalog for a women’s department store. Soon, he moved to Chicago where he was a high society photographer and a portrait photographer.

He moved from job to job,all the while documenting the Chicago’s South Side black ghetto. In 1941, an exhibition of these photographs earned him a fellowship with the famed Farm Security Administration.

During the course of his first day at the FSA, he made what arguably could be considered his most recognized photograph: American Gothic, 1942. This image was made completely by chance. Parks was instructed by his FSA mentor and supervisor Roy Stryker – the same photo editor who worked with Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans – to get acquainted with the Washington D.C. Parks toured the city and found bigotry everywhere – some places made him enter through the backdoor while other businesses completely barred his entrance.

He returned to the FSA building and was told by Stryker to go interview older black residents to see how they dealt with the bigotry. That’s when he met Ella Watson. She mopped the floors at the FSA and she and Parks started a conversation where she explained the bigotry and hatred she felt while living in the nation’s capital. He then asked to take her picture, to which she agreed.

Two days later, Stryker saw the image and expressed concern that publishing the image would bring about political turmoil for the government-ran FSA. Yet, shortly thereafter, the photo appeared on the front page of The Washington Post. The image quickly symbolized the pre-civil rights era.

Parks’ philosophy on photography is elegantly stated in a quote from the legend himself. “Those people who want to use a camera should have something in mind, there’s something they want to show, something they want to say … I picked up a camera because it was my choice of weapons against what I hated most about the universe: racism, intolerance, poverty.”

Life magazine cover of a Parks photo essay on poverty. (Photo Credit: Gordon Parks"

Life magazine cover of a Parks photo essay on poverty. (Photo Credit: Gordon Parks"

After the FSA disbanded, Parks found work as a photographer for Vogue magazine. He later joined with Stryker again, working with him on the Standard Oil Photography Project.

Later, Parks joined the staff of Life magazine after editors there saw a documentary he executed on a young Harlem gang leader. For 20 years, he worked for Life magazine, photographing a variety of topics including Broadway productions, fashion, sports, segregation and portraits.

Parks was not only a tremendous photographer, he was also one of Hollywood’s first major black director. He directed the movie “Shaft” and “Shaft’s Big Score.” He also directed “The Super Cops” and “Leadbelly.”

Parks was also a poet and illustrated the books with his own photography. Furthermore, a self-taught piano player, he composed “Concerto for Piano and Orchestra” and “Tree Symphony.” He also regularly played piano in jazz ensembles.

Parks died March 7, 2006 at the age of 93 from cancer.

Sports Photography Isn’t Always About the Action

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Sports photography seems to be one of the more frequent topics I am asked about and for good reason. Many parents have children who participate in athletics and being active parents, they want to capture their child’s activities in photographs.

While lacking much action, this photo would be acceptable to hang on any wall or e-mail to relatives. Without the proper gear, sports photography - especially capturing action - is tough. So, work within the limits of your gear. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

While lacking much action, this photo would be acceptable to hang on any wall or e-mail to relatives. Without the proper gear, sports photography - especially capturing action - is tough. So, work within the limits of your gear. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

Unfortunately, these parents lack the photographic equipment (a basic sports photography setup for pros would set you back more than $10,000 not to mention the experience and training it takes to make good sports images) so these parent/photographers become discouraged because the images they have are not the Sports Illustrated-quality images they envisioned.

Sometimes the quiet moments of sports helps express emotion without the action. This photo was taken at a track & field event in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

Sometimes the quiet moments of sports helps express emotion without the action. This photo was taken at a track & field event in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

There are some options. First, I guess you could buy the equipment, enroll in some classes and start working hard to become good at sports photography. The second option is to hire a photographer to photograph your child’s sporting events – it’s not cheap, but you should get some high-quality results or, finally, you can do yourself but within the limits of your current gear.

If you lack a telephoto lens and a camera that will capture images at a high frames-per-second rate (above 5 fps would be best) there are still things you can do to help capture images worthy of hanging on the walls or e-mailing relatives.

Predicting Action
First, you can attempt to predict the action. If you know where the subject is going to be you can prefocus on that area and make an image when the player/subject enters the frame. It takes a lot of trial-and-error but it is possible. If you’re using a DSLR or an extremely high-end point-and-shoot camera, this may be a good technique to try.

Waiting for Breaks in the Action
You can make good images during breaks in the action. For instance, when the coach is talking to players, during a water break or when there’s a timeout. Let me advise this, however. If a player is injured, it’s common courtesy among photographers to put down the camera.

Good luck and keep shooting!

My Top Picks: Canon ‘Wow’ Ad

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Even though posting this equals free advertising for Canon, I don’t care. I really enjoyed this ad and wanted to share it with you.

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Written by jeremyparce

April 16, 2009 at 6:50 am

Candid Moments Can Make Lasting Memories

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There are times when all the posing in the world just doesn’t make a photo pop. You try every trick in the book and nada – it just ain’t working.
So, what do you do? Wait.

I had tried several things to get a good image of this New Mexico JROTC group but nothing worked. So, I just moved away from them - they were too busy paying attention to me - and just waited. When I no longer held their attention, they went about being themselves and it shows through their facial expressions. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

I had tried several things to get a good image of this New Mexico JROTC group but nothing worked. So, I just moved away from them - they were too busy paying attention to me - and just waited. When I no longer held their attention, they went about being themselves and it shows through their facial expressions. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

Patience seems to be one of the hardest things to teach new photographers. Most of them want to shoot, shoot, shoot and shoot some more (spray-and-pray is what we call it). Unfortunately, when the camera is constantly clicking, the subject or subjects get more tense and less likely to allow their true selves to shine through.

If you can’t get a posed photograph to work, there’s nothing wrong with just letting the subject go back to doing whatever it is they were doing before and you – the photographer – sitting there with the camera ready to capture a candid moment.

Candid photos does not mean bad photos. It just means that the subject wasn’t posed and just being themselves. Candid images can be made well and can add more depth to an image than any posed photograph ever could.

Here’s some tips on capturing good candid photos

Stay out of the way – just blend into the environment and let the subjects do what they do naturally.

Be ready – just because you SEEM relaxed and inattentive doesn’t mean you are. Be ready to capture the image when it happens.

Use the largest aperture setting you have available – a larger aperture setting reduces the depth-of-field and causes the background, which may distract from the subject, to blur keeping the focus on the subject.

Good luck and keep shooting!