BrickHouse Photo School

Tips, Tricks and Reviews for Photo Hobbyists

Archive for April 2009

Books for Your Library: ‘Footprint: Our Landscape in Flux’

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Photo books are a great addition to any library. As photographers, we are constantly searching for new ideas and are always interested in seeing concepts-done-well. Here’s a suggestion to add to your library …

Stuart Franklin’s book, “Footprint: Our Landscape in Flux,” is a classic look at the impact humans have on the environment. The landscapes featured by Franklin, a photographer who also is the current president of the Magnum Agency, documents Europe, which is in the middle of an economic crisis and a growing environmental crisis.
This book brings together images that offer a true testament to the growing environmental challenge that faces the world. The images aren’t “pushy” or “preachy” but offer irrefutable proof that a solution to environmental issues needs to be found.

Franklin, born in 1956 in London, left school at the age of 16 and went on to study photography at the West Surrey College of Art and Design. His photographic career started with work for the Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph Magazine.

In 1989, he took his widely-recognized and acclaimed images of the freedom demonstration in Tianenmen Square, which ended in a massacre. His photo of a lone man defying a tank is an iconic image of that short-lived revolution. Between 1990 and 2004, he photographed about 20 stories for National Geographic Magazine.

In addition to his photographic career, Franklin earned a doctor of philosophy degree in geography from the University of Oxford. He has won the World Press Photo Award, the Tom Hopkinson Award and the Christian Aid Award for Humanitarian Photography.

This book is available at

Nikon Posts Newest Podcast

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Nikon USA has recently released its newest podcast “Behind-the-Scenes with Michael Lichter and the D3X” on its Website. The podcast focuses on Lichter during a studio shoot featuring Arien Ness motorcycles.

The podcast can be viewed here.

Lichter’s Website features many of his works including his famed motorcycle photography.

Written by jeremyparce

April 26, 2009 at 6:14 am

Great Ads Use Great Photography Part II

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I love advertising/commercial photography. It’s one of the most creative forms of photography there is and in today’s marketplace, advertising photographers have to be in fifth-gear all the time.

While you may not be an ad shooter and may not even aspire to be, you can get some great ideas looking at the work. Here’s a look at some of my favorites.

Client: Doctors Without Borders
Advertising Agency: Lowe Pirella Fronzoni, Milan, Italy
Photographer: Francesco Bozza
Published: November 2008
Tagline: We cannot wave the white flag. We need that, too.

Product: Stephens Brothers, London
Advertising Agency: ideas@work, Mumbai, India
Photographer: Tejal Patni
Tagline: Let’s just say, Prince William would approve … Impeccably English.

Product: Nikon S60
Advertising Agency: Euro RSCG
Photographer: Jeremy Wong
Tagline: The Nikon S60. Detects up to 12 faces

Photographers You Should Know: Wyatt McSpadden

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Information for this article came from Calumet Website and the Website of Wyatt McSpadden

Texas photographer Wyatt McSpadden’s images are impeccable. It doesn’t matter if he’s shooting in color – which are 10 steps past vibrant – or in black-and-white, his images are a good example of photography done well.

McSpadden’s career began in 1976 and he’s still working on his craft. After leaving his native Texas in 1974 for year to study photography in Sacramento, California, he returned to his hometown of Amarillo in 1975.

Stanley Marsh (Photo Credit: Wyatt McSpadden)

Stanley Marsh (Photo Credit: Wyatt McSpadden)

In an interview with Calumet, McSpadden discussed what sparked his interest in photography. He said, “I got interested in photography and had friends who were into it during high school. After graduating in 1970, I went to work for Stanley Marsh—the guy who commissioned Cadillac Ranch. Stanley’s an eccentric millionaire who had a big home out in the country on lots of land. He had a bunch of hippies working for him out there. He also had kids, lots of animals, and was involved in the creation of various art projects, so he always wanted to have a photographer around. One day circumstances were such that I became the official photographer for Toad Hall (the name Stanley gave to his home and headquarters). That’s what put me in the position to document Cadillac Ranch being built. I was always taking pictures of art projects and all kinds of zany stuff that was going on out there. Later, when I was figuring out what I was going to do with my life (instead of remaining a hippie at Stanley Marsh’s house), I started scouting around for photography schools.”

Photography has also helped him in his personal life. McSpadden is married to a former client – Nancy McMillen, who was the art director at Texas Monthly magazine for 23 years. They had a long-distance romance before McSpadden packed up from Amarillo and moved to Austin.

Currently, McSpadden has a book, Texas BBQ, which is a look at a essential element of the Texas life: Barbecue. He has spent nearly 20 years documenting barbecue, in particular the little family-owned cafes they serve up the fresh (real) BBQ.

Photo Critique 15: ‘Untitled,’ by Diego M.

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I love critiquing photos. It’s the best way to learn and get new ideas for photo shoots. Today, we’re going to critique an image made by Diego, my friend in Miami.

"Untitled," by Diego M. of Miami, Florida

"Untitled," by Diego M. of Miami, Florida

General Overview:
Diego, it’s too bad you don’t take photographs as much as you should. You have a good eye and you’re very creative. I wish you would get interested in photography again because I think you could have a real talent for it. I really enjoy this image because of its relative simplicity. It’s a nice, clean image with a nice use of light and shadow. The subject has an interesting texture with plays of the texture of the background it rests on. I also like the use of color in this image. It has a nice warm tone that helps tie the whole image together.

This is a nice image. Good job.

Here are a few improvements I think will make the image better: First, there is a stray straw coming from the top of the hat on the upper right side that is driving me nuts. A little Photoshop and voilà, that’s gone.

In this edit, I used a warm filter over the entire image then added a soft filter to give it a dream-like appearance. (Photo Credit: Diego M. with edit by Jeremy W. Schneider)

In this edit, I used a warm filter over the entire image then added a soft filter to give it a dream-like appearance. (Photo Credit: Diego M. with edit by Jeremy W. Schneider)

Secondly, I think you need to give the subject a little more context. Where is it? Why is it there? Who does the hat belong to? What happened? If you can answer one or more of these questions, then you have the opportunity to make an image the audience can better connect to.

Finally, I think you should edit the photo so the colors standout a little more.

Digi, keep up the good work. Get your camera and go shoot some more.

Thanks for the submission. Good luck and keep shooting!

If you would like to submit a photo for critique, e-mail us at

Written by jeremyparce

April 24, 2009 at 7:35 am

2009 Pulitzer Prize Winners: Breaking News Photography

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Information for this article came from the Pulitzer Prize media release.

The Pulitzer Prize is one of – if not THE- most coveted awards in journalism. The list of 2009 Prize winners were recently released. Here’s a look at those men and women who earned a Pulitzer in a photographic category:

The criteria for the “Breaking News Photography” category is defined by the Pulitzer committee as “a distinguished example of breaking news photography in black-and-white or color, which may consist of a photograph or photographs, a sequence or an album, in print or online or both.” The winner is awarded the Prize and $10,000 US.

Clayson Menthor, 13, holds out a small pot for some beans and rice provided by a church outside Cabaret. (Photo Credit: Patrick Farrel, The Miami Herald, September 10, 2008 via the Pulitzer Prize website)

Clayson Menthor, 13, holds out a small pot for some beans and rice provided by a church outside Cabaret. (Photo Credit: Patrick Farrel, The Miami Herald, September 10, 2008 via the Pulitzer Prize website)

This year’s winner is Patrick Farrell of The Miami Herald for his “provocative, impeccably composed images of despair after Hurricane Ike and other lethal storms caused a humanitarian disaster in Haiti,” according to the Prize media release.

Farrell has been a staff photographer at The Miami Herald since 1987 and is a native of Miami. He graduated in 1981 from the University of Miami with a bachelor’s degree in television and film production. He has won numerous awards including Southern Photographer of the Year and twice named the National Press Photographers Association’s Region 6 Newspaper Photographer of the Year.

In 2008, The Miami Herald sent Farrell to Haiti, which was devastated during the 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season. He was in Haiti the night Hurricane Ike, which was the fourth storm to hit Haiti in a month – hit the country. In all, more than 800 Haitians died and more than 1 million were left homeless by the series of storms.

Canon USA and the Arbor Day Foundation Set to Sow the Canon Forest Program

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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.

Helping consumers make a difference in the environment, Canon U.S.A, Inc., a leader in digital imaging, today announced it will bring back the Canon Forest Program, working with the Arbor Day Foundation, this Earth Day.

Beginning on May 1 and running through August 31, for every 10 Canon Generation Green products registered on the Canon U.S.A. website, Canon will plant a tree through the Arbor Day Foundation. Introduced on Earth Day last year, the Canon Forest Program was so successful that the original target date was met three weeks early and 20,000 trees were planted throughout the U.S. In addition to the product registration campaign, Canon will plant one tree for every new hardware item purchased from the Canon eStore from April 23 – May 7.

“Canon’s commitment to the environment is an inherent part of our corporate philosophy of Kyosei – all people, regardless of race, religion, or culture, harmoniously living and working together into the future,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A. “The smallest of efforts can add up significantly when everyone participates, ultimately helping us achieve our collective goal of a sustainable environment.”

Canon’s Generation Green line of products, which includes its PIXMA Inkjet Printers, imageFORMULA DR-Series scanners, imageCLASS printer products and CanoScan and LiDEscanners, offers paper-saving technology and energy-saving measures, as well as minimal product packaging, all helping to contribute to the overall sustainability of the environment.

Canon believes that accountability is vital to its sustainability initiatives; this is why Canon, along with the Arbor Day Foundation, will enable customers to keep track of the program’s progress by visiting, when the program commences on May 1. Here visitors can register their new and existing Generation Green purchases, view a tree counter that will show where and how many trees have been planted, learn more about how they can maximize the efficiency of their Canon Generation Green Products and other features on the site.

In addition to Generation Green, Canon U.S.A. protects future generations by helping to preserve nature’s most valuable resources through the support of a wide range of environmental education and conservation initiatives, including the Canon Envirothon, one of North America’s largest high school environmental education competitions; the PBS NATURE series; and scientific research and educational programs at Yellowstone National Park. Canon also established the industry’s first and longest-running Toner Cartridge Return Program in 1990. To date, more than 150,000 tons of toner cartridges have been diverted from landfills. For more information, visit

Written by jeremyparce

April 22, 2009 at 3:53 pm