BrickHouse Photo School

Tips, Tricks and Reviews for Photo Hobbyists

‘Capture The Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs’: Displayed at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics

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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.

“Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs,” the largest and most comprehensive display of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs ever shown in the United States, recently opened at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the University of Mississippi. The exhibition will be on display through July 3, 2009.
“Capture the Moment” features 138 images drawn from each year’s winning entries from 1941 – the first year a photograph was eligible for the prestigious award – up to and including the award-winning 2008 image of a Japanese videographer fatally wounded during a demonstration in Myanmar.

The exhibit includes dramatic and poignant news and feature photographs, including Jack R. Thornell’s photo of a wounded James Meredith crying out in pain (1967 Pulitzer); Joe Rosenthal’s World War II photo of the raising of the flag by U.S. Marines on Iwo Jima (1945 Pulitzer); the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (2006 Pulitzer); and Nathaniel Fein’s shot of Babe Ruth watching his number retired at Yankee Stadium (1949 Pulitzer).

“The Pulitzer photo gallery is one of the most popular attractions in the Newseum. We are delighted the exhibit can be on display at Ole Miss,” said Charles L. Overby, chief executive officer, Newseum.

The Pulitzer exhibit will open formally April 22 at 5 p.m. at the Overby Center with a panel discussion about the photographers and the fascinating stories behind their award-winning photos. Panelists will include Ken Crawford, a Newseum producer who has interviewed more than 50 Pulitzer Prize-winning photographers, and Susan Bennett, a Newseum vice president and veteran reporter who covered the South for UPI. Charles L. Overby will moderate the panel discussion, which is open to the public. A reception will follow.

“Capture the Moment” has been seen by more than 2 million visitors in museums and history centers across the country, including the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, Washington State History Museum and Minnesota History Center. The Newseum developed the traveling exhibit with Business of Entertainment, Inc., New York, with Cyma Rubin as curator.

“Capture the Moment” includes photos of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events. Some are tragic, such as Stanley Forman’s 1975 photo of a woman and child falling from a broken fire escape during a Boston fire. Others are just short of miraculous, including a 1953 photograph by Virginia Schau – the first woman and second amateur to be honored – of the rescue of two men from the cab of a tractor-trailer as the truck hangs precariously off a bridge.

A dozen photographs relate to World War II, Korea and Vietnam, including Nick Ut’s image of a young girl – clothes burned off by napalm – running toward the camera.

Domestic and social issues also can be found throughout. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded for a photograph of a picket line fight during a 1941 United Auto Workers’ strike in Detroit.

About the Newseum
The Newseum, which opened a year ago on historic Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits. The world’s most interactive museum takes visitors behind the scenes of news and instills an appreciation of the importance of a free press and the First Amendment. The Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit, is the main funder of the Newseum’s operations. While independent of any media companies, the Newseum receives additional support from individuals, corporations and foundations.

About the Overby Center
The Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics is funded through a grant from the Freedom Forum. The Center’s mission is to create better understanding of the media and politicians and the role of the First Amendment in our democracy. The Center features programs, multimedia displays and writings that examine the independent and interrelated relationships of the media and politicians – past, present and future. Because many leaders in media and politics have come from the South, the Overby Center pays special attention to Southern perspectives.


Panasonic Announces Pricing for Lumix GH1

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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.

Panasonic recently announced pricing for the highly-anticipated LUMIX DMC-GH1, the new Micro Four Thirds digital camera with Full-High Definition (HD) video recording ability, which will be available in early June for a suggested retail price of $1499.95. The LUMIX DMC-GH1 includes the LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm/F4.0-5.8 ASPH/MEGA O.I.S. lens as part of the kit. The new lens, designed to support HD movie recording, features a silent motor and continuous auto focusing (AF) capability – a differentiator from traditional DSLRs.

In the U.S., the LUMIX GH1 will be available in black and has advanced photography features, such as the ability to record AVCHD 1080p/24p High Definition video, yet is easy enough for entry-level users to understand and take beautiful photos and videos. With Panasonic’s iA (Intelligent Auto) mode – a user-friendly setting made popular in the LUMIX line of digital point-and-shoot camera products, both entry-level and more experienced DSLR users can enjoy a complete suite of technologies that allow beautiful photo-taking and engage automatically – no setting adjustments needed.

For those looking for more creative control in their digital camera, the LUMIX GH1 can adjust shutter speed during motion recording, giving the videos a special look, particularly suitable for shooting fast-moving subjects. Also, the LUMIX GH1 allows users to control the aperture, which is convenient when there are several subjects at varying distances.  By adjusting the aperture, the user can focus on the foreground and blur the background – or vice versa – even during video recording.

“Since redefining the traditional DSLR category last year with the LUMIX G1 – which eliminated the internal mirror and thus dramatically reduced size of the camera body and lenses – Panasonic has been working to expand its award-winning LUMIX G Micro Four Thirds System line.  Panasonic wants to offer increasingly innovative products and features that make photography fun and easy,” said David Briganti, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “The introduction of the LUMIX GH1, allows photographers of all levels to take superior quality photos and shoot HD video with a more compact, easy-to-use camera that provides increased creative capabilities.”

The LUMIX GH1 provides cutting-edge video recording features, including the ability to record high-resolution full HD (1920 x1080) video at 24 fps or smooth HD video (1280 x 720) at 60 fps using an AVCHD format (MPEG-4/H.264), which provides the important benefit of doubling the HD quality recording time compared with Motion JPEG. The LUMIX GH1 features a dedicated video record button on the back of the camera which lets users instantly start recording videos, even while shooting still photos – removing the fear of potentially missing a must-see video moment.
For more information about the Panasonic LUMIX G Micro Four Thirds System, including the award-winning LUMIX G1, and to place a pre-order for the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH1, please visit

Books for Your Library: ‘American Music’

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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 …

Annie Leibovitz is a photography icon. She is one of the most celebrated photographers in the world for her unique and captivating way of photographing popular culture.
Her book, “American Music,” is a perfect example of her ability to document the American experience. The book focuses on, as the name implies, music in the American society. From jazz and blues to punk and hip-hop and everything in between, Leibovitz brings viewers and intimate look at the music and musicians who are part of the American experience.

Leibovitz has a unique way of bringing out the “natural” in her subjects. Even when the shot is overly-posed, she has a unique way of relaxing her subjects so that their “real” personality is expressed.

If you’re a fan of both music and photography, then this book is a definite must-have for your bookshelf or coffee table.

Written by jeremyparce

May 6, 2009 at 5:28 am

Places to Go on the Web – Great Photo Sites Issue 17

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I love photography. Not only do I love to take photographs, I love to talk, teach, and explore photography. I also like to look at great photographs to get ideas on how I can be a better photographer.
If you have any interest in digital photography, then a visit to some of these sites is worth your time. Looking at great photos will help make your own photos better because you can get ideas, tips and see what and how others are photographing their subjects. As your cruise Cyberspace, spend a few minutes looking at these Websites:

Donald Weber:  Toronto-native photographer Donald Weber’s documentary work is both beautiful and captivating. He currently resides in Russia where the bulk of his work has focused. Weber didn’t start out in photography, however. The award-winning photographer began his career as an architect in the Netherlands.

Mikhael Subotzky: This Johannesburg-based documentary photographer was born in 1981 in Cape Town, South Africa. His work has been featured in major galleries and museums around the world. His recent prizes include the 2008 ICP Infinity Award, the 2007 KLM Paul Huf Award and the 2006 F25 Award for Concerned Photography.

Connie Bransilver: Conservationist and photographer Connie Bransilver’s work has spanned the seven continents. She is an internationally-known nature photographer, author and speaker.

Great Ads Use Great Photography Part III

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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.

virginradio1Product: Virgin Radio
Advertising Agency: zig
Photographer: Michael Graf
Tagline: Give your radio a reason to live

directv1Client: DirecTV Broadcast – This is for the first sport event DirecTV broadcast on HD, the Barcelona vs Real Madrid match in Ecuador.
Advertising Agency: La Facultad, Quito, Ecuador
Photographer: Ramiro Salazar

hondagoldwing1Product: Honda Goldwing
Advertising Agency: Reichl und Partner, Vienna, Austria
Photographer: Tim McPherson
Tagline: The new Goldwing. And what’s your favorite toy?

Books for Your Library: ‘Seen Behind the Scene’

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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 …

Mary Ellen Mark has the ideal job for those who love both still photography and movies. Since the 1960s, she has worked on more than 100 film sets as a special stills photographer, making thousands of documentary photographs of life behind the scenes rather than the posed and polished photographs used for marketing.
Her book, “Seen Behind the Scene,” is a collection of the best of those images. Her photography has taken her to the set of Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now,” to “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” She has also photographed behind the set of “Tootsie,” “Gandhi,” and “Showgirls.”

She continues to work documenting life behind the scenes. She has worked on “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” and worked on “Moulin Rouge.”

Her work also documents the rising power of “celebrity.” In her early career, she had full access to actors on the set. Now, with actors surrounded by an entourage of publicists, agents and assistants and a schedule that is airtight, her portrait work has become increasingly more difficult.

Q&A: Answering Viewer Questions

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I have received several e-mails asking various photography-related questions since the beginning of this Website. Here’s a few of the more common questions and my best answer. Thanks for submitting and I hope this helps.

Question 1: Which is better? Nikon or Canon?
This is one of those great debate topics some photographers like to get into with one another. It’s probably akin to the great Ford-Chevy, Toyota-Honda, Yankees-Mets (Yankees, no doubt) arguments heard at any watering hole in the U.S. So here’s the lowdown truth: Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Pentax and Sigma all make good products. It’s up to YOU to decide what you want from your camera and how much you want to pay. Are you a student who aspires to go pro? Then may I suggest starting out with a Nikon or Camera body and start building a collection of quality lenses. Are you a hobbyist who wants a great camera without breaking the bank? Olympus, Pentax and Sigma may be the way to go. It’s all about assessing your NEEDS and your WANTS then factor in how much you want to pay.

Question 2: Should I Consider a Career in Photography?
The short answer is, unfortunately, a resounding NO. It’s a tough market out there and it’s only going to get tighter.
If you’re a student, let me make a few suggestions. First, major in field in which you stand a better chance of finding employment. Computers aren’t going out of style anytime soon and neither is the folks who program, install, troubleshoot, repair and network them. Also, the healthcare field is booming. Registered nurses, respiratory therapists and X-ray technicians (sorry, I’m old … radiologic technicians) are great careers where you can make very good money.

You can ALWAYS take photography classes to help build your knowledge and experience but by majoring in another field, you’ll have a pretty good safety net for the fallback.

Here’s another tip: Schools that specialize in art education, while they offer killer classes and great opportunities, are VERY EXPENSIVE.
Here’s a scenario to ponder: If you enroll in a community college in your hometown and major in one of the allied health fields, you can expect to pay an average of $3,000 per year for school if you live and eat at home. For a two-year degree, that’s $6,000, but let’s be real generous and say $10,000 to cover everything. Once you graduate, say with a degree in respiratory therapy, your average starting salary will be in the $30,000/year range.

Now, tuition at a particular school of design I am well acquainted with, for ONE YEAR, is about $33,000. It’s a 4-year program leaving you with a bill of $132,000 and who knows if you’ll get a job.

If you’re serious about a career in photography, that’s great and by all means pursue it. But unless you’re living off a trust fund or mommy and daddy are willing to foot the bill, then be wise and have a safety net in place. I’m pretty sure you’ll be glad you did. And here’s a rule of thumb: If you’re making more money from your photography than you are your day job, then consider making the switch to full-time pro.

Question 3: Should I Spend More Money on the Camera Body or the Lenses?
This is another one of those age-old questions. OK, probably not “age-old” but at least one that gets batted around quite often.
My opinion? Spend more on glass. Lenses aren’t going out of style. A good piece of glass is a good piece of glass and I have lenses made in the 1960s that are still needle-sharp today. Camera bodies, especially now in the digital age, come and go out of style. More megapixels, better buffers, better sensors, are always going to outdate your current camera body. A good lens, however, isn’t very likely to become outdated after you purchase it.

Question 4: Manufacturer Lens or Third-Party Lens?
This one, for me, is a tough one. As a rule, I always say go with the manufacturers lenses. Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Olympus all make great lenses.

On the other hand, I’ve been quite pleased with the Sigma lenses I’ve used. The pro-level lenses are very nice and I can’t complain about any Sigma lens I’ve ever shot with.
So, I’ll adapt my philosophy to this: Manufacturer or Sigma.

Question 5: Do I REALLY Need to Know About Shutter Speed and F-Stops?
Well, the short answer here is “it depends.” Are you just interested in making snapshots? If so, set the camera on automatic mode and go have yourself a ball. If you’re interested in getting more polished or “professional-looking” images, then yeah, you need to know a thing-or-two about how a camera works and what all the settings do.

The good news is, it’s easy to learn. Photography is about more than shutter speeds and f-values. It’s about composing images and being creative. Once you learn the mechanics of photography, you can easily learn to apply them to make images that shine.

Good luck and keep shooting!

Thanks for your questions. If you happen to have a question I can kinda-sorta answer, drop me an e-mail at I hope to hear from you soon!

Written by jeremyparce

May 2, 2009 at 5:15 am