Photographic Inspiration

Of late I have neglected my personal photography pursuits. And it’s completely my own fault. I’ve been slack about pursuing some avenues but been felling like I’m in a bit of a rut.

I see some of the stuff the guys at work do and what the folks on Flickr produce and I think I need some more education, someone to show me how to do the things I don’t know about. For me the main thing is lighting. It’s new to me.

I’m trying to get a strobist kit together, the ease of use and portability of a few flashes and umbrellas, not to mention the low cost to entry, makes them more appealing than a full studio lighting kit which I will no way be able to afford any time soon.

And while there is no way I can think about it at the moment, I’ve been spoilt, using the Canon 1Ds Mk II and 1D MK III at work I’m in love with what a full-frame sensor can do and the extended use of my L-series lenses. Seeing what shoots full-frame compared to sensors with the 1.6x is like chalk and cheese. I’m thinking I need to start making more money so I can get me a 5D or the equivalent next model (when it is released). But that’s not what this post is about.

What I wanted to tell you about today is where I go for photographic inspiration and information. Share the wealth if you will, and by all means if you know any others that you think are good, leave me a comment I’m always looking for new resources.

Please Note: Some of the links below (or after the click) should be treated as having an MA 15+ rating.

Podcasts

Tips from the Top Floor
An awesome podcasts and I think it was probably one of the first about photography. Of late Chris has been a little preoccupied with managing his now world-wide photography workshops while trying to juggle his other full-time job as and audio technician so his release of the podcast has been somewhat sporadic of late. I’m sure it will settle down in the future. Visit Tips from the Top Floor.

This week In Photography (TWiP)
An awesome podcast. Full of great news, interviews, tips and tricks about photography. Alex Lindsay (one of the Hosts) is funny and witty and while he declares himself an amatuer photographer his years in the film industry provide some great insights into the world of photography, from a different angle.

Scott Bourne (the other regular Host) is a really good photographer, having published many books of wildlife photography and photgraphy in general.

The other regular contributor to TWiP that blows me away is Steve Simon. I’ve checked out his site many times and am always drawn back by his brilliant work. He is a true inspiration. And if you write to him, he writes back. I sent him an email via his site to say that I loved his work, he wrote back letting me know he appreciated my comments. For me it was like reaching out to my favourite pop-star and having them acknowledge me. Visit Steve Simon’s site.

This Week in Photography also has a blog which is updated daily at twipphoto.com

Indecent Exposure
A podcast from CNet Networks Indecent Exposure is one I’ve listened to a couple of times and you may find it interesting but I really wasn’t taken by the style of the hosts. They just didn’t seem as passionate about what they were doing as the people from the two podcasts above are. And I love to hear that passion, itinspires me. I love nothing more than when people love what they are doing, you can hear the joy in their voices and I’m not sure I get that from these guys.

Newspaper Photography Sites

The Big Picture from the Boston Globe
It all started several months ago, Alan Taylor of the Boston Globe ambitiously started posting huge beautiful imagery daily under the section The Big Picture. It has since dropped to a couple of times a week but it is no less impressive an effort. With each outing Alan brings us a collection of photos that will leave you with a sense of awe. At times the photos presented are truly graphic visions of a world you may not know existed.

The Big Picture an eye-opener to the world around us.

The Wall Street Journal’s Photo Journal
The Wall Street Journal freely admit that their Photo Journal came about after seeing the success of The Globe’s The Big Picture, in fact on launch it was also called the Big Picture, and the focus is the same. To bring us photos that show the news in bright colours and striking black and white.

This and the previous site are breathing new life into Photo Journalism and showing the world that some dude with a point and shoot on the street isn’t the type of photography that the news should have. Even if it does seem that that’s the way it is going.

With the Photo Journal I particularly enjoy their “Pictures of the Day” series, with each posting (not daily, but that would be awesome) they bring us pictures from the news of the day, from all over the world. Standard practice is to present a gallery of a single event.

Visit The Wall Street Journal’s Photo Journal.

Tutorial / Information Sites

Strobist – Learn How To Light
A great collection of information and blogging particularly focussing on the Strobist method of lighting. Presenting step-by-step walkthroughs, video and detailed explainations Strobist is a brilliant resouce for any budding photographer.

David Hobby is a Photo Journalist and selflessly shares what he has learnt over his 20+ years in the business. He says he spends around 8 hours a day, at the moment, keeping his blog updated and I truly appreciate his efforts. I’m learning so much from him and his writing. And especially like it when he shows his diagrams showing his shoot’s layout.

Visit Strobist and learn how to light.

Lighting Essentials: For Photographers
Another amazing resource is Lighting Essentials where Don Giannatti shares what he knows about lighting the scene. He covers a lot of aspects and different types of shoot, and he just keeps going.

At time of posting his latest article was On Location: Anatomy of a Shoot which includes a behind the scene’s video.

His site is broken down into multiple sections, News and Info, Model Behaviour, Natural Light, Portable Lighting and Studio Lighting. And Don provides great resources for each of these categories.

Visit Lighting Essentials to learn more.

Zack Arias
A blog by Atlanta-based photographer Zack Arias has been incredibly informative. In particular I learnt a lot from his White Seamless Tutorial :: Part 1 :: Gear & Space I don’t have the space to support the set-up but man when I do. I am ever amazed by the ingenuity of people who continually show me that you don’t need a lot of money to get great results.

Photographer’s Sites

Below is a list of photographers I have come by and think are beyond good.

These are just a few, I have more but looks like I haven’t tagged them properly in my Delicious bookmarks. Will update this list later.

Flickr Standouts

By no means a comprehensive list. These are folks I’ve come across that inspire me with their photography. It may the colour in their photos, the way they frame or light their shots, their subject matter. It all inspires me and makes my mind tick away as to new ideas for me to try.

So there you have it and again if you have any other suggestions regarding resources, great photographer sites etc, leave a comment. I’ll really love to check them out.

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