New Life in Old Beijing, Part II

When I arrived in Beijing on the third day of the Chinese New Year, I was expecting the city to be quiet, and it was, except on Nanluoguxiang, a long alleyway near the Drum and Bell Towers that is lined by small shops, cafés and restaurants. Nanluoguxiang was busy — swarming with people, in fact. […]
URBANPHOTO: Cities / People / Place


Streettogs Academy Assignment No. 2

Assignment 2 Streettogs Academy Assignment No. 2

I’d like to start by thanking everyone who joined our Streettogs Academy facebook page and giving a congratulations to everyone who participated in our first Assignment and props to Helio Tomita who got our Editor’s choice. We hope you learned something new from that assignment. As promised, our editor’s choice will be the one choosing the theme for our next assignment. Here are some of Helio’s thoughts in selecting our assignment:

I think it would be interesting to do something that is not concrete, but something abstract as a feeling…  Themes that need some sensitivity and rapidity in the capture, since they are usually fleeting. They are not permanently available to the photographer, but are happening all the time in the streets.

Based on that thought, Helio’s assignment for us is:

Assignment 2 Friendship Streettogs Academy Assignment No. 2

Think about it for a second.

It really is indeed happening on the streets all the time. There are friends meeting up in the streets hugging or going in night outs. Sometimes, friendship also manifests it self to different species like a human and his companion dog. So many things are there but I guess the challenge is making that connection with the viewer that when he sees the photograph, he will miss his best friend. The biggest task for this is to be able to convey the emotion of friendship.

Here are the mechanics:

  • Upload your photos interpreting the theme in the designated assignment album!
  • No words and captions, just your name, and place where you took the photo.
  • On the comment on your own photo, post a link to your site (flickr, tumblr, webpage etc.) so that your photo would easily appear on the group’s feed. (Please do it only once)
  • Feel free to use film, digital, instant film, mobile phones, etc. Any Camera will do
  • Keep the file appropriate for web viewing (at least 72 dpi), no need for hi-resolution.

Other things to know:

  • We encourage you to shoot during the duration of the 2 weeks instead of raiding your archives.
  • It should go without saying but please post photos that you own.
  • This assignment will run from July 17 to August 3 2014
  • Don’t hesitate to ask questions or clarifications in the group page.
  • Be open to learning, get up to the challenge, and of course have fun doing it!
At the end of the 2 weeks we will have an editor’s choice picked by Eric and myself and community’s choice which garners the most reactions from the community through likes and comments. We will feature the selections on a post here on the blog. The Winner of the editor’s choice, gets to pick the theme for the next assignment!
If you want additional info about the Streettogs Academy, check my introductory post here
For those who want join the group and take on the assignments, Click Here to head on to the Streettogs Academy Facebook Page


Eric Kim Street Photography Blog


Wilderness Protection – Only As Strong As The Wilderness Act

Caribou Pass, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

View of the Kongakut River Valley, looking south towards the Brooks Mountain Range over Caribou Pass at midnight

This weekend an interesting OpEd hit the New York Times titled Rethinking the Wild,  The Wilderness Act Is Facing a Midlife Crisis. If you haven’t read it I highly recommend you do, as you’ll hear much of this narrative in the coming months and years as various forces continue to try to chip away at it to weaken it if not undo it.

The Wilderness Act of 1964 did something amazing, it protected 9.1 million acres of federal land and now protects 109.5 million acres. This act oversees the protection of national parks, national forests, U.S. fish and wildlife services and the bureau of land management. What this piece of legislation defined as wilderness is such:

DEFINITION OF WILDERNESS 
(c) A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain. An area of wilderness is further defined to mean in this Act an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions and which (1) generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man’s work substantially unnoticeable; (2) has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation; (3) has at least five thousand acres of land or is of sufficient size as to make practicable its preservation and use in an unimpaired condition; and (4) may also contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value.

The Rethinking the Wilderness Act OpEd” in short argues “we need to accept our role as reluctant gardeners.” Unfortunately this argument assumes that we have a full understanding of our environment and opens the doors to the organizations and people the act was put in place to protect the land from. Who will the “gardeners” be and what will their motivation be? Yes climate change is real, but it is also a very convenient excuse and lever for foes of the Wilderness act to weaken its strict protections.

The OpEd had one incredibly relevant quote that still holds true from Frank Egler:

“Ecosystems are not only more complex than we think, they are more complex than we can think.”

Humanity suffers from a good deal of well intentioned ignorance when it comes to our environment.  While we’ve made great strides technologically advancing our civilization, but we’ve done a very bad job managing and fully understanding the impact we make on our environment. Just because we can make changes, even well intentioned changes, it doesn’t mean that we fully understand environmental systems let alone the ramifications of counter efforts.   Case in point, as a teenager in the 80′s & 90′s they had signs up in Yosemite stating that Mirror Lake was drying up and was due to disappear in a decade or two. Now they know its a seasonal lake that ebbs and flows with snow melt. It’s a good thing they didn’t build a dam to try and preserve the lake.

Climate change certainly is happening, but nature is resilient. It will only remain resilient and in a wild state when left alone and protected as it has been, strictly as wilderness, free from natural resource hungry companies (oil, mineral, developers, etc.) To experience true wilderness you should make every effort to visit a U.S. National Wildlife Refuge. They’re not as easily accessible as National Parks, but you’ll quickly get an idea of how strictly these lands are protected. My favorite National Wildlife Refuge is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (pictured above), but many smaller refuges are near major urban centers. If you’re a nature or wildlife enthusiast then pay close attention to up coming discussions on revising the Wilderness Act as what you know and love may be irrevocably changed.

Copyright Jim M. Goldstein, All Rights Reserved

Wilderness Protection – Only As Strong As The Wilderness Act

The post Wilderness Protection – Only As Strong As The Wilderness Act appeared first on JMG-Galleries – Landscape, Nature & Travel Photography.

       

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Big Blog Changes Effective Immediately: Rebooting What We Cover and How We Cover It

All apologies for the delays! This should have happened a few months ago, but I was hoping I could find a way to continue with the original blog-format. It did not work out. Effective immediately, we are pushing the reset + reboot buttons on the Noisy Blogs, we are changing What We Cover and How We Cover it. Here is the situation…

The Camera Deals blog continues
The Camera Deals blog (with full-text RSS feed) is a fairly self-contained project and will continue. This will also allow us to pay more attention to it. We are evaluating whether to switch it to WordPress which offers more flexibility and more features.

The Review Streams will no longer be updated
The Camera Reviews and Lens reviews streams will no longer be updated. Both of them depend heavily on the newscycle (see section below) and will not continue.

The Big Change: We Are Getting Out of the News Cycle!
We are officially getting out of the 24 x 7 x 365 chasing the “News Cycle” and trying to always keep up with the “timeline” and the latest news and reviews and announcements. This is what caused most of the delays in updates. Most of the original blog format depended on always being up to date. Unfortunately this relentless non-stop chasing the news stopped being fun many months ago and the cumulative effects of the burnout refused to go away no matter what I tried to counter them. I can’t tell you how much of a relief this is for me to lift this burden.

What Will Get Covered Going Forward?
When I say reset and reboot buttons, I mean it! Nothing is off-limits. Anything goes. This will likely develop organically as time goes by. The key here is to be “stretchable”, focus on things that don’t require round-the-clock baby-sitting of the news-cycle. Also we have to make it fun again. And triangulate on the things people are interested in reading with things I am interested in covering with things I am capable of covering. One thing is for sure, the original format is not coming back :(

So sometimes we may have a lot of posts, sometimes not. Sometimes we may cover news-related topics, sometimes we won’t. We will likely pay more attention to content generation versus never-ending news and reviews round-ups. Various ideas and experiments are on paper and in the air. It is a reboot! Getting out of the newscycle, it gives us flexibility. If there are any topics of the non-newscycle nature you would like to see covered, please let us know! All ideas are welcome!

Finite Time and Energy
I understand that you may be upset, disappointed, frustrated, angry, etc, etc, etc. I am too when one of my favorite websites/blogs does something like this. Unfortunately none of the previous 20,000+ blog-posts (from the very short to the very long) wrote themselves. This was a very demanding project time-wise and effort-wise and required a lot of big and small sacrifices. While this was not a non-profit blog, we were running it as a semi-non-profit in the sense that we avoided most of the annoying-to-readers revenue-generating activities (conventional sponsors, annoying ads of every kind, appeasing manufacturers and fanboys, etc, etc, etc).

Where to Get Camera News?
The internet changed a lot since we started doing this. Now there are many more ways to get to the latest news. There’s Twitter and Google+ and Facebook and Pinterest and Linked In and many more social networks that light up when something of interest happens. There are thousands of photography forums at every corner of the internets. Both Imaging Resource and dpreview increased their news coverage. You can find most of the buzzworthy stories at Petapixel. You can get the headlines of many photo-related websites at Alltop Photography in a snapshot. You can easily create custom topics of interest at Flipboard, Zite, Taptu, Blinkfeed, News360, and many other similar services, deilvered right to your smartphone or tablet or web browser. RSS readers and apps are available for all desktop and mobile platforms, even QVGA cellphones. Etc, etc, etc.

The Latest Instant Rebates: Nikon Instant Rebates (stackable; end 12/28/13) and Canon DSLR Instant Rebates and Canon SLR Lens Mail-In Rebates (end 1/4/14) and Fuji Instant Rebates (stackable; end 12/24/13)

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A City Beyond Its Borders

Halfway through director Heiward Mak’s new short film, SAR², Eric Tsang takes a tumble in front of a propaganda sign in Shenzhen’s Qianhai new development zone. “Supported by Hong Kong, Serving the Mainland, Facing the World,” reads the billboard, reflecting the area’s goal of attracting 100,000 Hong Kong permanent residents to live and work there. […]
URBANPHOTO: Cities / People / Place



The Insightful Landscape – A New Landscape Photography Book

The Insightful Landscape - A New Landscape Photography Book

Announcing a new landscape photography book: The Insightful Landscape

A very special collaboration has been made by 26 highly talented landscape photographers including Guy Tal, Michael E. Gordon, Andy Biggs, Tim Parkin, Gary Crabbe, Floris van Breugel, Richard Wong, Alister Benn, myself and many more. (see the complete list below)

If you love Landscape Photography then you’ll want to pick up a copy. This book was put together to share our passion for nature and help make a chartable donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation on behalf of a participating photographer’s son, who is fighting the disease.

Purchase The Insightful Landscape in print or digital format today

 

Complete Contributing Photographer List:

Dan Ballard

Alister Benn

Andy Biggs

Floris van Breugel

Peter Carroll

Bill Chambers

David Chauvin

Gary Crabbe

Ken Cravillion

Matthew Cromer

David Fantle

Jim Goldstein

Michael E. Gordon

Jack Graham

David Leland Hyde

Youssef Ismail

Joseph Kayne

Chuck Kimmerle

Colleen Miniuk-Sperry

Lon Overacker

Tim Parkin

Rafael Rojas

Jim Sabiston

Scott Schroeder

Guy Tal

Richard Wong

Copyright Jim M. Goldstein, All Rights Reserved

The Insightful Landscape – A New Landscape Photography Book

The post The Insightful Landscape – A New Landscape Photography Book appeared first on JMG-Galleries – Landscape, Nature & Travel Photography.

        

Comments

  • I like landscape photography!!! eagerly looking forward to… by Clipping Path

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5 Tips For Really Busy Street Photographers

Suits 13 5 Tips For Really Busy Street Photographers

NYC, 2013

Nowadays. we are all really busy. We have countless commitments at work, at home, with our friends, and with our families. It is really hard to find time to shoot street photography. Not all of us can leave the obligations of the “real world” and just go out and shoot all the time.

Ironically enough even though I am a “full time street photographer”– I still find it really hard to make time to shoot. I spend a lot of time with emails, social media, blogging, finances, helping out Cindy and my family, and church related activities.

If you consider yourself a busy person, here are some tips I suggest to shoot more street photography:

1. Leave a camera in your car

13885180874 78a344048b b 934x622 5 Tips For Really Busy Street Photographers

Photograph by Dana Barsuhn

One of my really good street photography friends, Dana Barsuhn, is doing a street photography project in which all the photos are taken from his car. Like Lee Friedlander, he used the car frame of the window as a natural frame– and always has a camera pre-focused to infinity in his cupholder.

While it is dangerous to shoot photos while driving, I think it is a good idea to have a camera in your car at all times. You can keep it in your glove compartment, or somewhere tucked away all the time. And when you’re driving, just keep it in your cupholder. And if you see a good photography opportunity, take it while you are stopped and not driving.

I think this is a great approach, especially for many of us who spend a lot of time commuting to work in a car.

Once again, be careful while doing this– I accept no responsibility for any car accidents you might encounter while you do this.

For inspiration, check out Dana Barsuhn, and photos by Lee Friedlander (America by Car), and Garry Winogrand.

2. Invest in a small camera

Suits 27 5 Tips For Really Busy Street Photographers

Amsterdam, 2012. Shot on a point-and-shoot film Ricoh GR1s

The best camera for street photography is one which is small, compact, and with you everywhere you go.

I remember when I first started street photography, I thought I needed a big and professional body to be taken “seriously”. I remember upgrading my Canon point and shoot to a Canon 350d, then to a full-frame Canon 5D. Ironically enough, the bigger my camera got– the fewer photos I ended up taking. I took a lot more photos with with my Canon point and shoot simply because I always had it with me. Whereas with my bigger and bulkier cameras– they were a pain in the ass to carry around.

The first rule of being a street photographer is to always have your camera with you. And it is easier to always have a camera with you if it is small and compact.

I generally recommend people to carry around messenger bags on a regular basis– because it is an easy way to always have your camera with you. It doesn’t even have to be a camera bag– something small yet big enough to carry your camera.

If you want the ultimate compact camera for street photography, I am a huge fan of the Ricoh GRD V (read my review here). It is the only APS-C sized sensor camera that can fit in a front jean pocket (for men).

You don’t even need a new and compact camera. I am a huge fan of showing smartphones for street photography– as they are small, always with you, and inconspicuous. A lot of photographers from the Tiny Collective are making great street photography with their iPhones.

If you use an iPhone for street photography, I recommend the Pro camera app, and the Hipstamatic app. You can also see this past article Misho Baranovic did on shooting street with an iPhone: 10 Tips How to Master Street Photography with the iPhone.

3. Realize there is no convenient time to shoot

Suits 3 5 Tips For Really Busy Street Photographers

Beverly Hills, 2012. Shot inside a Starbucks

When I used to work at my corporate job, I always imagined having a full day to myself to shoot street photography. I would plan the weekends, but there would always be unexpected schedules that popped up and ruined my “street shooting days”.

The best time to shoot street photography is every single opportunity you have. Some of my best street photos have been shot in restaurants, at gas stations while filling up my car, at coffee shops while I’m waiting in in line for an espresso, or even shopping for groceries.

So embrace those “in-between” moments you have in your everyday life to take photographs.

4. Shoot urban landscapes

86220012 5 Tips For Really Busy Street Photographers

Indianapolis, 2013

I know a lot of street photographers who live in suburbs or areas that don’t have a lot of people walking in the streets. And their frustration is that if they ever want to shoot street photography, they need to go downtown where all the people are.

However I don’t personally feel that street photography has to include people in it. Some of my favorite street photos don’t include people, in the work of William Eggleston, Lee Friedlander, Stephen Shore, and Joel Sternfeld.

Take urban landscapes without people in them. Try to create some sort of social meaning, statement, or find interesting juxtapositions. You can read my lesson on Urban Landscapes.

5. Look at great photos (when bored at work)

 

I used to work in the IT department while a university student at UCLA. And for those of you in IT (or any other corporate job)– you end up spending a lot of time bored and surfing on the internet.

I don’t think that you only learn street photography while on the streets. Rather, you can learn a great deal even when looking at and analyzing images.

So instead of surfing the web looking at reddit, gear review sites, or rumor sites– I recommend spending a lot of time on the Magnum photos site, and on American Suburb X. Study the work of the masters who have come before us, and see more contemporary street photography in the Hardcore Street Photography pool on Flickr. The more great images you look at and study, the more receptive you will be to make great photos in the streets.

Conclusion

Suits 4 5 Tips For Really Busy Street Photographers

NYC, 2012

It is hard to make time for street photography–especially when you are busy. But know you can always make time for something you are truly passionate about.

Life is short. Know that being busy isn’t the purpose of life. Do you want your tombstone to say, “He/she was always busy and answered all of his/her emails”. Or would you rather be remembered for creating beautiful photographs that inspire others?

Always make time for your passion– which is street photography. Fit in the big stones in life first, and don’t sweat the small stuff.

What are some tips you have as a busy street photographer? Share your tips in huge comments below!


Eric Kim Street Photography Blog


Common photography mistakes as written by Birmingham's top architectural photographer - Paul Arthur

For a photographer, making mistakes is a part of life. They help them nurture and become superior photographers. Adjusting to the alterations becomes more habitual with time, but all of us make the fault dozens of times prior to learning. It trains us to understand the use of the camera at the time of shooting. Yet, there are a few common mistakes that take a lot time to learn. Here are some of those mistakes:

Hiding face at the back of the camera

This photography mistake is really very common that a lot of us don’t even understand we’re doing it! We hold the camera upwards, stay at the back, and shyly ask our customers if they could pose in a particular manner. And when the shot does not appear the way imagined by us, we induce ourselves that we are superior at shooting candid. At times it is imperative to put the camera downwards, walk up to the client and illustrate them what you have visualized for the shot. The more your client perceives you as a being with a camera, the more trouble-free it becomes for them to pull real emotions out of them.

Use the shutter speed to modify how the flash is uncovered

This is a very common photography mistake for fresher flash photographers. The Shutter speed does not influence how bright the flash looks in the photo–period! The period of a pop of flash is extremely quick, a lot quicker as compared to the shutter speed at the time of shooting flash! When the shutter speed is adjusted, it merely affects the ambient light in the prospect, but does not influence the obvious brightness of the flash.

Working too fast

A lot of times when looked through the viewfinder, it is noticed that tiny mistakes in the scene are seen, but are merely ignored. This is as well a common blunder that fresh photographers who agree to the lighting for what it is devoid of working to change it. If you see a hitch like this, fix it and do not act as if it does not subsist.

Posting a lot many pictures from a set

This is the common enemy for photographers who plan for getting a step ahead by making their photography paid. It is simple to get in the state of mind that you require to post lots of photos to look legal. In fact, that is counter-productive. Always learn to be a cruel editor and only publish your finest work.

Take some minutes and think on the subject of your own photography. Did you find yourself making one of these mistakes? Do you believe you could perk up your work and cut down your post-processing time by shunning a few of them? Give it a try. Photography mistakes are common and can always be improved by just paying a little attention and a little attentiveness. Hope this article helped you in enhancing your photography skills.