Monday, November 15, 2010

An Entire City Painted with Light

This beautiful photo above was taken in Toledo, Spain by La Asociación Fotográfica de Toledo or the Photographic Association of Toledo.  What makes the photo even more amazing is that it's not the work of a sole skilled photographer but 50 skilled photographers from Toledo!

The association's website has also included an article that details in both Spanish and English how this amazing feat was accomplished.  Well worth a read!  Read More >>

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Photographers Killed in Iraq

This video has made quite a stir on the internet since it was released by Wikileaks a few weeks ago.  The video below is a de-classified video recording captured by one of the Army helicopters involved in the incident which led to the death of two Reuters Photographers back in 2007.  It took 3 years and a ton of complaining from the folks at Reuters to finally get the US government to release the video.  To this day the US government has continued to defend that the military engaged in accordance to the current rules of engagement.

This video is a testiment those who put their lives at risk to photograph the ongoing events of world.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pro-Photographer or Amateur Photographer?

Being a huge aficionado of photography I often follow several great photography blogs and websites, my favorites of course are those of travel photographers.  Why do I like reading blogs/websites of travel photographers?  The answer is simple, they are photographers who are fortunate enough to travel abroad to far away lands and experience cultures far from what we are accustomed to in the US.  All their experiences in foreign countries are thus transferred to their photographs which captivate the viewer who has perhaps never had the opportunity (and may never have the ability to travel to such places) to visit and travel to such exotic places.  The second reason I enjoy reading blogs from travel photographers is to read about their exploits as well as the deep analytical and philosophical rants/sermons they often give, which I have often found to be a great source of inspiration for me.

The other day I read an article from a favorite photographer of mine, David Du Chemin (sorry if I spelled your name incorrectly).  This guy dedicates his life to his passions of photography and travel and it is reflected in all the amazing photos he has taken traveling all around the world.  The article that I came across was of an analytical nature that examined the all to common issue that most photographers must ask themselves.  I am of course referring to the identity crisis/professional status that plagues many photographers.  I have experienced it myself, when people would ask me about my photography, look at my photos, and then state that I was a professional photographer, to which I would deny and thus proclaim my status as an amateur photographer.

They question is why do many of us (photographers) undersell ourselves?  It's the lack of self-confidence and over comparison of our work with that of so-called "professionals", that we tend not to recognize our own artistic accomplishments.  I often times fall victim to my own aspirations of someday achieving the coveted professional status, that I fail to appreciate the art I have created.  Photography for me is more than just a fun and exciting hobby it's also an outlet for my artistic creativity and imagination, with a camera in my hands I can create unique images that tell stories of the places I have been and the experiences and emotions I have had.  Photography is definitely a learning experience, one where I am sure to be a life student, I learn from my mistakes and as a result I see my photographs evolve with time.  A great way to evaluate your work is to go back and review your very first photos that you ever took and follow them up to your most recently taken photos, this can be scaled down to an observation and review of the photos you have taken over the span of just one year even.  When I do this I am always amazed at how evident my artistic work has progressed.  I am not really worried about ever being a professional photographer but like many I do enjoy the idea of having my work recognized by others (it's that need of all photographers to want to be noticed for what they create).

Here is a extract from Du Chemin's article found on his page, I highly encourage everyone to read it as it is a great source of self empowerment. 

"A while back I wrote a piece about the “I’m only an amateur” mentality. In brief it was an unashamed rally call to photographers everywhere to stop seeing themselves as merely an enthusiast, not yet in the hallowed halls of the professional, and therefore not “really” a photographer. Rubbish. But this is not that pep talk. This is the reverse, the one that, I hope will remind you that this status to which so many aspire, this notion of a higher echelon occupied by the Professional, is equally rubbish. I am an unabashed champion of the amateur, the one who does this for the love of it, and the idea of professionals being better, or creating better work, has to go. I discourage non-professionals from saying, “I’m just an amateur” but I cringe as much when I hear people throw the term “professional” around as though it means something more than it does."


Friday, January 8, 2010

Nikon Festival Is A Must See

So Nikon for the past month or two (I believe) have been holding what they call their "Nikon Festival"  where everyone is encouraged to submit a 140 second or less video in an attempt to win $100,000  or $25,000 (viewer award).  The coolest part of this contest is that Nikon allowed the submitters to film their 140 second video with any camera of their choice. 

The last day to submit a video was the 15th of December and since then 50 finalists have been chosen by panelists.  The Judges for the competition are Chase Jarvis, Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office), and iJustine.  Another awesome bonus is that both winners of the Judges Award and the Viewers Award both win Nikon's brand new shiny D5000 DSLR!

The finalists have yet to be chosen so head over to their website and check out some the awesome and amazing videos.  Two of my personal favorites are "New York State of Mind" by Josh Friedberg and "Melody of the Mind" by Jonah Noel.  I have included them below to give you just a taste of the quality of videos that have been submitted.

So what are you waiting for go check out the website and vote for your favorite films!

*above photo taken from nikon's main site and Chase Jarvis's blog

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve Everyone!

A Digital Photographers Nightmare! - Welded Dust

Most of you have been there before more often than not, for the rest of you, your day will come!  I remember the day because I had just come back from taking photos in Chosica.  I had run into the issue of dust on my low-pass filter which was showing up quite visible in my photos (in fact, to the point that it was ruining my photos).  Since I had cleaned the filter before I decided to clean it again, so I grabbed my Giotto "Rocket" air blower bulb, unscrewed my lenses and began to blow air into the camera to dislodge any dust from the low-pass filter, and that's when the nightmare began!!!

I currently live in Lima, Peru where in the past few days we have entered into summer, thus there has been more humidity in the air.  What started out as a few pesky specs of dust turned out to be several specs of dust on my low-pass filter!  I tried blowing several times and even employed extra muscle in a desperate attempt to remove the dust, but my efforts were in vain for the dust remained on the filter as if mocking me.  RAGE was my emotion of the day, the kind of frustration and anger that can bring a grown man to tears.  The moisture from the air had caused all the dust coupled with the force of the blower bulb air to fuse or "weld" (a commonly used term in photography) the dust to my filter. 

Realizing my dilemma I began contemplating my options, my father in his moment of expertise offered to clean it off using a Q-tip to which I SCREAMED "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!"   Accepting defeat I decided that I had neither the tools nor the expertise to tackle my problem, so I decided my only other option was to send it to a professional.  I grabbed the phonebook and began searching for a technician in Lima.  A few minutes later I found one located in the district of Miraflores, I called and asked how much it would cost to clean the filter and was given a price of S/. 150 (Peruvian New SOL) which is equivalent to $50 USD.  Not bad considering how much it costs in the states to have it sent away to a professional for maintenence.  Now I would be lying if I told you I wasn't scared and worried at the mere thought of leaving my camera in the hands of a stranger (professional or not), especially since that camera is a representation of all my hard work spent in order to obtain it. 

Like a frightened parent I decided to leave my child in the hands of a professional.  I went with my family to Miraflores and headed over to the 3rd block of Av. Diez Canseco (#316) where the little camera shop was located.  I met with the lead technician who gave me a play by play of how he intended to fix the problem.  The technician stated that in order to clean the low-pass filter he was going to have take the camera apart (YIKES!).  I left the technician with my camera and walked away unsure if I would see my camera again (in working order that is).

The next day I returned to the shop only to find my camera in perfect working condition, I was ecstatic, to say the least.  I felt my faith restored and was more than glad to pay the maintenence fee.  I would definately recommend this camera shop for those who lack the expertise or stomachs to clean their low-pass filters

It is important to note that there do exist several products and methods for cleaning and removing dust and other foriegn matter from the low-pass filter of your CCD.  If you do find yourself in a situation that requires you to clean inside your camera you might want to consider the following link.  This website provides a TON of useful advice and tips, along with several products for those interested in cleaning their filter.  I highly recommend you give it a read.

Here is the link: The website is called

*image taken from

Monday, December 14, 2009

Underwater Digital Photography

Have you ever been interested in how photographers take underwater digital photos without totally ruining their camera, I know I did!  Until just a few months ago I had no idea how photographers took photos underwater or what type of gear they used to get the job done.  I guess in my mind I picture so complicated device that probably cost thousands of dollars just to obtain.

Apparently when photographers want to take photos underwater they rely on special camera housing instruments that are 3 times the size of the camera itself and when used properly are completely waterproof.  I have seen many different models of underwater photography gear in the past but never really saw any in action let alone used one (they are pretty expensive FYI).  Yesterday while surfing the net I visited Chase Jarvis's blog (a professional photographer) and saw an awesome video that he posted which show's him and his friends testing out an underwater photography device in a backyard pool.  The end results are amazing I definitely encourage you to check out his video here: