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It’s Called Life, Dammit!
Life. Sometimes it sucks, sometimes it’s awesome, and sometimes it lets you get drunk on Amaretto. Be that as it may, no matter what we do, no matter where we go, we seem to always see people with their damned arms in the air, holding their phones and taking video/pictures of whatever the hell is happening around them. And we do it, too. But should we? Are we so concerned about recording life as it happens that we’re no longer actually experiencing it? Yeah, we think we are. And that shit has to stop.
We’re all about taking pictures and being recorders of history but let’s also make sure that we are no disengaging from life and no longer making history.
Seriously,we need to cut that shit out.
Today, we look at Marc Hauser, one of the pioneer modern-day portrait photographers. His ability to capture people in real-life poses and expressions makes for some of the most captivating images we’ve seen in a long time. He’s a helluva shooter and a trip through his galleries is worth 30 minutes of your life.
And then Rick throws us a curve ball. After introducing us to several macabre artists and other “interesting” characters over the past couple of years, he chooses Mr. Americana himself, Norman Rockwell. But hey, it’s about life, right?
Where Have All the Jobs Gone?
There are some among us who remember the good old days where you could be a full-time photographer and making some pretty serious money. But, in light of a variety of factors, it would seem that jobs are quickly disappearing. Or, at least, jobs that paid enough to live off of. Between everyone having a camera that’s capable of compensating for mediocre skills, money-making moves by newspapers to eliminate their photojournalists, to saturated markets, etc. are there jobs to be had?
Today we talk about the the state of the wedding photography industry, photojournalism, fine art photography, and commercial photography. We’re not in complete agreement on everything but we certainly see some bright spots.
Here’s a tip to keeping, or finding, your photography career: learn video.
No artist or photographer today as we spent a lot of time on the topic.
And, please, leave us a comment! Are you looking for a job in the industry or are you trying to figure out how to keep it? We want to hear from you!
What the Hell is a Casual Photographer?
Sorry for missing an episode and, as they say, “Sorry For Your Luck”
Normally, we discuss the art of photography from the perspective of the professional and enthusiast photographer. But what about all those other people (and there are a lot of them) for whom photography isn’t a hobby? We’re talking about those folks who carry around a camera (or smart phone) for the purpose of taking casual snapshots of their friends at a bar, uploading them to social media sites and then doing nothing else with them.
In today’s topic, we look at how the “casual photographer” has impacted photography and, more to the point, how the photography industry has changed as it has adapted to meet their needs. This was all inspired by a picture that Patch tweeted to us. We may have railed against sites like Instagram and Facebook before on the show, but we’re coming around and seeing the value and importance of them as people record their everyday activities and relationships.
What do you think? Leave us a comment and tell us if you think that photography has been positively impacted by all of this.
Once again, we feature a musician as our artist of the fortnight. Rick chose Michael Jackson (yes, that MJ) and we talk about whether music changed because of him or did he change because of the music industry. By “we”, Rick and Tony talk about it while Rob showed his disdain for MJ by tuning out and surfing 500px.
Our featured photographer, however, is a phenomenal food photographer, Marcus Nillson. His portraits of chefs, particularly of Jose Andres, are simply brilliant. Check him out!
Hey Tony, let someone else talk, will ya?
Competency in Photography
Courtesy of long-time listener and huge fan of ours (yeah, I am taking liberties but so what?), Ivan, we have tonight’s topic: Might good photography one day become a core competency?
Will photography become more mainstream? Will those of us who see photography as a craft be able to step up and excel? Or does photographic quality continue to slide toward mediocrity?
The New Barrier to Entry?
We start off with Rick trying to dial back his (seemingly) hatred of the French but then he turns his attention to the Basque region of Spain. But, hey, he does an Irish friend. If you’re familiar with the other podcasts that Tony is involved in, you’ve gotta be shocked that he is the voice of reason and sanity on Polarizing Images!
And don’t forget the new segment! Send us the Continue reading
Why the Hell is Photoshop So Controversial?
Photoshop: it’s a tool that, for some incredibly stupid reason, seems to be controversial. Some people love it, others hate, but the smart people know that it is just that – a tool to achieve and end-result. But what got us going this week was a comment from someone on Facebook regarding a photograph they had seen, “…wow, is it real or PS?”
C’mon, really? Just because a photograph has been through the Photoshop cycle, it ceases to be real? But that got us thinking – what does it really mean for a photograph to be “real”? Too many people confuse “real” with “realism”. Are Picasso’s works not “real” paintings because they don’t depict realistic subjects? You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who would take such a position. So why do we say that about photography and Photoshop? If I create a shallow depth of field through a lens choice that’s okay but if I add blur in Photoshop, then it’s not a real photograph? If I make a bride’s teeth whiter than they really are or, more to the point, than they appear because we’re under incandescent lighting, that’s not a real photograph but if the bride had her teeth whitened by a dentist, that’s okay?
This whole concept of post-production, regardless of the tool that’s used, has to stop. As long as the photographer/artist is trying to achieve an image that they see in their mind’s eye, why the hell should we care – or judge – how it was achieved? And we’re not even touching on the differences between using Photoshop to manually alter an image versus allowing a camera to do it outside of our control!
So, to all of you who believe that Photoshop renders a photograph “fake”, it’s time to allow your photography and creative vision to mature a bit.
What about photography before there was Photoshop? Today’s photographer is Kansuke Yamamoto (1914-1987), an early surrealist photographer from Japan. His work included several pieces on film that, today, we would accomplish with Photoshop or other digital imaging tools but, as a film photographer, Yamamoto did his post-production in the darkroom. Are these “real” photographs?
What happens when you let Tony choose the artist? You get a musician! Today we have Captain Beefheart. As long as we’re talking about art being real without requiring realism, the good captain is actually an excellent choice for an artist who inspires. Especially in the realm of surrealism. Let’s let Captain Beefheart have the last laugh today:
[pullquote]“It makes me itch to think of myself as Captain Beefheart. I don’t even have a boat.”[/pullquote]