How These Hummingbird Shots Were Taken...
Also in this issue:
- A New and Different Photo Magazine
- London Seminar Update
- Least Likely Place to License and Image
For as long as I can remember, the vast majority of the “Popular” photography magazines served as a vehicle for their advertisers. And as I got older things seemed to get worse, as content took a back seat to both the latest gear AND the will of the graphic layout artist.
You could argue that the successful magazines have evolved to this point because they’re actually giving their readers the content they want. That may be true, but I really couldn't stand being a part of it. I felt they were sending the wrong message (and in fact this is part of what drove me to start the Friedman Archives seminars – to combat this culture of mis-information), but at the time the US Dollar was very weak compared to the British Pound, and, well, if someone offered YOU USD $750 to compromise your principles, wouldn’t you at least think about it? :-)
Fast-forward to today. When legendary publisher David Kilpatrick visited me last June, not only did he pose for the cover of the NEX-7 book, but he also wanted to talk to me about his latest project: A new quarterly photo magazine which returns to the forgotten roots of great photography and spends more time talking about light, composition, mindset, backstory, and the things that give photographs an emotional edge. It would be printed on high-quality stock (like the recently-discontinued Photoworld was) rather than over-bleached, uncoated newsprint with pulp and fillers. It would be brand agnostic, and inspire its readers creatively by showcasing works and thought processes of other photographers. And while it will contain some ads, the intention is to publish for like-minded readers and not to chase the mass circulation demanded by today's advertisers. Best of all (at least in my mind), he offered me the position of Associate Editor, which I enthusiastically accepted. :-)
As part of my duties I'll be curating content, editing submissions, and will have a regular column discussing the "mind game" behind important shots. In the past month I've been going over articles for the first few issues and I have to tell you this is head-and-shoulders above any magazine I've seen this decade. Have a look at the mission statement on the inside front page (.pdf file - opens new window).
Here's some of what's on tap for the first issue:
- We showcase a portfolio that crosses the boundaries from revived wet collodion to digital SLRs, yet maintains an unforgettable style, showcased in an eight-page central section.
- David Kilpatrick looks into the shadows and the revitalised value of old lenses
- David Tarn shows us the first of a series of personal projects from photographers all round the world
- Gary Friedman lifts the iron curtain on a stage once set for east-west change.
- Richard Kilpatrick puts the past and present of Polaroid into technical and historic context.
- You'll enjoy our selection of gallery images and roundup of progress in the last year.
I invite you to come be inspired once again about the power and mindset of photography and become a charter subscriber. A subscription link appears below -- Share this with every artistic person you know! (Better yet, subscribe today!) I promise you will find it worth your while.
London Seminar Update
The time is drawing near! Still time to enroll! September 15-16 in Kingston upon Thames: https://friedmanarchivespress.com/seminars/london (Also a special lecture Thursday evening in Portsmouth). As of today I have five seats left, but I am looking into a larger room so hopefully I won't have to turn anyone away.
Least likely place to license an image
When you become a parent or grandparent, you start to re-acquaint yourself with the world of Children’s television. And before the grandkids go to sleep we’ll sometimes watch an episode of what has become our favorite children’s show (aside from Blue’s Clues) – Wonder Pets. The premise is three classroom pets (a turtle, a guinea pig, and a duckling) go out and save baby animals in trouble using teamwork and kindness – all while singing different genres of music. Each episode employs a full orchestra. It’s Opera for pre-schoolers. It’s brilliant. And their animation style is unique too – they start with photographs of real animals which they then digitize and bring to life.
But something kept gnawing at me at the end of every show: “Little Airplane Productions --Where have I heard that before?"
So I finally did a search on my computer's hard drive, and to my surprise discovered this email from 2008:
“Hi, Gary. My name is Carrie Leonard. I am interested in using your photo of a meerkat for an animated project I¹m currently working on. The project is an educational children's series for broadcast TV about little animals saving other baby animals. We are looking to use just a portion of the image to complete an original character design. [...]”
Unbelievable! My favorite children’s show licensed an image from me four years before I discovered them and became a fan! What are the odds???
(To get a feel for this series, I found a pirated version episode of the show on youtube.)
How This Hummingbird Shot was Taken
I met guest blogger David DeBar at one of my seminars in Nashville a few years ago, and we've become great friends since. He has been experimenting with techniques for getting these very awesome hummingbird shots using a 300mm lens (other lenses can work too) and a handful of strobes. I was so impressed with his images that I asked him to write a short article explaining his setup and a little bit about his learning curve. He obliged and you can learn his secrets in this .pdf file.
Normally I don't write books about point-and-shoots, but I got so many requests for the new RX-100 that I went and bought one and am currently about 30% finished with a new book. (I really love this camera!) On tap for the rest of the year will be an ebook for the new NEX cameras (co-written by fellow photographer and blogger Mike Hendron - http://mikehendren.zenfolio.com), and the A99, which I hope to pick up while in Malaysia in October. Never a dull day!
Drop me an email if you'd like to be notified when any of my new ebooks are ready: Gary at Friedman Archives dot com. (Or if you want to go shooting with me when I'm in Malaysia. :-) )
Until next time,
Yours Truly, Gary Friedman
========================= London Seminar still open for enrollment! https://friedmanarchivespress.com/seminars/london