22. August 2008

Photo-Compositing Step by Step

Webseite von Taylor James

Recently I stumbled over the site of Taylor James. He has step-by-step illustrations of the different photo editing stages involved in creating complex compositions.

» Taylor James (see Retouching > Case Studies)

I am especially fascinated by the amount of manipulation that is involved in each picture. Usually I only wonder how certain outstanding elements have been inserted into a picture. But in this step-by-step show you can see that almost nothing originates from the same picture. Backgrounds and even floors are composited from numerous completely different photos.

Some but few of these compositions have accompanying explanations which are also very enlighting.

I am wondering what the source is for all those single parts that make up the whole image. Buying them from stock photo agencies would be excitingly expensive – but traveling around to photograph them by oneself wouldn’t be much cheaper.

(via The Reaction)

(This article is also available in German)

26. May 2008

Untouchable: HIV positive photo camera

Untouchable: HIV-positive Kamera

Wayne Martin Belger (a.k.a. Boy of Blue Industries) creates pinhole cameras using various materials. His newest creation is a camera made of titanium, aluminium, copper, acryl and… HIV infected blood. It is called Untouchable.

The blood is pumped through small pipelines in front of the pinhole (where other cameras have a lens) and is used as a red filter. Wayne Belger constructed the camera to shoot a photo series about HIV positive people.

Personally, I consider it a little bit too crazy to use real HIV blood. The camera looks great, though. :) All that titanium in combination with copper and tubing reminds me of steampunk.

Plain red color would have been sufficient, though…

» Untouchable (HIV)

According to several comments there is probably no virus left alive in the camera. HIV is said to be very unstable outside of the human body and these specimen are floating in a 80% solution of heparin and Sodium Chloride to keep the blood from congealing.

Still, Untouchable is pretty creepy…

(via Boing Boing)

(This article is also available in German)

Topics: bloodcameraphotographypinhole

Decaying Mental Institutions – Fotos by Jeremy Harris

Jeremy Harris - American Asylums

Decaying buildings make almost always fascinating photos. American photographer Jeremy Harris documented several especially depressing urban ruins. In his series "American Asylums", he shows photos of former mental institutions.

I have rarely seen such beautifully crumbled rooms. The color is peeling in large patterns from the walls. Debris resides in rooms and corridors. Every now and then there are sad artefacts of the former life – wheelchairs, cekks, crutches, stuff that looks like blood samples…

» Jeremy Harris – American Asylums

More Urban Decay

» My photos of a demolition area in Freiburg
» Rotting school books in a ware house

(via Boing Boing)

(This article is also available in German)

Topics: photographyurban decay

4. May 2008

Winning Photography Contests


For aspiring photographers, photography contests are an interesting way to get some exposure. Though winning them is „slightly” tricky. Usually it is not quite clear by which standards the images will be judged.

Haje, member of a photo contest jury, took some time to explain in a lengthy articles which factors guide him during the judgement. He structures his advice for winning photography contests into seven points. These points are no revolutionary news, but they are useful thoughts which can’t be wrong to be recalled:

  1. Stick to the topic
  2. Know the rules – then break them
  3. Keep it simple
  4. Tell a powerful story
  5. Technical perfection in pair with strong vision
  6. The X factor
  7. Develop your own style

» How to win photography competitions

By the Way

You should always take a good look at the contests in that you want to participate. Quite a lot contests have conditions of participation which are nothing more than pure exploitation.

For instance, never submit photos when the contest seizes all rights to them no matter whether you win or not.

(This article is also available in German)

Topics: competitionsphotographyphotos

30. March 2008

Rotting School Books in a Warehouse in Detroit

Rotting School Books

Deserted and slowly disintegrating buildings are always an interesting subject for photography (see also Urban Remains) . “Sweet Juniper” found an especially interesting ruin in Detroit: A decommissioned warehouse filled with rotting school books from the 80ies.

One can still see the remains of the shelves which once held the books. Now, only the iron stands are left and the books are scattered over the floor.

Seemingly, the books and the building fell victim to a fire in the upper floors ages ago. Everything which did not immediately burn was damaged by the fire fighter’s water beyond rescue. The whole building was given up.

» The photos at Flickr
» Accompanying article

(via Boing Boing)

(This article is also available in German)

Topics: booksdecayphotographyruinsurban

3. February 2008

Photos of Flying Bed Sheets by William Hundley

William Hundleys Stoffhüpftuchbilder

Again a simple idea with a stunning effect: William Hundley makes people jump into the air, covered in large sheets of cloth. The “models” are completely covered in cloth, so only a ghostly flowing piece of cloth remains in the photo.

William developed several photo series from this idea. In some photos the sheets are the only subjects; sometimes there are also visible human models in the shot.
Here are some of the series:

» Entoptic Phenomena
» Funny City

» William Hundley

(via Kreativrauschen.de via Photojojo via Boing Boing)

Topics: clothinspirationphotographyphotos

14. December 2007

Panographies – Panoramas with Creative Chaos

Usually you see panoramas only as cleanly cut photos in ultra wide format (like this one for example). They are commonly created from several separate shots, but overlapping parts are removed.

Panographie von Photojojo

Not so with “panographies”. They utilize the creative chaos as distinctive element. Hard intersections are deliberate and essential. The more, the better.

There is a short tutorial at Photojojo which shows how to create such panographies. Following this tutorial, you more or less have to puzzle the images together in photoshop.

I hope there are easier ways. Some panorama programs (like hugin+autopano for example) can align panoramas automatically and output them as photoshop file with seperate layers. I think this could save some work with panographies – I did not test that, though.

More Panographies

» Photojojo
» Flickr group „Panography“

(via Kreativrauschen.de)

Topics: chaospanographypanoramaphotographyphotos

25. October 2007

Stuttgart, under the “subway” stop Mercedesstraße

Graffiti in Concrete Jungle

A landscape of concrete and graffiti under the stop Mercedesstraße of the daylight subway in Stuttgart. It is right next to the “Cannstatter Wasen” which is Stuttgart’s Oktoberfest and should be avoided at those times…

Nonetheless, I like the atmosphere of that place.

Topics: concretegraffitiphotophotographystuttgart

6. March 2007

xRez – Gigapixel panoramas

Most of you probably heard of the Gigapxl Project. They produce digital images with a stunning resolution of several thousand Megapixels. The Gigapxl Project uses custom-built large format cameras, a technique quite unavailable for most people.


xRez, on the other hand, specialized on producing gigapixel images without special equipment. Instead of taking one gigantic image, they shoot hundreds of pictures with cameras, no different than those that are used in photo journalism. Then, they stitch those hundreds of shots together to get a gigapixel picture.

At their website, there is a nice gallery of some panoramas they have produced. Interestingly, those panoramas are shown as a Google Maps application, so you can pan and zoom as you like. Fun.

xRez also uses their high resolution footage to create special effects. There are several demo videos available.

(via Photoshop-Weblog)

Topics: gigapixelpanoramaphotography

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