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Brandon Shaefer

Posted by Scott

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Brandon Shaefer does some incredibly well executed takes on old movie posters. This was always my favorite type of project to work on, self-initiated, completely hypothetical poster art; allows so much freedom to experiment with client-type work without the pressure of an actual client breathing down your neck.

More over at his portfolio

App Review: Photoforge 2

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If you’re even remotely serious about editing photos on your phone, Photoforge 2 will quickly become your mainstay. Here’s why:

It’s the best, fully-featured photo editor for mobile.

After years of trying every photo editing app across Android and iOS, I have yet to find anything better. Like Photoshop, it gives you full control over your image with features you thought you could only get on desktop. It’s not for quick edits, so if you’re in one-stop filter kind of mood, or less familiar with terms like “adjusting curves” or “soft light,” Afterglow is probably the way to go. If you are familiar with those terms, it’s easy to spend hours fiddling away on the go just as you would in front of a bigger screen at home. Just be careful not to get car sick.

Layers, layers, layers.

If anything, layer support is what sets this app apart from the rest – you can easily overlay other photos, create 50% Gray layers to add film grain, textures & vignettes, or drag to re-arrange layers as you please. It even supports layer masking, so you can edit-out imperfections or localize adjustments similar to how you would in Photoshop.

Powerful color curves.

Yep, same color adjustments as you would expect in popular photo editing software for desktop. In fact, many of the Instagram filters (Rise, Amaro, Sierra, Willow) were initially designed with this app, using this feature.

You can always undo with the edit history list. 

As project management goes, Photoforge 2 preserves every stage of your edit across multiple projects. The one downside is how much space this takes up on your phone. Since we’re dealing with multiple versions of many full-resolution photos, this app will quickly become the heaviest app you have installed. Be sure to delete the photo projects you won’t be revisiting.

Grab the app for iPhone & iPad on iTunes for $3.99: Photoforge 2 [iTunes Link]

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Melvin Sokolsky 1963 Bubble Series

Posted by Jonathan









This iconic Bubble series was created by fashion photographer Melvin Sokolsky for the Harper’s Bazaar 1963 Spring Collection.

Haunted by a particular image from Hieronymous Bosch’s ‘The Garden of Delights,’ Sokolsky experienced a re-occurring dream in which he saw himself floating inside a bubble across exotic landscapes. Inspired, he quickly used the idea for the series. The Bubble was crafted to emulate a Faberge Egg, for which Sokolsky had great admiration for its design and workmanship.

Complicated and unrealistic at first, he was able to realize his dream. Sokolsky commented:

“With the awareness that I was prone to live in my own head much of the time, and inclined to severe self-criticism, I began to have doubts whether I could create images on film that reflected the images in my mind’s eye.”

The Bubble was produced in ten days of Plexiglass and aircraft aluminum for the hinged rings. After a successful test run, Sokolsky was off to Paris to shoot the Spring Collections for Harper’s Bazaar. The challenge was to position a telescopic crane at each location from which the Bubble would be suspended. Using his favorite model at the time, Simone d’Aillencourt, she would get into the Bubble that was suspended a few feet off the ground, (hinged at the top like a Faberge Egg) so that it could easily swing open for entry. After being locked in safely and able to breathe due to the space between the hemispheres; the Bubble was raised into the final position. Sokolsky describes one particular event:

“There were times when this choreographed dance turned into a Laurel and Hardy comedy. The morning we shot on the Seine, the Bubble was lowered overzealously into the water, flooding it up to Simone’s ankles, and in turn ruining an important pair of designer shoes.”

Turning out to be an amazing adventure for him, Sokolsky was praised and congratulated for his unconventional yet triumphant work. He had ignited the world of fashion photography with his innovative style.

View full Flickr set

Shooting Through a Detached Lens.

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Here’s another destructive photographic technique that’ll give you super shallow focus, lovely bokeh and light leaks - take your lens off and shoot while holding it to the camera body.

Commonly referred to as freelensing, it’s essentially a poorman’s tilt-shift, letting you manually adjust the angle of the focal plane by tilting the lens slightly in every direction. It’s also a great way to get dirt and dust on your sensor, so please try this at your own risk. For the unwilling / faint of heart, the safer alternative is to pick up a trusty Lensbaby.

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Photos via Flickr.

Visual History: DTM

Posted by Rory

I usually like to present these posts in a factual tone, but it’s hard for me to be impartial when talking about [the original] DTM. Nowadays they run silhouette cars – merely skinned to resemble production vehicles [ie NASCAR]. Back then, the M3 you bought at the dealer was basically what these guys ran, and the series spawned a lot of my favorite cars. Seeing pictures of the 190e with all four wheels off the tarmac really rustles my jimmies. Enjoy!