I wasn’t sure if this new shirt and thermal were going to get printed before the new year, but we were able to get them out this week. The new Black on Black 50/50 American Apparel Tee (pictured above) and cotton AA Thermal are now available at The ISO50 Shop. These are going to drop in the ad on Monday so get them while they’re still around (as always, I’m posting them here on the blog a little early).
On a somewhat related note, I’ve always found it difficult to photograph black objects and this shirt was no different. The contrast between the paint and the shirt is a lot more subtle in real life (and the paint isn’t grey, it’s black), some more accurate pictures are here (taken by the guys at Merchline who have been shooting all the recent model shots for the ISO50 storefront). Apparently I need a gray card because I’m using the same lights as them: The Calumet Quattro (more on that later) and a tungsten Smith/Victor photo flood. The picture above was overexposed for effect, but even when I’m trying to be as color accurate as possible I’m still running into trouble. I was definitely happier with how these shots came out and it’s getting frustrating because I was using the same lighting setup, same exposure settings, and same room to shoot them. Does anybody out there know much about this phenomenon or how to correct it? Any advice would really be appreciated in the comments.
In other news, Alex brought by his Wacom Intuos 6×8 today. I really enjoyed working with it, I’ll be posting on that more tomorrow. Thanks again to everyone who took the time to respond to the Wacom: Which Size? post. It really helped a lot.
Life Magazine and Google have partnered to make over 10 million photos from the Time/Life archive available online. The images are searchable and all available at pretty good resolutions. (Athough probably not quite big enough for print) You could have some fun lifting textures and elements for web stuff I’d bet, the quality is more than enough for the screen. What’s even crazier than scanning 10 million photos is that apparently 95% of the them have never been seen before. The few I posted above were just from a couple minutes of random searching, I can’t imagine what you could turn up with a little effort. Check it all out over at Google Images’ Life Archive page.
After I posted about the Poladroid app some people were asking about a Lomo version of the concept. My friend Erik Pettersson has released a set of photo processing apps for the iPhone which give your digital shots that vintage warmth. There’s a Vint Red, Green and B&W plugin, each treating the colors a bit differently. My favorite is the Green, it definitely gives you that low ISO Lomo feel complete with vignetting. More examples are available on Erik’s Flickr.You can download the Vint plugins from the iTunes store or on your iPhone, one is free, the other two are $1 each.
Erik also sent the photo below he says he found at his parent’s house and which was the inspiration for the plugins. Everything looked cooler in the 70’s in Sweden.
Poladroid is a new app that filters and effects your photos to make them look like, you guessed it, Polaroids. I would normally file something like this under gimmick and move on but I can’t help but appreciate the vignetting and color shift that the app lends to your digital photos, for an automatic filter it’s actually not that bad. Unfortunately it looks like you have to put up with the pretty fake looking border and drop shadow to get at that color shifting goodness, but it’s free so I can’t really complain. Check it out it at Poladroid’s site. All photos from Poladroid Flickr Group.
Sorry for the lack of posts this week (thanks Jakub for holding it down), I got back from Florida on monday and have been playing catch-up ever since. I flew Tampa -> Atlanta -> SFO so it was a rather grueling trip as I basically got there, played the show, then turned around and flew home. Thanks to everyone who came out to the show; it was great meeting you all and talking. I also want to apologize for the technical issues. I’m not quite sure what the cause was, but the power on stage was intermittently going out and dropping the sound system, luckily it only went out once during my particular set.
The visual highlight of the trip (aside from the sunset the night of the show which I didn’t have my camera around the catch) was the typography in the Tampa Airport. All of the signage was set in my personal favorite: Trade Gothic LT Std Bold Extended (and look at that logo!). Unfortunately, I dropped my D80 before the trip somewhat crippling it so I wasn’t able to get very good shots. I took a ton and most came out blurry or underexposed. Thankfully, Nikon has a great repair program (which I’ve used many times in the past) which is relatively cheap and quick. So I’ll just have to find a week or so when I can do without my camera and send it in. Or just upgrade…. But given that I just made another major upgrade (more on that tomorrow), I think I need to hold off a while longer on getting a new DLSR.
On a side note: A design student at the show gave me his card (the one with bears on it). I said I’d check the site but when I got home I couldn’t find the card anywhere. If you gave that to me, please drop me the link so I can check it.
I happened on this article a while back and its message has always stuck with me (although I still obsess over new camera gear). But even a self-confessed gear addict can admit there are some pretty interesting points in there. The article by Ken Rockwell details his theory that you can achieve the results you want with a $150 camera or a $5000 camera, it’s just about understanding and working with the equipment. I don’t agree with everything he has to say, but it’s a good read for anyone lusting after some of the new, and ridiculously expensive, DSLRs popping up. And if you need proof of Rockwell’s claim that “a great photographer can take great pictures with a disposable”, look no further than Flickr where a simple search will yield some really amazing shots, all taken with disposables. A couple of my favorites are here and here. Also worth a read is Rockwell’s “$150 Camera vs. $5000 Camera” article.
I guess at the end of the day you’re really just paying for features when you buy a high end camera body. Easy access to settings, quicker focus, faster shots: it all adds up to an easier to use camera that allows you to get the shots when they present themselves. I remember my old Nikon CP 8800 fondly, it took great photos, but it was a total pain to use and I can’t even count the number of great shots I missed waiting for that thing to focus or write to the memory card (it took forever to do both).
Anthony Kurtz is a San Francisco based photographer who’s work I just recently stumbled upon. The second I saw his essay on India by train I was hooked. Anthony’s images manage to tread lightly into the world of HDR without stepping over that razor thin line into the overdone, hypersaturated cheeziness that plagues so many other high dynamic range photographer’s work. I love his palette and sense of atmosphere, the images feel modern and nostalgic at the same time. The simplicity and practicality of digital photography has led me astray from film so it’s nice to see someone like Anthony making digital feel so warm and vibrant (I am assuming these are digital, they have that processed digital vibe, but they could very well be film). There’s plenty more to see at his portfolio.