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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

EARLY-1900s RUSSIAN COLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

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Between 1909 and 1915, Russian photographer/chemist Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii traveled across his homeland, using the relatively new technology of color photography to document what he saw. Outfitting a private train car with his own dark room equipment, Prokudin-Gorskii captured landscapes, buildings, and people in a series of breathtaking images. Given the rarity of vibrant color photography from this era, Prokudin-Gorskii’s work is all the more striking: Without sepia tones’ time-distancing effects, the characters in these images feel right there, full of stories of a bygone era and a diverse, colorful culture on the brink of revolution.

Posted by: Todd Goldstein // Twitter: @armsongs

Roloff Beny: India

Roloff Beny - India
Roloff Beny - India
Roloff Beny - India
Roloff Beny - India
Roloff Beny - India
Roloff Beny - India
Roloff Beny - India
Roloff Beny - India
Roloff Beny - India
Roloff Beny - India
Roloff Beny - India

In terms of digital reproductions, there really isn’t much of Roloff Beny’s work online. So when I came across this Wine & Bowties post with gorgeous scans of Roloff Beny’s work in India from 1969, you bet I was totally stoked! (note: There are more images on their blog, so follow the link posted above)

From the write-up:

“…Beny was a world traveler, and India is one of a number of his works which could effectively be described as a love letter to the place it documents. One of the most impressive examples of his eye for color, scenery and natural beauty, India finds Beny exploring a place with no shortage of gorgeous landscapes, architecture, and rich culture. In some ways, these images read like an idyllic Westerner’s portrait, an aesthetically idealized version of a complex place…”

Posted by: Owen Perry | Instagram: @circa_1983

ASGER CARLSEN: HESTER

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The fantastical black-and-white nudes of Asger Carlsen‘s Hester series are nothing if not provocative. The NY-based artist works in limbs and lumps, torsos and bulges, constructing figures that are human and yet not quite, and “shooting” them in gritty greytones. The resulting images are alternately grotesque, graceful, and thought-provoking. If you can suppress your gag reflex long enough, Carlsen’s deformed forms possess a strange beauty, and an unblinking skepticism about photography’s capacity for realism.

Posted by: Todd Goldstein | Twitter: @armsongs

Scenes from Death Valley

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Had a chance to explore in and around Death Valley last week with my new favorite lens, Canon’s 24mm F1.4. Stumbled upon a few ghost towns, countless abandoned mines, including one that a migrant had used as a shelter, and even Charlie Manson’s old getaway truck, still preserved in the one of the driest climates on earth. What’s nice about this particular 24mm prime is how it’s fast as it is wide, which makes it great for shallow depth of field in landscape photos, and a perfect tool for capturing shots indoors, in tight places.

Roloff Beny

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Complete Set of Photos Here

During the holidays I stopped in at a used book store and came across a wonderful photography book by Canadian artist, Roloff Beny. ‘To Every Thing There is a Season: Roloff Beny in Canada’ is a photographic essay exploring Canada during the 1960′s. The book contains poems, landscapes, portraits, architecture, and graphic design that is visionary for the time it was printed. Like a Boards of Canada album, the book puts my mind in a cozy, nostalgic place.

A little research reveals that the book was the official Canadian gift to visiting heads of state during the country’s 1967 centennial year. He’s also authored a number of other acclaimed photography books I’m hoping to pick-up in the near future.

Beny’s work is included in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario. In 1971, he was made an officer of The Order of Canada. In 1984, at the age of 60, Beny passed away from a heart attack in his Roman studio overlooking the Tiber.

You can view a more complete set of photos in this FLICKR SET I put together.

Posted by: Owen Perry | Instagram: @circa_1983