Living a dream as a photographer & filmmaker

Famous Photographers (by Michael Russel)

Thinking of joining the ranks of the greatest photographers of all time? Well, it might be a good idea to check out a few of them and the works they've done so you know just what it is you're up against.

Probably one of the most famous photographers of all time was Ansel Adams. Adams was born In San Francisco California in 1902. He lived in Carmel until he died in 1984. His most popular photo was titled "Moonrise Over Hernandez, 1944". This is a breathtaking photo showing a beautiful night view and the small town below it. Other famous photos by Adams were "Clearing Winter Storm" and "Winter Sunrise". Adams did a lot of outdoor photography with some breathtaking views. His most popular photo has about 1000 copies in print. The price range of these photos, depending on condition goes from $5,000 to $175,000 if you can find one.

Moving from outdoor photography of landscapes to nude women on beaches we have the works of Jock Sturges. Sturges was born in the big city of New York in the year 1947. He currently lives in Seattle, Washington. His most popular images, all of beach nudes, are "Misty Dawn 1991" and "Northern California, 1991". His prints range in price from $1,000 to $3,000. His most expensive print sold for $4,000.

Herman Leonard was known for taking great photographs of jazz legends. He was born in Allentown, PA in 1923. He currently lives and works in New Orleans. His most popular images are photos of great jazz legends Dexter Gordon, Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday. Herman Leonard was one of the more active photographers even when not working at his craft. He often traveled with great entertainers like Marlon Brando, who he hung out with in 1954. His photos range in price from $950 to $5,500.

Another great photographer was Irving Penn who was born in Plainfield, NJ in 1917. Penn was actually known for a number of different styles of photography including fashion photography and provocative life style portraits. His most famous work was "Cuzco Children" which sold for as much as $175,000 at the turn of the century. Penn worked for some of the most popular magazines of our time including Harper's Bazaar, Saks Fifth Avenue and Vogue Magazine.

Another great photographer, who most people have actually heard of, was the one and only Helmut Newton, who just recently passed away in 2004. He was most known for photos involving fashion and nudes illustrating themes of mass media, glamour, sex and theater. Newton's work was often categorized as bizarre. He was once quoted as saying "My job as a portrait photographer is to seduce, amuse and entertain". He most certainly did that better than just about anyone else. His most popular image is "Sie Kommen I, II". His photographs are in such demand that some go for as much as $400,000 each.

The list of famous photographers goes on, literally forever. So if you are thinking of joining the ranks of these greats and many others, then you're going to have to work hard at your craft.

Very, very hard.

Michael Russell - Your Independent guide to Photography

Article Source:

The 5 Deadly Sins of Photoshop Compositing (by Sean Baylis)

This is not an actual Photoshop screenshot.  Used here for design purpose onlyPhotoshop is a wonderful program that allows you to edit a photograph in as many ways as you can imagine. It allows you to control every aspect of a photograph and gives you editing tools that a traditional photographer could only dream about. With this wide range of editing and compositing tools comes the ability to create fantastic works of art. With the rise in popularity of photography and personal computers, the door has been thrown open, now anyone with a half decent PC and a few spare dollars to buy PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS can and are calling themselves RETOUCHERS.

In the hands of a skilled user Photoshop can produce awe inspiring work; in the hands of a novice it can produce images of extremely poor quality. Unfortunately, as the popularity of the program grows and people become more and more exposed to these poor images, this lack of quality is becoming accepted as the norm. Here are the things to watch for when creating Photoshop compositions:

1) Feathered edges. When you make a selection, using the dancing ants around an area you wish to move, change, colour or otherwise edit, you have to feather the edge by at least 2-3 pixels (depending on the resolution of your image), in order to avoid the jagged edges we so often see in photo montages. Feathering creates a soft edge that blends the area of the selection with the area it abuts. Feathering an edge by a high value is also a useful way to fade out a selection.

2) Correct Perspective. If you have one element in an image that has a different geometrical perspective that does not match the rest of the image the whole image will look odd. A viewer will generally not know what is specifically wrong with the image, they will just know that it looks odd and generally undesirable. This is generally seen in buildings or cars that have been composited in from other images and not had their perspective adjusted to match the greater image as a whole. This would happen if two images shot at different focal lengths were then combined. An image from a 28mm lens combined with an image from a 200mm lens will need perspective adjustment to look right.

3) Correct Depth of Field. Images that have one object or area in focus and then behind that an object out of focus, and then behind that another object in focus will look very odd and be completely unbelievable. Like perspective, combining images shot with differing depth of field will require you to adjust the focus of the elements to correct the Depth of Field. One draw back, while it is possible to soften objects to make them appear out of focus or have short depth of field, it is next to impossible to sharpen soft objects to make them appear to be in focus. Depth of Field problems are one of the most common mistakes made in Photoshop compositions.

4) Direction of Light. When montaging images it is important to combine images shot with the same lighting conditions. The play of light on an object creates a series of shadows that have a specific directional play depending on where the light source was in relation to the object. If you montage together two images with differing light sources the image will look unreal and undesirable.

5) Colour cast. All images have a colour cast otherwise know as WHITE BALANCE, this is the HUE of the white areas. Also know as the colour temperature of an image. Be careful to adjust the colour cast of montaged images so that the white areas look the same, doing otherwise will render your images unreal and undesirable.

The human eye has an amazing ability to spot subtle changes in what it considers normal. Stare at a picture of a pink banana, after a short while the banana will start to appear yellow, but you will still have the feeling that something is not right. This also applies equally to Colour, Focus, Perspective and Light Direction. When creating montage images in Photoshop it is important to watch for mistakes in these areas as you will want to have your images look as real as possible and thus as desirable or aesthetically pleasing as possible. I have seen far too many images used in big advertising campaigns with blatant disregard for these basic principles. Done right Photoshop can create compelling compositions; done wrong and it just looks, well… wrong!

Sean David Baylis is a professional photographer who has been using the popular photo editing program Adobe Photoshop since 1994 version 2.5. He is considered by many an expert user and is called on to retouch major national ad campaigns and art books in addition to his own commercial and editorial work. Examples of Sean’s work can be seen at

Article Source: