Saturday, March 31, 2012


Hey, you know, before we get all serious like, let's have some silly fun!



One of the biggest stories in the news over the past month has been the controversy surrounding the shooting of Trayvon MartinPoynter has published an article that examines how the media has used photography to portray Trayvon Martin, the victim, and George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who shot and killed him.
The dominant photo of Martin shows him 13 or 14 years old, wearing a red Hollister T-shirt. Other photos, none of them recent, depict a young Martin in a youth football uniform, holding a baby and posing with a snowboard. He is the picture of innocence.
The most common photo of Zimmerman is a 2005 police mugshot. He is 22 in the photo, which was taken after he was arrested for assaulting an officer. (The charges were dropped.) He looks unhappy, if not angry.
The contrast — the two photos are often published side by side — has led to criticism that news media have tilted the story in favor of the 17-year-old victim and against the 28-year-old man who shot him.
The iconic photos of Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman & why you may not see the others [Poynter]

Basically, it is all yellow journalism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_journalism

Friday, March 30, 2012

My best shot: The one that got away

My best shot: The one that got away

Photographers are generally proud to show off their best shots, but what about their worst? Jane Bown, Martin Parr, Terry O'Neill and others reveal all.

I had an idea that all our leaders are presented to us through a veil of propaganda. I went to see Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the UN, and said I wanted to show our leaders up close and personal. In 2009 I was given unprecedented access.
I shot around 110 world leaders and, fortunately, there were no technical mistakes. Ahmadinejad was the biggest surprise. On the first day, he made one of the most controversial speeches ever given at the UN, and a large proportion of the auditorium walked out. As he left the stage his supporters swarmed him, patting his back and shaking his hand. There were about 150 people pulling him in different directions. I elbowed my way into the middle of the scrum, grabbed both his hands, looked into his eyes and said, "Come with me, I am going to take your picture." As I gently pulled his hands, miraculously he started to follow me to my studio.
I was expecting to get that dictatorial menace he had shown in his speech. But he suddenly realised that, not only was he about to sit for the most intimate portrait of him ever, the crowd was also watching. They were all cheering; he lost his composure for a second and started to laugh. What I got was him trying to regain his composure. It's the most sinister leer I've caught on film.
It was a missed opportunity, in the sense that he was trying to gather himself and deal with the embarrassment of performing in front of all those people. On the other hand, it gave me something I would never have expected. No one thinks of Ahmadinejad as a man with a hint of a smile.
Link to full story.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Assignment Earth: Entangled sea lions

Off Alaska's coast, new research shows how entangling fishing gear and trash cause devastating consequences for Steller sea lions. (Video: Assignment Earth) Sea Lions Sea lions are marine mammals belonging to the superfamily pinniped (which includes seals and walruses) and the family otariiade (made up of mostly fur seals). Sea lions are often difficult to tell apart from a seal given that both have the same sleek build and flippers that are ideal for swimming. But like all members of the otariiade family, sea lions are identifiable by the ear flap around their ears (seals just have tiny holes that serve as their ears). The sea lions live on rocky land or floating ice, always near water where they do their hunting for fish. They’re a noisy bunch, barking and roaring at one another, but it help them, particularly the pups, differentiate one from another. Natural swimmers, sea lions are able to stay underwater for up to 40 minutes and can swim up to 25 miles per hour, a useful trait when they’re attempting to evade orcas and sharks. Most species of sea lions – there are six – have relatively stable populations or reside in protected areas, like the Galapagos sea lion. Other, notably the Californian and Steller sea lions, are endangered or threatened.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Online Photography Testing Center.

I was reading a review of the Canon PowerShot G1 X and I guess I was surprised to see it in the $800.00 US range for an essentially, point and shoot camera.

I use SLR's, multi lens cameras and high-end equipment, and frankly, some of it over my head!
It made me think, is there a way an individual could test themselves to see where they think they are in understanding the fundamentals of photography.
I did find a nice blog that offers a beginner and advanced test, score it and based on your score, let you know where you stand and probably let you know what cameras to consider. So, let's check these out:

Interpreting your results

  • Score = 25: Perfection! Time to move on to the Advanced Exam!! You probably know as much about cameras and photography as I do (if not more!). Congratulations! Send me an email or stop over at the main blog page here to share your thoughts and your score!
  • Score = 23-24: You are at 90% or better. You probaby have some ideas for additional questions! Email me here to make any suggestions or recommendations for improving the quality of this test!
  • Score = 20-22: Wow, you're pretty good! Still above average at 80-89% I bet you have some ideas too on additional questions or subject content to include. If you want, check out some of the resources I am including below as reference items. I find these helpful all the time!
  • Score = 17-19: Ahem...well, you've got a handle on some of the concepts, but coming from the school of hard knocks, anything below 75 is considered borderline, which means you might want to improve on the stuff presented here before hanging out a shingle.
  • Score = 15-16: I know...a D in school still gets you quality points toward graduation, but in the real world, it won't get you hired. Start visiting the links below regularly, and come back in a week or so! You'd be surprised what you can learn in just a week...but thanks for stopping in.
  • Score = 14 or less: I know it seems like no fun, but some of this technical stuff is actually really important in understanding things like lighting, composition, and such. Sure, as the old saying goes, "rules are made to be broken", but first you have to know the rules. Get yourself a $20 subscription to a photography magazine or two. Clip and store them for easy quick access and re-reading. (I still do this!) Visit and register in a few online forums - there are some great ones out there that are free and most people are willing to help you pick up the basics. Thanks for stopping in though and taking the online photo test! Stop back in again soon, and try again - you can only get better with time!
How did I do? Please don't ask. I remember when I first started buying equipment I also took classes at a local Junior College. What amazed me was the money spent on awesome equipment by other students...first time shooters with Canon 5D MARK ll's, Christmas gifts from "Hubby".
Anyway, have a little fun and see where your at. Oh, just a kind reminder, if you spend a lot on a camera, don't take it on the Vacation (what Vacation in this economy), use the cheap point and shoot.

You can try the Advanced Test by clicking here, or return to the main blog page, by clicking here.

Thanks for stopping in and hope to see you come back again soon!

Monday, March 26, 2012


Photographer Patrick Lindsay shot this beautiful photograph of gumballs seen through water drops. It’s similar to the MC Escher water drop photo we shared a while ago, but is much easier to create since the drops of water aren’t moving in this photo.

Here’s the setup Lindsay used:

The camera was a Canon Rebel XTi with a 100mm f/2.8 macro lens attached. He used a single Alienbee B800 for lighting along with a shoot-through umbrella. Here’s his secret on how he gets the water drops to collect into beads:
I used RainX to make the water bead up and to create the drops I use a spray bottle set to very fine mist and let the drops slowly get bigger with each spray until I reached the drops were the size I wanted.
Here’s another photo that features M&Ms:

Now that you know how to capture things in drops of water, go shoot some colorful photos!
(via My Modern Met)

I (RICK MILLER) want to add that I gave the bubble shots more color via IPHOTO. I put the shots in edit,
clicked enhance in quick fix then went to effects and BOOSTED (as you see fit)...that's it.

Oh, yes, please ref. my blog: http://comprehensivephotography.blogspot.com/2012/03/canon-ef-s-17-85mm-lens.html
on above equipment.