Last week, the Wellcome Collection announced the winners of its 12th annual image awards, recognizing the “most informative, striking and technically excellent” pictures from the collection’s recent acquisitions.
The winners—capturing everything from the division of cancer cells to the crystalline structure of caffeine—demonstrate how such techniques as microscopy can be used not only to enhance our understanding of chemicals and organisms but to create truly awe-inspiring images.
These images, taken by the young Swedish photographer Sannah Kvist, seem to bear that out—snapshots of Millennials surrounded by all of their worldly possessions, which generally occupy no more than the corner of a room. The “All I Own” series stems from Kvist’s personal struggle with consumerism: “I had lived for 23 years when I took the photo of me and everything I owned and thought it was a sad collection of junk I’ve managed to buy,” she tells Co.Design. Similarly, the friends and acquaintances she has photographed since then have been amazed by “how much shit they actually owned.” (If you’ve moved recently, you’re probably familiar with that feeling.) “I think most people actually got an eye-opener when they built the piles.”
Celebrated photographer Nadav Kander has taken portraits of everyone from President Obama to Ricky Gervais and has also turned his eye toward directing. Here he talks to Co.Create about the art of simplicity, authenticity, and leaving things unseen.
A Light Field Camera Tutorial From Lytro Director Of Photography Eric Cheng:
Use the blur on the rear LCD to determine how much refocus you will have in your resulting living picture. You want what would have been a shallow depth of field in a traditional camera. No blur on the LCD = no refocus in your living picture.
Bracket by moving: move in and out to both push the limits of refocus and to ensure that you have a sharply refocusable final picture.
Bracket by zooming: if you are pushing the limits of refocus, zoom out (in Everyday mode) to take a “safe shot.”
Today Hipstamatic will launch Snap, a free monthly culture and lifestyle magazine for the iPad featuring original editorial content and, naturally, gorgeous spreads of Hipstamatic photos. Snap reads like a traditional magazine: Eight sections (with names like “Cultured” and “Obsessed”) detail the hippest in music, fashion, food, and travel, gussied up with plenty of large and lush photographs. But more than a magazine, it’s also a clever pull for new Hipstamatic users, who CEO Lucas Buick tells Fast Company he draws in by capitalizing on a concept called FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out, for the misanthropes).
“Everyone wants to know why your friend’s photos are better than yours,” Buick says. “That gives us another opportunity to highlight our users. And when we highlight any of our users, they become evangelists for life.”
The most challenging thing about a live shoot is that the artist is under no control whatsoever. It’s totally an ad lib situation. It’s important to be as inoffensive as possible when trying to shoot the artist—that way they’ll cooperate with you. One of the tricks I’ve done over the years is to wear the same hat for every concert. What happens is that everybody sees the black beret and they know it’s me. Then they come over and play almost directly to me sometimes. It was sort of a trick I learned early on to orient an artist to who I am if there are a lot of photographers shooting at the same time.
Rock and roll photography veteran Robert Knight talks to Co.Create about shooting music legends from Led Zeppelin to Slash, what you need to know before attempting to shoot a rock star, and how to ditch Instagram and get real.
“Wouter van Buuren is not only a photographer, he is also an acrobat.” That’s how one art gallery describes, perhaps too mildly, the 39-year-old Dutch photographer who scales utility poles, tip-toes across bridges, and climbs out the windows of skyscrapers to capture breathtaking vistas of cities and rural landscapes from the top of the man-made world.
Photography’s renaissance rests on a few unbeatable advantages. Compared to other kinds of content—songs and movies—photos are, technically and legally, much easier to share and mash up. If you come up with a great, unexpected new site centered on TV shows, you need to get huge servers and pay for expensive bandwidth and licensing deals. If you’ve got a fantastic new take on photos, often all you need is an app. That app lives on a smartphone, which is the world’s most popular point-and-shoot camera. For the first time, cameras are connected to the Internet, they know who your friends are, they know where you are, and they can be constantly updated with new powers. The camera is powerful (Apple’s iPhone 4S is 8 megapixels) and intelligent, and the pictures keep getting more interesting.