About this Blog

Photo Writing is the web version of the Photo Writing mini-magazine produced by Limephoto and Emil von Maltitz since 2010. As of 2015 it is now completely online. Feel free to browse through the articles and please leave comments in the comments section if you would like to engage with us.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A New Age?

In the latter half of January Sports Illustrated (The American magazine) laid off the last of its staff photographers. Perhaps the correct term should be retrenched which has less of the media hysteria that accompanies ‘fired’ or ‘laid-off’. Still, the fact remains that the premiere photographic sports magazine no longer has full time staff photographers. Rather, in an effort to cut costs, they have announced that they will continue to publish first class imagery, but that it will be provided by freelance photographers and wire services (such as Getty Images).

The announcement brings with it a certain sense of deja vu as we cast our minds back to the laying off of all the photographic staff from the Chicago Sun Times in early 2013 (28 staffers lost their jobs in one blow). The Sports Illustrated and Chicago Sun Times are perhaps two of the more prominent magazines to make such cuts, but they are not the only ones. In America USA Today and the Daily News have also undergone massive layoffs. Still in the US, visual professionals have experienced a 43 percent decrease in jobs since 2000.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Composing The Dunes Timelapse

Putting together a timelapse is a long and exhausting process. Shooting is really only the first part of a multi-step workflow that requires hour upon upon hour behind a computer monitor as you slowly stitch together scenes to make up a coherent whole. That said, it's an immense amount of fun and one of the most interesting ways to capture a scene. During last year's Composing The Dunes Workshop I shot several timelapse sequences with the aim of putting together a video of the locations that we visited. This video is the result of that: https://vimeo.com/119947394. 


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tonal Blending 101 in Photoshop

For several years HDR, or High Dynamic Range imagery, has sparked a huge amount of interest among photographers. The style came to be popular as a combination of the apparent ease of being able to merge different exposures in Photoshop along with the actual need to merge images due to the limited range of tones that a digital camera could record in a single exposure. Fast forward to 2015 and not only are digital cameras far, far more capable or recording huge amounts of tonal depth (bordering on what our eyes can see with certain cameras), but the actual style is no longer de rigour and the tastes of viewers has moved back to a more natural depiction, or at the very least representation, of the scene. Now photographers try to distinguish their work from HDR and its gaudy colours and hyper-sharpness/clarity by referring to tonal blending.

Here is an easy way to blend two exposures in Photoshop so that they depict a more natural rendition of tones than the automated software that tone maps and produces a 32-bit image for rendering as an HDR.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Moody Macros - February Drakensberg Workshop

I get so wrapped up in landscape photography that I sometimes forget that I actually started photography as a pre-teen so that I could photograph small things. Things that moved ;). So, on this last trip to the Drakensberg with a group of very keen photographers from the African Impact project that I work with, I found myself playing again with macro. Not just trying to photograph things, but specifically to try a particular technique that can heighten mood in the image.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

So You Wanna Go Pro?

Model portfolio shoot for Natascha

Although I am writing this article as a photographer, it applies to any vocational change where we have to consider whether turning our passion into a job makes sense. Obviously for some, making sense doesn’t matter, but for many others it’s a ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ call. You either shudder and turn your interest towards a different (possibly more lucrative) outlet, or you rub your hands together and say ‘right, let’s do this thing!’ I did the latter, but made some serious mistakes along the way, the first of which had to do with cash. So, let’s take a quick look at finances in that case.