Round Up Week of May 12

The Producer’s picks for this week’s news relevant to the photography, art, design and production industries:


1) How a 19th-Century Photographic Technique Erased a Māori Tradition

Michael Bradley’s photograph of Gary Shane Te Ruki as part of his  Puaki  series, wet plate and digital photographs (courtesy of the artist)

Michael Bradley’s photograph of Gary Shane Te Ruki as part of his Puaki series, wet plate and digital photographs (courtesy of the artist)

A new project has resurfaced the near-obsolete technique of wet plate photography, while also bringing to light the ways in which this documentarian medium erased Indigenous culture in New Zealand.

After spending four years mastering wet plate photography (also called the collodion process), Michael Bradley has employed the medium for a portrait project titled Puaki, which means “to come forth, show itself, open out, emerge, reveal, to give testimony” in the Māori language, according to the artist’s website.

When European colonizers arrived in the 19th century, they documented the area’s Indigenous inhabitants, but the collodion process served to erase prominent markings known as tā moko, a centuries-old form of tattooing performed by the Māori people. In the wet plate photographs, Tā moko would barely show up.

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2) Shimoda Releases Shoulder Strap Line Especially Designed for Female Adventure Photographers

If you’re a female outdoor photographer struggling with the ill-fitting straps of your camera bag, this new shoulder strap line by Shimoda is certainly for you. 

If you’re a female outdoor photographer struggling with the ill-fitting straps of your camera bag, this new shoulder strap line by Shimoda is certainly for you. 

While photographers today have virtually unlimited options when it comes to camera bags, choices especially designed for women are few and far between. However, this new offering could change that. Adventure camera bag company Shimoda Designs has recently launched their new Women’s Shoulder Strap line, custom-tailored specifically for female adventure photographers.

The Women’s Shoulder Strap line is comprised of three straps: the Simple Strap – PetitSimple Strap – Standard, and the Tech Strap Standard. All three are constructed around pressure points across the chest and under the arm to provide a secure and comfortable fit. As all Shimoda backpacks have an interchangeable shoulder strap system, these new straps will allow female photographers to custom-fit their camera backpacks to their body shape.

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3) The Phoblographer Wants the Female Perspective for New Projects

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The Phoblographer next ideal candidates for our open positions will have the female perspective. One is a columnist and the other is a video producer. We’re currently accepting applications.

Weekly Columnist: The Phoblographer is specifically looking for a female perspective with knowledge and opinions that can be backed up by facts about all aspects of the photography industry. From the tech world to the art world, we’d love to bring on either an American or internationally based woman to speak her mind once a week.

Video Producer: The Phoblographer is working on a completely different approach to the video world. We’re not doing tutorials or photographer interviews. Instead, you’re going to work on putting together stories.

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4) A Daughter’s Portrait of Her Mother Through Dementia

Dementia is often ugly, stressful, and isolating; for the photographer Cheryle St. Onge, taking pictures of her mother is a way of expressing happiness, connection, and love.

Dementia is often ugly, stressful, and isolating; for the photographer Cheryle St. Onge, taking pictures of her mother is a way of expressing happiness, connection, and love.

The photographer Cheryle St. Onge is an only child. Her father was a physics professor and researcher; her mother, Carole, was a painter. “I had a truly magical childhood,” St. Onge told me recently. She grew up on university campuses, in Michigan, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, going on sailing trips and nature walks with her parents. St. Onge’s photos, which often celebrate the natural world, pay tribute to that inheritance. “It was a mix of science, authenticity, and curiosity,” she said. “I think that’s the nature of life for me.”

St. Onge’s father died in a car accident when he was thirty-nine. Carole never remarried. She’s eighty now. For the past twenty years, she has lived in an apartment connected to a house, in Durham, New Hampshire, that St. Onge shares with her husband, and where she raised her three children. Five or so years ago, Carole was diagnosed with vascular dementia. “She started to have memory issues, and was very aware of it,” St. Onge, who is fifty-eight, said. “It wasn’t a big deal. She was very self-effacing. She’d tell people, ‘God, I’m losing my mind.’ ” Soon, though, Carole’s memory began to slip away entirely. St. Onge left teaching jobs that required her to commute and found one closer to home so that she could care for her mother. It was a painful time, not least because St. Onge found herself too exhausted and depressed to work on photography. Friends whom she relied on for advice and support urged her to take pictures that dealt with what she and her mother were going through at home, but, for a long time, the idea seemed “unconscionable” to her.

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5) American Photography Open 2019: Highlights From The Judges

Is it time for you to enter the American Photography 2019 Open competition?

“Eagle Stand-Off,” by Sandi Little

“Eagle Stand-Off,” by Sandi Little

Month two of the contest brought in hundreds of entries from around the world, and today we present three that got thumbs up from our judges — a smashing nighttime photo of a famous bridge in China, a shot of two bald eagles quarreling over a lunch, and a very juicy image of some fruit that will have you seeing orange.

Of course, these are not the only images from April that delighted the judges, and at this point we can’t say whether they will end up among the contest’s finalists. (The final deadline is August 31.) The competition is open to images made by photographers at any level using any kind of equipment, from DSLRs and mirrorless cameras to smartphones. Finalists will have their work spotlighted in a variety of online venues and at a photo industry event in New York City. They will also pick up some very nice prizes from our partners.

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6) Kickstart Your Creativity with These TED Talks

Out of fresh ideas? These inspiring talks offer the kick-in-the-pants you need to unleash your creative spirit.

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