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Friday Happy Hour: Laid Off Sun-Times Photographer Details Life After Layoffs

Tumblr and the iPhone were the tools of choice for former Sun-Times photographer Robert Hart, who started this blog to document his life after bein...

Tumblr and the iPhone were the tools of choice for former Sun-Times photographer Robert Hart, who started this blog to document his life after being laid off by the newspaper. We’re also sharing several other photographer’s projects – both new and old – including the endless war in The Congo, the continuing construction on the Panama Canal, and the onset of suburban sprawl in Chicago. Also be sure to read up on LOOK3 (it’s next week!) – and shoot us a note if you’re going to be there!

Laid off from the Sun-Times

Photojournalist Robert Hart was one of 28 photography staff members at the Sun-Times who were abruptly laid off last week after a memo circulated that the newspaper needed to focus more on video content. Interestingly, a second memo was made public that leaked Sun-Times reporters were getting mandatory training on “iPhone photography basics”, suggesting that paper will replace its photography with iPhoneography.

On his new Tumblr site, Laid off from the Sun-Times, Hart writes: “Rob Hart was replaced with a reporter with an iPhone, so he is documenting his new life with an iPhone, but with the eye of a photojournalist trained in storytelling.”

“I thought it was a great way to both mock my situation and celebrate it,” Hart told DP Review. Hart worked for the Sun-Times for 12 years before being laid off. He says that he sees a trend toward self-funded, independent photojournalism. Despite their irony and B&W filter, his photos have a hint of optimism.

Photo by Robert Hart/New home office set up behind dryer. Table supported by old speakers.

Photo by Robert Hart/Unemployment paperwork and cold pizza.

Photo by Robert Hart/Heading down to photograph the picket of the Sun-Times and guess what my fellow riders read?

The perfect Pinterest photo, according to science

Curalate, the only marketing and analytics suite for Pinterest and Instagram, has spent roughly the last year stalking Pinterest and amassing a database of information on the millions of images shared via the platform. Analyzing a sample of 500,000 photos unlocked the secret to the “perfect” Pinterest picture – i.e., what gets shared, liked, and commented on the most. And it’s this picture from cooking show host Paula Deen:

This picture, attached to Paula Deen’s recipe for cucumber, tomato, and onion salad, embodies the characteristics of the ideal popular Pinterest image. It has been repinned 307,000 times.

So what makes this photo that much more shareable than any other? A few things:

1) no human faces – images without faces get repinned 23% more

2) minimal background – keep the background under 40% of the total image area

3) lots of red – predominately red or orange images get twice the repins of predominately blue images

4) moderate light and color – 50% color saturation gets repinned 4 times as often as images with 100% saturation

5) portrait style – images do best in vertical orientation, likely because the service will rescale or crop images that aren’t between a 2:3 and 4:5 aspect ratio

Will this change your Pinterest strategy?

(via Wired)

LOOK3 June 13-15

One of our favorite annual photo festivals is just around the corner. LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph takes place June 13-15 in Charlottesville, Virginia to celebrate the still image and honor this year’s INsight Artists, which include Gregory Crewdson, Tim Laman, Richard Misrach, Martha Rosler, Josef Koudelka, Susan Meiselas, Michael Nichols, and Carrie Mae Weems. This is a unique opportunity to hear these legends speak candidly about their influences, processes, and inspiration.

LOOK3 creates an immersive arts experience accessible to the entire community and its visitors. All exhibits are free and open to the public.

The event also includes special exhibitions and book signings, as well as a community barbecue and nightly slideshow projects of exciting new work. It’s a very special opportunity to connect with fellow photographers and celebrate what we all love about the medium. We guarantee you’ll leave inspired and reinvigorated. And if you’re going to be there, please email – we’ll be on the lookout for fellow PhotoShelter members!

Google Glass gets updated with HDR photography and voice-powered captions

A very select and lucky bunch has been busy playing around with Google Glass, and in keeping with their promise to update the product on the monthly basis, Google has introduced HDR photography and voice-powered captions. HDR mode takes multiple photos in rapid succession and then automatically combines those photos to give you the one with the best brightness levels. You can now also add captions to your photos before sending them out. Simply speak your caption, confirm your words, and off it goes. Check out a few examples of the HDR functionality below. (via TechCrunch)

Podcast with sports photographer Brand Mangin

PhotoShelter member, sports photographer, and Instagrammer extraordinaire Brad Mangin was in New York City last week to, among other things, talk at the SoHo Apple Store about his two new books – Never Say Die and Instant Baseball (which we reviewed here). Brad stopped by The Photo Brigade‘s office to talk with pal Robert Caplin to talk about the business of photography, the importance of retaining one’s copyright, and the recent news of the Chicago Sun Times photo staff being fired. Listen to this enjoyable episode here.

Selfie by Robert Caplin with Brad Mangin

Two minutes with National Geographic Senior Photo Editor Elizabeth Krist

National Geographic Senior Photo Editor Elizabeth Krist took a few minutes to speak with Seshu from Tififnbox to talk about what it takes to get hired by the magazine, where she finds new talent, and what skill set she expects from photographers these days.

Also be sure to view this in-depth webinar PhotoShelter did with Elizabeth last year to get more tips on how photographers can get noticed, pitch stories, and present a comprehensive portfolio.

The Congo’s unending war captured in infared

Photographer Richard Mosse latest film, The Enclave, documents the exceedingly tragic war in The Congo using a very unique methodology – Kodak Aerochrome, which is a rare infrared film originally used by the military to capture camouflage from above. The infrared technology gives him images a particular beauty, which is deeply juxtaposed with the violent subject matter. Mosse created and released a behind-the-scenes video for his film, in which he says: “Often, if you make something that’s derived from human suffering or war, and if you represent that with beauty, it creates an ethical problem in the viewers’ mind,” says Mosse. “And so then they’re confused, and angry, and this is great—because you got them to actually think.”

Mosse will is unveiling The Enclave at the Venice Biennale this week projected on dozens of massive screens within a darkened gallery.

Photo by Richard Mosse

Photo by Richard Mosse

Camera Noir – B&W iPhone photo app

Camera Noir is a simple app for the iPhone that simple app designed specifically for taking black and white shots, with three brightness adjustments, square crop marks for the Instagram lovers, and a horizon line that turns green when you’re level. You can also import photos into the app and then share them via Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere. Does anyone else foresee heavy usage by the Sun-Times? (via Uncrate)

Grant Recipient Andrew Kaufman documents the Panama Canal expansion

PhotoShelter member and travel photographer Andrew Kaufman has been working on a series documenting the Panama Canal expansion since 2004 to showcase what goes into such a mammoth construction project. He was recently named the 2013 Grand Recipient for The New Orleans Photo Alliance’s Michael P. Smith Fund For Documentary Photography. “His commitment and resolve to stay with this difficult and complex project for a number of years in order to provide the rich context to the series that is so necessary for our understanding of his subject is the hallmark of a serious documentary photographer,” wrote one of the jurors. “He balances epic views, graphic and muscular settings and telling human context in a way that is riveting.” See a few of Andrew’s images below.

Photo by Andrew Kaufman/Bahia De Panama is a busy area in front of Panama City. It is filled with fisherman, boat captains and ocean going vessels from a Panga to a Post Panamax.

Photo by Andrew Kaufman/An dump truck drives out of the new lock on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal expansion.

Photo by Andrew Kaufman/A welder with his protective gear. A consortium made up of Spanish construction firm FCC, Mexico’s ICA and Costa Rica’s Meco has won a Panama Canal dry-excavation contract with a $267.8 million bid.

Scott Strazzante’s “Common Ground” juxtaposes farm life taken over by suburbia

Chicago Tribune photojournalist Scott Strazzante has spent the better part of two decades documenting the transition from farm to suburbia in the area outside of Chicago. The project began in 1994 when Strazzante first visited Harlow Cagwin’s farm, which would later be demolished to make way for the onset of suburban sprawl. He photographed the Cagwin family for some 8 years, and then returned once the new subdivision had been built to photograph a suburban family.

Photos by Scott Strazzante

Photos by Scott Strazzante

Photos by Scott Strazzante

About 100 pairings later, it’s time for Strazzante to give his personal project some permanence. His Kickstarter project aims to raise $42,500 to published his book, Common Ground. Strazzante’s project has already graced the pages of he Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine, Mother Jones and National Geographic, and debuted at LOOK3 in 2008. Take a new minutes to view his moving multimedia piece.

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