TIME's The Year in Pictures

As 2009 nears its end, Time magazine has debuted their Year in Pictures issue. I have selected ten images to share below. To see a slideshow of the remaining images click here -----> The Year in Pictures.

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama waits backstage, moments before taking the oath of office.

Long Range Acquisition Sight, a thermal-imaging device, is used to watch for Taliban activity in Wardak province, Afghanistan

A thermal scanner shows the heat signatures of passengers arriving at Seoul's Incheon Airport. Such devices were deployed in the spring to help prevent the spread of swine flu.

Passengers wait on the wings of US Airways Flight 1549, an Airbus 320 that was safely ditched in the Hudson River after a flock of birds knocked out both its engines.
A mourner awaits the start of a tribute to Michael Jackson at the Apollo Theater in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City on June 30.

The planet Saturn is captured in a photograph taken by the Cassini orbiter.

Photographer Kate Westaway went underwater to take this image of a humpback whale calf off the coast of Turks and Caicos.

The tattoo on this soldier's back spells kafir, the Arabic word for infidel. He is a member of the 10th Mountain Division, serving in Wardak province, Afghanistan.

Soldiers of the U.S. Army 1st Battalion take defensive positions at fire base Restrepo after receiving fire from Taliban positions in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley. Specialist Zachary Boyd, left, of Fort Worth, Texas, rushed from his sleeping quarters to join his fellow platoon members.

Thousands of people on the quad at the University of Colorado in Boulder exhale marijuana at 4:20 p.m. on April 20, an annual ritual marking the drug's unofficial national holiday.


Worldwide photo shoot turns camera on those often overlooked
by Susan Candiotti and Ross Levitt, CNN


5 Sites...

I've been browsing through lots of great websites this week and I was having a difficult narrowing down which one to post....so, I decided to post them all! Not a lot of information about each one...just enough to hopefully stir some excitement about learning more! Be sure to click on the links....there are plenty this time!

Neon Boneyard by Pam Sattler, images taken at the Neon Museum in Las Vegas. To see more of Pam's Boneyard images, click here to see the full set!

"I was spending the fourth of July back in Nebraska, in the farmhouse where I grew up, and there were more fireflies that summer than I'd ever seen. I went out to the dirt road behind the house and shot this using a long exposure, just after sunset."

National Geographic's International Photography Contest 2009 winners have been announced! The image above (Rachel Blaser, Nebraska) was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Places category. To see the rest of the winners (and winners from the last two years) click -----> here!

"The first in a series of photographs exploring and called the colour of music. This series purely looks at the colour of the record sleeves grouping all records by colour alone. In this way the genres of music were mixed with techno standing next to hiphop next to rock next to house and so on. The resulting photographs create a rhythm of colour, light and shade through an unseen collection of music. All photos are untreated showing only the natural colours of the records." - George Benson

To see the rest of Benson's Colour of Music series click -----> here!

Extreme macro photography by Thomas Shahan! See more of Shahan's images on his Flickr Photostream.....or, view Shahan's images using Fluidr!!

The Best Camera is "an inspirational 3-part 'ecosystem' created by world-renowned photographer, Chase Jarvis." Jarvis' ecosystem includes a book of images shot entirely with an iPhone, an online community made of live iPhone images from around the world, and an awesome iPhone app that includes 14(!) filters that can be used individually or stacked together to create one-of-a-kind images that can be instantly uploaded to the site. "You can see the images pouring into the photostream and click on any image to see who shot the photo and what filters they used to create their 'look'."


New Work: Photography 1 (Part II)

WOW! The beginning photography students are really pouring it on this semester! They have been producing some really exquisite images and I am pleased to show off a new batch of photographs. Enjoy!!

Megan A., sophomore

Tommy B., senior

Emily D., junior

Kelsey H., sophomore

Heather I., sophomore

Melissa K., senior

Fatima O., junior

Chris S., senior

Anna W., junior


Shooting Challenge: Slow Shutter

Gizmodo.com posted the results of the Slow Shutter Challenge last week on their website. Want to view some really cool photography? Then check out all 74 Mesmerizing Slow Shutter Shots! (I've posted three below along with the photographer's backstory on each photo.)

Taken driving down I5 from Portland, Oregon to Corvallis, Oregon.
Camera: 500D w/ Tokina 11-17mm F2.8; 5 sec shutter; ISO 400
- Scott Burback

Smoke Signal was taken with an Olympus sp350 set to night scene.
This was taken with a color changing LED rave light about six inches long
by 1/2 inch wide that I wrapped with electrical tape to create a candy cane stripe. I placed the light
on my record turn table at a slow RPM and swiped the camera
vertically to create the spinning stripe.
- Brad Bogle

It takes realized with a Nikon D300, lens Sigma 18-250,
takes at low speed with a leds lantern. ISO: 100; 18 mm; f: 8; v: 30'
- Diego Haristoy

Also view more Shooting Challenges at Gizmodo.com:
20 Terrifyingly Toxic Fast Food Photos
48 Stunning Photos of Fall


Fluidr: The Flickr Experience

I've honestly never enjoyed browsing through Flickr. I can also state that I probably visit a Flickr site maybe once a month. And since I don't have a lot of experience browsing through the photostreams I guess that explains why I think navigating through Flickr is a bit tedious.

So, the other day I find this little website that makes browsing through a Flickr photostream a lot easier....and a lot more fun! The more I think about it Fluidr (http://www.fluidr.com/) is more of an online application than it is a website:

[from www.fluidr.com] "Fluidr presents a new way of exploring Flickr photos and videos.

It was designed to allow you, the viewer, to discover and interact with Flickr photos and videos with as little distraction as possible. This is achieved by:

  • Large images
  • Far fewer page loads
  • A simple interface
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Sorting by interestingess
  • Shuffle images
  • Explore videos
Fluidr is a hobby project of Sidath Senanayake (haelio on Flickr) and was initially developed as a way to share photos with friends and family without them having to wait for page loads each time they moved from one large-size image to the next. They soon found that they would get a lot further into a photostream before moving onto something else when they used early versions of Fluidr.

In light of this it was decided to offer Fluidr to a wider audience as a way to give something back to the wonderful Flickr community. Fluidr will always remain free to use and ad-free. I hope you enjoy using it as much as I do! If you like Fluidr, please tell your friends about it."

Ironically, a day or two after I had visited Fluidr for the first time, one of Topeka West's advanced photography students left a comment on the most recent post at Photosynthesis stating that she had recently updated her Flickr photostream. I hadn't yet had the opportunity to view a photostream with the Fluidr software so I typed in the url that she had posted and then clicked on the Fluidr bookmarklet that is available on the Fluidr website. WOW! What a difference!!

The complete photostream loads as you scroll down through all the images...AND, if you want to see the image full-screen, all you have to do is click on it! I looked through each and every image and it took mere minutes.

To see all of Maci's photostream using Fluidr click here ----> http://www.fluidr.com/photos/limegreenkisses14. You'll love it just as much as I did and will starting viewing all Flickr photostreams using this fantastic software!


Photo Essay: An American Soldier

For 27 months Denver Post photographer Craig F. Walker followed Ian Fisher as he graduates high school, joins the Army, goes through training, deploys to Iraq, and returns to his family and soon-to-be-wife. The images that Walker captured are brilliant! Spanning from early summer 2007 to August of 2009 Walker's images show a clearly defined transformation of a boy maturing into a young man.

Ian Fisher: American Soldier <-------- Click on this link to view a selection of Walker's images including excellent captions detailing the last two year's of Ian's life in the Army.


Go GorillaMobile with Joby's new GorillaPod

Earlier this year I blogged about an amazing tripod called the Gorillapod. The company behind this amazing, versatile tool is now offering an even smaller Gorillapod for the iPhone 3G and 3GS models!

A bit pricey at $39.95, the GorillaMobile would be a definite asset to photography enthusiasts who want to capture the perfect image without having to hand-hold their camera phone. The GorillaMobile also fits alternate mobile devices such as video/MP3 players, GPS units, cameras, PSPs, and pocket projectors!


New Work: Photography 1

Photography 1 students this fall are now deep into the cycle of photography. With all the notes, tests, and demonstrations out of the way students are coming to class prepared to shoot black and white 35 mm film, develop their film (by hand!), or print their negatives onto 5" x 7" black and white paper.

Right from the start many students are creating some very impressive images! Obviously I do not have the room on this blog to share an image by each and every student...instead I will be selecting a few of the best images every time the students turn in their portfolios. Please enjoy a small selection from the the first project repetition:

Maggie C., sophomore

Danika G., sophomore

Kody H., senior

Bryanna H., sophomore

Mayo I., junior

Ryan S., junior

Samantha W., sophomore


How Awesome are your Parents?

Back before you knew your parents, back when they were hip, boss, and bitchin'...they cruised through life with a carefree attitude knowing that their whole lives were ahead of them. Then they had you. And all their easygoing days (mostly) came to an end and their true adult lives started. But they still have the pictures to prove just how cool they really were.

If you'd like to experience a bit of nostalgia and literally see just how awesome people from earlier generations really were (and possibly see your own parents!), than you need to check out the blog My Parents Were Awesome. Because, believe it or not, at one time your parents really were cool:

(they were actually in a band!)

(...vacationing on the lake)

(...fixing up that hot rod)

(...being the local hottie)

(...joking around with friends)

(...or just two young kids in love!!)


Mpix: Professional Results at a Fraction of the Cost!

For the last few years I have been seeking a competent online photography printing lab that would offer excellent quality but also provide the convenience of a local business. Some of my students have used a site called Printroom with varying results.

Last year I heard a rumor that a professional printing company located in Pittsburg, KS (that has been around for decades and caters to professional photographers all over the country!) was opening its services to everyone. Well, after a bit of research online the rumor was, it turns out, false. BUT, the company has started a website called Mpix that offers all the same services that they offer to professionals....so, I guess, the rumor is a bit true!

I looked through the tour offered on the website and liked the services that they offered but I haven't had time to check out the quality of their prints.

The very next day I spoke to Mrs. Dekat (Topeka West journalism teacher) about Mpix. Unbeknownst to me she had used their services that same evening. She informed me a few days later that she had uploaded her images on a Thursday evening and had received her prints in the mail by Saturday! What a turn-a-round!! Mrs. Dekat proceeded to show me one of the wallets that she had ordered and the quality was fantastic!

So if you are looking for an economical online printing service that offers more than high quality prints (they also offer mounting boards, canvas wraps, calendars, standouts, puzzles, magnets......) browse over to www.mpix.com and check out their tour.

Their motto: "Shoot today. Upload tonight. We ship tomorrow."


Obama Official Family Portrait

[from www.msnbc.msn.com] "President Barack Obama and his family released their official first family portrait [last] Friday, shot by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz.

The president and first lady are shown smiling, with the arms of their daughters, Sasha and Malia, draped around them. The picture was taken Sept. 1 as the first family sat in an informal pose in the White House’s Green Room.

Leibovitz has frequented the White House in the last few months for a series of portraits for Vanity Fair. According to the magazine, the photographer’s relationship with the first family goes back to 2004, when Barack Obama was running for the U.S. Senate. She shot his family at the campaign headquarters, long before he was in the running for the presidency."

To download a copy of the First Family's official portrait visit the White House Flickr page.


Corey Holms: Graphic Designer & Photographer

[from www.coreyholms.com] "Located in Southern California, Corey Holms has juggled working for large agencies and running a private practice for a decade. Focusing on the fields of identity, type and entertainment design, his clients range from small boutiques to large multi-national firms.

His work can be seen internationally in books and design magazines, for which he also writes articles on typography and type history.

Corey’s commercially available typefaces are distributed through YouWorkForThem.com and Veer.com.

Corey's commercially available photography is distributed through Getty Images."

(The following images were created using primarily food dye, vegetable oil, and water.)

To view more of Corey's Food Dye images, view his Flickr photo set here. Or, look at the rest of his photo stream on Flickr.