You are currently browsing the Mikhail Lavrenov Photography archives for May, 2008

Boeing 747 crash in Brussels airport

Cargo airplane Boeing 747 operated by Kalitta Air crashed in Brussels on the 25th of May. Luckily without victims and without severe damages other than the plane itself.

The picture below was taken on the 27th of May, 2 days after the crash. I was passing by that area in late afternoon and noticed that the broken plane is still there. Apparently pumping the fuel from the plane was still in progress at that time (finished on the 28th), so they were unable to start removing the plane until it was done. Quite a few spectators were coming to see/photograph the plane.

Crashed Boeing

Photography related videos

I’ve been watching quite a few photography related videos lately. Some of them interesting to watch, some are useful for work, so here is a quick summary of what I’ve discovered recently.

Interesting interviews with photographers can be found on WorldPressPhoto web site. First, click on 2008, and then click on one of the icons. If you click the picture of president Putin you will see the interview with Platon about how he has made his award winning portrait of the Person of the Year 2007.

Google has a series on YouTube called “Authors@Google”. They have recently posted a video of famous American photographer Joe McNally speaking to Google employees in their headquarters (thanks for Strobist for posting about that in his blog)

Just in case it doesn’t play you can go via the link

Useful photoshop tutorials (videos) can be found on Layers magazine website.

Digital Photography School
has recently posted a selection of 24 photography podcasts that will inspire you.

Belgian fine-art nude photographer Pascal Baetens is actively involved with fine-art tv project since last year. Fine-art tv features weekly programs devoted to photo artists from around the world. Past issues are viewable too.

Another Belgian photographer Bert Stephani runs interesting blog. Not so many videos but very many photos. Besides good pictures and interesting comments on his website, Bert has recently started running ‘The decisive photographer‘ workshop. I did not attend it myself, but the review on Bert’s blog look interesting – so it’s worth to consider attending if Bert will continue running it.

Park of UZ Pelenberg hospital

Apparently the park of UZ Pelenberg is very nice. UZ Pelenberg is a division of UZ Gasthausberg hospital on Leiven. It is located not far from Leuven and apparently has a very nice park.

Park of UZ Pelenberg

I was there yesterday afternoon (for family reasons). Although bright sun isn’t my favorite lighting for landscape photography, but with many old trees around it looks nice even that way. Just my small G9, no polarizer (unfortunately)…

TinEye – image search service

TinEye opened their service as public beta a few days ago. This is very long waited service that will be very useful for photographers.

Basically it searches the a picture in the internet, but the trick is that it looks for image itself, not text description or file name. Alterations of the image can be found too. When text, logos or other pictures are added on top of my picture, TinEye is still capable to find it. When I am looking for a logo, TinEye will find all pictures where logo is clearly visible.

This is one of my best selling stock pictures:
misty morning
TinEye was able to find a heavily altered version:
misty morning - modified
and even a version with ad picture and text added on top:
misty morning - used in ad

This is great tool for authors to find their pictures in use and also to trace copyright violations. I am already impressed with the result – although the number of images that the system has indexed so far is quite low and very many pictures can not be found yet.

The service isn’t opened publicly – you need to be registered to use it. In order to get registered you either need to get an invitation from them; or apply at their home page (they accepted my request in the same day).

Leuven station in the rain

It’s gray and rainy day today after two weeks of sun. It reminded me about the picture of Leuven station I made last winter…
Leuven railway station in the rain
I like railway stations. People waiting, people coming and leaving, trains coming and traing passing by… Leuven is my of my favorite stations (it looks nice and it’s not far from my house) so don’t get surprised if you will see it again 🙂

Blond girl from an uncomon angle

I took this photo 1.5 years ago. Something attracts me in this picture, and I am not sure what. Perhaps the angle that is not so common, or may be something else…
You can see here two versions of the same picture (click to enlarge):
Blond girl above photographer - original Blond girl above photographer - re-edited
The one of the left is the original edit I made 1.5 years ago. The one on the right was re-worked recently. Not only I decided that it will work better after the turn, but I made the color warmer and used some dodging and burning. I tried not to overdo with the editing (which is my habit with most of my photos). I like the new version better than the original one – and what about you?

Strobist lighting

I often use flash for outdoor photography under daylight, but I still need to practice “strobist” style lighting in the dusk.

One particular setup I was thinking about is to repeat Leuven station photo with flash-lit figure of a commuter. I am not fully satisfied with the result I got but I think it’s decent for the first attempt.
Teenager waiting for train
It was made a couple of months ago but I din’t have a combination of free time and good weather to try to make it better.

Photographing toddlers

Have you tried photographing toddlers? Little children are cute, they are very natural and they make so many interesting poses and impressions… but if you tried capturing them you know how difficult it is!

First, child might be afraid of you. He will be shy, turn away and may be even run away from you. If it’s your child, or your relatives or close friends this will not be a problem of course…

But they move very fast! Faster than you can zoom and frame the picture, and very often faster than autofocus of your camera. This makes photographing them really tricky. If you aren’t used to that you will need to try again and again… and then child will get tired and bored.

If child isn’t afraid of photographer; and if child isn’t moving very fast; and if child isn’t asleep it means that child is trying to grab your camera 🙂 Or at least leave his fingerprints on your lens 🙂

Vassily Vassily
Vassily Vassily
Vassily Vassily

There is no one magic solution to these issues, but there are a few basic things that can help:

  • If child doesn’t know you, take some time without camera for child to get used to you;
  • To keep child at one place try to use a toy, or place on a chair or on rocking-horse;
  • To detract child from you/camera ask somebody else to call the child or to play with him.

Remark: pictures above are snapshots of my son. They aren’t perfect but they illustrate both the issues and possible solutions.

Remark 2: I used the words ‘he’ and ‘him’ not just meaning boys. Using male pronouns is the norm of English when speaking about unknown person (although politicians and managers often say ‘him or her’ these days trying to please everybody)

Remark 3: Apologies for being pedantic and boring 🙂

Stockxpert conference in Moscow

This is just a short note about the event. The full article is published in Microstock Diaries.

Stockxpert conference was attended by ~150 Russian-speaking visitors from Russia and other countries (I noticed people from Estonia and from Ukraine, but there might have been others).

Besides two main invited guests – Ron Chapple and Lev Dolgachov – Jupiter’s own team included Patty Vargas (Senior Director of content in Jupiter), Steve Kapsinow (community Xpert in SPX), Stockxpert founder Peter Hamza and a few other people.
Lev, Steve, Ron
Left to right: Lev, Steve and Ron

Ron and Lev remained the main speakers through most of the day. In the beginning, Ron was speaking about ‘Creativity & Business’.
Ron speaking
Ron’s presentation was covering various topics. Ron was speaking about growing stock market and new markets created by new technologies. On photography side Ron was discussing that clients want new ideas and that copying successful pictures isn’t a good idea.

Then Ron shared his 5 ideas for success in stock photography business.

After Ron’s presentation a quick slide-show of his own favorite pictures was shown and then Ron has answered several questions about photography, about working with model and about model releases.

Lev DolgachovThe day continued with Lev’s presentation in Russian. Lev has shared his perspective on microstock business and it’s near future. Lev elaborated on constantly changing environment that forces every stock photographer to keep up with the pace. One of his other focus points was to do what you like and not force yourself doing something you aren’t interested.

The lunch was followed by Ron and Lev workshops. Ron has shown how to use natural light, and Lev was speaking about studio work.
Ron working with model Ron working with model
Ron showing how to work with model using natural light

At the end of the official part, Jupiter and Stockexpert perspective was shared and some questions answered.

You can find more details (including all main points from Ron’s and from Lev’s speeches and main topics covered by Jupiter) in the full article in Microstock Diaries.

I enjoyed the day, and I saw that most other participants enjoyed it too. It seems that Jupiter/SXP team was also satisfied with the outcome. One item that was particularly interesting for me was too see that Jupiter looks at SXP as integral part of greater corporation and is already trying to get it to the right place – something we don’t see happening with Getty/iStock neither with Corbis/Snapvillage.

Peter Hamza
Peter Hamza – stockxpert founder

Photo exhibitions in Belgium (continued)

follow-up to my previous post

This weekend I visited a small photo club exhibition in Leuven and annual international photo festival in Knokke-Heist.

Exhibition in Leuven is very small – just one room. It seems to be typical for photography club shows that the level of pictures is very un-even. There are some nice photos and some so-so.

The festival in Knokke-Heist is spread over several locations. The cultural center of Knokke hosts Frans Lanting ‘Life’ project, and a selection of World Press Photo pictures. Laguna Hall hosts Wildlife photographer of the year exhibition, and International photo competition gallery. (I mention only main expositions, there are few more shows in the city). Again, as the last year, several good photographs from Vietnam catched my eye. Don’t get me wrong, there are good pictures from different countries, but it seems Vietnam is the only one showing several good photographs at once. I don’t know why – Vietnam isn’t so wellknown by it’s photographers. Perhaps fotofestival in Knokke is the only place outside their country they managed to know so far…