Photo Books Are the Cure for the Instagram Disease

Photographer and educator Ted Forbes from the Art of Photography YouTube Channel has published a nine-minute video on the subject of photo books, and how he believes that while they contain art, are also art themselves and are a cure for what many might see as the disease that is Instagram. Forbes says he has […]

Photo Books Are the Cure for the Instagram Disease

Photographer and educator YouTube Channel has published a nine-minute video on the subject of photo books, and how he believes that while they contain art, are also art themselves and are a cure for what many might see as the disease that is Instagram.

Forbes says he has a problem, and the problem is buying photo books before he’s even finished reading the ones he already has. To him, photo books are a wonderful way to interact with an artist because the book is a direct representation of what the photographer wants to convey, and how they want to convey it.

“Books are a passion of mine,” he says. “Unlike sitting there scrolling through social media, there are no likes, follower counts, there is no algorithm, there is no ads. At their best, books are a cohesive group of pictures. They are presented directly to you by an artist. You get a one-on-one interaction.”

Forbes says he buys a lot of books to study, to keep, and to revisit.

“This is where you find the language of photography. When you understand this language, you have an understanding of what has been done before you. What do you have to say? what does your book look like?”

Instagram, and arguably all social media, has altered the method by which a photographer can communicate with an audience. Forbes says that books, which are notably much less popular than any social media account, take so much time, effort, and consideration to put together that they will always be a much more valuable way to understand the mindset of any photographer.

“A well-composed book needs to feel like a symphony. Form, impact, and energy tell a well-crafted story and leave an impression on a reader. They are to be experienced,” Ted says.

Eventually, Ted wants to make his own book, but not for the reasons many people turn to social media. He doesn’t want to become famous, he doesn’t need an ego boost. He wants to do a book because he wants to be part of the history of photography and put himself there for personal reasons. In this sense, it doesn’t matter how many people see what he’s done or notice, but he is part of it all the same.

“Photography is a gift that we all participate in,” Forbes says. “I want my voice to be just one sentence in that large book of history — even if it’s only a short sentence. I want that to say ‘yes, I was here.'”

This video and discussion about photo books are uncommon these days but is a reflection on what photography as an art is and where it stands. How photographers see themselves, the art, and the passion of photography varies from person to person. For Ted, the value might be different than it is for any of his subscribers. But that’s ok: that’s the point of art.

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Apple Teaches How to Best Capture Photos with the iPhone’s Night Mode

Apple has released a brief shoot-along online educational class where the company shows how to capture — and edit — unique and interesting photos using the iPhone’s Night Mode. Apple launched a series of educational classes on YouTube in mid-July under its “Today at Apple” program. As noted by The Verge, Apple launched the program […]

Apple Teaches How to Best Capture Photos with the iPhone’s Night Mode

Apple has released a brief shoot-along online educational class where the company shows how to capture — and edit — unique and interesting photos using the iPhone’s Night Mode.

Apple launched a series of educational classes on YouTube in mid-July under its “Today at Apple” program. As noted , Apple launched the program in 2017 as part of a larger retail makeover but moved some of the sessions online due to the pandemic. While stores have begun to open back up, the move to YouTube shows that Apple intends to work on expanding its education to more people outside of its traditional methods.

This latest video is the first in the series of educational classes to be focused specifically on photography.

While Night Mode is supported by several iPhone models — iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max — only the latest iPhone 12 models support the mode for photos taken with the front-facing camera. When the camera detects a low-light environment, Night Mode turns on automatically. Using this shooting mode, users can adjust the capture time depending on how much light is required for a proper exposure.

In this Apple video, photographers Landon and Maria Lax share the behind-the-scenes of their nighttime shooting and post-processing, using their iPhones. While Landon goes out in the streets of New York, Lax, who is originally from Northern Finland where lack of light is an intrinsic part of life, shoots her nighttime images in London. Lax is drawn in by nighttime photography because the low light can contribute towards mystical-looking images that would look completely different if shot during the day.

Lax’s first piece of advice is to find a source of light that “looks good” or simply appeals to the photographer, whatever the color it may be. This can include differently colored windows, street lights, neon signs, and more. If the capture time needs to be manually increased to let enough light in, it is a good idea to bring a tripod, too.

 

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A post shared by MARIA LAX (@maria_lax_)

To make the shots stand out, even when shooting simple concepts, such as trees, Lax likes to experiment by placing different items in front of the lens, which can give a unique result. Transparent colored plastic can add a splash of color to the scene, which can be further emphasized by turning on the flash. Landon goes a different route and adds items with a reflective surface that subtly catches the light and a piece of mesh that introduces a soft fog-like haze.

Not every shot will come out as expected, says Lax. But, that’s part of the process because it takes several unsuccessful experimental photos to get to one that looks just right, whether the shooter is an experienced one or just a beginner.

Last but not least, editing allows images to reach their full potential. Color plays a big role in nighttime photography and through post-processing, photographers can make it more impactful and dramatic, such as by adding contrast and vibrance, as well as adjusting hue.

More of Lax’s work can be found on her Instagram and a brief tutorial on how to take photos in Night Mode on iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro can be viewed on Apple Support’s YouTube page.

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