TWiP #235 – Publishing Photography
This week on TWiP: Photographers building a book for charity in Google+, is Apple planning new publishing tools, and should you send your photos out to be retouched… in India.
Hosts: Alex Lindsay, Derrick Story, and Steve Simon.
NEWS & DISCUSSION
More than 200 photographers, including Thomas Hawk, Patrick Smith, Brian Day, and Joel Tjintjelaar, have come together to collaborate on a book composed of images from Google+. The book will be sold for charity.
Alex, Derrick, and Steve discuss whether this is a continuation of what we’ve already seen, or the start of something new. Derrick feels that the photographers involved have essentially moved the party over from Flickr to Google+, and that the new project has some amazing images. Steve likes the fact that these photographers are working together cooperatively, and points out that photographers have a long tradition of doing that. He also notes that traditional publishing is in trouble right now, and that eBooks are the great equalizer for photographers in this game.
Alex raises the point that if the next iPad has a Retina display, eBooks might then look as good as physical art books on its screen. Listen in as the panelists discuss an upcoming Apple event in New York and its implications for the publishing industry in general. There’s a lot of excitement around photographers and authors possibly experiencing a boom like the one podcasters experienced when iTunes started publishing podcasts. Steve also points out that there are some new opportunities for folks curating all this content.
According to PSFK, “The Polaroid Z340 aims to combine the analog and digital worlds with its 14.0 megapixel digital camera and integrated ink-free ZINK printer. The device is both nostalgic and modern, allowing users to print out 3×4″ full-color photos and save them to the on-board SD card.”
The hosts love the retro nature of this camera. For a bit of nostalgia, Derrick went into his storage unit and brought out his Olympus C211 Zoom, a 2 megapixel camera with an attached Polaroid printer built into it. There are a number of opportunities for the Polaroid Z340 – Steve sees it as a great icebreaker for travel photographers, Derrick sees it as an excellent way to make on-location prints and Alex notes that this could be a replacement for his old Polaroid instant camera when he travels to Rwanda. Previously, he used to travel with loads of cartridges so he could give prints away.
New services like ReadyRetouch in India are providing retouching services to photographers for a fraction of the cost of a pro retoucher here in the United States. The question is, should you send your images out to India to be retouched?
Derrick doesn’t see himself sending his images to India – or to anywhere else – to be retouched. He likes being in charge of his own process, from start to finish.
Alex and Steve, however, do see a space for services like this. Steve points out that high-volume photographers, like wedding shooters, might want to avail themselves of this service. He also recalls when the digitizing of prints and negatives was outsourced, and draws parallels to the services offered by firms like ReadyRetouch.
Alex concurs, adding that he sees this as a possible alternative for photographers on the lower end of the expertise spectrum, who aren’t Photoshop users, to get good finished products. He also points out that this may be a good option for folks looking to restore old family photos.
Listen in to the podcast, as the topic sparks off an extended discussion on the ethics of retouching, the market spaces that photographers and retouchers of various skill levels occupy, and what it will take for photographers to succeed in today’s environment.
Question 1: This comes to us from TWiP forum user fishtoprecords: I’m getting new tripod legs, and so its time to consider what type of head to get.
I see that all the sites and advice folks suggest a ball head over the old-style pan and tilt head. I don’t see the attraction of the ball head, the pan/tilt worked for me for decades.
Assuming its a ball head, what do I look for to get something suitable for an enthusiast. Spending $400 for the head alone is simply not in my budget.
Derrick: It doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition with ballheads anymore. A lot of ballheads have a separate pan control now, so you can set the angle of your camera, then use a separate knob for panning your camera. In terms of a particular type of head, we recommend physically checking them out at a photo store.
Alex: Make sure that the head can support the weight of your setup with room to grow.
Writer’s Note: Check out the Induro PHQ series of heads for the best of both worlds.
Question 2: Mike Henderson on our Facebook page writes: I am considering getting into infrared photography and I am curious how you convert a DSLR so it can be used for that style of photography? I am going to get an inexpensive used camera for that purpose, so does anyone have any recommendations as to a certain type to purchase, or does it matter?
Derrick: Try LifePixel - they do conversions for about $250. They also have DIY tutorials to show you, step-by-step, what’s involved to do this conversion with parts that you can buy from them. Also, if you’re upgrading to a newer DSLR, then use your old one for the conversion. The Olympus PEN cameras are also options. Derrick likes the images he’s seen from converted PEN cameras.
PICKS OF THE WEEK
Alex - SynthCam
Derrick- iStopMotion for the iPad
Steve: The new book of photos by Vivian Maier.
Alex Lindsay – www.twitter.com/alexlindsay
Derrick Story - www.thedigitalstory.com
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Producers: Suzanne Llewellyn
Bandwidth provided by Cachefly
Intro Music by Scott Cannizzaro
Photo Credit: Ludovic Hirlimann