A few words about professional photography


The term “amateur photo” ought to mean compositions with excellent technique, real works of art, because an amateur driven by love rather than a need to make money or restrictions of employment has no excuses for mediocre work.

“Soviet Photo” magazine, 1926

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When I was just getting into photography I wanted to become a professional. It seemed like a dream job – take pictures and get paid for it. But eventually I began to notice that my envy of professional photographers was petering out and that I was myself avoiding paid work. And why was that?

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Armenia on my Fujifilm


I have written lately about “Armenia on my iPhone”, and now I’d like to show you photos shot on my other favorite camera – Fujifilm X-T1. Even if this time I’ve been using it less than usual, taking most of the pictures on iPhone, I still (or maybe thanks to that) have few good pictures, which I would like to show you.

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Traveling light. Hand luggage


For a long time now I’ve been meaning to explain how I manage to limit my luggage to just hand bags without leaving anything essential behind. This morning I’m going to Armenia, and I’ve just packed my bags, so this is a good time to deliver on that old promise and take exhaustive pictures of my traveling gear.

I used to travel with huge backpacks stuffed with everything necessary, and a lot of what was unnecessary, for living. Photo equipment took up a separate backpack. Check out documentary proof here, and here. Those days feel like a bad dream now.

Eventually I realized that I bring along all sorts of bulky and useless things, which is particularly inconvenient with a backpack – to take out something buried in the middle, you have to excavate at least half of the stuff. Suitcases are much easier in this regard: snap it open and choose what you need without disturbing the rest. I don’t carry luggage on my person anyway – it always either lies at the hotel or a shuttle/car/sleigh carries it, and so on. And even on wilderness trips there’s a porter or a sherpa shouldering the stuff. At any rate, the suitcase is my bag of choice – or, very occasionally, on Arctic expeditions where you really need to take a lot of equipment and clothes, a large knapsack. But that’s a whole other story. For 99% of the traveling I do, including photo trips, I can’t imagine anything more convenient than a suitcase small enough to pass as hand luggage.

With experience I’ve learned to fit everything necessary for a month’s worth of travel in hand luggage – without omitting anything really needful or breaking air travel rules.

You shouldn’t think I bring only bare necessities either. Most people would say that I bring plenty of excessive stuff: a projector, running clothes and shoes, hard drives, ironed shirts, a hair trimmer, a heart rate monitor, an anorak and more. How does it all fit? Very simply. Here is the inventory of the stuff, and below you can see the same on the pictures.

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The Photographer’s Day


I’m not sure if it’s celebrated anywhere else, but we in Russia do have that holiday – on the 12th of July. The editor-in-chief of “Russian Photo” came up with the idea in 2009, promoted it and registered a trade mark for it. To be honest, that’s not the most authoritative source for me. However! I like the 12th of July day because on that glorious day in 1854 the Father of photography, the founder of Kodak George Eastman was born. And that’s worth celebrating. So on this day I congratulate all my friends and colleagues — in Russia and in the West. I’m blessed with an abundance of them. See for yourself!


Frameway club in the Magnum Photos London office with Steve McCurry, Mark Power and Grigiry Yaroshenko. April 2015

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The best of #degradr in Instagram and Flickr


Degradr is now on Flickr and Instagram! Every day, we publish the best pictures shot by Degradr. If you want your photograph to be featured in one of the selections, use the #degradr tag on your Instagram account. And don’t forget to take a look at today’s featured images: they are really something! What a fantastic demonstration of a great creative tool in use!

Degradr will become officially available in the AppStore on or around June 5 2015


“You press the button – we do the rest”
© George Eastman, founder of KODAK, 1888


Dear friends!

Degradr App will become officially available in the AppStore on or around June 5 2015. If you are a journalist or a blogger for a photography blog / website, you are very welcome to try the app before it is made public. Please, contact us at mail@degradr.photo

Please find press-release here:

Click to access Degradr-En.pdf

Degradr


This is my new project, which will soon be available in the App Store. More information and updates here.

Have you ever seen a smart camera before? Meet the first one and let it degrade your pictures so they look..even more awesome!

Degradr (from eng “to degrade”) – a smart camera which «degrades» digital photos changing colours to make them look more harmonious and expressive.

The app doesn’t include any settings: there is only single option in Degradr — to click the shutter. Picture analysis and processing are being done automatically so you can see the result right away — no additonal processing needed.

We were creating Degradr guided by our broad personal experience  using the studies of Robert Hunt who was the head of Kodak scientific research laboratory for 34 years. Some magical spells and buzz words have been used as well. Some of them are:

  • compressed exposure
  • eccentricity coefficient
  • chromatic adaptation the cone responses
  • reverse saturation
  • squaring the circle of colors
  • cubical Lab color space compression
  • perceptual saturation theory
  • gamut in cut projection
  • finite impulse response
  • mask with convolution
  • Fourier transform

Plus alchemy, of course.

© Degradr Team
www.degradr.photo