How your photography can change the world

The mission of PhotoPhilanthropy is simple: To change the world, one photo at a time.

To that end, the organization helps photographers connect with philanthropic organizations, NGOs and other groups working for social change. Photographers volunteer their time to help spread the word and tell the stories.

If you'd like to help, PhotoPhilanthropy lists organizations from every part of the world that are looking for people with photographic skills who have a sense of social justice.

They also run a photo essay contest, with divisions for student, amateur and professional photographers. This year's winners, drawn from 219 essays from photographers from 30 different countries, are here.

Looking for a way to get involved? It just got a lot easier.


How to know that it's time to give up photography

(Photo by Chris Hester)

You've had the nagging feelings, right? The money just isn't rolling in the way you thought it would. The contest awards aren't piling up. And, funny, you haven't been sent to Vancouver to explore the Olympics in your signature style.

So is it time to put down the camera and fill out an application at Starbucks?

Peter Phun, a longtime shooter at the Riverside Press-Enterprise who now writes a very helpful photo blog, has made a list of 25 things that might indicate that it's time to give up the dream and put on a tie.

  1. You still can’t get a picture accepted by iStockphoto after maxing out your credit cards on gear.
  2. Your contest entry in the “feline” category, captured during a thrilling photo safari on the plains of the Serengeti, loses out to a picture of a cat napping on a sofa.
  3. When your studio is burglarized, all your photo gear is taken along with the picture frames and mattes — but your photos are mysteriously left behind.
The rest of the list is over here. (Link via Black Star Rising )

And also, if you're looking for more help trying to figure out if you're any good, maybe take a look at Chris Hester's very funny set of Bad Photography over on Flickr. If your shots look like his, umm ... yeah. Not so good. (That's his shot above.)


How Doug Mills creates stunning ski pictures for the New York TImes

It's simple and quite glamorous, really:

"On the day of competition, he leaves his room at 6 a.m., armed with ski boots, skis, long underwear, hats, gloves, crampons and the critically important hand warmers. Carrying 40 pounds of camera equipment — and a computer — he takes a chair lift, then skis to a second chair lift that brings him farther up the mountain. From there, he either skis down to his shooting position or walks (very carefully) with crampons to the spot where he will settle in for a day of photographing in freezing temperatures.

“I take plenty of hand warmers and I tape them to the inside of my sweatshirt,” Mr. Mills says. “I put them around my kidneys, because all your blood goes around your kidneys, so it really helps to keep you warm when you’re basically stuck on the side of the mountain with your feet and ice crampons stuck in the ice. There’s not a lot of movement. You can’t just walk around because you’re basically at a 45-degree angle.”

Well, ok, not really so simple or so glamorous.

There's a slideshow of Mills talking about how he does his thing at the NYTimes site over here.


Ants climb all over Congress in Colombia

A Colombian artist, Rafael Gomez Barros, has placed giant ants over the facade of the National Congress building in Bogota, Colombia. According to the artist, the ants symbolize the people displaced by the continuing armed conflict in Colombia. His exhibit opened Tuesday and will run through March 26. So if you're planning a picnic, you'll want to stay away from Bogota.

(Photo by Associated Press photographer Fernando Vergara)


very very cool stop-motion, time-lapse panoramas (or something like that)

Mustardcuffins has produced an amazing time-lapse video that is truly unique. (And really, how often do you see something that makes you want to use the words "truly unique"? Not often.)

The video is a little like walking around in a dream state -- things look real, but are quite definitely altered. Trippy, surreal, Dali-esqe and mesmerizing are other adjectives that come to mind.

I stumbled upon it via the Brian Auer's Epic Edits blog, who came across it via John Nack of Adobe, which is to say that the video has been out there for awhile, but I don't think it's gotten much play. It should, though.

Mustardcuffins himself hasn't offered up the secret sauce about how he made this (and rightfully so, in my view), but Digital Anthill has taken a shot at figuring out the methodology. You can take a look at that here.


World Press Photo pictures of the year

Italian photographer Pietro Masturzo won the top award in the World Press Photo association's picture of the year contest. t shows women shouting from a rooftop in Tehran in June, protesting the results of the Iranian presidential election.

Click on the picture to go to the World Press Photo site for a look at the other winners. An exhibition of the work will visit 45 countries and more than 100 cities during the year, with a confirmed U.S. date at the United Nations headquarters in New York for most of the month of July.


Very cool panoramas

Want to get a feel for what Burning Man is like without having to drive to the desert? Click on the picture for some very amazing pan