Nikon D6 Launch Coming in Early 2020 With IBIS and Better Autofocus [Rumor]

Nikon D6 Launch Coming in Early 2020 With IBIS and Better Autofocus [Rumor]

It’s thought that Nikon’s forthcoming flagship camera, the D6, will be announced in early 2020 with a list of prospective specifications now circulating.

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The Conclusion of the Fstoppers Versus SLR Lounge Rematch

The Conclusion of the Fstoppers Versus SLR Lounge Rematch

Lee Morris recently flew out to LA to compete with Pye Jirsa from SLR Lounge in an epic shoot-off to see who is the better photographer. You won’t be disappointed by this challenge.

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25 Helpful Photoshop Tips and Tricks

25 Helpful Photoshop Tips and Tricks

Photoshop is a tremendously complex and intricate program, and it can take years to master all its various functionalities. This helpful video will move you along that road by showing you 25 tips and tricks to improve your Photoshop skills in no time at all.

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Political Correctness, Gautier and the Politics of Gay Cinema: Pedro Almodovar Discusses Kika,

The following interview of Pedro Almodovar about his film Kika appeared in our Spring, 1994 issue. It is being reprinted here online for the first time. In addition to pumping (very bright red) new blood into Spanish film after Franco’s death, Pedro Almodovar has also blazed the path for a camp style that has been followed around the world. Mixing together high fashion, television melodrama, comic strips, and street corner pornography, Almodovar has spun off stories as tangled and absurd as they are have been uncannily close in capturing a particular moment of Spanish history. Now on the way to […]

“I Make Fiction Films Because I Like Representation”: Director Pedro Almodovar On All About My Mother

From Filmmaker‘s archives, and online for the first time, here is our interview with Pedro Almodovar about All About My Mother as well as many other things, including Tennessee Williams, rejecting primary colors and the difficulties, sometimes, of being “Almodovar.” This piece originally ran in our Fall, 1999 issue. “Mainly women,” says Leo, the desperate, devastated, lovelorn romance writer played by Marisa Paredes in Pedro Almodovar’s eleventh feature film, The Flower of My Secret. “Adventurous, suicidal lunatics.” He might as well be talking about the characters found in Almodovar’s films, for his is a body of work dominated by actresses, […]

A Lack of Curation: Lost on the Internet

A Lack of Curation: Lost on the Internet

With so many images being created and pushed out into the internet it’s starting to look like the Pacific garbage patch. Instagram had so much promise in the early part of its evolution, but hashtags are watered down or filled with ads and mis-labeled images that don’t belong. Where do we go now to look at a tight collection of great photography? Even if I took out the axe and started pruning the people I follow on Instagram the ads and sponsored images would infiltrate my feed and my feed would look no better.

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Bye Bye Camera is an iOS App that Says Bye Bye to People

Bye Bye Camera is an iOS App that Says Bye Bye to People

If you’re tired of having people get in the way of a good photo, then this new iOS app called Bye Bye Camera may be for you.

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These are the Kennel Club’s Dog Photographer of the Year contest winners

The Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year

The Kennel Club has announced the winners of its annual Dog Photographer of the Year competition, with Senise Czichocki of Switzerland taking the overall winner prize (and top prize in the ‘Oldies’ category) with ‘Dreaming Merlin,’ the above photograph of her 14-year-old rescue Podengo, Merlin, as he’s sitting against a backdrop of magnolias.

The Kennel Club’s Dog Photographer of the Year competition pored over nearly 7,000 entries from over 70 different countries across the world to narrow down the best in ten categories: Portrait, Man’s Best Friend, Dogs At Play, Dogs At Work, Puppy, Oldies, I Love Dogs Because… (for entrants aged between 12 and 17 years old), Young Pup Photographer (for entrants aged 11 and under), Assistance Dogs and Rescue Dogs.

We’re presenting the 1st place winners from each of the ten categories in the competition. To see all the winners in each category, head over to the Dog Photographer of the Year website.


Dog Photographer of the Year 2019 Overall Winner and Oldies Category 1st Place Winner

Title of image: ‘Dreaming Merlin’

Dog: Merlin, rescued Podengo, 14 years old

About this photo: I was lucky to find this beautiful magnolia tree near my home in Switzerland. And still more lucky to get the chance to take photos of wonderful dogs in these magnolia. Merlin was one of them. He is a 14 years old Podenco rescued from a shelter who is happy to live his life since two years in a lovely home in Switzerland. It wasn’t easy to take photos of him because of his absolutely deafness. So I couldn’t work with noises to get his attention…afterwards it wasn’t necessary. He gave me so many beautiful moments as you can see in this picture. This is Merlin, beautiful, dreamy and kind of wise. A wonderful old dog with so much charisma.

Technical specification: Canon EOS 6D Aperture – f/1.4 ISO – 250 Focal length – 105mm (Sigma 105mm f1.4 ART) Exposure time 1/800 sec (manual) Flash – No

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Instagram / photopassionnet
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The Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year

‘Puppies’ category winner: Monica van der Maden, Netherlands

Title of image: ‘The Little Twins’

Dogs: Macy & Vino, Weimaraner

About this photo: The breeder and I were in a shopping mall together where we had so much fun during this photoshoot. It can be very difficult to photograph two puppies together let alone a whole litter of puppies especially in a shopping mall (!). Everyone wanted to pet the puppies because they were so sweet and adorable.
But when Jose (the breeder) placed the two pups together they started to wash each other…

Technical Specification: Nikon D850 – Nikon 105mm 1.4E ED •• exif: F1.4 – S1/800 – ISO 320

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Facebook / MoNoaFotografie
Instagram / monoa_photography

The Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year

‘Assistance Dogs and Dog Charities’ category winner: Angelika Elendt, Germany

Title of image: ‘Soul comforter’

Dog: Lilly, cross breed and rescued dog

About this photo: With my photography I am supporting as a volunteer the animal welfare association “Die Seelentröster – Tiere helfen Menschen e. ” (The soul comforters – Animals help people), who works tirelessly for animals in need. An essential part of their engagement is also the animal-assisted work. Their four-legged protégés play an important role at healing processes in young and old peoples with mental, emotional and/or physical disabilities and sometimes cause true miracles.

The picture was taken during the club’s work with some assistance dogs, trained for animal-assisted interventions, in a retirement home. Whenever I looked at this old lady suffering on depression and dementia she was completely apathetic and seemed to be captured in her own world. Towards the end of the visit, Lilly was put on her lap and suddenly the lady woke up from her lethargy: She started stroking the little dog and bent her head down to it. Whereupon Lilly raised her head and pressed it to her cheek for a little while – a very touching and heartfelt moment which I managed to capture in my picture.

Lilly managed to get through to this old lady, who was beforehand always experienced as lethargic and utterly disinterested in social interactions. This once again shows the very special connection between dogs and human beings.

Technical specification: Canon EOS 5D Mark III; Aperture: f/4.5; ISO Speed: 500; Focal length: 200mm; Exposure program: Manual Exposure; Time: 1/800 sec; Flash: No

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Facebook / elfmetpictures
Instagram / elfmet

The Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year

‘Dogs at Play’ category winner: Monica van der Maden, Netherlands

Title of image: ‘Dirty Dog’

Dog: Waylon, Australian Shepherd

About this photo: This particular picture is one in my series off “Dirty Dogs.” I wanted to make something different instead of beautiful and clean dog portraits.
I searched for a dog that loved to play in the mud… and yes Waylon loved it, and what I also wanted to achieve is to make people smile when they see this picture. I also can tell you that Waylon wasn’t the only one that was dirty that day…. the owner Petra and I were also very dirty that day!

Technical Specification: Nikon D850 – Nikon 200mm F2 •• exif: F2 – S1/2000 – ISO400

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Facebook / MoNoaFotografie
Instagram / monoa_photography

The Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year

‘Dogs at Work’ category winner: Dorine Scherpel, Canada

Title of image: ‘The loyal co-workers’

Dogs: Sam (L) and Laddie (R) (collie dogs, age 5 and 8)

About this photo: I was walking on this narrow country lane in The Lake District one February day this year when Laddie (right on the photograph) came happily barking towards me. As I have had dogs all my life and formed some extraordinary bonds with as well my own dogs as those of friends, I of course welcome any dog that wants to say hello. The owner (depicted on the photo) also greeted me and after a brief friendly exchange I continued on my route. Ten minutes later I heard this scooter notice behind me and turned around and saw this darling picture unfolding. To me this image portrays all you expect of a country dog’s life on a working farm. Their eagerness, their innocence and the way they so happily go wherever they may be needed makes them men’s best co-workers.

I am not a photographer by profession but rather passionate baker. This photograph was solely taken to bring joy to my friends at home as I was exploring the beauty of the English countryside which I have loved all my life almost as much as dogs. I enrolled this photo in the competition not to win but simply to share with others as I am sure the scene will warm many hearts as it did mine.

Technical specification: Photo taken with an iPhone 6

The Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year

‘Man’s Best Friend’ category winner: Cat Race, UK

Title of image: ‘Connected’

Dog: Inka, Munstalander (bitch)

About this photo: We had just wrapped up a warm June evening session with Annie-May and her Munsterlander Inka. As the two of them sat in front of the reservoir enjoying the summer air I could see a real moment unfolding between them. So I unhooked my camera from my Spider-Holster and released the shutter, forever preserving that heart-warming connection.

Aside from chilling with Annie-May, Inka loved nothing more than tearing round after her tennis ball. Annie-May picked up the ball and beckoned her furry friend to her side. Inka patiently sat before her as she reached out, lapping up the attention. Each time the ball flew into the air, Inka would up leap after it, loyally bringing it back in return for a pat and exclamation of ‘Good girl!’

As they sat on the bank with sparkling bright light reflecting off the water behind them, I knew there was something so universal about the unspoken bond between a little girl and her dog. It was for this reason that in that moment I decided to make the portrait of them a silhouette – a faceless image that represents a bond felt not only by Annie-May and Inka but also by a whole ton of dog lovers across the globe. That warm fuzzy feeling that rises up when we reach out and pat our furry friends is undeniably one of the best feelings in the world.

Technical specification: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Aperture – f/2.8, ISO – 400, Focal length – 200mm, Exposure programme Manual, Exposure time 1/1000 sec, Flash – No

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Instagram / @CatsDogPhotography
Facebook / catsdogphotography

The Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year

‘Dog Portrait’ category winner: Anastasia Vetkovskaya, Russia

Title of image: ‘Honey saluki’

Dog: Jozelin, Saluki, owner Eremina Lesya

I love working with sighthounds! They are beautiful dogs but it’s not always easy to find an approach to them. Toys and treats – usual props of any animal photographer – are rather useless with these creatures. Each time I should come up with a new idea to make it work with particular dog.

This shot was taken in a wonderful August morning with one experienced model of mine – saluki named Joseline. We arrived to location to found out that the field was all harvested. We had to look for another location very quickly. Luckily we’ve found another field! I like how attentive look of the pet owner’s eyes gave this shot a special feeling.

Technical specification: Canon EOS-1D X Mark II EF 135mm f/2L USM 1/800s f/2,0 ISO 400 135mm

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Instagram /

The Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year

‘Rescue Dogs and Dog Charities’ category winner: Anne Geier, Austria

Title of image: ‘Finntastic”

Dog: Finn, Rescue dog cross breed

About this photo: I am a dog photographer from Austria. I have studied geography, but always knew that my true passion is the photography. Since 2014 I work as a dog photographer. The reason why I started to take photos was my first dog Cindy, she was also rescued from a shelter in Austria. First I just wanted to take photos of her to create moments for eternity but then a real passion arisen. Now I have two rescued dogs, Finn and Yuri. Both are from Rumania. Beside the photography I love travelling and hiking with my dogs. I think my assignment in life is to create living moments of dogs for their owners, try to show how beautiful beings dogs are and try to convince some people that rescued dogs are really awesome. For all those reasons I always try my best to show the soulful nature of the dogs in my photos.

This photo shows my own dog Finn. I took the photo during our holiday in the Dolomites last year. We rescued Finn from Rumania in 2014. Since that time he fills our life with so much love. I never met another dog who has the same patience and calmness. He is such a lovely dog … and I always hope that all the people can feel his special power through my photos of him.

I am nominating “Streunerhoffnung” dog rescue in Austria for the £500 donation from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust. This rescue helped us to get a dog, called now Taavi, out of a shelter named Botosani. I am still very thankful to them.

Technical Specification: Nikon d850, Sigma Art 24mm 1.4, aperture 2.8, shutter speed 1/2000, focal length 24mm

Website /
Website /
Instagram / anne.geier.fotografie

The Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year

‘Young Pup Photographer’ category winner: Sabine Wolpert, USA, Age 11

Title of image: “Sea Dog”

Dog: Georgie, Havanese, 4 years old

About this photo: My name is Sabine and I grew up in Northern California in a rural community. I wanted a dog for as long as I can remember and on my 7th birthday I got the puppy I’d been waiting for, Georgie. I started getting into photography when I was nine. I love capturing moments especially moments with Georgie. This photo is a perfect example. I took this picture on a beach near my home. Georgie had been running around. She brought a clump of seaweed to me and I put it on her head. I expected her to shake it off but she seemed to like it so I took her picture.

Technical Specification: iPhone 6S, 4.15mm, f/2.2, 2488×2488

Instagram / georgie_girl4

The Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year

‘I Love Dogs Because…’ category winner: Mariah Mobley, USA

Title of image: ‘Doggy Bed Time’

Dog: Koby, AKA Puppy Einstein, (Miniature Pinscher/Lhasa Apso cross)

About this photo: My Name is Mariah Mobley, and I am 12 years old. I live on the beautiful Oregon Coast, in a small town called Waldport, with my family and our three dogs, Koby, Hunter, and Roxy. I have always loved animals, especially dogs, because they are so sweet, cuddly, and always happy to see you. I started taking pictures when I was a very little girl, and have loved it ever since.
Taking photos of Koby is extra fun because he is my mom’s trick dog, so he knows lots, and lots of cool tricks, and loves to pose for the camera. He is really fun to play with too, we even do handstands together. He is a very sweet little love bug, who I love very much.

I took this photo of Koby in my living room. I used a black cloth backdrop, and my mom helped pose Koby for me and also held the reflector. I took lots of photos of him holding his toy while wrapped in his blanket. This one was my very favourite.

Technical specification: Canon EOS 70D Aperture: F6.3; ISO 400; 55mm Exposure: Manual; Exposure time: 1/250 sec

Lighting: Insignia NS-DxFL2C shoe mount flash bounced off of a translucent reflector.

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Facebook / KobyAkaPuppyEinstein

A to Z of Photography: Yevgeny Khaldei and Kodak

A to Z of Photography: Yevgeny Khaldei and Kodak

How could we pass K without perhaps the last word going to the most iconic of iconic brands? Yes, this installment of the A to Z of Photography outlines the rise and fall of Kodak. Can the phoenix arise from the ashes of it’s photographic self-immolation? Yevgeny Khaldei accompanies Kodak and, whilst not a household name, his signature image is one of the the most recognizable. Read on.

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How to Do Back Button Focusing on Your Canon DSLR or Mirrorless

Back button focusing involves decoupling a camera’s autofocus from the shutter button and moving it to a button under the right thumb on the back. Here’s a helpful 4.5-minute video by Canon Australia showing how you can get started with this next-level focusing technique on your Canon DSLR or mirrorless camera.

Canon Collective Ambassador Kass Brumley starts out by explaining what back button focus is and what its advantages are (e.g. being able to easily lock focus when needed through multiple shots), and then she walks through the steps involved in getting it set up.

The four basic steps are disabling autofocus from the shutter button (1:53), selecting “Meter Start” (2:13), assigning your AF-ON button (2:33), and selecting the focusing mode (2:53).

(via Canon Australia via The Digital Picture)

Photos Capture the Pain of Animals at the Bangladesh National Zoo

Going to the zoo is one of many ways for people to entertain themselves. People also go to them for educational purposes or to do research. The main purposes of zoos, however, is to protect wildlife and let all of us understand the importance of nature.

There are many exotic animals that face the risk of dying out in the wild. Therefore, the zoo plays an important role in saving endangered animals.

But in Bangladesh National Zoo, the case is quite ironic. Visitors go there with the expectation to see the fun, playful side of the animals. Sometimes the animals are forced by the visitors to act in a certain way. But the visitors can’t see the actual situation inside the cages. The fear, the hunger, the pain, and the sadness… it seems as though the animals are kept as prisoners without having committed any crime!

This is a photo story about such animals in the Bangladesh National Zoo in the Mirpur section of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The story is not about the carelessness or the poor job done by the zookeepers. It’s about the pain of the animals that are kept in insufficiently small areas or cages, out of their habitat.

If people look into their eyes and feel the emotion and expression deep enough, they might hear the silent scream as well.

About the author: Shafiqul Islam is a photographer based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Islam’s work on his website, Facebook, and Instagram.

The Macro Photography Rule Book: Think Differently

The Macro Photography Rule Book: Think Differently

Macro photographers learn over time that this genre of photography can break rules you’d always follow in other areas like landscape or portrait photography. It’s a different world to explore, and taking a different approach is an asset when mixing science with art.

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A Guide to Overcoming Fear in Street Photography (And in Life)

First things first. For me, street photography is more than just taking candid photos. Street photography can also be asking strangers permission to photograph them or photographing empty streets. Whatever it is, the common nominator is that you go on the street and take photos of the “street life.” That’s how I see it.

If you want to take a photograph of a building, it’s very predictable. You can sit there with your camera all day long and compose the shot and think and wait. The building is not going to react to you taking the photo, nor is it walking away.

Taking pictures of people is what most street photographers like to do as people are certainly one of the most exciting subjects to photograph. No doubt.

No doubt as well that people are very challenging to photograph. They move quickly and are unpredictable. Unpredictable in a sense that everyone can react differently. Every situation is different.

This is what makes photographing people interesting but also causes fear. Whether taking candid pictures or asking permission, the fear is there. We want to make a certain photo, but then again we often don’t do it. Why is it? Why is it that we want to do something and then we don’t do it. It’s as if there’s a wall that creates this massive block.

Have you ever walked around the street with your camera afraid to take pictures of strangers? So that you miss opportunity after opportunity. Or you see someone cool and think that you should ask them if you can photograph them and you don’t. I have been there many many times.

In this article, I mainly focus on the fear of asking people permission to take their photo and taking candid photos (especially from close), but because the principles are universal, a lot applies to anything else you might be afraid to do in life.

The Fear

The first thing to understand is that the fear you have won’t go away. It’s hard-wired into our brains, so we can’t just get rid of it. What we can do is to learn to manage it. So instead of not doing the thing you want to do, you do it anyway.

Getting rid of the fear wouldn’t be advisable either. It’s what keeps us alive. Imagine not being afraid of jumping off a cliff. That wouldn’t end very well, right?

We also often think that some people are fearless or in some way different and it’s therefore easy for them. That is not true. We all have the same brain with the same “hardware.” Yes, of course, we’re all different, but we all eat, breathe, walk, have sex, and acquire our mother tongue the same way. So the core characteristics are the same. Just the details vary.

Back in the caveman times doing something out of the line, like confronting the wrong person could end up us being thrown out of the tribe which was the equivalent to a death sentence. So, naturally, our brains keep us from doing anything that puts us in the spotlight. It wants to keep us safe and the best way to do that is to keep a low profile and do the safe things like everyone else.

Street photography can put us in the spotlight. Taking pictures of people without asking their permission from close, is in a way, confronting them. You are entering their personal space. Some people might not like it and take it as a sign of aggression or mocking.

Even asking permission can be scary, and therefore, our brain doesn’t want us to do that. Again, back in the caveman times, approaching strangers put us in the spotlight, and this potentially might not have ended very well. Our brain wants to minimize the risk as much as possible. It tries to keep you alive, no matter what. It doesn’t care about your artistic endeavors or self-development at all.

Nowadays, in our modern society, things are very different than they used to be thousands of years ago. We don’t live in tribes anymore, and therefore we can’t be thrown out of one. Having a “bad” interaction with someone doesn’t mean anything either. Most likely we’re never going to see that person ever again.

Our brains don’t know that. We still have the same mind as we had in the caveman times. Evolution hasn’t caught up with the rapid developments of human society yet. This is why we can binge eat chocolate or other high-calorie foods. Thousands of years ago high-calorie foods were very scarce, and if you found one, you ate all you could as it might have saved your life (literally).

I wrote all this because I think half of the battle is understanding the “why.” Just by understanding why we’re afraid, already lowers the anxiety as whenever we feel the fear, we realize that “oh, it’s just my brain doing its thing.”

The “How To”

There is no magic pill, but I’ve found out several ideas and concepts that can help a lot to overcome the fear, especially if you combine them.

It’s excitement

First, we need to realize that the fear we’re experiencing is not a real fear. It’s excitement. Yes, excitement and fear have the same symptoms, but we often misinterpret excitement as fear.

We get excited because we want to take a photo. It’s our mind telling us that this is what we have to do. It’s not really fear. There are no tigers attacking us. Our life is not in danger, so it can’t be a real fear. It must be excitement.

Look at it as a compass. When you feel the so-called “fear,” it’s a sign that you have to do it. I know it’s easier to be said than done, but try to think of it as a positive thing, not a negative thing. Steven Pressfield calls it the “resistance”.

Missed opportunity

What you should be afraid of are missed opportunities. If you don’t take that candid photo or don’t ask that stranger to take a portrait of her, then know that you will never have the same opportunity again — not that kind.

So instead of being afraid of awkwardness or rejection or weird looks or even a small confrontation, be afraid of the missed opportunity.

You will never regret taking action, but you will regret not taking action.

Step out of the loop

First, you realize that you’re in a loop. Second, you make a conscious decision to step out of it.

What do I mean by a “loop”? When you go through similar thought patterns resulting in similar actions or inaction. e.g., when you know, you should get out of the bed in the morning, but you keep putting it off until at one point you decide to break the loop.

The same goes on in your mind when you walk around with the camera afraid of taking pictures. Pay attention to your thoughts. They are always the same, right? And the action? Also, the same. However, “the action” in this case would be inaction. You keep walking (loop).

The solution is to do the same thing as you do when you get out of bed in the morning. You simply decide to get out.

Relating this to street photography, you can say, “Excuse me, you look so cool, may a take a portrait of you?” That’s all it takes. Don’t worry about the rest; the rest will come naturally. Even if it doesn’t come naturally, it’s because you haven’t got enough practice.

Nobody is born to be great at interacting with people or dealing with confrontation. It’s a skill that can be learned by continuously throwing yourself into these situations.

At one point you have to break the loop, it’s not going to happen by itself. You have to make a decision.

What do other people think of me?

This is a really common one.

We all think about what other people are thinking of us. The truth is, nobody cares.

You might be worried about what other people are thinking of you, but that’s the same what everyone else is also thinking.

Most people walking on the street can’t see beyond their arm’s length, especially in the present day and age where many people are on their phones in a constant derp-like state. Everything’s just a blur for them.

When you start a conversation or take a photo candidly, you might get the attention of the nearby people, but only for a couple of seconds. Right after that, they’re back to their thoughts.

Proof not promises

Ask yourself what are you afraid of and try to get to the root cause. Then find an argument against that.

e.g., “I’m afraid to get close to people and take a photo because they might get mad and punch me in the face.” What kind of counter-argument could we use?

You prove to your brain that the fear is ungrounded. Ask yourself if this has ever happened to you? Has anyone ever punched you in the face after taking a photo and not asking permission? Probably not. What’s the worse that has happened? What’s the worse that could happen?

These are just some of the questions to ask yourself while analyzing what you’re afraid.

This is one part of it.

The second part is to give your brain proof, not promises. Thinking and finding arguments against your brain only has a limited effect. What is way more powerful is to show your brain that the fear is unfounded.

The best way would be actually to do the thing you’re afraid of. Face your fears, head-on.

However, for many people, this is very difficult. e.g., some people are afraid of flying, and they go absolutely out of their way not to fly. Many people end up not flying their entire lives. This is how strong the fear can be. It dictates our decisions.

You can start small. Look at photographs that are made from close distance by other street photographers. Look at POV-style videos of street photographers getting close to their subjects and interacting with them. Check out Eric Kim doing street photography with flash in LA or Bruce Gilden’s famous NY street photography videos.

Doing this proves your brain that nothing bad happens and that it’s “normal” to take photos on the street.

This will give you enough proof to go out and replicate it yourself and further gaining evidence that it’s okay and that there’s nothing to be afraid.

The fancy term for this is “cognitive behavioral therapy” and it’s one of the most powerful methods to treat this kind of anxiety.

People who are afraid of snakes are first shown snakes behind the glass. Then they are shown the snake handled by a professional snake handler, and before they realize, they have the snake on their hands.

It’s a battle

As I said at the beginning of this article, “the fear” never really goes away. You become more confident, and you learn to manage it, but because it’s hardwired, it’s there to stay.

What you notice is that once you start taking action and your brain will see the proof that nothing happens, you begin to get into a flow-like state where pictures take themselves. You’re just a vessel.

Let’s consider asking strangers for a portrait. The first one is hard and so might be the second, but then you notice that it will get easier and easier until you reach a point where you don’t care, and you want to interact with people (or get close and take a photo without permission). You start to feel cocky even.

Until you go to sleep and the next day you have to start all over again.

Even though the next day you start from zero, it’s not really zero, as you still have the experiences. Over time these experiences accumulate, and this is how confidence forms. You know that you have seen it all (or at least a lot), and know you’ll be alright. You’ll be able to manage whatever is thrown to your way. That’s true confidence.

About the author: Kristjan Vingel is a street photographer based in Luxembourg. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Vingel’s work on his website and Twitter. This article was also published here.

The 10 Most Disappointing Movies of 2019 (So Far)

With so many movies being released each year, it shouldn’t shock anyone to hear that plenty of them disappoint. This is especially true when you think about how often Hollywood tries to reinvigorate franchises that are near and dear to people’s hearts. Put simply, not every movie is going to be a winner.

It’s not just big franchises though. Any movie is capable of disappointing. It just needs to show some signs of potential. That’s more or less the criteria for this list. If the movie shows any promise, it will be included. If it seems dead on arrival, as is the case with Hellboy and Shaft, then it will be not be included.

The movies below are not necessarily bad. Some of them are perfectly watchable. The issue is simply that they didn’t live up to the promise.They’ll be ranked in order of how disappointing they are rather than how bad they are. If a movie showed a lot of potential before crashing and burning, then it’ll be near the top. With those brief explanations out of the way, the top ten will be listed below.


10. The Upside

The Intouchables was a phenomenon when it came out back in 2011. Earning almost $450 million at the worldwide box office, this was a movie that people flocked to see, and for good reason. It was a little hokey, but it had a feel-good message at its center that made people feel hopeful.

This kind of strong reaction among viewers inevitably resulted in a Hollywood remake starring Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart. People weren’t exactly clamoring for a remake, but it’s still a shame they couldn’t pull off something that came close to rivaling the original.

The Intouchables has its own problems, but at least it feels genuine. The Upside sort of just goes through the motions. It spends a lot of time recreating the scenes from the original film, which means that a good chunk of the movie feels pointless.

Meanwhile, added scenes tend to add next to nothing. They only add to the predictability of an already predictable story. We’ve all seen this before, and we’ve seen it done better. The Fundamentals of Caring, The Sessions, and (of course) The Intouchables all tell the same story. They just happen to know how to tell the story in an engaging way.

Overall, The Upside’s biggest problem is its inability to justify its existence. It takes most of what we saw in The Intouchables and makes it dull. Two strong performances aren’t enough to save a movie that’s overly sentimental and frustratingly conventional. Sure, some of its problems come as a direct result of its predecessor’s mistakes, but at least that movie had some heart.


9. Brightburn

Listen, a slasher superhero movie has a lot of potential, but Brightburn doesn’t live up to that potential. Unlike a lot of movies on this list, it’s never boring. In fact, it’s pretty damn entertaining from start to finish. It’s just not smart or inventive, and it could’ve been in the right hands. Instead, it’s 91 minutes of a pissed off kid killing helpless people. For some, that’s probably enough. Others will definitely be looking for something deeper.

As much as Brightburn wants people to believe otherwise, it is a really straightforward slasher movie. Sure, the antagonist has superpowers, but that’s about the only difference. Otherwise, there’s not a whole lot that allows this movie to stick out from Halloween or Friday the 13th. Considering the fact that slasher movies are often considered the lowest form of horror, this may be a warning sign to some people.

The kills are brutal and fun to watch, but that’s about it. The story is incredibly barebones, which is a shame because there’s a lot of potential here. If they would’ve delved deeper into the character’s psyche, things may have been a little more captivating. The folks behind the camera instead decided to go for straight blood and gore. This approach is adequate, but Brightburn is a movie that really could have been more than adequate.


8. Pet Sematary

This is a frustrating one because of how quickly reviews dipped. Following its first screening, Pet Sematary reviews were glowing. People were calling it one of the best Stephen King adaptations ever made. Basically, the Rotten Tomatoes score started high before it plummeted. Maybe the first round of critics saw a different movie than everyone else because the current Rotten Tomatoes score is probably appropriate.

Pet Sematary is not a top-tier Stephen King adaptation. It doesn’t reach the highs of It, Carrie, or the Shining. It also doesn’t come close to approaching the quality of the more dramatic adaptations like Stand by Me and The Green Mile. It’s certainly better than a lot of other King movies, but so is slamming your foot in a steel door.

This take on the classic novel doesn’t offer anything that couldn’t be found in the original movie, and that wasn’t a great movie to start. It’s not a beat-for-beat remake. In fact, it makes a lot of changes, but these changes aren’t really meaningful. They don’t do anything to help the movie stick out in any worthwhile way. It feels a lot less silly than the original, but that could just be because we have the technology to make it work. It’s still an uninspired trudge through familiar territory.

In the introduction, there was talk about how not every movie on this list is bad. Pet Sematary is an example. It’s not bad; it’s just monotonous. It feels rather soulless compared to countless other horror movies. When movies like Us and Midsommar exist, this one just can’t compete.


7. Dumbo

A good chunk of the live action Disney remakes stick dangerously close to the original story. Movies like Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella were visually impressive, but they seemed scared to take any kind of risk. This approach to filmmaking resulted in movies that were fine but unnecessary.

It would have been a lot harder for Tim Burton’s Dumbo to pull that off considering the original’s 64-minute runtime. Burton and company had to make some changes to the story so that modern audiences would get a more cohesive and epic story in-line with what they had come to expect.

An expanded Dumbo sounds like a great idea in theory, but Burton never quite sticks the landing. This is probably due to the fact that there isn’t enough content to fill the sub-two hour runtime.

In an effort to keep things grounded, human characters replace the anthropomorphic animals from the original. While all of the actors give strong performances, the writing does very little to make these characters interesting.

New characters are constantly being introduced, but they only exist to move an incredibly thin story forward. Dumbo isn’t a complex story, so it shouldn’t be surprising to hear that this inflated take on a timeless tale tends to feel bloated. Perhaps Walt Disney had the right idea when he claimed “you can stretch a story just so far and after that it won’t hold together”

There are some eye-catching scenes scattered throughout the movie, but “scattered” is the key word. Viewers have to sit through large sections of dull exposition and unnecessary dialogue in order to catch some of the more engaging scenes. Watching the beautifully animated elephant take flight for the first time is breathtaking, but there’s a cost. Most people won’t want to sit through the boredom just to see a few standout moments, and honestly, who can blame them?


6. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

Hollywood has a hit-or-miss track record when it comes to biographical serial killer movies. Monster is cinematic gold, Gacy is an abomination, and Summer of Sam is somewhere in-between. In theory, the track record should be a little more consistent when you consider the subject matter, but that’s sadly not the case.

Serial killers are inherently interesting, so interesting movies should follow, but that’s not what happens. Writers and directors tend to focus on the wrong things. If they focus on the right things, they sometimes do so in a way that’s bland in repetitive. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile gives viewers a visualized Wikipedia entry about Ted Bundy that feels both generic and uninformative.

This is especially true when you consider the fact that the director also created a documentary feature that outlines the same exact details. It doesn’t have the same Hollywood flair, but it certainly tells the same story. Yes, documentaries and narrative films are two different mediums, but why can’t this narrative film offer something a little different? It’s not just that it covers the same ground as the documentary. It covers the same ground as countless other movies.

It’d be easy to take that argument and claim that it’s unfair. After all, isn’t the director just telling Ted Bundy’s story? Maybe his life is just one big serial killer cliché! That certainly would be fair if the director didn’t take so many been-there-done-that liberties. He skews the story so that it’s much more in-line with what viewers allegedly want to see, but this ultimately results in a movie that feels cheap and uninspired.

Butterflies Released to Honor Groom’s Late Sister Stay for Entire Wedding

Butterflies are sometimes released at weddings and funerals to remember loved ones who have passed. Wedding photographer Jessica Manns recently experienced and documented a particularly memorable butterfly release memorial.

The groom of the wedding at Fox Hill Farm in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, had tragically lost his sister a few years ago in a car accident over the Christmas holidays, and his parents released monarch butterflies during the ceremony to honor her life and memory.

“There’s a common belief that our loved ones visit us sometimes as butterflies,” Manns writes. “As they released the butterflies, they wouldn’t fly off.”

Mann’s photos show how the butterflies clung to the family (literally) throughout the entire wedding ceremony and even into the reception.

Photo by Jessica Manns of Jessica Manns Photography.
Photo by Jessica Manns of Jessica Manns Photography.
Photo by Jessica Manns of Jessica Manns Photography.

“This same butterfly on his finger stayed there the entire ceremony and then flew onto the bride’s bouquet after the recessional,” Manns says. “Lydia, the bride, even walked down the aisle with two on her dress.

Photo by Jessica Manns of Jessica Manns Photography.
Photo by Jessica Manns of Jessica Manns Photography.
Photo by Jessica Manns of Jessica Manns Photography.
Photo by Jessica Manns of Jessica Manns Photography.
Photo by Jessica Manns of Jessica Manns Photography.

“Then a few hours later during the speeches, another butterfly somehow got inside the barn and landed on Lydia’s neck and remained there for all the speeches. Unreal.”

Photo by Jessica Manns of Jessica Manns Photography.
Photo by Jessica Manns of Jessica Manns Photography.

“This is probably the most emotional thing I’ve witnessed at a wedding,” Manns says.

You can find more of Manns’ work on her website, Facebook, and Instagram.

Image credits: Photographs by Jessica Manns and used with permission

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