IFH 369: How to Make a Successful Indie Film in 2020 – Happy New Year!

Please Note: Once you press play it will take a few seconds for the episode to start playing. How to Make a Successful Indie Film in 2020 – Happy New Year! I can’t believe another year has gone by. 2019 was one for the record books. So many things happened to me and to the…

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The 10 Most Popular PetaPixel Posts of the Decade

On May 14th, 2009 a little blog called PetaPixel made its debut. More than 10 years and nearly 27,000 published posts later (26,886 to be exact), as we wrap up our first full decade in existence, it seemed appropriate to look back at the ten most popular articles of the decade.

So before you go ring in the New Year and the new decade (semantic debate aside), scroll down and check out the ten pieces of content that you’ve found most interesting, inspirational, informative, or just plain sharable from January 1st, 2010 through December 31st, 2019.

#10 – Picture of a Single Atom Wins Science Photo Contest

2018 was the year a scientist proved you could photograph a single atom, and see the results with the naked eye. The award-winning photo that proved it is titled “Single Atom in an Ion Trap,” and it was shot by David Nadlinger of the University of Oxford.

Click here to see it for yourself, and read all about what made this incredible photograph possible.

#9 – Photographer Died Protecting His Film During the 1980 Mt. St. Helens Eruption

This is the incredible story of photographer Robert Landsberg, who captured the eruption of Mount St. Helens form just a few miles away. Knowing he would survive, Landsberg used his own body to protect the film so it could be found and developed.

Click here to read the whole story.

#8 – 40 Tips to Take Better Photos

This thoughtful (and complete) article lists 40 answers to the question: “how do I take better photos?” It was put together by photojournalist Lisa Clarke and remains, to this day, one of the most useful and popular “tips” articles we’ve ever published.

Click here to read the whole thing. You won’t regret it.

#7 – Photos of the New Futuristic Library in China with 1.2 Million Books

These photos of China’s Tianjin Binhai Library by Dutch photographer Ossip van Duivenbode clearly struck a chord with architecture lovers when we featured them in November of 2017, and they’ve continued to strike ever since, earning the #7 spot on our Best of the Decade list.

Click here to see the whole series.

#6 – Annie Leibovitz Shoots the Pirelli Calendar Into a New Direction

In 2015, famed photographer Annie Leibovitz was tasked with taking the Pirelli Calendar in a “new direction.” Instead of shooting scantily clad (or unclad) models and celebrities, her version featured portraits of notable women, such as 77-year-old Agnes Gund, the president emerita of the Museum of Modern Art.

Click here to see the results and read more about Leibovitz controversial Pirelli takeover.

#5 – 20 Composition Techniques That Will Improve Your Photos

Gear is great, but composition is king. Take this 2016 article by Dublin-based photographer Barry O Carroll as proof. It’s an in-depth tutorial that covers 20 composition techniques, and our 5th most popular post of the entire decade.

Click here to read (and bookmark) this incredibly educational article.

#4 – Amazon Accidentally Sold $13,000+ Camera Gear for $100 on Prime Day

This past Prime day, Amazon screwed up big: an error allowed photographers to purchase gear worth thousands of dollars—including a $13,000 Canon lens—for just $95. But you know what’s even crazier? To our knowledge, Amazon honored the deals and delivered all of the orders that were successfully placed.

Click here to read the full story.

#3 – Photographer Catches Squirrel Stopping to Smell a Flower

Published just a couple of months ago in September of 2019, these photos of a squirrel literally stopping to smell the flowers have taken the Internet by storm. Kudos to Dutch photographer Dick van Duijn for capturing something instantly iconic.

Click here to see the full series and read the story behind these images.

#2 – Half-Drag Portraits Show the Before & After Transformations of NYC Drag Queens

Captured by New York-based photographer Leland Bobbé, this striking series of portraits from 2013 examine the idea of gender fluidity by showing New York City drag queens in half-drag. These are not digital manipulations—each is a single exposure.

Click here to see the full photo series and find out more about these portraits from the photographer himself.

#1 – 70 Inspirational Quotes for Photographers

It seems inspiration and wisdom never go out of style. This list of 70 inspirational quotes for photographers—curated by photographer Tammy Jean Lamoureux and originally published in May of 2014—has been one of our top posts week, after month, after year.

Click here to read the full post.

Finally, we want to say a sincere and heartfelt “Thank You!” to our readers. A publication—be it the New York Times or our humble little photo blog—is nothing more than a meaningless collection of text on a page or pixels on a screen without a community of readers to engage with, share, and, yes, even criticize the content they’re being presented.

We are grateful for each and every one of you, and wish you all a very Happy New Year.

What Were Barack Obama’s Favorite Films and TV Shows of 2019?

President Obama has shared the list of his favorite films and shows of 2019, and it includes some of the year’s biggest titles.

So, did you know that President Barack Obama’s taste in art is pretty damn good?

Well, you would if you read his annual favorites lists that cover a variety of different forms of entertainment, including music, literature and yeah, cinema. Now that it’s the final day of 2019, why not find out which films and TV shows piqued the interest of the former POTUS this year.

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Gear Guy: A Funny Billie Eilish Parody About Photographers Who Only Care About Gear

Filmmaker and YouTuber Dave Maze is ending the year on a humorous note. His music video “Gear Guy” is a spot on parody of Billie Eilish’ song “Bad Guy,” but for photographers and videographers who are all about owning (if not actually using) the best gear.

The song and accompanying music video really don’t need any more introduction than that, assuming you’re familiar with Billie Eilish’ hit song “Bad Guy.”

“Gear Guy” is just Maze’s way of paying tribute to our favorite forum warriors: those masters of microcontrast and sticklers of sharpness who are more interested in owning the latest gear (and possibly shooting a few lens charts) than actually creating anything with it. Obviously this applies equally well to a certain subset of video shooters as well.

Check out the music video up top or listen to the song on SoundCloud below:

If you like this tongue-in-cheek creation and need more of a break from all the gear talk (which isn’t going anywhere… let’s be honest) then complement “Gear Guy” with a trip down memory lane and re-watch a few of our favorite photography parodies that we can all relate to on some level.

(via DPReview)

How We Built Bertha: A Giant Camera that Will Shoot the Largest Slide Ever Made

It’s called Bertha, and it will be the protagonist of the largest slide ever made. A gigantic camera born out of a desire to find out what photography can reveal when it’s pushed beyond certain limits.

From the first moment I started experimenting with photography, I sensed that the possibilities were infinite: past and present can merge, just as old and new technologies, and historical knowledge can find contemporary interpretations.

This camera—which has a sensitive area of 1.1 × 1.1 meters (3.6 x 3.6 feet), a bellows draft of about 4 meters (13.1 feet) and a 1000mm f/6.3 lens—is capable of taking portrait photographs in macro mode. In fact, at the maximum extension of the bellows, the magnification ratio reaches 3:1—that is, the subjects can be photographed with a final size up to three times greater than the real one.

I studied this measurement to obtain a close-up that could fill a sensitive area of over one square meter!

The first tests turned out to be a surprise. I discovered that, at the maximum draft of the bellows, the depth of field with a fully closed diaphragm is about 4cm: a real challenge to manage a photo shoot of this type.

Bertha was designed and built almost entirely by the Branco Ottico crew, with the exception of the part relating to the ground glass and film holder, for which we relied on a professional in aluminum frames.

The whole frame supporting the large camera is modular and made entirely of heavy metal to support movements without losing stability. It was designed by Branco Ottico crew member Donato Rizzo, an expert in mechanical processing.

The main idea is to use the gigantic camera to create unique works with the chemical process we have developed, the ROBA APPOSTA inversion kit, which is able to positively reverse all photographic papers and black and white films.

For the shots, we will use both photographic paper and film in rolls 1-meter in width; for development, we are equipped with a mobile darkroom that we use when shooting outdoor portraits, live performances and photographic events.

The first tests are scheduled for the next few days, and we will perform them with a 50x60cm back reduction.

We will program the photographic shot on a slide of over one square meter for the first months of 2020, then we will take a tour with Bertha and our mobile dark room to portray subjects “on the road” on direct photographic paper.

Image credits: Davide Rossi is a fine art photographer with over twenty years of photographic experimentation experience. In addition to working as a professional photographer, he runs courses and workshops in film photography, including working in the darkroom and making wet prints. You can find out more about Davide on his website or by following the exploits of the Branco Ottico crew. This article was also published here.

Video: Billie Eilish parody music video ‘Gear Guy’ is made for filmmakers and photographers

Dave Maze, the host of YouTube channel Kinotika, is the star of a newly published parody of Billie Eilish’s ‘Bad Guy’ music video. Called ‘Gear Guy,’ this song is made for the photographers and filmmakers who are obsessed with collecting new gear.

Maze is also behind the ‘Old Towne Road’ parody video published back in September. In addition to the music video above, the parody is also available to listen to on Soundcloud. The video also stars Jake Bernal, Zach Mayfield, and Laura Altizer.

How ‘The Office’ Turned Andy Into One of Its Best Characters

Andy Bernard went through several arcs on The Office, so how and why did the show bring him back?

The Office lasted nine seasons and created some of the most memorable characters to ever be on television. While we tend to focus on the most famous ones like Michael, Dwight, Jim, and Pam.

But attention should also be paid to Andy “I went to Cornell” Bernard.

Andy had one of the weirdest and most bumpy arcs on The Office. In watching the character grow from annoying supporting player to an increasingly likable lead character, you can tell what the writers liked working with Ed Helms and wanted to reshape his character and tailor it more to the actor’s strengths and on-screen likability.

It’s an excellent study in altering your plans when a better path forward opens up.

So watch this video from Nerdstalgic that dives deep-ish into how all that works:

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How ‘Parasite’ Made One of the Greatest Montages Ever

Here’s how Parasite director Bong Joon-Ho get sixty shots in five minutes for one of the best sequences in movie history.

There’s something about great movies that move you. It’s the way they make you feel and the way they make you concentrate on what’s in front of you at any moment.

The montage at the end of the first act in Parasite is one of those sequences emblematic of a great film. Let’s talk about what happens in that part of the story and how it sets us up for everything that follows.

Check out this video from Nerdwriter about this exceptional montage.

At the heart of every montage is a specific rhythm and cadence. It can be the beating of a drum or the eye of a tiger, but montages tell a story within a story. Frequently used to show the passing of time or plot points, they’re the connective tissue that pushes your journey forward.

Parasite both honors and subverts that, which only bolsters the scene’s effectiveness and emotional impact.

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‘The Rise of Skywalker’ Writer Chris Terrio Settles the ‘Last Jedi’ Debate

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is a very divisive film. Now, its Oscar-winning co-writer reveals some of the reasons behind the plot’s biggest twists and turns.

No matter what happened within Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, there would be people who loved or hated the choices. That’s the nature of writing and of the business of making movies.

Rise of Skywalker was always going to have some story controversy surrounding it. It was originally supposed to be written by Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly, but after their departure, J.J. Abrams boarded the film with Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio.

We don’t know who did what, or what people decided on earlier, but we know what we got.

Now, Chris Terrio has been talking with IndieWire about the process and decisions made in regards to plot and character.

It is important we cover the differences between The Last Jedi and Rise of Skywalker. While many fans felt decisions in Rise were retconned fixes demanded by upset fans.

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