Monthly Archives: March 2011

The W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography

If you haven’t already done so, you’ve still got time to get your application in for this fantastic grant opportunity. You’ve got until May 31 to “include a written proposal that is concise, journalistically realizable, visually translatable, and humanistically driven, and a resume  of educational and professional qualifications. Additionally, applicants must demonstrate evidence of their photographic ability and submit between 20 and 40 images. ”

Established in 1979 in honor of W. Eugene Smith, the legendary American photo essayist, the Smith grant is given to a photographer who is demonstrating an exemplary commitment to documenting the human condition in the spirit of Smith’s humanistic photography and compassionate dedication. Administered by the W. Eugene Smith Fund for Humanistic Photography, an independent non-profit organization, the grant provides photographers with the financial freedom to continue or complete a major photographic project. The grant represents the most prestigious honor in the field of documentary photography.

Application Deadline: May 31, 2011

Grant: $30,000 | Discretionary Fellowship: $5,000

Submissions should be sent to:
W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund
c/o International Center of Photography
1133 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10036 — USA

And you can get ALL the requirement details here!

My Slave Sister Myself: 2011 Female Eye Film Festival Best Documentary

Last week, New Jersey filmmaker Gwen Ragsdale was awarded the Vistek-sponsored Best Documentary prize, for My Slave Sister Myself, at the 2011 Female Eye Film Festival.

My Slave Sister Myself is a gripping, documentary film about the Transatlantic Slave Trade, it’s effect on enslaved Africans and its lasting impact on African Americans today. First person narratives describe slave women’s traumatic experiences and draw a parallel between feelings deeply embedded in the souls of today’s Black woman. The similarities are stunning! The film also exposes how slavery shaped perceptions about Black manhood. This ground breaking film pays homage to African slave descendants and sheds light on perceptions about today’s ‘Angry Black Woman’ and the ‘Black Man’s Sexual Prowess.’ Men and women; young and old alike will greatly benefit from the information this film conveys. My Slave Sister Myself will elevate your consciousness and enable you to gain an awareness of your own inner slave sister or brother.”

“This film doesn’t point blame, or assign guilt, nor does it seek to judge,” said Ragsdale in her acceptance speech, “It simply reveals…”

My Slave Sister Myself is Ragsdale’s second documentary film (her first, titled Lest We Forget, was awarded the 2007 HBO Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival Best Documentary Award) and she is the founder of the Lest We Forget Film Productions & Traveling Slavery Museum.


 
Vistek is proud to be sponsor the Best Documentary award at this year’s Female Eye Film Festival and looks forward to doing so again next year for the festival’s Tenth Anniversary Event!

My Slave Sister Myself: 2011 Female Eye Film Festival Best Documentary

Last week, New Jersey filmmaker Gwen Ragsdale was awarded the Vistek-sponsored Best Documentary prize, for My Slave Sister Myself, at the 2011 Female Eye Film Festival.

My Slave Sister Myself is a gripping, documentary film about the Transatlantic Slave Trade, it’s effect on enslaved Africans and its lasting impact on African Americans today. First person narratives describe slave women’s traumatic experiences and draw a parallel between feelings deeply embedded in the souls of today’s Black woman. The similarities are stunning! The film also exposes how slavery shaped perceptions about Black manhood. This ground breaking film pays homage to African slave descendants and sheds light on perceptions about today’s ‘Angry Black Woman’ and the ‘Black Man’s Sexual Prowess.’ Men and women; young and old alike will greatly benefit from the information this film conveys. My Slave Sister Myself will elevate your consciousness and enable you to gain an awareness of your own inner slave sister or brother.”

“This film doesn’t point blame, or assign guilt, nor does it seek to judge,” said Ragsdale in her acceptance speech, “It simply reveals…”

My Slave Sister Myself is Ragsdale’s second documentary film (her first, titled Lest We Forget, was awarded the 2007 HBO Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival Best Documentary Award) and she is the founder of the Lest We Forget Film Productions & Traveling Slavery Museum.


 
Vistek is proud to be sponsor the Best Documentary award at this year’s Female Eye Film Festival and looks forward to doing so again next year for the festival’s Tenth Anniversary Event!

Spring has sprung – interactively – with POV Magazine!

The latest issue of POV Magazine is now available and, once again, the good folks there have given us an access code so that YOU, our valued readers can access the online version for FREE.

The Spring 2011 issue is POV’s special Interactive Issue (a new version of an old job: telling stories using today’s technology.)

What will you find under the covers?

Focus on New Media

  • Katerina Cizek’s Highrise/Out of My Window project has been winning awards since its premiere at Amsterdam’s IDFA festival last November. Cizek talks about digital storytelling with POV’s Jessica Duffin Wolfe.
  • Websites are being produced by Canadian documentarians and their new-media colleagues in rapidly increasing numbers. Nancy Lanthier samples sites ranging from Waterlife to The Test Tube to GDP.
  • When Haiti was devastated by an earthquake, Canada’s PTV Productions was ready to shoot film and make an extraordinary website, which became Inside Disaster. PTV new-media producer Katie McKenna tells what happened next.
  • What happened to Brett Gaylor’s first online collaborative documentary platform project? And what will take its place now? Steven James May reports on an ongoing phenomenon.

Essays, Reviews & Profiles

  • Edmonton’s Niobe Thompson’s new doc on the Alberta tar sands, The Tipping Point, poses the big question: is the current environmental disaster a turning point for humanity? Zoe Cormier tackles one of the biggest issues of our times.
  • IDFA offers POV’s Melanie Sevcenko a potpourri of experiences from a survey of Iranian docs to an Academy training day for neophyte filmmakers to a set of “expanding documentary” installations.
  • Fredrik Gertten’s Bananas!* and Anne Henderson’s Battle of Wills ran into legal and ethical issues as docs and as examples of freedom of expression. Maurie Alioff recounts their tales.
  • Bunbury Films founder Frederic Bohbot tells POV’s Matthew Hays about the documentaries that inspire him and the government policies that don’t.

Columns

  • Soundscaping: Lesley Barber, Composer Extraordinaire, by Heidi McKenzie
  • Women in Media: A look at Vancouver’s SexMoneyMedia Conference, by Zoe Druick
  • Policy Matters: The clock is ticking on the price of Internet use in Canada, by Barri Cohen

 
So head on over to online digital edition & use the access code: vistek2011 for your free copy today!

Elinchrom D-Lite 4: a Portrait Lighting Seminar in Review

First – I really want to thank everyone who came out to my Portrait Lighting Basics class on Saturday, March 19. We had a great (sold out!) class.  Hopefully some of our students will share some of their photos on our Flickr Page. All you have to do is join the group, and then you can add some of your photos.

For those of you who have never attended a Vistek Semiar, here is a quick video clip (that I shot with my iPhone) of what you can expect from one of my Portrait Lighting Classes.

This class ran for 3 hours and, as with all my classes, we shot tethered to a 52″ Plasma display so that all of the students can see what we’re up to. Everyone who attends has the opportunity to shoot the exact same pictures that I do, and to learn lighting from scratch. In this class I decided to show everyone how versatile the Elinchrom D-Lite 4 kit is (follow the link to see everything that the kit includes.)

• The first shot we did was with one Soft Box, directly on Camera Right. We set up this shot to create a very dramatic look, and used Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to process all of the images you’ll see below.


 
 
With this second shot, below, we brought the soft box forward to Camera Right at a 45º angle at about 6′ high, aimed slightly downward. Still we’re only using 1 main light.


 
 
For this next shot we decided to leave our light source in the exact same spot, and switch to a Medium Photek Umbrella.

I processed this shot 2 ways: first is a B&W Infrared look that I created as a preset in Lightroom, and the second is just straight colour, with a bit of skin softening. By the way I’m teaching my introductory Lightroom seminar at Vistek, on Saturday, April 2  in our downtown Toronto store.


 
 
Next up we went back to the  Elinchrom Porta Lite soft box that comes with our D-Lite 4 kit, as our main light, in the same position. We’ve also added in a 30″ Silver Lastolite reflector as fill on Camera Left and a 10º grid spot on our second light (as a hair light) behind our model & aimed at her hair from behind, on camera left.


 
 
In the shot below, we’ve added in a Lastolite Triflector kit which surrounds our model with reflectors to Camera Left, Right, and below her in front to add fill. Our main light is now directly centered in front of our model from high above. We still have our second light in the back to Camera Left & behind our model as a hair light.


 
 
This is our last shot for this lesson. What we’ve done differently is taken our grid spot and aimed it at our Lastolite Collapsible background just to give it a slightly different look.

All of the images were shot with a Canon 1DS Mark III with a 100mm 2.8 macro lens.

Also used on this shoot were:

That’s what you can do with your Elinchrom D-Lite 4 kit – pure and simple. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.  And, if you already own an Elinchrom D-Lite 4 kit, why not share some of your best shots on our Flickr Group?

Thanks!

Gary Goldberg