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Singing photo

The High Note

The High Note, our serious of photos that shows vocalists at their loudest, was a really fun set to work on. Here at Spectacle we like to come up with projects ideas that we’ve never seen before. This project? This project we sort of stumbled across by

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creepy photographer

The photography industry can be creepy and downright predatory, and that’s a fact. It’s an industry where young women can be taken advantage of and exploited, and it’s important to draw attention to it so people can be on the lookout. Some photographers will tell you

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‘The Revenant’ Review

The Revenant‘ is one of the most honest pieces of filmmaking I’ve seen in a long time. It’s so refreshing to see a movie that has no time for any modern agendas, is a technical marvel, is perfectly cast, and uses its locations to breathtaking affect.  There’s so much good in this movie, I’m going to start off with the bad. For me, the worst thing about this movie is the hype. Leo is going around touting how “unfathomable” the production was, like a WWII veteran or something. We get it. The crew actually had to earn their millions this time around. Moving on. Everyone(including myself now), is spouting off how great this film is, so it seems pretentious before you even watch it. However, any skepticism melts away instantly, as the film starts off with a jaw dropping intro that establishes dominance over any preconceived notions you may have. This film also contains a few dream sequence shots, and while they fit in, they were a bit unnecessary. If they were taken out I don’t think they would’ve been missed since they didn’t add much to the overall narrative. Other than that, I don’t think I can come up with any other complaints. 

The film is about a frontier trapper named Hugh Glass(Leonardo DiCaprio) in a fight for survival. After escaping an Indian attack and moving deep into a nightmarish wilderness, his two buddies Jim Bridger(Will Poulter) and John Fitzgerald(Tom Hardy) leave him for dead after he’s mauled by a bear. The following struggle showcases Glass battling the elements for hundreds of miles in order to live so he can enact his revenge. DiCaprio nails his performance in every way, which is especially impressive when considering his limited dialogue. The bear attack scene alone is phenomenal. Through his blood curdling shrieks and pure looks of terror, he truly convinced me that’s what it would be like to be mauled by a bear. Throughout the film he hits every emotional note perfectly, including rage, happiness, tear-welling sadness, toughness, full on surrender, and everything in-between.

DiCaprio’s performance is rivaled only by that of Tom Hardy’s. I’m still left wondering who did the better job. Hardy’s gravelly character Fitzgerald is a brutal man from a forgotten time, and is probably my favorite aspect of this movie. He was a constant reminder of what life used to be out in the unknown, and his life alone will make you feel thankful for all of your modern day comforts, albeit at a significant cost to your manhood. The rest of the cast also holds up extremely well. Something I thought was great about this movie was that everyone was villainized in there own way. The frontiersman, the Indians, the frenchman, they were all portrayed as mean, dangerous, and not to be trusted. The cast pulled this off perfectly, and didn’t disappoint me in any way. 

The technical aspects of ‘The Revenant’ is another triumph. This film was shot entirely with natural light, which is an amazing feat all on its own. The skill and mastery it would take to pull that off is beyond me, and it really sets the tone. It breathed life into every location; I felt cold just sitting in the theater. I was also at a loss while watching the camerawork. If there was an Academy Award for perfect tracking shots, this crew would win, hands down.

All in all, this movie is one of the greats. This film is what people who love movies wait for, year after year. It successfully takes you to another time and place, and holds up even under the most critical of microscopes. Go see this film in the theater, and then buy it. And then get the poster. And hang it in your room where you can look at it when you wake up. ‘The Revenant’ is that good. My hat’s off to director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for creating this masterpiece. 

‘The Revenant’: 9.75/10

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I’m a member of a local photography Facebook page here in Orlando, and today I saw this graphic: 

Sorry about the bad quality, I couldn't find it on Google images so I pulled it off Facebook.
Sorry about the bad quality, I couldn’t find it on Google images so I pulled it off Facebook.

It’s so true.  Whenever we post our work online it’s always picked up and/or praised by the national and international photography communities, but never by our local one. So we sat around Spectacle Photo today wondering why that is, and we’ve come to a conclusion: the bad eggs ruin photography communities for everyone, locally speaking.  You see, to have any kind of voice in the international community you need to have reached a certain level of professionalism and quality as a photographer. To have a voice locally, you don’t need anything. Any no-talent egomaniac can get online and blast nonsense on local groups and forums, and since the local groups are smaller, nonsense can leave more of an impact.  

Who are the bad eggs, you ask?  Here’s the top five douchebags bringing down local scenes everywhere:

1. The Complainer

     You’ve heard from this guy a lot.  He’s the guy complaining that they sell DSLR’s at Best Buy for so cheap.  He complains about everyone these days claiming to be “photographers”(always in parenthesis, just to add some extra doucheyness).  He goes on and on about how everything in the world is holding him back. The economy, the photography community, photo software, available talent, etc.  You name it, he complains about it. 

This guy will forever be stuck in Nowheresville, and he only has himself to blame.

2. The Gear Snob

     The Gear Snob is the guy running around letting everyone know he thinks their equipment sucks.  “So, THAT’S your lens?”.  Your photos will be judged by the equipment you took them with, and he’ll always be there to let you know what “you need”. Then he proceeds to take garbage photos with unnecessary equipment he doesn’t know how to use, if he even takes pics at all.  Most of the time he just stands around talking about how you should get the new Canon being released next month or just quit photography.

3.  The Socially Awkward Jerk

      You’ll find TSAJ at any local photography gathering or forum.  He loves to tell the models their poses are amateur, they aren’t pretty enough for the shots he wants, and then he’ll creepily ask them to do a shoot at his house.  He openly lets other photographers know they’re doing everything wrong, and that his way is better.  You can always count on TSAJ to tell you how successful he is and why you’re not. 

After awhile you’ll see him all alone, awkwardly taking photos of birds right before he goes home and uploads them on his broken website with his homemade logo plastered all over them.

4.  The Photoshop Bandit

     Oh Photoshop Bandit, how I hate you.  He’s always online, dropping comments on your pics telling you how you should fix everything about them in photoshop. Then he’ll get busy uploading his pics of models, or what used to be models until he got them into Photoshop and turned them into blurry, plastic abominations. This modern day Frankenstein cuts, clones, spot colors, and liquefies his way into a garbage photo nirvana, all while laughing at your conservative adjustments. Don’t worry, you too can over-process your photos, just click on the tutorials that he made of himself butchering photo after photo. This guy only exists within local communities because his work is terrible, and national and international outlets don’t recognize him in any way.

Step away from Photoshop and put your hands in the air, Photoshop Bandit.  You’re under arrest for crimes against photography.

5.  The 90’s Photographer

     This guy, in my opinion, is the worst.  He is what truly crushes the spirit of local photography communities.  In the late 90’s, he was making bank.  Bad photo editing was allowed back then because photo editing of any kind was impressive, so he never tried getting good with editing software. He didn’t have to. Fast forward to now:  his photography looks old and dated, his fanbase has dwindled to nothing, and he’s very, very bitter.  If you post a photo, he’s there to dump on it. If you have a new business idea, he’s there to tell you he’s done it and it won’t work.  Instead of helping you, he’d rather take his photography knowledge, locations, client referrals, and anything else useful he knows/has and throw it all in the garbage.  

Because of the recession that happened years ago, this guy’s bitterness is in full force.  Be wary of him, because he’ll do anything he can to hold his local photography community back so he can worm his way back into the limelight.  

The people on this list, of course, are the extreme cases.  Just because a photographer complains doesn’t make him destructive, and not every photographer working in the late 90’s is a raging douche-a-holic.  Sadly though, these people do exist, and they ruin the party for everyone.  With their forces combined, they bring down entire local communities with their inflated ego’s and negativity. 

So what do you do about it? Refuse to participate. If you don’t engage with these people, they can’t affect you in any way. No matter how awesome or crappy your photos are, there will always be someone there to try and tell you how bad they suck.  There’s nothing you can do about it, and there just happens to be more haters in local networks.  Local communities aren’t going to change, these people will always be there. It’s not worth arguing online about photography, there’s no end to it.  When someone is being a jerk on one of your posts, just ignore it.  Don’t respond, don’t delete it, just ignore it.  When someone tells you you can’t do something in the photography industry, just ignore them and do it anyway.

The best thing to do within a local community platform is show your work.  That’s it.  People will see it, like it or hate it, and your job is done.  When you go online, just post your photos and leave. Drop the mic.  

 

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A good digital designer is more than someone who simply pushes pixels around.  A good designer looks at the overall direction that a logo, brand, etc. needs to go. It’s THEIR job to make it stylish and unique.  The sad thing is, most digital designers these days are being totally underutilized and bullied by backseat designers. 

When the majority of bosses and clients give a designer a task, for some reason they instantly evolve into a creative dictator, and the lowly designer becomes their slave. In our experience, people with no background in marketing and/or design tend to always overthink the process, and do their best to force their designers to design them camels.  What’s a camel, you ask? A camel is a horse, designed by a committee.  

The Vision
The Vision
The Result
The Result

Here is a real example of what I’m talking about:  One day we got a call here at Spectacle from a lighting company, and they told us they needed a logo.  They said they wanted it to incorporate their name, and have a fresh look.  We took on the project because designing logos is one of our favorite things to do, and we started working on it right away.  We designed them an outstanding logo, and even managed to get a small silhouette of a light into the negative space.  It was killer.  When we were done we sent it off to them, and the project manager said he loved it, but we needed to make the letters wider.  He said the clients needed to see that their company was solid just by looking at the logo, and thick letters was a good way to get this point across.  From a design aspect, this makes no sense, but we did it anyway because the client is always right(well, they are if you want to get that last half of the deposit).  The logo now looked worse, but our client was happier with it.  He then showed it to his bosses, and they sent us more revisions.  They told us that incorporating just their company name into the logo didn’t convey what they do, and that we needed to place more information around the logo.  They told us we needed to add “Event Lighting, Light Rentals, and Lighting Design” into the logo somehow.  We told them it wasn’t going to work with all that text, and a list of services doesn’t belong in the design of the logo.  This blew their minds.  They said, “Well, how are people supposed to know what we do when they look at our logo?”  We then told them that’s not what a logo is for, which is why Ebay didn’t incorporate “An Online Auction Service Where you Bid on Stuff” into their logo.  A logo should not be descriptive.  “Zazzle” is a company that sells t-shirts.  Can you tell what they do just by looking at their logo? No, because that’s not important. They let their customers know about their services in other ways, because that’s how it should be done.

They ignored our advice, and made us add company descriptors, colors that didn’t match,  and three DIFFERENT fonts with bad sizing for each descriptor.  They even made us put their logo in a random yellow box for some reason.  When all was said and done, the logo looked terrible.  It was a total camel.  The sad thing was they didn’t even like it when we made all of their changes.  So many people had gotten involved, each of them making changes and tweaking it, that nobody got what they wanted.  What they ended up with was a total mess.

That situation doesn’t need to happen to you. Before you hire a digital designer, put a single person in charge of handling your project.  This way, you will eliminate noise from people who have no idea what they’re talking about, and communication to the designer will be easier.  Next, make sure you’ve found a designer that has an extensive background that you can trust, and check that they’ve done work that you like. When you find the one that fits, let them know what your goals are concerning the vibe and vision of your company, and just let them handle it.  A good digital designer knows the trends, styles, looks, and world of digital creation better than anyone, including you. If you step outside your comfort zone and pre-conceived notions, you’ll end up with a great result that benefits your company as whole, not just each individual within it. 

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