Friday Five is a roundup of inspirational tutorials, articles and videos that I stumble across in my everyday browsing.

This week, a look at the work of Chris Crisman and see what grandma can do in the Mamika series. A look also at some great sports silhouette’s by Cole Barash, a TED talk by Chris Orwig on The Poetics of Pictures and some black and white technique via Chase Jarvis.


1. Chris Crisman

Chris Crisman has a very polished and produced look to his images. Whilst this isn’t every one’s cup of tea, I think his work is great. His images are very simple and clean. They are well lit and composed, creating very strong images. That said, the thing that is perhaps the most compelling about his work is that his images convey a sense of story – there is a sense of depth to the images, which draws you in and makes you pause and look a little longer.

Chris has created much of his personal work in and around Titusville, PA – the town where he grew up. This self funded personal work has led to a number of assignments, and is testament to the philosophy of ‘shoot what you love’.

Take a look through his portfolio, and see for yourself. There is an article on Strobist which has interesting insights on how Chris approaches his photography, and where he draws his inspiration from.

2. Mamika Series

French photographer Sacha Goldberger decided to cheer up his depressed 91-year-old Hungarian grandmother Frederika by suggesting that they shoot a series of photographs in unusual costumes, poses, and locations. Grandma was reluctant at first, but once they got started…well the rest is history.

There are two blog posts that have a good round up for some of the series here and here, but also head over to Sacha’s website to see the rest of his work and the full Mamika series.

3. Cole Barash Silhouettes

In general, I don’t like silhouettes – especially where sports are concerned. Now, this isn’t because the pictures aren’t good – it’s more of a case of being overdone and cliche.   I stumbled across this post on fstoppers with a behind the scenes video from Cole Barash, and I have to say I was blown away. These would have to be some of best silhouette sports shots I have ever seen.

See all the pictures on Coles blog, and watch the video below to get some insight into how the images were created. Hint – you need some mega sized scrims and lots of lights.

4. Chris Orwig – The poetics of pictures

I always enjoy TED talks – some more than others. This is an interesting short presentation by Chris Orwig which really hits the sweat spot on what really brings the X-factor to an image and how to say more with less.

In this talk, Chris relates a quote from Jay Maisel, who was once asked

“How do you become a better Photographer?”

Jay’s reply:

“Become a more interesting person.”

I like that.

Chris also has a 10 minute interview with Jay Maisel on his blog which is worth a listen to pick up some interesting insights from someone with over 50 years experience as a photographer.

5. Chase Jarvis – Tips on Black & White conversions

Creating a punchy black and white is more than just hitting the monochrome button in Lightroom. I am a huge fan of punchy, contrasty black and white images. Scott, the retoucher for Chase Jarvis shares some of the work-flow that was used for the black and white conversions for the Seattle 100 project.