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Picturesque Places in Portugal

Runtime - length of the film: 14m22s
Language: english
Skill level:
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Serdar Ugurlu and Chris Bothner have been searching out some of the best shooting locations and want to share their experience and best locations with all of us.

Some people take vacation pictures and some people take picture vacations. Serdar wants to show us how to make the most of a great location: Portugal - The key apparently is that in an around Lisbon are some of the most picturesque locations on the Atlantic Seaboard and they are all with in an hour of each other!

Serdar introduces us to the west side and explains the benefits of hitting certain beaches at high and low tide. Once one location has been shown, he lets Chris take over with the next location. So tune-in and turn on-on to Portugal. Landscape and sunset shooting at it's peak!

Michele Borzoni

Runtime - length of the film: 10m13s
Language: english
Skill level:
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Michele Borzoni is an Italian photojournalist. He has been to Nepal, Kashmir and did stories about his homeland.

In 2006 he founded TerraProject to collaborate with photographers. Borzoni covers subjects ranging from social to documentary. He provides insight into strange cultures and past times, for which he travels the world.

A review on his work shows his fascination for the medium.

Elliott Erwitt and Marc Riboud

Runtime - length of the film: 11m53s
Language: english
Skill level:


Eavesdrop here on two of the twentieth century's top photojournalists sitting on a sofa and chilling out. Elliott Erwitt, three times president of the illustrious photo-agency Magnum, and Marc Riboud, whose startling and captivating images put him in a class with Cartier-Bresson. Like Bresson, both men were born in France. Unlike Bresson, however, both are inveterate globetrotters. Asked about their attitudes to travelling, Riboud says, "I don't travel for the sake of travelling, I like surprises." And Erwitt, too, thinks that travelling is not necessary, but has its merits. It cuts you off from routine so that you can get 'fresh meat'. And it's fun!

Both professional veterans went to places that most people did not, or could not go to. In the 1950s and 1960s Erwitt photographed in the communist block countries of Eastern Europe. He was sent there on assignments, which he enjoyed. "Assignments take you to places you can't afford to go", he says, with a twinkle in his eye. Riboud works quite differently. He just goes off to somewhere that interests him, then comes back and tries to sell his photographs through agencies. Many of his trips were to Asia, including North Vietnam during the war there. He likes travelling alone: "In groups, people talk a lot. I don't think you can travel and speak at the same time!" And he likes exploring on foot ("Walking with your feet, you discover much more.").

The interview is richly illustrated with some of the best and most well known images of these two experienced and skilful photographers.  And it is seasoned with their refreshing, good-humoured and insightful comments. What is the most difficult thing to photograph? What did Picasso say about that?  What do Africans say about foreign visitors? How do you know when you've made a good photo?

More of Elliott Erwitt's work can be seen on his website, which bears the typically subtle and understated subtitle, 'for life-like snaps'.

The FotoTV interview with Marc Riboud alone is well worth watching too. His motto is, "Talk less and look more."

Ed Kashi

Runtime - length of the film: 16m53s
Language: english
Skill level:


Ed Kashi is charismatic proponent of photojournalism. In this FotoTV video he is spell-bindingly direct and passionate about his work. For him it all began as a teenager wanting to tell stories, and then going to college to learn to be a writer. In the freshman year the students had to make photographs too. And the young Kashi had never done this before. So he borrowed money from his family and rented a Ricoh. That was the beginning of a switch from words to pictures.

That’s why he calls himself a visual storyteller and why he’s been telling stories now from all over the world for over thirty years.

His motivation is a compassionate and engaged interest in social and political themes. His general approach is to choose an issue and work on it in depth. And by ‘in depth’ we’re not talking about days, weeks or months: We’re talking about five years working in the Niger Delta on oil, development and militancy, about eight years on aging in America.

His first significant project was on the protestant community in Northern Ireland.  The resulting images appearing in a small, self-published book. This led to his working in 1991 for the National Geographic Magazine. A 26-week contract covering the Kurds was followed by a project on the Jewish settlers on the West Bank.

This project, however, was brought to a sudden end by the then rapidly expanding Internet. It never occurred to Kashi, and probably to most other photojournalists at that time, that the subjects of their work would actually see and read about themselves. In this very early case it was the words accompanying the images on the Internet that caused consternation amongst the settler community. They told to get out!

Beginning in 1995 Ed realized that he wanted to look at his own culture in America. He chose an issue that will increasingly affect all western cultures, at many levels, and for the coming twenty to thirty years: Aging - a demographic shift of gigantic proportions. Many older people will remain fit and full of life. But many will be poor, depressed and lonely. We will need massive number of caregivers, not only health specialists but also simple companions and helpers. Kashi’s involvement here is almost tangible; it shines through what he says and in some of his most moving images.

Moving images, this time in the literal sense of video, is another subject on which Kashi has interesting things to say. While he uses video himself, he makes an impassioned plea for the value of still photography. “Moving images wash over you – they are passive. They don’t require much of the viewer. A still photograph requires the viewer to work, to look carefully. You need to look for detail. You need to analyse. You need to read some kind of contextual information to understand what is going on.  It demands that you think. It’s almost meditative.”

In 2009 Ed Kashi published ‘Three’, a book of trypticons. It was a dramatic departure from photojournalism. Perhaps inspired by the multiple screens common in multimedia events, the photographs in each set of three may come from entirely different places and siituation, but they share something that makes a new statement, gives a new insight.

Despite the shrinkage of printed ‘real estate’ for visual storytelling, photojournalism, according to Ed Kashi, is more alive and vibrant in all corners of the globe than ever before. He is full of encouragement for young photographers. Their work appears mostly online: “It’s just that we haven’t yet figured out a way to make a living out of this!”

Ed’s philosophy, and the message of this video is that ultimately, to make good photographs you have to tap into your creative soul, into your passions. Know what is it you want to do with your work. The camera is only a tool.

Marc Riboud

Runtime - length of the film: 14m41s
Language: english
Skill level:
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Marc Riboud is a living legend, a star Magnum photographer. A man who, in the Paris of 1951, met three of the founders of that illustrious photo-cooperative, Henri Cartier Bresson, Robert Capa and David Seymour. In this video you meet a man who at 88 is unassuming, wise, and still passionate about photography.

He hasn't switched to digital photography. Riboud likens the handling of his camera to that of a concert pianist with his piano. The pianist knows where every key is without looking or even having to think about it. Practicing for five or six hours a day, the positions of the notes become instinctive. He can concentrate on the music. And so it is for Marc Riboud with his film camera. You can't, and shouldn't try to, teach an old dog new tricks.

Like Bresson, Riboud has an uncanny ability to capture striking images of fleeting moments. Moments that betray intimate thoughts and feelings that stunningly or funnily freeze an everyday instant that would otherwise pass unnoticed, moments that express in powerful compositions the realities of war and political change.

This interview with Marc Riboud is spiced with some of his most remarkable photos and his comments on them: The man with no safety line painting the Eifel Tower, the girl with a flower facing soldiers with bayonets outside the White House, and many more.

In 1957, Marc Riboud was one of the first European photographers to go to China during the years of the Cultural Revolution and meet Chairman Mao. He reported on the Vietnam War from the North and the South. Later he travelled widely, though concentrating much on Asia.

The list of people he has photographed runs from Abbé Pierre to Lech Wallensa, from Max Ernst to Mitterand, from the Beatles to Simone de Beavoir.

"Rather than a profession, photography has always been a passion for me, a passion closer to an obsession."  From the title page of Marc Riboud's website.

From the East to the West 2

Runtime - length of the film: 13m42s
Language: english
Skill level:


In the second part of his photographic journey across America, photographer Robert Leslie discusses his work and his latest project, the photographic documentation of North America and how he experienced the state of nation during the first few weeks following President Obama's inauguration.

Armed with his camera, Leslie's goal was to show images that reflected the social, environmental, and economical change in America during a time that some observers liken to that of the great depression. Sticking to small rural roads and highways, Leslie did not visit any of the big major cities. Instead he searched for the nuances that made the small towns unique.

There have probably been millions of people who have had that dream at least once in their life about of driving across and in this interview Leslie focuses on his experiences across the Great West, California in particular. One interesting highlight was the California Historic Route 66. The stretch of Route 66 passes through California extending from the Colorado River, to the Pacific Ocean at Santa Monica, with some of the most scenic routes traveling through California's deserts, mountains, metropolitan areas and beach communities.

Surely it is impossible to get any real impression of a city by just driving through and staying overnight, but Leslie easily manages to document some of America's most non-commercial locations across the Midwest in a very intimate and meaningful way. Leslie's images reveal the problems facing Americans, the contrast between a land of superficial beauty and weak government social systems and the unfortunate results of a nation living on credit.

How to Shoot Northern Lights

Runtime - length of the film: 9m50s
Language: english
Skill level:
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Lucky for us geologist and physicist Hinrich Bäsemann is here to not only explain the occurrence of the phenomenal light show referred to as the Northern Lights but also to explain how to photograph them as well.

After a scientific explanation regarding the "what" of the lights and the "when" they are visible, he lays out what conditions are "most likely" to result in an occurrence. It isn't always a given you know! He gives tips on sources for weather, and sun activity to try and insure that your trip up north is worthwhile.

His great respect for nature and the honor he feels to be be working in this very unique part of the world are obvious in his enthusiastic descriptions of the landscape and his own long-year experience in trying to capture this wide spectral phenomenon.

A detailed description of the necessary equipment complete with tips on how to dress; how to acclimatise your equipment; how to handle memory chip cards, and how to apply your newly honed skills to gain further amazing images.It's good to have a Great Northern Guide to the lights! Enjoy!

Social Stories and Working Classes

Runtime - length of the film: 13m24s
Language: english
Skill level:
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Professor Rolf Nobel is a foundation of the photograpic style known previously as Photo Reporter.

His specialy has always been reporting from and about the working places of our society. Although even he realizes that often many of these places are dying out and the stories are fewer and far betwee, He has always been able to find a buyer for his stories.

Here we get a background look in to two such stories. The one: a story from northern England of mining coal from the ocean, the other a look at kids and their ponies in Dublin.

Rolf explains the anatomy of getting established as an insider, so the story can be researched. He also shares with the us how to prepare an exposée so that it is interesting and can be sold.

From the East to the West 1

Runtime - length of the film: 16m23s
Language: english
Skill level:


In this FotoTV interview with photographer Robert Leslie, he discusses his work and his latest project, the photographic documentation of North America from Florida to Los Angeles and how he experienced the state of nation during the first few weeks following President Obama's inauguration.

Armed with his camera, Leslie set out on a journey of about 7,000 km, starting his trip in Miami at the site of President Obama's inauguration. Leslie's goal was to show images that reflected the social, environmental, and economical change in America during a time that some observers liken to that of the great depression.

Sticking to small rural roads and highways, Leslie did not visit any of the big major cities. Instead he searched for the nuances that made the small towns unique. He visited the immediate areas surrounding the infamous hurricane Katrina and BP oil spill on the gulf coast. It was there that he realized that much had not been done in these small towns to bring them back to their original state. Simply because of unemployment, lack of funds and support from social and governmental agencies. His work goes on to document many dilapidated and abandoned structures, land parcels and estates. In some instances Leslie was able to talk to the original owners only to find out they did not have any more money to keep up their properties, thus forcing them to live in relative primitive situations with only the bare necessities to survive.

In Crawford, Texas, the hometown of former US President Bush, Leslie shot a slew of images, mostly of signs, banners and billboards of resolute thanks and support to George W. Bush. One peculiar, if not disturbing image is of a shooting range with a pro-weapons billboard that is visible to children as they passed twice daily on a school bus.

Leslie's images reveal the problems facing Americans, the contrast between a land of superficial beauty and weak government social systems and the unfortunate results of a nation living on credit.

Theo Bosboom

Runtime - length of the film: 11m56s
Language: english
Skill level:
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Theo Bosboom is a nature photographer from the Netherlands. His career in photography started in 2003 after a photo trip to southern Africa and Namibia. Deeply impressed by the wildlife and the wonderful landscapes there, and on looking at his pictures back home, he realized just what a powerful medium photography could be.

So he joined a local nature photography club in Nijmegen and was inspired by the work done there.  He saw that it was possible to make great pictures not only in faraway places but also right on his own doorstep around Arnhem.

Theo’s main focus is on landscapes. But unlike most landscape photographers he makes great use of the telephoto lens. He uses it to pick out details and structures that then have  strong graphic impact verging on the abstract.

At the other extreme Theo does a lot of macro-photography. "Here the great thing is", he says, "that it can be done anytime, any place and under any weather".

A major project over the last few years has been photographing in Iceland. On visiting there in 2006 he saw that it was "a dream for photographers" but that many people had of course already taken great photographs there. To find something new he decided to go back several times a year, often in winter, avoiding the tourists in spring and summer, and to explore away from the beaten track.

Thanks to the Gulf Stream Iceland has a relatively mild climate. So to Theo's surprise it was raining when he first arrived in winter and the vegetation was green.  But luckily after a few days it began to snow and "it turned the landscape into a magical place".  For example the Jökulsárlón Glacier is "very special in winter: It looks different every day".

Working in Iceland is hard because the weather can change very quickly. Blizzards and sudden ice on the roads can make travelling risky. Four-wheel drive is a must.

Early in 2010 Theo witnessed and photographed the eruption of the volcano Eyjafjallajokull that, with its dust and ash cloud, disrupted air traffic in most of Europe. 

Iceland is a great place for bird photography.  There are a many breeding species, some of them, like the photogenic puffin, very interesting. The harlequin duck, for example, cannot be found anywhere else in Europe.  And one can get surprisingly close to the birds because they are not so shy as in more populated areas.

Theo gives advice in this video to potential visitors to Iceland. If you are planning a photo trip you will need at least ten day to right round the island. If you have less time take a closer look at just one area. And if you only have a weekend or so stay in the southeast near Reykjavik, in the so-called 'Golden Triangle'. It includes the Goðafoss waterfall, and other great but less well-known waterfall and it is one of the few areas in Iceland where there are trees. Driving further east there is good chance of spotting reindeer. The coastline is in some places quite spectacular and one should also visit some  geothermal hot spots to get a feeling for the power that formed the earth.

Theo's website at has a lot of his great Iceland images and Theo generously makes an offer to help you if you are planning a visit there. Just send him an email.