Annie Leibovitz: Portrait of a portraitist

Annie Leibovitz launched her career through Rolling Stone magazine, but now she is much more than a rock n’ roll force in the domain of photography. These days, at least for the rest of the world’s photographers, she has become something like an elder stateswoman.

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That claim alone can be substantiated by her success. Big companies such as UBS line up to finance her roving global exhibits. She has the world of fashion and advertisements wrapped around her finger, with her resume that boasts portraits of some of the biggest names in fashion. Name a thick household glossy, and she has helmed its images.

A few days before John Lennon was assassinated, Leibovitz had captured the former Beatle in an intimate embrace with his wife, Yoko Ono. This masterpiece earned her a place in the hallowed exhibits of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington.

Then there’s the portrait series of women, launched in 1999 at the urging of her then partner, the notable author Susan Sontag. Almost the feminist manifesto in photography at the time, the series annotated the evolving roles of women in a rapidly modernizing society. In recent times, the photographer remarked how difficult it had been in the early aughts to select renowned businesswomen to include in the series. These days, she has her pick among Sheryl Sandberg, Marissa Meyer, and other tech females.

Her representation of women is the idea that sticks. Leibovitz has evolved into an outspoken and visible presence in women’s rights, and it’s hard to miss her in the crowds of marches for women. Annie Leibovitz has shown how far photography has moved, along with its subjects, over time.

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A Beginner’s Guide To Breathtaking Springtime Shots

Spring is in full bloom! It’s the perfect time for photographers to take pictures of beautiful flowers and trees. Need more practice? Here are tips on creating breathtaking springtime shots.

Adjust camera settings for the great outdoors: Winter had us stuck indoors for a long time, but spring will call us to appreciate what’s out there. Take a few minutes to adjust your camera’s lighting and white balance settings so you can take photos that match what your eyes see.

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Use natural lighting: Going to a sunny place for spring break? It’s the perfect location to shoot outdoor photos! Make sure to adjust your flash settings, as the sun can cast harsh shadows into your images.

Capture the blooming of fauna as well: While people anticipate springtime for the flowers, it is also the time that the birds, bears, and other fauna go outdoors to enjoy the sun. Spring is not just for the flowers, but for the people, animals, and trees as well.

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Take a shot at macro photography and still life photography: Spring is a great season to do macro photography. Macro photography can let photographers capture details of flowers, bugs, patterns, and other subjects. Aside from macro photography, you can also take pictures of usual items that give spring a better look. Rakes on grass with falling leaves, Easter eggs, and blooming flowers are usual themes—it’s time you get creative, too!

Hi, I’m Judd Bergman, a retired travel photographer. Want to learn more about photography? Follow this blog for more tips.

The World’s Most Prestigious Photography Contests

To get noticed as a photographer, you need to get your work recognized by the industry veterans and the critics. Having a website and an online portfolio can help but receiving awards from prestigious competitions will give you leverage from your colleagues. Here are some of the contests that will get talented photographers noticed:

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International Photography Awards

This competition welcomes students, non-professionals, and professionals from all over the world. With a panel consisting of 85 famous names in the photography field, winning this prize cements one’s position in the industry. Also, winners will receive a Lucie Statue at the Lucie Awards Gala, a cash prize, and a feature in the annual IPA book of photography and the IPA exhibition here in New York.

National Geographic Photo Contest

This is one of the prizes many photographers aspire to win. In circulation for more than a hundred years now, the magazine has been a part of our culture. Professional and amateur photographers are welcome to join. The contest receives more than 7,000 entries from 150 countries for categories that fall under people, places, and nature.

The Pulitzer Prize for Photography

The Pulitzer Prize for Photography is the most sought-after award for professional photographers. Since 1968, photojournalists have been vying for a spot in the Spot News, Feature, and Breaking News categories. But here’s the catch: you have to be currently working for a U.S.-based media outlet to join.

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Is it worth it to enter competitions like these? Yes, of course. Not only will these contests motivate you to come up with your best work but the entries from past winners could also inspire your next projects. Whether you win or lose, there’s a lot to learn from the experience. If you feel like you have what it takes to win, go for it.

Welcome to my page! Judd Bergman here, a retired travel photographer. Throughout my stint in this industry, I realized how vast the world is and how small human beings are. All these musings aside, I am a huge follower of the MLB. As a New Yorker, the NY Yankees are my absolute favorites. Subscribe to my blog for more photos and updates on baseball.

Photographs And Memories: My Favorite Yankees Snapshots

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Almost everyone knows my love for photography. I love my camera so much that I was essentially “married” to it for 50 years. (Thank heavens my wife was very understanding then.) But while most people know me as Judd Bergman, the travel photographer, only my family and oldest and closest friends are aware of my deep devotion to the New York Yankees.

Some may credit my commitment to The Pinstripers because I reside in New York. (For the uninformed, there’s another NY-based MLB team, the Mets.) But my devotion to the Yankees began when I was 10 years old. When you witnessed firsthand the outrageous home runs of the M&M Boys, you would never want to cheer for another team. And that exactly what I did.

I could go on and on about my favorite team, but for this blog, I wanted to highlight two of my favorite Yankees moments captured on film. A forewarning though. There’s no Babe Ruth photo on this list. I think The Bambino, hailed as the greatest Yankees of all time, deserves a list of his own.

So, without further ado, here are my favorite Yankees snapshots.

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John Domini’s 1965 photo of one of the M&M Boys, Mickey Mantle, throwing his helmet, depicts not only his disgust at a lousy at-bat but also at the impending decline of his illustrious career. Many agree that it was one of the most powerful photographs captured of a fading sports hero. I, too, agree. Looking at the photo, you can feel The Mick’s frustration that his time in the MLB is coming to an end.

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This photo of Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra screaming his guts out at umpire Bill Summers during Game 1 of the 1955 World Series is my second favorite. Berra’s protestation immortalized both on photographs and video, was because of the ruling that Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers stole home. While legions of baseball fans remember Yogi as the cuddly ambassador of the sport, he can be a ferocious man as the photo above shows.

Do you have any Yankees photos to share? I would love to see them! Tag me on Twitter.

Moving Your Audience: Ways To Capture Motion For Dramatic Images

In sports photography, when the most exciting moments can happen in a split-second, it is often helpful to keep the camera settings standard at shutter speeds as fast as 1/8000th of a second, ISO settings set high enough for ample light sensitivity, and with shutter-priority mode and autofocus on to automate adjustments to aperture size and focal points. Everything in the frame is in clear focus, and you’d capture the form of a player, the expression of your subject, of his opponent, and even of the referee and audience in the background.

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After a number of sharp, “safe” images for your portfolio, you can take another approach to capturing moving subjects for a more artistic effect. Say, you want to emphasize the speed of a batter making a home run. You can pan the camera by pointing it at the approaching subject and following him after he passes by, holding down the shutter button all the while. You’ll need a slower shutter speed (start at 1/30), lower ISO and narrower aperture to compensate for the longer exposure. With a bit of trial-and-error, adjust accordingly for just the right settings, and you’ll emphasize speed as your subject is in clear focus while everything else is a blur.

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On the other hand, if you want to focus on the baseman as the batter runs past him, you’ll need to keep the camera steady, bring back up the shutter speed and lock the focus on the baseman. You’ll have an image of the silhouette of the batter passing by while capturing the raw emotion of the baseman as he stands watch over a home run.

I’m Judd Bergman, a retired photographer. For more tutorials, please subscribe to my blog.

Making Diy Filters From Household Objects

Back in the day, we didn’t have much technology like Photoshop, Snapseed, or Instagram. When we wanted filters, we’d have to shed funds. To save money, my photographer friends and I improvised. It’s funny because while our cameras looked weird, the effects actually worked to our advantage. Looking back, the ordinary objects we used as filters really helped us play with our creative minds. Here are some household objects that also serve as DIY filters:

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Color film negative

It might be hard to find film negatives these days. But in case you have a used role, hold it up in front of your lens and you’ll have an instant filter. It’s that easy.


Ah, this is an easy one. You can go with one color or mix and match. As for me, I have a lot of fun mixing blue and green cellophane especially for nature shots. It makes some details come alive. Wrap your lens with a sheet or a couple of sheets and start shooting away.

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Wine glass

Hold it up or down, it doesn’t matter. It creates all sorts of wonderful reflections of an object and lets you focus on an important detail while blurring out the surroundings. Perhaps you can try shaking the glass for a blurred effect.

Before being tempted to use an app to improve your shots, try these DIY filters out. I’m sure in the process you’ll discover more objects you can use also as filters. It just takes imagination and resourcefulness.

Hello there. Judd Bergman is the name. I am a retired travel photographer currently residing in the Big Apple. My hobbies include going to the Yankees Stadium to watch the local team in action. Add me on Facebook for more photography and Yankee-related stuff.

The Top Three Greatest New York Yankees Moments

No matter how you spin it, you have to accept that the New York Yankees are one of the greatest sports franchises in history. From popular media to independent features, the Yankees can be considered a household name.

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Being such a big name, the Yankees have had some extremely defining moments: some even changing Major League baseball fundamentals. Three of these are listed below.

Babe Ruth’s sale: Before the chocolate, Babe Ruth was considered one of the greatest players of all time. In 1919, Babe Ruth joined the Yankees for US $100,000, an amount that was twice the number ever paid for any ballplayer at the time. In his first season alone, Ruth made the Yankees reach unfathomable heights, eventually becoming known as the “curse of the Bambino” for the series of the Red Sox failures.

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Unbeatable record in sports history: Part of the reason for the Yankees’ fame is their astounding track record. Many baseball experts pin the start of this to May 15, 1941 where the Yankees won 55 games straight, giving Joe DiMaggio an all-time consecutive game hitting record. The Yankees are also the only team in the League’s history to hit three grand slams in one game. This occurred on August 25, 2011, with Robinson Cano, Russell Martin, and Curtis Grandersron cementing Yankee excellence forever.

Lou Gehrig’s speech: This can never be forgotten. On June 19, 1939, Lou Gehrig announced that he was diagnosed with a fatal disease and was forced into early retirement. He was given one of the most heart-warming sendoffs on July 4, 1939. This speech still brings tears to my eyes.

The New York Yankees has done much to promote American baseball and I am proud to have been a loyal fan through these long years.

I am Judd Bergman, a lifelong NY Yankees fan and retired photographer. Like my Facebook page to learn more about my interests and other interesting tidbits such as these.