Me, You and Everyone We Know's Vacation Photos

Getting better photographs when you travel to a new place is something for which everyone strives. You want to get that iconic shot that symbolizes a place, but you also want to find unique views. In her "Photo Opportunities" series, Corinne Vionnet delves into the concept of that first iconic shot; that view that everyone is familiar with even if they've never been there. The French-Swiss artist found inspiration for the series after a visit to Pisa when she observed numerous people photographing the iconic tower from the same location. She began to wonder how many of the images looked the same, how much all of them may vary, and why we are often inclined to capture a photograph that portrays the typical view. For this series she gathers images from the web of popular tourist destinations and then combines these images to create a layered view. 

Budapest by Corinne Vionnet

Budapest by Corinne Vionnet

Layering about a hundred photographs taken from online photo sharing sites, Vionnet uses one structural point as an anchor for all of the images. This one point then looks crisp and defined surrounded by more ghostly elements that show how each of the views may vary. These hints of other tourists or differing perspectives of the surrounding architecture show a piece of individuality amongst the sameness. The results are instantly recognizable but can be Impressionistic at the same time. 

Berlin by Corinne Vionnet

Berlin by Corinne Vionnet

Louvre Pyramid, Paris by Corinne Vionnet

Louvre Pyramid, Paris by Corinne Vionnet

Select photographs from the series are on view currently at Danziger Gallery in New York City. See the show Jan 3 - Feb 7, 2015 (open Tuesday - Sunday 11:00am - 6:00pm) at 521 West 23rd St., NY, NY.

Crowd-funding Your Dreams

Right now is an exciting time for photographers and tech lovers, and we are seeing a steady stream of new gadgets and tools funded through sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo.  Intrepid spirits are getting in not just to fund their personal work, but also to create potential game-changing technologies that you can use to kick your photos up a notch.  Here's a round-up of some of the most intriguing crowd-funded tech and photo projects we've seen recently:


What is it? Case is a DSLR remote that you can control wirelessly via your smartphone.  It was funded recently via an Indiegogo campaign which raised almost $40,000 (on a goal of $500).
What's good?  By connecting to your camera via USB, Case enables your phone to not only control all the cameras features through your phone, including ISO, aperture and shutter speed, but you can also stream your camera's live view and even adjust focus (on certain models).  
What's not?  Rather than a hot shoe or even velcro attachment, Case's transmitter uses a "reusable" adhesive to attach itself to cameras and gear.  Would be much nicer to see a mounting system with more longevity, as adhesives tend to collect dust and dirt and become less tacky over time.


What is it?  Ritot is the first projection watch which allows usage during the day or night.  AnotherIndiegogo campaign success, Riot was over-funded with $1,402,395 the goal was $50,000.
What's good?  The watch doesn’t have any buttons, except for one touch sensitive button, which helps you manipulate the projection.  Not only does it project the time, it also sinks up to your social media accounts and phone to deliver notifications.  The projection technology is absolutely safe for your skin and health, it’s waterproof, and you can change the projection color in one click.  There are more than 20 colors available.  To  activate projection you can touch the button or just shake your hand.  Projections disappears automatically in 10 seconds.
What's not?  Currently the Ritot will only work with iOS, Android and Windows Phones.  The delivery time of the Ritot is unclear and they don’t have a fully working prototype, the photos in campaign are computer renderings of what they envision the device to look like. 

Vela One

What is it? Vela One is the fastest and safest flash in the world.  It was funded on Kickstarter in December with $53,990 and the goal was $29,000.  
What's good? With a flash speed starting at 1/2,000,000 second, or 500 nanoseconds, the Vela One will stop a supersonic, high velocity rifle bullet in its tracks.  A typical speedlight has a duration of around 1/20,000 second (50 microseconds) on its fastest setting. This may sound fast, but a bullet will travel over 5cm or two inches in that time and will be so blurred it's almost invisible. Studio flashes are even slower. For pin-sharp shots you need a much faster flash, and the Vela One is 100 times faster.  Using "chip-on-board" LEDs they built a circuit that drives nine LEDs up to 20 times brighter than rated, without damaging them or overheating, pumping out up to one million lumens.  The Vela One also runs off the same four AA batteries as any speedlight.
What's not? To trigger the flash you need some kind of external trigger which does not come with the product.  Vela One doesn't support all external triggers.  The battery cover is screwed shut making it difficult to replace the batteries in a hurry.  It is also somewhat bulky and unportable.  

Geography of Youth

Back in 2011 one of our instructors Alan Winslow and his partner Morrigan McCarthy were backed byKickstarter for their Geography of Youth project.  The two photographers rode bicycles 30,000 miles, through 50+ countries to document the geography of youth interviewing Millennials about their lives.  Their photographs tell the story of what it means to be in your twenties.  Hundreds of portraits and interviews have now been assembled into a public art show that can be booked for spaces around the world. The Geography of Youth had its world premiere at Photoville in Brooklyn last September.  As of July 2014, The Geography of Youth is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization.

Thank You!

Today as we reflect on our accomplishments in 2014, like adding 30% more classes, expanding our teaching staff, delivering lectures at events like Photoville and Indie Media Camp, and partnering up with Bushwick Community Darkroom to provide analog darkroom workshops, we're happy to have fulfilled goals and look forward to setting new ones for 2015.  We have a ton of projects in the works this coming year, and we can't wait to get started and share them with you all.

I'd like to thank you sincerely for a wonderful year and wish you a new one full of new goals, new inspiration and a feeling of togetherness.  We love what we do, but you guys make it such a pleasure to be a part of that experience.  You fill us with your enthusiasm and passion, your ideas and hard work.  So thanks for helping us keep our dream of a vibrant creative community alive and pushing us to improve every day. 

With warm wishes and excitement,

Justin Lin

Founder of BKC


What Is This 25-foot Santa Doing In Dyker Heights?

It's unlike anything you've ever seen in New York.  Which is precisely why it's such a New York thing.  

Dyker Heights is smallish neighborhood nestled between Bensonhurst to the east and Bay Ridge to the west.  It's a classic old school Italian neighborhood, with a very fantastic holiday tradition.

The online magazine Brklynr, whose in-depth articles about Brooklyn affairs covers topics like community policing in East New York, or surveying the landscape of Coney Island through the eyes of Hubert Selby, published a wonderfully written and photographed piece last year about the residents of Dyker Heights and their viral neighborhood display of Christmas lights, which has grown in fame and visitor counts each year.  

PHOTO BY WILL ELLIS for BRKLYNR (using zoom technique)

PHOTO BY WILL ELLIS for BRKLYNR (using zoom technique)

Although the origin story is murky (no one seems to know who started it) the neighborhood boasts over a hundred participating residents and some of the most extravagant displays of holiday spirit imaginable.  It's pure visual spectacle, all blinking lights and reindeer and oversized Santas, spread out over a system of over a dozen city blocks.  

"If you can’t take the kids to Disneyworld or Disneyland, you bring them here,” notes longtime resident Angela Locombo.  It's fitting that Dyker Heights would serve as the backdrop for theme park-like illumination with its array of fantasy homes: Greco-roman statues, neo-colonialist columns and balconies, Old World villas and perfectly manicured flora.  This is their yearly coming-out party, a tradition that stretches back over 40 years.  

It's also the perfect place and time for night photography, and with lights going up beginning around Thanksgiving and reaching full tilt in mid-December, it's chance to capture a true winter wonderland.  Bring a tripod (essential), a flash if you have one, and get ready to reach the absolute zenith of holiday cheer.

Save Big During Cyber Weekend

Whoa right now you can save huge $$$ when you book a class, private lesson, or get a gift certificate for your friends and loved ones.  It's Cyber Weekend, which sounds like a retreat for robots but is actually just the time over Thanksgiving Holiday when people, shellshocked from attempts at retail shopping on Black Friday, flock to the internet and address their gift-giving needs painlessly and with plenty of time to spare.

We support this decision to stay sane and enjoy your family time, and so we're offering up the following easy-to-love deals:





* 5 Dollar Fridays excluded.  Sorry, this deal doesn't apply retroactively.  Hurry offer ends Monday 12/1.

Use the coupon code at checkout and save big time.  To see what classes are coming up, follow this link