Jason Maloney: Blog http://jasonmaloney.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) Jason Maloney jason.maloney1126@gmail.com (Jason Maloney) Wed, 01 Apr 2015 21:45:00 GMT Wed, 01 Apr 2015 21:45:00 GMT http://jasonmaloney.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-5/u177610108-o431518392-50.jpg Jason Maloney: Blog http://jasonmaloney.zenfolio.com/blog 120 80 Streethunter.com's 2015 Most Influential Street Photographer's of 2015 List http://jasonmaloney.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/streethunter-coms-2015-most-influential-street-photographer-s-of-2015-list I'm really hating this landed on April 1st, but this is no joke. This is an honest vote on Streethunters.net​ for the most influential street photographer's on this list.

Names I've looked up to for years, including friends and acquaintances such as Mirela Momanu​, Vineet Vohra​, Rohit Vohra​, Rinzi Roco Ruiz​, Rammy Narula​, Manish Khattry​, and Yves Vernin​.

...and somehow I'm on this list as well.

So please all of my friends and family if you can spare a moment, vote for the names above. The real talent and hard workers out there. And if you've found any of my work inspirational as well, put a vote in for me.

But do yourself a favor and definitely check out as many of the names you can. There's an amazing body of work there. Congrats for most of the Artphotofeature.com​ editors and family making the list!

http://www.streethunters.net/blog/2015/04/01/vote-for-the-20-most-influential-street-photographers-of-2015/ (Scroll down the page for the actual ballot)

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jason.maloney1126@gmail.com (Jason Maloney) Black Colorado Denver Photography Street White http://jasonmaloney.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/streethunter-coms-2015-most-influential-street-photographer-s-of-2015-list Wed, 01 Apr 2015 21:37:59 GMT
Its All Here in Black and White (figuratively speaking) & Spark Gallery FOCUS! Show http://jasonmaloney.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/2/its-all-here-in-black-and-white-figuratively-speaking I was proud to find out that my shot from the National Western Stock Show and the Disney family shot was chosen to be a part of two exhibitions coming March 20th through April 4th for the Month of Photography event in Denver. I'm very proud to be part of such an event as I was very influenced my Mark and Karen Sink portfolio review in 2013 during the biannual event, which was my first year of shooting.

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jason.maloney1126@gmail.com (Jason Maloney) exhibition show stock http://jasonmaloney.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/2/its-all-here-in-black-and-white-figuratively-speaking Sun, 22 Feb 2015 00:45:34 GMT
Nat Geo POTD & CPAC Members Show http://jasonmaloney.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/6/national-geographic-photo-of-the-day I'm proud and humble to announce that my work has made Nat Geo's "Photo of the Day" as well as has been chosen for display at the CPAC Members Show in June. You can view my photo on Nat Geo's main website: http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photo-of-the-day/street-denver-colorado-text/  street photography by Jason MaloneyJason Maloneystreet photography by Jason MaloneyJason Maloney

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jason.maloney1126@gmail.com (Jason Maloney) http://jasonmaloney.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/6/national-geographic-photo-of-the-day Fri, 27 Jun 2014 20:51:11 GMT
Do http://jasonmaloney.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/5/do      I hate the word "hope."  It is a one word platitude. All to often I hear my students say: "I hope I graduate." "I hope pass your class." "I hope I don't get in trouble so won't be grounded this weekend." 
 
     The same goes for adults.  Specifically when it comes to learning a new interest, such as photography.  "I hope I get better." "I hope I can get out and shoot this weekend." "I hope that was in focus."
 
     "Hope" is a passive word.  You sit around and hope something happens, or hope something will be alright. It's a lazy word. You give up all control and self responsibility when you hope for something.  To easily the word hope can be used as an excuse.  You hoped for it, but it didn't happen. Oh well, maybe next time. Blah.
 
Do.
 
Now there's a word.
 
"Do" is aggressive. It's active. You're in the driver's seat.
 
"I'm going to DO this workshop this weekend to improve my skills." "I'm going to DO a shoot this weekend at (where ever)." "I'm going to DO manual focus practice so I know I'll be focused when I do my shoot."
 
"Do" is empowering. "Do" puts you in control. No excuses. No buck to pass when it doesn't happen. The accountability is on you.
 
Which is why I think people hope so much. To often it seems people are afraid of failure. Afraid to take responsibility. That way if something doesn't go right they're not the one to blame.
 
This goes back to a blog post I wrote last year "own it." So what if you failed? Own it. Do it next time. Experience is something you gain immediately after you needed it. So it'll be there the next time.
 
There's a reason Nike's famous ad campaign line as lasted so long: "Just do it." You get results. You make things happen. You create. You're in control. So take it.
 
Do.

 

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jason.maloney1126@gmail.com (Jason Maloney) Black Colorado Denver Photography Street White http://jasonmaloney.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/5/do Tue, 20 May 2014 18:03:26 GMT
First Gallery Showing at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center http://jasonmaloney.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/12/first-gallery-showing-at-the-colorado-photographic-arts-center street photography by Jason MaloneyUntitledSelected by Eric Paddock, curator of photography at Denver Art Museum for the "One by One" Members show at CPAC in Denver. I'm very humbled to receive the announcement from the Colorado Photographic Arts Center in Denver that one of my pieces entered into the juried members show, curated by Eric Paddock (Curator of Photography at the Denver Art Museum) has been chosen to be shown in the gallery from January 11th - February 15th.  The top photograph will be shown in the gallery, with the second photo given an honorable mention.

The email stated that 1250 pieces from 250 artists were entered into the show, making it one of the most competitive ever. 

Anyone local is of course invited to the opening reception 3-5pm on January 9th and I will be speaking on February 15th about my work at the closing reception.

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jason.maloney1126@gmail.com (Jason Maloney) http://jasonmaloney.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/12/first-gallery-showing-at-the-colorado-photographic-arts-center Tue, 03 Dec 2013 02:40:23 GMT
Own It http://jasonmaloney.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/9/own-it One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard in my life was simply this: "Own it."
 
Two words. That's all.  Both of which, when put together in that order changed how I began to see things in my own life and started to shape my attitude.  That unlikely piece of advice came from an even less likely person and place.  I was listening to an episode of my favorite comedy pod cast when Joe Stapleton, the co-host of "Two Jacks in the Hole" (unfortunately now a now retired pod cast, but the archives are still up and probably one of the best hidden gems ever on the Internet) uttered those words.  I don't remember the exact words or context, but it was something along the lines of when people do silly mistakes in life and get all sheepish or embarrassed further making the situation awkward and embarrassing for those around them.  Joe simply stated that no matter what happens in life, simply "own it."  
 
You wore different colored socks to work? Own it.  You farted in the elevator? Own it.  Have a speech or presentation to give? Own. It.
 
Many of you in the group know that I'm a teacher as I tend to mention frequently.  What you may not know is that a I teach a special kind of kid.  I work with emotionally and behaviorally challenged at risk youth.  Conduct disorders, gang bangers, sex offenders, oppositional defiant, etc...  My classroom is a very tough environment where I am challenged and frequently disobeyed throughout the day.
 
I own my classroom.
 
My students talk over me.  My voice booms over there's with a very sharp and curt "Excuse me, I'm talking."  Six foot gang banger stands to challenge me to my face about the consequence I'm going to give him for not following my instructions. "Go sit down." with very direct eye contact and meaning.
 
If I don't own my classroom and my lessons each day, it will be me who gets owned and I will become ineffective as an educator and each day will be hell.  Trust me, I've watched others try and pacify, give chances, cringe and bend to whatever the teenager is threatening to act aggressively over and within months they're fired or burned out an quit.  Every student of mine knows there place because very early on I establish myself as their daddy.
 
Own it applies to street photography very strongly.  Many photogs who start shooting street photography do so with a shyness and a safeness due to the fear of confrontation or even embarrassment they feel of attempting to take photos of strangers in public.  The comforting feeling of that safety causes a delusion that you're taking good shots and you may even talk yourself into believing you're taking dramatic shots or socially relevant shots documenting things like street performers or the homeless.  The reassurances of your friends who don't know any better reinforce the feeling that you're a good photographer.  All you're doing those is going for the easy shot (http://www.blackandwhitestreet.com/node/4118).
 
So the mindset you need to get into when you're out on the street with your camera is "own it."  You're a street photographer.  You're there for the sole purpose of taking street photos.  Trust me, if you have the air of confidence around you it will be apparent to others that, you are indeed a photographer, a professional, and you know what you're doing.  Most people will be flattered and not question what you're doing because they will have the sense they're going to appear in the local paper.  On the flip side, if you're sitting in your car or on the sidewalk with a 200mm zoom lens and act uncomfortable and unsure of yourself you're only going to look like a creeper.  Worse here in the U.S. possibly a pervert or a terrorist.
 
The next time you're out on the street to shoot, own it.  Own the fact you're a photographer.  Own the fact that you're taking pictures of people in public.  If someone asks you about, own up to it.  That's an opportunity to share your craft and hopefully you have a business card on you to share your portfolio.  Plus there's the added benefit of looking like credible professional.  (Five bucks at Vista print gets you 200 business cards for a first order.  I always keep a handful on me.)  Don't have a business card?  Own it and think on your feet if you feel being a street photographer is not gonna fly.  Who's to say you're not a photography student and your professor put you on this dumb assignment to get you out of your comfort zone; or sorry, you were actually looking at the people or building behind them. Whatever the excuse is, own it.
 
Own it.
 
Jason Maloney

 

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jason.maloney1126@gmail.com (Jason Maloney) Black Colorado Denver Photography Street White http://jasonmaloney.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/9/own-it Tue, 03 Sep 2013 04:19:15 GMT
Published in "Inspired Eye" Magazine http://jasonmaloney.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/8/published-in-inspired-eye-magazine Very proud to have two photo's published in the "Inspired Reader's" section of "Inspired Eye" magazine.  My first publication is a little bittersweet however, as they spelled my name wrong and somehow added half a sentence of some other paragraph at the end of my photo blurb. Not to mention use of the wrong "scene."  But still, I'm in a magazine, lol.

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jason.maloney1126@gmail.com (Jason Maloney) http://jasonmaloney.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/8/published-in-inspired-eye-magazine Sat, 03 Aug 2013 18:38:33 GMT
The Multidisciplinary Approach Applied to Photography http://jasonmaloney.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/8/the-multidisciplinary-approach-applied-to-photography

The Multidisciplinary approach applied to Photography

 
 Definition: multidisciplinary approach involves drawing appropriately from multiple disciplines to redefine problems outside of normal boundaries and reach solutions based on a new understanding of complex situations.
 
     In responding to a member about my recent blog post challenging street photographer's to not take the easy shot, I used an example from advice I give to others about playing poker.  The member was asking me about what is the difference in taking a "hard" shot or an "easy" shot since photography can be so subjective.  Well, I'm also asked by those I play poker with, what is the correct way to play 'X' hand.  I give the same answer to both questions, "it depends."  The exchange also brought about a discussion on the amount of luck involved in getting that decisive moment we crave in street photography.  Again, I answer with my poker advice when I hear players complain that poker is nothing but luck, "if you increase your skill, you increase your luck."
 
     That exchange reminded me of another concept I tell people about frequently when playing poker.  I started playing since when I was 10 years old. Gatherings of family and friends, holidays, BBQ's, even funerals in my family always meant a big poker game.  I grew up playing many forms of draw poker, stud variants, Omaha, split pot games, and low ball; and yes the flavor of the decade that everyone knows even if they don't play No Limit Texas Hold'em (NLHE).
 
     I loathe the fact that NLHE has become synonymous with the word poker.  Its a form of poker, not THE poker.  However, if you ask anyone on the street nowadays if they want to play poker NLHE is pretty much the only game they've seen.  The popularity of TV tournaments and online sites have spawned an industry of books, shows, movies, apps, etc...  I've run into people that honestly had no idea there are other ways to play poker other than hold'em.
 
     Members familiar with me also know that I'm a teacher.  In teaching, we attempt to go with a multidisciplinary approach with students.  Meaning, we try to incorporate a variety of features and traits such as hands on projects, writing, audio/visual aids, etc... to teach students to their learning strengths and help them to understand their are many ways to learn and approach problems.  It also serves to keep their minds engaged, eyes fresh, and creativity flowing.
 
     I advocate heavily to my poker playing friends and those that ask me advice to learn how to play Omaha, 7 Card stud, Razz, 2-7 Triple draw and other various forms of poker if they want to improve their NLHE game.  Why? Because each variant of poker engages your brain in a different way and strengthens specific disciplines.  NLHE is a more psychological than other forms over poker.  However unlike edited TV tournaments teach you, brute force "all-ins" all the time don't always win.  Limit betting structure games force you to be more patient and disciplined about calculating the the math and the expected value of a given choice.  In stud variants, a good memory and keeping track of the cards dealt out and folded is a very useful skill.
 
     The same theory goes for photography.  My passion is street photography and likely always will be.  However, I also have been learning about portraiture lately.  Specific lens lengths, lighting setups indoors and outdoors, posing, understanding natural light and interacting with the subject are all key elements to get a great portrait.  Knowing more about each of those factors will absolutely help my street photography.  I don't think anyone can argue understanding more about light is useless in photography.  The word itself means to paint with light.  Working with a subject to get them to pose natural builds on your interpersonal skills out on the street.  Not to mention more quickly recognize a great gesture and pose the moment you see it on the street.  I've also dabbled with long exposures and light painting with flashlights (my students love it) and both of those have probably helped me to learn more about how to quickly set my manual settings than anything.
 
     When it comes to processing I've lately been working on my Photo shop skills processing portraits to look like glamor shots, tilt shifts, and taking ordinary photos and heavily working them into stylized dramatic works.  It was a slow learning process at first, I was very intimidated of Photo shop and didn't know a single shortcut.  Although I still need a lot more practice to work like a pro, I'm very comfortable with layers, masks, and even the dreaded pen tool to make difficult selections.  I know how to select color ranges to easily change very difficult portions of a photo, several techniques to effectively dodge and burn, and how to better sharpen (and what not to sharpen) a photo.
 
     If you're new to photography like me, and have found a passion for street, I highly encourage you to take a multidisciplinary approach to quickly master your vision and make better photos.  You're learning curve will shorten dramatically if you take some time with other forms of photography other than street.
 
Jason Maloney
 

http://www.blackandwhitestreet.com/user/857

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jason.maloney1126@gmail.com (Jason Maloney) Approach Multidisciplinary Photography Poker Street http://jasonmaloney.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/8/the-multidisciplinary-approach-applied-to-photography Sat, 03 Aug 2013 06:49:52 GMT
Challenge Yourself: Don't Take the Easy Shot http://jasonmaloney.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/7/challenge-yourself-dont-take-the-easy-shot     As with everything in life, when you start to learn things you do so in steps and phases.  As as teacher it is very important to scaffold lessons in order to build a foundation of knowledge to build up to teaching students more complex concepts.  The same applies in learning photography.

     I began my photographic journey just under two years ago now.  I was at a low point in my life and I needed a distraction, a creative outlet in my life.  I've never been musically inclined with instruments or my voice, I can't draw a stick figure to save my life, and I'm not real patient with "crafty" things, nor am I a gearhead. At the very least, I thought, I could pick up a camera and shoot.  I learned a bit about DSLR cameras and in my budget I chose a Canon t3i with a kit lens.

     Now, being from Colorado the most natural thing to start shooting is the mountains, the aspens, etc...  Which I did for a time (and still do occasionally.) However, I found myself quickly becoming bored and not really interested in the subject matter.  (If you ever visit Colorado you'll see every gallery, restaurant, and lobby is chock full of mountain and aspen tree prints.)  So I decided to go to community events such as parades and festivals  to take pictures around the event itself.  It was during the St. Patty's Day parade here in Denver I found myself snapping more pictures of people than the parade.  I didn't find the parade interesting at all as a matter of fact.

Oooh...there's a GQ looking guy and his girlfriend with movie star sunglasses drinking a beer and kissing at 10am. *click*

Look at the expression on that guys face! *click*

Aw that baby looks sad and her parents don't even notice.*click*

     I think everyone in who has shot street photography has had a similar experience of that time we noticed people and public and began capturing them.  I had no idea what street photography even was, but I knew I wanted to do it again.  Over the next several months it become a leisurely hobby and weekend distraction to go into Downtown Denver and events and find interesting people and things to shoot.  However I wanted more.  I wanted to be, not necessarily known, but I wanted to be good at what I did.

     The lifelong learner in me came out and I immediately began devouring blogs, youtube videos and channels, books, tips, etc... I searched out groups and websites that I could learn more.  I while I still have so much to learn, I began to learn so much.

     One of the the first things I began to notice about my photography and street photography I saw online at 500px, Flickr, and other social sites is that it all looked the same.  Homeless, street entertainers, reflections in water, people jumping over water, large events where lots of cameras are expected, backs of people from afar, on and on.

    As I read and studied about street photography I noticed many of the well known photographers had much different types of shots.  The kind of photograph that makes you think, feel an emotion,  provokes a memory.  I want to be like that.

     So I started to form my own guidelines.  Which I still edit and attempt to refine and even sometimes fail myself, but I keep trying:

1. No homeless - Too easy, too vulnerable.  Unless you're doing a specific project to bring awareness to the homeless in your community why are you shooting them?  Many of us beginners think we're taking some sort of powerful, dramatic shot.  You're not, you're going the easy route picking on something that's just there and used to being stared at. You maybe even gave a dollar as a payoff for the shot.

 

2.  No Street Performers - SP shots of street performers have to be akin to food shots on instagram.  We've seen them.  Its an easy shot.  As a beginner it may help you get comfortable shooting people, but please safe them for your personal folders for your friends or as practice fodder for processing.

 

3. Only take a shot from behind if its interesting -  Many of us are shy of confrontation or being looked upon as creepers pointing a camera in someones face and taking the shot.  So I see so many photographs of just backs and people walking from behind.  Unless it somehow TRULY is dramatic or beautiful silhouette, try to limit this type of shot.

 

4. Stay away from the "also rans" or stereotypical types of shots you've seen before -  Have you seen those photo's where someone is holding up an old photograph against their face of a younger version of themselves so it lines up? Or against the landscape a photo of the same spot 50 years ago? Yes, you have. A lot.  So you took a picture of people walking by a puddle and flipped it upside down. Great. What makes yours stand out from the hundreds of others?  

 

    I'm guilty, especially when I first started, of breaking every one of those guidelines.  Point is, I'm striving more and more not too.  Study the greats, and I don't mean HCB.  I mean even the classical painters.  You don't need to reinvent the wheel.  Rules of thirds, leading lines, patterns, have been there; thought about, written about, talked about.  If street photography is a passion or even just a passionate hobby you should strive to challenge yourself.

 

    One final thing, shyness or intimidation of breaking personal space is natural for just about everyone.  If you want to take that great shot, you're going to have to push through that barrier and make it.  I've suffered from mild social anxiety and depression for years.  Street photography is like a therapy for me.  I have an extra barrier to push through to make that shot, but I wouldn't feel good about myself if I just took out my 55-150mm zoom lens and stood way back taking pictures of people walking away from me. There's no challenge, no satisfaction in that.  Push yourself, patiently look for and take the hard shot.  

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jason.maloney1126@gmail.com (Jason Maloney) Colorado Denver Street photography http://jasonmaloney.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/7/challenge-yourself-dont-take-the-easy-shot Wed, 31 Jul 2013 04:03:19 GMT
An honor being selected in Art Photo Feature's "Best of Street Photography" http://jasonmaloney.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/7/an-honor-being-selected-in-art-photo-features-best-of-street-photography http://www.artphotofeature.com/best-of-street-photography/

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jason.maloney1126@gmail.com (Jason Maloney) Art Black Colorado Denver Feature Photo Photography Street White http://jasonmaloney.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/7/an-honor-being-selected-in-art-photo-features-best-of-street-photography Tue, 30 Jul 2013 15:23:56 GMT