@Gizmodo Shooting Challenge explores photography.

By guest


Photography is used as a medium to explore everything from emotions to architecture and design to current events—it seems always to be looking at something. At the same time, it is an art—something to be looked at—and many photographers take advantage of the medium’s reflexive nature to create aesthetic objects. Now, with a digital world teeming with myriad photo apps that make it possible to photograph, edit, share, caption, and share again, the line is blurred between photography that is produced to tell a story and photography that is produced as an aesthetic object. Everything is open to interpretation.

Enter Gizmodo and the Intel-Inspired Ultrabook Shooting Challenge. An extension of the tech and culture website’s weekly feature, the contest was directed at professionals and the collection of photographs that resulted were presented at the White Box Gallery at 329 Broome Street.  The exhibition featured Taylor Davidson, Diana Levine, Douglas Sonders, Ryan Russell, Scott Rinckenberger, and Steven Taylor, who ventured to six different cities with six different, open-to-interpretation challenges: summer, isolated motion blur, cars, competition, solarisation, and black & white city portraits.

We got to catch up with some of the photographers at the Mother Of All Shooting Challenges gallery event and chat about their experiences and the future of photography. Steven Taylor of the black and white city portraits picked Paris because he was interested in capturing the feeling of the famous city that he had heard so much about, but never experienced in person. He found his subject for the shoot by chance—a friend had Instagrammed a photo of her feet in a pool that was geotagged Paris. Together, they visited iconic locations and created a series that channelled the loving a free spirit of the city.

Instagram didn’t just connect Steven with his friend—it was a big part of the gallery event as well. A big attraction at the party were the Instaprint machines that were spitting out photos tagged #mycity and #ultrabookspotted, and favorite photos were voted on using InstaDerby.

Taylor Davidson, who shot amateur baseball and pick-up basketball games in Boston for his challenge, is a believer in photography for the masses. He shot his entire series using a point-and-shoot and commented that applications like Instagram and the changes that are happening in digital photography might “not be good for photographers, but they’re good for photography.”

Douglas Sonders really took advantage of the Ultrabook for his challenge. Intel wanted the photographers to test the Ultrabook’s capabilities on-site, and it did a magnificent job handling Sonder’s extremely high resolution photographs shot in RAW. By the way, those photographs are not HDR—Sonders’ uses old-school lighting techniques that show off his subjects beautifully.

Professional extreme skier-turned-photographer Scott Rinckenberger flew out to Costa Rica for what turned out to be a real learning experience. Never having used the solarisation effect in his work, he had to do a lot of experimentation to figure out which compositions, contrast and detail levels, and subjects would work best for his challenge. “Some of my favorite shots weren’t good images for the project,” he commented.

We didn’t get to chat very long with Diana Levine  and Ryan Russell but loved the haunted, antiquated feeling in Levine’s soot with the band My Jerusalem. And Russel’s shot of hardcore gamers at an underground arcade in San Francisco was definitely at the top of our favorites list from the gallery.

Check out some of our photos from the party:


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