First Annual Nature Photography Contest.
Last month I asked you guys to show me your nature photos. I was blown away by the response, nearly 100 people entered the contest, from hobbyists, to students, to professional photographers. The quality of the work was really phenomenal, and I want to thank everyone for participating. It was extremely difficult to narrow it down to the top 10 finalists. Three judges critiqued the work; a professional photographer (myself), and student photographer (Savannah), and a data analyst (Leslie Nicole). We rated the images based on five criteria; how interesting the piece is, how many likes it got on facebook, how unique the image is, how well is it composed, and the technical soundness of the photograph. Read more...
Around the World in a Day
Hawaiian Volcano Images Syndicated Worldwide
It's always a satisying feeling when your work gets the recognition that you feel it deserves, and getting paid for it in the process sure doesn't hurt. Today was one of the days that actually happened for me.
China, London, New York, and California. My work literally went around the world in 24 hours. Totally awesome. I put together a photo story on my three days that I spent documenting Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawaii. I sent it off to my United Kingdom photo agent, Ash Tullet of Caters News, and within a few days, it was purchased by America Online, The New York Daily News, London's Daily Telegraph, and China News.
One of my images of the Milky Way over the glowing fog on
Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano, on Page 15 of London's Daily Telegraph
Happy Independence Day
Here's How to Photograph Fireworks
Taking photos of fireworks is a lot like shooting lightning. Both require a long exposure, change quickly, and are very bright. They also can both make EXTREMELY BORING images if not handled properly. There are millions of images of fireworks floating around online, what are you going to do to make yours different?
A good starting point is choosing your location, and scouting it out properly. You want to make sure you have an interesting foreground. It might be people taking in the show, or even a cool cityscape to really draw the viewer into the image and make them interested in your image.
Escape from the Widest Tornado in US History
El Reno, Oklahoma 2.6 mile wide EF5
May 31, 2013 was the only time that I ever thought that I might actually die while chasing storms. An erratically behaving supercell; a violent, rain-wrapped wedge tornado; and a tv weatherman giving citizens the worst possible advice, "This tornado is unsurvivable above ground. If you can't get below ground, you need to drive south"... All the ingredients came together that day resulting in a disaster like which has never been seen in the weather community. Storm chasers Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras, and Carl Young were all killed when their vehicle was thrown by the tornado, which packed winds of 296 mph.
First Successful Tornado Chase
Bennington, Kansas stationary EF4
I began chasing thunderstorms in the fall of 2009. Over the course of the last three and a half years, I have seen some amazing phenomenon, but the one that always eluded me was a high contrast, photogenic tornado.
Three and a half years, and twenty thousand miles on the road later, I finally found what I had been looking for all this time. My first tornado. We were on the storm from the time it was a few small cumulus clouds, and we tracked it for approximately an hour before the first tornado touched down.
From a storm chaser's perspective, it was pretty much the perfect first tornado. It sat nearly stationary in a field, growing the entire time, and at one point, backtracking to the west. Read more...
A Living Landscape
Active Lava Flow Big Island Hawaii
One thing I have always wanted to do in my life was visit an active volcano. When a couple flew me to Oahu to shoot their wedding photos, I seized the chance, and booked a ticket to the Big Island of Hawaii. I rented a cabin at the Kilauea Military Camp for two nights. My main goal was to get a shot of the Milky Way, above the caldera of the volcano, and to document active lava. The first night, the air quality was terrible. I tried to hike to the lava fields, but I approached them from the wrong side, and quickly realized trying to hike approximately 10 miles to them was a very bad idea, so I turned back. I really wanted to shoot the Milky Way my first night there, but there were torrential downpours of acid rain at the summit of the volcano the entire night, as well as a thick sulfuric fog. Shooting was pretty much impossible, so I spent the night in the cabin. I was awoken around 4:30 am by my weather radio app, which is set to alert me if there is severe weather back home. I decided to take a look outside, and as soon as I opened the door... Read more...
Image Thieves and You
How to Protect Your Work From Being Stolen.
This morning, my day started like any other. I climbed out of bed, turned on the computer, walked over to the Kuerig, and started brewing a cup of coffee. I sat down with my coffee, signed on to facebook, and began checking notifications and replying to messages. That's when I opened up a message from a friend, linking me to someone's facebook page. I clicked the link, and sure enough, there was an image of a supercell I shot in 2012, except it was totally oversaturated, contrast pumped up to all hell, and someone else had their name slapped across the bottom of it. They were taking my work, and trying to pass it off as their own!
Thank you for visiting my website. My name is Jason Weingart, and I'm a freelance photographer, residing in Austin, Texas. I am an alumni of the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies. I graduated with my Associate's Degree in Photographic Technology, from Daytona State College, in 2010. In 2012, I earned my Bachelor's Degree in Photography from the University of Central Florida.
Eventually, I would like to teach photography at the collegiate level, so I am currently in the process of enrolling in the Master's of Photojournalism program at the University of Texas. For now, I enjoy freelancing. I am available to hire for any of your photographic needs. I am very comfortable and confident in any situation; from shooting a wedding, to documenting EF5 tornadoes.
Please feel free to check out my blog below, and view my portfolios via the grid above, if you have any questions, I am very accessible through email; Jason@JasonWeingart.com.
I recently documented the active volcanoes on the Island of Hawai'i.
That's me standing inches from 2000 degree earth.
The Texas Photo Opp Massacre
Where Can You Legally Take Photographs?
I have always been a big fan of horror movies, and one of my favorite series is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, so when I discovered the house from the 2003 Michael Bay film was just one county away, I had to go see it.
After a few minutes on Goodle, I found the exact location of the house and a few blog posts, and videos from people that had already gone. The first thing that caught my attention was a sign that read, " PRIVATE PROPERTY & ROAD. KEEP OUT OR GO TO JAIL OR WORSE. REST IN PEACE". This is Texas. Here, that kind of thing needs to be taken very seriously. Still, I know my rights, and it is well within them for me to setup my camera from a public street and take pictures of the structure. Pretty much anything you see from public property is fair game when it comes to taking photos.
Rant: STOP MISLEADING PEOPLE WITH PHOTOS!
There is nothing worse than a thief, the only thing that comes close to that is a liar. In photography, we deal with both on a daily basis. The public's trust in what they see is at an all time low, and rightfully so. Photoshopped or misleading images seem to be the ones that most often go viral, and leave photographers like myself scratching my head. Should I compromise my integrity to make a few bucks or build a name for myself? So far, I have resisted the temptation to do so, but every time a fake image goes viral, my willpower drops just a bit.
The latest viral fake was the work of Kawika Singson, a photographer on the Island of Hawai'i. A dramatic image of the photographer standing on lava has spread across the internet like wildfire, instantly capturing the attention of millions and catapulting Singson to celebrity status. Read more...
Having an image go viral is a good thing, but it also can lead to a whole host of problems, as this image did for me.
Show Me Your Nature Photos.
Win Something Cool!
All the encouragement and support I have received from you guys has not gone unnoticed. As a way to say thank you to all of you, Savannah and I have decided to host a photography contest. It is open to pretty much everyone, the only requirement is that entrants have to either follow me or be a friend on facebook.
The theme is nature, which is pretty wide open. It can be a photo of the weather, a sunrise or sunset, landscapes, astroscapes, macro of insects, a picture of an animal, etc. We will pretty much accept any entry. To enter, simply send a jpeg image to Contest@JasonWeingart.com. Read more...