Month: April 2010

Pictures, purges and process (part one)

I recently wound up a series of blog entries exploring my experiences with and thoughts about technology. The non-technological process of spring-cleaning prompted all of these posts. In the process of that cleaning (or more accurately my massive archival purge,) I looked at thousands and thousands of my old images. Some scared me, some impressed me and some surprised me. Though it was not my intention, it turned out to be a great way to consider the arc of my evolution, as a photographer and as a professional. Read More

Technologies, necessary and otherwise (part three)

This is the last of three blog entries, for the moment, exploring my thoughts on technology. The entire set came from things swirling through my head lately. Events, especially e-mails, prompted me to organize those thoughts into the first two e-mails. This entry explores the starting point for all three posts, which was the fairly non-technical process of spring-cleaning. Read More

Technologies, necessary and otherwise (part two)

Earlier this week, I blogged about GPS technology and how one photographer, Lowell, had found a great use for that particular technology, one that does not interest me in the least. Another photographer, Michael, recently wrote me about another technological question he had issues with. I know now how he and I deal with the technology in question, but we wondered about others. Read More

Yosemite, spring (a video)

This podcast takes you to Yosemite National Park in California, to explore one aspect of the spring season, in one of the first wilderness parks in the United States that is best known for its waterfalls Read More

Technologies, necessary and otherwise (part one)

I recently blogged about what I think of as the four questions each photographer should ask themselves. The fourth, and newest question was “What technology/software/camera gear will keep me focused on what I do best…?” The idea was that we are so overwhelmed with new digital imaging technology offerings that sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. A recent email exchange prompted me to think about that question again. This will be the first of a few blog entries exploring my thoughts on digital imaging technologies, necessary and otherwise. Read More

How do you critique photographs?

How do you become a better photographer? That’s the big question isn’t it? In my experience, the best way is to take a lot of pictures and then get serious feedback on those same photos. (The second best way is to look at the work of other photographers.) With that in mind, then how exactly how do you critique photographs? As I say in my classes, “Saying wow, neat or cool is not critiquing photographs.” To seriously give (and get) feedback on photographs, we need a common, serious, analytical language for critiquing photographs. Read More

Critics and controversy

There is a new exhibition of the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. I look forward to seeing it in person in the near future. I have long been a fan of Cartier-Bresson’s work. His was some of the first important work I saw when I was studying the history of photography. The work showed me how photography could be so much more than just a representation of the scene in front of the camera. Up to that point I had learned most of what I knew about photography from a commercial photographer turned photo teacher. Starting from that point, Cartier-Bresson’s work was a paradigm shift for me. In the recent review in the New York Times of the new Cartier-Bresson exhibition, the reviewer is attempting to similarly shift the paradigm of how we should consider the work of Cartier-Bresson. His approach struck me as almost absurd (and his review had factual errors.) Read More

Surviving “Hell Week” in fine-art photography

The phrase “Hell Week” refers to a number of similar rituals, among them the initial time of hazing in college fraternities, the most rigorous component of the United States Navy SEAL training program, a police academy’s most rigorous training regimen, the technical week of theatre rehearsals or the most common usage, the week of intensive conditioning before the start of any season of a sport. There are undoubtedly other examples of this ritual of hard work, emotional stress and personal challenges. The first “Hell Week” that I survived was at the start of my first of two seasons playing water polo in sunny Southern California. A couple of friends recently survived what I have come to think of as the “fine-art photography” version of “Hell Week.” Read More

Out of the eyes of babes

About a month ago, my teenage daughter saw the new, sleek Olympus camera (the E-P1) that I have been using lately. She said she wanted to try it out. I was not sure if she was motivated by purely adolescent curiosity or her generation’s obsession with the newest, latest thing. I do know that although she spent her childhood in front of my camera being photographed for fun and work, she never has shown much interest in being behind the camera. Watching her use the new camera and then looking at the work she made set me to thinking (and blogging.) Read More