Month: June 2010

Summertime snippets

I am just settling into place in India, where I will be for much of the next six weeks. I am here partly because my daughter is volunteering at a school working with under-served children in Bangalore, India. I am also here because it is a great place to photograph (and spend part of the summer.) With summer and the idea of vacation in mind, my blog entries over next couple months may be shorter, the result of my own efforts to enjoy my holiday. Read More

The power of paper

If all goes well, this will be the last blog entry prompted by the discoveries that I made during my recent spring-cleaning. As I was reviewing, editing and purging old documents, files and papers, I had a few more flashes of wisdom worthy of one last blog entry. Those insights reminded me of the value of my having studied the history of photography in college. Although I make my living as a commercial photographer, that education, focused on the liberal arts, rather than on a specific skill, continues to serve me well, thirty-odd years later. Read More

preserving memories, sound or sight

I blogged (and podcasted) earlier this spring about the discoveries I made during my in-depth spring-cleaning. I explored what I learned about my own photography as I reviewed, edited and purged thousands of old photographs and transparencies. More recently, I have been similarly reviewing, editing and purging other old recordings, documents, files and papers. Some were personally poignant and others were professionally compelling. The entire process is worthy of at least a couple more blog entries. Read More

The contracting of our collective visual culture

I make most of my living as a stock photographer. Stock photography is rapidly changing. Those changes have been impacting me (and my peers) for quite a while. So far you are thinking to yourself, none of this is big news. The news is that recently, the pace of that change hit a tipping point for me (and I am guessing for the larger world of stock photography.) If you care about photography in general (and stock photography in particular,) then what has been happening lately is especially bad news. Read More

Gear and old gear

My last blog entry, exploring gear and goals left me thinking about my own gear acquisition history. I have written before about how, these days, I tend to be slow to adopt new gear. I only displace technology that works well for me if the newer technology is a notable improvement. (DSLRs that capture video are one example of a notable technology shift.) I will be first to admit this was not always the case. In college and during my first few years as a freelancer, I churned through different sets of gear. I was trying to figure out who I was as a photographer (and which technology would help me make the photographs I wanted to make.) In looking back, I have noted that certain pieces of gear have stayed with me throughout over my career, including some that have been with me a very long time. Read More

Goals and gear

A friend wrote me with a variation of the most common question I am asked, “What gear should I buy next?” In a technology-based pursuit like photography, the question appears to make sense. This is doubly so in a creative pursuit which is largely shared through advertising driven media. Before I answered him, I grilled him with a few more questions. Then I came back to him with a suggestion for the one thing that every photographer should be spending more time and money on, especially these days. Read More

Exploring our responsibility to the people we photograph (part four)

Patient readers of this blog will know this is the fourth (and last) entry in a series exploring the question, what is the photographer’s responsibility to the people they photograph? I have been muddling through these four essays because it is not an easy question to answer. Similarly, there is no magic bullet or one size fits all solution. The one thing I can say with complete certainty is that anyone who claims to have such a simple, crystal clear answer is oversimplifying, has never worked in the real world, is delusional or all of the above. Read More

Exploring our responsibility to the people we photograph (part three)

In between making a living and preparing for a big trip to India I have been mining my career (and my memory) as I consider the question, what is the photographer’s responsibility to the people they photograph? Answering that question has been (and will continue to be) a work in progress for me over my entire career. I can think of a few points where I got that balance closer to right and a couple where I am less sure that I did that. Read More