Month: July 2010

India and Singapore, Singapore and India

Coming back from Singapore to India, I ran smack into a reminder of how efficient Singapore is and how far India has to go to catch up. This blog has nothing to do with photography per se, but everything to do with culture, progress, social change, etc. If that is of interest, read on. If not join me again in a few days. Read More

A public radio interview with David H. Wells (a video)

In 1992, I was interviewed by Melinda Whiting for Artscape, a public radio arts and culture program in Philadelphia. Our discussion started with my Middle East work. It went on to explore the intersection between art and photojournalism. Though the interview is 18 years old, the questions it raises are still relevant. Read More

Musings on developing a style

I have been back in India for a few days after a week in Singapore. Returning reminds me how the chaos of India contrasts dramatically with the order of Singapore. As a street photographer, that same unruliness is one thing that makes India so compelling. On the other hand, as a person who thrives on efficiency and order, Singapore holds an equal attraction. I wrote in the first of these three blog entries about the “journey” that Singaporean society as a whole is trying to take as it moves up the economic ladder. As I see it, such progress will only be made when individuals embrace the more unruly aspects of the creative processes. In this blog entry, I will answer the query of one Singaporean who has taken on that challenge. Read More

First Singapore musings

I just finished up three short workshops in Singapore. As always, I enjoyed the place and the people there immensely. (The hot sticky weather is another story.) The food is good, the workshop where I was teaching is great and the infrastructure there is amazing. Still, my favorite part of Singapore is the struggle going on about their future. They are collectively aware that in order maintain their status as one of the most vibrant economies in the world they need to keep moving up the economic ladder. The step they aspire to make next, to become innovators/creators of new products and services, has the potential to vault them to the top of the pyramid. Read More

More Summertime Snippets

By relocating to Asia for much of the summer, we are undertaking something new to us. Some of the work I am doing here is specific to being here, whether researching an upcoming assignment in India or teaching a class in Singapore. Much of my time is spent on work that I could do anywhere, whether blogging or creating new podcasts. Since my life here is more slow-paced than back “home,” I have been enjoying the opportunity to ponder a few ideas that have been piling up in my “blogs-to-be” folder. Read More

War stories, part two

In the first part of this series of blog entries, I wrote about recent ethics controversies spurred by student photographers going to places like Haiti in order to develop their skills and their portfolios, as they photograph the horror of that nation’s earthquake/disaster. I appreciate the ethical issues raised by such actions, but my overarching question was, and still is, how do aspiring conflict photographers develop the skills required for covering war/disaster? In this blog entry, I will talk about how I developed my own, limited skills in that area of photojournalism and what I learned in the process of gaining those skills. Read More

War stories, part one

For the last few months I have been carrying around a copy of a commentary written by the National Geographic photographer, turned university professor, Steve Raymer. It appeared in the March, 2010 issue of the magazine, News Photographer (which is published by the National Press Photographer’s Association.) He talks about the photography of Haiti’s earthquake/disaster as well as the ethics of students going to places like Haiti in an attempt to develop their portfolios as they photograph that horror. All of this, and last week’s “bandh,” here in India, prompted me to tease out some of my own “war stories” and put them down in type. Read More

Who are the next victims of creative destruction?

Do you think there has been a lot of yelling and screaming as digital technology has transformed the world of photography (and more recently video?) You are right! But, in the eyes of some, the worst is yet to come. The next victim(s) of creative destruction are going to put up a huge stink as they go sadly into technological oblivion. Their yelling and screaming will make the ruckus that photographers raised pale by comparison. Read More

Hastening the demise

Regular readers know that I often write about how rapidly changing technology is killing off various markets for professional photographers. I am concerned about this for selfish reasons, since I am a commercial photographer. I am also concerned for the next generation of photographers, wondering which photographic disciplines will be left for them to actually make money working in. If my recent experience is any indication, the future, with fewer and fewer financially viable market for pros is already here. I should know since I personally just hastened the demise of one viable market for commercial photography. Read More