Tag: history of photography

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

Thoughts on getting feedback

The class that I was teaching in India ended on the same note that many of my classes do. The students had made good progress and wanted to keep their creative growth going, after the class ended. I teased them, saying that about a week after the class they would all be “master” photographers. I say that to almost all my classes, because the things learned in a workshop take about a week to become an innate part of any student’s photography. The follow-up point is that about another week later, the skills they had learned in the class would start to diminish. The end of the joke is that about a month later, they would still be better photographers than when they entered the class, but no longer the “masters” they had briefly been. So what did I tell them to do to try to hold on to the “mastery” they had briefly achieved? Read More

The importance of original source material

My daughter was recently talking to me about her growing passion for studying history, primarily through what she said were the best part, original source material. That reminded me of two points in my early life as a photographer, when what is now known as original source material changed my perspective on photography. Read More

Photographs as mirrors and windows

I often tell my students that their best photographs are the ones that reflect their personalities, life experiences and outlooks.  I was recently giving a presentation, when an audience member’s question stopped me cold and forced me to articulate how that same idea has played out in my own work. Read More

Where I learned the most about photographing

I recently realized that if I carefully look at my career as a photographer, I can pinpoint where I learned the most about the act of photographing.  It was not in high school, where I learned the craft of photography.  Nor was it in college, where my study of the history of photography taught me about the art of photography.  It was in a different place, one that I fear is fast disappearing from the photographic landscape. Read More

Photography, poetry and crossing disciplines

I stumbled across a great quote recently. It is about poets, but I immediately thought how it applies to photographers. Following on my last entry, about the importance of practice, I got to thinking about how a lot of things cross the lines that appear to divide different mediums, but really are common to most all of them. Read More