Tag: images

What I love about handmade photographs

I am a professional photographer making images that are used in publications and as stock photography, so that 99% of my work is used in print and/or on-line. Virtually none of my work is likely to end up as some kind of handmade photograph….. Yet, I am also a perennial student of the history of photography and a fan of all things photographic. So, I am interested in handmade photographs, even if I am not making them. Thinking about this seeming contradiction prompted me to write this blog. Read More

Photography as a second language

With graduation season upon us, thousands of photographers-in-the making will soon be graduating from institutions across the country. The commencement speakers those students would be listening to will be loath to admit it, but getting paid to be a photographer is dying as a career option and it is clearly time for a new paradigm in the business of photography. Read More

A blessing and a curse

I have been putting a lot of time lately into my project photographing inside homes after the foreclosure and before the houses are cleaned up and resold. That moment is when I see what I think of the “ghosts” of the people who used to live in those homes. The work has been very well received lately, which got me wondering why that is. The educator in me (and the photographer in me) both want to understand why the images seem to work well for others. Every photographer has an idea about what his or her work should do for the viewer of the work, but so what. When a body of work succeeds in both the photographer’s mind and the viewer’s eye that’s something worth thinking about. Read More

Motion pictures vs stills

Like most people, I enjoy motion pictures (or movies.) Although I took a few classes in college on film history and film theory, I do not really know much about the media, other than what I like. Having said that, I have long had one eye on the movie business for a few reasons. First, there is a lot more money and acclaim for filmmakers as compared to still photographers. Secondly, I knew the explosion in digital imaging was going to inevitably change the movie industry, just like it changed the still image business. Recent events set me to thinking about all of this change and prompted me to try to hammer out a blog entry about movies vs. stills, from my purely personal perspective. Read More

In the eye of the beholder

As photographers we all make images, (duh.) By making and sharing those images, we also shape how others perceive the subjects that we photograph. I was thinking about this over the last few months as I was traveling in the U.S.A and around Asia, (where I am writing from.) While I was in New York City, particularly Times Square, I crystallized my ideas into this blog entry. I am starting to understand (and worry about) the ongoing cycle of how images become part of our perception, which further shapes the next imagery, which shapes the subsequent perception. Read More

A hierarchy of memory

I generally write (blog) as way to organize the jumble of activity in my head. I am writing this particular entry after six weeks in India (and what seems like an equally long flight to get home.) The flight was not really six weeks of course, but the intensity of how experienced the two flights left me thinking about how we initially encounter and later remember experiences. Photographs often facilitate this process. Some discussions with family in India prompted me to think further about the intertwined relationship between images, family stories and memory. 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

The inspiration for an image

The podcast walks you through the process as I have an idea for a photograph, think it through, take some pictures, look at what I have done and keep working on it till the photograph has just the feeling I want it to have. 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