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
For the last two weeks, I have been blogging about photography and the events of 9/11. First, I explored how the attacks have become something of a milestone marking major changes in the business and culture of photography. Then I pondered how those same events helped me understand my own process as a photographer. This week, I am considering what photography fails to do when it comes to tragedies, like 9/11. Read More
My daughter is about to start her fresh-man (fresh-person?) orientation at college. This “momentous” occasion prompted me to think about college in general, as well as my own experience in college. Finally that led me to this blog entry, considering which is the “best” college for photographers.
I have written extensively about what I describe as the four “photographer’s problems” (or questions.) These are issues that every serious photographer should consider regularly. I mention these in classes and during presentations to get photographers thinking about photography’s important issues, rather than obsessing about the gear they use. I am surprised to say that I am thinking of adding a fifth question, but I am not 100% sure. Writing this blog entry may help me think out loud, as I decide, four or five? Read More
In this podcast, I take you with me as I am photographing part of my ongoing photo-essay “Foreclosed Dreams.” Read More
During my recent time at the Maine Media Workshops there was much discussion about what is being called “convergence.” The idea is that in the future, still images, video and audio are going to converge into one common media. With nearly all communication moving to the world-wide-web, that logic is largely irrefutable. The works that results from this mixing of media is currently referred to as multi-media. The faculty, staff and students at the workshop spoke often about that. I have been making such multi-media pieces myself, often for this site. To me, one of the most interesting things about multi-media is that as a new medium, we have a unique opportunity to formulate the grammar, aesthetic and style of this new media-in-the-making. Read More
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
The Jewish holiday of Passover (or Pesach) is almost here and with it comes the Seder. That ritualized meal marks the holiday as it prompts the attendees to eat and to ask themselves some important questions. These include important questions of freedom vs. slavery and vengeance vs. empathy. One highlight of the Seder ritual is the asking of the four questions, by the youngest person at the table. Though I have long since given up on being the one to ask those questions, I have been compiling my own list of four questions for photographers. This time of year seemed to be the logical time to share those. Read More
I recently finished my annual class built around photographing the Tucson Rodeo. The weather was great and the pictures were even better! Most everyone we encountered was happy to be photographed. The class was a small group, so everyone got lots of attention. Because it was such a small group, I had time to analyze how each person learned. By the time the class was over, events had reminded me that in some ways, the most important thing ANY student should learn is exactly how they do learn.
I am now working out West. Last week I was in California photographing for my ongoing project on the foreclosure crisis. This week I am in Arizona photographing and teaching a workshop at the Tucson Rodeo. I am thrilled to be out of the cold in the Northeast. Since coming West, I have been watching some of the winter Olympics. That way I get to look at plenty of snow and ice, without, of course, the shivering that comes with it. Watching the competition in Vancouver, I noted the ever-narrower differences between the medalists and the also-rans. This got me to thinking about evolutionary biology and that lead me back to photographers.