Tag: photography

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

Lessons learned jurying a photo competition

I recently had the privilege of jurying the work for Car Culture competition for the PhotoPlace Gallery in Vermont. It was real education, both in terms of photography and learning about the global world of cars. As a photo-educator, I look at moments like this as “teaching moments” and so I wrote this blog entry about the jurying process. (As I also wrote the “juror’s statement that will accompany the final exhibition of prints that will opens at the PhotoPlace Gallery today, November 8th.) Read More

More Table-top Tripod Tales

For the last two weeks of December of 2010 and most of January of 2011, I was on the road for work, fun and family reasons. I learned a few new things—and reconfirmed a few old ones—while I worked in different parts of India and Vietnam, and spent some time in Singapore. Always the teacher, I was watching my own photographing process to see if there were any lessons worth sharing. One thing struck me as a potentially interesting lesson for any serious photographer. Read More

Three Things Every Photographer Needs to Know About Electronic Flash

Someone recently asked for a “super basic lesson on flash” in, as they said, “one or two steps.”  When I say flash, I mean supplementary light that is being used when documenting people, places or things as they are presented to you. I am NOT talking about studio work, where you can control the light and the subject. I am talking about when the photographer has to react to the subject and the light as they are given. Read More

A Pro Photographer Using a MacBook Air?

I have blogged, lectured and argued for many years that a camera is nothing more than a tool that solves a given photographer’s problem. A camera brand is not a symbol of loyalty to one kind of photography, nor is it some kind of credential for membership in some kind of “club.” The sooner each photographer starts to figure out what their particular challenges are, and which camera works for them to resolve those challenges (regardless of brand), the sooner they will start making the kind of photographs they want. Recent experience has taught me that I need to start talking the same way about the laptop computers that photographers use for digital image processing.  Read More

Seven Questions You Should Ask Every Accomplished Photographer

I have been taking photographs for almost four decades—mostly for money and always for myself. Over those forty years, I have slowly figured out what I wanted to ask the many photographers I encountered along the way.  I have distilled this down to a list of questions that I would ask any photographer, knowing that the answers will help any photographer. Read More

Labeling and Defining Photographers and Photography

As a professional photographer, I am often labeled—even pigeon-holed—using simple titles like stock photographer, documentary photographer, photo-essayist or fine-art photographer. That makes sense to me, because people want a quick way of knowing who I am as a photographer, and what kind of work I can do. A student recently asked me to explain how one photographer (me), would approach one subject, and photograph that subject different ways while wearing those four different hats. Read More

Finland? Finland!

I spent the first two weeks of June teaching a photo-essay class to university students in Finland. When I started the class, I was worried if it would go well. I have a hard time working with college students, since most of them don’t want to speak out in class, out of fear of “sticking out from the crowd.” Since those same students were Finnish, a notoriously shy people, it had all the makings of a train wreck. I am thrilled to say it turned out much better than I expected. 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

The magical moments in life

As photographers, we know that some moments, ideas or experiences are simply not photographable. That does not mean we shouldn’t pause to enjoy them as life gives them to us. Nor does it mean we should not learn from them even if we do not come away with the perfect picture. I had one such experience in NYC recently. Read More