Tag: style

Critics and controversy

There is a new exhibition of the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. I look forward to seeing it in person in the near future. I have long been a fan of Cartier-Bresson’s work. His was some of the first important work I saw when I was studying the history of photography. The work showed me how photography could be so much more than just a representation of the scene in front of the camera. Up to that point I had learned most of what I knew about photography from a commercial photographer turned photo teacher. Starting from that point, Cartier-Bresson’s work was a paradigm shift for me. In the recent review in the New York Times of the new Cartier-Bresson exhibition, the reviewer is attempting to similarly shift the paradigm of how we should consider the work of Cartier-Bresson. His approach struck me as almost absurd (and his review had factual errors.) Read More

Onward and which way in the world of stock photography (part two of two)

Because I make my living primarily as a stock photographer I spend a great deal of time and energy trying to understand the “stock market.” (I am not referring to the one in New York City’s financial district.) Today, the market for and suppliers of stock photography cross the globe. So the more I know about the business, the more successful I will be within that growing global market. In the first part of this two-part blog entry I wrote about which of my own images seem to work better and why. Now I am writing about other concerns that any stock photographer (practicing or aspiring) should think about. Read More

Onward and which way in the world of stock photography (part one of two)

I make my living primarily as a stock photographer meaning most of my income comes from licensing the publication of existing images. This is compared to being primarily an assignment photographer or a teacher of photography (though I do plenty of both.) The stock photography business is known to be increasingly competitive, with too much supply and not enough demand, the classic signs of a declining market. A few recent experiences served to remind me which parts of the market for stock photography are still doing reasonably well and why! Read More

Variations on a theme

In my photography, my teaching and my discussions with other photographers, the idea of variations on a theme comes up often. For me, one of the joys of looking at photographs is seeing the different ways that photographers interpret the same thing. Yet, when some photographers come together to talk or photograph they can get territorial about their imagery and their ideas. Recent events have reminded me why this kind of thinking is limiting. Read More

A photographic collaboration ten years in the making

Ten years ago, I became part of a collaborative project photographing an exquisite old building in Tucson, Arizona. For me, photographing the building was the easy part. All I had to do was draw on the skills I often use in my previous “light studies,” my ongoing series of photo essays on the light and atmosphere of different places. The hard part was collaborating with two other photographers, while keeping my eye on the long-term prize, the finished project. It took a long time but the effort is near coming to fruition. Read More

Isolated or interacting, that is the question

Back in August, I wrote a blog post titled “A big, what is the meaning of life, kind of question.” I was intrigued when a friend wrote me back with his answers to the questions that I had posed (and then answered.) Some of his answers were so specific to his life and work that, though they were interesting to me, I am not sure the points he raised would be of interest to anyone else. He did raise one point that is almost universal for photographers, which became the seed of another blog post. Read More

Editing and critiquing photographs of India (a video)

This podcast shows the process of editing and critiquing a set of photographs of India, which were created by workshop students from the Objectifs Center in Singapore. The goal was to get from approximately sixty images per person down to about twenty images. The final twenty images should tell the viewer something about the photographer as well as how they experienced India. Read More

Adapting to new technology verses adopting a new philosophy

As commercial photographers, we are continually adapting to new technologies, moving from black and white, to color (then to slides) and now to digital. Similarly we are often expected to adopt new strategies and philosophies as the market we work within changes. More and more folks I hear from are finding that second process of adopting harder to take, and I am not sure it is just a function of our advancing ages. Read More

The future of commercial photography and percieved value

A friend wrote to suggest I “talk about photography as a business and how it relates to our economic times.” I was hesitant at first, unsure what I could add to the discussion since my expertise is minimal when it comes to economics, business or marketing. I thought about it for a while and realized I did have something I could add to the discussion. Read More