Month: May 2010

Exploring our responsibility to the people we photograph (part two)

In the last (and the next) few blog posts, I am exploring the question, what is the photographer’s responsibility to the people they are photographing? On one level this is an intensely personal decision that is best answered after an equally intensely process of decision-making. On the other hand, it has to be guided by some larger philosophical framework. If that sounds like an ethical dilemma, I think it is. Because I am slightly closer to the end of that long process rather than the beginning, I can identify and share some of the milestones of my own journey. Read More

Exploring our responsibility to the people we photograph (part one)

A photographer/friend wrote me with an excellent question, one that I now realize that I have been struggling with over my entire career as a photographer/photojournalist. In order to answer him coherently I needed to do what I have been doing in so many recent blog entries. That is, taking the question, rolling it around in my head, mining my life’s experience, making some half-baked notes and then asking him (and myself) more questions. Although I have the outlines of an answer, I have no idea exactly where this series of blog entries will go by the time it is it is finished. The one thing I am sure of is that it will take me a few postings to both think through my answer and to make it coherent enough for others to understand. Read More

Staring at life, staring at death (part two)

In the first part of this two-part blog entry, I shared my daughter’s perspective on our shared experience photographing kids with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses through an organization called, “Flashes of Hope.” Although I was in the exact same place as she was, working on the same project, I took away a different set of experiences from that very emotionally compelling day. Out experiences are divergent of course because of many reasons including the fact that she is a child and I am a parent. Our perspectives also diverged because of how we experienced the same people in very different ways. In the end, we came to the same belief, that family photos are an especially important part of the world of photography. The route we took to get there was a bit different. Read More

Staring at life, staring at death (part one)

As an art photographer I like to think of my photographs as creative interpretations of an idea or experience I have had. As a photojournalist, I hope that my images work as narratives of an event or issue that I think others should know about. I have recently been considering some other particularly compelling ways to think about the photographs that we photographers make. Read More

A Lesson About Lessons in Photography

Golf, as a sport and the popular obsession with it have long mystified me. Even in the wake of the recent crash and burn of Tiger Woods, I normally would not follow it much. However, a friend who is as much a golfer as he is a photographer has pressed me to write something about golf and photography and I did so back in October of 2009. I would have left it there but I recently stumbled on a great article in the New York Times titled, “A Lesson About Lessons,” by Bill Pennington. As I read it, I thought that much of what he wrote applies to photography as much as to golf. Read More

Black and white vs Color (part three)

This is the final of three blog posts exploring the question of using color vs black and white in photography. To date, I have shared work that was intentionally made in color and later converted to black and white for comparison purposes. I also shared work that was made in color, but was intended to be experienced in black and white. After sharing those two sets of work I also wrote about factors to consider when choosing between the various media. In this last entry, I will offer some other, last thoughts on the two media. These points, and in fact all three blog entries apply to both looking at existing work and to making new work. Read More

Black and white vs Color (part two)

In my last blog entry, I started exploring the question of black and white vs. color photographs. Specifically, I was talking about how a photographer should think clearly about the intentional choice of using one or the other for a given project. To get started, I suggested that readers look at a set of my photographs, exploring the foreclosure crisis, in both color and in black and white. The set of work that I offered in both media, was made in color and later converted to black and white. While those photos were intentionally created and presented in color, what about work that was made in color but was intended to be seen in black and white? Read More

Black and white vs Color (part one)

One thing that I love about blogging (and teaching,) is how both have helped me take a half-baked idea and clarify it. Like most people, my head is a jumble of ideas that come and go. Certain ideas appear more often than others, and the most persistent ones eventually take on a life of their own. When they do that, they move from my head out into the real world, through my photography, my teaching or other behavior. One such idea that has been rolling around in my thinking for a long time finally crystallized this last week. Read More

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What exactly is The Wells Point? It is podcasts and free information for aspiring and accomplished photographers. These materials have been designed to stimulate your creativity and improve your craftsmanship.

The phrase the Wells Point also refers to an important tool to better appreciate how light, time of day and the resulting light's direction can be utilized to immediately improve your photography.

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