Month: January 2011

Lessons from six weeks on the road

Six weeks on the road, ping-ponging between the first and third world left me with lots of time to think. As I moved between Singapore, being the former and India/Vietnam, being the latter, I kept a running notepad of lessons I “learned” this trip. Learned is relative. What really happened was that during one long, twelve hour car ride, I had the opportunity and inclination to write down and flush out some important lessons I had learned in bits and pieces during hundreds of previous journeys to a myriad of places. Read More

Ode to sunlight

I had one of those “aha” moments recently. Like so many of those, the actual moment was mere confirmation of something I already knew, but had never (or rarely) articulated. The more I reflect on it, the more I appreciate the insight I just had. Also, the more I ponder what I realized, the more I understand that even at the ripe “old” age of 53, I still have plenty of things left to learn and understand. Read More

Sharing photo essay ideas

I just finished teaching a series of photography workshops in Asia, including my favorite photo-essay class. In that workshop, students initially practice the skills required for a long-term photo-essay AND then they start working on the project of their choosing. I show them how the hardest part of a good essay is defining the project. I was reminded in Singapore how a good workshop group, one that is willing to share ideas, can make that process of defining a project much easier. Just as this was happening, I was also having an e-mail exchange with an American photographer, who seemed concerned about keeping his project idea to himself. I am still trying to figure out if the diverging thinking on sharing ideas was an aberration, or if it tells us something about the difference between Singaporean and American mindsets. Read More

Thinking about photography’s “constants”

I read a number of on-line forums every day. My morning reading, which once was largely a leisurely enjoyment of the New York Times, now entails scanning the eight forums I read daily to see what items of interest are percolating through the world of photography. I rarely post on most forums, since I am not sure I have much to offer that hasn’t already been said. I recently posted on a forum and the thread that resulted taught me a lot about the state of contemporary professional photography. Read More

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