Tag: history

One photographer’s perspective on the election and American exceptionalism

I get it. I am a 59 year-old, white male. I work in a field that once provided me with a very good living, a field that has been decimated by changing technology and globalization. The work that I used to get paid good money to create is now done by people overseas, or by others in America, who get paid much less than I ever would accept, or by machines. But I am still troubled by the recent election result because American workers, like me, have been displaced by changes in the economy and labor market for decades if not centuries. Adaptability to change is a hallmark of what has been dubbed “American exceptionalism”. So what changed in this election? Read More

The hidden scandal in photojournalism’s award season

The award season for photojournalism is upon us, like the Oscars or the Grammies. Unlike in the cases of those televised awards, the commentary will not likely focus on who attended which awards ceremony with who as their date. Nor will their be much commentary on the costumes worn, since nearly all the competitors will be dressed in black, the artist’s de rigueur clothing. If the last few year’s post-award scandals are any indication, the commentary will likely focus on digital manipulation, a topic certainly of importance. But, I am guessing the scandal-of-the-month club will again miss the real scandal in the world of photojournalism. Read More

Is Gene Smith turning in his grave?

I write this entry in mid-May in a pretty agitated state of mind.  I am posting this in September because posting it in May might have burnt a bridge for me professionally.  I also wanted to see if the anger I felt back in May subsided.  It has not and so I am burning a bridge now. 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 Constitution, Catholicism, slaves and guns

I am going to out on a limb here and I may risk offending a few readers but the recent killing of in Connecticut of twenty seven people, mostly school children, should be offensive to all Americans. Yes, I am a liberal and I live in the North Eastern liberal-belt between Boston and Washington. On the other hand, I am a former gun owner who knows and respects plenty of gun owners. Read More

The all important copyright registration process

The NPPA (National Press Photographers Association) has a great tag line they used to use with many of their promotions that goes “Our Images Are Our Legacy.” I believe that same idea applies to all kinds of photographers, not just photojournalists belonging to the NPPA. (I would argue that this idea is true for any creative practitioner who wants their work to be their legacy.) Read More

What 9/11 did NOT change in my photography

Last week I blogged about how the terrible events of 9/11/01 changed photography. (Or maybe more accurately, how the photography that came out of that day highlighted the changes in the culture of photography that were just picking up speed at that moment.) That essay was written from the perspective of a blogger first and a photographer second. This week I approach the same topic the other way, as a photographer first and a blogger second. Read More

9/11 changed the world (of photography)

The tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01 has come and gone. I listened to, watched and read many of reports on the commemorations. I was equally interested to read the many commentaries exploring the long-term impact of those horrible events on our nation and on the world. Throughout that process, I never read a commentary that explored the way that 9/11 has impacted the world of photography. With that in mind, this week I will explore my reaction to the events of 9/11 as a blogger/photographer. Read More

Lazy Artists Rip-Off

In last week’s blog, I started with an quote attributed to Picasso, who is supposed to have said: “Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal.” I explored the importance of inspiration and how most artwork is built on work that precedes it. The stealing that Picasso referred to, in my opinion, was stealing the core idea behind a great piece of art but making new and uniquely authored work building on that “stolen” core. That essence is the only thing that should be “stolen” from other artists. A recent on-line controversy left me thinking that a new line needs to be added to Picasso’s quote, which would be something like “Lazy Artists Rip-Off.” Read More

Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal, Lazy Artists Rip-Off

That idea has been floating around in my thinking in one form or another for as long as I have been a photographer. Studying the history of photography, or the history of any creative medium really, is a pretty explicit way of embracing that idea. I have been following a controversy on line involving a photographer I know, copyright rules that I value, an on-line lynch mob that prompted me to wince and the larger question of influences, appropriation and finally flat-out theft. 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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