Trying to find your style is like a dog chasing its tail. You’re trying to catch something that you already have.
I think a good analogy is verbal communication. We speak with each other to communicate. We effectively get our points across without thinking of ,or trying to find, a ‘style’ of speaking.
Photography is visual communication. [...]
It’s impossible for any of us to be the one and only best photographer in the world.
Lee Friedlander, Helen Levitt, Harry Callahan, Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier Bresson, Duane Michaels, Robert Frank, Amy Arbus; these are some of the best photographers in the world, but none of them are THE best.
What they are the best at is [...]
I’ve been catching some flak about my attitude toward composition.
Some photographers believe that you should first learn and follow rules. I’m not one of those photographers, and I’m not alone.
There was a reply to Photographic Composition: Rules Versus Elements that prompted me to research what other photographers thought about rules of composition.
Here’s one from a name you may recognize.
Shutter speed is a part of exposure.
You can set your shutter speed to vary the amount of light that falls onto your light sensitive material of choice.
Longer/slower shutter speed = more exposure = brighter picture
Shorter/faster shutter speed = less exposure = darker picture
Sometimes when I give a review during my photography classes, photographers get the shutter speeds [...]
If you were in one of my photography classes and, while we were reviewing your work, you were to state that “I want my pictures to look like the way things really are”, I would ask “the way things really are to who?”
My question is meant to spur a conversation about seeing and perception.
While we may [...]
You’re not alone.
Many good photographers hate to use flash.
The flash is either too bright, or too dark, or looks too ‘flashy’.
Photographers usually avoid using flash because of their strong aversion to the “look of flash” or because they don’t understand how to use it…read more
Many of the printed manuals manuals that come with todays cameras are an abbreviated version of the full manual.
The words we choose are important and they can change your mind when it comes to your photography.
Although we’re working with a camera, we’re using the camera to record light much like a writer uses a pen to record their words.
Everybody seems to look for rules that will make their photography easier and better.
While rules may make your picture making easier, I don’t think rules make your photography better or help you to be a better photographer.
Don’t believe what I, or any of your other teachers, tell you.
I talk about the camera as doing three things and, in order to help photographers to begin to develop a thought process behind their pictures, these three things MUST be done in consciously by the photographer .
Are you more concerned about your equipment or more about your photography?
People don’t care about your camera, they care about your picture.
While you need a camera to make a photograph, you need to be a good photographer to make a good photograph.
Cameras don’t make good photographers or good pictures.
Good photographers can make a good picture with any camera.
Take A [...]
Who you spend your time with influences your aspirations and struggles.
The aspirations and the struggles lead to change.
The changes are what you eventually become.
You should spend your time with people who demonstrate the standards to which you aspire and who will support your struggles.
Keep this in mind when spending time with photographers too.
Take a photography class
Good article from the The Observer about street photography.
Among others, some of the photographers who influenced me are mentioned.
Lee Friedlander, André Kertéz, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand and Helen Levitt.
Then look less.
Photography is more about seeing than looking.
Many photographers look for things to photograph instead of seeing things to photograph.
Looking is searching.
Seeing is discovering.
You don’t have look for things to photograph, everything is right in front of you.
All you have to do is see what is interesting about what is right in front of you and show [...]
Photography is probably the easiest medium in which anyone can be competent.
Anyone can be a marginally capable photographer and produce a decent photograph.
The hard part of photography is developing a personal vision that is idiosyncratic.
The hard part of photography is separating yourself visually from the rest of the photographers who are making decent photographs.
Your photography has to become more than decent and has [...]
Do you spend your time making a photograph or editing files?
You make a photograph with your camera, you edit files with your computer.
Some photographers get the photograph completed in the camera.
Some photographers rely on photo editing software to complete their pictures.
Photographers that get the photograph completed in the camera rely on their understanding of photography to create their final [...]
Many people equate good photography with equipment. They’ll see a photographer with the newest, top “o” the line camera and lenses, and a bunch of other equipment and think that this photographer must be good photographer.
Being a good photographer is different than looking like one.
There are a lot photographers who have tons of gear but don’t know how to [...]
While we were waiting for class to start the other night I heard two photographers discussing the differences in two cameras that are currently on the market. They both knew their stuff regarding equipment and both were considering upgrading their cameras.
I heard words like megapixels, low-pass filter, frame rate and other techno-speak during the discussion.
Believe it or not this scenario isn’t as far fetched as you may think.
Imagine that you and a bunch of other photographers were standing side by side and were photographing the same thing.
You all had DSLR cameras. You all had your cameras set to the same auto-exposure mode and you all pressed your shutter at the same [...]
If you wanted to be a carpenter you’d have to learn the how to use the tools of the craft.
Hammer, saw, etc.
As a photographer the primary tool of your craft is your camera.
Your camera is a tool for recording light.
Although you use the same tool as every other photographer if you learn to use your [...]
“Opportunities” for photographers abound.
The thing to consider is the cost of that opportunity.
If the opportunity offers you no money to cover your expenses or time, then the cost of your opportunity is the wear and tear on your equipment, the cost of your expenses to get the work done and your time.
The cost of your expenses to get the work [...]
Some photographers say that there are certain times of day when it is best to make pictures because the light is better.
I’ll agree that the characteristics of light changes thorough out the day but I think that anytime of day is the best time to make a picture. I think that no time of day provides better or worse light – just different light.
All types of [...]