Posts Tagged ‘opinion’

In Defense of Telephoto Lenses for Street Photography

What is street photography? The question is controversial, that’s for sure. The first problem arises when trying to define it. According to Wikipedia:

Street photography is a type of photography that features subjects in candid situations within public places such as streets, parks, beaches, malls, political conventions and other settings.

This seems to be something everyone can agree on… but it’s incomplete; it’s ambiguous. What, then, makes street photography different from simple candid photography or voyeurism?
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“As for You Instagramers, Twenty Years from Now You’ll Be Sorry”

Photojournalist Kenneth Jarecke wrote up a thought-provoking piece yesterday titled, “Instagram, the Devil, and You.” He offers his thoughts on the question, “Will ‘Instagram photojournalism’ stand the test of time?”:

As for you Instagramers, twenty years from now you’ll be sorry. You’ll be more sorry than I am when I look back on a picture I made twenty years ago with a 20mm lens when I should have used a 28mm. Years from now, you’ll awake in the middle of the night and suddenly realize putting a fake border on a picture makes the whole picture fake. You’ll understand that the technical choices you made destroyed the longterm credibility of both you and your images.

Instead of having a body of work to look back on, you’ll have a sad little collection of noisy digital files that were disposable when you made them, instantly forgotten by your followers (after they gave you a thumbs up), and now totally worthless. You’ll wish you’d have made those images on a Pentax K1000 and Tri-X (at the very least or most depending on your age and perspective), but the times you failed to record properly will be long gone. But don’t listen to me, listen to all your Insta-friends. They love you.

Instagram, the Devil, and You [Mostly True via The Click]


Image credit: Part of an art project involving tiny pics of my art — using #instagram as one part of the medium. by kimboburly

‘Shopped? Don’t Sweat the Ingredients and Preparation, Just Enjoy the Meal

Recently, a friend and photographer Ben Jacobsen of Ben Jacobsen Photo got his work into a third gallery. One of the gallery owners asked him “Is your work Photoshopped?” This is also a popular question often asked at Art Fairs and Photography exhibits. Why is this question relevant to some viewers? If you are asking this, do you know what Photoshopping means? Better yet, What does that word mean to you, and what is it that you are asking?
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Why Photographers Should Embrace, Not Scorn, Tools Like Instagram

It’s seems like many photo enthusiasts are hating on Instagram and retro-filtered photos these days, but not photographer Richard Koci Hernandez. He has written a piece for CNN titled “Photographers, embrace Instagram,” in which he explains why he thinks that “Smartphones have ushered in a golden age for photography.”
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Art vs. Craft: The Nature of Professional Assignment Photography

A brief exchange during a passing conversation a few days ago got me thinking. Someone said something about how lucky I was to make a living as an artist. I immediately corrected them; while immensely thankful for my career, a job where I get to wake up every day and make images, I felt obligated to point out that most of the time I am not, in fact, an artist at all.

At best, assignment photographers are craftsmen, not artists, solving other people’s problems and putting other people’s ideas into effect in the most timely and cost-effective way possible; to think otherwise is delusional.
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Are Parents Taking Too Many Pictures of Their Kids These Days?

Digital and mobile phone photography have made it easy for parents to document every waking (and non-waking) moment of a child’s life, but what effect is this constant picture-taking having on kids? David Zweig has written up an article over at the New York Times arguing that our culture of photography is intruding on the preciousness of youth, and that parents should take fewer photographs of their children.
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Are These Photographers Geniuses?

Photograph by Uta Barth

Is the photo above the work of a genius? Last week, the MacArthur Foundation announced its “Genius” grants – a $500,000, five year grant with no strings attached prize – to people who “show exceptional creativity in their work and the prospect for still more in the future.” Since 1981, 873 fellows have been named, and of those, only nine have been photographers. Two of them were awarded this year: Uta Barth and and An-My Lê.
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Are DSLRs No Longer the Recommended Cameras for Newbie Photographers?

Are we past the age of entry-level DSLRs? Dan Nosowitz over at Popular Science has written a piece titled “Don’t Buy A DSLR”, in which he argues that DSLRs are no longer the best option for aspiring amateur photographers.

DSLRs are enormous, problematically-shaped gadgets. There’s no other portable gadget with such an unapologetically non-portable shape […] Hell, even giant headphones fold up into themselves. But DSLRs are bulky, heavy, roundish and squareish at the same time […] There’s a reason there’s a thriving economy of DSLR-specific bags.

[…] If you’re just getting into more serious photography, a DSLR’s button layout is a major obstacle to overcome, and, more importantly, an unnecessary one. It’s not that people can’t learn, or even that they shouldn’t–it’s just that for many users, there’s no need. To someone who’s only used a point-and-shoot, you know what a DSLR looks like? A f**king airplane cockpit.

[…] DSLRs should be, and will be very soon, for experts. For pros, or passionate amateurs. Sports photographers, bird-watchers, people who want to build a multi-thousand-dollar collection of lenses. But for those of us who just want to take better pictures, dammit, there are amazing options just for us.

I think the big question is “what does the aspiring photographer want out of their camera?” If it’s simply “better photos”, then a mirrorless should do just fine… but they’d be missing out on the joys of learning how to operate “a f**king airplane cockpit.”

Don’t Buy A DSLR [Popular Science]

That Cheap Photo Job Will Be the End of Your Career

One of the most difficult things I found at the beginning of my professional career was discussing money. I’d happily accept anything that came my way and was pretty short-sighted at the implications it had, not only for myself but the local working community and the economics around that.
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Why I Hate My Camera

Unlike most photographers, I hate my camera. I have read hundreds of stories on the Internet in which photographers argue about which cameras are the best and why. There are stories trying to prove that Canon is better than Nikon, or that 4×5 film is better than medium format digital. Camera review websites show scientific-style photographs displaying how much detail they have captured in a dollar bill, or pictures of color checkers and skin tones. They will also show “real-world” and studio tests illustrating how camera A is better than camera B and write long narratives about why.
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