Photographer Kenneth Jarecke has written up an interesting article on how Internet culture is hindering the development of people who want to get better at photography:
There’s nothing wrong with not being any good at photography. Everybody started out bad and none of us does all aspects of it well. But it’s a crying shame to want to be good at it, to spend time and money trying to be good at it, and not getting any better.
This isn’t like teaching a child to read. Positive reinforcement is your enemy. Your Facebook friends, your Twitter followers… hate you. Instead of taking ten seconds to say. “This doesn’t work. You need to do better”. They readily push that “like” button, because it’s easy and they hope to get the same from you, but also because they’re cowards.
His advice? “Seek out great photography. Devour it, and be suspicious of any undue praise.”
Chances Are, You Suck (via A Photo Editor)
Image credit: 310/365: Photo-tastic Sunday… by Derek E-Jay
CNN recently published a pop-quiz with 10 photos and a simple question: was the photo taken with a phone or DSLR? The test is meant to open the public’s eyes to the fact that phone cameras are getting to be just as good as expensive DSLRs. It’s misleading though, and Neal Krawetz over at Hacker Factor has a great explanation as to why:
The implied rational is that, with the correct technique, you can take pictures on your cellphone that are just as good as an expensive SLR. However, they do it by showing you thumbnail images that were created using Photoshop. At thumbnail size, even crappy pictures will look good.
Next time, CNN should do a speed comparison between a bike and a car… while they’re both at a standstill.
Phone or Fancy Camera [The Hacker Factor Blog]
Photographer Rodney Smith writes that the greatest gift possessed by still photographers is under attack like never before:
So dear photographers, others before you fought hard and long to give you a gift. And although everyone from corporations, to magazines, to art buyers try desperately to take it away from you, I implore you not to give it away.
Most of you are young and feel the need to work, and feel powerless against larger forces. You do not realize that when you get older, having the rights to your own work will be the best gift you have as a still photographer. It will help you when you need it most.
[...] The pressure is on. The economy is awful and people will grab what they can get away with. I implore you to stay strong and fight hard for what many other photographers, over the last 50 years, have fought hard to give you; the right to own and control your own work.
What Is A Picture Worth? (via APhotoEditor)
Image credit: Nimoy Present Toss 2009 by Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary Wolves
In 1839, a year after the first photo containing a human being was made, photography pioneer Robert Cornelius made the first ever portrait of a human being. The Daily recently published an interesting piece on Cornelius’ story:
On a sunny day in October, Robert Cornelius set up his camera in the back of his father’s gas lamp-importing business on Chestnut Street in Center City, Philadelphia. After removing the lens cap, he sprinted into the frame, where he sat for more than a minute before covering up the lens. The picture he produced that day was the first photographic self-portrait. It is also widely considered the first successful photographic portrait of a human being.
[...] the words written on the back of the self-portrait, in Cornelius’ own hand, said it all: “The first light Picture ever taken. 1839.”
The photo is now a part of the Library of Congress’ Daguerreotype collection.
The History Page: Father of the ‘candid’ (via Gizmodo)