Posts Tagged ‘thoughts’

‘Can I Take Your Picture?’: How to Talk to Strangers Without Upsetting Your Mother

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Photographing strangers can be a daunting proposition. It was one of the focuses of the workshops I held in NYC this past summer. What if they get mad, what if they yell at me, or what if they go completely psycho on me? Odds are, most people will simply say no pictures. Even the school of Bruce Gilden photographers have hardly been bothered with their “mugging style portrait.”
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From Hot Type to Bottom Feeders: Adapt or Die as a Wedding Photographer

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Sometime around the turn of the twentieth century, my great grandfather started a printing and publishing business in Philadelphia, which, for many, many years was one of the finest and most successful letterpress shops in that city. Nearly every male descendant of Charles Jefferson Armor, including my great uncle, my grandfather, and my father, worked there for most if not all of their lives.

I recall with great fondness the occasional Saturday mornings when I would accompany my dad into work, stopping first at the Horn and Hardart automat at 8th and Market St. for cream donuts and hot chocolate. Incidentally, and an interesting tangent to my story here, H&H (as it was known for nearly a century) closed its doors in Philly forever in the late 70‘s. It was another victim of the fast food craze being led by more ubiquitous, lower cost chains like McDonald’s, whose shiny new franchise quickly occupied the automat’s former space at 8th and Market.
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Become a Lonely Hunter for a Better Hunt

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I did a trip to Paris solely to take photographs for myself back in 1992. That sounds selfish, but I didn’t have any children to take care of and my wife was enmeshed in a busy career as an art director for a prosperous advertising agency.

I was approached by Agfa that year to be a tester for their line of APX films and I requested a case of their 100 speed film and another of their 400 speed film. They asked me where I wanted to photograph and I said, “Paris.” A month later, in late October, I was there with a camera bag full of new Canon EOS lenses and a couple of camera bodies. Oh, and a big shopping bag full of black and white film.
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Photography Can Be Like Fashion, Or It Can Be a Lifelong Linear Process

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As I sat trapped in a coach seat on an aged and tattered American Airlines airplane I had time to think about the whole spectrum of art photography. I wanted to have a clearer window into the different ways in which people who aren’t using their cameras to make a living in a traditional, commercial application of photography approach their subjects and their understanding of style. How much is generated internally and how much is a reflexive reaction to a world inundated in images?

I spoke with a person in the film industry on Friday. We were talking about HMI lighting and he made a remark concerning still photographers. I give him credence since his background originally included a successful career in photography. His remark, in regards to the real lack of lighting acumen among most shooters was this: “There’s no such thing as a good photographer under 40.”
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Do You Need a Photography Degree to Be a Successful Photographer?

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As the recipient of a great education (thanks in no small part to my parents), I’m always fascinated by discussions of how college influence what we do and achieve later in life. As a music major, I could have never fathomed that I would one day become an entrepreneur, and when I think back to college, it had very little to do with the acquisition of technical knowledge, and more about being exposed to a wide range of subjects, people, and social situations.
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David Hobby Purchased the First Fujifilm X100S to Be Sold, and He Loves It

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Our pal and fellow photo blogger David Hobby of Strobist is currently over in Dubai for Gulf Photo Plus 2013, and yesterday he had the privilege of purchasing the first Fujifilm X100S to be sold on planet Earth. Hobby tells us he’s in love.
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Getting It Right in the Camera: The Truth, The Myth, The BS

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“One should still try and get as close as possible to what you want in the initial click.”

A friend of a friend just pointed this out in a conversation we were all having on Facebook. It’s prompted me to say something. To explain what “getting it right in the camera” means to me now, and what it meant to me in the old days.
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Yup, I Photographed My Own Wedding

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Sometimes it’s easy for photographers to take for granted our skill set. It becomes natural to forget, from time to time, all of the elements rattling around in the synapses of our visual cortexes in the few tenths of a second it takes to put in motion the mechanics that make a picture. Like any professional of a trade, eventually you get to that point where you can begin to make it ‘look easy’, like anyone can do this. And with digital cameras and software readily available everyone sure is trying. The major problem comes when they start charging for their self-perceived craft and simply can’t perform… or don’t care to for that matter.

This is how I ended up photographing my own wedding.
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“If It Might Change Man’s Mind Against War… It Would Be Worth My Life”

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The New York Times has published a recently-discovered interview photographer W. Eugene Smith gave the American Society of Media Photographers back in 1956. Here’s Smith’s response to the question, “When do you feel that the photographer is justified in risking his life to take a picture?”:

I can’t answer that. It depends on the purpose. Reason, belief and purpose are the only determining factors. The subject is not a fair measure.

I think the photographer should have some reason or purpose. I would hate to risk my life to take another bloody picture for the Daily News, but if it might change man’s mind against war, then I feel that it would be worth my life. But I would never advise anybody else to make this decision. It would have to be their own decision. For example, when I was on the carrier, I didn’t want to fly on Christmas Day because I didn’t want to color all the other Chistmases for my children.

He also shares thoughts on the issues of staging and retouching. It’s a fascinating read. Check out the full interview through the link below.

W. Eugene Smith: ‘I Didn’t Write the Rules, Why Should I Follow Them?’ [NYTimes]

Dear Santa: Here Are My Wishes for My Favorite Camera Makers

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Dear Santa,

I don’t really need anything for Christmas this year. But I would appreciate if you would bring some gifts to my favorite photography manufacturers.
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