essay

Invincible Gods: My Look Back at One Film Photo Every Day of 2021

In what has become a year-end PetaPixel tradition, photographic artist B.A. Van Sise—who has the unusual practice of making one, and only one, photograph on film every single day— looks back on the past year and towards the next. His previous entries can be found for 2018, 2019, and 2020. More images from this series, titled The Infinite Present, can be seen on the artist’s website.

Learning How to Find Photography Inspiration Close to Home

Going out with your camera on a regular basis is an important part of expanding your personal growth, creativity, and mental health. During this worldwide pandemic, it means exploring the world close to home.

Preying Eyes: Wildlife Photography as a Form of Paparazzi Intrusion

Do non-human beings have a need for privacy? And if so, is it comparable to that of human beings? Does wildlife photography invade privacy? This essay seeks to explore these questions by comparing paparazzi photography with wildlife photography regarding the concept of privacy invasion. To do so, two images will be studied in detail and compared to each other.

Photo Series Captures the First 100 Days of Joe Biden’s Washington

On January 20th, 2021, I stood on the press risers at the Presidential Inauguration in Washington, DC, photographing Joe Biden taking the oath of office. It had already been a busy and chaotic month. Two weeks prior, I’d stood on these same press risers making photos as tear gas clouded the air and violent insurrectionists broke through overwhelmed police lines to gain entrance to the Capitol. The dissonance between these two events was head-spinning.

Revisiting Old Ghosts: The Girl with the Sunglasses

The girl with the sunglasses has been one of my favorite images since the day I took it. It’s very photo 1 and is literally from my first semester of art school. Taken with my first camera a Canon EOS 630 I bought for class, I shot it on Kodak Tri-X and printed it on Ilford Multigrade Glossy Fiber Base paper.

Country Doctor: A Photo Essay by W. Eugene Smith

I'm Martin from the All About Street Photography channel. In this 6-minute video and article, I am going to talk about the photo essay "Country Doctor" by W. Eugene Smith. We'll be taking a closer look at the story behind some photographs.

The High Cost of Perfection

Walking past booth after booth at the PhotoPlus Expo in New York, I often heard camera company presenters explaining to their uncomfortably-seated, yet nonetheless-enraptured, audiences how they shot the “perfect” photo.

The Man From Another Dimension

It was an early Tuesday morning, and I was sitting in a car with a friend of mine. We were going over some papers for a project I had in mind. While my friend had his eyes buried in the papers and text, mine started to wander outside.

Book Review: ‘The Street Philosophy of Garry Winogrand’

For a photographer with so many memorable quips to his name, Garry Winogrand didn't leave much of a paper trail. The four books he made during his lifetime (five if you count the 1976 Grossmont College booklet) consist almost exclusively of pictures. Although they also include some great essays, none are by Winogrand. Nor did he write for any outside books or sources.

Photography Never Died

Lately, the photography sphere has been inundated, not with the gazillions of photos everyone is talking about, but with article after article proclaiming that photography is dead/over/irrelevant/trash.

My Dad’s Chair

My parents bought this chair and a matching couch not long after they were married in 1951. This was my dad’s chair. If you were sitting in it when he walked into the room he gave you the friendly thumb twist, which simply meant: get up.

Another Big Camera Store Fails: Why Are So Many Closing?

40 years ago, Bob Khoury and Warren Steinberg started selling used photo equipment out of a showcase in an Atlanta, Georgia, flea market. Soon they moved to a brick and mortar store which, to incorporate their earlier experience, they called Showcase. The store grew to be the largest in Atlanta and sold photo and video equipment to amateurs and professionals alike and last year they celebrated their 40th anniversary.

Photo Books: The New Photographic Ritual

Moving down the aisles that are carved between each row of seats, the line slowly edges on. A choir of no more than three people -- woman and two men -- expel their voices gently and slowly, serenading the churchgoers as they inch forward toward the pulpit where they receive their bread and wine.

Photo Essay: My Road to Recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury

My name is Trevor Gavin and I'm a photographer based near San Francisco. I'd like to share a very personal story of my darkest time. It’s a part of my healing and a part of moving on. It’s the only way I know how to express my emotions.

The Diamond Ratio: The Ultimate Rule of Photo Composition

You have no doubt heard of the Golden Ratio, which is somehow or other connected to the Golden Mean and the Fibonacci Spiral, which is oft-touted as the basis of all great compositions. It is less likely that you have heard of the Diamond Ratio.

A Matter of Perspective: The Privilege of White Males in Photography

"Yet to an obsessive his obsession always seems to be of the nature of things and so is not recognized by what it is." Those words, written by art critic John Berger in his book Ways of Seeing, annotate one part of his understanding of the history of oil paintings: it’s obsessive tendencies toward showmanship of what one has, and the relationship between property and art.