theory

Tires, David Zimmerman

‘Pure’ Landscape Photography Versus Including the Human Element

One of the reasons we pursue landscape photography is to connect with nature. Many photographers cite calmness, a sense of peace, and inspiration when they are surrounded by stunning scenery. I am one of them. Unfortunately, it is increasingly common that the encounter is modified by some human-made element.

Synecdoche: The Essence of Photography

I was struggling through Caesar in 10th grade Latin class when I first heard the term “synecdoche” (although the term is from the Greek) — it’s a figure of speech where a part of something is used to represent the whole. Today, familiar synecdoche include “threads” to mean clothing, as in “dig these new threads I’m wearing.” Or “boots on the ground” when talking about soldiers. Or “she got a cool set of wheels” to mean a new car.

Leveraging Visual Language and the How to Capture ‘Mood’ in a Photo

I often hear photographers express frustration with their images, saying something like, "My photographs don't capture what I really see." But cameras actually do a great job of capturing what things look like. I think what people really mean is that their photographs don't capture what they felt when they made the exposure.

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.

Knowing When to Fold

The overall measure of success for any photographer will likely be at least partially attributable to the effectiveness with which they are able to edit their own work.

Different Approaches to Seeing the Grand Landscape

The development of personal vision in photography often gets mired in thoughts of what to avoid, the suppression of familiar ideas, and the desire to do something different.

What Makes a Compelling Landscape Photograph?

Long before photography was even a dream, people were trying to document the beauty of landscapes in a two-dimensional medium. From romantic interpretations of natural beauty to the realistic and mystifying Hudson River School painters, there have always been trends in how we see the landscape.

What a New, Budget-Friendly Leica M 35mm Camera Might Be Like

In the eyes of many, 35mm film photography was snuffed out in the early 2000s. But a small, dedicated fan base has continued to smolder. For all intents and purposes, Leica launched the 35mm camera. And it seems that nearly a century later, they are still committed to fanning the flames that they themselves ignited.

Are You Still Chasing ‘Perfect’ Color?

It's my belief that color is actually one of the most subjective elements that we as humans all understand, yet we actually have no real way of enforcing or translating it to one another.

The Power of Transitions: A Theory of Landscape Photography:

What makes a great landscape photo, great? Some appreciate an image for its technical prowess or adhering to certain rules. It might be focused correctly and sharp throughout the scene. It could be well-exposed, offering wide dynamic range. Some like to see leading lines or the rule of thirds.

Do Photos Really Tell Stories?

It's funny how deceiving a photograph can be. I wouldn't blame anyone for thinking that this roller skater has turned his head to check out the girl on her phone as he skates past her. Without any context, that does appear to be the story here.

What Parallelism Is and How to Use it to Improve Your Photography

I’ve always had a fascination with geometry and man-made structures, their perfection has a strong attraction on me. It took me time to realize that what I appreciated most wasn’t necessarily their symmetry or the simple repetition of shapes but the parallelism between the various elements of the construction of an image.

Think About How You Use Instagram with ‘The Flyer Theory’

No matter how you feel about Instagram, if you’re reading this you know that you need it. Period. Social media can change careers. Instead of being stuck working with people in your 15-mile radius, you’re now open to the world. But if you’re reading this, you’re probably also using Instagram wrong.

5 Peculiar Principles to Live By as a Photographer

I’d like to think that as I age I get wiser. I sure hope so because I want to be a better person every day! Lately I’ve been pondering about principles. For most of my life I’ve been chasing after the 1-2-3 approach only to realize that things are so complex, I would have been better off knowing the principles of life rather than going in without any guiding principle.

Since I am a photographer, I’ve compiled 5 principles that I’ve discovered that are beneficial for photographers. I hold them as true because they’ve always been true for me and I am sure they will be for you too!

Opinion: Lomography, an Alternative Perspective on Traditional Photo Standards

Lomography began as an art movement in the early 1990s after a group of Viennese students discovered the LC-A, a camera manufactured by Russian imaging company LOMO. The fixed lens 32mm f/2.8 compact camera produced unique images that were off-color, vibrant, and soft. On a mission to advocate the use of these creative cameras and experimental film, photographers quickly formed the Lomographic Society International in 1992.

Despite the movement producing wonderfully interesting images that have been exhibited in both Moscow and New York City, it has received substantial criticism from self-dubbed “real photographers.” This opinion piece aims at breaking down the wall of prejudice, and opening minds to the possibility of creative photography outside of normal standards.