Trends in Photography

Hi Folks:

I originally posted the following as a comment to an article written by Neal Rantoul, titled, “A Disturbing Trend“. It’s probably best to read the article first… I’ll wait.

Welcome back!

Here’s my comment:

An interesting read for photographers (and others). For the most part I agree with him. I am a poet, a writer, and a photographer and as such most of my images tell stories. However, I don’t pretend to insist that any photograph tells only one story. Each viewer connects the image to his/her own perceptions and memories and together they create their own stories, their own relationships. If I have to explain it, then I’ve failed.

Having said that, there’s still an overarching idea that photography must be representational. Computers allow us to create images that were impossible in an analog world. I remember Robert Bateman saying (of one of his abstract works), “It’s a painting. It’s not a painting of anything. It’s a painting.” Digital images allow us to create works that are abstract or non-representational as well.

I think we need to loosen our hold on definitions like photograph, image, digital art… For example, if I make 40 images at +1/0/-1 EV and combine those 120 images into an HDR panorama then push it around a bit in post-processing (like the image below) – is it still a photograph?DSCF24996-PAP_HDR_2-blend

Two photographers whose work I admire are John Paul Caponigro and Stephen Johnson. Elizabeth Carmel is another. They all do landscape photography, and yet their styles are all very different. Each is using similar tools, yet they’re wielding them in their own ways. Photography begins with vision.

Okay, that’s it. Now go out and make some photographs!


Minimum Handheld Shutter Speed

Hi Folks:

A friend recently asked me about the minimum handheld shutter speed for cropped sensor cameras; the old adage for 35mm cameras was known as ‘1/focal length’ and he was wondering if he should apply a 1.6 crop factor for a cropped sensor.  I saved my reply and thought I’d post it here… Continue Reading →

Understanding Criticism

Hi Folks:

This is going to be a very short (for me) post, and is really just a pointer to some excellent articles written by someone else.  Photographer Alain Briot recently wrote a series of three articles for the Luminous Landscape, and while they’re primarily written for the understanding of photographers, I think the points Alain makes have a broader reference to the criticisms we all deal with in our daily life.

You can find them here:

Understanding Criticism, Part 1: The Many Faces of Criticism
Understanding Criticism, Part 2: Responding to Criticism
Understanding Criticism, Part 3: A few words on perseverance

Okay, that’s it for now!


(See, I told you it was going to be short… 😉 )