Thoughts & Theory

Jun 15th


Comments Comments 29
CategoryPosted in: Books, Craft & Vision, e-books, News & Stuff, Thoughts & Theory


At the end of the month, Craft & Vision is releasing the first eBook I’ve written in over 6 months and I’m really excited about it. When I wrote the last one I said it would be the last eBook I wrote about vision for some time, and that the next books would be about expression of that vision. The first topic I wanted to tackle is depth because I think it’s a good way to begin the discussion about how people read and experience our photographs. The book is called A DEEPER FRAME, and we’re planning some killer discounts to go along with the release. In the meantime, here’s a short excerpt explaining why depth matters.

Why Deeper?

The entire discussion of depth is necessary because the medium of photography turns a world of three dimensions into two. With that conversion comes what I’ve elsewhere called the flattening. The flattening forces all elements in a three dimensional scene to flatten against each other. In the case of longer lenses this effect is exaggerated even more. It’s neither good nor bad, but recognizing it is important. Why this matters is that we do not experience the world in two dimensions to begin with, so if we aim to create photographs that create within the reader a deeper, fuller, longer experience , it falls to us to recreate that depth. Your scene may feel deep, and your experience at the time might seem impossibly immersive, but you can not escape the effects of the flattening and it is only through your own decisions that you can retain, or reintroduce that depth.

It is all about the reader’s experience of the photograph itself, and about your ability to express yourself more fully. While it seems obvious that it is impossible, without actual 3-Dimensional technology which is rapidly coming, to add a third dimension to a flat image; it is in fact possible to create the perception or illusion of depth.

Deeper images pull us in visually, they give as not only square footage but cubic space – room to move about and explore with our eyes. That room to explore invites the photographer to create photographs with more complexity to them, and the reader to linger longer. It is about experience. The more a photograph recreates the illusion of reality as we experience it, the deeper the potential experience, the longer the memory of the image, the greater the possible impact on their hearts and minds. Deeper photographs give us a means to create more engaging one-frame visual stories.

That’s the Why, and it’s not complicated. Better photographs create better experiences, and depth can get you there. Now let’s look at seven ways to get to deeper frames.


A Deeper Frame will be release on June 28th at It’ll be announced here first and we’ll be throwing in some deeper discounts than usual.

Mar 31st


Comments Comments 30
CategoryPosted in: Jessie and I, Thoughts & Theory, Travel

Monument Valley, Utah

Sitting in a quiet restaurant in Taos, New Mexico. We’ve got one more day before we need to be in Albuquerqe. Some of you have expressed anything from wonder to shock to consternation at how fast I’m travelling. It won’t always be this way. Sadly in order to do this trip at all I needed […]

Feb 22nd


Comments Comments 49
CategoryPosted in: Thoughts & Theory

Better Portraits: Wait for the soul.

Mongolia, 2008. Image shot for World Vision Canada. With all the talk about technique it’s easy to forget, or to never learn at all, that the most important skills in portraiture aren’t photographic at all. You can use your fanciest 135/2.0 or 85/1.2 lens, blast 3 SB900 flashes through 6-foot octaboxes, or choose the best […]