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Contrast: Look For The Differences

In The Craft, Thoughts & Theory by David48 Comments

When legendary NY photographer Jay Maisel was asked how to make more interesting photographs, he unflinchingly replied, “Become a more interesting person.” You might have heard that story. It doesn’t surprise me at all; Jay is a blunt man who suffers no fools and saves his subtlety for his photographs. It’s a good answer, but it’s not very immediately applicable, is it? And …

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Vision Isn’t Everything.

In The Craft, The Life Creative, Thoughts & Theory, Vision Is Better by David1133 Comments

Vision Isn’t Everything.It’s Often Not Even the First Thing. Those of you who have been with me a while probably never thought you’d see the day when I’d write those words. I’ve built much of my teaching around the idea that “vision is better’” and, specifically, have placed a priority on vision being better than relying on endless gear upgrades where more …

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Are Your Photographs Poetic? Part One.

In Most Popular, The Compelling Frame, The Craft, The Life Creative, Thoughts & Theory by David52 Comments

Painter Robert Henri said, “Paint the flying spirit of the bird, rather than its feathers.” Similarly, Poet Anton Chekhov said, “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” One is a plea to painters, another to writers, but both beg the same thing: make me feel something. Don’t just tell me; don’t …

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The Way The Camera Sees

In Most Popular, The Craft, Thoughts & Theory by David18 Comments

One of the things that fascinates me about photography is the raw materials it uses. Painters have paint and canvas. Sculptors have stone and metal. But photographers? We have space,  time, and light, and I think that’s magic. Hold that thought for a moment. How we think about making photographs can change how we make photographs and, therefore, change the …

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Should You Specialize?

In Most Popular, Pep Talks, The Craft, The Life Creative, Thoughts & Theory by David62 Comments

In the long list of pieces of photographic advice that gets foisted on newer photographers by well-meaning and more experienced photographers is this: you’ve got to specialize. And, like all advice, my reaction tends to be, “Well, yes and no.” One-size-fits-all advice will be extraordinarily helpful to us the moment photographers (and people in general) come in one size. We do not. …