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Is It Any Good?

In The Craft, The Life Creative, Thoughts & Theory by David8 Comments

Have you ever looked at one of your photographs and thought, is it any good? I often wonder if this is the one big question that goes through the minds of most photographers, after the one about whether we should get another camera bag, which is ridiculous, because you can never have too many camera bags. Is it any good? …

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Composition: The Power of Simplicity

In The Compelling Frame, The Craft, The Life Creative by David12 Comments

“Simplify, simplify, simplify.” ~ Henry David Thoreau “One ‘simplify’ would have sufficed.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson It took me years to figure out that photographic composition is about organization of elements in the frame, that making a photograph has so much more to do with my decisions than it does with the scene in front of me. Before that realization, …

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Leaving Dafen (From Craft to Art)

In The Craft, The Life Creative by David24 Comments

There is a village in China where thousands of painters make their living together, painting away their days in spartan studios, covered in paint, surrounded by canvases. The village is called Dafen, and it intrigues me because, for all the technical prowess possessed by the painters in that community, it is not known for its art. Not really. That is …

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Better Than Like

In Rants and Sermons, The Craft by David12 Comments

The making of art, and the appreciation of it, is a subjective thing. It is deeply personal, and this is one of its strengths, not a weakness. But there’s a danger in seeing art in such personal, subjective terms, and that hazard is no more clearly seen than in the oft-used word, “like.” As in, “Oh, I really like that …

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Postcards from Socorro

In Postcards From..., Rants and Sermons by David19 Comments

  We have this astonishing notion as photographers that we just have to go to a cool place, put our cameras in front of cool things, and not screw up the exposure or the focus, in order to get compelling photographs. Deep down, though, I think we all know it’s not true, at least for us. Well, it’s rarely true …

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Postcards from Varanasi

In Postcards From... by David21 Comments

Three weeks in Varanasi felt like a long time. Even the people that lived there kept shaking their heads in disbelief when I told them I was staying for 21 days. “Three weeks!” they’d exclaim, “In Varanasi? Why?” But they smiled when they did so and I think they were pleased that I was sticking around, if only to prolong …