Good morning from Mexico’s sunny San Jose del Cabo! I got off the Nautilus Belle Amie yesterday after 10 days at sea and another astonishing series of underwater encounters that blew my mind. Here are a small handful of them, including one of my dive buddy and good friend Jason Bradley after this one solitary black Jack (the kind of fish, probably not his actual name) bit him on the finger. In defense of the Jack, Jason was probably poking him; I’d bite Jason too if he poked me.
Now I’m stuck in Cabo waiting for my homebound flight tomorrow, enduring the hell of this sunlit place with blue water and a nearby margarita bar and wifi for the first time in 10 days. So it’s mostly work, work, massage, margarita, work, work. Don’t pity me, I chose this life. When I get home I’m knee deep into a couple projects, including the continued revamp on the way I communicate with my audience and friends (that’s you). One of the things I’m doing is re-focusing my Craft & Vision Contact Sheet – making it a little more personal, and using it to teach instead of only promoting my books. It’s like another blog delivered by email – short articles on topics like portraiture and making deeper images rather than just eye candy. It’s one part philosophical, one part practical, and one part “here’s this week’s discounted deal o’ the week, I hope it helps.”
If you are signed up for my Contact Sheet and are reading them, I’d love your feedback. Is this change in direction helpful? What would you like to see covered or taught? No pressure. If something comes to mind, let me know in the comments.
If you are not signed up for my Contact Sheet, but would like to get exclusive short articles, discounts, and the occasional giveaway, you can sign up here.
When I get home I’ll be working on a short series about personal projects and releasing that on YouTube on my Vision Is Better show. I’ll make sure to keep you posted, but if you’ve got questions about personal projects and creating bodies of work, you could leave those in the comments too.
Finally, if you enjoy this work, you can see more of my underwater black and white portfolio all in one place here. It’ll get updated soon, but I don’t often remind you where you can see more of my work, so feel free to poke around.
David, your work are die to for.
And why would anyone pity you for such amazing life.
They would be jealous.
Absolutely love the new approach with the contact sheet. The post with homework (finding photos your love, analyzing them etc) was especially helpful and I’m excited to narrow down what I want to work on in the next year to that one element. So hard and exciting!
Very much appreciate the work you do and the wisdom you share.
These are all great (as all of your BW underwater shots are). The 3rd to last shot of the manta is poetic and the last two are like a contrast of two oceans, one teaming with life and the other feels like surprise that there was even a fish.
I love these photographs, especially the one of the sea lion “dancing” in the light.
As far as the contact sheet, and teaching in general, I struggle the most with learning how to work through and tell a story. To understand what moves me in what I’m seeing and then express that effectively. So anything that goes in that direction, I really appreciate. One specific thing that I benefit from, is when an experienced photographer walks through the process of a photograph he or she made. In some of Michael Freeman’s books (The Photographer’s Mind is the one I’m going through right now), he’ll talk through the decision process and show the virtual contact sheet.
Thanks so much for all your teaching and the Vision Collective.
“Don’t pity me, I chose this life. ” you’re funny
Mmmm, that solo sea lion though.
I love how graphic these images are. Very striking.
Lovely photos all, with grace and light. I, too, prefer your new approach to the Craft & Vision Contact Sheet. Not only is it friendlier, but I think it makes an even better pitch for your books.
Thank you, Linda. Do let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see in The Contact Sheet!
Extraordinary work. They really epitomize your (paraphrased) mantra of “light, line, and moment.” All of these would be amazing as huge wall wall prints.
Great photos, David. Particularly love the last one and the overhead shot of the ray (its like the opening scene of an aquatic remake of Star Wars!).
Like the new approach to the blog. I’d also be interested in a walkthrough of how you went about shoots like the one in this post. Not so much the technical aspects but more a walkthrough from vision and planning through the actual shoot – deciding where to stand (sorry, swim) and then onto how you selected the images that fitted with your goal. Maybe a pair of posts – one like the one above showing the results and then another on the process. Appreciate that you’ve done similar things before with the ‘Print And The Process’ books and so on which I found really engaging and useful.
I would like to officially apply for a job as your assistant/secretary/drink fetcher ? As it does seem horribly unfair that you are forced into the dreadful sunlit , massage life without a personal assistant so I will unselfishly offer my services. ?
My gosh those photos are just brilliant and such a shift from your other work which I freakin love but wow you rocked this too!
Thank you, Nicholas!
Beautiful work David. The grain in the final photo is to die for. Can’t wait for the new book to arrive also!