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Learning to Focus

In The Craft, The Life Creative, Thoughts & Theory by David2 Comments

  A couple times a month, I get on the phone or Skype with some wonderfully talented photographers to mentor them and nudge them forward in their craft. Almost every time the concerns are the same, the questions are similar. Is my work any good? What are my next steps? How do I grow? Of course every conversation is different, …

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Empty?

In Creativity and Inspiration, The Craft, The Life Creative by David4 Comments

Sometimes you’re on a roll.You’re on fire. Everything you touch turns to gold, and ideas come faster than you know what to do with them. Other times you’ve got nothing. Standing there in the middle of one of those places that’s so amazing you can’t make a bad photograph and feeling like an idiot because the only thing you’ve made is …

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Is It Any Good?

In The Craft, The Life Creative, Thoughts & Theory by David11 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 David15 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 David26 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 …