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Is It Any Good?

In The Craft, The Life Creative, Thoughts & Theory by David4 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 David10 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 David21 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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What it Feels Like

In News & Stuff, The Craft by David8 Comments

If you got my Contact Sheet on January 23, you’ve already read this, but if you didn’t, read on! Painter Robert Henri (1865–1929) admonished his students to “Paint the spirit of the bird in flight, not its feathers.” His words have echoed with me since I heard them, joining photographer David Alan Harvey’s plea: “Don’t shoot what it looks like, …

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How To Get Sh*t Done

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

Have you ever felt like you’re insanely busy but not actually accomplishing anything? Like you’re frantically doing stuff but never getting stuff done? Being creative, no matter what the discipline or genre means making things, it means creating, and to do that – whether it’s one photograph or a significant body of work, never mind all the things we need …