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To Make Better Photographs, Study More Photographs, Part Two

In Photographically Speaking, The Craft, The Life Creative, Thoughts & Theory by David11 Comments

The first installment of this two-part series began an exploration of the way in which we study a photograph, first to experience it and then to learn from it. If you missed it, you can read the first part of To Make Better Photographs, Study More Photographs here. The main point in that first article was this: our first point …

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To Make Better Photographs, Study More Photographs, Part One

In Photographically Speaking, The Craft, The Life Creative, Thoughts & Theory by David43 Comments

I started this craft innocently enough—purchasing on a whim a Voigtlander rangefinder with a fixed 35mm lens when I was 14—but by the time I was 16 years old, I was hooked and desperate for something with a few more options. I wanted “a real camera.” I have no idea where I thought my mother would get the money for …

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Vision Isn’t Everything.

In The Craft, The Life Creative, Thoughts & Theory, Vision Is Better by David1134 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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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. …