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Study The Work of Others

In Books, Study the Masters, The Craft, Thoughts & Theory, Tutorials &Technique by David5 Comments

In my last article, I suggested studying the work of others as one path toward making your own work stronger. To shoot what things feel like requires that we first have feelings about things but also to understand what possibilities exist for translating feelings into photographs themselves. It’s a conversation that could get touchy-feely really quickly, but if it gets too far …

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Shoot What It Feels Like?

In The Craft, Thoughts & Theory by David23 Comments

I was young when I first heard some version of this advice: don’t shoot what it looks like; shoot what it feels like. That resonated with me then, and it still does, but I feel like my entire photographic journey has been spent trying to figure out what it practically means in a way that translates to my photographs. “Shoot what it …

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Grizzly Bears: Big, Beautiful, and…Noise-Free?

In GEAR, Lightroom & Workflow, Postcards From..., Thoughts & Theory, Travel, Wilderness by David36 Comments

There is a powerful argument to be made for photographing what intrigues you, what you love, or that by which you are obsessed. Making photographs takes time, so that curiosity, love, or obsession serves you well when your best work demands not fractions of a second or even minutes, but hours, days, or—in the case of longer projects—even years.  Bears have …

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To Hunt or Gather?

In The Craft, The Life Creative, Thoughts & Theory, Travel by David23 Comments

It seems to me there are two very different approaches often taken in making photographs. The first is very ad hoc and opportunistic. You walk the streets of India (or wherever) and photograph whatever catches your eye. You wander and you photograph anything and everything that you can find at the intersection of your curiosity and great light. There’s nothing …

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It’s All Been Done?

In Pep Talks, Rants and Sermons, The Craft, The Life Creative, Thoughts & Theory by David50 Comments

Somewhere out there, right now, sits a photographer who wants to throw in the towel, discouraged because they haven’t yet found their thing, their niche. I know this because I’ve been that photographer. Some of you have told me you’ve been there, too. Many photographers are still there, frustrated by how hard it is to be original. “It’s all been …

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Best For What?

In GEAR, Pep Talks, Rants and Sermons, The Craft, Thoughts & Theory by David21 Comments

For years, the article that got the most traffic on this blog was titled “The Best Travel Tripod?” Google sent people there in droves, but most of them didn’t stay long because I stubbornly refused to give an actual answer to that question: what’s the best travel tripod? Instead, I tried to encourage a particular way of thinking for readers to find …

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What’s Missing From Your Photography?

In GEAR, Pep Talks, The Craft, The Life Creative, Thoughts & Theory, Travel by David34 Comments

I was both excited and nervous about going to Kenya recently after a two-year absence. Beyond the extraordinary experience of just being in my happiest of places, there is always the pressure of the photographs. Will they be stronger than they’ve been in the past? Will I find ideas that interest me? Will my new gear and my growing familiarity with …

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Your Best Shot Isn’t (Usually) Your Only Shot

In Pep Talks, Postcards From..., The Craft, The Life Creative, Thoughts & Theory, Travel by David20 Comments

I traveled once with a photographer who would leap into a scene, press the shutter, and more often than not exclaim, “I got the shot!” Depending on whether you were there at the time or only heard of it after the fact, it was either really annoying or mildly amusing. If the direction into which he leapt to “get the shot” happened …