This week’s podcast is a free form rant of sorts about how we talk about seeing in photography. While there are skills necessary to understand how and why a photograph might be seen as a good photograph, that doesn’t mean it was well seen. Knowing that using the rule of thirds and a blue shirt in an image makes people respond to it more doesn’t say it was well seen. Seeing a photograph is about more than having a good composition or technical skill set. It is about something more and more profound that has to come from inside each of us. So this week, I spent a lot of time thinking about how we see and view images and why is it that seeing well is so hard. Without much of an outline or script, I spent the time in front of the mic riffing on so of the randomness that comes to mind.
If you have ever taken or seen a pole coming out of someone’s head in a photograph, you know the problem with making a 3D world appear on a 2D medium.
When we compress three-dimensional space into two, things that should have distance between them are reduced or disappear. In some cases, they might even seem farther apart than they are. Either way, as photographers our goal is to be able to understand better how to tell the story we want in our image and use the spatial effect to our advantage.
In this week’s podcast, I talk about how to think about and approach foreground, mid-ground and background areas of your photograph. Starting by focusing on where the subject or subject matter is in the picture and how to make sure the elements of light, tone, color, and shape all help separate the subject from the environment or place it in the environment. I also talk about how to make sure each object in the frame has the appropriate space around them so the can breathe and allow for a movement of light, tone, and texture to build depth into the image.
Finally, I have an exercise for you to do that should hopefully help you see and separate objects and the various background and foreground objects.
Don’t forget if you are a fan of the podcast, you can always leave a review or drop me a line with any topics you might be interested in hearing about.
This week’s podcast is thanks and tribute to the Opportunity rover, JPL and NASA. Opportunity was designed to run for 90 days and cover 1000 meters on Mars. Rather than just meeting mission objectives, Opportunity ran for 15 years and covered more than 28 miles on the red planet.
As I got to thinking about how Opportunity didn’t shy away from being more than a set of mission objectives, I began to wonder what lessons from Opportunity could be applied to photography and creative living. So in honor of Opportunity and the Opportunity team, I decided to think about how what Opportunity did could make a difference in my photography.
As you think about your approach to photography, there are only a couple of factors that come into play. At its most basic level, photography is light and time.
In this week’s podcast, I talk about how our approach to time can have huge impacts on how we create and view our photographs. Behind the camera, time is one way we bound the frame. We might limit time to fractions of a second, or we can extend it for days, weeks or months. However, what is it about time not behind that camera that causes such dramatic changes in our approach to photography.
It doesn’t matter if you are making your art for art sake, to learn to live or some other reason. How you find ways to extend, step out of time and return to times that matter are foundational in your approach to your work. In my process, I find that how ideas are found and lost, my approach to living with a print and the speed at which I feel I need to work all have impacts on my work. I hope that in the podcast, you find a way to think about your approach to time and how to get the most out of it.
I have been in several conversations over the past few weeks about the impacts of fear in our lives. It doesn’t matter if you are talking politics, art or families, fear can show up in many ways.
As I got to thinking about how fear shows up in my work and what is at the root of my fear, I realized that in my creative life and photography I could work from the limits of fear or lean into abundance. This week’s podcast is about how fear can show up in our work and the value of focusing more on the wealth that comes from our creative wells.
I was asked recently to help a friend understand how to use depth of field on a new camera. They had always been using an iPhone and just wanted to know how to use that feature of their camera.
The idea of depth stuck in my head as a critical aspect of the photograph from the depth and illusion created by the paper to the emotional connection to the work. There are always layers and depths to a photograph. In this week’s podcast, we talk about three key elements to depth in photography.
First, I discuss the impact of matte versus glossy papers and how they can shift our focus from the photograph as an object to the subject as a focus in print. Second, I talk about how emotional depth allows us to connect to work in a more meaningful way. Finally, I focus on how we can create more depth in our community by avoiding common critique traps and focusing on real relationships with people that can help move our work forward.