Is photography about non-intervention or do we play an active role in our creating and viewing of images
In her classic essay On Photography, Susan Sontag makes the statement:
Photographing is essentially an act of non-intervention.
So in this week’s podcast, I thought we would take a look at that quote and discuss how photographing and the viewing of photographs can be a non-intervening act. The photographs we make that are significant to us, and some of the photographs we view have a lasting impact. These things become acts and objects of the intervention. These photographs and the act of photographing can have a lasting effect on what we do and who we are. These images can become interventions in our lives that shift how we think, what we do, and what we believe.
In this week’s podcast, we focus on two aspects of the nature of critique. The how and the why of taking a photograph. The how is the technical side of things in creating the image. The why is who you are as a photographer in the photograph. The story of the image so to speak. When we work on images, ideally, we would have both aspects in our images. The image would be our best foot forward in both technical and story. However, in my experience, this isn’t always the case. There are a lot of us photographers who only are interested in a single aspect of the work. So this week’s discussion is about how to approach getting feedback, giving feedback, and how to possibly think about moving your work forward by listening to all aspects of the feedback.
In this week’s podcast, I talk about some of the impacts that might appear in your photo editing and viewing as a result of binge-watching. While it is fun to sit down and consume a show from beginning to end as fast a possible, there is a cost to this approach. Much like eating good food, without a palate cleanser, our ability to sense subtle nuances in how we see, taste, and experience the object of our affection is lost. We need to have a way to reset our visuals and start fresh. As we dive into this subject this week, I discuss some impact binging can have on our editing and selection process. I also discuss some ideas for how to refresh our process so that we don’t fall into a bland diet of visual consistency.
While you may not think this applies to you, you might be surprised at how your consumption of social media, your own library of images, and the other visuals you watch impact how you approach your photography. Maybe, with a little bite of ginger once in a while as you work on your photos, you might find some treasures you never saw before.
This week’s podcast focuses on the impacts in our photography when the days, projects, images, and seeing seem to drag into each other over and over again. The groundhog effect, so to speak. I don’t think there is a person out there who hasn’t had a negative sense of deja vu when it comes to there photography. Maybe you are stuck working locally rather than getting to travel. Perhaps you think you are editing what seems like the same image again and again. The mundane comes in all sorts of flavors. While it can be a challenge to face the same repetitive task over and over again, there is value in meeting this pattern head-on. You might be surprised by the impacts and what you see on the other side of your photography and seeing.
I hope that you and your family are safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. This week’s podcast is based on a request from one of our listeners regarding a question of ethics in photography. Ethics, our sense of doing what is right and wrong, is at the core of each of us. As photographers, our understanding of right and wrong regarding what and when to photograph should be a key consideration we make..
While those ethics are different for each person and depending on your job might be different because of what you are assigned to photograph, as a community, we should be talking more and more about the ethics of making photographs. There is always an impact on taking and sharing a photo on the people and places we photograph when our choices cause side effects even when unintended.
I hope that you and your family are safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. This week’s podcast is a direct response to conversations I have been having with my friends and associates as they struggle to deal with their creative process during the pandemic. As the days drag on from one to another, the creative spark for many people has become less enjoyable and harder to maintain.
This week’s podcast focuses on the importance of doing a daily check-in. Really looking at how you are doing with your well-being. Not just your creativity, but your health, mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being too. With this awareness, there is much to be gained by acceptance of where you are at.
Accepting your current state doesn’t mean giving in to where you are. Instead, you build from the strength that comes from naming your experience and finding peace in that awareness. From there, we can find a path to the next steps. Rather than pushing back on our creative process or lack of creative process, we can see there is strength in truthful storytelling through our photography. No matter how that story is told.
I hope that you and your family are safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. I have been having some conversations with people lately about how they create their work. In the course of those discussions, I have found that a lot of people seem to focus on the next thing. However, in my experience, there is a lot of information to be gained by returning to your own photography library and looking at it with new eyes.
In this week’s podcast, we talk about a few different ways to dive deep into your older work looking for new patterns, concepts, ideas, ways of seeing and hopefully gaining some new insights into your process. There is a lot to be gained by learning to see patterns and ways of seeing even when we weren’t aware of them at the time we made the photos. Hopefully, if you take the time to do a little digging, you might be surprised at what you learn about your approach to photography.
I hope that you and your family are safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. As we all have been forced to make changes to our daily routines, it got me thinking about time. Time is one of those things at the foundation of photography, and I believe, defines a unique aspect of photography as a medium and form of communication. I also have begun to really realize the awareness impact of having less time everyday can have on my approach to my work. As photographers, we are bound by our sense of time and relationship to time in our work. We can extend time, compress time, slice time or shift time. In each image is some how our relationship to time.
In this week’s podcast, time takes a center stage and I talk about how our approach to time, loss, memory, and abstractions alters our thinking and approach to making photographs.
I hope that you and your family are safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. We recently added a new family member, Cora the dog, to the house. She is a loving, energetic ball of Aussie Shepard fur. Lori and I are working at training her to be a happy, well-adjusted, non-cat chasing member of the family. Part of that training is Lori, and I getting on the same page about the language we use when talking to her in training. After all up, down, lay, sit, stay, come, here, touch, and a ton of other words are meaningless to a puppy, yet to learn, we have to use the same words with her each time.
I also have been listening to the language around COVID-19 and the notion of social distancing being inaccurate. We need physical distance of six feet, which is no necessarily social distance. Social distancing can imply isolation and lacking contact on all levels of interaction, which isn’t entirely accurate. When you take these two things together this week, it got me thinking more and more about our language we use to talk photos. In this week’s podcast, we take a look, again, at how the subtle use of language can have a significant impact on how we think about and move forwards in our photography.
Also, if you are interested in learning about Photoshop from the safety of home. You can join me, and 19 other instructors, for a virtual Photoshop summit from April 13-17. You can register using the link below. The affiliate link, if you decided to upgrade to the VIP package will kick me back a little dollar and cents love.
I hope that you and your family are safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. For a lot of us, we are following stay-at-home orders and not going out much. For those of you stuck in essential jobs, thank you for continuing to do your job. I have had several conversations with my photographer friends about how they are dealing with all of these changes. For many of them, while stressed about the general situation, they felt it was an opportunity to really dive into their work. While this has been true for some, for others not so much.
In this week’s podcast, I talk about how important it is to remember that not only is dealing with our current crisis a long road ahead, but so is photography a long road. Along that road will be many stops, twists, turns, and changes. What matters most is that you find your center and focus on the key things you need in your life now. For some that might be going all-in on photography and for others, that creative spark might seem gone. No matter where you are, know that the journey will continue. Finding your center and focusing on what matters most, keeping your energy up, and recognizing that sometimes we need to cut ourselves some slack when we aren’t getting done all that we thought we would.
In this week’s podcast, we take a look at the importance of recognizing when you hit a turning point in your work. This might be technical, where you finally learn your workflow tools and feel confident editing. It might be in learning how to use some camera features that you always planned on learning. The turning point might also be more in your artistic vision as you learn to communicate more deeply what you are thinking and feeling behind the camera. No matter where you are in your process, each of these turning points furthers you on your journey and should be celebrated for what they are, a gift.
I am often amazed at how often we get caught up in the most simple of problems. It doesn’t matter if it is as simple as picking a new camera or picking out what image to edit and print. We can spin around and around trying to get a problem resolved that we have made more complicated than it needs to be. Many times, the best images, solutions and ideas have a simplicity to them. Not that they aren’t complex in composition, meaning or structure, but rather our experience of those images and ideas make them more than the sum of their parts.
In this week’s podcast, we take a look at some of the simple mistakes we can make as photographers and how to put our best foot forwards to getting what we want out of our photography.