Become a better photographer by seeking out diversity in the photographs you look at

Written by Daniel Gregory

I am a Whidbey Island, Wa based fine-art photographer and photographic educator. I am a core faculty member of the Photographic Center Northwest, as well as an instructor for CreateLive and KeblyOne . I also regularly presents at regional and national conferences. I also the host of the weekly podcast The Perceptive Photographer which focuses on the challenges and day-to-day aspects of living as a photographer.

June 29, 2020

Episode 277

I often get asked what the things you can do to be a better photographer are. The two that are always at the top of my list are printing and consuming other people’s work. I like to use the analogy of ice cream when discussing other people’s work. Our work is one flavor of ice cream. Different people all have their own flavor. When we look at others’ work, it is like getting to try a new flavor of ice cream. We might like it. We might not. Either way, it helps us broaden our palate and understanding of photography or ice cream. Even if we love the flavor of our ice cream, trying other flavors will help us build a deeper understanding of what makes one brand of ice cream better than another. After all, not all Rocky Road ice cream is the same.


This week’s podcast is about how seeking out and trying a more diverse consumption of photography, much like ice cream, can help you build a deeper and more meaningful connection to your work. Because of the way photography history is shared, you will have to do extra work to find them. Much of the photographers we know from our photography classes come from a single perspective. So if you break out of that model, you will have to dig a little. Here are some suggestions.

  • Find a history of photography for a given country or culture.
  • Search for all photographers from a given country by genre in the library or online
  • Search for all photographers of a given genre by race, gender, age, country and see who is new to you on that list
  • Search online book stores for photographers you have never heard of using the you might also like feature of shopping websites
  • Search by publisher (www.photoeye.com makes it easy). If the publisher has one book you like they might have more. Some publishers also focus more on certain aspects of photography making it easier.
  • Ask friends for a list of photographers.
  • Find a photographer you like and research who inspires them, or they like
  • If you live in a city, find all the photographers you can from that city regardless of genre, race, age, camera type.

Gear used in podcast

One of the questions I get asked frequently is what sort of equipment do I use to record my podcast. I have used a variety of equipment in the three years that I have been recording, but here is the current list of equipment that I am using. Also as an FYI and full disclosure, the links are affiliate links to Amazon.

Rode Procaster XLR microphone
Rode Boom Arm
Rode PSM Shockmount
All three Rode components a kit
Focusrite Scarlet 2i2
Adobe Audition (part of creative cloud subscription)
LogicPro X
Macbook Pro
OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock
Headphones

Affiliate Links

This website may use affiliate links. This means when you purchase something through links marked as affiliate links (usually noted by a *), I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products and services that I personally use or have tested.

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