tPP67: Last Minute Photography Rants

Hosted by Daniel j Gregory

June 20, 2016

Episode Number:

In this Episode


It is Sunday night and I find myself in front of the recorder again. While I normally try to have my podcast done well in advance, this weekend I was reading something on my phone that sort of got me amped up for the day. There is a lot of photographic teaching out there in the world and some of it is a amazing and some of it not so much. For the most part, I try to ignore things that bother me, but for some reason this weekend, I just couldn’t let it go.

Over the past several months, I have been keeping a list of things that I keep seeing in the list of X number of things every photographer should know. I finally broke today, maybe it was the ether from the wet-plate work or just going crazy, but here is my list of 5 things that we need to teach differently.

  1. First 1,000 or 10,000 images are your worst. This isn’t necessarily true. Sure a lot of them might be bad, but the creative process works in magical ways sometimes. You might produce some of your best work when you are starting out and free from all the trappings that come from being more focused on “better” photography.
  2. We go to the brightest spot in an image first. We actually go to the point of highest contrast first. Find an image of snow with a silhouette of a tree. Which do you look at first the snow or the dark tree?
  3. A good black and white photograph has to have a pure black and pure white. What if you want to have a high key image with no black? What happens then?
  4. Fix it in post is bad. This is true if you are lazy and sloppy but what if your seeing requires you to “fix it in post.” The intention is right here, but we can limit our own creativity is what we see and experience in the world requires post processing (HDR, Panos, and compositing come to mind)
  5. My work is organic so I don’t study photography because it will corrupt my vision. What a load of garbage. You have a sense of seeing and the more you understand design, gesture, light, color, composition, framing and all the other aspects that go into an image the better you will be as a photographer. I hear all the time from people that they don’t know what makes a good photograph. If you are in the camp, you need to study more.

Photoshop World 2016

I an also so excited to be an instructor at Photoshop World 2016 this summer in Las Vegas. I am teaching four classes and I would love to see you down there this July. You can find more information over at

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In this week’s podcast, we explore the elusive quest to identify the “best photograph” in a series, delving into considerations like emotional impact, composition, and our own personal bias.