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Tagged With « evolution »

  • Making of a documentary short

    My short documentary video, Farm Time, premiered in June of 2017 at the New Haven Documentary Film Festival. Being juried into a film festival tells me that a given video is in fact good, since succeeds in the eyes of others who get paid to look at lots of films. I am often asked what is the process that I undertake as I make the kind of short documentary videos that I like to make (and that I appear to be good at if you believe the numerous film festivals which have selected my work for screening.) With the idea of explaining the process, I offer this blog entry.

    30

    Jun 17

  • Road Warrior 102 for the photographer (part two of two)

    In the first of this two-part blog posting, I wrote about all the non-gear related things that make my life easier as a photographic road warrior. In this posting I will talk about the gear related technologies that do the same thing for me. On my educational web-site, The Wells Point, I have a podcast showing all of the contents of my traveling camera bag. It is now slightly out of date, since I recently switched to the smaller Olympus Pen cameras, from the larger DSLRs. But the gear that I take with me (besides my cameras and lenses) has not changed at all. You can see exactly what that includes here. The logic behind switching to the smaller Olympus Pen cameras was the subject of a recent blog entry.

    29

    Jun 15

  • Carpe diem: Seize the moment

    I have heard the expression “Carpe diem: Seize the moment,” bantered about for as long as I can remember. (I am 57 years old, so that is a long time.) I have always known what the words meant, but only recently have I come to appreciate what they mean to me.

    24

    Dec 14

  • Zen and the Art of Photography Maintenance

    I started riding motorcycles before I even took up photography, way back in 1972. Both riding and photographing require a lot of practice to achieve mastery. Both pursuits can be rewarding (or frustrating) as that expertise develops (or fails to.) Both involve complex technology with numerous opportunities to spend more and more money. Both are frequently enjoyed outside. Both involve disciplined vision and constant awareness of your surrounding environment. Thankfully, in only one pursuit can a mistake result in injury or even worse—death. While I was riding recently, I was reminded of what is arguably the most important similarity between the two, at least in the eyes of a photographer.

    22

    Aug 14

  • The last film project

    Old projects seem to have an odd way of circling back to haunt you. Sometimes that is economically, other times stylistically. An old project is back in mind right now which has prompted me to reconsider how, sixteen years ago I started an informal collaboration with two other photographers, using a primitive imaging technology called “film.” Almost two decades later, that project is coming to fruition, which prompted me to look back on one of if not the last projects that I worked on using film.

    08

    Aug 14

  • The Brazilian Experiment Part Two

    In early June we were in Brazil. I wrote earlier about my cultural experiences in South America’s largest country. This time I am writing about my experience with photography and photographing in Brazil.

    27

    Jul 14

  • Sampling my CreativeLive workshop

    I recently gave a class on personal projects and the photo-essay that was recorded and broadcast over the web by CreativeLive. Photo essays are compelling, dynamic, vivid mission statements of a photographer’s work — every photographer should have a working knowledge of this narrative art form. You can get a sample of the class by watching this preview segment.

    16

    Jul 14

  • The Brazilian Experiment – Part One

    I spent the last few days of May and the first few days of June in Brazil. I was NOT there for the World Cup. In fact, I tried very hard to be out of that country before the start of the big event, to avoid the crowds and the connected chaos. This blog entry (and the next one) will explore my experiences in the biggest country in South America.

    04

    Jul 14

  • Tiffinbox interview: Creating Powerful Photo Essays And Personal Projects

    In advance of my CreativeLive course called “Create Powerful Photo Essays & Personal Projects” I sat down to talk with Seshu Badrinath of the tiffinbox site to discuss the class and how photographers can create photo essays and personal projects as well as publish them on their own.

    28

    Jun 14

  • The hidden scandal in photojournalism’s award season

    The award season for photojournalism is upon us, like the Oscars or the Grammies. Unlike in the cases of those televised awards, the commentary will not likely focus on who attended which awards ceremony with who as their date. Nor will their be much commentary on the costumes worn, since nearly all the competitors will be dressed in black, the artist’s de rigueur clothing. If the last few year’s post-award scandals are any indication, the commentary will likely focus on digital manipulation, a topic certainly of importance. But, I am guessing the scandal-of-the-month club will again miss the real scandal in the world of photojournalism.

    28

    Feb 14

  • Day Dreams

    In the dead of the winter in New England, repeatedly watching the play of light and shadow in the the room where I live and work prompted me to make this video.

    22

    Jan 14

  • Approach 6L-24R

    In late December of 2013, I spent a few hours watching planes land at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport.) During the three hours, I made a series of time-lapse animations, which I then made into this short, thirty second video.

    31

    Dec 13

  • Me and Jackson Browne at Tanglewood

    Ok, so there were 18,000 other people besides me and Jackson Browne on July 4th at the Shed, in Tanglewood, Massachusetts (the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.) I was not even have seated particularly close to the stage. But I have been listening to (and following) the work of the California singer-songwriter for a long time. As I listened to him play and thought about the shows I have seen over the years, I note some similarities in our careers and our creative processes.

    26

    Aug 13

  • Finland? Finland!

    I spent the first two weeks of June teaching a photo-essay class to university students in Finland. When I started the class, I was worried if it would go well. I have a hard time working with college students, since most of them don’t want to speak out in class, out of fear of “sticking out from the crowd.” Since those same students were Finnish, a notoriously shy people, it had all the makings of a train wreck. I am thrilled to say it turned out much better than I expected.

    28

    Jun 13

  • How to organize the unorganized

    Another query comes in and another blog post comes out…. I received an e-mail with a question that was so good that I immediately answered the writer AND told him I would turn it into a blog post. His question, to put it succinctly was “How could he organize the unorganized?” This is a question nearly every photographer working digitally may have to face.

    22

    Mar 13

  • Being interviewed via Google plus

    I had the pleasure of hanging out on Google plus (and being interviewed by) Frederick Van Johnson, the ball of energy behind many interesting photography projects including This Week in Photo. I enjoyed the hangout immensely wanted to share it.

    25

    Jan 13

  • My Geo tagging adventure

    Geotagging of photos is one of those technological advances that vaguely impressed me, but it is also one I was sure I would never use. It all seemed so “gear-head-esque” to me. I am here today to eat my words, having just finished a project where Geo tagging was a savior (and a bit of a headache.)

    25

  • The Constitution, Catholicism, slaves and guns

    I am going to out on a limb here and I may risk offending a few readers but the recent killing of in Connecticut of twenty seven people, mostly school children, should be offensive to all Americans. Yes, I am a liberal and I live in the North Eastern liberal-belt between Boston and Washington. On the other hand, I am a former gun owner who knows and respects plenty of gun owners.

    21

    Dec 12

  • The color of black: The paintings of Peter Holmes

    An old friend is a painter whose use of black has captivated my interest (and that of many others.) To introduce others to his work, I made this profile video..

    14

    Mar 12

  • About ongoing, on-line critique groups

    The photography world is often dominated by the rage for the latest camera, software or accessory. We all know that (and I am as guilty as the next person in terms of talking those up.) Long after the latest/greatest photo “toy” has been forgotten, there is one timeless thing that will make every one of us a better photographer, which is feedback. There are many ways to give and get that all-important feedback, much of which I have blogged about in the past. In my experience, one of the very best ways to get that is through an ongoing, on-line critique group.

    30

    Dec 11

  • Adapt or die

    Recently, while I was working on a project, I had a bit of a surprise. In that project, Foreclosed Dreams, I am exploring the ongoing foreclosure crisis by photographing inside houses as soon as possible after the actual foreclosure and before they are cleaned up.   That is when I can see and photograph what I think of as the “ghosts” of the families that used to be there.  During a recent shoot, I had two surprises that got me thinking about how I work as a photographer. One lesson came out of all of that, adapt or die.

    16

    Dec 11

  • Sculpted Photographs – The art of Abigail Gumbiner

    A long-time friend is an artist whose latest work is at the intersection of her two passions, photography and sculpture. To introduce others to her work, I made this profile video.

    16

    Nov 11

  • What 9/11 did NOT change in my photography

    Last week I blogged about how the terrible events of 9/11/01 changed photography. (Or maybe more accurately, how the photography that came out of that day highlighted the changes in the culture of photography that were just picking up speed at that moment.) That essay was written from the perspective of a blogger first and a photographer second. This week I approach the same topic the other way, as a photographer first and a blogger second.

    23

    Sep 11

  • Akka (the movie)

    My daughter and my niece spent the summer of 2010 volunteering at the Parikrma school in Bangalore, India. This short movie explores their experience living and working in India.

    17

    Nov 10

  • What is a blog-cast?

    This, my first blog-cast, explores the intersection between a blog entry and a podcast.

    19

    May 10

  • Pictures, purges and process (part two)

    As of late, I have been writing about the massive spring-cleaning I have undertaken over the last few weeks. I am pretty much done with this archival edit and purge. I have also been thinking how much fun it was looking through thirty plus year’s worth of work. In all, it was a good starting point to reconsider the evolution of my style as a photographer. If I had to give that journey a title, as I went from a beginning photographer to an established professional, the best phrase would be “moving the goals posts.”

    03

    May 10

  • Pictures, purges and process (part one)

    I recently wound up a series of blog entries exploring my experiences with and thoughts about technology. The non-technological process of spring-cleaning prompted all of these posts. In the process of that cleaning (or more accurately my massive archival purge,) I looked at thousands and thousands of my old images. Some scared me, some impressed me and some surprised me. Though it was not my intention, it turned out to be a great way to consider the arc of my evolution, as a photographer and as a professional.

    30

    Apr 10

  • Darwinian competition among photographers….

    I am now working out West. Last week I was in California photographing for my ongoing project on the foreclosure crisis. This week I am in Arizona photographing and teaching a workshop at the Tucson Rodeo. I am thrilled to be out of the cold in the Northeast. Since coming West, I have been watching some of the winter Olympics. That way I get to look at plenty of snow and ice, without, of course, the shivering that comes with it. Watching the competition in Vancouver, I noted the ever-narrower differences between the medalists and the also-rans. This got me to thinking about evolutionary biology and that lead me back to photographers.

    22

    Feb 10

  • Thoughts on getting feedback

    The class that I was teaching in India ended on the same note that many of my classes do. The students had made good progress and wanted to keep their creative growth going, after the class ended. I teased them, saying that about a week after the class they would all be “master” photographers. I say that to almost all my classes, because the things learned in a workshop take about a week to become an innate part of any student’s photography. The follow-up point is that about another week later, the skills they had learned in the class would start to diminish. The end of the joke is that about a month later, they would still be better photographers than when they entered the class, but no longer the “masters” they had briefly been. So what did I tell them to do to try to hold on to the “mastery” they had briefly achieved?

    21

    Dec 09

  • Technology as artistic opportunity and aesthetic hurdle

    My wife, who is a photographer, has been producing some compelling animations / videos based on multi-generational portraits of Indian women. In the process of making the work, she went through a series of hurdles, just like any creative person would. She first struggled through the process of conceptualizing and defining the project. Once she knew what she wanted to do, she then applied for and had good luck getting a grant to fund the initial photographing and the post-production of the work. Over time the project evolved. She has recently completed the creation of the finished pieces. The work uses some of the latest digital technology to raise some interesting questions about time, memory and photographs. In the process of making the work, it seems she got a little too far in front of the existing technology. So much so that one of our current projects is to figure out what existing technology can be used to present her work in the exact way that she wants it be experienced.

    07

    Dec 09

  • A new look at complaining about the “good old days”

    I was exchanging e-mails with Bob Krist, a freelance photographer who works regularly on assignment for National Geographic Traveler. Our dialogue started with the idea that when we were younger, the older photographers we admired complained about the good old days. I wondered if, today, when he and I are no longer young and are more prone to complain, are we just being nostalgic or is something really being lost in today’s photography market/climate?

    04

    Dec 09

  • The Wells Point after one year

    The Wells Point celebrated its first birthday yesterday. It has been quite a year. We launched last year just before the big Photo Plus trade show in New York City. This year, I am writing from NYC, where I am again attending the Photo Plus show. So, just what has happened within The Wells Point since the website went live on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008?

    23

    Oct 09

  • One photographer’s career path

    This podcast explores my career path, from student photographer to established professional. As I tell my story, I show photographs from the many phases of my career.

    28

    Jan 09

  • Photographs as mirrors and windows

    I often tell my students that their best photographs are the ones that reflect their personalities, life experiences and outlooks.  I was recently giving a presentation, when an audience member’s question stopped me cold and forced me to articulate how that same idea has played out in my own work.

    26

    Jan 09

  • How I learned to critique photographs

    I was reviewing another photographer’s work recently. Left and right, I was tossing off suggestions for improving the images. Though I was thinking intensely about the work, I was largely unaware of my own process, as I critiqued the work. When she asked me how I had learned to critique images so fluidly, I was stopped in my tracks.

    19

    Jan 09

  • “Hitting the wall” when it comes to learning new technologies

    I was having a conversation (via e-mail) with a friend/photographer in California, named Michael. It quickly grew from a personal discussion to something much more philosophical. It started on photography but ended up being about much larger issues.

    12

    Jan 09

  • The questions I would ask any accomplished photographer.

    If I could corner an accomplished photographer in a bar and ask them anything, the questions I would ask are not the ones you might expect. They have little to do with the camera brand they use, the paper they print on or the bag they carry.

    05

    Jan 09

  • Creative evolution of my project “Concurrence: India”

    This podcast explores the creative evolution of my project, “Concurrence: India.” The work evolved from a literal reportage on globalization to a more personal exploration of the fluctuating encounter between the eternal and the modern.

    31

    Dec 08

  • Keeping up on the stock photography business

    If you are interested as I am in keeping up with developments in the rapidly changing world of stock photography, you should be reading a new blog called “about the image.”

    06

    Oct 08

  • Photography driven Marketing campaign

    My agency, Aurora photos, is running an interesting marketing campaign that explores both the artistic and commercial aspects of photography.

    19

    Sep 08