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  • What I love about handmade photographs

    I am a professional photographer making images that are used in publications and as stock photography, so that 99% of my work is used in print and/or on-line. Virtually none of my work is likely to end up as some kind of handmade photograph….. Yet, I am also a perennial student of the history of photography and a fan of all things photographic. So, I am interested in handmade photographs, even if I am not making them. Thinking about this seeming contradiction prompted me to write this blog.

    17

    Jan 14

  • Lessons learned jurying a photo competition

    I recently had the privilege of jurying the work for Car Culture competition for the PhotoPlace Gallery in Vermont. It was real education, both in terms of photography and learning about the global world of cars. As a photo-educator, I look at moments like this as “teaching moments” and so I wrote this blog entry about the jurying process. (As I also wrote the “juror’s statement that will accompany the final exhibition of prints that will opens at the PhotoPlace Gallery today, November 8th.)

    08

    Nov 13

  • More Table-top Tripod Tales

    For the last two weeks of December of 2010 and most of January of 2011, I was on the road for work, fun and family reasons. I learned a few new things—and reconfirmed a few old ones—while I worked in different parts of India and Vietnam, and spent some time in Singapore. Always the teacher, I was watching my own photographing process to see if there were any lessons worth sharing. One thing struck me as a potentially interesting lesson for any serious photographer.

    25

    Oct 13

  • Three Things Every Photographer Needs to Know About Electronic Flash

    Someone recently asked for a “super basic lesson on flash” in, as they said, “one or two steps.”  When I say flash, I mean supplementary light that is being used when documenting people, places or things as they are presented to you. I am NOT talking about studio work, where you can control the light and the subject. I am talking about when the photographer has to react to the subject and the light as they are given.

    11

    Oct 13

  • A Pro Photographer Who Uses a MacBook Air?

    I have blogged, lectured and argued for many years that a camera is nothing more than a tool that solves a given photographer’s problem. A camera brand is not a symbol of loyalty to one kind of photography, nor is it some kind of credential for membership in some kind of “club.” The sooner each photographer starts to figure out what their particular challenges are, and which camera works for them to resolve those challenges (regardless of brand), the sooner they will start making the kind of photographs they want. Recent experience has taught me that I need to start talking the same way about the laptop computers that photographers use for digital image processing. 

    13

    Sep 13

  • Seven Questions You Should Ask Every Accomplished Photographer

    I have been taking photographs for almost four decades—mostly for money and always for myself. Over those forty years, I have slowly figured out what I wanted to ask the many photographers I encountered along the way.  I have distilled this down to a list of questions that I would ask any photographer, knowing that the answers will help any photographer.

    02

    Aug 13

  • Labeling and Defining Photographers and Photography

    As a professional photographer, I am often labeled—even pigeon-holed—using simple titles like stock photographer, documentary photographer, photo-essayist or fine-art photographer. That makes sense to me, because people want a quick way of knowing who I am as a photographer, and what kind of work I can do. A student recently asked me to explain how one photographer (me), would approach one subject, and photograph that subject different ways while wearing those four different hats.

    26

    Jul 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

  • Photography as a second language

    With graduation season upon us, thousands of photographers-in-the making will soon be graduating from institutions across the country. The commencement speakers those students would be listening to will be loath to admit it, but getting paid to be a photographer is dying as a career option and it is clearly time for a new paradigm in the business of photography.

    10

    May 13

  • The magical moments in life

    As photographers, we know that some moments, ideas or experiences are simply not photographable. That does not mean we shouldn’t pause to enjoy them as life gives them to us. Nor does it mean we should not learn from them even if we do not come away with the perfect picture. I had one such experience in NYC recently.

    26

    Oct 12

  • Questioning the insider vs outsider perspective

    My wife and I presented our work to a group of photographers in New Delhi recently. We built our presentation around John Szarkowski’s idea that (broadly) photographs are either Mirrors and Windows (as in mirrors of the author or windows into other people, places or things.) It was of course fun. But it also got me thinking about photography, culture and a whole mix of other questions which naturally led to a blog entry.

    12

    Oct 12

  • Judging the Wedding Photojournalism competition

    I was recently asked to to be one of four judges to pick the winners in the quarterly competition of the The Wedding Photojournalist Association. As I was looking at the work, I was reminded how I had judged the same competition six years ago, before I was blogging regularly. During this round of judging, I was keeping notes to share with the organization and the competitors. Naturally, I thought of turning those notes into this blog entry.

    24

    Aug 12

  • The most difficult thing about making a good photograph

    I recently finished a great class on the “Photographic Tools for Travel Photography” at the International Center of Photography in New York City. I teach all my classes as a building process, where I pile ever growing amounts of information, responsibility and autonomy on the students as the workshop goes on. The end of that process, which is also the end of the class, is when I circle back through all the lessons of the class, to explore exactly what is the most difficult thing about making a good photograph.

    13

    Jul 12

  • Dish TV vs the Networks and our photographic future

    Am I the only creative content producer relishing the fight between Dish Network and the major broadcast TV networks? While I like a good legal slug-fest between Goliaths as much as the next person, I also have a real stake in the outcome. The second-largest satellite TV provider in the United States, Dish has unleashed Auto Hop, a feature allowing subscribers to automatically ad-skip through broadcast television shows. Three of the four major networks have responded with lawsuits to stop what they fear as the ultimate disruptive technology, which would clearly devastate their business model.

    29

    Jun 12

  • Why I teach workshops on stock photography

    An old friend, who runs a stock photo agency, saw that I will soon be teaching a class in stock photography near him. He wrote me a friendly but slightly incredulous note, saying “….a workshop on stock photography? Yesterday Pickerell’s advice was to ‘Find another profession.’ “ My reply was to say I am not likely to follow the advice of Jim Pickerell, arguably the longest running writer/commentator on the business of stock photography. But I did want to answer my friend in more depth. So I thought more about his question, why teach a workshop on stock photography?

    23

    Dec 11

  • An evening with Jackson Browne

    I attended a Jackson Browne concert in Hanford, California last weekend. I have loved his music since I was introduced to it in high school. I have followed his career and music over the years, attending concerts along the way, when I could afford it and when our paths crossed. The Hanford concert was in a wonderful small venue (and reasonably priced,) so I spent what was billed as “an evening with Jackson Browne.” Throughout the concert (and for days afterward,) I was thinking about my photography, his music and why I felt such an affinity for his work.

    25

    Nov 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

  • Where do you learn to be a photographer (part three of three)

    For the last two weeks I have been blogging about the important question of where do you learn how to be a photographer? To date, I have explored my take on the future of commercial photography, called into the question the value of formal schooling and offered some on-line resources that can serve as well as school, if not better (and they are much cheaper.) I want to deconstruct a few of those same resources to suggest how to find value in reading them.

    21

    Oct 11

  • Where do you learn to be a photographer (part two of three)

    In last week’s blog entry I started to explore the question, where do you learn how to be a photographer? Much of that entry was speculating on what the business of photography will be like in the future. I also called into the question the benefit of formal study of photography, at least for those who want to be commercial photographers.

    14

    Oct 11

  • Where do you learn to be a photographer (part one of three)

    Eager young photographers write me often, telling me about what they want to do as photographers and asking for my help. Part of me says to tell them to “…run as fast as you can, away, away from this ever more crowded field.“ Another part of me says, wait, the business continues and is (in some way) growing, doubly so, with the movement of most communications media to the web, which is an ever more image-driven media. So there will be photographers in the future, though not the same kind of photographers as there used to be. I recently blogged about the best college for photographers being the one where you learn how to “think,” not just take pictures. That begs the question, where do you learn how to be a photographer?

    07

    Oct 11

  • Seminar, workshop or class?

    I admit it! I am obsessed about photography education. Of course I am. I teach workshops around the world. My wife is a university professor teaching photography. I run two web sites focused on photography education. I write about photography education on this site (and on other web sites.) I do all of this because as a photographer, I grow as I teach. The more I teach, the more I grow. And I love to grow as a photographer. So, a recent question about education got me thinking even MORE photography education.

    09

    Sep 11

  • Nostalgia, photography and pablum

    Because it is summer, my recent blog entries have been shorter (and I am hoping sweeter.) This week I am writing something equally short but maybe not so sweet. I will be exploring a weird convergence of marketing, nostalgia and photography that I recently came across. What I read got me pretty agitated, but I wanted to “sit on my anger” for a few weeks, to see if my initial reaction was still appropriate. Now I can say that what I thought back when I first saw the offending passage is what I still think, a few weeks later.

    22

    Jul 11

  • Senses, memory (and photography)

    I am about half way through a two-week trip to Israel. I am here photographing (duh,) touring, visiting and helping Annu with her project photographing three generations of women (in this case Israelis.) Because I have spent so much time here (living full-time and visiting for long stretches,) I sort of know the place. On the other hand I have not been here in eleven years, so many things have changed. As I am walking around, photographing, things seem vaguely familiar yet… Since arriving, I have tried hard to analyze my reaction to being here again. Photography is clearly at the core of my memories of this place, but so are other senses.

    20

    May 11

  • What makes a good photo editor

    In late April, I had the honor of presenting my work to undergraduate and graduate students in the photojournalism program at the University of Texas at Austin. This PJ program is highly regarded and has produced some great photographers over the years. The last thing I did during my brief time there was an open portfolio review, primarily looking at the work of graduate students. Throughout my time in Austin (and during that portfolio review in particular) the question was repeatedly raised, “how do you make a living in this incredibly difficult photojournalism market?” Near the end, one student said something about where he might go in the future with his photography and I was all but dumbstruck by his brilliance (and my inability to respond.)

    13

    May 11

  • Blazing a new path in your photography education

    For me, blogging, like life, is most interesting when seemingly disparate things come together in unusual and thought provoking ways. A recent series of events got me thinking about photography workshops in particular and photography education in general. Since I studied the history of photography, work as a photographer, and teach a fair number of workshops, this is not new territory for me. What is new is where my thinking ended up at the end of the mental twists and turns that I recently went through.

    22

    Apr 11

  • Remakes in film and photography

    Having studied history of photography in college, I am perfectly comfortable with the idea that many (most) of my photographs, to this day, are shaped, consciously or unconsciously, by the work of photographers I have previously seen. On the other hand, photographers rarely, if ever, do conscious remakes of the work of the predecessors, unlike musicians who are known for “covering” or performing the work of their predecessors. Filmmakers are perfectly comfortable doing remakes. The new movie, True Grit, is just the latest example of artists revisiting a story and reinterpreting that in their own way. I recently encountered a couple prize-winning photo projects that were remakes of sorts, which resonated very strongly with a project I did twenty-eight years ago.

    18

    Mar 11

  • Surviving and Thriving as a Professional Photographer

    In last week’s blog explored how I came understand and even embrace a couple guiding ideas about making a living as a photographer. The first of those is to accept (or even ideally embrace) the fact that what I do as a professional photographer exists within an ever changing, constantly shifting framework. Change is a constant and so I simply have to accept that. The second insight is that, for me, institutional affiliations, external validations of my skills and conventional certifications are not that much use in my own photography. That works for me. It may not be the same for other. With those two ideas in mind, this week I will offer some thinking points for any professional photographer (or professional photographer in the making) who is looking at the current business of photography and asking themselves, where can I fit in?

    11

    Mar 11

  • Should I become a Certified Professional Photographer

    I have worked in and around photography almost my entire working life. I took a few short detours away from my beloved medium, but those went nowhere fast. A recent email prompted me to look back over my career for insights to share with the photographer who wrote me. Looking back, I noted two important trends, lessons I wish I knew way back when I was starting out, but I did not. I am heartened by the thought that at least I can explore and explain those ideas now, for others to learn from.

    04

    Mar 11

  • Sharing photo essay ideas

    I just finished teaching a series of photography workshops in Asia, including my favorite photo-essay class. In that workshop, students initially practice the skills required for a long-term photo-essay AND then they start working on the project of their choosing. I show them how the hardest part of a good essay is defining the project. I was reminded in Singapore how a good workshop group, one that is willing to share ideas, can make that process of defining a project much easier. Just as this was happening, I was also having an e-mail exchange with an American photographer, who seemed concerned about keeping his project idea to himself. I am still trying to figure out if the diverging thinking on sharing ideas was an aberration, or if it tells us something about the difference between Singaporean and American mindsets.

    13

    Jan 11

  • Thinking about photography’s “constants”

    I read a number of on-line forums every day. My morning reading, which once was largely a leisurely enjoyment of the New York Times, now entails scanning the eight forums I read daily to see what items of interest are percolating through the world of photography. I rarely post on most forums, since I am not sure I have much to offer that hasn’t already been said. I recently posted on a forum and the thread that resulted taught me a lot about the state of contemporary professional photography.

    07

    Jan 11

  • Some thoughts on stock photography

    In this podcast, I answer a friend’s query about how she might get start doing stock photography. By keeping my comments a bit open ended as well as talking about my experience in stock, I turn what might have been a one-to-one conversation into something of wider use for other photographers. During the podcast, I use video screen-capture along with my narration to explain and show what I am talking about.

    15

    Dec 10

  • What I learned at the California Photo Festival

    Last week, I was one of thirteen photographers teaching at the first annual California Photo Festival. The instructors brought a diverse range of styles to the temporary community of photographers that briefly sprung up near San Luis Obispo, California. As I flew West, I was very curious about how the mix of instructors (and photographic styles) would work together. Now that the festival is over, I can look back (and talk about) what happened, at least from where I was sitting. The lessons I learned will benefit most any serious photographer.

    01

    Oct 10

  • Formulating the grammar, aesthetic and style of multi-media

    During my recent time at the Maine Media Workshops there was much discussion about what is being called “convergence.” The idea is that in the future, still images, video and audio are going to converge into one common media. With nearly all communication moving to the world-wide-web, that logic is largely irrefutable. The works that results from this mixing of media is currently referred to as multi-media. The faculty, staff and students at the workshop spoke often about that. I have been making such multi-media pieces myself, often for this site. To me, one of the most interesting things about multi-media is that as a new medium, we have a unique opportunity to formulate the grammar, aesthetic and style of this new media-in-the-making.

    03

    Sep 10

  • A refresher course in low light photography

    I am finishing up teaching a workshop in street photography at the Maine Media Workshops this week. As I have for the last decade or so, I am enjoying the students and the community that come together at the workshops. The place has an incredible energy and sharing that can only be experienced in person. In the spirit of that, I am blogging in response to a student’s recent question.

    27

    Aug 10

  • A public radio interview with David H. Wells

    In 1992, I was interviewed by Melinda Whiting for Artscape, a public radio arts and culture program in Philadelphia. Our discussion started with my Middle East work. It went on to explore the intersection between art and photojournalism. Though the interview is 18 years old, the questions it raises are still relevant.

    28

    Jul 10

  • The contracting of our collective visual culture

    I make most of my living as a stock photographer. Stock photography is rapidly changing. Those changes have been impacting me (and my peers) for quite a while. So far you are thinking to yourself, none of this is big news. The news is that recently, the pace of that change hit a tipping point for me (and I am guessing for the larger world of stock photography.) If you care about photography in general (and stock photography in particular,) then what has been happening lately is especially bad news.

    18

    Jun 10

  • Exploring our responsibility to the people we photograph (part four)

    Patient readers of this blog will know this is the fourth (and last) entry in a series exploring the question, what is the photographer’s responsibility to the people they photograph? I have been muddling through these four essays because it is not an easy question to answer. Similarly, there is no magic bullet or one size fits all solution. The one thing I can say with complete certainty is that anyone who claims to have such a simple, crystal clear answer is oversimplifying, has never worked in the real world, is delusional or all of the above.

    07

    Jun 10

  • Exploring our responsibility to the people we photograph (part three)

    In between making a living and preparing for a big trip to India I have been mining my career (and my memory) as I consider the question, what is the photographer’s responsibility to the people they photograph? Answering that question has been (and will continue to be) a work in progress for me over my entire career. I can think of a few points where I got that balance closer to right and a couple where I am less sure that I did that.

    03

    Jun 10

  • Exploring our responsibility to the people we photograph (part two)

    In the last (and the next) few blog posts, I am exploring the question, what is the photographer’s responsibility to the people they are photographing? On one level this is an intensely personal decision that is best answered after an equally intensely process of decision-making. On the other hand, it has to be guided by some larger philosophical framework. If that sounds like an ethical dilemma, I think it is. Because I am slightly closer to the end of that long process rather than the beginning, I can identify and share some of the milestones of my own journey.

    31

    May 10

  • Exploring our responsibility to the people we photograph (part one)

    A photographer/friend wrote me with an excellent question, one that I now realize that I have been struggling with over my entire career as a photographer/photojournalist. In order to answer him coherently I needed to do what I have been doing in so many recent blog entries. That is, taking the question, rolling it around in my head, mining my life’s experience, making some half-baked notes and then asking him (and myself) more questions. Although I have the outlines of an answer, I have no idea exactly where this series of blog entries will go by the time it is it is finished. The one thing I am sure of is that it will take me a few postings to both think through my answer and to make it coherent enough for others to understand.

    28

    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

  • The end of the photography world as we know it

    The philosophical riddle, “if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” has become the starting point of many jokes. It also raises important questions regarding observation and how we establish/define reality. While a physicist can empirically (and easily) prove that yes, a noise is made, the philosopher is less sure about what is thruth. A recent article in the New York Times, and especially the reaction to it, reminded me of this philosophical question.

    02

    Apr 10

  • Multimedia as mediator

    If you have been reading my recent blog postings (or attending any of my recent presentations,) you will know I am almost obsessed with multi-media. Although I am interested in multi-media (or new media) as a potential added revenue stream, that is not the main reason I am so interested in the subject. Similarly, though it is the talk of the commercial photography world that is also NOT why I am interested in it.

    22

    Mar 10

  • Learning how you learn, photographically and otherwise

    I recently finished my annual class built around photographing the Tucson Rodeo. The weather was great and the pictures were even better! Most everyone we encountered was happy to be photographed. The class was a small group, so everyone got lots of attention. Because it was such a small group, I had time to analyze how each person learned. By the time the class was over, events had reminded me that in some ways, the most important thing ANY student should learn is exactly how they do learn.

    12

    Mar 10

  • Valuing creativity in music (and photography)

    I recently wrote about the similarities and differences between music and photography. While we experience each through very different senses, they also have a lot in common. Both have long, rich histories, which I pondered briefly in the last blog entry. This week, I am thinking about the fact that while both are used artistically and commercially, their respective approaches to compensating creators are very different.

    08

    Mar 10

  • Covers in music (and photography)

    I have often pondered the similarities, differences and connections between music and photography. The former is something I have no talent for, other than the ability to enjoy it. The latter is something that I continually find both challenging and rewarding. I have considered these two media throughout my life, initially, as a toe-tapping teenager and now as a working, creative professional. Some recent reading spurred me to sit down and try to make some sense out of the jumble of ideas that I have about photography and music. Some of what I settled on is more philosophical and some is more practical, resulting in two separate blog entries, of which this is the first.

    05

    Mar 10

  • Grants made easy and grants made hard

    Is it my imagination or are some photography competitions almost begging for submissions? Lately, I have been inundated with calls for work! I have been gathering various these requests for submissions in order to make a blog entry on the subject. I am not sure if it was my looking for them that made me extra sensitive or maybe it might be how the web creates a kind of echo chamber so when one site lists a competition, five of my friends send me the same notification.

    08

    Feb 10

  • One small history of Indian photography – Part two

    (In the first chapter of this blog entry, I introduced Prabhu Photo, a state-of-the-art photo lab in Bangalore, India where I had my E-6 slide film processed for merely a decade. The changing business climate for Prabhu photo is a bellwether for the changing imaging landscape in India.) I was such a regular at Prabhu that I kept my own loupe (magnifier) at the lab and I also had my own set of cotton gloves for handling the film without fingerprints. The young men who worked for Prabhu ended up knowing the drill as well, including knowing not to cut my film and what kind of coffee to bring me half ay through my edits to keep me awake. Those sessions at the light box alternated between exciting and heart-breaking, depending on how well or badly I had done in capturing on film what had been in front of my camera.

    08

    Jan 10

  • One small history of Indian photography – Part one

    I have been spending a lot of time at Prabhu Photo, a state-of-the-art photo lab in Bangalore, India. Back in the day, in the last century, (hah,) when I was shooting color slides, I used to have them processed at that same lab. Now that I have gone digital, I am going there to have color prints made from digital files. These prints are mostly for the various Indians I, or my wife, have been photographing. In the time I have known and worked with the proprietor, Allama Prabhu, I have seen his business grow and grow and more recently contract and contract. The change in the business of Prabhu Photo is something of a microcosm for the history of photographic processes in India. The amazing thing is that I am only talking about a short, thirteen year “history.”

    04

    Jan 10

  • Debating ideas or being run over by change

    I have been having an email exchange with a still photographer I know who is conflicted about doing work in video, as he is getting paid to do just that kind of work. His experience of being knee deep in a debate, while the issues at the core of that same debate swirl all around you, that is something I have experienced a number of times in the last decade. The latest debate, about whether still photographers should embrace video, looks to be another one of these equally intense debates. For me, the only thing different about this debate is that I am now old enough (and maybe wise enough) to be able to take a step back and analyze it a bit better than I have with similar previous debates. Whether I will make the wise decision is something only time will tell.

    14

    Dec 09

  • Video vs photography, past, present and future

    What I know about video (other than what I have taught myself about editing in Final Cut Pro) could easily fit on one small page. What I will learn about video in the coming decades is unknowable. But, if I had to venture a guess, I would bet that fairly soon, I will be among the thousands of working photographers who will soon have to decide just how much more we want to, or need to, know about video.

    30

    Nov 09

  • Thinking about photographs, not photography

    I spend a great deal of time thinking about photography (duh.) Recently, I had some encounters where I was pressed to think about the photograph itself. As I was thinking about that, I noted that most of my energy is concentrated on the process of photographing, rather than on the outcome of that process, the actual photograph. As I listened to other people talking about actual photographs, I had a “chicken vs. egg” moments, where I was unclear, which came first, the process of photography or the product?

    27

    Nov 09

  • A photographic collaboration ten years in the making

    Ten years ago, I became part of a collaborative project photographing an exquisite old building in Tucson, Arizona. For me, photographing the building was the easy part. All I had to do was draw on the skills I often use in my previous “light studies,” my ongoing series of photo essays on the light and atmosphere of different places. The hard part was collaborating with two other photographers, while keeping my eye on the long-term prize, the finished project. It took a long time but the effort is near coming to fruition.

    20

    Nov 09

  • Lessons in the business of photography

    Last Monday, November 9th, I gave a presentation in New York City at the Apple store in SoHo. It was titled “It’s the journey not the destination (but who does not like a good destination shoot?)” I was one of two photographers presenting that night. When I agreed to do this talk, months ago, I thought it might have made for a somewhat interesting evening. Little did I know, just how interesting that whole evening would actually be!

    16

    Nov 09

  • Just back from the photo trade show

    I am just back from the big Photo Plus trade show in New York City. On one level, it was like years past with big crowds, lots of new toys and plenty of old friends to see and catch up with. On the other hand, some things were new and interesting and that is what I am going to be sharing in this post.

    26

    Oct 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

  • Seeing the light and capturing the shadows

    This podcast goes on location with me as I photograph the play of light and shadow early in the morning at the Tucson rodeo.

    21

    Oct 09

  • Learning the language of photography

    Besides teaching workshops around the world, I run a few small on-line critique groups. These usually arise out of workshops where the students in the group have bonded and do not want to end the critiquing/dialogue that is at the core of any good workshop. So we meet in a conference call approximately every six weeks, catch-up on photography happenings and review work together on-line. Some interesting dialogues are born in these meetings. One particular thread of discussion from one meeting is well worth sharing.

    19

    Oct 09

  • Photographers and painters!?!?

    I am just back from Greece where I was teaching and photographing. During my photography workshop, there were also two painting workshops run by the same organization. The “photographers” ate and drank along with the “painters,” which made for some laugh-filled meals. There also was a subtle but interesting competition/ divergence going on between the various media.

    09

    Oct 09

  • Seasonal rhythms in motorcycle riding and photography

    The arrival of autumn, my favorite season, brings a number of changes to my life. On a larger level, the school year begins, defining much of my wife and daughter’s schedules until the next summer returns. The looming colder weather also means it is time put my motorcycle away for the winter. Thinking about all of that lead to some thinking about photography. (Are you surprised?)

    05

    Oct 09

  • A grab bag sent from Greece

    I write this from Santorini, Greece, where the light simply is amazing. I am having so much fun during my first trip to Greece that this blog post is going to be limited to a brief grab bag of things I have been gathering recently. I hope you find them interesting.

    02

    Oct 09

  • The executive portrait, a.k.a.,”the five minute drill”

    This podcast goes on location with me as I make an executive portrait.

    23

    Sep 09

  • Group questions versus individual questions

    I just finished teaching a workshop in Berkeley, California. Being in the San Francisco Bay area, the light was great. The group was very supportive of each other and the work they did was interesting. The questions they asked were many and good. They got me thinking about the questions I am often asked in workshops, in general and what I am trying to do with this blog.

    21

    Sep 09

  • Why photographers need editors

    There are numerous aphorisms about what separates the serious/successful photographer from the amateurs/posers. Great quotes, such as: “Hobby photographers worry about equipment; Professional photographers worry about money; Master photographers worry about light” are already out there. In this blog entry, I propose to add one more to the list.

    18

    Sep 09

  • Mountain, time

    This photography podcast uses audio, images and animation to take the viewer to the mountains of Guatemala.

    09

    Sep 09

  • An end of summer grab bag

    With the Labor Day holiday here and cool Autumn weather in the air, I am enjoying one last summer weekend before the working year (and the school year) begins. I have recently been gathering bits and pieces to share and so that is what this blog entry will be doing.

    04

    Sep 09

  • Working outside of the Photo-shop centered mainstream

    On my ride home from the Maine Media workshops, where I was teaching a class in street photography, I reflected on everything that happened during the workshop. It was a great group of photographers, who grew as individuals AND supported each other as they went through the sometimes-difficult process of growing and changing. Many things that were said and/or done are potential seeds of blog entries. One difficult question that I heard from two different photographers is what I am writing about this week.

    31

    Aug 09

  • An update after a week at the Maine Media Workshops

    I am finishing up a great week at the Maine Media Workshops in Rockport, Maine. There were a whole bunch of small highlights during the class that I think are worth sharing.

    28

    Aug 09

  • Inside the travelling camera bag of one photographer (me!)

    This podcast goes inside my traveling camera bag to show you all the gear I carry when I am traveling

    26

    Aug 09

  • A big, what is the meaning of life, kind of a question

    A former student/intern wrote me with a big, “what is the meaning of life” kind of a question. The process of answering her ended up becoming something of a dialogue within myself about photography and “meaning” for me. After I sorted things out in my own thinking, I wrote her an answer I could also use as a blog posting.

    24

    Aug 09

  • Was I really seeing five brides trashing dresses in one place?

    During a motorcycle ride over the past weekend, I went to Oakland beach in Warwick, Rhode Island. I was enjoying the view and watching one wedding photographer at work with a bride as she rolled around in the ocean water as she “trashed the dress.” When I looked farther down the same beach I saw four other brides and photographers doing much the same thing. It is true, it was a particularly nice Saturday in August and a good day for a wedding. Still was I really seeing five brides trashing dresses in one place?

    17

    Aug 09

  • The keys to good street photography

    I will soon be heading north to teach a class in “Street Photography” at the Maine Media Workshops. I was organizing my lessons, assignments and the images I will show the class, when a photographer who wanted to attend but could not, wrote me with some questions. I realized that answering his questions would help him grow AND help me improve the class I am about to teach.

    10

    Aug 09

  • A poignant reminder of the brevity of our lives

    In my last blog post, I was responding to an aspiring photographer’s query on how to advance his career. That got me to thinking about the career paths of photographers, including, but not limited to my own. I went on to update my knowledge of the career path of another photographer that I started out working along side of a couple decades ago. Reading about him, I was poignantly reminded of life’s brevity….

    03

    Aug 09

  • “Working” a situation by changing the point of focus

    This podcast explains how to “work” a situation and make a variety of images of a subject, by changing the point of focus.

    29

    Jul 09

  • Teaching mastery, ethics and excellence, in business and/or photography.

    I was discussing ethics and publication photography with a friend. We were e-mailing back and forth in the wake of the recent news of how the New York Times Magazine photos that were not supposed to be “photoshop-ped” actually were. He was joking that the only thing left was to ban digital cameras and force publication photographers back to using film. After laughing at the thought, we agreed that even that drastic a step would not make a difference. The history of photography is full of folks who exploited film’s perceived documentary nature to their own advantage.

    24

    Jul 09

  • So you want to teach photography workshops?

    A peer asked me how she could make money “teaching photography workshops as a business.” After picking myself up off the floor from laughing so hard, I gathered my thoughts and reflected on how I started teaching photography. Tracing the path I took from to aspiring instructor to veteran workshop teacher resulted in this blog entry.

    17

    Jul 09

  • A profile of David H. Wells, photographer and teacher, in the style of “60 minutes”

    This podcast is a profile of David H. Wells, photographer and teacher, in the style of the TV show, “60 minutes.”

    15

    Jul 09

  • The New York Times Magazine drives a nail into its own coffin

    I am not normally one to commend another photographer’s downfall, but this week, an unusual situation occurred. Doubly so, because I have, as politicians say, “a dog in this fight.” So, I am in fact going to pile on with all the others condemning the deception by Portuguese photographer Edgar Martins.

    13

    Jul 09

  • Impact of changing your focal length during long exposures

    This podcast explains how to change the focal length of your lens, to “zoom” during long exposures, in order to get interesting effects.

    01

    Jul 09

  • Kodachrome is dead, long live Kodachrome

    With the announcement that Kodak is discontinuing its legendary color slide film, Kodachrome, I find myself frequently humming Paul Simon’s song about that film.  Then I got to thinking about the film, which I once used in VERY large quantities. Finally, I came to consider the film’s successor(s.)  Just like when the ruler of a country dies, he (or she) might be gone but the next leader is soon in place and most importantly, the institution lives on. That is how I see Kodachrome’s and photography’ continuing forward.

    29

    Jun 09

  • Resource pages updated on The Wells Point

    I just spent a good deal of time updating the resources pages on The Wells Point. I also added a couple new categories.  The whole point of the resource pages is to introduce photographers to the world of opportunities and resources available to them. Some enable photographers to show or sell imagery while others suggest ways to fund the production of such work.  Some of the resources recently changed their URLs, while others have gone out of business. Those can be found starting at http://thewellspoint.com/about/

    01

    Jun 09

  • On the question of creativity

    I had an e-mail exchange recently with student on the question of creativity. He was not asking about software or lens choices, though those are perfectly valid questions at different points. He was asking the biggest, toughest question of all. I was impressed that he was able to articulate the question. He seemed impressed with my answer. That was when I realized that our exchange was worthy of a blog piece.

    29

    May 09

  • China vs India: Politically, photographically and especially briefly

    A week in China is hardly enough time to see much of anything, let alone make any kind of serious analysis.  So what I am writing is not remotely all-encompassing.  Still, I have been to India enough times and traveled enough in the developing world to be able to make a few reasonably well-informed comparisons.

    22

    May 09

  • … in Bangalore traffic

    This podcast portrays the chaotic nature of road traffic in Bangalore, India

    20

    May 09

  • Expanding thoughts on the question is photography art?

    While en route to Guangzhou, China, we spent a few fascinating days in Hong Kong. A series of events got me thinking about the old “is photography art?” question. I am not sure that such a question is ever really likely to be fully “settled.” Based on what I saw and did while in Hong Kong, I added a couple of new perspectives to my own thinking about that question. Proof again that one benefit of going half way around the world is that you see things differently after such a trip.

    18

    May 09

  • China, India and a bit on how I see them both

    I am on my way to China.  I am not going on any work assignment. I am going to accompany my wife, Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, (http://annumatthew.com/) who has work in the Guangzhou Photo Biennial.  The hosts at the museum (and the University of Rhode Island) have been especially generous in making her trip possible.  Our abundance of frequent flier miles has made it possible for me to go also. I am going to see China, obviously, but I am also going to see if I can get any perspective on what has changed in China since I went there back in 1986.

    15

    May 09

  • Top ten keys to be a successful photojournalist (Part one)

    I am starting an interesting assignment in California.  So far, it has been a lot of fun, but it has also been a great deal of hard work. To be honest, because I do not work on as many assignments as I once did, I was worried I would be rusty.  In fact it has been quite the opposite. All the skills I developed over the decades that I was doing assignment work came back to me easily, a bit like riding a bicycle (or motorcycle.) Thinking about them led me to writing them down as a blog post.

    01

    May 09

  • The art of editing – The editing of art

    In the last week, I have been editing lots of images, looking at thousands and cutting those down to hundreds (or less.) Over the years, I have become a pretty fast editor who can easily articulate why an image does (or does not) work. When a good friend told me she was having trouble editing down her own work, I walked her through some strategies to help her improve her editing skills. By the time we were finished, I realized our conversation was “made” to be a blog entry.

    27

    Apr 09

  • Shameless self-promotion

    I am writing today about a variety of resources for photographers.  Of course, the major one that I am thinking about is The Wells Point web site. Yes, this could easily be interpreted as a shameless self-promotion. I prefer to think of it as an information-advisory about all the valuable things on the site. Read the whole post and then you decide.

    24

    Apr 09

  • Call center workers in Bangalore, India

    This podcast explores the experience of call center workers in Bangalore, India

    22

    Apr 09

  • Spring means motor drives and motorcycles

    When mid April rolls around, many things seem to happen all at once. Tax day is the most obvious one. For many photographers in the chilly North East, April is the time to start venturing outside again to photograph regularly. For me, mid-April also means I can start riding my motorcycle after the long winter hiatus. I was out riding recently and I ended up thinking about the similarities (and differences) between the folks outside enjoying their cameras and enjoying their motorcycles.

    20

    Apr 09

  • Some thoughts on photo-contests

    If you are a photographer of any kind, you are probably inundated with information on photo contests. I am often overwhelmed by all the entry information that comes via snail mail and e-mail. I personally enter very few contests. I was thinking an explanation of my reasoning might help others as they consider entering contests.

    17

    Apr 09

  • What is new on The Wells Point?

    The big news on The Wells Point site is the completion of the photographer’s resource pages. You can start to explore those at: http://www.thewellspoint.com/about/ I have information there (with extensive links,) on artist’s residencies, copyright, fine-art promotional venues, grants, software and stock photography, as well as another twenty-something different categories of information.

    10

    Apr 09

  • Planning your photography when working at twilight

    This enhanced podcast introduces the viewer to the importance of planning in photography when working at twilight, in this case while photographing Water Fire, a periodic piece of performance art in Providence, Rhode Island.

    08

    Apr 09

  • Thoughts on web sites for photographers

    A friend asked me about web sites and I got to thinking about my own web site.  I considered how it evolved from a coding disaster, to a nice try, and finally to the real thing.  My path, with all its ups and downs, may be instructive for other photographers thinking about their existing (or) future web sites.

    30

    Mar 09

  • Cross-cultural understanding and photography

    I write this at the start of my trip to Guatemala. This is the seventh or eighth time I have been here. When I can, I prefer to visit a place more than once so I can better understand the local culture, see how that changes over time, and of course photograph. Waking up in another country prompted me to think about what I have learned about working in different cultures, which might help other photographers who are planning to do the same.

    27

    Mar 09

  • The early photo-essays of David H. Wells

    This podcast explores the evolution of my photo-essays, including many of my grant-funded projects, including my work on the pesticide poisoning of farm-workers in California, the Israeli and Palestinian conflict, fishermen in Gloucester , MA as well as the communities of South Asian immigrants in America

    25

    Mar 09

  • Workshops, teaching and the transformative power of photography.

    I am heading off to Guatemala later this week. Besides getting away from the lingering winter cold in Rhode Island, I am going there to teach. That got me to thinking about workshops and teaching as well as why I do it and the transformative power of photography.

    23

    Mar 09

  • From “mad cropper” to full-frame perfectionist

    I almost never crop the photographs that I make. For me, the best images are captured by careful composition in the camera, and not ‘saved” by cropping after the fact. I will be the first to admit that I was not always so disciplined. In tracing my evolution from mad cropper to full frame perfectionist, I realized the idea of not cropping went from technical objective to moral imperative to aesthetic goal and now is a philosophical mission.

    20

    Mar 09

  • The symbiosis between personal and commercial work

    Who are you taking pictures for? That’s a question that photojournalists hear a lot. But, I think ALL photographers should be asking themselves that question. In the process of sorting that question out, most photographers divide their efforts into “personal work,” and “commercial work.” I am not so sure about the wisdom of such clear demarcations.

    16

    Mar 09

  • Adapting to new technology verses adopting a new philosophy

    As commercial photographers, we are continually adapting to new technologies, moving from black and white, to color (then to slides) and now to digital. Similarly we are often expected to adopt new strategies and philosophies as the market we work within changes.  More and more folks I hear from are finding that second process of adopting harder to take, and I am not sure it is just a function of our advancing ages.

    13

    Mar 09

  • The making of one image

    This podcast explores the process of making one image, from recognizing the potential of the situation for a photograph, through composing and metering of the photograph and then actually making a variety of images.

    11

    Mar 09

  • The Wells Point after six months

    The Wells Point site is now over six months old. I am still going strong, having written 65 blog entries and posted 13 pod casts. I have learned much along the way, about myself, the folks who visit The Wells Point and a bit about where this enterprise will be going in the future.

    09

    Mar 09

  • Does National Public Radio hate photography?

    One of the many great things about listening regularly to National Public Radio (NPR) is their extensive coverage of the arts and culture. They carry numerous freestanding shows (and have numerous reporters/hosts) exploring different aspects of culture and the arts. They usually end each hour of their major daily broadcasts with a report on some aspect of arts and culture.  So why is their a yawning gap in their coverage when it comes to photography?

    06

    Mar 09

  • The future of commercial photography and percieved value

    A friend wrote to suggest I “talk about photography as a business and how it relates to our economic times.” I was hesitant at first, unsure what I could add to the discussion since my expertise is minimal when it comes to economics, business or marketing. I thought about it for a while and realized I did have something I could add to the discussion.

    02

    Mar 09

  • Learning how to learn, photographically

    When I went to college, in pursuit of a Bachelor of Liberal Arts, my mother encouraged me to put my energy into what she called “learning how to learn.” I just finished a workshop where a student told me the best part of the class was that he had “learned how to learn the way to make the best photograph possible of a given situation.”

    27

    Feb 09

  • The background of the “light studies” of David H. Wells

    This podcast explores the evolution of my “light studies,” which are photo-essays on the light and atmosphere of a given place. The first “light study,” on a train station in Philadelphia has since led me to do these projects across the globe.

    25

    Feb 09

  • Photo-essays, past, present and future

    I have been producing photo-essays in one form or another for a couple decades. In that time, my approach to them has changed, as have the various ways that photo-essays are seen. After a long, slow decline in outlets, a new and exciting one has appeared.

    23

    Feb 09

  • The importance of original source material

    My daughter was recently talking to me about her growing passion for studying history, primarily through what she said were the best part, original source material. That reminded me of two points in my early life as a photographer, when what is now known as original source material changed my perspective on photography.

    20

    Feb 09

  • The latest in electronic flash in my camera bag

    As promised, this blog entry will not include any writing about my “philosophy.” For the moment, I have happily returned to talking about cameras and photographing. In this post I am going to highlight the other new and important piece of gear in my camera bag.

    16

    Feb 09

  • The best flash card wallet I have ever used

    Regular readers of this blog may be wondering when I am going to stop writing about my “philosophy” and return to talking about cameras and photographing. I will right now. In this post, I am going to highlight one of the most important pieces of gear in my camera bag.

    13

    Feb 09

  • Using light, angle and the time of day in making silhouettes

    This podcast explores using light, angle and the time of day in making silhouettes.

    11

    Feb 09

  • The transformative power of my first grant

    One of the first grants that I ever received was not a particularly big one, but it was an important one.  It taught me many lessons that I still follow to this day. It changed my life as a photographer.  That grant still exists today and I was surprised/pleased to get a recent update about it.

    09

    Feb 09

  • The workshop I always wanted to attend

    As an aspiring documentary photographer/photo-essayist there was always one workshop I always wanted to attend, but I never could. Now that I am in fact “established,” there is one workshop I really want to teach, but I wonder if other students would want to attend such a workshop.

    06

    Feb 09

  • My “brief stint” as a fashion photographer

    I was reading an interesting article in The New York Times about the Presidential dress code.  Barack Obama’s recent choice to be photographed without his suit jacket in the Oval Office was front-page news. It rang a bell and then I remembered how another President’s fashion choices changed my life as a photographer.

    02

    Feb 09

  • Long time coming

    I am often asked, what am I working on now? Like many people, I have lots of things in the works. I am pleased that some of these efforts have recently come to fruition, after the typically long time cycle that is common to this business and sometimes frustrating to me.

    30

    Jan 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

  • Where I learned the most about photographing

    I recently realized that if I carefully look at my career as a photographer, I can pinpoint where I learned the most about the act of photographing.  It was not in high school, where I learned the craft of photography.  Nor was it in college, where my study of the history of photography taught me about the art of photography.  It was in a different place, one that I fear is fast disappearing from the photographic landscape.

    16

    Jan 09

  • The use of time, shutter speed and panning in photographing action

    This podcast explores the use of time, shutter speed and panning in photographing action.  It explores the important photographic technique of panning through photographing race cars at the Seekonk, MA speedway.

    14

    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

  • Blurring the lines between art and commerce

    You hear and read a lot about how the lines between the worlds of art photography and commercial photography are continually being blurred. In most ways that is good.  I recently lived through a particularly interesting experience that shows just how much these once distinctive realms are blurring.

    09

    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

  • What makes a great photography workshop?

    I have posed this question to thousands of photography students. Some were in my workshops, others had worked with other teachers and many had done both. Base on what they told me, I think I have a good idea what makes a great photography workshop.  I am happy to share that, (in what I hope is only a mildly self-promoting blog entry.)

    02

    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

  • Important things to know about the business of photography

    If it seems like I am obsessed with the business of photography, I am.  That is mostly because I make my living as a photographer so the general state of the photography market interests (and impacts) me directly.  However, I am also interested on a more philosophical level.

    29

    Dec 08

  • Cameras do not make pictures, people do!

    As I was flying cross-country recently to the warmth of sunny California, I was catching up on all the newspapers that had accumulated on my kitchen table. As a photographer, one item really caught my attention.

    26

    Dec 08

  • The Internet is grand, isn’t it?

    I was struggling as I tried not to write one more blathering post along the lines of “Ain’t the internet grand?” After pummeling myself about that for a while, I gave up, so here goes.

    22

    Dec 08

  • “Do It Yourself” Flash Gel Kit

    Periodically, I see things on the web that leave me stunned. Many involve other people’s stupidity. Some involve equally striking acts of creativity. Some of the best, to me, are those showing simple and elegant ways to modernize small but important photographic tools.

    19

    Dec 08

  • Using flash and slow shutter speed when photographing

    This enhanced photography podcast explores important things to know when using flash and slow shutter speed.

    17

    Dec 08

  • Photography, poetry and crossing disciplines

    I stumbled across a great quote recently. It is about poets, but I immediately thought how it applies to photographers. Following on my last entry, about the importance of practice, I got to thinking about how a lot of things cross the lines that appear to divide different mediums, but really are common to most all of them.

    15

    Dec 08

  • The role that practice plays in photography

    I just finished teaching a class on the basics of multimedia, at Calumet photo http://www.calumetphoto.com in NYC. I was teaching members of Professional Women Photographers http://www.pwponline and staying with friends who live in NYC. The class, and the time with my friends, who are also photographers, reminded me of the very important (but usually under appreciated) role that practice plays in good photography.

    12

    Dec 08

  • Which is the best tripod

    I just finished teaching a great class at the Lepp Institute called exploring “Light, Shadow, Twilight and Night: Using Available Light.” Obviously, we worked a lot at twilight and into the night and I was repeatedly asked, which is the best tripod?

    08

    Dec 08

  • What every photographer should know about model releases

    Model releases seem to be the source of more confusion than almost any other aspect of photography for aspiring (and established) professionals. I am asked about them during every class or presentation that I give. The irony is that model releases are remarkably simple.

    05

    Dec 08

  • An “Auto” view of India

    This enhanced podcast takes the viewer on a visual journey through India while riding on an auto rickshaw, a traditional mode of transportation.

    03

    Dec 08

  • The history of photography of California farmworkers

    In politics there is the so-called “Washington read” which, according to Word Spy is: “The perusal of a book in a bookstore that consists of checking the index for references to oneself and reading only those parts of the book.” I never thought I would live to see the day when I did my own version of the “Washington read” of a book, but that happened recently.

    01

    Dec 08

  • Taking photo contests seriously

    A friend asked me if I could help her set up a photo-contest for her non-profit educational institution. I told her I do enter some photo contests, but I am quite leery of many, because they are often little more than easy ways for groups to gather imagery for their own use at little or no cost to them. I think I know a bad photo contest when I read the rules but what I really wanted to send her was resources for knowing what a “good” photo contest is, in terms of being fair to the photographers.

    28

    Nov 08

  • Exactly what is “stock photography?”

    I make most of my income from what is called “stock photography.” It is, according to http://www.stockphoto.net, “existing photography that is available for commercial use — as opposed to assignment photography, which is custom made to someone’s specifications.” Getting paid for existing images sounds like easy money, but it is anything but easy.

    24

    Nov 08

  • Marketing is the key to being a professional photographer

    The longer I work as a professional photographer, the more I am reminded that taking pictures is the easiest part of this job. The hardest part is marketing your work and yourself. I have tried various marketing strategies over the years, some more successful than others. All of them are built on the idea of regularly getting your work in front of the folks who will pay to use your images. So how do you find those folks?

    21

    Nov 08

  • Some thoughts on being a professional photographer

    This podcast explores important questions that aspiring professional photographers should be thinking about.

    19

    Nov 08

  • Making inexpensive, high quality, archival photographic prints

    An exhibition of what I call my “light study” work just closed in Providence. One of the many fun things about this show was that it featured my newest color “light study” work. In the past, this work was only in black and white, so this is a new and exciting direction for me. You can read more about the new work here: http://meredithcutler.com/image/david-h-wells-light-studies-for-artscope-magazine-septoct-2008.

    17

    Nov 08

  • Finding photographers, image piracy and what really matters

    It is not news that the world is awash with images (and photographers). Digital photography having made this problem grow by a factor of ten (or more) is also not a revelation. I was reminded of these points as I was nurturing another set of image-makers who aspire to go out into the world of commercial photography.

    14

    Nov 08

  • A cross-cultural photography workshop experience

    I just finished teaching a particularly fascinating workshop in Singapore through an organization called Objectifs. In my best workshops, and this was one, I learned as much as I taught.

    10

    Nov 08

  • Color calibration made easy and accurate

    One other piece of technology I discovered at the recent Photo Expo in NYC that really struck a chord with me was the Color Munki. It enables you to calibrate your entire color printing system, both printer AND your monitor screen, so they are all speaking the same language when it comes to color.

    07

    Nov 08

  • Alone on the water: the last Rhode Island Quahoggers

    This enhanced podcast takes you on a journey into the lives of Quahoggers (Rhode Island’s shellfishermen,) exploring their traditional (but threatened) way of life.

    05

    Nov 08

  • Zen and the Art of Motordrive (thoughts on teaching/part 2)

    Continued from previous post: In those workshops, I work to get the students to do many things such as assemble a set of images with a point of view or to use light and shadow to improve their images. First, they must master the machine in their hands, the camera. Much of the time is spent on buttons and settings. F-stops and shutter speeds dominate the conversations.

    03

    Nov 08

  • Zen and the Art of Motordrive (thoughts on teaching/part 1)

    I come from a family of teachers. My mother was a teacher and later a principal. “First female principal in her district” she would proudly tell anyone who would listen. She briefly tried to get me hooked on teaching right after college, as a substitute teacher in the district where she worked.

    31

    Oct 08

  • Highlights from the PhotoPlus expo in NYC

    There were hundreds of new and interesting things to see at the PhotoPlus expo in NYC. A couple jumped out at me as interesting and important to the aspiring and accomplished photographers who visit this site.

    27

    Oct 08

  • The Wells point goes live

    I am excited to announce that The Wells Point website, in development for months, went live on Wednesday, October 22nd. This was just as I was preparing to attend (and present a seminar) at the huge Photo Plus trade show in New York City.

    24

    Oct 08

  • Importance of timing when photographing at twilight

    This photography podcast explores the importance of timing when photographing at twilight.

    22

    Oct 08

  • B + W fiber prints from digital files

    Though I work primarily in color, I have a long time love of black and white photography. For me the Holy Grail of black and white would be to merge digital capture with conventional, fiber-based output.

    20

    Oct 08

  • Interesting and important color test

    I was introduced to an interesting and important color test that any photographer working with color imagery should take.

    17

    Oct 08

  • Doing it for money

    Here are a few more great resources on the business of photography for those interested in “doing it for money.”

    13

    Oct 08

  • Guatemalan Bus Station

    This photography podcast uses images and audio to take the viewer on an informative, visual journey into part of life in Guatemala.

    08

    Oct 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

  • Visual search engine

    Right now, if you want to search for an image, you are limited to searching using keywords. TinEye is a new and possibly revolutionary visual search engine currently in beta testing.

    03

    Oct 08

  • My favorite photography book

    One of my favorite photography books of all time is a remarkably simple book called On Being A Photographer.

    29

    Sep 08

  • Model Release issues

    I am regularly asked when a Model Release is needed.

    26

    Sep 08

  • The Wells Point

    The podcast, “The Wells Point,” gives you an important tool that will change the way you photograph.

    24

    Sep 08

  • Lists of awards, prizes or grants

    There is a new blog attempting to “bring together a listing of all the awards, prizes or grants which are given in the various fields of arts.”

    22

    Sep 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

  • Orphan Works

    “Orphan Works” legislation has been in the news recently. That legislation is still in flux. No matter what happens, making sure that you control the use of your images is more important than ever.

    15

    Sep 08

  • A market moment

    This video photography podcast, “a market moment,” is an animation of a series of images at an Indian flower market.

    10

    Sep 08

  • Copyright information

    You may have heard or read about new federal legislation on the subject of what are called “Orphan Works.”

    08

    Sep 08

  • Business Resources

    Probably because I make my living as a photographer, I talk a lot about the business side of photography.

    01

    Sep 08

  • Interesting products

    In my own work, I have started working with the lensbabies, which I like a lot. These are a couple examples:

    18

    Aug 08

  • Starting the blog;].

    I am new to blogging so I will mostly be writing about things that I encounter in my daily routine as a photographer. Some will be about the business of photography and others about the craft. Still others will focus on the creative side of the medium.

    15

    Aug 08

  • The background of the Wells Point – the idea

    The idea for the Wells Point came out of experiences I had teaching photography over the last decade.

    11

    Aug 08

  • What is the Wells Point?

    What exactly is the Wells Point?
    The Wells Point is a web site with video podcasts and free information for aspiring and accomplished photographers.

    08

    Aug 08