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Tagged With « technique »

  • Road Warrior 101 for the photographer (part one of two)

    I have been making photographs seriously since 1972, when I fell in love with photography during an intro to photography class in high school.  I have been taking pictures for money since 1980, when I graduated from college after studying the history of photography.  I have been traveling around the globe to make photographs (and to teach classes) since 1986.  In all that time, I have used hundreds of different cameras. Along the way, I have picked up a few things that have become constants in my tool kit as a photographer.  They are part of my process, regardless of where I go, who I am working for, or what gear I am working with.

    15

    Jun 15

  • Haridwar Time

    Haridwar is an ancient city in India. The River Ganges, after flowing for 253 kilometers (157 miles) from its source, enters the Plains of North India for the first time at Haridwar, which gave the city its ancient name, Gangadwára. Haridwar is regarded as one of the seven holiest places to Hindus.

    07

    Jun 15

  • Singapore Time

    Late January and early February was a blur of teaching classes in Singapore. Embracing that feeling, I made a video to try to convey the energetic experience of my eighteen days there.

    18

    Mar 15

  • Waterfire Promotion Video

    In a promotional video that I made for WaterFire Providence, you can hear from the volunteers what a powerful experience they have volunteering!

    20

    Feb 15

  • What I am carrying in my camera bag and WHY

    Photographers love gear. I love gear. But, in the end, my gear does ONE thing. It solves my problem(s.) Usually that problem involves getting something in front of the camera recorded for a publication, exhibition or web-site. The gear I use is constantly changing. Every couple years I create a new podcast to show what I NOW carry with me when working. This record of my gear is accurate for late summer of 2014. In a year or two it will be outdated, as will my cameras and I will have to do this all over again.

    15

    Oct 14

  • Melded Arts: The sculpture and photography of Abigail Gumbiner

    Abigail Gumbiner is a photographer and sculptor living on the Central Coast of California. Combing her passion for the two media, she produced her Melded Arts work, which has been exhibited at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art and the Art of Photography Show in San Diego as well as being featured in “The Handmade Photograph” magazine.

    17

    Sep 14

  • Travel Selfies

    I was flattered to be interviewed recently by a writer for the Washington Post for an article on “Travel Selfies.” For those of us of a certain age, who need a translation, that mean self-portraits made while traveling. These photos. at their best, both the traveler and the destination they traveled to. The conversation I had with the writer was fascinating and I took it as an opportunity to turn some time well spent into a blog entry.

    05

    Sep 14

  • 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

  • Steering Clear of the RAW Format Wars

    Most professionals (and serious photographers) working digitally, shoot RAW files. They usually do so because of the incredible degree of control and the higher image quality that comes with RAW files. Being able to correct white balance after the fact is one of the many great things about RAW files. The worst thing about RAW files, in my mind, is what I call the ongoing proprietary RAW file wars. In this blog entry, I will talk about what you need to know to stay clear of the RAW format wars.

    22

    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

  • Copyright workflow of one professional photographer (me)

    Registering your photographs with the Library of Congress is THE most important thing any photographer can do to protect their intellectual property (their photographs.) While it is not a difficult process, it can be tedious. In this podcast, I walk you through my copyright registration process, in great detail.

    29

    Apr 13

  • Google Plus Hangout with Jay Kinghorn

    I recently chatted with fellow Olympus Visionary photographer Jay Kinghorn for a Google + hangout where we discussed our experiences with the new Olympus OMD EM-5 camera as well as the challenges of transitioning from still to multimedia photography. We also discussed the gear we use, where we find inspiration for our work and where we are going next with our multimedia work.  It was a great conversation which I hope you will find as interesting as I found it.

    27

    Jul 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

  • Feedback through instant editing

    Last week I blogged about what I now call “instant editing.” The idea was to share the top forty or sixty images from one day’s shoot with about ten peers right at the end of the day’s photographing in order to get some input on how to improve when photographing the next day. Last week, I talked about how I started this process (and why I hope to use it more in the future.) This week I want to share some of the comments that I received from my “reviewers.” What I found so interesting was not just what they said about the work, but how they said it. Their thinking is so compelling that I wanted to share it in order to possibly help others edit sets of images in the future.

    30

    Mar 12

  • The idea behind instant editing

    When I was younger, I envisioned the end of the business as a nightmarish world where editors would seem to be working inside my head, through some futuristic technology, telling me where to stand and when to push the button. My great fear was having the imaginary editor see what I was looking at through my camera, telling me (through a seemingly permanent earpiece) what to include or exclude and when to click. When that day arrived, I said that I was sure I would quit the business. The onslaught of live television broadcasting, as it overwhelmed the still image, only exacerbated my worst fear. At first I thought digital imaging would be the technology to drive the last nails into the coffin. A recent informal experiment proved that, at least for me, the future is not so grim and I actually have digital imaging to thank for a bit of new optimism.

    23

    Mar 12

  • Learning to podcast the easy way or the hard way

    An email came to me awhile back that was succinct and to the point. I filed it away in the pile where I keep things that I need to “think about it for a while before blogging about them.” It got me thinking about how I had moved from complete ignorance to a level of accomplishment in one area of modern communication in a short period of time. The teacher in me kicked in and I started wondering if I could really take someone else down the path that I took from beginner to practitioner. I am not 100% sure I can, but this is my best effort.

    09

    Mar 12

  • Art and commerce of selecting a workshop teacher

    (Disclaimer, I am a workshop teacher as well as a veteran professional photographer)
    I am a professional photographer. I am VERY proud of the fact that I make my living through my photography. I have been lucky in that most people who pay to use my work appreciate the skills it took me decades to master. I have, over time, expanded my repertoire to include workshop teaching. Over a period of years I have been working to master and excel in  the process of helping others get better at their photography. As I have been doing this, I have been reminded again and again, that teaching is like any other skill: It involves practice and takes decades to fully master.  Also, much like publication photography itself, the world of photography workshops is being flooded with people who have little or no skill as educators.

    10

    Feb 12

  • 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

  • Flash Photography Using Remote (Off Camera) Flash Units

    This podcast explores using an off-camera or remote flash unit to get a quality of light that is not possible with the built-in flash units.

    30

    Jun 10

  • A Digital Holga?

    In this podcast, fine-art photographer, Annu Palakunnathu Matthew takes you along as she tests what is, in essence, a digital Holga.

    05

    May 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

  • Basics of capturing images for a time-lapse animation project

    This enhanced podcast introduces the viewer to the basics of capturing images for a time-lapse animation project, in this case while photographing a flower market in Bangalore, India.

    06

    May 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Importance of timing when photographing at twilight

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

    22

    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

  • Audio for multimedia

    It has been exciting to start experimenting in multi-media in my own work, mixing sound and images. As my grandfather used to say about so many things, “they tell me it’s the future.”

    25

    Aug 08