Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Online Photographer: How to Read a Photographic Book

The Online Photographer: How to Read a Photographic Book
I think it is true that we judge a photograph quickly, I know I do. I also know when I watch people looking at my photographs that they often miss, what for me, is an important aspect of the photograph. Allowing time to savor, or reflect, or just to look at a photograph is respectful of the thought and effort of the photographer.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Luminous-Lint: Home - for Connoisseurs and Collectors of Fine Photography

Luminous-Lint: Home - for Connoisseurs and Collectors of Fine Photography
This is an amazing site, I looked up some of my favorite photographers, like Eugene Richards, and all the information and examples of photography were there. If you love photography, and the history of photography this a crucial site.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The use of Photoshop - Reuters Blogs

The use of Photoshop - Reuters Blogs
This is an interesting article related to truth in photography and the limits of using Photoshop to manipulate images. I agree with its intent and limitations. Keeping a relationship between a photograph and a specific moment in time is the magic of photography. Manipulation can severe the relationship between a photograph and a moment in time. When the relationship to a moment in time is altered an image can still be meaningful and beautiful, but the energy and magic of photography has vanished.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


I love this web site. It is expressive, unique, and very individual. Japanese street photography, sort of.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Digital Journalist January 2007 Issue Contents

The Digital Journalist January 2007 Issue Contents
The January issue is online. As always it is excellent. If you use RSS subscribe to their feed so that you can track when the new issue arrives.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Syllabus CIOS 258 Digital Photography

071C258syl.pdf (application/pdf Object)

I am teaching a course in digital photography. In my syllabus I outline some ideas about the photographic process. I have included some of those ideas in the web log post.

Course Purpose: (Why on Earth am I taking this course?)
The purpose of this course is to become a good photographer! A good photographer can use ideas, vision, a camera and editing tools to create photographs that fulfill an explicit purpose or intention.
The process of photography is:
1. Thinking
2. Seeing
3. Taking
4. Selecting
5. Editing
6. Sharing
Photography is a means of communication. Some photographs become more valuable over time. There are many purposes and reasons to take photographs. Photography is a skill that will grow and change the more that you use and develop it. The process of photography is fun. The more you photograph, the more photographs you see.

Photographic Intention: (Why do I take photographs?)
A person takes photographs for a reason. There are many reasons to take photographs. When you photograph you have a frame of reference or intention to take a photograph. Thinking about the reasons for your photographs will help you organize your approach to photography. People can have multiple reasons to take photographs.

Seeing Photographs: (What do I see? Why do I take this specific photograph)
Assuming that you have a reason or intention to take a photograph you take photographs because you see something to photograph. You see something that fulfills your intention. The more photographs you take the more photographs that you see. A photograph is a specific moment in time. The moment in time is expressed through light captured by a camera. Seeing something to photograph and seeing like a camera are not identical. Being able to translate what you see into a photograph that expresses your original vision takes experience and technical knowledge.

Using a Camera: (How do I use a camera to capture what I see?)
Photographic techniques are tools used to fulfill your photographic intention. Cameras are a means to an end. Every decision that you make in setting the camera is a compromise, there is something gained and something lost. All cameras involve the same set of compromises.
A camera does not see like a human. A camera does not have the dynamic range of the eye. A camera does not have depth perception. A camera sees color differently then a human. A camera abstracts what a human sees.
It takes experience to be able to translate what you see into a photograph. To be able to express your intention, to be able to capture what you see, you must master camera technique. What is in your head, what you intended to do, or even the memory of the event is not the same thing that is in the photograph.
Photographic techniques are the tools you use to bring your intention, what you wanted to show, closer to the photograph, what you actually captured. Turning what you see in your mind into what people see in the photograph is the art of photography.

Selecting, Evaluating, and Archiving Photographs: (My photographs are everywhere, how do I get organized?)
If you do not organize your photographs you will be overwhelmed? If you do not develop a method of organizing your photographs you might lose the photographs and the memories that they contain. Sometimes what you see later, in a photograph, is different from and maybe even better then your original intention. It is important to make your photographs accessible and easy to view. A good organizing and archiving system provides a method to think about and re-experience and re-evaluate your photographs. It is important to see your photographs from different contexts and perspectives; a photograph can grow and change as your experiences change. If you do not have a method for selecting, grouping, and archiving photographs you will not be able to re-appreciate your photographs.
Before doing major selecting, wait to make judgments on your photographs. Sometimes it takes time to appreciate what you have taken; it is too easy to focus on the details or the flaws in the photograph and to miss the actual value of the photograph. Let time pass, at least a month, before evaluating your photographs.

Editing Photographs: (The photograph does not look right, now what do I do?)
Editing or enhancing a photograph clarifies and expresses your original photographic intention. Photoshop or Picasa are tools to improve or clarify your original intention. Using cropping, straightening, editing, adjusting the dynamic range, sharpening, cleaning up small details, and adjusting color are means to clarify a photograph. Using software to adjust an image is as important as using a darkroom to print an image, software is an integral part of digital photography.

Sharing Photographs: (I want to share my photographs with others?)
Sharing photographs is making a commitment to the selected photographs that these photographs are good enough to share. There is always the balance between perfect, good enough, and laziness, at some point it is necessary to evaluate and share your photographs. The motivation to share improves the entire photographic process. By making your photographs available you will be able to review and reflect upon what you have done.