PUBLISHER'S NOTE: This post is an updated compilation of several shorter posts I wrote in the past trying to answer the question, "What camera should I buy?" Its still the most popular question I am asked. What camera should I buy? Lately there's a new twist to the question..."Is this brand camera better than that brand camera?" No matter how hard I try to tell people that theres no perfect answer, they keep asking. So since I can't convince anyone otherwise, at least know the answers to THESE questions before you ask me YOUR … [Read more...] about What Camera Should I Buy? – April 2012
NOTE: All images captured in RAW - Adobe RGB color space. Colors, clarity and apparent exposure may vary depending on your monitor - All images converted using Aperture with minimal adjustments such as cropping, basic edge sharpening, exposure correction. On average less than 30 seconds was spent on each image in post. If you've been paying attention here at Photofocus you know I am in Alaska testing both the Canon 5D MK III and the Nikon D4. I've had enough time with the Nikon D4 to formulate some opinions about it that I think might be … [Read more...] about Nikon D4 Mini Review
As a photographer, I struggle with being creative. All my life I've been good at the technical side of the transaction, but never felt like I was truly creative. I realized that most creative people fall into one of two camps. 1. Those who are natively, organically wired as creatives. I'm not in that bunch but I do envy them. 2. Those who are good at "connecting" ideas in order to become creative. That's me. I connect things well. Here are some examples. I started studying Ansel Adams' work in the mid 90s. I mean really study it as in I … [Read more...] about Idea Connection – A Most Under-rated Way To Improve Photographic Creativity
Compromise... Yep - its compromise. Why? If photography/art wasn't about compromise it would be precise - like science. And while there is certainly a scientific component to photography, its the compromise that makes it art. Art is about tradeoffs. What did you decide to include in the picture and as a result, what did you exclude? Did you decide to hold detail in the highlights or the shadows? Did you use a shallow depth-of-field to bring the viewers eye deeper into the shot and if so, what part of the original scene didn't they get to … [Read more...] about Here’s What Makes Photography (Or Any Other Form) Art
I've been having some deep discussions with other photographers lately about the need for shooters to develop good technique. In the midst of these discussions though I remembered something from my one and only art class in college - There is no technique without expression. My art teacher believed that pretty much anyone who really wanted to could learn the technique required to provide decent deliverables in any artistic endeavor. I have seen this myself. When teaching brand new photographers, they very quickly run up the ladder from rungs … [Read more...] about There is no Technique Without Expression
Carl Shortt, from Oklahoma City, OK is a regular listener to the Photofocus podcast. He sent this thought-provoking question: I'm sure that photography as art has been debated many times before but I'm not finding anything definitive; perhaps because there is no definition just opinion? At any rate, can you please share your opinion as to the factors generally considered when determining that a photograph is considered to be art as opposed to just a snapshot? One qualifier I have though of would be the photographer's intent. Was the image … [Read more...] about Quick Thoughts – When is a Photograph Art?
Recently, the Pope held a meeting with hundreds of artists. Discussing beauty and art, the Pope said, "Beauty ... can become a path toward the transcendent, toward the ultimate mystery, toward God," I don't intend to discuss my religious beliefs here, nor should anything in this post be construed as an endorsement of the Catholic or any other religion. But I do think this to be an interesting subject. I've always believed that the artistic expression available through photography reaches higher than most would immediately think. The Pope … [Read more...] about Art As a Path to Something Deeper
Recently, David duChemin started an interesting discussion on Twitter about photography as art or commerce and how that impacts whether or not someone is a "real" photographer. David is an artist. I'm not going to represent his point of view here. He's very good at that and you should be reading his blog at http://www.pixelatedimage.com/blog/ if you are interested in his opinion. Personally, I read his blog regularly and find his posts very thought-provoking. My purpose for writing today is to say that there is something about photography as … [Read more...] about What’s a REAL Photographer?
Let me set the scene. The morning was perfect for photography. It was almost 60 degrees at dawn, and a light, high marine layer of diffuse clouds blocked the sun. The birds were plentiful and tame. I smelled the tang of seaweed mingled with salt in the crisp air. The humidity left my shirt damp. At that time of day, all we could hear were the waves lapping against the beach, and the call of a gull. I was co-leading a workshop with my pal Artie Morris in Southwest Florida. We had gathered at a well-known birding hotspot called the Estero Lagoon … [Read more...] about Letting Art & Life Influence Photography – The Story of Four Species – Five Birds