There is No Holy Grail for Better Photography, Only Hard Work

Photography, perhaps more than any other endeavour is replete with the equivalent of ‘get rich quick’ schemes. There are any number of software companies and individual photographers hawking ‘one click fix’ solutions. From snapshot to amazing shot-type books and tutorials. Action sets that will set your heart a flutter at the ease with which a couple mouse clicks will make your photo a masterpiece. Continue reading

Street Photography IV

Every picture tells a story don’t it…

Rod Stewart

In that classic song, which you are unlikely to hear much today given it’s racist lyrics, the protagonist is painting a picture with words and telling his story through song.

In street portraiture, your subject is telling their story through your picture with their words. Continue reading

Street Photography III

The camera is a shield. Even though you see everything through the viewfinder, you’re putting something between you and what’s happening.

John Hoagland

Being able to capture candid photos of people is key to successful street photography. As was discussed in the prologue and will be covered more in another essay, not all street images have to be candid but candids are a staple of the art form.

Continue reading

Street Photography II

The decisive moment is several things. It is the name of a book containing the photos of Henri Cartier-Bresson. It is the phrase Bresson came up with to describe his approach to his photography. It is the mantra that many have used to talk about street photography in the years since Bresson. Continue reading

Street Photography – Prologue

This man is a roving and impassioned daguerreotype that preserves the least traces, and on which are reproduced, with their changing reflections, the course of things, the movement of the city, the multiple physiognomy of the public spirit, the confessions, antipathies, and admirations of the crowd.

Victor Fournel, on the idea of the flâneur Continue reading

Wreck & Renewal – A City. Detroit

The city of Detroit has a long, varied and proud history. Once the spiritual, if not physical, epicentre of American manufacturing, Detroit has, more recently, become the postcard for the ‘Rust Belt’. Perhaps the latter 20th and early 21st century analogue to the ‘Dust Bowl’. That collection of contiguous, once economically strong, states in the northeast and midwest of the U.S. that has come to epitomise the decline of the ‘middle class’.  Continue reading

The State of Cameras

Photography is a very technical, and technology-driven pursuit. Camera makers continue to try to outdo each other with various improvements in features and functionality and tout these in big, bold headlines. But are these improvements really beneficial or just bleeding edge incrementalism that is intended to get the ‘photo press’ all agog and photographers to part with money? Continue reading

Photo Basics – Perspective

Perspective, optical not philosophical, may be one of the least understood concepts in photography.

Very simply, perspective is the spatial relationship between elements in your picture. What does that mean? It is the way the various parts of the picture are spaced visually in the image. It is a fixed construct and it depends one only one thing: your distance to the subject. Focal length doesn’t play any role. Aperture doesn’t play any role. Continue reading