Donald Weber wrote an essay in March 2015 on the state of photojournalism today. Weber is a World Press Photo juror and a member of VII Agency. Despite the problems World Press Photo has had in recent years, it remains a very prestigious competition.
In the essay, Weber lamented the death of photojournalism as he knew it and as he learned it. And he is correct. Continue reading →
Some will say that a picture should need no caption, that it should stand on its own. It is true, in some cases, that a photograph can stand on its own and need no caption, or description. In many, I would suggest most, instances; however, some complementary text can be very important. Our own personal experiences play a large part in how we perceive visual imagery. A photo of Birkenau has a very different meaning to someone who is Jewish than to a Christian or an Atheist. A different meaning still to those who are older vs. those who are younger. We are informed by our own history. I understand the particular areas of Toronto I shoot in. I know the neighbourhoods and some of the people. Others who know the areas have a similar understanding of the pictures as I do because they have that history. What’s that old saying about walking a mile in someone’s shoes? We do not all see the same things, nor should we. What is appreciated by one person may not be by another. And there is nothing wrong with that. Continue reading →
The discussion of editing has been left till now because it is, to me, of lesser importance than the rest. But it is also logically what follows what has come before it. Only after we have been out taking pictures do we begin the work of editing. It is for that reason, as well, that the next section on telling stories through a body of work comes after this one. It is only after we have culled and edited that we can begin to curate the finished photos into a coherent story, ready to show to others. Continue reading →
The night is a very interesting time for photography in general and street photography in particular. Certainly the lighting is different. But more importantly, the people are different. It is a very different person who is out at night from the day. Even if it is the same person, they are different. The night is personal time. People who you might see during the day are more likely to be more relaxed at night. There is also a sector of the community that you probably will only see after the sun goes down. Continue reading →
It is not just the fading romance of something that is about to disappear that he gives us, but rather a new statement now framed within his photograph that transcends the evocative beauty of the gardens themselves.
The camera is a shield. Even though you see everything through the viewfinder, you’re putting something between you and what’s happening.
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.
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 →
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.
A street photographer for more than 20 years my goal is to find the interesting in the mundane of the everyday and to tell stories about life and living. A selection of my street photography is below. Most often, street photography will include people but it is not mandatory. Some of the images here do and some do not. I invite you to read my essay series on street photography as well.
Click/tap an image to open the lightbox. Keyboard left/right arrows will navigate the gallery. Press Esc to close the lightbox.
Tacky Tourist Series
The ‘Tacky Tourist’ series intended to be a fun look at the idea of tourists and the humourous ways they capture memories of their travels. It pokes fun at them, yes. But it also pokes fun at all of us, because at one time, or another, we have all been a tacky tourist. The idea started in Niagara Falls (aka Tackystan, the capital of which is Kitschtown) and will be added to with tourists from other cities over time.
I offer individual and small group (max 4) workshops in The eastern Renfrew County area Please see the FAQ for some additional information about the workshops.
My workshops are customized to what you want to learn and what aspects of your photography you want to improve, or dip your toes in. You don’t need a big, fancy DSLR camera either. Phones and smaller cameras can work very well, too. See the FAQ for a bit more information.
My workshops concentrate more on the thought process and mindset behind making a photograph, rather than the technicals and technology. Also, unlike many instructors, I don’t take my own pictures when leading a workshop. That would take away from your time and your learning process.
These can be full-day, or half-day. Lunch is included with full-day workshops, but not with half-day. If you’re interested in night photography, those can be structured as a half-day (night only), split full-day (morning and night), or full-day (afternoon and evening/night).
Pricing for the workshops is $400/$700/$900/$1,000 for a full-day workshop for 1-4 people. Half-day workshops are half these rates.
I’m also available to speak to photography groups about various aspects of photography. Speaking engagements are possible in Ontario and can be done in person, or via Zoom. Remote presentations are also possible via Zoom.
Topics can include:
Mobile phone photography
I can also work with your group to develop a presentation specifically for you.
Speaking Engagement Pricing
Pricing for speaking engagements is arranged on a case-by-case basis with the group. Please get in touch via the methods below to discuss specifics for your group, or organisation.
Use the Contact form to get in touch and discuss workshop timing and pricing. Select Workshops from the topic dropdown list. Or, call me on 289-240-0949.
Modern phone cameras are serious image-making devices. This workshop will help you understand the capabilities of your phone camera as well as its limitations, help you overcome those limitations and have you creating stunning, wall-worthy pictures with your phone.
An in-class component for this workshop is also available, in addition to the field workshop. If you are interested in the in-class part, please inquire in your introductory email.
Are you interested in Landscape photography? I will create a workshop that helps you improve your landscape imagery. Camera techniques. Helpful accessories. Composition. Lighting.
Street photography is very popular right now. As a street photographer for over 20 years, I will help you hone your eye to enable you to tell compelling visual stories.
The time between sunset and dawn is magical. Darkness only exists in our minds. The night sky captivates the imagination. This workshop will help you create impactful night photos with just standard camera gear.
Have you seen creative photography with interesting blur effects that looks like an impressionistic painting? Have you wondered how this is done? I have been doing photoimpressionism for over 20 years. I started on film. The techniques aren’t difficult and the results are fun. Unleash your inner Monet with this workshop.
Are you stuck in Auto mode with your camera? Are you making the move from a compact camera to a full-featured DSLR, or mirrorless? Are you overwhelmed by all of the functions and options of your camera? Are you struggling to find compelling and interesting pictures? Fear not! This workshop will help ease those fears and have you on the road to camera mastery.
The photography news/blog site PetaPixel shared a post recently that got me to doing some ruminating.
Supposedly a photographer had written to a friend about a ‘situation’ with a potential client. Said friend is described as a ‘photographic satirist’. Aside from forgetting to include the satire – it’s difficult to tell whether the whole post is intended to be satire or just the proposed response – the alleged satirist’s response didn’t make a lot of sense to me. Continue reading →
There has been much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth over the past couple days in relation to a new law in Arkansas that is awaiting gubernatorial signature. The online photo media is abuzz and replete with sensational headlines declaring the end of photography (again). Continue reading →
SEO – Search Engine Optimization. Or, perhaps Search Engine Oblivion.
Grab some snacks, put on your comfy pants, we’re gonna be here for a while.
The idea of having our websites at the top of search results is a good one. We want to be seen. Particularly for photographers offering commercial services, the ability to be found by prospective clients is important.
What follows is one photographer’s experience navigating the random, nonsensical, frustrating, comical, bleep-show that is SEO. As in many things, the old saying applies: Your mileage may vary.
Please believe writing this gives me no pleasure. I have watched events unfold with respect to the issues within Magnum relating to apparent child endangerment, admitted drug use by a member, and others, largely from the sidelines. I have read much of the coverage from Benjamin Chesterton (aka, duckrabbitblog), Columbia Journalism Review, Caravan Magazine, PetaPixel, FStoppers and have watched the debate unfold on Twitter. I have read several of your postings on the Magnum website and have read the newly published Code of Conduct. I feel I can no longer remain silent.
Here you’ll find answers to some commonly asked questions. These answers are not intended to be exhaustive, so please get in touch via the Contact page, fisher(at)rf-photography(dot)ca, or on 289-240-0949 to discuss in more detail.
Workshops & Speaking
How long have you been a photographer?
My journey in photography began nearly 25 years ago (around 1997/98). I felt I could start using the term ‘photographer’ about 10 years after that.
I don’t have a set fee. I work with each group to determine a fee based on the group’s size and budget. Larger groups, with more resources, will pay a slightly higher fee. How much I may need to travel, whether a hotel stay would be necessary, are also considerations in pricing.
How are your workshops structured?
My workshops are full-, or half-day. Full day workshops include a break for lunch, which is included. Space is limited to 4 people. I do this so I can spend as much time with each person as possible. Evening/night options are also available for Blue Hour and/or astrophotography.
I structure my workshops to what you want to learn. The Workshops page, linked above, has some examples. If there are other things you’d like to learn, or improve on, I can develop a session specifically on that.
We learn best when we’re learning what we need, that’s why I tailor my workshops to what you want.
Do I need a big, fancy camera for your workshops?
No! Phone cameras today can take fantastic pictures. The more advanced phones can even capture in RAW formats, giving you more quality and control. I led a week-long phone photography workshop at Sunbury Shores Arts & Nature Centre in the summer of 2020 and have a self-published book on phone photography. The first 5 pictures in my Impressionistic gallery were all done with a phone. My image that juried into RMG Exposed in 2020 was made with a phone.
Phone cameras are great!
What else do I need for your workshops except a camera?
Enthusiasm, comfortable, supportive footwear. And good socks!
There is significant debate in the street photography community on the topic of photographing the homeless.
Some will say no one should ever photograph this community for any reason. Others seem to go out of their way to exploit this vulnerable population for humour, or sport.
I have been a street & documentary photographer for over 20 years. I shied away from photographing the homeless. My own personal ethic – try not to exploit, or take advantage, of the disadvantaged – dictated that these people were not valid subject matter for my photography.
The issue of homelessness is pervasive in most communities in North America and other parts of the world. Some places have taken progressive steps to try to minimise the impacts of homelessness with programs like Housing First.
Unfortunately, most cities and jurisdictions do little besides attempt to provide temporary shelter; if even that. Charitable and volunteer groups try to pick up the slack; however, they are limited in what they can do.
On Christmas 2017, my position changed. I came up with an idea to try to do what I could, using my photography, to hold those with the ability to effect change – politicians – to account. The idea is #nobodyshould. When I photograph and post a photo of a homeless person, I use the #nobodyshould hashtag to highlight what is wrong with the scene – not the person – and ask what politicians are planning to deal with the issue of homelessness.
As one person, there’s little I can do. Perhaps others will take up the #nobodyshould effort as well and build some momentum. This page will be a repository of my #nobodyshould moments.
I’ll begin with a story.
On a warm, spring day I was walking in Dundas Square in Toronto. Behind me, I heard some people yelling across the square. Not hostile yelling, just to be heard across the distance. I turned around and asked this fellow, “Hey, how come you’re sitting under an umbrella on such a nice day?” He replied, “I’m trying to get a tan!” I went over and asked if I could take his picture. He then invited me to sit down. We talked for about 20 minutes, then one of his buddies came over. The three of us talked for about another 15-20 minutes. At one point, they offered me some of their hooch – orange soda and isopropyl alcohol. I thanked them and declined. I went and bought them some lunch, thanked them for their time, shook their hands and went on about my day. It was a very informative and interesting discussion.
On my first trip to Detroit to start my Wreck & Renewal project, I came upon this fellow within a few minutes of arriving in the city. He, a friend of mine, and I chatted for about 10 minutes. Despite their circumstances, some of the homeless people I’ve spoken with are the most optimistic people I’ve come across.
#Nobody should have to rely on wet, moldy clothing for protection from the elements.
The old saying is true. Opinions are like [insert specific anatomical reference], everybody has one. Witness the number of opinion columnists employed by newspapers and the number of pundits who appear regularly on other media outlets to expound at length about this, that, and any other thing. Like most any other endeavour, there are good and bad providers of opinion. What separates the two? Continue reading →