“No, I don’t [do assignments]. I stopped doing that, more or less, when I decided to become a teacher in 2002. Because of my workshops, I had to leave Cuba in 2006, which is ironic. I fund all my work thanks to the generosity of my students. This will be the third self-published book now. In exchange for their support, I usually give them two options. The first is to pre-acquire a limited edition of the book. I’ve done the same with ISLA. Of course some who could afford the limited edition of one book cannot any longer, but there’s a hardcore group of students that have bought all three limited editions of each book.
The economic situation is what it is, but these students can help me by buying these books at over $1000 each. That is the foundation of how I build a book. Even if they can’t buy the limited edition, their names will be a part of the thank you note at the end of the book. I think that by helping these students to take better pictures over all these years, I’ve developed all of these incredible friendships and I’ve also had the unique and amazing, priceless privilege of just concentrating on taking my own photographs over the last thirteen years.”
– Ernesto Bazan
The entire article is here. It is long, but full of insight.
The biggest problem may also be the one that most people focus on. No pun intended.
“So let’s get the elephant out of the bag most of you keep it in and into the room where we can discuss it: most people are complaining about their cameras because otherwise they’d have to put the blame for their photography on themselves. It’s the camera’s fault their photograph isn’t great. Or maybe the lens’ fault. Not theirs.
Now don’t get me wrong. If you managed to take an incredible photo of a compelling subject in a way that the world hadn’t seen before and it was with a D600 that was throwing lubricant and dust onto the upper left area of the photograph, you’d be pissed. Equipment can get in the way of your enjoyment. But let me also be clear: you’d still have a great photograph, though you’d be spending a lot of time cloning out the crud the D600 put into the photo. Generally we don’t want our photo gear adding to the tasks we have to do in our workflow, which is one of the reasons why the D600 shutter issue was such a big deal and has really hurt Nikon’s credibility with users. One Nikon technical support person apparently suggested to one of this site’s readers that they not use such small apertures or take time-lapse images. Really? Then why are the features there?”
– Thom Hogan
It is always interesting to me how much discussion goes into the crap we use and how little goes into the crap we produce.
Perhaps we should change that around.
Photographs as communication.
The new uses of photography continues to grow.
“It’s not that my memory improved but, instead, that I started archiving these events and ideas with my phone, as photographs. Now, if I want to research the painter whose portraits I admired at the museum, I don’t have to read through page after page of my chicken scratch trying to find her name. When I need the title of a novel someone recommended, I just scroll back to the day we were at the bookstore together.
Looking through my photo stream, there is a caption about Thomas Jefferson smuggling seeds from Italy, which I want to research; a picture of a tree I want to identify, which I need to send to my father; the nutritional label from a seasoning that I want to re-create; and a man with a jungle of electrical cords in the coffee shop, whose picture I took because I wanted to write something about how our wireless lives are actually full of wires. Photography has changed not only the way that I make notes but also the way that I write. Like an endless series of prompts, the photographs are a record of half-formed ideas to which I hope to return.”
– Casey N Sep
I am working on something that is so far out of the box for me that it is a kind of a whole new path.
With an iPhone.
I have been asked by Christopher Tierney to come out to Omaha for a workshop. I have not done workshops for a while, but I really like the midwest and look forward to spending some time there.
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PHOTOGRAPH BY MICHAEL DAVID FRIBERG
Michael Friberg and Benjamin Rasmussen find a fresh way to explore the conflict in the Middle East. Part reportage, part editorial, they create a powerful new way of communication on a contemporary problem.
“The way that we shoot for magazines, you try to photograph a subject in a way that people are going to think they are important enough to read that story,” Rasmussen explains. “We have a visual language that we use to communicate the fact that somebody is important. We wanted to take that language and use that on a group of people that no one was really paying attention to.” He points to the cover of “By the Olive Trees” as an example; in it a handsome, young man stands holding an olive branch. His clothes fit well, a fashionable shirt unbuttoned to the chest, and he holds the branch carefully, looking away, but his gaze is troubled. Friberg shot it in natural light, but the key to their approach was spending quality time with their subjects and letting the photographs become an extension of that, instead of simply following someone around taking pictures.”