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Help Portrait Needs Your Help


“After three years, 25,000 photographers, 56 countries, 700 events, and giving away nearly 170,000 portraits to those who are less fortunate, the amazing success of Help-Portrait has never been more evident than it is today.”
Now Help Portrait is ready to take it to the next level – but they need your help to do it.
Whether you give or participate or both, you can make a difference.
Find out more about help portrait and how you can help here.

Snapshots From Italy


Every year I travel with my son and wife to visit her family in Italy. In between moments at the beach, visits to family members houses, and long meals I steal a moment here and there to make photographs, sometimes lagging behind, sometimes rushing ahead, other times ducking around a corner. The environment is very different from the ones I work in professionally. I use this as an opportunity to explore other interests. I find periodically getting out of my comfort zone and exploring other subjects in other environments helps me be a more versatile artistically. The things I learn along the way can later be transposed to my professional work.
How does play inform your image-making?
Here’s a selection of recent images of Italian walls, doors, and windows.
(All of these images were taken and processed with an iPhone.)
 Learn more about iPhone photography in my column on the Huffington Post.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.
 









 

The History Of Photography – Beaumont Newhall


“The history of photography is Beaumont Newhall! Throughout most of the 20th century he has seen a central figure in the movement to have photography recognized as an art form. It might also be said that he created the “history of photography” as a distinct and respected field of study. As a founder and father of the history of photography, photographer, curator, art historian, writer, scholar, teacher and administrator it seems as if there has been more than one Beaumont Newhall. Beginning in 1938 at the Museum of Modern Art, he created the first retrospective exhibition of the 100-year-old art of photography. This documentary highlights some of Beaumont’s experiences of being a lifelong friend, mentor and confident of many photographers now in the annals of history.”
Beaumont Newhall’s The History of Photography: From 1839 to the Present is the first classic history of art photography.

7 Benefits Of Returning To Locations




Every voyage I’ve made to Antarctica has revealed new dimensions in the subject – weather, light, seasonal changes, annual variations, and my growing understanding of the region have all contributed to this.

With so many wonderful places to go, why would you return to the same location more than once?
Let me count the ways.
1    You’ll see more of and learn more about a place.
Increase your understanding of the places you photograph and your photographs will become more interesting.
2    You’ll have an opportunity to get the images you missed.
Try making a short list of the shots you missed when you shoot. Even if you never return this activity will prompt you to be clearer about why you missed the shots and you can take steps towards remedying this in the future. If you do return, you’ll have the beginnings of a working plan that will greatly increase your productivity and success rate.
3    You’ll have an opportunity to refine the images you made.
You may have made images that barely made the cut but would shine if they were reframed or made with different equipment or in different conditions. For this reason I recommend you review not only the images that worked on your previous trip(s) but also the ones that didn’t asking yourself why they didn’t and what you could do differently.
4    You’ll see new things as your vision matures.
Having first found the images that come to you more naturally, you’ll later find yourself challenged to look for other kinds of images, which will stimulate your creativity and increase your visual versatility.
5    You’ll see changes in the place.
Time reveals. Weather, time of day, seasons, and the accumulation of years change a place. They change us too. These changes can become a wellspring for many images.
6    You’ll learn more about yourself.
While it’s true that you can learn more about yourself when you experience new things, it’s equally true that you’ll learn more about yourself when you re-experience them. You’ll find that your relationship with a location will change over time, as you experience more and mature. You’ll see not only how a place has changed but also how you’ve changed – and how the place has contributed to your growth. These types of insights are harder to achieve in new locations. Because the perspective with which you look at thing is different, the types of things you learn are different.
7    You’ll get to spend more time in your favorite places.
Just as you can’t go everywhere, you can’t return to every place. Return to the places that call you. Passion kindles the fires within, which will be visible in your images. Passion energizes and recharges us. A large part of the reason we do the things we do is because we enjoy them.
Unfamiliar locations challenge you to see new things in new ways, familiar locations challenge you to see the same things in new ways.
Just because we see new things doesn’t mean we will see in new ways, in fact the times when we are grappling with so many new variables are often the times when we fall back on our habits. When we see the same things again we are forced to see in new ways and/or deepen the ways we see them.
Even with a lifetime of adventuring, you can’t see it all. Your question is do you want to see a lot or do you want to see deeply? You’ll want to strike a balance between the two, surveying the many opportunities before you and choosing to return to one or a few of the places that call you the most. Exactly what balance you strike at any given moment is up to you.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.
Find out about my next digital photography workshop in Antarctica.

Seat Assignment – Nina Katchadourian


Creative. Smart. Hillarious.
What will you do on your next flight?
“Improvising with materials close at hand, “Seat Assignment” consists of photographs, video, and digital images all made while in flight using only a camera phone. The project began spontaneously on a flight in March 2010 and is ongoing. At present, over 2500 photographs and video, made on more than 75 different flights to date, constitute the raw material of the project. Visit www.ninakatchadourian.com for more information.”

State The Nature Of The Influence Simply


It helps you to both better understand and to more effectively communicate the nature of your influences if you take the time to state it simply. Usually, this doesn’t just happen instantly. First, it takes identifying who or what the influence is. Next, it takes a series of thoughts and associations. Then, it takes a little organization. Finally, it takes a little editing; cutting the words that aren’t quite right and searching for the ones that are.
Very often the connections between ideas and feelings and their progressions aren’t clear until you start organizing them. Finding these insights is the biggest benefit of taking time to reflect on your influences. (To do this, nothing helps me more than writing. Often, it’s not the kind of writing that I might share publicly; sometimes notes, outlines, and unfinished sentences are more effective. The goal of this kind of writing is discovery and clarity not publication.)
When you’re exploring your influences ask yourself questions. Questions guide explorations away from unprofitable areas and into useful territories. Questions reenergize and sustain processes of discovery. Ask yourself a few of these questions. What is the root of the influence? Is it physical? Is it intellectual? Is it emotional? If it’s many things at once, what is and what is the relative weight of each of those things? Does one influence share elements or qualities with other influences?
Try to state the nature of an influence in one sentence.
And try to state the nature of an influence in one phrase or one word.
Simplicity has many advantages. For instance, simple things are easier to remember and easier to share. Never confuse simple-mindedness with simplicity. Simplicity often represents the height of sophistication, arrived at only after some if not considerable effort and practice. If you can present a complex subject in a simple way without sacrificing essential content, you truly understand it. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why simple solutions are so elegant.
At first it might seem strange to generate a lot of information only to boil it down to a little but if you try it you’ll find that the insights you’re left with will be extremely concentrated. Writers, musicians, and photographers all do this at one or more points in their creative process. Try it when you consider your influences. You’ll understand them better – and your own works too.
Here’s a simple distillation of one of my influences stated in one sentence and one word.
Joel Peter Witkin explores taboo, which sensationally gives a rise that quickly fades, and darkness (not necessarily evil), which disturbs and awakens indefinitely.
Shock
Read Why Tracking Your Influences Is So Important here.
Read Ranking Your Influences here.
Find out more about my influences here.