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Relieved to find I'm not the only one who finds McCurry's work too 'good'. The surface is seductive in a McCurry and the pictures beautiful to the extent that it's difficult to go any deeper. The most disappointing photobook I have bought is 'Here Far Away' which was highly recommended on TOP. The pictures are clearly examples of very good photography. of a kind that a certain subset of photographers admire. But hell, it's a boring book. I've looked at the book twice. The second time to see if I'd misjudged it. I hadn't. Cole is right perfection is boring.
Toggle Commented Apr 5, 2016 on The McCurry Takedown at The Online Photographer
What else are they taking all those captures for, anyway? "I don't like work - no man does - but I like what is in the work - the chance to find yourself. Your own reality - for yourself, not for others - what no other man can ever know. They can only see the mere show, and never can tell what it really means." Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
You'll be watching test match cricket next. Five eight-hour days (including lunch and tea breaks) of slow intrigue bordering on tedium interspersed with fleeting passages of excitement that might well end in a draw. But the tactics, the ebb and flow, the turning of a match on a single ball bowled... I you think YouTube can waste hours of your life, cricket can waste years of it! :-)
Sounds perfect for a one lens/one camera/one year challenge.
Make 'stuff' and forget about pigeon-holing it or yourself.
"A well-lit incoherent frame is crap. Coherence of construction is where most amateurs (and even many "pros") are very weak." What he said.
Toggle Commented Oct 8, 2015 on To Begin With... at The Online Photographer
Well I listen to all kinds of music... I didn't take to your recommendation but didn't give up and found A Rush and a Push and No Rush No Push No Cash to my liking. Thanks!
This interested me:
Toggle Commented Sep 16, 2015 on Around the Web, Briefly at The Online Photographer
The artist might qualify for an honourable mention -
Toggle Commented Jul 18, 2015 on When Art Goes Wrong at The Online Photographer
Talking of Martin Parr -
Toggle Commented Jun 3, 2015 on The Worst Clichés at The Online Photographer
Why street? For most hobbyist/amateurs (whatever the term is) 'street' takes away some of their biggest problems: thinking of a subject, having to decide what makes a good picture, technique. There's no fretting over 'what can I photograph today?' The street is always there, always changing and often close by. Given that most of what passes for 'street' photography on the web appears to be random photographs of people on streets the need to try to make pictures which tell a story, provoke thought or document a moment appears to have vanished. The pictures don't have to be perfectly framed or level because that adds drama or immediacy to them. Why street? Because street photos look like snaps and anyone can take snaps.
Toggle Commented May 20, 2015 on Why Street Photography? at The Online Photographer
This video ( has softened my attitude towards Ballen and his work. So thanks for helping me find it.
Toggle Commented Apr 28, 2015 on Asylum of the Birds at The Online Photographer
Toggle Commented Apr 10, 2015 on Moose's Question at The Online Photographer
I too admire the photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson but have come to realise that I prefer those of Kertesz because they don't seem to be trying as hard to be great pictures. The two books which motivated me when I picked up a camera were Andre Kertesz: Sixty Years of Photography (which has the couple looking through a fnece on the cover) and The English by Ian Berry. I still refer to them both 35 plus years later.
I've made a few books using Blurb now and while the photo reproduction and so forth is fine for my own use, and to hand round as an example of layout to others, I couldn't bring myself to actually sell them for profit. The binding doesn't instil confidence in me that it will hold up - I'm sure repeated wide opening will prove fatal. By the time a mark up is added the prices are higher than many 'real' books - which they don't match for overall quality and handling experience. I would suggest making a proof copy using the cheapest paper and binding option (maybe with reduced page count) before making the finished article with high grade options.
Toggle Commented Mar 4, 2015 on The Blurb Experience at The Online Photographer
I reckon that if a picture is good enough you don't notice whether it's in colour or black and white.
A few times I've set a camera with an EVF to shoot black and white in raw (EVF shows B&W but the file retains colours) in order to try to make black and white pictures. Every time the pictures have looked better in colour. I must have stopped seeing in black and white. As an aside, I believe Martin Parr used black and white proofs to make the selection of pictures for The Last Resort. In some cases, maybe a good picture is a good picture if it is in mono or colour, and no matter how it is printed?
What else? Take a job as a nanny and have your work promoted after your death. I'd hazard a guess that all serious artists make their work because they are compelled to do so and always find a way to do it. For most making a living entirely from their work is an unlikely pipe-dream.
Toggle Commented Nov 23, 2014 on What Else? at The Online Photographer
It's probably assign of the times that this needs to be suggested as an exercise. When I got my first camera I only had one (50mm) lens for over three years because that was how it came and I couldn't afford another one. Then I had two lenses for the next ten years or so. Thirty odd years on I have a stack of lenses but feel I can manage with the same two focal lengths I used to use - 50mm and 28mm. Maybe I conditioned myself to see that way?
"If you're editing whilst shooting you just ain't in the zone." When you are in the zone you are seeing and shooting clearly and instinctively. You are editing instinctively too because you just don't take the shots which will go straight in the trash. That's what being in the zone is about - everything flows without your usual cock ups. What you end up with will still require further editing after the fact, but being in the zone when shooting means it's going to be tougher to sort the wheat from the chaff. IMO.
Was it Jane Bown who said she only took two pictures on a portrait assignment because no matter how many she took the first and last were always the best? Sure saves a lot of editing.
Now you've sampled soccer, it's time for cricket. Not the helter-skelter of a one day match, or twenty-twenty which is over and done with in two or three hours tops, the real thing. A five day test match, preferably rain affected so there is nothing happening (no players on the field, even) for hours (or maybe days) and the result is a drawn match in front of a crowd of dozens. Now that's a sport worth watching.
I'm with Tom Wood: “The important thing is not to have an aim, I just go out the door and, whatever’s real, I try and deal with that.” Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2014 at Dave's blog
Perhaps it's wiser for photographers not to show their 'working out' if they crop and clone to make their pictures? Unless that manipulation is an integral part of their general working practice - Gursky.
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2014 on Intention and Integrity at The Online Photographer