I had lots and lots of great ideas from podcast listeners about Camera Position 125, “Thinking in Monochrome.” Several listeners suggested a digital tool that I’d not thought of before and that was to set the camera for B&W, but to also set “Raw + JPEG” as the file format. Other listeners talked about the great options provided by electronic viewfinders on some cameras that allow you to actually see the framed scene in black and white. And that reminded me of the monochrome viewing filter I recently unearthed as I was packing up my office for a move.
We all try to spend time with photographs by photographers whose work we admire. We spend time trying to figure out how to emulate their work, then produce work that is similar in style to what they do. But here is the rub; our problem is that once we get to a point where those photographs are good, solid derivatives of what our photographic influences are, what’s next? How do we make our pictures so that they are different in style and substance from those who came before us?
My friend, the great contemporary photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen, has nicely wrapped up a set of ideas about this problem in this transcription of a talk he gave called “Stay On The Bus”
I grew up making black and white photographs. It’s what I love the most about photography and the way I have long thought about the photographic image. But the digital revolution has spawned a dilemma; the digital camera sees in color, and I have to shift my mind to think in black and white.
I’m intrigued by the difference in mindset that happens when you have a camera that you know can only take black and white images and when you have one that you know can make both color and black and white.
The word “photography” comes from a combination of two Greek words; “photos” (light) and “graphos” (writing or marking). So, “photography” means to “write with light” and light has a counterpart, shadow, something for light to play off of.
I’m giving Camera Position listeners an “assignment” to work with these two fundamental building blocks of photography. Go out, shoot some images with this idea in mind and, if you’d like, upload some to either the new Jeff Curto Podcasts Facebook Page or the Camera Position Flickr group so we can all take a look.
When’s the last time you printed a photograph of your best friend, your child or your parents? Now that the holiday season is concluded, we all likely have a lot of photographs of friends and family and places we visited. Make sure you spend some time printing those photographs of the things that matter to you so you can share and preserve those memories.
It turns out that the “small stuff” is really the “big stuff.”
Jeff Curtos Camera Position
Photography podcasts that deal with the why of photography over the how and discuss the essential qualities of the medium from the point of view of the creative photographer.