All posts by Jeff Curto

Photographer Jeffrey Curto is Coordinator and Professor of Photography at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, where he has taught since 1984. Courses frequently taught include History of Photography, Digital Imaging. Compositional Structure, Color Photography and other advanced techniques. Prior to employment at College of DuPage, Curto worked extensively as a freelance photographer, specializing in event and public relations photography, architectural interiors and exteriors, portrait and product photography. Further, Curto worked in the photo-processing industry for two years, primarily as a custom photographic printer. Curto was awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1981 and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Bennington College in Vermont in 1983. Additionally, he attended Ansel Adams' last workshop in Carmel, California in 1983. In recent years, Curto's primary photographic subject has been Italy; he has traveled there frequently since 1989. While it is the country's landscape and architectural qualities that interest him, it is not the large, expansive view which draws his attention. Rather, he chooses to examine selected fragments of the Italian environment, seen in quiet, intimate glimpses. In this way, luminously peaceful courtyards, sunlight on ageless monuments and the warmth radiating off of grapes ripening on the vine are all given equal importance as subject matter. Curto sees his choice of subjects this way: "All of my photographs are based on the medium's predilection towards making a mountain out of a molehill. The process of photography has a way of transforming ordinary objects into extraordinary phenomena." His fascination with Italy's landscape and architecture is further enhanced by a love for its food, wine and art, and by an appreciation for the deep and seemingly countless layers of history that pervade everything Italian. "I attempt to use light, lens and time to bring the country's cool mornings, hazy afternoons and simple beauties home with me", Curto says. His use of the large format view camera, which produces a negative 4x5" in size, combined with the choice of black & white materials gives Curto great control over the photographic process, allowing him to make prints of subtle detail and tone.

Camera Position 157 : The Elements and Principles of Art

One of the four steps of achieving true critique of a work of art is analysis and doing that analysis requires applying the elements and principles of art. In this episode, we look at what those elements and principles are so we can employ them in true critique of our photographs.

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Camera Position 156 : Critical Thinking is Creative Thinking

In the last couple of episodes of Camera Position, I talked about feedback on your work and the type of feedback you typically get contrasted against the type of feedback you want, which is true, genuine critique of your work.

In truth, critique of any sort is based entirely on critical thinking or the objective analysis and evaluation of something in order to form an evaluation of it. Critical thinking is at the base of how we come to know something… critical thinking is the engine of learning.

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La Foce, Toscana, 2014 - Photograph by Jeff Curto
La Foce, Toscana, 2014 – Photograph by Jeff Curto

Camera Position 155 : Feedback Part 2 – Critique

Feedback on our work usually comes in one of two forms: Reaction and Direction. Both are simple to do but don’t give us what we really want to help move our work forward. This second podcast of two parts looks at a third and much more useful type of feedback: Critique.

This form of feedback that is most helpful to us in understanding the impact of our photographs on viewers.

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An Infographic on the 4 Steps of Critique
An Infographic on the 4 Steps of Critique – Click to Enlarge


Camera Position 154 : Feedback Part 1 – Reaction and Direction

Feedback is something that photographers always want. Regardless of their level of interest or expertise, photographers always want to hear what other people think about their work. Most of the time, though, we often get feedback that doesn’t match what we are looking for. This first episode of a two-part set of podcasts looks at the two most common types of feedback; Reaction and Direction and starts us on a path toward the best kind of feedback: Critique.

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Pienza, Toscana, 2014 - Photograph by Jeff Curto
Pienza, Toscana, 2014 – Photograph by Jeff Curto

Camera Position 153 : Celebrate Your Vision

The practice of photography shapes the way we view the world. No matter what level of involvement you have with the medium, seeing the world as a photographer enhances your vision, your life and your sense of self.

Celebrate that!

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Castelluccio, Norcia, Umbria, 2014 - Photograph by Jeff Curto
Castelluccio, Norcia, Umbria, 2014 – Photograph by Jeff Curto