Here's a thought

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HT1245 - Connect the Dots

You all know that kids puzzle game of connecting the dots to reveal and identifiable shape. On a blank piece of paper, we see nothing, but after the dots are connected, there's suddenly an outline of a dinosaur. This is the same sort of thing that can happen with a presentation of a group of photographs. Each photograph is a metaphorical dot, but after looking at the group, there is suddenly revealed a larger impression than we thought possible.

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HT1246 - Which Audience

Showing your finely crafted print to a group of your peers and fellow photographers is not the same as showing your work to a group of random people who are not artists. Different audiences bring different levels of sensitivity and experience to the task. With this in mind, for which audience should you produce your work?

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HT1247 - Are We Artistically Greedy?

We hope our prints are sold and placed on display in the homes of our buyers. That's a nice thought, but what other art media are consumed continually, every day like this? Paintings, yes. Not novels, not movies, not dance performances. Even music that might be listened to over and over will eventually wear thin. Maybe we photographers should assume our work should "turn over" frequently like all other media.

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HT1248 - The 17x22 Threshold

A few years ago I did a resolution test comparing my 16 megapixel camera to my friends 42 megapixel camera under side-by-side shooting conditions. In prints up to 17x22 in, there was virtually no visible difference between the two cameras. I recently did a similar test between my current 20 megapixel camera and using its 80 megapixel high resolution pixel shift mode.

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HT1249 - Purposeful Serendipity

For the most part, making art is a purposeful activity in which we aim for a specific goal and use our craftsmanship to attain it. But occasionally there is a role for serendipity in art making, a lesson I learned from Oliver Gagliani's Strips.

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HT1250 - Decisions

Making art is a series of decisions, one after the other, that eventually lead to the finished artifact. The success of the work of art is the sum of all those decisions. Assessing the consequences of those decisions is the creative path. In essence, the art life is one of revision and commitment.

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HT1251 - To Risk Being Foolish

Nobody wants to be perceived as a fool, but this can be a particularly dangerous thought for an artist. If an artist doesn't risk being seen as foolish, they will only produce work that is safe, predictable, obvious, and thoroughly risk-free.

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HT1252 - Small Aperture, Big Dust Spots

I don't often need to shoot at the tiniest apertures, like f/22, but when I do there's always the possibility of introducing one of the worst plagues for the landscape photographer: dust spots on the sensor.

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HT1253 - Insulation Through Diversification

I learned an interesting lesson in my youth about showing work to others. Simply said, the more work you have to show, the better the chances are that someone will find something in your work that they like. This is known as insulation through diversification.

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HT1254 - When the Artwork Fights Back

I've always thought of the craft of photography as a battlefield where we photographers engage recalcitrant materials in a battle of wills. Sometimes the artwork just fights back and refuses to become what we envision.

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HT1255 - Where Greatest Hits Images Come From

So many photographers I talked to set out to make a "greatest hits" image. They're in pursuit of that one spectacular image that will be worthy of matting, framing, and hanging on the wall above the fireplace. But when I look back through history at the images we now acknowledge as the greatest hits of photography, almost all of them have risen from a project in which the photographer was deeply engaged, not the result of an attempt to make a greatest hits image.

 12

HT1256 - The Human Compulsion to Rank

There is a fascinating pattern I've observed every time I publish a new issue of Kokoro, the bi-monthly anthology of my photographic projects. I invariably receive a number of emails that begin, "My favorite project in this Kokoro is ..." I suppose it's natural for each of us to be attracted to those things we like, but the underlying premise is the irresistible compulsion to rank the choices from best to worst. Fascinating.

 13

HT1257 - Collect vs Consume

The heads and tails of fine art photography, the yin and yang of art, is the interplay between the physical artifact and the emotional or intellectual impression. Our relationship with our work is also based on this similar pair of opposites. Do we collect photography as an artifact? Do we consume photography as content? And, in real life, how do we blend these two opposites?

 14

HT1258 - Target Rich Locations

Many photographers I know search and search for an image. They find a spot, they make an image, they move on and start looking for another image in a new location. It works for them, but I've always found it more useful to search for a target rich location where I might find multiple compositions and even subjects.

 15

HT1259 - More Like Poetry Than Narrative

Long time listeners of my podcast know that I'm an advocate of image and text. But I often hear from photographers who are uncomfortable writing. Photographers are, after all, visual people. I think it's helpful to let go of the idea of narrative, that is a "story," and think instead of text more akin to poetry. Think in terms of words, not sentences, moods rather than narratives.

 16

HT1260 - Opportunity Missed

I have a fairly large collection of images that exist only in my memory because for one reason or another I didn't make the photograph when I had the opportunity to do so. These images are among my all-time favorites. Well, they could have been.

 17

HT1261 - Surviving the Passage of Time

There are a few photographers whom I used to admire greatly in my youth, but whose work now leaves me cold. I've discovered that I'm not at all unique in this. Tastes change and what used to be marvelous can evolve into the mundane. Not everything survives the passage of time. What does this say, for example, about Instagram?

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