Visualization: The Hunt for the Light

In my recent essay on visualization, I discussed the historical and modern day significance of this concept in photography as well as the role that a composition card serves in bridging the vision in the mind to its tangible realization into an image. In this follow-up essay, I will discuss the interplay of other critical aspects of visualization that accompany, if not transcend, the tangible aspects.

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The Truth in Photography

It is evident to me that images can carry and convey truth – small and capital T – and that most people aren’t actually talking about truth when they talk about objectivity and subjectivity. Strong statement, I know, but I think as usual, the people using the Internets simply bring their own ideas and not really paying attention to how writers define their terms.

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On Shooting Yourself…in Street Photography

If you become a student of street photography, the curriculum is littered with advice and maxims on what defines and makes a “good” street photograph; I use the word “littered” intentionally – because much of that curriculum is just that… things that can be tossed out. Within that heritage, I don’t claim to be a master, let alone a division chair or associate professor, or even a teaching assistant. But I am a student, or a ‘disciple’ of the genre…

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PhotographyLife.com and Me

I still remember the first time I came to PhotographyLife.com. Not the exact date I put my digital feet on the site but how I felt the first time I saw the big header with the nice “PL” logo and a clean layout. I felt relaxed and calm, not feeling the need to hurry up through lots of banners and links. I simply felt good and it was that very nice feeling what I remembered from my very first visit.

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Construction of a Photograph: The Process of Visualization

Hello, my name is Rick Keller. I am an amateur photographer who lives in San Diego, CA, one of many readers of Photography Life, and an occasional participant in its forums. Recently, after having participated in the Photography Life Photo Critique and Weekly Critique Section, Nasim Mansurov graciously and enthusiastically extended me an invitation to write a guest article for Photography Life to share more of my film work and discuss the tools and methodology that I use. I wholeheartedly…

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Photographing The Eiffel Tower at Night

If you ever have the chance to visit Paris, one of the absolute highlights is, of course, the Eiffel Tower. Riding the elevator to the top is an experience in and of itself — as you fly through the Tower’s metallic skeleton, you start to see flashes of the city shrinking below you.  When you come to a stop (after stepping past the fifteen-foot tall gears that turn the elevator’s cable), the view you see is maddeningly beautiful.

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Photo Essay: Caparaó National Park

I have been a photographer for over 20 years and have worked on several projects here in Brazil. My work is quite diverse, but I love shooting portraits, particularly environmental portraits. I started to like this site back when it was Mansurovs and it helped me a lot in finding out about the Nikon 24-120mm f/4G VR lens, which I use a lot today, despite being a fan of prime lenses.

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The Choice of “Presence” in Street Photography

The growing popularity of street photography is probably best explained with one word: accessibility. Street photography is accessible both because of location (big surprise – there are lots of streets in the world. Go outside. There’s a street. Right there…) – and because you don’t have to be a full-time “professional” photographer with thousands of dollars worth of equipment. Just go out and shoot. Heck, the genre of street photography doesn’t even require you to be on a street. Just…

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Leica and the Alternative

My name is Ajit Menon and I am a hobbyist photographer from New York City. I started shooting seriously in the summer of 2012 when I procured the Nikon D800. The shift from casual amateur to serious hobbyist is itself an interesting story; however this article is focused more on a subtle shift in focus over the last couple of months and beginning to shoot both with a camera I was (until now) too snobbish to accept and also more…

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Birds in Flight with Nikon 1 V3

I’ve been continuing my field work for my hands-on review of the Nikon 1 V3 and spent some time capturing images of birds-in-flight at Grimsby Harbour. This has been a particularly severe winter and some of the Great Lakes have frozen over completely. This is only the fourth time in the past 40 years that this has happened. As you can see from the image below, Grimsby Harbour is frozen solid out past the lighthouse. This made for some interesting…

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Capturing Your Everyday Workplace

In my dream life, I would be a fashion and documentary photographer, but until that happens, I’m a barista. Every day I show up to work, serve the same customers, make the same drinks, hit the same cash button on the register, wipe the same tables and bake the same pastries. It can get a little mundane after two years. Everyone has to work, pay the bills, put in your due time so you can play later, right? This was…

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The Versatility of Prime Lenses

Zoom lenses are convenient, as everyone knows. I’d imagine that the vast majority of us started our photography with a simple 18-55 kit lens – I know I did, and I used it to take some of my favorite photos. However, it never seemed like a good fit for my style of photography. My first prime lens was the Nikon 105mm f/2.8G VR macro, a truly fantastic lens. At the time, I had never attempted macro photography. It is no…

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Shooting with Lady Luck

Without question there is a skill component in photography. Understanding our gear, lighting, composition and post processing are all important ingredients when creating images. Photography captures specific moments in time and on occasion it can be extremely helpful when Lady Luck is on our side. Most of us can remember particular instances when we just happened to be at the right place at the right time to capture an image. Maybe it was the expression on a child’s face. A…

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Don’t Be a Gear Junkie

Lately, I’ve noticed a trend of stories popping up about a lucky break from a friend, a relative, a previous connection, and those lucky breaks launching a career. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that (I am kind of jealous!), but I also notice how people keep asking for a story of how work and perseverance paid off instead. As a shy introvert with cheap gear, I thought my story might be something worth sharing with other Photography Life readers –…

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The Promise Of Exposure

Let me first be clear. Anyone who knows me well would tell you I’m not a materialist and money is not my primary aspiration. I have food on my plate, a shirt on my back and a photographic imaging device around my neck; believe me, I’m happy. But if I had a pound (British Sterling) for every time someone asked to use one of my images for the reward of ‘exposure’ I could probably make a decent living as a…

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Resolving To Resist Resolution

Just as the market is once again graced with higher resolution cameras, so too is the Internet awash with salivating consumers desperate to lap them up. Surely having a 50-megapixel camera will make them all much better photographers than they were 44 megapixels ago? The extra resolution must be the push they needed to take them from mediocrity to greatness.

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The Perks of Switching Camera Systems

The choice of the first camera system is an exciting one. Why would it not be? You get to pick the first camera to buy, the first lens, and you spend so much time reading reviews, forums and asking friends for advice. I know I did – some eight years ago, I was admiring such cameras as the Canon 30D and 40D, and was seriously eyeing the 400D which was then within the budget of a teenager me. Nikon D200…

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Professional Development: A Different “Rule of Thirds”

As photographers who regularly visit photography web sites and blogs, we all seem to be driven by very personal commitments to learn new things and to improve. Over the years I’ve been using my own ‘rule of thirds’ – not as a composition technique – but as an approach to help me direct my own development efforts when it comes to photography. As is often said, “So much to learn, and so little time!” Basically my “rule of thirds” focuses…

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