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on Sep 12, 2014 in Friday Thoughts

The Moment of Truth

We would come out of the darkroom with our “masterpiece” in the box. We would put the print in the washer and then after a few minutes, grab it from the wash and put the print in the dryer. Then the moment I dreaded with all my soul, the print would come out of the dryer for all my peers to see. It was a brutal but invaluable experience when the comparisons hit the air from print to print, photographer to photographer. Within a heartbeat you might be in the dumper or on top of the heap. At least in your peers minds which might all change when the print hit the rack and the teach would crit them all. My stomach was always in my throat and often, head in my hands as I left class. That was back in 1978 and what’s coming up tonight has me reliving those feelings all over again. Warbirds and the Men that Flew Them, is a whole new venture for us....

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on Sep 8, 2014 in Friday Thoughts

The Joy of the Print

Our meeting was by no accident! This is Don Rolf and while he is a WWII vet, our meeting was originally because of the aircraft you see behind him. This ’31 Waco is the exact aircraft Don flew around So California in 1940. In fact, there is a famous photo of Don taking off from the Monrovia Airport (no longer in existence) with Don at the stick. A few weeks ago, my good friend Warren, the owner of the Waco arranged for Don and his son to come to Minot to reunite plan and pilot. With this news, Sharon & I arranged to be there at the same time. I was also arranged that we would make the portrait you see above. This is a real simple click, D810, 24f1.4AFS, Profoto B1 shooting TTL. The setting is a 1929 hangar cleaned out just to make this portrait. With that smile, I really didn’t need any light because at 92, Don lights up the room! The portrait out to be...

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on Aug 22, 2014 in Friday Thoughts

YOU Can Make a Difference!

Photography brings all sorts of gratification, being recognized for your efforts is one. The success of the final image of course is also on that list. But the biggest I feel is knowing that our work effects a positive change, makes a difference in the lives of others. Sharon & I had no way of knowing in July when we said we’d returned in August just to meet one WWII vet the rest of the week would unfold as it did. It’s very rewarding to know, it made a difference for others as well. You can read the story here. Understand, with your camera, YOU can make a...

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on Aug 22, 2014 in Friday Thoughts

The EDL

The first day of class at Brooks in 1978, we received our first assignment, the EDL. The EDL, Every Day Life is all about taking photos of what we see every day, often things we take for granted and make a visual story about that event. It didn’t make a difference what your major might have been at Brooks, this assignment which is very editorial in nature was required. Being an Industrial major, it seemed really stupid to me and I didn’t like doing them at all. Not only did it take me way out of my comfort range, it required me to work at taking photos when I wanted to have fun. Man, am I ever glad that I was required to do these every week for a couple of years! Now you’re all going to Photoshop World, right?! Because while there you need to listen to the talks by the master of EDLs, Jay Maisel. Called by most as the Father of Color Photography, Jay does EDLs...

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on Aug 5, 2014 in Friday Thoughts

“Why Do You Shoot So Much?”

“Why do you shoot so much? You have so many great images, why are you always out shooting?” This question came in lately and it struck me as a little odd but then I started to notice things on the web that might have been the genesis of this question. The first and most heartfelt answer to why I shoot so much is simply, I love it! And just can’t think of anything else I want to do (being with Sharon of course goes without saying). Is there another reason? Long ago, an editor said to me, “You’re only as good as your last published image.” Is that true? I don’t know but I took those words to heart. I took them as meaning that I need to constantly shoot to improve my photography and more importantly, visual storytelling. I need to perfect those techniques that are working and find new techniques for those photos that fail. It’s a constant process which is kept alive simply by shooting, a...

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on Aug 4, 2014 in Friday Thoughts

Changing Our Measuring Stick?

Why do we go click? Why do we go click after click after click? We all, thank goodness, answer this question differently. But no matter where we are in our photography, so much goes into every click seemingly having the weight of the world on it. And because we are all different and because we are all in different places in our photography, we all measure the success of our clicks differently. But measure we do and from that rating, we make judgment calls. We might simply change exposure or lenses at the point of capture. Or later, we might delete or print the photo. What is the stick you measure your photos against … perfection? “It’s Sharp!” “The Exposure is good!” “I like it!” These common measures are all very valid reasons along with a long list of others to measure our photographs as successful. These are the best reasons to keep clicking and to share those clicks. But are these measures enough, are they the starting point...

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