A Body of Knowledge on HIV

Like most photojournalists I work alone and have always preferred it that way, because I find that’s when I get my best pictures. However, when Graham Pitts, an Australian writer, asked me if I was interested in working with him on a project called A Body of Knowledge about women who were HIV Positive, I thought it would be a great opportunity to work in a multimedia context.

Au Naturel Celebrities in Toronto

The BlogTO Toronto arts blog has a nice post, with pics, of The Celebrity Persona exhibition at BCE Place Galleria. The exhibition features digital reproductions of photos from Ryerson University’s Black Star Historical Black & White Photography Collection.

Where Does the Trade Press Think the Stock Industry Is Headed?

At its annual meeting earlier this month, PACA invited four representatives of the stock photo trade press to discuss current industry trends and share their opinions of what stock photo agents might expect in the near future. The title of the panel was “Where Does The Press Think We’re Headed?”

Finding Inspiration from the Land

As a photographer, it’s in my job description to artfully render my surroundings no matter where I am. But some places inspire my best work and hold a connection for me that I can’t explain.

For Arizona Highways magazine, I once asked our photographers to seek out their favorite locations. Poring over these images was one of the most interesting photo edits I’ve ever worked on. Knowing the photographers and their stock files as I do, I could have predicted some of their choices. Obviously, a large body of work from one location suggests a powerful connection between land and landscapist.

Why Even Successful Photographers Are Unhappy Today

I recently did a survey of Getty photographers in which respondents expressed a high level of frustration and dissatisfaction. After the survey was completed I got several more responses and one photographer gave me a very detailed explanation of what had been happening in his career. I would like to share this with you.

Heat and Dust in an Indian Village

Three weeks ago, I was in India sitting on a Bihar train reading the headlines:

“Maoist rebels attack a train in Bihar”

“Serious outbreak of Malaria in Bihar kills 72 people.”

Just in case I still thought the assignment would be easy, I was told to drink plenty of of water — because a villager in the area where I was working had fallen asleep in the shade of a tree and died of dehydration as a result of the heat.

Use Flickr Groups to Become a Mentor — and Build Your Brand

Professional photographers might have mixed feelings about Flickr, but there’s one thing everyone in the industry can agree on: you can’t ignore it. It’s just too useful.

We’ve already discussed how photographers can use Flickr to find photography competitions and do online location scouting. And putting your best photos online for buyers to see goes without saying.

Millimetering: The Death of God’s Own Light

Years ago a great London-based studio photographer called Chris Joyce, now sadly dead, would allow me to wander around his still-life studio. Thus was invented the sport of “cambo kicking,” which was the not-so-subtle way of altering a camera position by the simple means of tripping over the camera stand.

Camera-Phone Photojournalism: Is Anybody Buying It?

When an electronics company first squeezed a lens into a mobile phone, people in the photography industry started asking questions. With just 110,000 pixels, Sharp’s J-SH04 didn’t look like much of a threat to professional photographers at the time, but it seemed inevitable that the quality of camera phones would rise as quickly as the quality of the phones themselves.

The Curious Case of Allan Detrich

What do you do when you’ve been disgraced from your job after altering 79 photographs (revealed so far) and are fired? Turn to what was your hobby — storm chasing.

Why We Shouldn’t Fear Flickr the Stock Site

About The Image recently ran an article that would have sent chills down the spines of anyone afraid of Flickr going commercial. The article looked at the fate of an API that would have enabled Flickr Pro members to move their images onto the 123RF.com stock site.

Scouting Locations Is Made Easier By Online Tools

I’ve always been a fanatic about researching the destinations I’m going to photograph, and by the time I get off a plane in a new city, I probably know more about the hidden parks and historic streets and buildings than most of the people living there.

I Wish I’d Said That: My All-Time Favorite Quotes

“A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”

The statement seems disarmingly simple, especially when we discover it comes from Ansel Adams, arguably the greatest landscape photographer of the 20th century. Rudimentary on its surface but burgeoning with truth, it offers a glimpse into the mind of a photographic genius.

Anatomy of a Lucky Shot

Nothing makes me madder than being told I have just taken a “lucky shot” — generally speaking, because on the day concerned I probably got out of bed at least five hours before my grudging critic.

There is a great story about Gary Player, the South African golf champion, hitting a hole in one at a tournament.

Dog-Eared Wisdom for Photo Editors

I learned the finer points of photo editing from one of the best in the business. He’s a mentor I’ve never met, but he’s with me every day.

When Arizona Highways hired me more than two decades ago, I thought myself the luckiest man on Earth. I’d made the leap from newspapers to the greatest landscape photography magazine in the world. The weight of carrying on the magazine’s celebrated photographic legacy was not lost on me. These were my salad days. And this was my big moment.

Image Manipulation: The Bane of Digital Photography

Digital photography has turned a world of possibilities into reality. It has alleviated photographic challenges and made visual communication much faster, easier and more fun. But offsetting these positives is a Pandora’s box of evils that have been released in the publishing world. Paramount among them is the issue of digital image manipulation.

So You Want to Be a Black Star Photographer?

We are frequently approached by photographers interested in receiving assignments through Black Star. “What is your selection process?” they want to know.

There is no formal system for selecting Black Star photographers — and there is no formal pecking order among our approximately 350 photographers, either. Our selection process is more art than science, and always has been.

Citizen Journalism’s Terms of Use: A First Look

Reuters has put forth its terms for submissions to You Witness News. Here are a few tidbits, and my thoughts:

Fast-Growing Alamy Adds Nearly One Million Images in Q1

This week, U.K-based stock photography portal Alamy released first quarter 2007 figures on contributors, percentage revenue and average pricing. In the quarter they added 920,952 images to their collection, which now totals more than eight million images.

Stock Image Market Sizing: 2007

The Industry Measure (formerly TrendWatch Graphic Arts) has released an update to its popular Stock Image Market Sizing report. The company collected data from graphic arts firms, creative firms, publishers and Internet design and development firms. Some key finding in this report are:

Photographers and Models Scrapping Again Over Usage Rights

It’s happened again: a photographer is battling publicly with a glamorous model over usage rights.

Newspaper Not on the Ball in Altered-Photo Case

Allan Detrich of the Toledo Blade took the photo at top left during a University of Toledo women’s basketball game. He submitted the bottom photo to his editors — inserting the basketball.

Business Owners, Marketers Learn Limitations of Stock the Hard Way

Christine Hutman, owner of the Chicago-based online business Pet Services Review, wrote Inc. magazine to ask the following question:

Are You Ready for the Decline of Print Publications?

If you want to continue to take pictures for a living, it’s time to start learning to shoot video. Why? Because newspapers and magazines, the lifeblood of professional still photographers, are beginning to move away from print and toward online. Once online offerings have been established, video and sound become more appealing and a better way to tell stories than with still images. There is already movement in that direction and it’s a trend that can only increase.

Pictage Marries Wedding Photographers with Web 2.0


Pictage, an online service provider for more than 9,000 wedding and event photographers in the United States, has launched a new community Web site enabling photographers to exchange ideas and directly access professional development resources and content.