Life Through the Lens

Smartpress are a US on-line printing company dedicated to producing a wide range of high quality prints flyers, postcards, booklets and more and they have a blog that describes itself as ‘Your #1 resource for graphic design, photography and print!’.

One of the regular features on it are interviews with leading commercially successful photographers and I found several of these interesting although I don’t always particularly like the work – which includes sports, wedding, travel and stock photography. One feature that I did find interesting that was linked from these is Hendra Lauw‘s  Sharing Space with the Dead, black and white pictures taken at Manila North Cemetery.

But what actually brought me to the Smartpress blog was an ‘infographic’ based on questions that they asked these photographers about photography which they invite people to share on their blogs, and I’m happy to do so:

Click to Enlarge Image
Online Printing
Via:Online Printing

Most of the advice is pretty sound, if obvious, but there are some things I find interesting here. Lynn Michelle says “Shoot anyone and everyone that you know, in the best and worst light that you can find” and I think that’s great advice for anyone wanting to be a portrait photographer or to photograph people. First because too many people think the only reason they don’t get on as portrait photographers is because they don’t have access to the famous – forget it and shoot “anyone and everyone that you know.” Second because I’ve always liked to use light that was “wrong” or difficult and many of the most interesting pictures come from doing so. And with digital you have nothing to lose and the huge advantage of seeing the results straight away.

And on the subject of digital, it was interesting to see an almost unanimous vote for digital rather than film. I can’t agree with Kerry Garrison that film is better for learning how to really use your camera – if anything it makes the learning process much slower and more painful – which is why before we had digital cameras I was using video cameras and Photoshop as teaching aids for people learning to shoot on film. And I certainly see little point in schools of photography teaching out of date craft skills except for historical interest (let’s all try wet plate!) But I do rather wonder what digital cameras Scott Kelby was using in the 1990s.

But the single thing that struck me most about the answers was the 90% for Lightroom against 10% for Photoshop. Regular readers of this blog will know it mirrors what I’ve been saying here for some time.

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