Create: Notes on Photography Episode 001

I know what you are thinking. “Milnor, I’ve seen this before.” Well, yes and no. Yes, I’ve featured this image on “Notes on Photography,” before but in still image fashion, not motion, and I do think the motion style is better and more engaging. And if I’m ever going to get that twin-turbo Ferrari with my YouTube money I better start ramping up my subscriptions.

I was fortunate to go to photography school where I learned a lot. I studied Spanish and Anthropology in addition to photography, and I learned a lot of things that relate to the periphery of photography. I also learned how to edit, how to break down an image, and when to admit an image just wasn’t good enough.

21 Comments on “Create: Notes on Photography Episode 001”

  1. You can post this photo as often as you like…and then post it some more. Great photo. I’ll do my part to contribute to the Ferrari later. I’m assuming you’ve added in some soft porn – will be interesting to see which way you chose to go with that. Bikinis? Zen bliss yoga?

    (Oh, and off topic – all you Shifter followers – familiar with audio? I have a Zoom H1n that I use with Rode Wireless Gos – the little paired mic things. When I’m out for quarantine fresh air – away from others – I’ll do the Guy Walking Around Talking to Himself thing for fun. In my most recent one, it sounds like someone is tapping out morse code or a telegraph in the audio. Any ideas? I’m not sure if it’s an Adobe Audition flaw, the H1n bouncing around in my bag, a faulty mic, etc.)

    1. Came back and watched. I’ve heard you talk about this photo before. If it pops up again, I’ll listen to that, too. I like the photo.

      1. Sort of! I have the Zoom and 1 Rode in a messenger bag, so that puts it behind me. I have my phone in my front pocket. Could that be close enough? I’ll test it by turning the phone off.

        1. Scott,
          Not sure, but when I have my phone ANYWHERE near my audio recorder I get weird feedback.

      1. I agree with Jim. Obviously I’m being subjective, duh. But I think that wider angle gives me a better sense of place and those tantalizing hints at a story. I like in your other posts where you talk about sequencing and editing. If it were the 50 crop you showed, I think I’d benefit from an establishing shot.

  2. First thought when I saw the image was that it’s an old image from Spain or Italy. Thanks a lot for going into detail.

    You have no idea what discovering you, your ideas and your work only yesterday has done to me. Working as a photoreporter with a preference for 35mm and 50mm primes for 15 years now amidst colleagues with hardly any ambitions beyond their photography being a mere service rewarded with a whatever fee they get and some admiring thumbups on social media it is immensely stimulating for me. First I did something I wanted to do for a long time: I bought a DTP software. Cheers from Germany!

    1. Oliver,
      Nice. Where are you from? I like the sound of photoreporter. Those two primes are pure gold my friend. Social media, not so much.

  3. I love this photograph. The 35mm lens seems like a good choice to me too, although the 50mm crop in the video looks great – but would you lose depth of field using this focal length? I’m assuming that you pre-focussed the lens? This is probably becoming a lost skill due to autofocus cameras and lenses being the norm these days. They will manual focus, of course, but how many of us actually use manual focus (I include myself here)?

    1. Mike,
      I actually manually focused this baby. Depth would be lost with 50mm but compression might offset.

  4. I live in a city called Saarbrücken in the south-west of Germany right on the french border.

    When starting out at the local newspaper, we only have one, I only had my 50mm, a crappy 28-70 kit zoom, no flash but time and muse. Soon people started asking what my secret was that my pictures looked so differently. They could not believe when I told them about my equipment. Always had the dream of working on projects that allow me more time and commitment than the usual press job but somehow I got stuck with this strain of photography. Family, money, age… It often sucks especially when you are told by editors of the paper: quality does not matter much to us anymore and express this vividly when assigning jobs.

    There’s so much I would love to talk to you about since I have been a lone warrior from day one never having someone around here who shares my photo idealism, my (vanishing) ambition, my naivety and knows the business but that would be beyong the scope of this comment section.

    OT: To me this frame is nearly perfect with 35mm. Yes 50mm would have given it some compression but with the cost of “air to breath”. Either the man in the foreground would have moved too far to the edge of the frame or the bystanders on the right would partially be gone. Both would in my opinion take away some of the pictures natural feeling of “this space in time”. Sorry, hard to explain for me.

    1. Oliver.
      Germany, France, the border, what’s not to like. Welcome. I too remember the moment when an editor said to me, “I don’t care what it looks like, I just want it now.” I knew from that moment my life in journalism was over. I’m always amazed at the conformity level of those in power, and their lack of original thought. Being led around by the corporations who have taken over, mostly. Still some great work being done, luckily. Under no circumstances will your ambition vanish. You simply can’t let that happen. Just need to rethink, relearn and unsee.

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