Create: Notes on Photography 14

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Let’s talk story. Even though we discuss and view a single image, the real story is the story, the narrative, and how individual images work together to say something. This image is what I would call a B or C-level image. Simple, easy to read, clean, and has ample space for running copy over the top, but this image is NOT representative of me, at least I don’t feel that way. But, why does this image work? Let me explain.

During the time I made this image I was working full-time as a photographer in Los Angeles, but even during this time which was still early in my career, I was already feeling like working as a photographer was not for me. Assignments were short, fickle, and even those that paid well always seem to come with headaches and lessons to be learned.

I felt best and worked best when left alone. My own story, my own methods, and my own time. Often, these projects would lead to assignment work but most clients meddled far too much in the end product often with bad planning, too little budget, and too little time to really pull anything off. I knew my career would be short-lived but that my enjoyment of photography would increase the second I could walk away.

This day at Glamis ended with one damaged Leica, fear and excitement. Days like this taught me that the reward of all this is photography itself. The experience of being in the field working on something personal. This project was titled “Man vs Nature” and this particular chapter required two years of field time. The overall project took a decade. That is the reward, and THAT is enough.

Comments 6

  1. Dan, love your philosophy, attitude, and content. Two questions: I signed up for your emails and thought I might get an email confirmation but none so far? I am also looking to revamping my online life, having ditched Facebook and Instagram a while back, thank God. I have a Blogger blog where I post a few photos and videos and some blah blah blah, very low key, mostly used as an extension of my daily written journal, not a whole lot of followers or interaction but I don’t care, and I also have been using SmugMug for storage and sharing for many years. My daughter gifted me with a square space website last year that I have yet to set up. Here’s the question: is there such thing as a web site that will allow me to post my videos without going through YouTube first? A web site where I can directly embed my video content? I would love to ditch Google all together but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Thank you.

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      Hey Sara,
      What about Vimeo? Vimeo is so clean and simple and innocent in comparison to YT. As for direct post, you will have to host them somewhere but where that somewhere is might be a mystery. I think our sites should be “one contact at a time.” They will grow slowly but that is the point. Real people, real connections.

  2. I have used Vimeo in the past and could conceivably go back to it. I guess everything requires a host and a link. I have no problem sharing smaller videos from my SmugMug site but there is a size and time limit there so it doesn’t work for everything. I would love to have everything in one place and I am working towards that goal. My Edgartown News blog is a good tool and I have tons of content over there, but I have not figured out a way to set up it up for followers so it’s a bit of a dead zone. Even though I’m not really looking for a big following it would be nice to have a little bit of life. I have yet to delve into squarespace. I think it will be either squarespace or WordPress both of which seem to offer more options than blogger and smug mug. We’ll see!

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      We went with WP Business which is $300 per year but is always updated, has great support and takes all the custom things we are doing. My two cents.

  3. Mr. Dan Have you ever thought about creating a photography course for those who want to learn something more? I got this idea after the last note of photography. Could be a pro version, without translating frame compositions and the like. it could be about black and white photography. The course could include such elements as “why is this photo good” I have noticed that many photographers finance their travels and projects in this way. It could be a pdf or a paper version, or both. You could finance your website this way.
    PS. I love the note of photography. It is inspiring and shows the photos from a different perspective, i’m waiting for more.

    1. Maciek,
      Yes, that is part of the plan. The site will have an educational component where I can teach online classes. I keep getting asked and I think it would be of value.

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