About this Blog

Photo Writing is the web version of the Photo Writing mini-magazine produced by Limephoto and Emil von Maltitz since 2010. As of 2015 it is now completely online. Feel free to browse through the articles and please leave comments in the comments section if you would like to engage with us.

Friday, January 31, 2020

The Basics of Perspective Distortion


One of the ways in which photographers can make people see the world in a different way, is to use their lenses creatively to manipulate relationships within an image. The most basic way of doing this is arranging elements inside the frame in order to force the relationship. A Photograph of two doors in a symmetrical composition implies an equal, symmetrical relationship between the two doors (as above). A composition where one door is larger and an angle to the other implies depth and distance between the doors, as well as a visual hierarchy of what to look at first. The perceived distance beyond the door also creates a perception of distance and three dimensional space. Clever use of perspective distortion is one way to create this sense of space. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

New Year, New Decade, New Gear


The last ten years have been extraordinarily good to us as photographers. The first ten years of the millennium saw an incredibly fast paced development of digital photography that was really exciting to be a part of. Digital photography matured in the last decade though. In particular, I would say that we reached a basic plateau in image quality in about 2012 that marks a kind of baseline from which we still judge images at the beginning of this decade. 

Friday, January 10, 2020

The Shoot More share Less Idea



As the new year rolled past I found myself taking a significant break from the internet and the constant flood of imagery that scrolls through our lives courtesy of our numerous devices. The break was both refreshing and eye-opening and was also unintended (I haven’t taken a complete break from work in about twelve years as all breaks invariably involve writing, shooting, social media and marketing). The unintentional nature of the break - thanks to an inundation of family, the virtual Christmas shutdown and lengthened holiday due to the serendipitous days that Christmas and New Year’s fell on - meant that I never intended to be away from social media, or any of the usual photographic related writing that I usually do when ‘on break’. The sense of relief and lack of stress that resulted was both unanticipated and surprising. It is now becoming recognised that social media has a darker side, causing anxiety and depression in its users (see this article in The Independent). Photographers, by nature of the fact that we produce imagery, seem to have to stay lock-step in sync with social media…or do they?

Friday, November 29, 2019

Becoming a Better Photographer Through (Deliberate) Practice


The old adage ‘practice makes perfect’ is usually seen as a truism. The more you practice the better you will get at something. Except it doesn’t take into account that the word ‘better’ is the wrong qualifier in that statement. ‘Better’ assumes that there will be an improvement in what we do. It assumes that if I take a 1000 photographs I will be a better photographer than when I took the first photograph (make it 10 000 photographs since digital doesn’t cost us financially in the same way that film did). The oft-said truism has bothered me for quite a while as I often explain to photographers that one has to spend a considerable amount of time learning and practicing the art of photography. If we go by the 10 000 hour principle as espoused by Malcolm Gladwell’s book, ‘Outliers’ (based on research by Eric Anders), then we need to put 10 000 hours into any venture or skill that we want to master. Except this doesn’t work for photography anymore.