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, October 30, 2015

In The Hand

I was chatting to a student recently and was taken aback to discover that she chose her new camera based on how it felt in the hand. This is something that I practically preach as gospel, but the number of people who have actually taken my advice when I suggest, ‘choose the camera that feels right in the hand’ can probably be counted on one hand (I’ve advised a fairly large number of people as it so happens, so the few actually choosing a camera based on feel are statistically very low). Yet today, more than at any other point in photography’s history, the real difference between cameras is how they feel.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Basic Selections in Photoshop

One of the strongest editing aspects of Photoshop is the way in which it enables layer based non-destructive editing. All the other finery and frippery of the programme is essentially just that: nice to have add-ons but nonessential. Even the impressive features like HDR blending and panoramic stitching can be done manually if you understand how to use layers and how to make selections. Without creating selections all that Photoshop can do is apply global changes to images. By creating selections photographers are truly able to process their images in new and exciting ways.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Is 10 000 even possible?

As regular readers of Photo Writing know I am a fan of the 10 000 hour concept as written about by Malcolm Gladwell in his popular book, ‘Outliers’. The basic premise is that to master anything a person needs to devote at least 10 000 hours to its practice. You want to master the violin? Spend 10 000 hours learning, practising and playing and you will have mastered the instrument. It is not dissimilar to the 1000 roll of film rule that Monte Cooper, a mentor of mine used to espouse. Intentionally and actively shoot through a 1000 rolls of film and you will have mastered a genre of photography, or so the theory went.

Friday, October 2, 2015

An Argument Against Real

Taking photographs is easy. Making images is not. The problem is that in the mind of the ‘picture-taking’ public the two are conflated. In fact they are considered one and the same thing more often than not. The camera manufacturers don’t exactly dispel this myth when they proclaim that ‘taking razor sharp images is now easier than ever’ or ‘never miss that shot again’. The mechanical and mechanized nature of photography are perpetually brought to the fore, as if they are the most important aspects of the picture taking process (as Susan Sontag and later David Ward have pointed out in their excellent critiques of photography; ‘On Photography and ‘The Landscape Within’).