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Making Pictures - Ben Lifson Essays

Chris Kresser

New member
Thanks for posting this, Sean. I can't wait to read it.

Perhaps we could all share some books on photography and the creative process that have inspired us. Here are a few recent ones for me.

1. The Zen of Creativity, by John Daido Loori (Zen teacher and photographer)
2. Photography and the Art of Seeing, by Freeman Patterson
3. Single Exposures: Random Observations on Photography, Art & Creativity by Brooks Jensen
4. Letting Go of the Camera, by Brooks Jensen
5. On Being a Photographer, by David Hurn and Bill Jay
6. Free Play, by Steven Nachmanovitch

I'd love to hear yours!
Chris
 

Sean Reid

Moderator
Good Idea Chris,

One that has always deeply interested me is James Agee's introduction to Helen Levitt's monograph: A Way of Seeing.

Also Meyer Shapiro's essay in Robert Bergman's monograph "A Kind of Rapture".

E.H. Gombrich's "The Story of Art" is, I think , enormously useful to photographers.

For photographers who are interested in a dense and intense read by a brilliant thinker: "Feeling and Form" by Suzanne Langer

And, of course, most of Ben's writing over the past 25 years has been published in books, magazines and newspapers and I think its all worth reading.

Some of my ideas/feeling about form, that guided one photography project, came from a mixture of Jack Kerouac's writing and Ornette Coleman's music.

Also Charles DeTolnay - History and Technique of Old Master Drawings


This could be an interesting thread.

Cheers,

Sean
 

Mike Cetta

New member
Hi Sean,

...very appreciative of finding and being able to join this site....i'm coming over from the leica forum where i first heard about Sean and subsequently Ben and learned lots of interesting things about Leica, rangefinders -which i was new to- and from sean's reviews of the great lenses (including the cv line) this remarkable camera, the m8, is capable of taking advantage of...

...what 's been missing though for me was a place to discuss photography as a visual art. I've discovered that venue by studying with Ben...as a teacher myself and a social worker for the past 30 yrs I'm always impressed with good teaching and Ben is as good a teacher in any field as i have had....my interest in photogrphy is as an art which by nature connects to all the arts not just painting and other visual arts...my first love has always been literature and Ben's eclectic background is perfect for what i was looking for and found in his tutorials....i've never met Ben and don't even know what he looks like, yet i feel i know him because of how much of himself he gives during the 2hr phone sessions we have and i've only been studying with him for a few months....a few months which have increased my knowledge of and appreciation of photography's place in the art universe and of my own potential to be a part of it. ...no teacher can give you a vision that has to come from within...a good teacher can however nurture that vision and help lead it out into concrete form and expression....in this sense Ben is a true master...

...once one has the equipment as i do (as well as all the other m8 owners) than the real and only important issue becomes what you do with it....I never learned how to draw or paint with pencil and brush though i loved and envied those who could...but thanks in part to essays by you sean and to especially the work I've been and continue to do with Ben I'm learning more and more each day how to do so in the digital darkroom which has become my 'painting and drawing' canvas of venue....

...one last point...I recently saw a documentary on William Eggleston on ovation tv...it was interesting to watch how uninformative he was in response to even basic questions barely giving even one word answers...I remember thinking how this is the anti Ben....and appreciating how valuable it is when working with one who is as willing to give as much as Ben is....

...ok another last point...during my last session with Ben we discussed an essay by Aldous Huxley titled "the Doors of Perception"...the title is taken from a line from William Blake and in it Huxley talks about his personal experience with hallucinagenic drugs and how it forced him to confront the wonder, mystery and limitation of how we as humans 'see' and hence experience reality...highly recommended

...looking forward to this site

mike
www.mikecetta.com
 
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Sean Reid

Moderator
Hi Sean,

...very appreciative of finding and being able to join this site....i'm coming over from the leica forum where i first heard about Sean and subsequently Ben and learned lots of interesting things about Leica, rangefinders -which i was new to- and from sean's reviews of the great lenses (including the cv line) this remarkable camera, the m8, is capable of taking advantage of...

...what 's been missing though for me was a place to discuss photography as a visual art. I've discovered that venue by studying with Ben...as a teacher myself and a social worker for the past 30 yrs I'm always impressed with good teaching and Ben is as good a teacher in any field as i have had....my interest in photogrphy is as an art which by nature connects to all the arts not just painting and other visual arts...my first love has always been literature and Ben's eclectic background is perfect for what i was looking for and found in his tutorials....i've never met Ben and don't even know what he looks like, yet i feel i know him because of how much of himself he gives during the 2hr phone sessions we have and i've only been studying with him for a few months....a few months which have increased my knowledge of and appreciation of photography's place in the art universe and of my own potential to be a part of it. ...no teacher can give you a vision that has to come from within...a good teacher can however nurture that vision and help lead it out into concrete form and expression....in this sense Ben is a true master...

...once one has the equipment as i do (as well as all the other m8 owners) than the real and only important issue becomes what you do with it....I never learned how to draw or paint with pencil and brush though i loved and envied those who could...but thanks in part to essays by you sean and to especially the work I've been and continue to do with Ben I'm learning more and more each day how to do so in the digital darkroom which has become my 'painting and drawing' canvas of venue....

...one last point...I recently saw a documentary on William Eggleston on ovation tv...it was interesting to watch how uninformative he was in response to even basic questions barely giving even one word answers...I remember thinking how this is the anti Ben....and appreciating how valuable it is when working with one who is as willing to give as much as Ben is....

...ok another last point...during my last session with Ben we discussed an essay by Aldous Huxley titled "the Doors of Perception"...the title is taken from a line from William Blake and in it Huxley talks about his personal experience with hallucinagenic drugs and how it forced him to confront the wonder, mystery and limitation of how we as humans 'see' and hence experience reality...highly recommended

...looking forward to this site

mike
www.mikecetta.com
Welcome Mike. I find that literature and music, for example, influence my work as well. Ben's photography tutorials are discussed in an article on RR (which include some of Mike's pictures) and his site is http://www.benlifson.com

There aren't many people alive right now who can teach photography as Ben teaches it. He's drawing from a very, very deep well of knowledge, experience and perception. Unfortunately, he's still recovering from a very serious set of illnesses so if people decide to contact him about the tutorials, I'd ask that they be patient if he's not able to respond right away.

Cheers,

Sean
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Learning from a Mensch!

I would like to add to what Sean has said of Ben.

My own insight comes from his correspondence here on OPF, his writings and people who he has influenced. If I could think of one word it would be "abundance". He, like Jorge Luis Borges, the writer, is a man who uses to good effect a rich library. These are personal collections of knowledge, metaphors, mythologies, trans-cultural and time specific dogmas, fashions, esthetics, values, paradigms, conceits, delusions, hubris and simplicity. Add to that kindness, being a "mensch" and having endless passion for literature, art and people he believes in. This is the source, from which Lifson has given and gives to his students and readers. Hence my word, "abundance".

He does not say no, but provides an array of measures by which I can make that distinction. He does not say yes but shows were one can see perhaps more light. Just the references to writings and art, alone, show a grasp of our culture beyond most people one has the fortune to meet, even in a life time.

So tell us if you have been taught by Ben and how that has influenced you or if his writings impact you current work. :)

Asher
 

Chris Kresser

New member
I have not been taught by Ben, but I would like to be! After reading Sean's initial post in this thread and the testimonials of others who have been Ben's students, and after reading some of Ben's writings (including his teaching philosophy), I promptly submitted an application to become his student.

I haven't heard back yet, but I understand from Sean that Ben is recovering from a serious illness. I'm not in any hurry, but I do hope I have the chance at some point to work with this exceptional teacher.

Best,
Chris
 

Sean Reid

Moderator
Yes, Ben is recovering from a very serious disease but I'm sure he'll get back to you when he can.

Cheers,

Sean
 

Sean Reid

Moderator
I studied with Ben Lifson and Stephen Shore for four years - at Bard College. Stephen is a friend and Ben and I have been close friends ever since.

Cheers,

Sean
 

Mike Guthman

New member
I am currently studying with Ben which is a privledge in itself. It is made doubly good by the fact that I live close enough to Ben to have our sessions in person. I feel extraordinarily fortunate to have found Ben and his being willing to work with me.

What is it about working with Ben that I find this valuable? There are so many ways that I could pick up this stick... From my own very personal perspective it is being able to get feedback on my work from someone who has taken the time to seriously look at it on its own and within the context of my previous work. Of course, this feedback, no matter how detailed, would not be worthwhile unless the person giving the feedback had the expertise and insight to make useful comments. Ben, as should be obvious to anyone who has looked at his work, has these attributes. I know that many people (including me) do not post pictures on forums because the feedback provides on these sites is often superficial, uninformed, or unhelpful. Ben's feedback is never any of these things.

Tying back to sean's earlier post of the art web site.... Ben frequently relates what I'm doing to the work of an earlier painter or photographer. This is invaluable in giving me a framework against which to consider my own work.

I need to go out to a meeting now but would live to respond to specific questions about Ben... but be aware, I am biased.

Mike
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I am currently studying with Ben which is a privledge in itself.
Indeed it is!

What is it about working with Ben that I find this valuable? There are so many ways that I could pick up this stick... From my own very personal perspective it is being able to get feedback on my work from someone who has taken the time to seriously look at it on its own and within the context of my previous work.
This allows you give give yourself merit points against something that Ben has suggested could help you. Ben's knowledge of art is extraordinary. Just search in OPF and read his posts. So you are so fortunate and can pat yourself on the back that you took advantage of an opportunity to get to know your own potential.

I know that many people (including me) do not post pictures on forums because the feedback provides on these sites is often superficial, uninformed, or unhelpful. Ben's feedback is never any of these things.
Here Mike I feel you are in error. It's one thing not to have some sense of what your own values are and what you are trying to achieve and so take other people's opinions, left right and center as all being meaningful. That we would all agree would be foolish.

However, it is, IMHO, shortchanging your own self to not put up your work for feedback. Now if your art is just for yourself, then keeping your work close to you is fine. OTOH, if you plan to sell your work, a variety of reactions can be helpful. When you show work, you will get excellently informed comments and worthless comments. It's you however, with your own goals for yourself as to where you are going and what you want to create, that has to become the ruler by which you measure people's reactions and advice to you.

In general, I want to know what the author, artist or creator want's long before my own opinion. It's the author's imagination that counts, not mine. Still I can describe what I see and feel. That can be useful to hear.

Recently, Rachel, who has made some impressive (but honestly off the mainstream "edgy") portraits today showed a photograph for which she wanted feedback. "Why wasn't it working?", she wanted to know. Frankly, I had not the faintest idea what I was looking at! I thought there where some bushes and trees and maybe some sort of sienna colored plant. Her picture is here. We assume people here are serious about photography and so even a "failed picture" is given attention and respect. My insertion of a picture on which I commented is not because of my own answer because anyone here would have done the same or far better. There is much more to be added. However it does show the response you can expect. That is one of respect and care.

I did not look at it in photoshop when the picture was first presented by Rachel. (At that point, I guess I could have done just that. I'd have changed the levels and discovered a poorly exposed bird that would have been great if shot with a longer lens; even better at a higher speed and panned in the direction of flight).

I simply asked her what she was trying to do. That is where we must start. It's the artist in the photographer we are interested in. With that in mind we can help each other. If I show you a wedding picture and the bride's face has harsh shadows that she wouldn't like, then tell me that maybe I should work with an experienced photographer before taking the big step of being responsible for someone's memories. If I show a scene where jarring unnatural colors diverts the attention from a street scene, let moe know that you think it might perhaps work better in B&W.

This is a way of opening up oneself to the feelings and ideas of others. Now as long as you know what you are trying to do, you should have a great benefit sharing here. We are courteous and not arrogant. We presume no god-like position of artistic authority. That deep idea of what is good must come from your own hard work or critically looking at works of beauty, poetry, kindness, generosity, the galleries in every city, architecture and even the birds and sky around you. That is really what I believe Ben does for you as he is able to help you connect your own work and needs to a pantheon of art and beauty.

When you have to stop to look at a tree or your hand goes to your pocket seeing a man with a cane appearing, backlit at the door you know you have developed some sense that this is what you need to photograph your way. No one can do it for you.

What we can do, is try to help you see your way on your own path, that's all. It's only your eyes that ultimately count. If I or anyone else gets it or not doesn't matter as far as the art is concerned (unless you are trying to sell it). My advice to myself is

"I don't do what other people want. That risks a Faustian bargain for control of my free imagination. I just offer to people the kind of expression I need to put into my work."

This I assume applies to others unless they tell me differently. Here anyway, we like to think that we are a lot more careful in giving feedback and the signal to noise ration is a little better perhaps than most such places.

Again, you are a lucky guy!
Asher
 
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Donald Mann

New member
Books of Interest

If you are interested in landscape photography or architectural photography or urban photography, the books of Christopher Alexander may be of interest. His best known work is "A Pattern Language" but most of his writings are useful and insightful as well eg. "The Phenomenon of Life."
 

Chris Kresser

New member
OTOH, if you plan to sell your work, a variety of reactions can be helpful. When you show work, you will get excellently informed comments and worthless comments.
Asher et al.,

This question is one I have been thinking of and experimenting with a lot lately. I have very mixed feelings about it and I'm not sure exactly where I stand on it yet.

I'm not at all sure that posting images to most online forums (with the exception of this one and perhaps a few others) is helpful. The vast majority of comments are so banal and inane that they are useless to the artist neither as constructive feedback that could help him/her improve the picture, nor as a measurement of whether the artist was able to communicate what he/she intended in the picture.

Comments like "fantastic!", "slightly out of focus - try a tripod", "what lens did you use?" etc. offer very little in the way of true feedback that will serve the artist. In my opinion they indicate more about the viewer's preferences, state of mind and way of seeing than they do about the work being commented on. This is perhaps true with any critique to some degree but I find that it is exacerbated and magnified with Internet critique.

I also very much doubt whether these nonsensical comments are useful in measuring the commercial value of the work. Here's a real life example of the kind of criticism I'm questioning. There's a group on Flickr (can't remember the name) where people post photos and the members of the group decide whether to keep the photo or "reject" it by voting. They then make a comment that indicates why they made the choice they did. Someone did a rather sneaky (but revealing) experiment where they posted an image by HCB to the forum.

Guess what? The image was "rejected" the group members with comments like "When everything is blurred you cannot convey the motion of the bicyclist. On the other hand, if the bicyclist is not the subject-- what was?" and "Why is the staircase so "soft"? Camera shake? Like the angle though." and "so small, so blurry, to better show a sense of movement SOMETHING has to be in sharp focus"

This is one of HCB's most famous pictures. Whether or not someone actually "likes" it, the picture clearly contains many of the classical elements that makes a picture successful. And no one can doubt that it has commercial value. Yet judging from the comments by most of the members of this Flickr group, it is just a worthless snapshot that would have been vastly improved had HCB just focused on the bicyclist and perhaps used a smaller f-stop for increased DOF.

Mike Johnston at The Online Photographer does a hilarious post where he chooses pictures from some of the best known masters of photography and makes comments on them of the kind you would read on Flickr or most other photography forums. I'm sure most of you have seen it already, but if you haven't it's absolutely hilarious.

I can pretty much guarantee that if I posted single images from Burtynsky, Shore, Eggelston, Winogrand and many other masters to online photography forums, most of them would not receive a single comment - except perhaps well-intentioned suggestions for improvement or even derogatory remarks like "this is boring" or "who cares about a picture of a gas station?". I've been sorely tempted to do this as an experiment, but aside from the obvious moral and copyright issues I'm sufficiently convinced of what the result would be so I haven't felt the need.

Now, on the other hand, I have to say that there are times when I happen to find myself on the side of the "Internet critics" when looking at a particular picture. I am reading "The Art of Photography" and I just finished "The Ongoing Moment". And I will tell you that there are several pictures in both of those books that I simply do not recognize or understand as important pictures - especially when viewed out of the context of the photographer's body of work or a specific project.

I am fully conscious of the possibility that I have not yet seen what others see in the picture that has made it so successful. I know that studying art has vastly increased my appreciation of it, so there's something to be said for that. But, and this is a big "but" for me, how much should a viewer need to be "educated" to "get" a picture? This premise is partially responsible, IMHO, for the perception that photography and other fine art forms are elitist. If a viewer doesn't like or respond to a picture, it's because they are ignorant or unsophisticated - not because the picture was unsuccessful. It's the quintessential refrain "none of these idiots understand my work!" I've seen a similar phenomenon in music with "free jazz". It's popular amongst musicians, but to the average person it just sounds like noise and they can't stand it.

As a viewer I don't want to be told that I'm stupid when I don't like or understand the "significance" of a picture. So I am very conscious as an artist of avoiding that line of thinking. If someone doesn't "get" what I'm trying to communicate in a picture, I want to be open to the possibility that I didn't communicate it effectively. This is not to say that I assume all people will have the same reaction to each picture, or that I should change the picture because it doesn't produce the response I'm hoping for in each person.

This leads to the final (obvious) point, which is that art is subjective. Some people love Shore & Eggelston, some can't stand their work. The same can be said for almost any other artist in any medium. And it will always be that way.

In consideration of all of this, I find it difficult to see how the one-word, superficial comments typical to Internet forums can be of much help to the artist.
 
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Mike Guthman

New member
Asher,

Thank you for the thoughtful and caring response to my post.

I take one of your central points to be that meaningful feedback on a posted photograph can only occur if the viewer (potential commentator) understands the maker’s intent. This position appropriately) puts the burden on the person asking for feedback to fully and precisely explain what he (she) was trying to accomplish in the picture.

Perhaps the reason that I find the feedback given in most forums to be of little use (as very clearly described by Cris Kresser) is that the photographer didn’t take the time to explain his objectives. However, I do think that much of the problem with the feedback elsewhere is that the commentators are unqualified to give comments. I know this sounds a bit pompous, but being a good photographer is not the same as being a helpful critic... they are different skill sets.

I trust your assurances that this is a different place and will give it a try as you suggest as soon as I can figure out your posting procedure. I’ll do that on a new thread so this one doesn’t get hijacked.

Thanks

Mike
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Asher,

Thank you for the thoughtful and caring response to my post.

I take one of your central points to be that meaningful feedback on a posted photograph can only occur if the viewer (potential commentator) understands the maker’s intent. This position appropriately) puts the burden on the person asking for feedback to fully and precisely explain what he (she) was trying to accomplish in the picture.
Hi Mike,

We have to start of accepting that, especially in a non censored forum, some comments may be just a friendly acknowledgement that Mike or Asher have posted a photograph they care enough about to share. After all, a lot of us don't wish to add inane remarks but don't want a post to become orphaned. We may actually feel unqualified to approach a particular image. So the friendly encouragement is fine.

Also people need training as to how to give feedback. I wrote a basic outline. I'll look for it.

Perhaps the reason that I find the feedback given in most forums to be of little use (as very clearly described by Cris Kresser) is that the photographer didn’t take the time to explain his objectives.
In a gallery or the major Museums, a curator with give tours and in each room introduce the thinking and activity that propelled a work of art to be created and how life was breathed in it be the artist.

Still, without any introduction, works of Picasso, Rembrandt, Ansel Adams and other great visionaries are impressive and can evoke emotions, feelings, reactions and move you to return. However, the chances are you'll do much better with an an introduction since some works depend on knowledge of other art even poetry or a mythological or religious character. In fact some pictures require an education to start to approach the work.

Now a nude, still life, street scene, family celebration can be critiqued with generally no introduction. That's because we all know enough to get a good thrill and make a bond with that image. We identify the parts played and we are on board in a flash.

Here in OPF, we often ask for a background so that we can get full depth. In one case there is a photograph of a horse that did not have a powerful composition but with the story behind it, the pictures has great value to us. This work requires the story and then whenever we look at that picture we feel good and want to talk about it and promise ourselves to revisit.

Sometime a picture works far better than it's composition, subject, patterns and shading and colors would suggest. Then we discover iconic energy of something else is going on. This is an engine of energy that somehow makes the image more important. But what's really going on?

Unbeknowns to us, our mind recognizes a powerful symbol perhaps from our history or some mythology, which further draws on our library of experiences, causing a cascade of increasing energy from a myriad of associations. Then all this structure and strength buttresses the picture before us. So the picture we might merely only like, now becomes impressive and somehow resonates with us in a personal way.

However, I do think that much of the problem with the feedback elsewhere is that the commentators are unqualified to give comments. I know this sounds a bit pompous, but being a good photographer is not the same as being a helpful critic... they are different skill sets.
Yes, you are correct. Someone answering may be technically good at wedding photography according to a particular popular style. One can make a perfect photograph that has no life beyond it's end purpose say for the job of the brides album. There is no need for great art, just artistry. While it's laudatory to have technical skills to meet a client's needs, more than that may be there. So even a skilled photographer may only be good at advising on what makes a picture work for a particular end use.

Still, my own belief is that he will likely also have a valuable take on your work and will be honest, if that's the tone we take here. Yes, creatively embedding our own esthetic is the hard part but we all struggle with this and are equally vulnerable.

That's why one has to get help in filtering the feedback. If you get frustrated then either ask more specifically or else write to me. I am always available for this using PM if something is really perplexing. Maybe there is not a single response!. People might simply not "get it" or the picture is too good to dare to comment on.

As much as I may want to help, I myself may not be feel comfortable with my own reactions. Sometimes we even resort to seeking someone outside for further help. So while we don't expect brilliant answers all the time, there will be some valuable feedback and also a lot of technical help. Be assured, when you ask a question seriously, in most cases, an honest effort will be made.

Ultimately, if we, ourselves, individually have no goal or pathway, then how can anyone provision us or help us on our way? By what means can we as individuals select the good advice from the nonsense?

This is where we come back full circle to a person like Ben Lifson. His approach as an experienced teacher seems to me to be to clarify for thee photographer that direction that for example you or I might want to go, based on out own body of work and then how it might relate to what's gone on before in art and literature.

So what does someone else do who has no such lantern carrier?

Real "lantern carriers" are hard to find. Most of those who present themselves are simply delusional at best or commercial hucksters. Since I run this forum, I fear crossing the line and want the "contra" position of "The Unguru" since, claiming to be an expert is very dangerous.

Start by opening one's eyes, looking around at what "is". Walk around in town without a camera and interview every brick and shadow on each building, the clouds as they pass by, the drunk in a doorway and the mother with her child. Visit every gallery you can and use the audio to guide you. Buy the books on the artists you like. Only one at a time. Between each book, another 500 or so photographs of your own. Then back to the museums again and drive through parts of the city or countryside you would never imagine doing. This is how you might get your own journey mapped out to some place important to you.

I trust your assurances that this is a different place and will give it a try as you suggest as soon as I can figure out your posting procedure. I’ll do that on a new thread so this one doesn’t get hijacked.
If a thread is hijacked, we allow that for a while, since the diversion related to the parent topic. Then, when the new topic has traction, we split it up anyway!

Asher
 
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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Asher et al.,

This question is one I have been thinking of and experimenting with a lot lately. I have very mixed feelings about it and I'm not sure exactly where I stand on it yet.

I'm not at all sure that posting images to most online forums (with the exception of this one and perhaps a few others) is helpful. The vast majority of comments are so banal and inane that they are useless to the artist neither as constructive feedback that could help him/her improve the picture, nor as a measurement of whether the artist was able to communicate what he/she intended in the picture.

Comments like "fantastic!", "slightly out of focus - try a tripod", "what lens did you use?" etc. offer very little in the way of true feedback that will serve the artist.
Hi Chris,

Let me just comment, right now, just on this one point of "shot details". These are out of place in a gallery. No one is trying to learn there how such a picture might be made. Here, by contrast, we are serving multiple purposes. One is to display the art as if in a museum or gallery. So yes, for that alone, a request like "aperture or focal length please" might seem out of place. But others want to understand technique either to relate that to limitations in the picture or else for their own education.

Jim Galli, for example uses flea market lenses to make incredible portraits while Sean Reid finds many Voigtlander Cosina lenses very capable (out of proportion to their modest listed prices). So disclosing lens information, in this case, tells the rest of us that expensive gear is not needed for such beautiful work and this opens up possibilities for us. Other pictures are posted to entertain, share our progress in a project, strut or really get people's serious reactions and thoughts.

Yes we should just enjoy the photograph, but if the information is already there, that a kindness for everyone else. Also for critique, the technical choices might explain why we miss our goal for that picture. In the latter case, of course, photographer better have stated the context or purpose of the image and what was trying to be conveyed otherwise there is little chance of anyone being helpful.

One could say "Details are not needed unless they are needed! Hows that?" but to have the info there, is a kindness to others in the tour bus.

Asher
 
I clicked the link to read the essays but they've apparently been moved. Anyone have an updated link?
They are in limbo. I wrote to Michael Tapes, who says that he has the material and owns the rights to it, but hasn't tried to put it back up on his redesigned site, isn't sure what shape it is in, etc. He's in the middle of bringing out a new product now, perhaps the the software that he has been developing with Magnes. He's pretty focused on attracting viewers to his site for his business needs, but I wonder if there is a deal possible to host the material here in return for links back???

scott
 
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