Photography is More Than Firing the Shutter

Today's easy-to-use cameras, and our cultural tendency to rush everything, lead to many folks rushing out to become photographers before they ever learn anything about photography.  While you're out there becoming a photographer, take some time, now and then, to learn about aspects of photography beyond the mechanics of capturing an image and processing it.  And there are so many ways to do it. I particularly like photography podcasts for my daily commute.  They help the make traffic bearable, and you may just learn something new. Here are a couple that are available from both websites and iTunes (free):

This Week in Photography (here) has great discussions every week, with a couple news items, opinions, interviews, and answers to questions.  They rotate through a fairly regular set of hosts, each involved in different types of photography, in a relaxed, congenial tone.

The Candid Frame (here) is hosted by Ibarionex Perello and is a interview podcast.  I really enjoy his interviews, but be prepared for serious art discussions.  Ibarionex is an adjunct professor at the Art Center College of Design in addition to being a highly published photographer.

One of my favorites, and highly recommended, is Jeff Curto's History of Photography Podcasts (here).  Jeff is a Professor of Photography at the College of DuPage.  He runs through the timeline of invention to present in the first few sessions.  After that, he moves into a more conceptual approach, using photos old and new to illustrate themes like portraits, major photography movements, famous photographers, and manipulations. His series is a great listen, but watch it in QuickTime Player to see the accompanying photographs.

Of course, for the analog lovers, books are available at great prices these days as bookstores try to hang on for a couple more years.  I am lucky enough to live near a large used book store.  Most of their books are in great shape and priced low enough to keep me filling my library shelves.  Again, we're talking photography books, not technique books.  I love the A Day in the Life of series of photos from around the world, all shot in one 24-hour period.  I have biographies of Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, David Hume Kennerly, and many others; all of them have been read several times.  You can't read them while you're driving, but you'll probably have better retention with books.

I hope you will take the time to learn about photography, not just making and processing images.  As your understanding of all things photographic increases, you will be rewarded with inspiration, education, and a deeper appreciation for the wonderful shots you see from other photographers and your own camera.

Photowalk in Alexandria, VA, colorful vegetables.