What Can it Mean to Truly Collaborate as a Photography Collective?

The ability for individual photographers to have any kind of cultural impact feels diminished and diluted when you consider just how many are working towards the goal of producing meaningful work. Where individuals are limited in the time they can spend, the ground they can cover, and the final result they can output, a group […]

What Can it Mean to Truly Collaborate as a Photography Collective

The ability for individual photographers to have any kind of cultural impact feels diminished and diluted when you consider just how many are working towards the goal of producing meaningful work. Where individuals are limited in the time they can spend, the ground they can cover, and the final result they can output, a group […]

Will AI Editing Ruin Photography? And What Is The Solution?

I recently watched a video on YouTube by the very popular landscape photographer Thomas Heaton. The video was titled “AI editing will ruin photography as we know it” where Thomas discusses a new photo editing program soon to be released by Skylum: Luminar AI.

Do Photos Really Tell Stories?

It’s funny how deceiving a photograph can be. I wouldn’t blame anyone for thinking that this roller skater has turned his head to check out the girl on her phone as he skates past her. Without any context, that does appear to be the story here.

Cultivating Diversity in My Photography

There is an excellent quote regarding practice attributed to legendary martial artist Bruce Lee that I think provides a great framework for many pursuits but also highlights one of my earliest struggles with ideas around style in photography: I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who […]

The Why of an Advertising Photo

I did my first advertising assignment in the year 2000. I still remember how excited I was when I, a few months later, walked out of a bookstore on Chestnut Street in San Francisco with several magazines with my pictures in them.

Which Photojournalist Helped Design That $850 Jacket? An Examination

Photo Twitter collectively chuckled at the announced availability of Canada Gooses Photojournalist Jacket. With editorial day rates hovering below $300/assignment, actual photojournalists were unlikely to be purchasing such a luxury item even if it was inexpensive by Canada Goose standards.

Photographic Style Cant Be Canned

Conversations around photographic style have always felt a little odd to me for a few reasons. Its something I get asked about a lot by my students, as they feel that without a style, a visual signature, then they will find it very difficult to differentiate themselves from other working artists. So much of todays […]

The National Archives Womens March Photoshop Disaster

The National Archives of the USA is putting on a show. “Rightfully Hers: American Women and The Vote.” Out front of the show, there is a large visual display that includes an iconic photograph of the Jan 21, 2017 Women’s March on DC with some blurred out elements. Specifically blurred out is some language on […]

Is That Photo Post-Processed? Yes, It Is.

Yes, it’s post-processed. I get this question all the time, like every other photographer on the planet, and it often sparks heated debates that challenge the notion of objective reality and the meaning of photography.

Looking vs. Seeing as a Photographer

Id like to share some thoughts here on being a musician before I get to the difference between seeing and looking as a photographer. Please bear with me. This will all make good sense. For musicians, there is a big difference between hearing and listening. For example, if a musician is driving around in a […]

How Understanding Your Good or Bad Photos Can Improve Your Photography

Landscape photography is an art. That is for sure. It is a way for us to express our emotions when in a location and capture a scene forever. With social media, you could easily be mistaken to think that I good photo is the one with the most likes or comments. Or you may think […]

Dear Entitled Aspiring Photographer

Dear Entitled, I came across a screenshot of your I have started a photography business post in a Classifieds Facebook group. I dont know your name, but honestly, even if I did, I wouldnt use it.

How Emotions Mold the Art We Create

Have you ever wondered why the images you created a few years ago look very different from the pictures you are taking now? Chances are you became a better photographer. You trained your eye and you got better at post-processing.

The Truth About Photography Gear: 9 Things You Need to Know

The Internet is a gold mine of information about cameras, lenses, and other photography equipment, but theres always a fair amount of BS circulating. There are opinions masquerading as fact. Were constantly told to buy new gear while also hearing that gear doesnt matter.

Old Photos Are Not Worth Anything

Dear writer of the Forbes Magazine article, Your Top 10 Objects Your Kids Dont Want… I just read your article. In it, you outline the objects in your home that you feel ones children will not want passed on to them.

4 Things I Hate About Portrait Photography Now

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today, and I want to talk about 4 things I truly hate about portrait photography in 2019. #1. Nobody Knows What a Portrait Is Were living in a bizarro world.

Is it Wrong to Photograph Light in Street Photography?

There is an observation about stand up comedians that once they reach a certain level of fame their material becomes less about “grounded” observations and criticisms and instead becoming more about airplane food and hotel rooms.

Why I Share My Contact Sheets

One of the major shortcomings of sharing work online, especially on social media, is that it is often a highlight reel of incredible work. That’s not a bad thing if your only goal is to enjoy work, but for people looking to learn, it can offer some unrealistic expectations. One of the reasons I think […]

The Compromises of Shooting Film on Assignment

A year ago, I wrote an article over at 35mmc in which I discussed some of the jobs I had worked on using 35mm film and the way I handle a film workflow for assigned work. Since writing that piece I have taken on many more commissions for film-based work, and I thought it would […]

Why is Street Photography So Contentious?

As a street photographer, I accept that I have a bias towards the kind of work and criticisms I prefer to seek out as an audience to the work of others – although there are examples of landscape or portraiture that I do enjoy it is street photography and photojournalism that take up the majority […]

We Are Known By What We Leave Behind

100 years from now, no one is going to care who I am. I know this. I dont mean that in a bad way and I dont say it in the hopes someone will contradict me and shower me with praise; this is not said as compliment bait. No, I say it because its true. […]

12 Things I Learned While Teaching Street Photography

For a while now I have been working on establishing myself as a street photography educator by leading lessons and workshops throughout London, focusing on documenting human behavior and emotion rather than more new-wave techniques involving light-architecture and intricate technical compositions.

The Only Rule in Street Photography

I see a lot of articles across the Internet claiming to know the “rules to follow” or the “things to avoid” in street photography, easily one of the most hotly debated genres.

The Medium Format Experience

To shoot medium format had been a longtime dream of mine, but I have to admit I didnt know it would be such a mindblowing experience. The 51.4-megapixel Pentax 645Z arrived on the market in 2014 and was the first camera to ever exceed 100 points in the DxOMark sensor test. For some unknown reason, […]

Two Months with the Canon EOS R

2018 was a weird year and one that Im glad is behind us. One highlight late in the year was Canon announcing the EOS R. I had been shooting with my Leica M 240, one of my favorite cameras of all time, and my Fuji X-Pro, a camera I absolutely love with a sensor design […]

What Parallelism Is and How to Use it to Improve Your Photography

Ive always had a fascination with geometry and man-made structures, their perfection has a strong attraction on me. It took me time to realize that what I appreciated most wasnt necessarily their symmetry or the simple repetition of shapes but the parallelism between the various elements of the construction of an image. To better understand […]

9 Things I Learned From My First Photo Exhibition

One of my photography New Year’s resolutions was to start to push my work to galleries and public photography showcases. In my mind, having my work in-print and in-public are some of the most significant steps in advancing my career as a fine art street photographer.

Defending Needles in the Sewer and Photographing the Disadvantaged

One of my images has been subjected to criticism and scrutiny in a way that none of my other work ever has. The photograph in question is of a scene in London, Chinatown; a man reaches into a sewer while shouting about how someone threw his needles down there. I waited a moment or two […]

4 Good Reasons + 1 Barely Adequate Justification to Shoot With a Rangefinder

The SLR has been the dominant camera type in photography for the last 70 years. SLRs are more intuitive, easy to focus, and versatile when it comes to mounting lenses of any length. So why does the rangefinder, as a design, persist into the modern era? There is not a single reason why anyone should […]

Robert Frank on Shooting His Seminal Photo Book, The Americans

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art shared this 3. 5-minute video in which renowned American photographer Robert Frank talks about how he shot his seminal 1958 photo book, The Americans. Reflecting on various photos from the project, Frank shares insights into the process behind the shots.

On Attitudes, Arrogance, and Choice in Photography

Whenever PetaPixel has published an article about chemical photography in recent months, it has been met with a plethora of malicious, if not even downright hateful, comments. They’re left by photographers who claim that only they may decide on how other photographers, their colleagues, or even hobbyists who simply enjoy photography for what it is […]

Why Flickr Limiting Free Users to 1,000 Photos is a Smart Move

Yesterday Flickr made their first big restructuring announcement since recently being purchased by SmugMug. Beginning next year on January 8th, Flickr will limit free accounts to 1,000 photos. The previously offered free 1 terabyte of storage goes away.

3 Tips for Choosing Between B&W and Color

Something Ive always found difficult was knowing when an image should be converted to black and white and when it should be left in color. Its one of the more contested discussions in photography and there really isnt a black and white or cut and dry answer to it. After much trial and error, Ive […]

You Dont Need a New Camera

Recently I worked on an image of the sand dunes of the Namib. I had woke while it was still dark and made my way to the desert, each foot sinking into the sand as I battled the dunes. Morning had just broken by the time I got my camera out and the sun was […]

The Essence of Photography: What You See Reflects Your Inner World

Here’s my favorite quote from Jay Maisel, one of the legends in the world of photography: “If you want to make more interesting pictures, become a more interesting person.” As photographers, we often get bored in the place we live and we want to travel as much as possible to get different and more interesting […]

I Am NOT a Self-Taught Photographer

Meet my friend Saurabh. Hes an amazing photographer from India and his work has been published in various reputed newspapers and journals worldwide like Nat Geo, The Guardian, Lonely Planet, etc. Astonishingly, hes a self-taught photographer and very passionate about his work.

Supply and Demand: Photography is Like Water

We all know the importance of photography, whether it’s journalism’s role in changing the world to a wonderful moment captured of someones special day. As photographers, we value our craft and the importance it has in our lives.

Photography is an Antidepressant

For me, photography is an escape. It offers a creative release which isn’t generally available in everyday life. Those creative escapes can often be far more satisfying than just enjoying a few beers or binging Netflix.

How Manual Focus and Vintage Lenses Made Me a Better Photographer

I have been a commercial and wedding photographer for over 13 years. And from the beginning, I have been using Canon DSLR cameras and a variety of auto-focus lenses for the Canon EF system. Switching to another camera system/brand didn’t cross my mind because I made a substantial investment into lenses for the Canon system […]

Jeff Mermelstein is a F***ing Anthropologist

Jeff Mermelsteins photographic practice of making presumably private text conversations public by photographing peoples phones while they are texting and then posting the results on Instagram has made a splash recently.

Teaching Photographic Style

Ive been thinking about photography and personal style and the different ways to teach it. Im trying to help, share and guide people along their way in finding their unique photographic style. Seeing if I can find that quick fix, that beaten path someone else has already made for us. Sadly over the many years […]

Visual Self Harm: Images I Dont Want to See

I found an image that I don’t want to see. Too familiar, and so, too hurtful. But as the Internet meme jokes, “What has been seen can’t be unseen. ” In that context, such images are considered shocking, graphic, violent.

How Bad is GDPR for Photographers?

The EU has a new data protection law, the so-called GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation, or as we Germans like to call it: Datenschutzgrundverordnung (Gesundheit!). The rules took effect on May 25th and so far its pretty chaotic: in the EU we cannot reach some newspapers in the outside world because they cannot comply […]

The Conversation: The Photograph as a Time Machine

Having spent a good portion of my life standing in the dark, dodging, burning, and spotting my prints, I doubt I will ever go back to analog in any meaningful way. I saw this negative and scanned it because these are two people who I was once very close too. I don’t know either of […]

Think Like a Painter in Your Approach to Photography

Consider this: think like a painter. Painting is basically an additive process: the painter adds paint to a canvas. Photography is basically subtractive: the photographer, through careful composition and cropping (or cloning in the digital darkroom), subtracts unwanted or distracting elements from a scene to create a vision — or impression — of a scene. […]

A Photo Portfolio Doesnt Need to be a Website

Well-curated portfolios can be some of the most powerful tools available to a photographer looking to efficiently communicate what theyre about to potential clients and customers. The classic portfolio is a physical book of prints, maybe 10-20 total, often accompanied by a declaration of intent in writing or in person if being showcased at an […]

A Bell Isnt a Bell Until It Rings

The scene through the viewfinder was one of pastoral beauty: a thatched and jettied cottage, with colorful Gertrude Jekyll borders full of Lupins. As my eyes drank in the peached colors of summer, a single press of the shutter button on my camera brought me tumbling back into the splintered blues of winter. Beyond the […]

What Does Your Photography Mean to You?

At the end of my photo workshops, and during my seminars, I often ask the participants a simple question: What does your photography mean to you? I ask the question because I know just how important photography is to many people, and I think hearing the answer out loud helps the individual and the others […]

Photographers: Should You Buy an iPhone 11 Pro?

Should you buy an iPhone 11 Pro? Thats a big question many people have had on their minds since Apple recently released their latest flagship smartphone that contains 3 different rear-facing cameras.

$57K in 57Hrs: Why Im Focusing on Public Portraits Over Commercial Work

Commercial photography seems so glamorous and it certainly can be. But Ive found that a few things were really bothering me over the last several years. Dont get me wrong: Im always crazy honored when any client anywhere chooses to hire me to photograph something for them. I realize that a client has hundreds if […]

Want to Be a Better Photographer? Dont Ask Me What Lens I Used!

“What lens did you use for that picture?” The only question less helpful to a growing photographer is probably, What settings did you use for that picture? Not because I think they are helping a newbie cheat, or because I might think it is copying, or ever — God forbid! — because I have some […]

Modern Cameras, or: A Look at Two Decades of Progress

Twenty years. They have gone by fast. I can remember the first time I saw a camera with a screen on the back of it at a sporting venue, and now a camera without one is considered vintage. However, the look of modern cameras is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to […]

Why the Fujifilm GFX 100 is Next Level

There has never been a camera that combines such stunning image quality, resolution, dynamic range, autofocus performance, overall handling, and ergonomics like the new Fujifilm GFX 100 does. Previous medium format digital camera systems have been able to deliver very high-resolution images for a good 10 years now, but have sorely been lacking in handling […]

Justifying the Noctilux and Its Place in My Workflow

I have gone through the gear of almost every major brand during my early photography journey, buying my way through cameras and lenses until I arrived at my current setup, which has remained more or less the same for my entire professional career.

The Best Photo Ive Ever Taken Was a JPEG

Alright, I dont know if its the best photo Ive ever taken, but its one of my favorites and its been the most popular photo Ive posted recently on Facebook and Instagram. Its a pretty standard belief in photography that if youre a serious photographer, you have to shoot RAW. Many people will sneer just […]

Film in the Digital Age: An Interview with 4 Photographers

In 2017, I began playing around with a 35mm film camera I had received from my grandparents. This Pentax Spotmatic was simple to use (although the light meter did not work) and it gave me a wonderful sense of accomplishment when I finished a roll of 36 photographs, each one being carefully thought out, more-so […]

The Value of a Photographic Photograph

Discussing what makes a photographic photograph can seem like a bit of a tautology, but I think that my understanding of what Im trying to achieve with my photographs has been helped by this idea.

Where Did You Shoot That?

One of the most hotly debated questions for landscape photographers is how to answer the age-old question, Where did you shoot that? While the question is simple enough, whether to answer (and how to answer) is an internal question many shooters contend with in the age of Instagram. Maybe you have your own, personal response. […]

The Eye Contact Conundrum in Street Photography

There are so many factors to potentially juggle for any given street/documentary situation that eye contact for me tends to fall a bit to chance — if it happens it happens and if it doesnt it doesnt.

The Paradox of Timelessness in Street Photography

I’ve noticed that a commonly used compliment for street photographs is to describe them as “timeless.” My interpretation of this is that it isused to mean that there are characteristics of the image which in some way transcend the boundaries of the context it was made in and can exist almost in its own context, […]

In (Partial) Defense of Flickr

On December 19, 2019, Flickr (and SmugMug) CEO Don MacAskill posted a letter entitled The worlds most-beloved, money-losing business needs your help. MacAskill described how SmugMug saved Flickr from an imminent demise at the hands of Verizon, and how the company needed the photo community to step up to staunch the money-losing operation. MacAskill further […]

Why Shoot Documentary Photography on Film?

Shooting a long term project, whether personal or professional, is a wonderful way to explore areas of photography you might not have previously considered. I know of photographers who have experimented with different types of filters, post-processing techniques, actual shooting methods (long exposure, panning, unfamiliar/conventional focal lengths), and so on, as their projects evolve. The […]

The New MacBook Pro Gets a Lot Right, But We Need Just a Little Bit More

I want to start this off by saying two things: one, this isn’t a review or hands-on impressions as I have not used the computer (PetaPixel’s hands-on coverage is forthcoming) and two, I am an Apple power user and have been since I was indoctrinated in high school. I love Apple, and even when they […]

Film Photography Speeds Me Up

Its been around a year since I switched to photographing on 35mm film for the majority of my work. Beyond a couple of false starts and some misconceptions, I think Ive adjusted well, and Im really happy to have made the change.

Street Photography Doesnt Need to be On the Street

It can be very easy to arbitrarily limit oneself by genre; I think the effect this has on the mindset of a photographer can potentially really damage the quality of the work they look to produce. I think that street photography is one of the broadest and most inclusive genres, and its interesting to see […]

Some Thoughts on Lenses: A Different Perspective?

I recently arrived at what I think is a worthwhile insight into the lenses I use. The material that follows should become instantly obvious once read, but the several photographers I discussed this with all commented that they had never thought of the matter that way and that it was worth some thought. Those comments […]