around the net: volume 15 , micro worlds and newspaper jobs

When was the last time you viewed photography you would describe as “arresting”? I don’t often use that term but that’s exactly how I feel about Andy Ilachinski’s Micro Worlds Portfolio. Andy is the author of the Tao of Digital Photography Blog and writes eloquently on the quest of the artist. If you’re seeking a higher level of understanding of your art and yourself, there’s inspiration to be found on Andy’s Blog.

prophotolife_rustymetalI’ve been carrying my point-n-shoot around lately and snapped the shot at left while walking to lunch a couple days ago. It also happens to be of a micro world, a piece of found, rusty metal about 2” x 3”. It’s amazing what you can find going on in a little area like that. Who knows, it might find it’s way into some future photo collage or layered in as a texture for something. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

On Wednesday evening I had a very enjoyable dinner conversation about the past, present and future of photography. Most specifically, the future of professional photography. Where will the profession be in a few years? The only constant seems to be change.

For a bit we spoke about newspaper photographers and, well, the truth is that newspapers are dying. Boy, does it hurt to say that but the internet has made the printed page less relevant with each passing year. Paper costs are up 35% and U.S. newspapers have cut 3500+ jobs in the last two months. I stumbled across these particular numbers after discovering John Harrington’s excellent site on the business of photography, Photo Business News & Forum, and his post “3500 and Counting”. You may recognize John’s name from his highly regarded book, Best Business Practices for Photographers.

Speaking of newspapers, I remember my first published newspaper photograph, I was still in high school, pestering my small town paper for work. It wasn’t much of a photo, a shot taken at a high school play, but I can still feel the page in my hands and feel the ink on my fingertips. It was a sign that I’d arrived. My career took a turn toward commercial photography but deep down I always wanted to be a big city photojournalist like prophotolife VIP commenter Bill Rhodes, aka flickr’s “Bill in Ash Vegas“. When I was in West Virginia learning to use my first Nikon, Bill was in New York City covering the news, a dream for a small town boy like me.

In Monday’s video we’ll take an in-depth look at a common tool that’s often taken for granted: the tripod. Our studio uses everything from pocket mini-tripods to 12 foot tall studio stands and everything in-between. Sometimes people are surprised at the ways we’ve found to rig a camera in difficult situations so I thought I’d share what we’ve learned over the years.

Have a great weekend, everyone, I’m looking forward to hitting the trails on the mountain bike, weather permitting…

- Jim T.