Photography as Propaganda: Messages from the Wilderness

You’ve possibly already seen this video as it makes rounds on the blogs of several different photographers; please allow me to pile on! Photography as Propaganda is a current exhibition at the Atlanta, Georgia Lumière gallery and features works deploying the visual power of photography to communicate an understanding and appreciation of the great American wilderness. The exhibit includes the magnificent and legendary photography of Philip Hyde, Ansel Adams, Edna Bullock, Peter Essick, Robert Glenn Ketchum, Tom Murphy, Bradford Washburn, Edward Weston, and Brett Weston.

The short video below details the work of Philip Hyde, whose color photographic work in the American Southwest set the virtual stage for all other color Southwestern work that followed. Hyde’s influence is evident even in today’s most current Southwest photographs, even though many budding contemporary nature and landscape photographers remain unaware of his work and its impact on environmental conservation.

If you enjoy photographing the desert landscapes of the American Southwest, you owe it to yourself to check out Hyde’s 1987 book Drylands: The Deserts of North America. While you’re at it, check out Sierra Club: 100 Years of Protecting Nature, which details how the photographs of Hyde, Adams, and others were used to protect imperiled American landscapes. Enjoy the video!

Philip Hyde from Lumière on Vimeo.

You are visiting the blog of fine art landscape photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.

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Review: Guy Tal’s Creative Landscape Photography eBook

Guy Tal is a longtime friend and co-leader of our infrequent joint workshops (disclaimer made!). He’s also a gifted photographer and writer, and his internationally-acclaimed images and articles have been featured in such publications as Outdoor Photographer Magazine (US), PhotoLife (Canada), Digital Photographer (UK), as well as his own beautiful coffee table book, Exposures. In the current genre of landscape photography writing, I place Guy’s writing at the very top. I’ll be honest; most of what gets passed off as the best publications of our medium do little more than regurgitate what has already been regurgitated ad nauseam. Most of them are obsessively focused on gear and gear-based techniques, with few ever tackling more spiritual (if you will) and emotional approaches to landscape photography.

Designed as a companion to Guy’s Creative Landscape Photography workshop, this process-based instructional text is aimed at intermediate and advanced photographers who want to unlock their creative potential and evolve their craft. There’s also plenty of gear-based content for those who are still struggling with fundamentals. The book is well organized and features sections on the creative process; concept; visualization; composition; capture; processing; and presentation. It’s also filled with a number of Guy’s stunning images and accompanying text that explains his thought process and motives behind these particular photographs (no useless EXIF and aperture/shutter speed info!). There are also numerous exercises intended to aid in the evolution of your imagery (yes, “homework”!).

Taken a step further, creative photography is about the expression of subjective ideas, emotions, and sensibilities through the unique beauty of natural elements and using the medium of photography. A creative photograph is the result of venturing beyond the mere act of recording scenes and objects with a camera. Rather than thinking about what you want your viewers to see when looking at your work, think instead about how you want them to feel.

The eBook contains a whopping 86 pages, and at only $9.95, it may very well be one of the best valued eBooks I’ve seen. And at only $9.95, you can’t afford not having this eBook in your collection. Get ready to move to your photography to the next level…

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.

“In order to be a good photographer…”

“…you need to work more on your emotions than you do on your technique.”

Listen closely to the amazing photographic artist, Paul Caponigro:

“I dont want to repeat the formula over and over again. I want to be free enough to see every day with fresh eyes.” I just love this quote!

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website

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Art and Fear

Atlanta based editorial photographer, Zack Arias, has created an excellent short film entitled Transform. If you’re a photographer, THIS is a must watch.

No photographer or artist is immune; we all go through the same self-doubt and question our worth as an artist and our contributions to our chosen medium. And to address all these questions and self-doubts, David Bayles and Ted Orland created the wonderful book Art & Fear, which I highly recommend. Watch Zack’s video, and then purchase Art & Fear.

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.

Selective Focus Time-Lapse Musical Short Films

What else do I call the quirky and happy short films of Sydney-based filmmaker Keith Loutit? If you’re like me and you love selective focus, time-lapse photography, and good music, then you’ll love how Mr. Loutit has put them all together into one brilliant and cohesive package. Watch ‘Bathtub IV’ and then check out the rest of his short films.

Bathtub IV from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

Thanks to Jack Brauer for sharing keith’s work with me!

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.

Aerial Photography

William GarnettI’ve been a National Geographic reader since I was a youngster, and I’ve always been terribly fascinated by the aerial photographs found within its pages. I never did learn how to fly (nor have I tried), and although I took up mountaineering and rock climbing, the view and feel just isn’t quite the same.

Although aerial photography is considerably easier to execute today than in the earlier days of the medium (better and more well-suited photographic equipment; alternative flight forms [ultralight’s, for instance], it is still a form of photography practiced largely by private pilots, assignment photographers (those whose flights are generally paid for), and the wealthy. It’s reasonably impractical for most other photographers who are pursuing ‘personal work’ to hire flights – it’s just too prohibitively expensive.

Herein is a very short list of aerial photographers whose work greatly inspires me:

Bradford Washburn: mountain climber, explorer, cartographer, pilot, photographer, honorary doctor, museum director – wow! An amazing and accomplished man. His aerial work was done with 5×7″ and 8×10″ large format cameras! See some of his work here . Learn about him here. Books by or about him and his photography.

William Garnett: an amazing eye for the abstract. Another private pilot. Learn about him here. Books. His work in Aerial Photographs is positively sublime.

Alex MacLean: has an excellent eye for form, design, and color. Yet another private pilot (seeing any trends?). His website. Books.

Enjoy!

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.