Can You Grow Beyond Your Fears? Photographer Rodney Smith on learning and teaching… and accepting.

With this interchange the two sisters quarreled and abruptly the one uncomfortable sister rose from her chair and walked out of the classroom, never to be seen again. Unfortunately, I was never able to get past the fears of this troubled person. This girls pictures were a perfect reflection of who she was. Someone so troubled, so controlled, so unable to let her feelings out. Her pictures reflected her life at that moment.

I remember this moment because there was so much I could have done for her. Her feelings were right on the surface ready to be expressed in a positive and powerful way, but I never had the chance.

Photography is not without great emotion, even passion and intellect. I want you all to learn to let the fears out, to expose the person that lies deep below all the anxieties. The person who reaches out to the world around us and sings at the top of their lungs a resounding YES to life.

Read the whole thing:

“Cameras offer advantages even to smartphone owners” – Why yes, yes they do.

Smartphones and cameras can clearly coexist,” said Liz Cutting, a senior imaging analyst at market research firm NPD Group. “They just have different places in consumers’ lives.

“When Getty Wins, We All Win” – Well… uh, not so much. But that is what the Dollar Store if for!

Okay, that’s passed. Now seriously, if you’ve had any dealings with Getty, you’re part of the problem and you have nobody to blame but yourself. At least the staffers get a regular salary, camera gear, maybe some benefits to justify the trade-off. The rest of you have no excuse, and this goes for all my dear friends who market their work through Getty (or Corbis for that matter).

Photoshelter is an excellent option and there are still a few mom & pop photo agencies out there. Start a co-op, work together, protect your work and set the terms for how you profit from it.…

Finally someone does something to help end the long national Instagram Nightmare…

I just didn’t think it would be, you know, Instagram who did it!

IN a stroke of genius that can only come from the mind of a bunch of lawyers seeking billable hours, Instagram is now requiring GOVERNMENT issued ID’s for some of their most offensive kitty togs.

While I agree that keeping a close government eye on those who abuse the Holga like filters for pictures of their lunches should indeed continue, I worry where it may end?

Yes, of course I want to know the real identity of the guy who photographs his lunch. Every. Single. Day.

Yes, of course DHS should be monitoring over-exposed black and white photographs of laundry for suspected… well, you know what.

Instagram has obviously been turned into a den of suspects and perps, savagely passing inappropriate images of their car keys, and that girl with the very short dress… wait, we need more of those actually… but, you get my drift.

Failure to show the required government papers will mean your Instagram account may be vanquished… along with everything else you hold dear.

OK, I was exaggerating about everything else you hold dear. I just wanted you to feel the terror that is building behind the black helicopters of Facebook.

Be afraid, oh Lomo togginators… be very afraid.

Much More Here on this Serious Social Media Tragedy.

The End Starts Here: On Loving the Past While Embracing the Future… and how few can do both.

Every facet of contemporary life was now up for grabs. Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra had already been completely overrun by Rock and Roll, and unfortunately the world and its critics did not seem able to accept one along with the other. There seemed to be very little room for both. To be in the know, one had to choose.

So on that fateful day in 1968, Robert Anderson received an early copy of the review of his play, by Clive Barnes of The New York Times. He panned it as old fashioned with sentiment too powerful for the modern world. This masterpiece of a play closed after 124 performances. Robert Anderson, after this play, could never again get a favorable review from The New York Times. His time had come and gone. A man I loved and admired had been rejected. His voice was no longer needed or heeded. His accomplishments represented the past, and the future had no room for him or many of his contemporaries.

Sure there were revivals and accolades, but the world was ready to discard and leave Robert Anderson and his contemporaries behind. It was a new day.

Especially poignant these days.

The past is so lost to so many it could inspire. Yes, being contemporary is important. We all want to be ‘relevant’. We want to be ‘in the know’ as it is said.

As a young composer, I was enamored with the contemporary works of the day. Even Stockhausen was a bit old for me… I was reveling in the music of Roger Reynolds and Milton Babbit.

A very good friend and mentor, Dr. David Cohen and I were having coffee and chatting one evening when he asked me if I had listened to Mozart’s last piano concerti.

“I only like new stuff…” was my off handed way of taking a pass.

“Oh, so you have heard them”, he said.

I looked at him a bit oddly and said, “no, I only listen to new music.”

He smiled and said, “Well, if you haven’t heard them, they will be new to you.”

That was the exact moment when a ton of bricks of bullshit that I had been spewing all fell on top of me. I can remember that moment like it was yesterday.

I love Mozart’s Concertos, and John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Eliot Carter, Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Adele, Keith Jarret, Garth Brooks and Luthor Vandross.

If you haven’t seen it or heard it, it is new to you.


Contraction is for imbeciles and statists.

“Recycling, Compassion, and Photography” Keith Taylor shares photos of a recent gig with an inspirational story

I was on his property for a day-and-a-half shooting, and every one of his employees I dealt with was very friendly and helpful to me. All of them spoke very highly of Mr. Boles. My work has taken me to many different work and office environments — and it shows when employees at these environments are not treated with much respect by their employer. I can see it without them saying anything. You can see it too in your day-to-day life at businesses you visit — if you’re paying attention. It’s not a good thing.

Thanks Keith.

“Helsinki Bus Station Theory” – sometimes words come at just the right time. Struck hard by this article

And as the years mount up and your work takes begins to pile up, it won’t be long before the critics become very intrigued, not just by what separates your work from a Sally Mann or a Ralph Gibson, but by what you did when you first got started!

You regain the whole bus route in fact. The vintage prints made in twenty years ago are suddenly re-evaluated, and for what it is worth, start selling at a premium.

At the end of the line—where the bus comes to rest and the driver can get out for a smoke or better yet a cup of coffee—that’s when the work is done. It could be the end of your career as an artist or the end of your life for that matter, but your total output is now all there before you, the early (so-called) imitations, the breakthroughs, the peaks and valleys, the closing masterpieces, all with the stamp of your unique vision.

Why, because you stayed on the bus.


“Stand back, stand back, far enough so you can see your own mountain top, then head straight for it knowing it will disappear from sight for most of your life as you meander the hidden forest trails that lift you ever higher even as many sections force you to drop down into the mountainside pockets of disappointment or even despair, but you will be climbing soon enough and always headed towards your goal.”

Dear David. I agree. I would call upon you to lead the way in the elimination of this ‘plague’ Go ahead.. now.

The television presenter said that humans are threatening their own existence and that of other species by using up the world’s resources.

He said the only way to save the planet from famine and species extinction is to limit human population growth.

Do the right thing.

Lead by example.

Take the problem by the horns and charge forward into the abyss.

Make ‘positive change’ by reducing your own footprint.

Control your own growth and resource gobbling by, well eliminating it.

I heartily await your “well, I wasn’t talking about me” elitist bullshit response.

My gawd these people are so amazingly and profanely stupid. I think they enjoy living under rocks – as long as they are furnished well and have French cheese.


In their ranks are 54,000 children who suffer from a variety of disabilities. Many of them are in wheelchairs. Others suffer from disabilities like severe autism that make it impossible for them to travel to school alone in safety. Their attendance at school was down sharply in the wake of the strike. These individual stories are well set out in the New York Times.

Next time one of these thugs says it is “for the children” throw up on their shoes.

How do they live with themselves?

Annie Leibovitz on Photography: “You Cannot Underestimate the Power of the Sitter” (Nope… you cannot.)

I didn’t think any one else liked it but me,” Annie Leibovitz told a group of snapping cameras and scratching pens yesterday about her photograph of artist Agnes Martin. Taken in Taos, it shows the woman simply sitting on her bed, facing forward, back straight. But as the photographer explained the context of the shoot, the room we were peeking into became filled with a different kind of life.