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Tag Archives: photographs

Graffiti- or street art (at best)- often reflects the economy, society or both- as well as the people who walk our streets. In the middle of one of America’s richest cities, I found this image a contradiction.LEft Behind web


A comment about angles (on two levels). First, the attached image (click on Steven L. Miller Photography) “works” because I wanted – and achieved- a more aerial view of this Thai merchant.
Also, from a media perspective, local Thai papers took a “sensational” view of the recent Red Shirt protests I witnessed. Yes, things were dicey- but major front page stories made events look like WWIII.

It is one thing to photograph friends. Shooting people in public settings is entirely different. Most new photographers feel their actions are invasive. The trick is to determine your motive. IF you are truly interested in documenting the human condition, then stand tall- know that good comes from seeing the world through an inquiring shooter’s eyes. Besides, most people want to matter. To be part of the story. IF it is clear you are NOT wanted, respect the emotion and go elsewhere. Should people ask what you are doing, say, “I make images that tell the story of people. I am interested in you AND would happily share give you a print.” These are things I share in my photography classes.

In my photography classes, I teach people to “see differently.” One way is to GET CLOSER to what is around you. I found this image on a faded wall in Viet Nam. Only about 18 inches wide, I cropped it further so viewers would not see what it really was: an old soft drink ad!

Photography is a great equalizer. Fellow shooters pay more attention to what you shoot instead of who you are. Collectors of your work are more interested in how you “see” not IF you can still see! In my case, when I teach photography, or make photographs, I am no longer type cast by age, ethnicity or net worth. I am just a shooter.

Sometimes images are more powerful when you can not see a person’s face. Assuming I can upload this image (the snow has frozen my brain today, I think), tell me your reaction.

I often place 8-10 photography books on the table as students gather for their first class with me. The books are open to images. At first glance, one tends to be impressed with the printed word/image, but the real test is whether or not the images are compelling and memorable. Just because someone has a book or a big name does not mean they can shoot worth a darn. Trust YOUR instincts in what you shoot and what you like.