Pulitzer Prize winning Visual Journalist
One mistake that new photographers make is moving on too quickly from a potentially good situation without waiting for it to get better. Instead of settling for a mediocre picture, they should dedicate more time to really working the situation until they feel that it is done. Transcript: "Biggest mistake a new photographer makes well, one of them, I don't know if it's the biggest but one mistake. I've noticed a pattern of especially with a lot of the mentoring I do and workshop teaching workshops and then I look at the photographers. Take, if they've gone out to do an assignment for the workshop or work they brought in Via portfolio is that they tend to not spend enough time on a good situation or maybe not recognize when a good situation is unfolding in front of them and move on to soon. They get impatient so they might know they're in a good. Situation. And, you know, they take a dozen frames or whatever or even less, they might take like two or three frames and then move on when they should be taking 20 frames, or really working that situation. And I think it might be that they're kind of like, okay, I've satisfied. This part of the story that I need to tell or I feel like I've got a good picture and they don't wait for it to get better and oftentimes the situations do just get better and better not all the time. I mean sometimes you get that right? Just the right moment. You make your pictures and you move on, but a lot of photographers move on too soon. And if you're thinking about, what might be better down the road, rather than what's really great in front of you, you're going to do, you know a disservice to what moment in front of you and just get a mediocre picture and then miss whatever is happening down the road because you'll probably have to get there to later. It wasn't happened in there to begin with. So, you know, I tell photographers to really zero in what's in front of them. If it's peaking, their interest in any way and work it until they feel that it's done and it's usually a little longer than you think it is. So dedicating a little bit more time. I think is It is something that these photographers should do."
My favorite lens to use is a 35mm with a wider aperture like a 35mm f/1.4 or 35mm f/1.7. Right now I'm using the Leica Q2 which has a 28mm f/1.7 and I'm really enjoying it. The 35mm gives me a happy medium, while the 50mm is great for portraits. I prefer fixed focal length lenses rather than zoom lenses. Transcript: "This is a question. I'm often asked, it's what's your favorite lens to use? And I'd have to say my Workhorse lens is a 35, 35, you know, with a wider aperture, like a 35, 14 or 35 17, something like that, right now, I'm using the Leica Q2 a lot. That's a 28 17, and I'm really enjoying the 28, you know, a little bit wider. You got to be a little more disciplined with your edges and how you're composing and your distance from the subject. But it has a feature where I can digitally Zoom it to a 35 and then it Comes. I think about a 35 F2 and I love using that lens. I just the 35 for me is kind of that. Happy medium another lens. I really love is the 50. I think the 50 is a wonderful lens and underrated a great portrait lens and kind of you know, it starts to get a little closer to how you naturally see the world. I think we kind of naturally see it about a 60 millimeter or something like that but yeah. 35 is my Workhorse. In my favorite and fixed. Not a zoom. But a fixed focal length."
Leica cameras are currently my favorite camera brand, especially the Q2 which is a perfect hybrid of a mirrorless and rangefinder camera. It has great white balance and flesh tones, the lens is very sharp, and it is quiet, discrete, light, and has a solid build. Ultimately though, the best camera brand is the one you are most comfortable with and that you feel in sync with. Transcript: "Oh, this one's the favorite camera brand. Well currently and for a long time before it is like a, I love using Leica cameras. Especially now the Q 2 is a camera that I primarily use. I have a Sony as well. But the Leica Q2 I find to be this perfect hybrid of a mirrorless camera and a rangefinder camera much like the old rangefinders the m6 M for back in the day in the film analog. Is and I just have had great success with it. The white balance the the flesh tones it just it's really true and really beautiful and the lens is very sharp that 28 17 that you can digitally Zoom to a 35 50 or 70. I never put it on 70 but the 35, you get the rangefinder lines coming into the viewfinder, which I really like and it's not a true optical zoom, but I just lose a little bit of the depth on it, but it's Still looks beautiful and it's a 30, Meg file, but I love it. Quiet discrete light solid build. But honestly, your favorite brand is the camera that you're most comfortable with the one that you're using in the field that you, you know, you like how the menus are laid out, you like how the buttons on it are set out, it's ergonomically comfortable in your hand. That's what you're really looking for, whatever you feel in sync with. But right now for me. Yeah, it is the like you too."
Yes, you are allowed to take photos of strangers depending on your comfort level and the laws of the country you are in. In the US, it is generally allowed as long as you are on public property. It can be intimidating, so it is important to be aware of people's privacy concerns when taking pictures and posting them online. Transcript: "I guess the short answer for, are you allowed to take photos of strangers? Is yes, depending on how comfortable you are, and making sure that you're not insensitive, and this varies from country to Country. For example, I believe in France and Germany now, even if you want to go do street photography, you can't just take pictures of people. They considered an invasion of privacy in the United States. You can, you can take photographs, if you're on the public Street, you can take pictures of anything you want, pretty much. So, A lot of times if I'm doing street photography, which I really enjoy doing, I'm finding locations with a background. That's very interesting and kind of letting people populate that background and working that and see where that leads to, it can be very intimidating, it can be very tough, you know, you got to get over kind of that that shyness factor and especially now, with everyone, taking pictures and posting them online. A lot, a lot of people are much more wary of their privacy and what's going to be done with the photographs, you're taking. But, but the short answer is, Is yes, you are allowed to take photos of strangers."
I tend to have a large take that I whittle down piece by piece. Depending on the story, I might send a few hundred images to an editor for review. We then collaborate on which images we think are best for the story and layout, and whittle it down further from there. It can be painful to have to let go of favorite pictures, but it's important to look at the story as a whole rather than individual images. Transcript: "Oh, answer a similar question to this before on how do I edit my photos? I tend to have a larger take that I whittled down piece by piece. It just depends on what the story is or how involved it was. If I've been assigned to just go photograph a press conference or something. That's a pretty easy edit. I can just kind of Crank that down right away and send my editors at the at the post or wherever wherever you're working for, you can just send those editors, you know, a handful of images, or whatever the requirements might be, if you're working on Something that's more long-term or involves a lot of travel or something like that and you have a much bigger take, you know, different editors have different requirements. I tend to to kind of Whittle it down to, you know, two or three hundred that I think our possibilities. A lot of them might be redundant frames from a similar situation, and then I kind of go through each one of those frames and there might be just a little gesture. There might be just the slightest little moment or a finger being raised or an expression on a face or, you know, turning ahead with just the right light. That puts that, Sure over the top from the other images in the sequence and and then I'll kind of that will graduate to the next level and I just try to whittle it down and for instance, and this recent story I did in Ukraine, I was there for three weeks and on some of the larger stories I would send about 100 plus to the photo editor. I was working with on this and then she would look it over. I would look it over. We'd kind of together take it down and a little bit tighter and we'd have a back and forth about what picture might be working based on layout based on the Dory. So that's kind of how you do it. And sometimes, you know, you have to you have to take out some of your favorite pictures, you know, and it's never Pleasant. It's really painful but you know, you're looking at the story as a whole rather than just the individual images."
Smartphone cameras have been a double-edged sword. On one hand, they've opened up more opportunities for street photography and multimedia, but they can also lead to laziness because they do so much of the work for you. They can lead to photos that are immediately "likeable" but may lack emotional quality or intimacy with the subject. Transcript: "This is a good question from Josh asking, if you think, advancements in smartphone camera, technology have hurt or helped photography as a professional trade. It's a double-edged sword. I mean, it is pretty phenomenal. What we can do with these smartphones. Now I'm using the iPhone 13, and the image quality, the portrait lens. I mean, three different lenses. It's pretty phenomenal, the video stabilization. There's there's a lot of really good stuff that's built into this phone. I think it's opened up a lot of Frontier. For us as photographers. Certainly for street photography, can be really advantageous. Often times, I will use the iPhone as a video camera and then my, I'll have my still cameras because if I'm shooting multimedia, I really love that separation between having the phone as a video camera and having my still cameras. Be just that still cameras because it's hard to go back and forth on one body or even to still bodies. So I really like that separation. I think the danger is laziness. I mean, the smartphone does so much for you, the filters blurring, the background automatically, if you want it done that way, and you kind of lose the craft because the phone's doing so much for you, I think, also, the phone and Instagram, and these kinds of venues have made it that, you know, you're going really after composition and graphics and photos. That immediately jump off the phone and are going to Garner likes and interaction. And then maybe we're missing the emotional quality of a photo the intimacy, the interaction with the Object. So it's yeah, it's hit and miss and it's a Brave New World, but it's here. So we're going to have to embrace it and use it to its, you know, it's best purposes."