Ideas & Inspiration

While we cover our fair share of gear we always keep in mind what all that gear is for—producing images that speak to your vision and your desire to express your view of the world. In this issue we do just that by introducing you to a number of photographers who have taken those tools and techniques and created a group of images that focus on an important aspect of their view of the world. Tied in with those projects is a dedication to the craft and its practice, which is what often makes their images unique and noteworthy.

The range of topics and photographers covered is as wide as the world itself, including a very informative article from Maria Piscopo, who talks with a number of photographers who engage in pro bono (literally, for the good) work for charities, NGOs, and organizations that look to change the world, and the human experience, for the better. In it you’ll understand how this all works, and how it benefits both the photographer and the causes their images help further.

Other articles we trust you’ll find of interest include one on a photographer whose dedication to black and white and new techniques is as remarkable as his images; a look at the collage techniques of a photographer who combines old family album images with digital techniques to create a moving set of images that I think you’ll find inspirational; a bio on Robert Freson, a veteran photographer whose life is one many photographers might dream of; a story on a student we had profiled in our Student Union column in the past who went on to succeed in her chosen field; and a bit of history with Lorin Robinson’s piece on a new set of stamps from the USPS that honors the amazing work of Lewis Hine, among others, and his amazing images of hard-working people in America.

The inspirational part of this is something I hope you act upon, in your shooting and processing and bringing your personal projects to completion. Doing so not only ups your game, but it can also help reinforce your instincts about and enthusiasm for the photographic craft. The image is the 21st century form of communication, no doubt, but that doesn’t mean that getting it in front of others happens all by itself.

As you read through these articles I hope you take away what it took for each of these individuals to accomplish their goals and to emulate them in your energy, drive, and enthusiasm for your own work. At Shutterbug, we are always interested in personal projects, whether they be photographing sports, cars, nature, travel, abstracts, social events, and circumstances…whatever drives your passion. Like I said, it’s what the conversation about gear is, or should be, all about.

As a final note, just a quick reminder that our Picture This! assignment submissions are going online in the next few months. This will speed delivery, allow you to post images rather than mail them in, and to comment on other readers’ images as you view your own. Check this month’s Picture This! column for details when this changeover is taking place.