"The real secret
of making great photographs is knowing where to point the camera."--Joe
I love it when photographers
tell me they have a "good eye." I haven't had good
vision since my first eye exam in 1955 when I started wearing, what
I thought at the time, were insanely cool "Buddy Holly"
glasses. Along the way I discovered diopters and never shoot with my
eyeglasses, preferring instead to look through the camera's lens
hoping to see something beyond the mundane in the ordinary. Here are
four photographers whose compositional skills could only be called extraordinary.
If you want to improve your own photography skills and learn where to
point the camera, these guys will show you the way.
Allison's we bsite showcases the art of travel photography
and captures the mystery, drama, and romance of faraway
places--don't miss it.
© 2003, Glen Allison, All Rights Reserved
With A Big Difference
Glen Allison (www.glenallison.com)
is a LA-based travel photographer whose imagery captures the mystery,
drama, and (dare I say it?) romance of faraway places. During the 1990s
he roamed the world with nothing but a backpack containing a change of
clothes, laptop, and camera, maintaining no permanent residence while
he photographed in 131 different countries. This takes care of the travel
part, but what about his photography? When visiting the Gallery of Global
Images you'll see tiny thumbnails and a larger center image that
changes when you click another thumbnail. The photographs of Angor Wat
at night, dancers doing the tango, and fairy-tale images of unidentified
Asian cultures (there are no captions to help identify the photographs)
There is page after page of awe-inspiring thumbnails; by clicking "next
page" you'll hear the sound of a small temple bell. Cool.
There is a separate gallery for India, where you'll see stunning
images made with wide angle lenses, studies in light and shadow made with
long lenses, and portraits that show someone in touch with their environment.
Allison respects his subjects by extending the kind of dignity seldom
seen in cliché riddled travel snapshots. Fine art black and white
prints of some of his images are available for purchase as well as a book
describing his journeys. Would-be travel and adventure photographers will
benefit from his travel tips and if you'd like to see him "in
person," there's a list of events where he will appear. Allison's
web site showcases the art of travel photography--don't miss
Flock's web site is filled with great images made
by a photographer with a distinct point of view and the
skill and artistic integrity to pull it off.
© 2003, Ben Flock, All Rights Reserved
Way Up North
Ben Flock (www.benflock.com)
is a pro located in Toronto who shoots "mostly corporate stuff,
usually people oriented." If that's a self-portrait on the
homepage, it's gotta be the best one I've ever seen and shows
Flock has style, lots of skill with lighting, and a sense of humor. The
site is divided into sections containing Corporate, Editorial, Portraiture,
Personal, and Panoramas. I went to the panoramas first and was blown away
by the use of color, sense of breadth, and frame-filling wonder Flock
has breathed into the images. Too many panoramic images are notable only
for their width, but Flock uses every inch of the frame to tell a story
as can be seen in a wonderful portrait of two kids and their dogs. It's
amazing, as is the photograph of a parade that makes you ask, "Where
was he when he made that shot?"
The site has a minimalist, but stylish design that focuses on colorful
images and makes them jump off the page. Flock's corporate work
shows the power of the square format, especially with wide angle lenses,
and he uses these to create Escher-like metaphors combining colorful lighting
techniques with exquisite, formal compositions that knocked my socks off.
His editorial work combines styles from his corporate work but uses 35mm
format that abounds with life and a sly smile. Obviously, Flock loves
people and they love him. If anything, it's his portraiture that
might be called workmanlike, although I'm sure the clients enjoy
it, especially the outdoor family portrait that's lit better than
the typical flat lighting or overfilled flash seen hanging on the walls
of most studios. His personal work is monochrome, lacking the eye-popping
color found elsewhere, but these images are imbued with inner light (the
infrared nude) and whimsy (wide angle cows). This is a site filled with
great images made by a photographer with a distinct point of view and
the skill and artistic integrity to pull it off.
Stonner displays a wonderfully eclectic style that shows
he's still searching for his own unique vision of
the world, but take the trip with him as he does. You'll
be glad you did.
© 2003, Dave Stonner, All Rights Reserved
Dave Stonner (www.davestonner.com)
is a recent graduate of Central Missouri State University who recently
put together a web site to show his assortment of styles ranging from
fashion to space to (here's a big one) life. The Vanity (fashion)
section has a group of images chopped into thumbnails. Dragging a mouse
over one of them almost always causes a larger image to appear. Give the
page enough time to load and it will work as it should. Advisory: One
of the fashion images might be disturbing for younger readers and another
has partial female nudity, but the rest of the site offers solidly G-rated
The photojournalistic images celebrate life but contain photographs of
current political events, while the formal square format architectural
images in the Space collection vary from wonderfully abstract black and
white to a few color images that celebrate the "space" we
occupy on this planet. Yes, all of this can be slow to view and Stonner
promises to make it "run more smoothly" in the future. Throughout
all of these images, Stonner displays a wonderfully eclectic style that
shows he's still searching for his own unique vision of the world,
but please make the trip with him. You'll be glad you did.
motto "see it, feel it, shoot it," may echo
The Who's "Tommy," but he has found his
own unique way of looking at the world.
© 2003, Guarionex, All Rights Reserved
Like Cher, Guarionex (www.myfotosite.com)
has only one name but finds beauty in the alleyways and byways of the
Concrete Apple that many pass by but don't see--or bother to
photograph. The site works without much text but you can find his Bio
by clicking on an icon of Guarionex's face and read it in Portuguese,
Spanish, or English. The other icons include one for color images and
one for black and white. The color images bristle with an energy of shapes
and color seemingly confined inside the frame and bursting to be free.
These are displayed as tiny thumbnails on the left and clicking any of
them expands to a larger image, complete with simple caption.
Some images are quiet, as in "Grandmother Garden" that shows
a peaceful moment where you can just imagine your own abuela sitting on
the bench. I thought Guarionex's color work was pretty good, but
when I looked at the monochrome images I was speechless. "Memories
No. 1" combines echoes of Aaron Siskind's work but takes the
"peeling paint" genre into new, stronger, and more emotional
directions. It is especially powerful in black and white, removing the
literalness of reality. "Warm Hearts" is one of the few photographs
with people in it and mixes the photographer's strong compositional
skills with a gentle, human touch. Guarionex's motto "see
it, feel it, shoot it," may echo The Who's Tommy, but he's
found his own unique way of seeing the world.
Your Camera To Work Day 2003 is finally history, and people
from around the world posted images.
All Around The Web
I plan to keep the Take Your Camera To Work Day web site open permanently,
so if you made any photographs on May 21, 2003, it's still not too
late to post them. In the meantime, visit www.takeyourcameratoworkday.com
to see pictures made by people from as far away as New Zealand and as
close as (down the road) Greeley, Colorado. Although the 2003 site had
no "official" sponsors, I'd like to thank Dave Hall
of AllSolutions.NET (www.allsolutions.net)
for his hard work. I hope to have an expanded, redesigned site for Take
Your Camera To Work Day 2004, which will again be on May 21st.
If you'd like to recommend your own or a friend's web site,
please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Browsers Come And Go
Microsoft announced the only future development on Internet Explorer for
the Macintosh will be to fix bugs. As I write this, the current update
for Internet Explorer 5.2.3 for Mac OS X enhances compatibility with proxy
servers and fixes a few bugs. Interestingly, Chairman Bill said Microsoft
says they will also stop development on a stand-alone version of Internet
Explorer 6 for Windows in order to continue to integrate web browsing
into Windows. So rather than worrying about using lame duck software,
I downloaded Apple's free Safari web browser for Mac OS X. It's