Digital Innovations

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Joe Farace Posted: Jul 11, 2014 Published: Jun 01, 2014 0 comments
I received similar advice from my own father on my 17th birthday that ultimately put me on the path to a career—not a job—in photography. The photograph here was made by my friend Danny when we climbed the 897 stairs inside the Washington Monument. Inside the classy vinyl camera bag slung over my shoulder is a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye that my parents gave me for a birthday present. I modified the camera to accept close-up and yellow filters that an uncle gave me as a gift. Even then I was interested in enhancing images, and I had no idea what that might hold, but I was fascinated by computers (and robots) back then as well.
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Joe Farace Posted: Mar 17, 2014 0 comments
Many people think they need to travel far from home to make photographs when, chances are, if they took the time to look around they would discover that photo ops are right around the corner. That’s where self-assignments come in: for the past 30 years mine has been making images that I can walk to from my front door—like the tiny flower in my front yard I captured this afternoon. It wasn’t made for any commercial purpose and is just a way for me to appreciate and document the small things of daily life that many people take for granted. It’s personal projects like this that help us all stretch our talent, skill, and imagination. You can think of it is as a form of digital meditation.
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Joe Farace Posted: Dec 30, 2011 Published: Nov 01, 2011 1 comments
Richard Avedon once said, “I think all art is about control—the encounter between control and the uncontrollable.” That’s what a dedicated studio, no matter what size it may be or where it may be located, provides a photographer. It is a safe haven from the real world where, like the Outer Limits voice says, you can control the lighting, the background, and the subject. When working in this kind of environment, I control everything from the subject’s pose to their clothing and makeup and the resulting photographs tend to be as much a portrait of me as they are of my subjects. What often emerges from all that control is a style. Photographic style is not something I’m conscious about when shooting but the truth is that over time we all develop a signature way of shooting. The danger is, of course, that we keep shooting that same way or different versions of the same shot for the rest of our lives, so any style you develop must grow and change as you learn. To get you started, here are a few tools that will help enhance or define your style.
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Joe Farace Posted: Oct 01, 2010 2 comments

“How many photographers does it take to change a light bulb? Fifty. One to change the bulb, and 49 to say, “I could have done that!”—Anonymous

I wanted to kick off this month’s column with an old trick that gets better every year: green screen photography. Lighting considerations are extremely critical when shooting against a green or blue background. Your...

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Joe Farace Posted: Sep 01, 2006 0 comments

"The still must tease with the promise of a story the viewer of it itches to be told."
--Cindy Sherman

Two quotes again this month: The first by Ansel Adams, the second by Cindy Sherman. There are six photographers in Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential artists and entertainers of the 20th century: Henri Cartier-Bresson, W. Eugene...

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Joe Farace Posted: Jul 01, 2006 0 comments

"Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome."
--Isaac Asimov

I've tried to dump my Windows computer many times over the past few years, but the reality of writing Digital Innovations dictates it should be cross platform. So when my eMachines motherboard was fried, it was easier and cheaper to replace...

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Joe Farace Posted: Feb 01, 2011 4 comments

“…everything looks better in black and white.”—Paul Simon, Concert in the Park

Proving that you can, in fact, change your tune, Paul Simon altered the lyrics of his 1973 hit song Kodachrome from the original “…everything looks worse in black and white.” When he performed the song at a concert in Central Park on August 15, 1991 everything looked...

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Joe Farace Posted: Nov 01, 2007 0 comments

"I was going to have cosmetic surgery until I noticed that the doctor's office was full of portraits by Picasso."--Rita Rudner

I n more than 50 years of making images, I've never photographed a resolution chart. I have always judged a lens or camera's performance by how much I liked using it and how the photographs looked. I care about how...

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Joe Farace Posted: Oct 01, 2012 Published: Aug 01, 2012 8 comments
For the past 10 years, my personal photography has enjoyed a burst of creativity that Mary alternately credits to a change in camera brands and a change in my home office environment. Certainly living and working on Daisy Hill has renewed my interest in personal assignments, but I think improvements in imaging technology are another catalyst. How can hardware and software increase or help a person’s pursuit of creativity?
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Joe Farace Posted: Nov 01, 2008 0 comments

“There are no rules here—we’re trying to accomplish something.”—Thomas A. Edison

I’ve always felt the most important photo accessory you can own is the bag that holds your gear. That’s why I worked with Adorama (www.adorama.com) to develop the Joe Farace Reporter Backpack and the smaller Mary...

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Joe Farace Posted: Aug 24, 2011 Published: Jul 01, 2011 4 comments
As a student at the Maryland Institute College of Art, I attended a class on color and my very first assignment was landscape photography. I wasn’t then or am I now a serious landscape photographer, but as a serious student I developed a set of personal guiding principles on the “what” and “how” of photographing landscapes that I still follow today. These four principles are not cast in concrete and are presented here only as guidelines for your own explorations in landscape photography.
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Joe Farace Posted: Sep 01, 2008 0 comments

"But some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality..."--H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu

Instead of "starting up" my Windows computer recently greeted me by sitting there and just beeping, something I know spells trouble. Having suffered far too many slings and arrows of...

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Joe Farace Posted: Feb 11, 2014 Published: Jan 01, 2014 1 comments
Not too long ago there was an online discussion about what inspires people to create new images. For me, new things are what inspire me. It can be a new lens, a new accessory, or maybe just a new place to make photographs. Here are some new tools for your inspiration along with a few ways to make old things reinspire you.
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Joe Farace Posted: Jan 01, 2007 0 comments

Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just don't add up. --James Magary

I 've been working with all kinds of computers since 1964. When I purchased my first personal computer in '80 people asked, "What do you need a computer for?" That seems like a funny question today, doesn't it?

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Joe Farace Posted: Apr 01, 2009 0 comments

“The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.”—Mark Twain

The history of April Fool’s Day may be unclear but many scholars think it began in France when the Gregorian calendar replaced Charles IX’s in 1582, creating confusion with some people celebrating New Year’s Day on what was now April 1st. These people were...

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