Photography as Fine Art

written by: Howard Bond

No doubt many PHOTO Techniques readers are interested in using photography to make art.Those who don’t sell their photographs have complete flexibility. Like young painters who sometimes copy the works of masters as a learning exercise, they might set out to duplicate a famous photograph. On the other hand, a photographer who subjects his or her photographs to the scrutiny of the wider world of galleries, museums, and collectors probably wants to avoid being seen as an imitator. Therefore, it’s important for anyone seriously involved in photography as art, especially those in the second category, to be well informed about Read more »



written by: John Sexton

I never suspected that my life would be changed when I went to visit my high school friend, Mark, on Christmas night 1969. I went to see the gadget he had received that morning as a gift. What he showed me was a photographic enlarger. It didn’t take us long before we had turned his bedroom into a makeshift darkroom, complete with “safelights” comprised of a strand of red Christmas tree lights borrowed from the family Christmas tree. I was mesmerized as an image mysteriously appeared in a tray of what seemed to be dirty water. I have no recollection Read more »


David Vestal: On th Spur of the Moment

written by: David Vestal

David Vestal was born in 1924, and studied painting at the Art Institute of Chicago. He studied photography in New York with Sid Grossman. He has done photography, writing, editing, and taught (primarily at the Pratt Institute) since 1956. He now does a “non-newsletter,” FINITY, which is two pages written, with two pictures. He has far too many negatives and digital files already waiting to be printed, so why take more? Because he keeps seeing more. Always in black-and-white, on the spur of the moment.


Film, Plastic, and Silicon

The Low-Tech and High-Tech Images of Susan Bowen

I WAS AN ART/PHOTOGRAPHY MAJOR at Allegheny College (a small liberal arts college in Pennsylvania) in the 1970s, but I let my art slide; computer programming ended up being my profession. Five years ago, however, I abruptly changed direction. I give two reasons for this: one being 9/11 (I’m a New Yorker), the other being a major personal loss the year before. Both those events reminded me that life is damn short, and that I had better get crackin’. The vehicle that got me jump-started was a four-week class I took on this silly camera called the Holga (of which Read more »


The Decisive Moment of the Landscape

written by: Paul Kozal

It’s a “nice, sunny day” in Paul Kozal’s region of Northern California today; that means it’s a good darkroom day. “I go out to shoot on the foggy days,” he says. Many black-and-white photographers aim for the perfect exposures and razor-sharp negatives of Ansel Adams and the ƒ/64 school, hoping to make large prints from them. Paul Kozal has a different viewpoint. He draws his inspiration from the earlier Pictorialists, such as Alfred Steiglitz. “I like my photographs small and soft,” Kozal relates from his Northern California home. “I don’t subscribe to the ‘bigger is better’ philosophy. Often, someone sees Read more »


Faux Landscapes and Disasters

written by: Lori Nix

I considered myself a “faux” landscape photographer. I meticulously build model landscapes and environments and photograph the results. I enjoy working with my hands; I like getting messy, and part of me, subconsciously or not, is a bit of a control freak. Since picking up the camera, I’ve tried my hand at portraiture and photojournalism and I’m horrible at both pursuits. By creating my own miniature worlds, I can take as long as I like to build to scene, compose the picture, and snap the shutter. I’ve always employed a sculptural element in my photography. As an undergraduate, I studied Read more »


Vietnam: An Alternate View

written by: Richard Baker

Sharp pictures, perfect exposure, great camera techniques, who needs them? I remember listening to photographer David Burnett relating a conversation he had with a French photographer. The Frenchman said something like this: “You Americans and your gadgets. You adjust the shutter, the aperture, the focus, the exposure then finally take the picture but you have nothing. We French do not worry about the shutter or the aperture or the focus or the exposure. We see the picture, we take the picture. When we are finished we have something, poor exposure, out of focus and all. But the emotion and feeling Read more »


False-Color Infrared

written by: John Custodio

I bought a Canon 5D about two years ago and had it modified for infrared by, which installed a 715nm filter over the sensor, allowing only deep red and infrared light to pass through. My initial intention when I started shooting digital infrared was to convert the images to black-and-white. When I used to shoot film, I sometimes used Konica’s infrared, which I scanned to make black-and-white inkjet prints. Since digital infrared images are still color images, they can exhibit a “false color” effect caused by the different response that each of the red, blue, and green photosites has Read more »


Zero to Blue-Chip in Four Years

Hard work a a distinctive look helped Tim Tadder rise to the top
written by: William Schneider

High-end commercial photography is a tough market to crack. Many aspiring photographers try, often spending many years in their efforts. Still, the road to photographic prominence is littered with half-successes and downright failures. That makes the quick rise of San Diego commercial photographer Tim Tadder rather remarkable. Just four years ago, he was starting the switch from photojournalism and editorial photography to commercial photography. You’ll now find Tim busy with clients that include Microsoft, Miller Lite, Newcastle Brown Ale, Coke, Pepsi, Gatorade, Powerbar, Callaway Golf, Yamaha, Arnette Sunglasses, Listerine, Southwest Airlines, Gillette, and AT&T. His quick rise to the top Read more »



written by: Gundega Dege

My everyday work is public relations and photojournalism. I received a BA degree in English philology, but also took some classes at an art school, and took part in several young painters’ competitions. I started photography more seriously a few years ago when my husband and I bought our first digital SLR. Since then I have won prizes in several local and international photography contests. I mostly explore several areas of photographing people: portraits, portraits in nature, and my favourite, children. I do photo manipulation as well as natural photos. I have never focused on, for instance, birds, landscapes, or Read more »