From the Editor, J/F 2012

By Wendy Erickson Back to

So it’s January and you are thinking about eating those high calorie comfort foods to combat the cold winter, right? It’s hard to keep resolutions…The burgeoning New Year is a great time to contemplate where you have been and where you are going, photographically and otherwise.

One thing you might consider is adding giving back to your list of resolutions. Need some inspiration? In this issue Photographer Daniel Beltrá generously shares his thoughts about photographing the gulf oil spill for Greenpeace with writer Robert Hirsch. You can also read about Mathieu Young, the L.A. based advertising photographer and self-assigned photojournalist, who traveled halfway around the world to document the impact solar power lights had on a Cambodian fishing village. And there are more ideas on page 37. Helping others using your photographic skill is a great way to give back and it just might get you going on a new project that has deeper meaning on many different levels.

On the technique side of things, Christina Anderson introduces you to the historic mordançage process and showcases the snow crystals of Wilson Bentley. Two industrious and very different light painters, NY photographer Stan Patz and Texas photographer Michael Ross (in an interview by Ole Utne from Norway) share some of their secrets—they each create exceptional photographs painting with light. There’s also a new feature, a ‘one page’ technique article—this time around it’s how to white balance your camera by Steve Anchell. We’ll continue this in 2012 with both traditional and digital topics such as metering, exposing film, darkroom tips and more.

Tom Persinger is back in the darkroom again, this time exposing and processing color film using chemicals and a reel and tank. Digital photographers are shaking their head saying “how quaint” but observe them carefully when they think you’re not looking… they want to try it too.

I stumbled upon Emmy winner and Pulitzer Prize nominee Richard Koci- Hernandez on the web—his photographs pay homage to the history of photography while embracing the digital present. Made using Instagram, his photographic style is enviable. David Wells is here with some ideas on understanding your own working process. Helping us ring in the new is Kevin Moloney with a look to the future of old and new technology. In News with Veronica Cotter, digital books are the topic. If you’re stuck inside during the gloomy winter months, a digital book might be in your future! Check out the special discounts for photo technique readers. Finally, Harvey Stein gives us his take on Coney Island on Page 48.

There are common threads to conversations overheard recently, like “I want to shoot film again.” Me too. I went to load up my Hasselblad XPan and realized the batteries were dead—I was disappointed, but I got fresh batteries, not only for that camera but also for two others. Is it possible that for folks who used to use film, and those who have never exposed film, they just want to try something ‘new?’ I have an 8×10 wooden view camera in the basement that’s in my thoughts a lot lately but I also love my new iPhone camera and the freedom to make images at any waking moment. Now I can create bigger prints,

digital negatives, historic process prints… there is absolutely no limit.

This year, when it comes to photography, let’s party like it’s 1999… or 1879, or 2012. Time traveling is allowed in our world. The future of photography is bright.

About the Author

Wendy Erickson
Wendy Erickson is a photographer, writer and teacher. Her photographs and writings have been widely exhibited, and published in numerous books and articles. Wendy teaches photography at the University level and as Editor, is putting the technique back into photo technique Magazine.