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The Photographer’s First Challenge

September 9, 2012

Digital Billboard, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, 2012, all photos by Frank Ward

I saw this billboard outside our hotel in Tashkent. It reminded me of our digital  lab at Holyoke Community College. The good news is that our digital photo lab is running with the fewest problems of its short history.

Hip Hop at Lenin’s Statue, Osh, Kyrgyzstan, 2012

My students are the best part of the new semester. I am teaching two small Digital Fine Art classes and a huge Basic Photography class. Students love working with classic black and white film. The joy of seeing one’s picture appearing on the surface of a previously white piece of paper still cannot be matched. Well, actually, iPhones are amazing too.

Smart Phone Action, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 2012

I’m sure my digital/film students will rise to the challenge of making fresh pictures in a world where millions of pictures are made every day.

Light and Shadow, Khiva, Uzbekistan, 2012

There is a good reason to pick up a camera and point it at the world. We do it to as a response to all that is happening around us and inside us.  A photograph is a personal  gesture that tells others about our world view. A photograph is the dance of light and shadow frozen in time and space. I don’t think any other art can stop the world so we can contemplate it for as long as our heart desires.

Water Park, Osh, Kyrgyzstan, 2012

The photographer’s first challenge is to find the light.

Restaurant Kitchen, Ghonchi, Tajikistan, 2012

Of course, photography isn’t just about sunlight and windows.

Waiting out the Rain, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 2012

A rainy day is a great time to make pictures. Both light and shadow are soft and beautiful. If you like people pictures, soft light is often the best. It’s true for landscapes too.

After the Rain, Almaty, Kazakhstan, 2012

Our first assignment in Basic Photography is to photograph light, form and texture. Once you find the right light, form and texture usually takes care of itself. Well, you do have to have interesting forms. Fortunately, the world is full of them.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 9, 2012 8:12 pm

    Reblogged this on shadowvigil.

  2. Julia permalink
    September 9, 2012 8:19 pm

    Frank, your words and pictures still teach me !

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