Friday Happy Hour: Aging & Creative Decline in Photography

Friday Happy Hour: Aging & Creative Decline in Photography

Do photographers reach their peak in their 30s? That’s part of what British Journal of Photography discusses in its June issue’s feature article on Aging & Creative Decline in Photography. Hear from photographers 19-100 years old in this article, then check out some inspiration below to help keep your creativity flowing.

Aging and creative decline in photography: a taboo subject

In the June issue of British Journal of Photography, photographers aged 19 to 100 discuss coming of age – when they were at their peak, and how they keep their work fresh in the face of creative decline. “Photographers never want to talk about the fact that they may well be in decline. It’s the greatest taboo subject of all,” says documentary photographer Martin Parr. Protegees like Olivia Bee say that she doesn’t want to be known by her age, while 44-year-old Alec Soth says that many photographers make their most significant work while in their 30’s. BJP shared the highlights of all their interviews here. What’s your opinion?

Why the camera industry clings onto early SLR design

On community-sourced Q&A site Quora, someone asked, “Why did the SLR camera shape stick around for professional photography after the switch to digital photography?” Amateur photographer Diego Noriega Mendoza answered in-depth, outlining three basic reasons that we cling to the old SLR design:

  • Technology: the eye, and pure optics, are still the best way to get a faithful image for focusing and framing. Sensors and displays are not quite there yet.
  • Ergonomy: The GH line of mirrorless cameras by Panasonic uses the SLR design. Sturdier and easier to handle and stabilize than the viewfinder or rangefinder design, this is, I believe, the main reason why we still use the SLR design
  • Tradition: The photography crowd is one that does not embrace paradigmatic change with ease. Optics is an old science, perhaps one of the oldest studies of physics. The adoption of new technologies involving optics would require a very objective upgrade from the older model, especially when you consider how much money one invests in collecting all the necessary equipment for photography.

He adds, “Letting go of a design that has worked perfectly for photographers for the past 60 years and that has yet to be replaced by a significantly better design is not an easy thing to do, especially when you consider the costs of embracing a new model.” (via PetaPixel)

Build your own 35mm plastic SLR camera

Speaking of tradition…Get your DIY on with Lomography’s Konstruktor Kit, which includes all the parts to build your own 35mm SLR camera. The finished product features a top-down viewfinder, multiple exposure function, bulb setting for long exposure, and a detachable lens. And you can build it in under 20 minutes!

2013 International Photography Awards call for entries

The 2013 Int’l Photography Awards call for entries is open until July 15th. The Photographer of the Year will receive a $10k cash prize. Visit their site to submit your work.

Big Sky Montana Photo Expedition with Ami Vitale

Documentary photographer extraordinaire Ami Vitale is hosting two photography workshops this summer that aren’t to be missed. The first takes place in the Centennial Valley of Southwest Montana, June 23-30. With only 4 participants, this intimate environment will leave you with the tools to develop and sustain a long term project, generate ideas for funding, and discuss possible outlets for your images. Learn more here.

The second is August 9-17 to photograph the Kandy Festival in Sri Lanka with Ami and Photo Quest Adventures. The Kandy Festival is Buddhist tradition where participants perform in costumes with extravagant decorations and elegant detailing. You’ll also gain access to the Pinnewala elephant orphanage, fishing villages of Galle, and take a safari in Yala National Park. Learn more here.

Corey Rich: The Making of Red Bull Rusch Hour

Corey Rich is an extreme adventurer, rock climbing the highest peaks, skiing the steepest slopes, and kayaking the most intense whitewater to shoot both still and motion for his clients. He recently shot Rebecca Rusch, a top endurance athlete, for one of Red Bull’s campaigns featuring somewhat crazed risk-takers. Rebecca’s goal was to beat female speed record on the famous 142-mile Kokopelli Trail in Utah, which she did by over 90 minutes.

Photos by Corey Rich Productions

Corey’s job was to shoot the event. “Given the tremendous logistical hurdles involved with shooting the Kokopelli Trail, our small footprint production—consisting mainly of myself (Director and Still Photographer), Dane Henry (DP) and Sean Haverstock (RC Heli Pilot and Assistant) —decided that we’d have to shoot, as inconspicuously as possible, what we could during the actual ride, then return in the aftermath to shoot B-Roll or ‘cover footage,'” he says in his behind-the-scenes blog post. Check out the final, well-executed video below.

Ryann Ford captures the charm of forgotten rest stops

Highway rest stops became a fixture in American life in the 50’s after the end of WWII and start of the auto boom. While they span the entire country, most have fallen by the wayside and become forgotten landmarks. Commercial photographer Ryann Ford took to photographing hundreds of rest stops over the last few years, mainly in southwestern states near her Austin, Texas home. See a few favorites below. (via Fast Co.Design)

Photo by Ryann Ford

Photo by Ryann Ford

Photo by Ryann Ford

Photo by Ryann Ford

Photo by Ryann Ford

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  1. Gary at 7:24 pm

    I think the answer to this question is highly subjective. There are many examples of creative people (painters, sculptors, photographers, etc) who produced their best works during their 60s to 90s. Pablo Picasso comes to mind, as does sculptor Henry Moore. Personally, I’m nearing my 61st birthday and I consider myself to be just reaching the stage of my best work as a photographer, after more than 40 years. I read recently that someone said your first 10,000 images are crap, so the idea that one peaks young seems dubious to me.

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