Archive for ‘Philosophy of Photography’

The Normal Lens

What is your “normal” lens? Have you ever determined if there is a single lens focal length that you naturally use more than others? It can be an enlightening exercise. A 50mm lens on the 35mm film format is often referred to as “normal” because it renders a magnification and angle of view (about 40 […]

Using Manual Exposure

July 07, 2015 12:36 PM
by / Topics: Essay, Philosophy of Photography, Resources, Technique

By John Shaw In my photography I use Aperture Priority metering most of the time.  I take a shot, look at the histogram, and use Exposure Compensation (EC) to add or subtract light as needed.  Yes, this works great most of the time…but most of the time does not mean all of the time.  There are shooting situations […]

Justin Black Interview with

In April 2015, Justin Black sat down with founder Alex Schult. Here’s the full interview. Alex: Hi Justin, welcome to Photography Talk. Justin: It’s a pleasure to be here, Alex. Alex: I understand that 2015 marks your 20th year as a professional photographer. How does that feel? Justin: Well, it’s been a wild ride, and […]

Getting Lucky on Safari

By Justin Black For Outdoor Photographer, October 2014 One of my most important photographic mentors, Galen Rowell, grew accustomed to being told how lucky he was to capture the stunning natural events that he photographed. He would chuckle politely, and respond that he tried to be prepared to receive luck. In other words, he went […]

Justin Black Video Interview by

Recently, Alex Schult of sat down with Visionary Wild’s Justin Black – virtually, via Skype – for an interview recorded for their Success Interviews series, revealing the creative inspiration and path to success of noted photographers working today. Click here to watch the full 39-minute interview.

Eleven False Statements

March 03, 2013 06:19 PM
by / Topics: Instructor News, Philosophy of Photography, Resources, Technique / Comments Off on Eleven False Statements

by John Shaw Editor’s note: There’s a lot of photo-mythology floating around out there. Visionary Wild instructor John Shaw puts a few of his favorite myths to rest. 1.  Images for the web should be sized at 72 dpi.  First of all, “dpi” refers to dots per inch, and computer screens have pixels, not “dots.”  But “72 […]

Photographing with Purpose

October 10, 2011 04:50 PM
by / Topics: Art of Photography, Essay, Media, Philosophy of Photography, Resources, Technique, Uncategorized / Comments Off on Photographing with Purpose

The November 2011 issue of Outdoor Photographer magazine features an article by Justin Black about ways to add greater meaning and purpose to your photography. You can read the full text and see the accompanying photos here: Photographing with Purpose by Justin Black

Jack Dykinga Interview Slideshow

September 09, 2011 06:45 PM
by / Topics: Art of Photography, Media, Philosophy of Photography, Technique, Travel / Comments Off on Jack Dykinga Interview Slideshow

Jack Dykinga on Mark Godfrey Selects Nature Conservancy Director of Photography Mark Godfrey recently interviewed Visionary Wild instructor Jack Dykinga for this multimedia slideshow featuring some of Jack’s best work.

An Eye-Opening Twilight

August 08, 2011 02:04 AM
by / Topics: Art of Photography, Essay, Philosophy of Photography / Comments Off on An Eye-Opening Twilight

by Justin Black The very American artistic tradition of celebrating the concept of wilderness, associated so closely with photographers like Ansel Adams and Galen Rowell, reached an early zenith in the mid 19th century with the Hudson River School painters. Their work attempted to capture exceptional qualities of light, topography, and weather to render idealized […]

Bioluminescence on the Sonoma Coast, by Jerry Dodrill

Bioluminescence For years I’ve heard unbelievable stories about people’s surreal night time experiences in the ocean with glowing plankton blooms, but until recently I’d never seen it myself. The tip off came from Ellen Cruz, a friend from Bodega Bay who sent a note about an experience she’d just had on the Sonoma County coast: […]

Photo Salon: The Value of Critique

July 07, 2011 04:15 AM
by / Topics: Essay, Philosophy of Photography, Resources, Workshops / Comments Off on Photo Salon: The Value of Critique

by Justin Black   The lone-wolf photographer is a concept with which we are all familiar. Many of us like to think of ourselves as self-reliant and passionately free-spirited, driven only by an innate creative vision. In my experience, however, most of the people I know who have mastered anything haven’t done it on their […]

On Assignment: The Dragon Run

July 07, 2011 08:44 PM
by / Topics: Essay, Media, Philosophy of Photography, Resources, Technique, Travel / Comments Off on On Assignment: The Dragon Run

by Justin Black   The Dragon rippled as I slid the kayak out into the swamp’s caramel-brown water. The still quiet of pre-dawn was broken only by the song of a prothonotary warbler, a croaking bullfrog, the sudden splash of a jumping sunfish. Gliding along on the glassy surface past lush swamp plants – arrow […]

Truth in Photography

May 05, 2011 04:08 AM
by / Topics: Essay, Philosophy of Photography / 1 Comment »

by Justin Black   A recent dialog with a friend and fellow photographer got me thinking about truth in photography. For over 170 years, we have relied on photographs to document and share information about the world around us. How many books and documentary films have relied on photographs to connect us with the reality […]