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Here's a thought . . . (April 2020 Calendar View)

Short videos with snippets, fragments, morsels, and tidbits from Brooks' fertile (and sometimes swiss-cheesy) brain.

Usually just a minute or so.

Pretty much daily.

Always about photography and the art life.

March 2020

April 2020

May 2020












HT0393 - Living with an Image

I remember being advised, in my youth, To take a print and thumbtack it to the bulletin board and live with it for a while before I made any final decisions about processing. I can't recall a single image that I didn't improve after I had lived with it for a week or so.


HT0394 - Millimeter by Millimeter

If we were painters, we would take as a given that we had to cover every millimeter of our canvas with a paint of our conscious decision. As photographers we don't normally think this way. Perhaps we should.


HT0395 - What You See, What You Think

Photography can be both a mnemonic device and a device we can use to make a response to the world.


HT0396 - Fellow Travelers

Who are your photographic fellow travelers? What can you learn about your own work and creative path by studying their work and their biographies?


HT0397 - Print Size and the Angle of View

Print size and a comfortable viewing distance. The angle of view and the pragmatics of presbyopia.


HT0398 - The Never-ending Crescendo

Music needs soft passages and loud ones, allegro and andante. So does an exhibition or publication of photographs. When every image has the vibrance and saturation turned up, the onslaught can over-power our senses.


HT0399 - The Great Divide

The schism in my photographic archives unknowingly created when I converted to a digital workflow and all those analog film negatives that I now need to scan in order to make them available with their digital cousins.


HT0400 - Waiting

Photography is waiting: for the light, for the alignment of objects, for the idea, for the moment of action. Employing the 180-degree rule gives us something to do that might be productive while we wait.


HT0401 - Shadow Detail

I've always thought that preserving detail in the deep shadows and the bright highlights is more important than color fidelity. I'd much rather have dynamic range  than more megapixels.


HT0402 - What You Feel Today

A lot of fine art photography is based on the spectacular scene or the spectacular place. An alternative to that is to simply try to photograph what you feel today. Here's an example from LensWork alumnus Al DaValle.


HT0403 - Revisiting Your Older Work

Technology changes, times change, and of course we change. If our objective is to make the best work possible, maybe revisiting older work is Justified if we can make it better.


HT0404 - The Theme and the Thread

In LensWork #124, Beate Sass' theme was local baseball and in particular the dugout. But, the thread that tied all the images together were her many close-up images of hands, hands with baseball, hands with gloves. Theme and thread worked together to make this a terrific project.


HT0405 - Dynamic Range

Some thoughts on the dynamic range of a print versus the dynamic range of a screen. Many photographers are not comfortable with electronic presentation of their images, but it must be acknowledged that the dynamic range of an electronic display is far greater than that of any type of paper-based print.


HT0406 - The Aspect Ratio of Human Vision

Human vision, including our peripheral vision, is an oval in an aspect ratio that is approximately 1.87 to one. Why, then, isn't it natural for photography to use the ubiquitous 16:9 aspect ratio as its standard?


HT0407 - Artwork and Money

I enjoy the TV program Antiques Roadshow.  One thing that always fascinates me is how people who are reasonably calm and emotionless get so excited and even tearful when they hear what their art work is worth. I wonder if they ever get so excited about the artwork itself?


HT0408 - The Passion to Produce

Artists of the previous generations often exhibit a drive to produce their artwork at the expense of their financial success. They often lived in poverty or at best modest means. Contrast with today where photography appears to be a hobby for those who have disposable income to spare.


HT0409 - Reduced to an Image or Two

It's a shame when a photographer's life work is reduced to just a couple of images.


HT0410 - Of What Use Is Art?

I'm often asked this question about my folios and chapbooks, "Of what use are they?" Framed prints have a use to decorate the wall, to enhance the room decor, but how does a folio and chapbook function in the practical world? Do we ask this of music, of ballet, of poetry?


HT0411 - Some Colors Are Just Wrong

Skies can be blue or orange or yellow, but a cyan sky looks like a color palette mistake.


HT0412 - Universal Subjects

I recently discovered, thanks to the Internet, the pages from Fox Talbot's historic project, The Pencil of Nature. I was surprised to see an image of a broom prompt askew in a doorway that his eerily similar to an image that I made in Japan a number of years ago. What is it about universal ideas and what we determine is photogenic?


HT0413 - Photographing at Home

There are suddenly lots of suggestions about how to photograph something at home while we are quarantined during this pandemic of 2020. Why do we have to make it an unusual project? Photographers have been making great artwork at home for generations!


HT0414 - The Measure of Your Success

How do you define artistic success? I can think of about 100 different answers to this question. All of them are valid for someone. But the only answer that matters for us art makers is the one that applies to ourselves. And if you have more than one, how do they rank?


HT0415 - Trends

When we are in the middle of a trend, we may not be able to identify it as a trend. But, with enough years and perspective, we see how fashions come and go. For example, in my youth it was all about maximizing depth of field and hence the view camera with its tilts and swings. Today it's all about shallow depth of field and the virtues of full frame cameras. The pendulum swings.


HT0416 - Conformity

Some 35 years ago, I flirted with black mat board. I had good reasons to do so. But the pressure to conform to the standard white mat board was simply overwhelming. Why is conformity such a big deal in a pursuit that supposedly values creativity so highly?


HT0417 - Deleting Those Failed Images

Don't delete those failed images. Rather than deleting images that don't measure up to your expectations, try changing your expectations! Can you use that failed image as a background, salvage a part for use in another image, set it aside for some future project you can't now predict.


HT0418 - Long-lasting Relationships

We have a Memento Smart Frame in our living room that I can program to show images for a specified amount of time. I'm surprised at my response to the speed with which the images change. Also, a thought about how this compares to prints.


HT0419 - Photographic Typos

Perhaps it's because I'm a publisher that I'm so sensitive to typographic mistakes. I cringe each time we discover one in a printed edition of LensWork. I've transcribed this idea into my photography, too, and look for "photographic typos" in my images.


HT0420 - Curriculum Vitae

How does your lengthy curriculum vitae improve your artwork? I can't help but wonder if a curriculum vitae is a way for people to sidestep judging the quality of the artwork.


HT0421 - The Fleeting Nature of Fame

J .S. Fletcher was one of the most popular and widely read novelists of 100 years ago. Who reads his novels or remembers him today?


HT0422 - Has the Magic Disappeared?

I remember in my youth how I was speechless when viewing certain images. They were simply magical. I could not fathom how they were made or with what expertise was to be found in the priesthood photography. But now? I can't remember the last time I was speechless when looking at a photograph. Does this Just say something about me? Or is it something about the technology of photography and it's progress through history?