Throwback Thursday / No. 0001_15

0001_15 Mission Street, San Francisco 2003

About 13 years ago I bought a really beat up Leica M4-P on a whim, borrowed a lens from a friend and hit the street. Fifteen frames in I made this photograph and it changed the way I looked at and made pictures forever. At the time I was shooting everything digitally, having given up on film because, quite frankly, that’s what everyone else was doing then, and that’s what everyone told me I should do. After I made this picture I took all my digital gear down to Camera West in Monterrey, California, took whatever they would give me in trade, and put it all into 35mm rangefinders. I never looked back.

Cameras don’t make great photographs, but there is something to be said for stripping away all the bells and whistles of modern digital cameras and focusing on what is necessary, instead of what is on the bleeding edge of technology. Getting rid of all my digital gear and switching back to old film cameras made me realize that there is a huge difference between taking pictures, and making photographs.

Another Semester Gone…

finals_1000102 Final Portfolios Academ Of Art San Francisco

Last day of the spring semester, and this was by far the most difficult class I’ve ever taught in the 6 years I’ve been an instructor at the Academy of Art. Every class is different, every group dynamic varies, but this bunch was exceptionally difficult to reach. How do you explain the effects of focal length and depth of field to someone who has never held a camera that wasn’t attached to a phone? How do you convince young people that instagram filters don’t make a snapshot a good photograph. How do you facilitate a dialogue about what makes an impactful, powerful image with students who’s native language is not your own? How do you convey the impact that the printed image can have to someone who has never printed a photograph?

It was a long semester, but in the end they came through, thanks to all my students who put in the effort. I hope you learned as much as I did.

finals_1000100 Final Portfolios Academ Of Art San Francisco

finals_1000097 Final Portfolios Academ Of Art San Francisco