Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Cameraholics Anonymous

You can tell a lot about a person by the cameras s/he uses. Perhaps not uses, but owns. I have too many. It keeps me from developing a recognizable style. I read some advice in a forum once that Jock Sturges gave to a good new photographer. He told him that there are only a handful of art photographers in the world who make a living and those who do have a trademark style. You know who took the photograph as soon as you see the picture. Good advice, I guess. I studied with Jerry Ulesman. No mistaking one of his photographs. Recently, though, I went to hear him lecture, and he said that with the advent of Photoshop, he felt as if he had been teaching horseshoes for the past thirty years. He is married to Maggie Taylor whose digital work is wonderful. Funny combo.

But I've gone astray. I found Frank Petronio's blog online the other day and spent a couple of hours reading through it. I wrote him a fan's note and he turns out to be a very friendly and helpful fellow. His site is full of good stuff. I am linking one of his entries here in which he talks about his camera obsession. Awful.

Here is a photograph of a very good photographer using her favorite--a Holga. After a while, I guess, you just simplify.


  1. Ha! I found your site on one of my regular visits to Franks.
    I went through a phase in my photography where I had to find a piece of equipment for every ocassion. I had no photo`s to show for my efforts, just a low bank account. Now I use a 1903 ROC 5x7 field camera and 2 lenses. I cleaned out the dark room 7 years ago and went very Spartan. I feel better now. I do hope you have a better 2008.

  2. John,
    You are ahead of me, I'm afraid. It is not only the number of cameras and formats, but the techniques I am trying to work in. Too many. I'll settle sometime, I hope.