“Yes, it’s a picture of a tree. But what else is it a picture of?” Minor White
I make a considerable part of my living from taking pictures that are designed to sell things. So why am I quoting a fine-art photographer and educator who might consider me a bit of a sell-out? Because I don’t think the line between art and commercial illustration is that clear and bright. I’m trying to move people and I would argue that the artist is trying to manipulate emotions in many similar ways. The outcome may be different but we both use similar tools and techniques.
The word photography comes from two Greek words that together mean “drawing with light.” This is perhaps the single most important thing to know about photography. It is with light — not cameras, computers, chemicals, models, assistants — that we make pictures. Knowing how to use the light that’s there, improve on it, or create great light from scratch is the key to making pictures that move people.
I started looking at the web in the summer of 1995 and built my first web site within the first weekend. I quickly took to HTML (hypertext markup language) and found I liked its logic, structure, and even the many kludges we had to use to make it work reasonably well back then. I’ve continued to like it, even as I learned the right way to do it.
HTML is the basic language of the web. If you’re curious, just pull down your browser’s “View” menu to “Page Source” or “View Page Source.” All that gibberish is what I do all the time. Over the years, I’ve learned all the stuff that goes along with HTML:
I mostly leave print design to specialists but I’ve done plenty and continue to do a bit.