What camera should I use? I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve been asked this question. I learned on an assignment for Polaroid that it did not matter what camera I use. Creating an image is mostly about the way I see. I grant that a particular lens or camera may give me a technical tool that helps craft the image. When I photographed for Polaroid I was limited to the camera and film they provided. The goal was to demonstrate that fine art images could be created using only Polaroid film and a Spectra camera. These are two of many images I made for Polaroid. The images won awards in a number of categories and proved to be successful in promoting the Spectra camera.
I learned from this assignment that creating images was mostly about the way I see and minimally about what camera I use. There’s a saying among working photographers that “the best camera is the one you have with you”. These days I always have my “smart phone” with me and am pleased with the images I am creating. I love the spontaneous feel of the images. In coming posts I’ll share some of those with you.
Photography has reached a strange place when I have to explain that “yes, that was the true color” and NO I did not create this in Photoshop, yikes!
The place I made this picture is Mada’in Saleh the historical site of a Nabatean trading center in north-west Saudi Arabia. These folks were part of a group whose capital was Petra in modern-day Jordan. It is also the place the Ottomans had a railroad depot which T.E. Lawrence destroyed. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
I made this image as part of a feature story of archeology for Smithsonian magazine. There are two reasons the color is other worldly. The first is the light in Arabia gets this way sometimes, that’s all I know. The second reason is I used a rare film Kodachrome Photomicrography which had insane saturation and detail. The ASA is 16. I did not add any color, the film simply recorded everything that was there.
To see more images from this story visit Eastep Image Archive @ www.EastepPhotography.com
The Bedouin of Saudi Arabia are one of the world’s most unique nomadic people. They survive in the Arabian deserts under some of the harshest conditions in nature.
The Al Murrah Bedouin tribe attracted my attention because they have lived as nomads in Arabia with an unbroken bloodline for 5,000 years +. I figured such unique people would have important insights into human relationships. I was right.
Leading Saudi families in government, business, judicial and academic communities have sent their young children to live among the Bedouin for similar reasons. King ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Sa’ud, the monarch who unified the Arabian tribes and created the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, spent time with the Al-Murrah in the southern deserts of Saudi Arabia.
When I began my documentary photography career I decided to study the Bedouin in Arabia, specifically the Al Murrah tribe. This modest collection of images is from a library of over 25,000 images. They are the subject of the book BEDOUIN which won the Pershke Price “Best Book” award and Gold Prize for the “Best of All Things in Print”.
To see more images of the Bedouin visit EastepPhotography.com
Ancient Egyptians used two hand held mirrors to capture the sunlight and direct it inside and onto interior tomb walls. This made it possible for sculptors and artisans to work on hieroglyphs and pictographs within the dark interiors. Deir El-Medina, “Thebes” is the location of tombs for many artisans who built tombs for the pharaohs.
More images of Egypt
While editing images from Egypt I came across this one I photographed of a single person climbing on the great pyramid at Giza. The relationship of the person to the pyramid got me to thinking about the situation today in Egypt.
Small men with big egos may dominate a country for a short time. Countries with strong character and great heritage prevail.