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11 January 2017

In this recurring column, we highlight a few items we've run across that don't merit a full story of their own but are interesting enough to bring to your attention (with more than 140 characters). This time we look at Ming Smith, J.R. Mankoff, modifying sunlight and six photographic sins.

  • In A Photographer Who Made 'Ghosts' Visible, Maurice Berger reviews images from Ming Smith's first major retrospective at the Steven Kasher Gallery in New York. "Smith's subjects are often suspended between visibility and invisibility: faces turned away or are blurred or shrouded in shadow, mist or darkness, a potent metaphor of the struggle for African-American visibility in a culture in which black men and women were disparaged, erased or ignored," he writes.
  • In J.R. Mankoff: Standing Rock, Heidi Volpe interviews the photographer about her recent portraits of the protestors. "Photography is powerful, opinionated and can shape public opinion," Mankoff says. "I felt a strong responsibility to use this tool for good. Portraiture in particular involves trust. Trust is one thing the Native Americans do not share easily, for it has been broken time and time again."
  • In Silk or Solid?, Joe McNally shows how to handle on-location sunlight two ways: diffuse it or block it. Nikon used images from one of the shoots at its CES booth in Las Vegas last week.
  • Jim Kasson warns against Overemphasizing Tools in an attempt to create good art, which is "art that satisfies its creator," he writes. He lists six sins he's observed (and committed), like "complaining about Raw developers, but using the default settings to judge which is better."

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