An abstract color photograph featuring a blue plane on the bottom, a large white square near the top, and 5 white rectangle objects in the center of the image.

Quitters never win and other half-truths about art

Or, “Should I stay [with my art] or should I go [make something else]?” A special warm WELCOME to new subscribers: Judy, Kristin, and Will. Thank you to Mark Foard (who writes I’ve Snapped) for recommending Viewfinder, and a huge THANK YOU to all subscribers, old and new, for reading and being a part of this community. In this issue: The Dip (Quitting vs. keep going) If you’ve been around the business world in the last 15 years, especially in technology and software, you’re probably familiar with one of the many variations of the graph above. I first encountered it … >>

A color photograph of an intersection made through the windshield of a car. In the scene, there are multiple street signs for "Interstate 5", a street lamp, and a stop sign. There is a crow perched on top of the stop sign.

Taking vs. making photographs; know the grammar of art

Is everyone a photographer? The words we use matter. A special warm WELCOME to new subscriber: Barry! And a huge THANK YOU to all subscribers, old and new, for reading and being a part of this community! In this issue: Next issue: Dec 27 Skipping the Sunday issue of Viewfinder next week… a fresh-and-tasty email coming your way on Wednesday, December 27th. Happy holidays! Cameras are amazing; point them at something, push a button, and you’ve taken a picture. With digital photography, you can see what you took in an instant. More pictures are taken now than at any time … >>

Image with the text "The Greatest Camera in the World" superimposed over a photograph of several camera arranged on a white background.

Revealed: the greatest camera in the world

Film or digital? Small, medium, or large format? Leica? Hasselblad? Canon? Nikon? Discover the definitive answer, once and for all. Photographers are a weird bunch–they can be strangely tribal about the tools they use. Having worked at multiple camera stores in my early life, I’ve been privy to numerous, completely unnecessary arguments about Canon vs. Nikon, or Kodak film vs. Fuji Film. I never really understood the motivations behind these arguments, as I wanted to own all the cameras and to use all the types of film. Maybe because photography is expensive, people want to feel good about their choices? … >>

A mocked up photograph of an issue of Viewfinder by StartPhoto magazine sitting on a table. Next to the book is a glass with flowers, a cup of tea, and a camera.

🚀 It’s the start of something new.

Introducing Viewfinder by StartPhoto, an email newsletter about art making, photography, and reigniting creativity. Hi, I’m Ron ‘RonJohn’ Johnson, the creator of StartPhoto. I’m writing this newsletter/blog/podcast (whatever it ends up being) for you. And to be honest, I’m making it for myself, too, because I have needed, at one point or another, all the things I plan to share with you. I’m still figuring out Viewfinder as I go. To use a phrase that comes up a lot in my life, “I’m flying the plane while still building it”. Viewfinder might end up being highly personal, but hopefully not … >>

A perfectly aligned disciplinary formation of cypresses under a red sky and reflected by water in its lower part. Infrared photography allows changing colors giving a surreal look to any photo.

Unlock the surreal world of infrared photography

Infrared photography is a unique and fascinating approach to capturing the world around us. Unlike traditional photography, infrared photography involves capturing light that is not visible to the naked eye. This creates a surreal and dreamy effect that can be used to capture a wide range of subjects. From landscapes to architecture and even people, infrared photography provides a creative and artistic way to explore the world around us. To capture infrared images, specialized equipment and techniques are required. Most cameras need to be modified to capture infrared light, and specialized infrared filters are used to block visible light and … >>

Photograph of road at night, with automobile headlights and taillights displaying as long red and white streaks.

Dynamism: capturing movement and energy in creative photography

Capturing movement is an essential aspect of creative photography. It can bring life and energy to your images, adding a dynamic element that draws the viewer in. However, capturing movement in photography can be a challenge. It requires a combination of technical skill and creative vision to freeze a moment in time and convey a sense of motion in your images. In this article, we will explore tips and techniques for using movement in creative photography. From freezing motion to creating intentional blur, we will discuss how to use shutter speed, composition, and other techniques to capture movement in a … >>