Photography tips from 1946

Sometimes the more things change the more they stay the same and photography is no exception. The information and advice offered in this 1940s Vocational Guidance Film for aspiring professional photographers is still as applicable today as it was in 1946 when the film was made.

Of course things have changed since 1946 but more things have remained the same than have changed. Today most people shoot digital instead of film. Post processing, and retouching is performed on a computer. The filed of professional photography is still crowded, even more so today than it was in 1946 as the film points out.

So photography hasn’t really changed that much over time, it’s mainly the tools, the methods and how we think about photography that have changed.

The best tip I have ever read and why I think prime lenses are the muts nuts

When I started practising photography again after a hiatus measured in years I didn’t know what genre of photography I wanted to practice which made it harder for me to choose a lens to pair with my Nikon D600 that I had decided to purchase to replace the Canon Rebel I had sold along with the rest of my gear when I gave up photography. I ended up purchasing a 24-85mm zoom lens because I figured it would be a good general purpose lens until I decided what other lens or lenses I wanted.

I also decided that if I’m going to drop a big chunk of cash on a decent camera and lens then I was going to make it worth while and take my photography more seriously. There was only one problem, I still didn’t know which genre of photography I wanted to practice. So I purchased some general photography books and started looking at a bunch of different photographers and photos that I liked. It turns out that I liked street photographers; Henri Cartier Breson, Garry Winogrand, Robert Frank, etc… they all inspired me to start practising street photography.

Soon after I discovered street photography I learned about prime lenses, i.e. fixed focal length lenses, and became interested enough to want to try shooting with a prime lens. But which focal length? Should I shoot a 50mm prime like Henri Cartier-Bresson? Or a 28mm prime like Garry Winogrand? Maybe I should shoot a 35mm prime like David Alan Harvey? Or should I choose some other focal length? How was I going to decide?