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Archive for August 26th, 2009

Video Interview with Deanne Fitzmaurice, Photographer

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 26, 2009

I just watched Mark Silber’s interview with San Francisco photographer, Deanne Fitzmaurice. She has won many awards for her work, including a Pulitzer Prize in 2005, for her sensitive photo essay on a 9-year-old Iraqi boy who survived an explosion and adapted to life in the US.

I liked her tips about “layering” in composition. I always perk up whenever I hear someone talking about composition in photography because 90% of the information on photography sites seems to be about controlling aperture or shutter speed, but advice on composition is thin on the ground.

By layering, she means paying as much attention to the background of the photo as the action in the foreground. Too often the background is an afterthought — “OK, no telephone poles sticking out of the guy’s head, so let’s take the shot.” A more extreme example is the current bokeh craze, where the background is just a wash of blurry colours, the equivalent of watercolours in photography. She gives much more careful study to the background than most photographers.

She speaks about her experiences of a portrait photographer. She has a very short window of time in which to establish a rapport with her subject, then she has to, in her words, “become invisible.”

Did I mention that she not only shoots news events and celebrity portraits but also sports? What a talented woman!

See Deanne Fitzmaurice’s Web site for her portfolio and bio.

Don’t miss her photo essay on Saleh (Photography menu > Saleh). It’s very moving.

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