Control, Don’t Clean

My mentor and friend David Sutherland delivered the same message to first-year photography students at Syracuse University for four decades:

Fill your frame. Control your backgrounds. Wait for moments.

I still teach this mantra today (though I add a fourth: Care).

My friend Stanley Leary has written about his mentor and friend, Don Rutledge, and the way he used backgrounds to layer more information into his images. A deeper exploration and explanation of how building images carefully can deepen your audience’s understanding.

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