Artist. Teacher. Innovator.
Photographer Q & A
Describe the moment or event that inspired your decision to become a photographer.
I wanted to be a photographer since high school. I went to Syracuse University and studied photojournalism, graduating in 1979. I got an internship in my senior year at the Syracuse Newspapers and that led to a full time job after graduation. I stayed there for five years as I built a freelance business on the side, working regularly for The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Time, Newsweek, Forbes and National Geographic. I moved to Boston and was there for almost 20 years before moving to Miami Beach, where I live now. I was drawn to the profession by watching my mentors Susan Meiselas, Eric Meola, and Jay Maisel. All of them are still dear friends today. All of these folks had a great impact on my life. Susan's work in Nicaragua was the first time I saw color combined with journalism and I loved it. Eric's color and design has always blown me away. And Jay combines both journalism and strong color, and always carries a camera, which is something I really admire.
What is your favorite photography tip to share with other photographers?
Triangles in the Corners When we are attracted to a subject, we tend to look towards the center of the viewfinder and rarely pay attention to the periphery. It is in the periphery where we find the things that detract from the image. It may be the branch sticking in, or a pattern of color. As an exercise, when you are framing an image, take your eyes and glance to the periphery in the viewfinder. Look for triangles being formed, and if you see them, it is a good indication that you need to move in tighter on your subject. If you have a triangle in the corner of one of your images and want to determine if it adds to the photograph or detracts from it, cover up everything except the triangle. If the triangle is important, keep it in. More than likely, though, the triangle will be an area of black or white, or a branch, and by itself is anything but a good image. In this case, crop the image and remove the triangles. Space is defined and determined by shapes and forms. Positive space is where shapes and forms exist; negative space is the empty space around shapes and forms. For images to have a sense of balance, use positive and negative space to counter balance each other.
Favorite photography book and why?
There are several. Minamata by W. Eugene Smith was a book that originally inspired me to think about the power of photography. Nicaragua by Susan Meiselas because it was very powerful journalism with color. The book inspired me so much I have a print from it on my wall. Any book from Eric Meola and any book from Jay Maisel because they both are constant sources of inspiration.
Most unusual item you keep in your camera bag?
I don't know if they are unusual, but I carry half the world in my camera bag including a 300 f/2.8, 70-200, 14mm, two bodies, multiple terabyte drives, Color Checker Passport, laser, laptop, and multiple types of credentials.
What's the best advice you ever received from a fellow photographer?
You're only as good as your last job.
Name a geographical place that you'd love to return to or go to for an assignment.
My favorite place in the world is Antarctica, and I am returning there for a fourth trip, and it won't be my last. I plan to try and get to Antarctica every two years.
What photography project or assignment has been most meaningful for you and why?
Many assignments have had great meaning for me, but none more than a very long-term picture story about Renee, a little girl who was burned. I received a letter after publishing that story from a Marine who was burned in Beirut and decided he did not want to go through burn surgery, and made a conscious decision to die. At some point a doctor showed him my story and he decided that if this little girl could do it, so could he. He wrote me a lengthy letter that ended with 'thank you for saving my life'. After finishing the story, I found it very difficult to go back to the regular daily newspaper shooting. I resigned and started to freelance full time. For the last decade I have obtained a great deal of joy and satisfaction from teaching and inspiring others and do that through my workshop programs: http://www.d-65.com and http://www.digitalphotodestinations.com.
If you could publish a book on any photographic subject, what would it be?
I would love to do a large coffee table book on Antarctica.
What's in your camera bag right now?
Everything listed in question 4, along with a copy of two of my books.
What do you love about your Lowepro bag(s)?
I have tried 100's of bags, and like every photographer, I have closets filled with camera bags, but there is only one that I use everyday and only one that has been on every continent with me—and that is my Stealth Reporter AW. It is the only bag I have ever seen that will hold a 300 2.8, a 70-200, and two bodies, along with three hard drives, a laptop and more. And it always fits in the overhead on large flights; and will fit under the seat even on puddle jumpers. I am always excited to try new bags, but in the last five years I have seen nothing that beats my Stealth Reporter.
See more of Seth Resnick's work, learn about workshops and upcoming photo destinations, and read more about his organizations at these sites:
Seth's Lowepro gear includes:
Chosen as one of the 30 most influential photographers of the decade by Photo District News, magazine, Seth Resnick is one of North America's most prolific corporate, editorial and stock photographers. His credits include over 2500 publications worldwide and his clients constitute a virtual list of corporate America. He is co-founder of D-65, an organization teaching digital workflow workshops, webinars, one-on-one training, tech support, and consulting for photographers, studios, agencies, and corporate art departments. Resnick is one of 78 photographers worldwide named as a Canon Explorer of Light. He is a member of the prestigious X-rite Colorati program as well as an Alpha/Beta and feature consultant for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.