Brian’s Brain

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Next Steps for the Frozen Photon Academy

I spent a lot of time on my vacation planning the next steps for the Frozen Photon Academy. This is different from many of my side projects, which usually involve me just sitting and programming. Frozen Photon Academy needs programming, to be sure, but it also needs a lot of content. One of the three pillars of the Frozen Photon Academy is providing you with instruction and inspiration to get out and create pictures every day. That means I need to spend a lot of time writing English over the next few weeks instead of Objective-C.

It’s a bit of a scary prospect, to be honest. I know how to write code, and I know I’m good at it. Writing English is hard and it’s time-consuming. Plus, who in their right mind would listen to me about photography? I’m just a computer programmer with a camera, not a professional artist. Now, watch me use a Jedi mind trick. I’m just a programmer with a camera? That’s awesome, because it means that if I can understand how to make photographs that work, then so can you!

The first content I’m working on is loosely inspired by Michael Freeman’s book The Photographer’s Eye. This is the book that taught me what “composition” meant – I never really understood before. I thought it was just a pretentious word that high school art students threw around to scare off the people who were better at math. If you don’t have this book and you’re interested in improving your photography, go buy it now. You’ll get seventy short topics, all beautifully illustrated, and when you’re done reading it (and studying the photographs, which teach more than the words), you’ll understand the elements of composition that go into each photograph. His book is going to be much better than anything I’ll be able to write – but my work will fit in your pocket!

So, what’s coming next are early drafts of photo projects. I’m going to put this in a mobile-optimized website so you can carry these projects in your pocket, just like you will be able to do with the finished application. When I have something worth sharing, I’ll send it along to the folks who signed up on the Frozen Photon Academy website. I look forward to brutal feedback!


This is an old photo of mine that I used to illustrate an earlier book review of The Photographer’s Eye that I wrote. I took this photo shortly after finishing the book for the first time. I like it for the repetition of curves, the contrast of silver & black, and the exaggerated perspective from my wide angle lens. I even think I achieved some interesting dynamic tension with Alex’s eye line going to the lower left, but the repetition of curves pulls the to the lower right corner. Before reading The Photographer’s Eye, I wouldn’t have even had those concepts in my head. So I doubt I would have recognized the possibility in the scene, and therefore I wouldn’t have balanced precariously on the top of the climbing structure to get the shot…