{profile} Making beautiful images at age 98

NPR has a lovely profile of 98-year-old architectural photographer Julius Shulman. There are wonderful photographs accompanying the piece, and you could learn more about composition than a dozen tutorials could teach you just by examining his photographs carefully.
But what most typifies a Shulman/Nogai photograph is meticulous composition that will guide your eye endlessly, if you allow it. These photographers are notorious for the amount of careful consideration that formulates each frame. They've spent up to nine hours on assignment to leave with a mere 11 frames. Eleven perfect frames, that is.
I love Shulman's thoughts on the term "photo shoot," too. We all fall victim to the terminology ... "Oh, I have a shoot on Wednesday ..." Makes us sound all professional and fancy and busy and important. But haven't you also felt a little ridiculous saying that, too? A bit of a poseur? Shulman (and his partner Juergen Nogai articulate it perfectly:
"Shoot?" says Shulman, laughing. "Look at me. Do I have a gun? I'm a photographer." Nogai explains: "People are not thinking anymore; they're just shooting." Some would agree that the digital age has enabled a decrease in deliberation. If you can fill up a memory card with 1,000 images until you get the perfect one, after all, why stop to carefully compose?
The profile is here.

An excellent slideshow is here.


  1. at the risk of sounding completely uneducated:

    that dude is RAD.

  2. i just love Shulman. i once asked one of my designers to make a website i was working on look like his photos (especially the LA homes black and white ones), but he didn't really get it. maybe i'll try again some time, his stuff is perfectly Einstein 'simple as possible but not simpler.'