Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

What The Duck

Laughter is good for the soul! And what could possibly be funnier than photographic humor? "Sounds great", you say, "but where can one go to get photography related humor? It isn't exactly available as a daily dose on the internet, you know."

Ah, but you see, you would be wrong about that. Well, almost is only available on weekdays (everyone deserves a break, right?).

"Where?", you say.

Not where......what!


It's 'What The Duck'. That's right, the daily (well, almost) cartoon by Aaron Johnson about the world's most famous duck photographer. I could explain what I mean, but wouldn't it be easier for you to just check it out?

"Like I said, where?"

OK, here.

And, by the way, one of my favorite recent episodes can be found here, in the archives. Just click on WTD 233 at the bottom of the page.

Readers even get to submit possible titles for each day's strip, one of which gets chosen as the official title that goes down in What The Duck history.

Don't laugh too hard, you might hurt yourself.

Digg For Photography?

Familiar with Digg? It is a place for communal sharing of internet news that, once submitted, gets voted upon by the community. Stories or news of the greatest interest ends up getting more exposure to people that are interested in that particular topic. Very neat......but it is very oriented towards technology and current events. Photography doesn't fit neatly into any of the categories under which one can submit a story and it tends not to be a place where photographers hang out to look for items of interest.

Well, that may be about to end. I ran across, a site that functions very much like Digg, only it is specifically aimed at photographic topics. It is still in its infancy, but I think it has fantastic potential to be THE place to go to find items of interest specifically related to photography.

I have no relation at all to the site or its founders, but to me it looks very cool and potentially extremely useful. I intend to use it and certainly hope it grows into what could be an incredible resource.

Check it out!


I recently ran across, well, I am not sure exactly what to call it……a toolbar, a utility, a plug-in….but whatever one calls it, it is certainly a lot of fun. “It” is StumbleUpon, which can be found here.

The free software inserts into your web-browser as a toolbar and when you click on the “Stumble” button you get transported to a random website. Wait, before you run away in disgust saying that the last thing you need is a visit to a random website.......I haven’t yet told you the best part. The software is customizable so that you can have it search for specific subjects of which, yes, photography is a choice. You can limit the ‘stumbling’ to a single topic or a group of topics. So, if I tell StumbleUpon to limit itself to photography it brings me to random photography related sites. I have found lots of very cool websites that I never would have known about and which I have enjoyed visiting. Sites like this one......really, check it out.

Enjoy your stumbling!

Bill Jay

Bill Jay is a writer and educator in the field of photography. He was the founder of the Program of Photographic Studies at The University of Arizona, where he taught for 25 years. He has written extensively on the history of photography and photographic criticism. His essays are a pleasure to read and comprise, as a collection, a veritable course in photographic history.

Personally, once I start reading one of his pieces, I find that I can’t put it down until I have finished it. If you are familiar with the End Notes from LensWork you also know that he has a brand of cynical humor that is second to none. This is also evident in his collection of essays.

Bill has made available for download, via his website, a huge portion of his rather extensive writings. Trust me, this will keep you busy for months. The essays can be found here.

While you are on his website, don’t miss his collection of portraits that he has made of other photographers.

Bill, if you are out there, thanks for making this collection of your writings available on the internet!