Jerry Uelsmann, Untitled (1977) — This image was my key inspiration. It took one curvy shaded line to make the rock alive and sexy. This was on the wall in my living room when I was 14 and I looked at it for countless hours.

I grew up in a home covered in historic photos from folks like Adams, Cartier-Bresson, and Kertesz. But to be honest, I was more interested in the nudes. Maybe it would be better to cop to it and just admit that I was a normal teen boy and these were…

ALSO: THE TABLE OF CONTENTS

Selfie at the deYoung, 2015

Hey everyone!

This is me: I have been a photographer for more than 40 years, a writer for fewer, a long time resident of the Bay Area, but moments away from a big move to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

When I was a kid, I was a young protégé of…

The most common method to teach photographic composition to novices is the rule of thirds — in short, divide the screen into equal thirds vertically and horizontally, and then place your point of interest on any of the cross points for a maximally pleasing image.

I grant you, if you…

When I was eleven I remember stealing away with my dad’s magazine to see what the future would hold. I kept the magazine in my stuff and unearthed it in my recent move. …

Stan at Netflix, 2008

These days, when I look at an image, I often want to know if it’s “true.” Now true is a dicey word. Photography by its very nature is an abstraction, and even the pioneers of “pure seeing” realized, as Edward Weston wrote in 1932, that photography involved a “willful distortion…

My discovered negatives.

Around the time I was applying to college in 1980, Time magazine ran a short piece about the college application process (coincidentally, at Brown); in it they described an applicant who had soaked her application in water, then let it dry completely, so it got warped. Admissions officers noted that…

Rubin, “Monterey” (2011)

I’ve been teaching this workshop this year and was recently asked if I could summarize the principles and constraints I use in my photos. So here’s the short presentation.

I used to show the fifty prints that inspired me while growing up (“The Fifty”) and I’d tell people that simply…

M. H. Rubin

Living a creative life, a student of high magic, and hopefully growing wiser as I age. • Ex-Lucasfilm, Netflix, Adobe. • Here are my stories and photos.

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