Theory & Practice

Alec Soth on Learning From Failure

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Alec Soth "I used this picture that I made on assignment later in Last Days of W." Michael and Dominique. Dearborn, Michigan. USA. 2008. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth USA. New Orleans, Louisiana. 2000. Adelyn, Ash Wednesday. Sleeping by the Mississippi. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth "I was doing a magazine assignment on people who play war games. I was shooting with a small format camera, but when I came across guy making a sandwich, I determined it was worth the time and mone (...)
Alec Soth "I normally try to avoid photographing people at bus stops. Too often the bus arrives before I’m able to snap off a picture. But I’m glad I made the effort with this one while working on my project (...)
Alec Soth "I was in Griffith Park in Los Angeles looking for the location of the cave made famous from the Batman TV show in the 1960’s. It was late in the day and I was losing light, so I was in rush. But w (...)
Alec Soth "A common mistake I make while shooting with sheet film is accidentally double-exposing the film. I did this last year while shooting in Warsaw and ended up loving the result." Monika. Warsaw. Pola (...)
Alec Soth "As a consequence of the long exposure, this picture has technical flaws. You can see from the tarp by the gas pumps that the wind was blowing, so there’s some overall unsharpness. On the left side (...)
Alec Soth "This is my favorite photo from the last five years. The way the subject and the reflections work together felt like magic. " Anna. Kentfield, CA. USA. 2017. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth "When I opened the door to my motel the setting sunlight lit the room perfectly. I had to race to make this picture before it got dark. " Two Towels. Niagara © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth "He was walking home after church. All of the colorful elements of the landscape just fell into place." Patrick, Palm Sunday. From Sleeping by the Mississippi. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. USA. 2002. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth Sari, a rental D.J., dancer and singer. Park Hyatt Hotel is where Lost in Translation was filmed. Tokyo. Japan. 2015. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth "A guy next to me was shooting foam onto dancers. I was mostly trying not to destroy my camera. I didn’t see the shoes on the bottom of the picture, much less the size sticker on them." Crazy Legs (...)
Alec Soth A view from Soth’s hotel room at night. Park Hyatt Hotel is where Lost in Translation was filmed. Tokyo. Japan. 2015. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos