Sunday, August 26, 2012

August 26, 2012

Barriers to Success In Photography

Have any of these words interfered with your ability to get that perfect image, nerves, hectic, fast changing light, lens choice, perspective, anxiety, tension is mounting, I must get this shot, mind racing, and more.  If we over think a photograph we have already lost the natural flow of the scene and your relationship with the subject.  Your imposing on the scene your inner desire for the absolute best composition, the best color, the best of everything and by doing this you are limiting your ability to intuitively recognize the good photograph wanting to be taken right in front of you. As a matter of fact I think if you are overly concerned with the technical side of image taking you have already missed the shot.  I am not saying don't be prepared.  With experience we all have an artist's ability to previsualize an image.  I have a lens rotation I do when taking photographs.  I start wide and keep narrowing my focus until I have found a close-up macro shot.

I bring this up because the other day I went back to one of my favorite small lakes up in Snohomish County, Lake Cassidy.  The lake sits in a valley and usually has fog hugging its calm surface.  Fishermen will come in and launch their small engine boats (sometimes canoes, kayaks and fishing inter-tubes) on the west side of the lake right as the sun rises over the Cascade Mountain Range. It is a wonderful landscape and has all the ingredients for making a great picture.

I hadn't been there in awhile and as the light got better and better I heard a boat in the distance heading my way.  I had a 50mm lens on my camera and had a great composition with Mount Pilchuck to the right in the frame and the sun coming up through the fog on the left side of the frame and a boat in the distance coming perfectly into the composition.  But instead of thinking calmly I got excited about a potential new image and in mid-stream decided to change lens to a 105 mm.  As I put the lens on the camera I looked up and saw the small boat come out of the fog and right through the frame before I could re-compose my image and get the shot.  My nervous energy sabotaged what could have been a great scenic photograph.

I did go back to the lake the next morning and this time waited patiently as the fishermen entered my composition.  The light was great and I will post some of those when I get them processed through Lightroom.  The images below are from previous morning shoots.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 19, 2012

Remember When?

I was on an assignment to shoot community guides for a national phone company.  And as it often happens when you are out and about looking for subjects, serendipity played a role.  I stumbled into a kids ballet class at one of the grade schools I was photographing.  This was perfect, a great teacher and the kids enthusiasm and me the loud photographer shooting with  MD-12 motor drives which sounded like a sledge hammer going off in your head.  I know what you're thinking, just take the motor drives off and then do a Henri Cartier-Bresson. Compose the frame allowing all the forms to line up perfectly and click the shutter for that decisive moment.  Very nice and tidy.  Oh no, not this cowboy.  I had in my mind's eye a young prodigy flying in midair and the audience clapping at the way the photographer captured with perfection the youthful ballerina's expression.  Or something like that.  So no, I didn't take the motor drives off and as I look back at that day I still remember the parent's (who were paying good hard earned money for these classes) distasteful looks at me as my motor drive (which felt hot in my hands) distracted not only the kids, but the teacher as well.  For me however, I didn't bat an eye, and it was only later as I was leaving that I realized that the loudest clap was not for the kids, but for me leaving. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

August 19, 2012

Do negative images sell?  I discussed this a few weeks ago and wanted to post some images that I have been working on that relate to this topic.  I have been shooting a series of images that focus on the the overabundance of pills in our lives. I know that when my folks got to a certain age they had an increase in the amount of medicines they took.  Some were necessary, some were not given their age and side effects.  The conceptual images I took for this series really focused on the addictive quality of the medicines that people use nowadays.  Whether it is for pain, anxiety, sleeping, sex, high blood pressure, etc...We are addicted to meds and the ads claim that by taking these pills your life will be better.  But when they list the the side effects of the medications you have to wonder what the heck is going on.

Will these images sell.  I think they will.  We are beginning to see more articles discussing the over medication of our children and our senior citizens. When creating images you have to go with your gut instincts and shoot what you feel.  Sometimes in photography subjects hit you over the head that you just can't ignore.