Thursday, November 28, 2013

November 28, 2013

Black Friday is fast approaching and consumerism reigns supreme.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

November 24, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!  Wishing everyone all the best as we move into this Holiday Season.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November 17, 2013

It is amazing how compact cameras and phone cameras have changed the image making process and the ability to capture easily and instantly events that happen. These small hand held cameras are excellently adapted to making people shoot only one way.  Follow the arrows to the sign at the monument, where it states best view here!  

Prior to the small compact cameras and phone cameras, taking images of yourself (other than from a reflective surface) with a bulky 35mm camera was difficult, because it was hard to hold with one hand and awkard at best with two hands (the weight would surprise you) and keep it steady and then press down on the shutter while trying to maintain focus.

We all want a physical memory of where we were at moment in time, especially on a vacation trip, but how to get a clear image and also include some of the scenic background that states: "Yes, I was here!"  Well, a lot of the time you had to rely on strangers to take the photo for you. This interaction was part of the photo taking process.  Sometimes this asking, relying on another, became frustrating because you never knew if the helpful stranger understood what he was doing with your camera.

The conversation would go like this: stranger, after studying your camera quizzically, "Are you ready? I'll  count to three and take the photo, 1.. 2... and...."  [click went the shutter]
It was a little exciting, since you never knew exactly when the helpful stranger would take the photo.

Later, when you picked up your pictures, you always look tentatively for that image. Invariably you would get images back with your eyes closed or tongue out or looking away,  but that was the fun of it, seeing that image and all the memories it brought back, however embarrassing.

This interaction with others also made one aware of the community we all live in, no matter where you were.  The important thing was, a stranger's response to your needs and the willingness to help out with that picture. There was an anticipation and nervous energy that fed each others enthusiasms for photography.

These days it seems, a self portrait is taken with your arm extended at a high angle looking down, with you and your friends smiling up at the camera phone. The click of the shutter means the image making process is done.  This ability to "do it yourself" empowers a person not to rely on anyone else for his/her photo needs but also reaffirms mans adaptation to new technologies.

Once the image has been taken, it is immediately sent out to friends and family on the web. These pictures are taken not for the purpose of self realization or to witness and document an event, but to have the world look at you and see that you are having fun in that nano second of exposure. It seems that to slow down and actually "see" the subject in front of you is secondary to the neediness to be seen.  And there is this willingness to exchange real communication with others for this self delusion of feeling wanted and appreciated through this overpowering social media experiment.

I was out shooting a while ago in a pumpkin patch and a couple actually walked up to me and asked me if I would take a picture of them standing in the field full of pumpkins.  I was totally amazed when they handed me their cell phone.  It felt like the old days and I thanked them before they thanked me.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

November 2, 2013

What does it feel like to be a photographer in today's topsy turvy stock photo industry?  Can we actual see a visual of ourselves that represents the fast past advances in technology that seem to happen every week that drive us ever forward to an information overload?  The stock photographer is a dinosaur left out in a field replaced by forces beyond their control. These forces have overwhelmed her/him and made photography content so accessible that pricing standards became obsolete.