Sunday, November 28, 2010

MORE than what you saw.

When walking around in Zion National Park (or any other scenic location for that matter); you often have to see beyond the existing subject matter for others to experience that same sense of freshness and beauty.

The tall rock walls are beautiful and awe inspiring, but when shot against an open sky, they often go dark and loose detail. Remember the camera is going to try to average the light it sees.

When I looked for something to frame the subject, I had the same problem, the leaves were almost silhouette, because of the bright sky in the middle. I solved this problem by using my flash outdoors to fill in the details in the leaves. More details in the leaves, better framing. Better Framing, more feeling of depth between the leaves and rock. More feeling of depth, the more it feels like you were there.

More often than not, for your viewer to have the same type of visual experience you did when shooting, you have to include MORE than just the subject. Yes, the rocks caught your eye, but to keep them looking again and again, there must be something to compare it to. Keep an open mind, when shooting what catches your eye.

Serious about Photography

Over 30+ years ago when I started in photography, I had another job that always kept my family secure. We were far from rich but we were secure enough that I never hesitated to get better photography equipment when I could.

In the last 4 or 5 years, the economy has been bad, and I had several "other jobs" besides photography. I turned to the web and spent more time on my website (about photography) than actually doing photography.

In one of the articles I wrote, I said, "If I had to start all over again, I would spend two hours a day; either reading about, writing about, or doing Photography." The Key I said was to do something every day to prove to myself as much as anyone else, that I was actually serious about photography.

Well, that day has come. I am tired of actually being envious of those photographers that are doing more than I am. I am ashamed when I make excuses to myself, why I can't make a living at it full time. I know I can not afford to quit my other job now, but my goal for 2011 (be it a month early) is to start believing in myself again. I plan to be more serious about my photography, and if you will follow this blog; I plan to share with others, how I make that change.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Photography Art or Craft?

The question is often brought up if Photography is more of an Art or is it a Craft? To answer that you have to define what is an Art or what is a craft.

Most people would agree that a painter (scenic not house) is an Artist. Likewise a person that builds furniture is considered as a Craftsman. Using that as a reference point it could be said that an Artist creates something unique, whereas a Craftsman makes something that can be repeated again and again.

Based on that definition it would seem obvious that photography is a craft, but . . . it's not quite that simple. Give 5 photographers, the same camera, the same subject, and the same lighting and more often than not you will still get a variety of unique images. Therefore, photography must be an Art, right?

My personal opinion is that it is both a Craft and an Art. While many people learn the Craft (exposure, depth of field, shutter speeds, etc.) not everybody bothers to take it to the next level and learn the Art (Framing, Rule of Thirds, Leading Lines, etc.) I have great respect for both; but for those who argue it is one or the other, I believe they are not getting the whole picture.