Category Archives: Photography
“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” ― John Lubbock
Too often putting inspirations into action fails to happen. Quieting the other voices suggesting I avoid taking action on inspirations is my challenge. Fear, laziness, busyness and comparing suggest I do something else. I’m moving away from the worry that some people will consider another photographer to be better at this than me. My photography is a personal way to express what I feel whether that is a sunrise, architecture, a bunny or a portrait. As I drove by this church I noticed a new sculpture garden with a new sculpture. I had an inspiration. So, I turned around and pulled into the parking lot. I like what I found.
“Here’s what I think: I think an art photographer is a photographer with an opinion. An opinion about which of their photographs can truly stand as one of theirs, and about how the photograph ought to look.” Mike Johnson
In a previous post last week I admitted to being a photographer. Don’t’ laugh. I’m one who thinks there is an artist within each of us, buried, hidden and waiting to come out. Whether we feed the artist within or keep it contained is our choice. Many of us are reluctant to place the adjective, art, in front of photographer.
In my photography I shoot from the gut, not necessarily attempting to express some opinion or idea at the time I press the shutter. I’m more intent on seeing what’s in front of me, using my intuition and experience to see the light, find a composition, select a specific depth of field or select a perspective according to what feels right. After saying that, I would suggest all of these make up my “opinion”, but subconsciously. This opinion may come to my consciousness at a later time. I look at my photography from the perspective of an artist, “my art.” I look to the voice within me to lead me forward, opening my eyes, to come up with ideas for images and projects. Don’t all of us desire for our images to have some impact on viewers, inspiring them to step outside in nature rather than living life through a TV, a computer, a tablet, or smart phone? But, that’s another opinion for another time.
The above image was not an attempt at creating an artistic image. It was a moment when I was not totally prepared for the immediate takeoff and was a series of quick shots. Only after post processing did I see something I liked. Just my opinion or mere ramblings.
Mike Johnson has an interesting post about what he considers is the difference between a photographer and an art photographer. Bear with me as I ramble for a bit about the first part of his statement: being a photographer. As most of you know my posts are not very long or deep so this ramble will be the same.
He starts by saying a photographer is someone who takes photographs. That definition makes me a photographer as, well as you. Many of us who tote a camera with us are regularly asked the question, “Are you a photographer?” My answer to that question has evolved over the years. There was a time when I had no problem telling people I was an engineer. I would then be placed in the box they have defined as an engineer. At some point in my life there was an awareness I only worked as an engineer. Who we are is much larger than any box people have placed us in. So, now when someone asks if I’m a photographer I have no problem saying yes while inside I know I am much more than just a photographer.
I concur with Pierre Teilhard de Chardin; we are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience. As spiritual beings photography is one of many ways for us to participate in this human experience. It is a wonderful way for us to be a more active and vital part of our world. Photography is a passion, a love, a creative outlet, a form of expression and a teacher.Through photography we are able to experience the world around us with new eyes and gain a respect for all of life.
So, yes, I am a photographer (and much more.)
Looking into our archives is a great way to see the direction our photography is moving. I feel my craft, pre visualization, and post processing are always improving and in some cases much better. So, whatever gut feeling or intuition prompted me to frame and press my shutter button for this image back in 2005 is still working today. Some of my older images speak to me just as some of my present work. What I think I see in my present work is more personal enjoyment and maybe a higher keeper ratio. One from the archives.
I had someone ask me if I wrote down my thoughts and feelings at the time I take my images. My answer was no, but that’s a good question to ponder. I’m not sure I go through such a process. I’m just moving along with my gut and intuition. I watch the light, the shadows, texture, color and of course the craft part of the exposure. We need a good exposure to help us communicate what we are seeing. But, I’ve never written down any thoughts or feelings at the time of exposure. So, I’ll ask you the same question, “Do any of you take notes at the time of exposure?”
I’ve been playing around with with this Nikon 50 mm f1.4G AF-S lens and I do love the shallow depth of field and bokeh this lens offers. It just adds another tool to the arsenal in my bag. I’m starting to use it more. Continue reading
I apologize for the quality of this image but it was taken at 300 mm, hand held and cropped. How’s that for excuses? I just pulled off to the side of the road and shot from the car window, across traffic. It’s not very often I see two hawks sharing the same tree or branch, so I had to stop. They alway seem to be a solitary creature. The other reason for posting this image is to demonstrate the affect a telephoto lens has on distant objects, bringing them closer. The mountains in the distance are several miles away. Below is the same group of trees taken from the approximate same location and at 24 mm. Just a bit of difference. Continue reading
Over a year ago I bought the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 lens. I’ve wanted a fast zoom lens for a long time but I could not justify the purchase of the Nikon 17-55mm f2.8 nor did i rally want to lug around a large lens. So, for a lot less money I purchased the Tamron. I’ve been pleased with it. I like it’s smaller size and enjoy the 2.8 aperture. The extra stop of light adds one brush to our palette for creative images. I found myself using it for almost all my work and decided to sell my Nikon 18-200mm VR lens. After sock stuffing a few dollars for about six months I purchased the 50mm f1.4 lens, another brush to work with.
When I purchased the used D300 as my backup I also bought the 18-70mm kit lens. I always read good reviews about this lens and thought why not, expecting to use it for my landscape and nature images. I don’t know if I have a bad lens but it sure has a lot of difficulty auto-focusing. It’s so frustrating I’ve put on the shelf. It may be that the faster glass has spoiled me.
I’m liking being spoiled!
“If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you’re not out there, you’ll only hear about it.” – Jay Maisel