Friday, May 25, 2007

Digital Age - Two Thumbs Up!

I can develop and print my own pictures - the old fashioned way in the dark room complete with foul smelling chemicals and groping around in the dark trying to load a roll of film on a spool. With today's technology we no longer have to endure trying to get it right in the dark room. If you want to try something different with a computer you can and you won't incur the cost of wasted paper and or chemicals that have to be harmful.
I used to send negatives to a custom lab and try to explain to them what I wanted done - burn here dodge there -not too much now. today we can manipulate the image as we please and we're provided much more freedom to experiment. The interesting thing about all this however is you still have to start with a decent image, one that has been well composed and properly exposed, with media cards you can create thousands of images and just keep the ones you want.

The Art Of Seeing

When I first got started in photography in the late 1970's I used to carry around with me a 5X7 mat board with a 4X5 opening cut out. I would hold up the cut out and "compose" several scenes. I would use different composition techniques to practice the art of seeing. Once you learn to deal with composition and if you can train your eye to view a scene with the fore ground or back ground out of focus you can develop a keen sense of seeing as an artist. Its important to first utilize the basic camera skills, in other words take the darn thing off automatic. you need to understand why one picture is better than another and how the photographer achieved his objective. Look at the pictures to the right I have included different basic techniques which will be discussed later. Can you identify what I was doing and why? How would you do it differently? As you become more involved with the craft you will soon learn there is no perfection - you will always be growing, learning, evolving. It all begins with one learning first to see. Mother was right - take time to smell the roses, take a good look at the world around you, the images you make will depict your opinion of that world! Will your world be one of beauty or will it be cynical and cold, the choice is yours beware however the power of the camera!

Having An Eye

I remember someone saying a long time ago "Boy DArcy you sure have an eye for photography". I think I was flattered but as I've gotten older I realise that rather than haveing an eye I simply dove into the whole thing. I would read everything I could find (I still have hundreds of issues of major photographic magizines. I remember working on a specific subject matter (depth of field for instance) until I was happy with my understanding of it. I believe that first you have an interest then you develop the passion.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ataining Success In Photography

There have been times when I got side tracked, when making money was what it was all about. I became involved in photography not because if thought I'd get rich but because I was passionate about all things photography. I've learned over the years to be true to myself, to not sell out, to only make the pictures that I wanted to make for the reasons I wanted to make them. As far as success goes; I don't know I had no expectations no visions of grandeur, I simply loved making pictures - sales and admiration simply fueled the flames. The mark-up on a photographers work is ridiculous, a $3.00 8X10 will sell for $25.00 easy. No wonder the public is buying up digital camera's and thumbing their noses at the "pro". Do I think that a Photographer is not worth such rates - depends on the quality of work and if the public is willing to pay it. As for me I get a bigger kick out of selling a souvenir magnet to a lady in Japan or a sweat shirt of an image I made in Oregon to someone in Ohio. These people paid good money for work that I did, the image had to stand on its own, there was no fancy selling techniques. I did and do want to be the best that I can be for me, this is a business that is continually evolving. It's funny that after 25 years when I have the camera set on the tripod I still become engrossed in the image and loose all track of time and place.
I guess in the grand scheme of things I have been successful, the passion is still there, I have visitors to my website from all over the world. My images have been purchased by customers from many different countries. I guess that's the natural progression of things - if your passionate about anything in life you simply gravitate in that direction.