Monday, December 28, 2009

Photography



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I've taken over 50 000 photos in the 6 or so years since I started taking pictures for art's sake- as opposed to taking pictures to have a record of Aunt Martha in front of "what's the name of that monument again?" They are mostly of the world around me, unposed and as I see it. I've never confined myself to any one type of photography, so my photos are of anything and everything. I take my camera with me everywhere I go when traveling and when I'm not traveling I'll often go out for a walk to think and find photos to take. One morning I went out early to take some pictures of the sunrise from a place I'd never been before and expected to return shortly, but I ended up being out for over 3 hours, far away from my house. I slid down a hill and got both feet soaking wet. And got some really nice photos. I like taking photos to capture and make something beautiful, but often times it’s about the path you take to get the photos, and the photos are just a bonus at the end.

I've noticed that it seems like there's this really concrete division between people who "get" photography and those taking pictures of Aunt Martha- it's as though there is very little in-between.  Some people will see you taking a picture of something like a fork or a lightbulb and will ask what the heck you're doing, but other people will totally understand. Photography requires a lot of attention to detail and as I got better I started noticing more and more little things. To me, there's a huge difference between the natural light where I live and in other cities and places.

Some people have the misconception that you go and set up the photo and take one shot and get it right on the first try. Photography is often a very iterative process, and sometimes out of 200 photos I might get 10-20 that will end up being published. Sometimes you will get lucky and get something great the first try, but it's often very much about the most at-bats per unit of time.

I've won a couple minor photo contests, but my photo-taking hasn't made the leap from hobby to money-fetcher. It would be nice to find some way to market the photos that I do like to take, and I'll be on the lookout for it, but I haven't found it yet. There's something impure about changing my style to better reflect what people want to pay for.

And finally, I figure I might as well answer the two most common questions that I get:

a) what kind of camera do you use? Probably about 85% of the photos on my Flickr account were taken with a Kodak 4MP digital camera from 2003, but recently I finally got a Canon Rebel XS DSLR.
b) do you Photoshop your photos? I know some people who swear by Photoshop, but in the beginning I never changed anything about my photos- they just went up as-is. I still feel guilty when I occasionally hit the Enhance button in iPhoto.

From now on, I'm going to start posting a photo or two every Thursday.

Links: My Flickr Account - All my sets on Flickr - Tags of my photos

2 comments:

  1. My favorite : the Eiffel tower picture. All of them are awesome nonetheless.

    from Paula

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