Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Photography Blogging?

I see a lot of hype out there about whether photographers should have a blog or not. I obviously do have one or you would not be reading this. However, according to an article I read today, I am doing everything completely wrong. Imagine my surprise at that since I've always been perfect. (That was laced with sarcasm...that is my primary mode of communication.)

Anyway, the article today stated that while it's fine for us photographers to "showcase" our work via our blog, it suggests that you, our avid readers, want more. You want photography tips, you want how to's, you want to know how we set up the shot that we took that you like so much. Inquiring minds want to know, it seems. 

Well, I don't consider myself a pro up there with the likes of Trey Ratcliff, Lotus Carroll, Mike Shaw, and the like. I would LOVE to be as talented and creative and completely wonderful as they are since they are a few of my photographic heroes, but I'm limited. Not so much limited in my ability to take good photographs or should I say make good photographs, but rather in my geographic location. I'm pretty sure if I was jetsetting all over the globe like Trey I could make some pretty fine photographs of those areas, but I am not famous, nor do I have any corporate sponsorship, nor any money to travel on so that I could take those fantastic images. In fact, I barely still have a house over my head, but that is fodder for a different blog. 

My point here is this, we cannot all take or make images that live up to that grandeur. There's nothing wrong with us. We shouldn't want to plummet off a cliff every time we have an idea about an image that we set out to take that in the end doesn't quite come up to par in our eyes. What we should be doing is asking ourselves to look at our work objectively, to evaluate what goal we had in mind (if any) when we took the shot, to determine if we are conveying the message that we wanted, be it simple or very complex. But even more basic than that, remove our emotion from the piece and look at it as if it were the work of a stranger. Assess it for the rule of thirds, for items that stand out that we didn't see when we took it, things that detract from the central idea of the photograph.

Take for instance the above image I took many years ago. I stopped at a roadside park in rural North Texas, got out my camera, stretched out on my belly in my nursing uniform on the cool wet grass and snapped this shot. 

Even when I got it home and processed it I was gleefully happy at my capture. I was, that is, until that nagging little tall weed sticking out of the center began to taunt and mock me. How could I have not noticed it? And the more I looked at it, the more annoying it became. Ridiculous little weed, standing there all defiant and proud above my beautiful little Indian Paintbrush. 

Of course, in the days of film, to put it nicely, I would have been screwed. But not now. Not in this modern day and age with so many wonderful digital darkroom tools available. Lament that fact all you want film people, I don't care! I love my digital darkroom!

So I fixed it. Just now, in fact. For the purpose of entertaining my readers. You're welcome. :-) LOL.

So you see, if we all look at our own work as if we have one of the greats examining it, perhaps we will learn to see things better the first time around. Ultimately, it's all about evolving and learning and seeing the world in a new way. At least it is to me. 

And that's how I see it..."through my lens..."

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Yesterday's Dream Life

Sometimes I wonder when I see places like this who lived there long ago. Were they overjoyed at building their "dream home" on the prarie? How many children grew up there? Did the wife and Mother cook and clean and chase the children while the Daddy was out working the cows or mending fences? When the day was done did they sit around a table and eat fried chicken or pork chops and good ol' fashioned mashed potatoes and drink sweet iced tea? Were they happy back in those days before television and the internet? I like to think they were.
I like to think they worked a hard days work and lived a simple life and enjoyed their days on this earth. I like to imagine stair stepped children with long curls and little boys in overalls playing in the mud, gathering eggs as part of their chores, finding frogs and turtles down by the creek. Maybe they had a little dog who ran beside them all of their days and slept in their bed with them at night.
Such nostalgic thoughts run through my head when I see places such as this. So ...I just wonder. :-)
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Out of the Ordinary

I posted this shot recently on Facebook and asked folks where in the world they thought it was.
My daughter, not realizing I had taken it, voiced her first thought as Asia. I thought that was pretty interesting. It does look a little different from most of the shots I take.
For those of you who don't know me on Facebook and therefore know the answer, what do you think? Does it look Asian? Do you know where it is?