Composition and Composure

Does your photography move you emotionally?  Do other people comment on how it moves them?  Is there a “wow” factor?

NotebookExperienced photographers who share their knowledge with new photographers spend a lot of time talking about composition and the “rules”.  Leading lines, rule of thirds, negative space, etc. help to teach the eye what to look for when evaluating a scene.  But they don’t spend a lot of time talking about why these rules matter at all.

I can only find one answer:  it’s an effort to disrupt the composure of anyone who views the image.  To get a reaction.  Most often positively, sometimes with delight, and sometimes deliberately negatively.  The “rules” provide a roadmap for the senses, and by extension, for the emotions.  To be truly successful as a photographer, you have to tap into that emotion – yours and your viewers.

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Some Inspiration…

One of the joys of photography is simply the chance to talk to other photographers.  So many topics to indulge, so many experiences to compare.  And of course, best of all, the chance to admire good work.

I had the pleasure yesterday of attending a talk at our local camera club by Kas Stone, a Canadian photographer based in Nova Scotia.  In addition to her work as a landscape and nature photographer, she regularly teaches, holds workshops and speaks to groups like ours about the art of photography.  Continue reading

One Year Ago

Artificial HipA year ago today, I received a new hip.  Routine surgery I’m told, but life changing for me.  Months of excruiating pain replaced, initially, by the feeling of having been hit by a bus.  Luckily that lasted only a couple of weeks.

My first major surgery; also the first time I fainted on standing; and the first time I took more than one pill in a day.  The weeks of exercises to learn to walk unaided.  The challenges with sitting and even using the bathroom.  Most especially the loss of independence, relying on a wonderful family to indulge my need to get out of the house. Continue reading

Another Year

We all reflect at this time of year on the things we’ve accomplished, the friends we cherish and how life in general has treated us.  In my case, health issues took centre stage, but have ended positively.  I also finished school and started to dabble in photography more seriously.  I’ve settled into retirement from a full-time career and now have much more flexibility than I have ever had in deciding what to do with my day.  And I’m sharing the holiday season with friends and family and having a blast.

But it is time to get serious again and do some planning around where I would like my photography to go next. Continue reading

Adapting to Change

You might think that this is a piece on new photography technology or techniques, but it’s more fundamental than that.  A month ago today, I received a new hip, courtesy of the Ontario healthcare system and the wonderful folks at Sunnybrook’s Holland Orthopaedic Centre in Toronto.  I’ve affectionately named my hip “Metallica Chalybs”, in honour of the materials out of which she is made.   Continue reading

Graduation Day

After two years, 20 courses and a not so trivial investment in gear, I’ve received my diploma in digital photography from Durham College, Canada.  I am now a photographer.Graduation

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Isn’t It Ironic?

Many people find it hard to find the one thing they want to do with their time that makes them happy.  For some, they know from an early age that they will be a doctor, lawyer, baker, etc.  I never knew.  Still don’t.  But I do love photography.  Over the past year, I’ve immersed myself in it, studied it, practiced it.  But it’s been a bit of a hard road. Continue reading