Believe

One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn as a photographer is not to limit myself to the immediate reaction I have when looking at a scene or subject.  There is potential in every situation, even those that to the human eye and the camera initially look like disasters.

A friend of mine invited me to join her to try to shoot car light trails from a highway overpass at dusk, achieving both the capture of the sunset and the movement of the cars through light trails.  Here’s what happened. Continue reading

In Full Retreat

I’ve been out of touch for a month.  Sorry about that.  I seem to be busier now than when I had a full-time career.  Recently, I had the pleasure of heading out with my photography club to its annual “retreat”.  A chance to immerse myself in all things photographic for a full weekend.  We chose a destination that we could drive to in an afternoon, but also one that would require disconnecting from all the demands back home.  It was wonderful. Continue reading

Focusing on What’s Important

In my last post, I commented on my distinct lack of enthusiasm for the new mirrorless camera offerings from Nikon.  Subsequently, both Canon and Fuji have also released new mirrorless cameras.  Each one proudly publishes a fancy spec sheet, full of images of the camera bodies, accompanying lenses and their capabilities.  Pages and pages of data.

Mirrorless CamerasIn the past, this would have caused me to breathe more rapidly, excitement building, as I surveyed the options ahead.  Not this time.  Not for any of them.  And I’ve been trying to figure out why. Continue reading

How Far Would You Go?

A recent news report told the story of 3 young Vloggers (I guess that means video bloggers) who decided that climbing to the top of a waterfall in British Columbia and recording from the edge would be a good thing.  In a tragic accident, all three died.

Vloggers

It seems you can develop a huge following and make a lot of money by throwing risk to the wind, going where or doing what you shouldn’t and recording your exploits.  Post the experience and you are almost guaranteed a following.  And in this modern world, the interest is instant, with the post potentially spreading worldwide in minutes.  Instant stats on views and likes encourage the next big trick, the next even more daring stunt. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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